If you are looking for the most decadent, honeymoon–worthy hotel room in Paris, let us narrow the field: a prestige suite at Saint James Paris! Its unique and very theatrical style instantly seduces everyone. The hotel itself is located in our favorite 16th arrondissement, which is like Manhattan for New York- chic and quiet, bourgeois and pleasant with its beautiful Avenue Victor-Hugo and Avenue Foch. We wanted to visit this famed hotel for years. Knowing its history, and, above all, extravagant and charming interior design, we counted days to our arrival at the only castle hotel in Paris.
This colorful and artistic hotel is a very unique building, with a spectacular interior and exterior design
The splendid Napoleon III residence is in the middle of Paris‘s coveted Right Bank, just a stroll from the Arc de Triomphe and Trocadéro. It is perfect for visiting the Palais des Congrès, the Musée d’Art Moderne and the Fondation Louis Vuitton. Also, it is very close to Eiffel Tower and Champs-Élysées.
Saint James Paris, a member of Relais & Châteaux, was built in the 19th century on the site of Paris’ first hot-air ballooning airfield. For over a century it was the neoclassical home of the Thiers Foundation, and later in the mid-1980s, the exclusive St-James Club which is still based on the premises. Now, the hotel is owned by the French family.
Visual identity of Saint James Paris was entrusted to Bambi Sloan, a prominent Franco-American interior designer well known for the bold use of colors, patterns, and styles. Her brilliant and imaginative style was visible from the moment we entered the lobby. At Saint James, flamboyance meets eccentricity with details such as zebras on the wall just above the fireplace, leopard print on the sofas and chairs. A lounge with Napoleon III-style furniture perfectly matches French palatial feel. The architectural structure of the interior is amplified with a combination of black and white colors that visually follow every line and angle. The splendor of the palace is lightened with a string of crystal chandeliers, that possess a sight straight to the third floor. We spent hours going up and down Saint James‘ stairs, walking through its corridors and discovering every detail that surprisingly awaited us on every corner. Bambi Sloan with her team magically beautified every segment of Saint James‘ premises making it so unique and peculiar.
The theme of the hot-air balloon is seen throughout the entire building, to remind visitors of its previous life. Walls are adorned with copies of 19th-century masters and, contrastingly, doors opening to an adjoining room reflecting English club decor, with deep leather armchairs and couches, lavishly stocked bar and beautiful old books from floor to ceiling.
The theme of the hot-air balloon
There are 48 suites and bedrooms, including several duplexes. They have very artistic and contrastive look, adorned with lots of different colors and textures. Each has its own atmosphere with a cheerful mix of fabrics – leopard prints, false parquet carpets, tartan, jungle or chinoiserie – beds that might be Baroque or Gothic, lavish sofas here, lacquered desks there and bowler-hat lights and cases of butterflies. Two three-storey suites occupy the entrance pavilions, one made for romantic couples complete with spa, the other more family oriented. The hotel is luxurious, with tailored made service, Micheline star restaurant and it has a private membership concept.
Living room of Prestige suite
Bedroom of Prestige suite
The Michelin-starred restaurant is a brilliant place to sample dishes, such as Tartare of «aiguillette» of duck (mango, passion fruit, and smoked duck breast fillet), from chef Jean-Luc Rocha, who previously worked at Chateau Cordeillan Bages near Bordeaux. The restaurant is open to the public for dinner from Monday through Saturday from 7:30 till 9:45 pm. Breakfast is served for hotel guests and Club members only from 7 till 10 am and lunch from 12:30 till 2 pm.
More casual lunches are served in the galleried library-bar and on the terrace in summer, including popular Sunday brunch which is open to all, by reservation only from 12 till 4 pm. The Bar menu offers a very wide selection of whiskeys of different origins, including some very rare single malt Scotch whiskies, and a wide selection of champagnes. In the library bar, you may also try outstanding cocktails. In the summer on the outdoor dining terrace, nestled in a lush green setting is the hot air balloon décor- Montgolfier tents, which evoke the past of the place. We’ve come down for breakfast at the hotel where a black cat named Pilou, the hotel’s “pasha”, seated on a grass greeted us with a gentleman’s attitude. Even the cat living in this surrounding is majestic.
A haven of peace that resembles an English garden
Facilities include car parking in the grounds, a spa with treatments based on the prestigious Maison Guerlain, with Moroccan inspired treatment rooms and two Turkish baths, and gym lit by chandeliers. Computer and iPads are available to borrow.
Saint James Paris
5 Place du Chancelier Adenauer
Tel : + (33) 1 44 05 81 81
Fax : + (33) 1 44 05 81 82
Booking : + (33) 1 44 05 81 88
Vesna Filipovic for Fashionela