Paris. City of light – the philosophers’ ones but also – more ephemeral – those of the trends, leading the way to fashion. The flame burning between lovers. This vibe running through the city – one street will be the heart of haute-couture, the next will have retained its village atmosphere, another still will take you centries ago by its history.
Paris, bright with passions.
Parisian chic. A picture comes to the mind of course, the shining Champs-Elysées, the beautiful line of lit trees at night. And, oh, wouldn’t it lovely to wake up early and see them when the town comes alive? Sit at the terrace of a café, just watch. And then cross the street, stand for a while in the little island in the middle. On one side, the Concorde, peaking up to the sky, framed by the beautoful wheel during the Christmas holidays. On the other side, standing proud, the Arc de Triomphe. When the sun rises and the sky has this special apricot colour – ah, you just can’t beat that.
Spending a night in that neighbourhood just adds magic to the stay. Being able to walk there past midnight and have only a few steps more to take to go to bed is a pure delight.
Of course, palaces around there must have rocket high prices. You barely dare to check. Well, the Hotel Beauchamps, 3mn walk only, has rooms just under 200€. For the luxury of it, for pleasure, for a small or big celebration.
You will walk straight into a heart of gold, a jewel, very warm and welcoming with those collection red chairs. It is very tempting indeed to delay checking in and just sit down, order a steaming hot tea, grab a newspaper and relax there for a while…
It is a nice occasion to have a look around the ground floor too. Cosy spaces have been thought of, little lounges for small groups – ideal for chats with friends, meeting family, or even, we are told, interviews with celebrities.. They have a cocoon effect, fascinating colours, solft textures and inchting cushions.
The inspiration for this address was travelling. Imagine this address as being the private hotel of Balthazar Beauchamps, a rich gentleman who would go around the world. One can almost picture him cigar or Cognac in hand, sitting in a leather club chair, admiring an exotic art piece or an antique map, thinking of his next adventure.
In the second lounge, have a closer look at the shelves – those objects could all be his, brought back in wooden crates from sunny places. Corals and shells are presented as you would flowers, sculptures are rich with legends and mystery, leather bound or art books call for you to turn their leaves…
The rooms bring the same feeling of comfort and inspiration – a safe haven to put down your suitcases after a long trip, a home. Not so long ago, hotels were very impersonal, almost clinical: chains tried to provide the same landscape from one country to another, supposedly reassuring for the traveller. Maybe it was. But our generation is more used to moving around. They want – as the Beauchamps has understood – the place to have a soul, a heart. They want to marvel. The hotel is to be part of the journey, as much as the discovery of a new city is. And why shouldn’t it bring its share of magic?
Now look at this palette of green, the soft, round yet contemporary design of the chair. The fluffy cushions on the bed make you feel like throwing yourself on it, the very last one beinging a pearly touch, framed with a touch of colou in parallel to the sepia of the art work behind you. This, my friend, is a reproduction of a red ink piece by Victor Hugo, whose skills went further than writing. Not visible on the picture but worth mentioning was a gorgeous cupboard, all laquered in a coral colour. Why this tint? In honour to Yves Saint-Laurent’s famous fragrance, Opium. It fits perfectly here.
On the desk was the cutest welcome gift – a jardinière in bamboo with seeds to be planted. A lovely gesture that will bring back Parisian memories later one and a wink to GLA’s (the group to which the Beauchamps belong to) ecological priorities.
On the side is, as usual, a folder containing all the information you might need for your stay but beautifully presented in a leather file with a seal effect in leather. Amongst other tips are health walks, always very welcome ideas.
You will also find umbrellas in the cupboard, to make sure rain does not stop you enjoying Paris…
Our Deluxe room offers a lounge too, thought to give you as much space as possible with a low coffee table and stool that you can easily move around to make space to those extra bags you are shure to bring back from your stroll. I loved the sculpture on the wall – made of tiny mirror pieces it created an abstract mosaic.
A sliding wall then opens onto the bathroom – lots of space there too and light. The round mirror with its bright orange reminds me of the Clinique perfume Happy and is fantastic to make you look a lot less tired than you actually feel. Accessories in bamboo also echo that colour, very elegant indeed. On the cocooning side, you will get hooked on the Intemporel range, soothing smells of citrus and green tea, very refreshing. Worth noting too – the bath has the perfect shape if you fancy reading a good novel (the only time some of us find to catch up!). Most shapes are too round, meaning you give up after 10mn – this one is ideal. I only wished I had some soap bubbles to blow, it just seem to be the perfect thing to do to complete the scene.
The bonus points here – apart from the decoration, location and very helpful team – is the quietness. Not a single noise. Hadn’t you seen other guests all around you would believe you were the only ones in the building. Not even traffic – which always find a little way through – interferes. It is heaven – you had not realised before how much you had missed this. You can fully disconnect and recharge your batteries. And this a step away from the busiest street in the whole of Paris!
The hotel also includes a restaurant, the Velvet. Be sure this Meridional cuisine will make your mouth water, click here to know more. This is also where breakfast takes place, with lage bays bringing the morning light in. First pick up one of the newspapers then a croissants or maybe some warm brioche to make any depressing news melt away. creamy yogurt, Bonne-Maman jams, tartine size baguettes, dried fruit and nuts selection, freshly squeezed fruit juice: everything you need to pack up energy for the day. Believe me, after this you will even skip lunch! If you are after a savoury start, try the hot dishes. I strongly recommend the sauteed mushroom and roasted cherry tomatoes, a welcome change from bacon and scrambled eggs.
Verdict: a real oasis in an ever rushing city. Sublime, luxurious yet very friendly. The team is available at any time – I did call upon them at 01.00 and was answered ever so nicely at this late hour. At breakfast, the concierge was discussing with a couple in Spanish, helping them with their trip ahead, explaining all options and prices. Seeing how relaxed the guests were in his company always makes you more confortable to ask what is on your mind, even a silly question.
Coming with kids? Ask them about the suite on the last floor – a room for the parents, a lounge with a convertible sofa and a nice view on the romantic roofs of Paris. More practical than having to book two rooms or be squeezed at 4 in a normal one.
24 rue de Ponthieu
Teatime in Wonderland was a guest of Hotel Beauchamps