The Cheval Blanc Paris Is Poised To Open, Following A Nearly US$1 Billion Overhaul

At the very heart of the City of Lights, by the river Seine, overlooking Paris’s oldest stone bridge connecting the Right Bank, the île de la Cité and the Left Bank and a few steps away from the Louvre, slept a grand Art Deco beauty. For the past 16 years, Parisians strolling or biking along the river kept wondering what magic was happening behind the covers hiding the extensive renovations. And now, 16 years later, one sees French President Emmanuel Macron, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and Bernard Arnault chairman and chief executive of LVMH Moët Hennessy inaugurate a new site and concept ready for the 21st century. This location will now fly the Cheval Blanc Paris flag, an exclusive new hotel which feels almost like a birthright.

It was here where La Samaritaine, the Parisian department store originally opened in 1869, occupying a whole block comprising many buildings from different eras and architectural styles – spanning the 17th to the 20th centuries. The approximately 860,000 sq ft department store was bought by the LVMH group in 2001 and closed for renovations in 2005. The new revamped location offers a totally new Parisian experience for all senses with luxury retail, Michelin-starred restaurants, cafes, offices, housing, and of course, opening its doors on the 7th of this month, the Cheval Blanc Paris.

The new retail space that spans approximately 215,000 sq ft opened to great fanfare, offering a shopping space bathed in natural light, luxury international brands as well as exclusive niche French brands for international and Parisian connoisseurs alike. Throughout this huge concept store, shoppers will have the choice between twelve different food and beverage options.

Meanwhile, its hotel represents the fifth of the chain worldwide after Courchevel, St Tropez, Randheli and St Bart Isle of France. It is also the first urban Maison Cheval Blanc. For this LVMH hotel brand, opening a location in Paris is a grand achievement, which is why they needed such a grand location. Maison Cheval Blanc Paris is located across approximately 150,000sq ft of La Samaritaine’s Art Deco historical building. The latter represents a collaboration between architects Jourdain and Sauvage, and was completed between 1926 and 1928, featuring a geometric facade of cream-colored stone and exposed steel structure. World-famous architects Édouard François (MEF) and Peter Marino latterly gave the iconic building a contemporary spirit which is a tribute to French savoir-faire and craftsmanship that LVMH embodies to perfection.

All of the hotel’s 72 rooms and suites overlook the River Seine. (A standard room is expected to cost around 1,000 euros a night). The subtly stylish interiors, decked in a compelling yet cosy blend of beiges and creams are the work of Marino. The designer is no stranger to less-is-more design statements, evidenced by his work in the global luxury retail scene. The rooms at Cheval Blanc Paris are equally well-appointed and plush.

Atop the Maison, the Apartment spans elegantly over two floors in a vibrant palette of materials, textures and colours—a tribute to Art Deco heritage. This exceptional pied-à-terre unveils majestic volumes punctuated by works of art and bespoke craft pieces. It boasts nine bedrooms, a home cinema, a spa, a fitness room and a 12-meter (39-feet) swimming pool as well as having the convenience of its own direct access from the street. The view from the top floors encompasses iconic buildings of the île de la Cité, such as La Conciergerie and Notre-Dame Cathedral.

There are five different food and beverage options at Maison Cheval Blanc Paris that aim to please the most refined of palates. On the ground floor, pastry Chef Maxime Frédéric will indulge sweet inclinations, while evenings will see the same space transformed into a speakeasy bar. On the first floor, Arnaud Donckele will head the Plénitude gastronomic restaurant. On the 7th floor, two panoramic restaurants will serve French fine dining and Italian gastronomy. The hotel manager promises that the in-room dining will be of the same Michelin-starred quality.

Parents seeking some alone time will be able to send their children to a dedicated club, Le Carrousel, with activities centred around ecological education. With the kids taken care of, adults are free for some pampering at the showstopping Dior Spa Cheval Blanc. The exquisite space features a sauna, a hammam, a superlative fitness space, and a majestic 25-metre (82-feet) swimming pool inlayed with handcrafted mosaics by Michael Mayer. A work of art within the work of art that is Cheval Blanc Paris.

Maison Cheval Blanc Paris opens on 7 September. For reservations click here.

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