One of the first dreams I had growing up was imagining life in Paris as an artist. I guess that learning about the history of art and looking at the paintings of great artists like Picasso, Van Gogh, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Salvador Dalí planted the seed in my mind. I pictured my own French atelier with a cute little balcony that was settled in a narrow street…. because in my mind that was the place that one artist would like to live. With years of visiting France I discovered places that visually overcame all my imagination, and these are the real palaces where some of the prominent artists actually lived. This year we visited Le Meurice, palatial hotel from Dorchester Collection where Salvador Dalí spent at least one month each year throughout the 1950s to the 1980s. That is the place where he found inspiration looking trough the window of his apartment at the Jardins des Tuileries, where he stalked the corridors with his two pet ocelots, paid hotel staff five francs a piece to catch flies from the Jardins des Tuileries, and where he shot blank bullets at herds of sheep. Staying here we heard so many stories about one of the most famous painters of the 20th century that redefined and inspired interior design of this splendor palace. Following Dalí‘s footsteps we had a true regal experience in this magical hotel .
Located between Place de la Concorde and the Louvre, Le Meurice is ideally situated for visiting the finest art that Paris has to offer. Originally built in 1818 by Mr. Meurice, today Le Meurice represents one of the best hotels of the Dorchester Collection, owned by Brunei Investment Agency. This palace hotel was known trough centuries as The Hotel of Kings and Queens which they chose from the very beginning. In 1926 the exiled King of Spain, Alfonso XIII and his family moved into Le Meurice and after that many royal leaders came to stay here. Some of the honorable guests include: Queen Victoria, the King of Montenegro, the Prince de Galles, King George VI, French President Doumergue, the Sultan of Zanzibar, the Maharaja of Jaipur, and the Grand Duches of Russia, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the Dukes and Duchesses of Windsor, Shah of Iran, Russian composer Peter Ilitch Tchaikovski … The elite aristocracy of that time enjoyed dancing in the Meurice’s rooftop garden, overlooking the glamour of nighttime in Paris and the historic Tuileries Garden.
Romantic dinner from the terrace of the Belle Étoile Suite
Le Meurice was a witness of some amazing events and historic meetings, like in 1918 when Picasso and his wife Olga Kolkova hosted their wedding dinner or in 1932 when Coco Chanel held several receptions at the hotel. In 1972, Andy Warhol met Salvador Dalí here and in 1983, Thierry Mugler presented his second runway collection. Woody Allen, known for his love for The city of lights, filmed some scenes for the “Midnight in Paris” at Le Meurice, and Kanye West and Jay Z recorded a new single here that sold in more than 3 million copies. Now, fashion royalties such as Anna Wintour and Kate Moss and world’s celebrities Robert de Niro, Angelina Jolie, Kylie Minogue, Jennifer Lopez and Beyoncé among many choose this hotel as a home in Paris.
Le Meurice is a synonym for comfort and avant-gardism. Combining exceptional 18th century opulence re-imagined by Charles Jouffre with contemporary chic by Philippe Starck, Le Meurice embodies the perfect French palace hotel. Each of the seven floors has a distinct style, with beautifully appointed rooms in a palette of light colors and bright accents and suites decorated in the style of Louis XVI, featuring exquisite Italian marble bathrooms. Some rooms have views of the Tuileries Gardens, the Musée d’Orsay, and the Eiffel Tower, while the wraparound terrace of the Belle Étoile Suite has 360-degree views of the city.
The Dalí apartment, where Salvador Dalí once resided is one of the Presidential Suites
Inspired by Madame de Pompadour, the mistress to Louis XV and a passionate patron of the arts, Charles Jouffre looked to 18th-century style for the Pompadour Suite‘s coral and beige decor. He covered the walls of the sitting room in Regency-style wood paneling, armchairs and bergères are made in France by Moissonnier, and chandeliers and trimmings by Declerq.
Restaurant le Meurice Alain Ducasse, two stars at the Guide Michelin
The large dining room, inspired by the Salon de la Paix of the Château of Versailles, is considered to be one of the most beautiful in Paris. Decoration of the restaurant revamped by Starck in 2007 and 2016, offers timeless elegance: majestic glass door with gilding, antique mirrors, chandeliers, bronzes, marble and frescoes.
Restaurant le Meurice Alain Ducasse
Restaurant le Meurice Alain Ducasse
World-renowned chef Alain Ducasse oversees all the dining experiences at Le Meurice. He invites us to discover cuisine of the essential, at the heart of which lies the taste, in its pure strength, without any superfluous ingredient. Executive chef Jocelyn Herland aims to preserve the authentic taste of exceptional produce, until it reaches the plate.
Restaurant Le Dalí
Le Dalí is the only restaurant authorized to use the name by the Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí. High-style setting of this restaurant, inspired by Salvador Dalí is recently redesigned by Philippe Starck and his daughter, Ara. She painted monumental canvas of a 145 square meter on the ceiling and a carpet. Both works presents distort reality. Also, at the back of the room, a huge, slightly tilted mirror creates an unexpected escape from the public gaze. Restaurant Le Dalí offers traditional French brasserie specialties, or a creative culinary journey of delicious Mediterranean cuisine. The dishes are designed to be shared or served in half portions for light apéritif dining.
Restaurant Le Dalí
At the Bar 228, you will find the familiar English club atmosphere with a nod to 18th century France. Leather armchairs, dark woodwork furnishings and frescoes dating back to 1907 give this place such a charm. Head barman, William Oliveri, who has been with the hotel since 1978, will prepare for you exceptional cocktails like the Meurice Millennium, or you may order Dom Perignon by the glass. There is also a bar menu of salads, sandwiches and other delicacies, perfect for a quick lunch. The Galerie Pompadour became a veritable extension of the bar. The spirit of French classicism is entirely visible here. The pink copper is used as the base for the new marble-topped tables and the mirror frames. The medallion portrait gallery of 18th-century personalities decorates the backs of the leather armchairs.
We paint a picture of the future we desire. This is a human ability to portray the world in our mind with imagination, vision, idea … I do not speak of the world as it is, but the world as it could be. Hotel Le Meurice is a living proof how reality can overcome the wildest imagination.
228 rue de Rivoli,
Tel: +33 (0)1 44 58 10 10
Vesna Filipovic for Fashionela