Further Afield Travel

The Couture Hotel in Paris

Arguably, Paris is the fashion capital of the world and at least twice a year fashionistas the world over flock to the French Capital for Fashion Week. Now, fashionable people need a fashionable place to stay and we’ve found just the place.

Hotel Le Bellechasse is located in the arty Saint-Germain district on the left-bank of the river, more famously known for its football than its fashion but as you meander down the narrow alleyways and saunter along the banks of Seine, you’ll realise there is a lot more to this district than meets the eye.

Located in the 6th arrondissement of Paris, the area was built and located around the church of the former Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Pres. The area is home to a number of well-known stylish cafes such as Les Deux magots and Cafe de Flore.

This side of the river is more bohemian than it’s well-healed neighbour with an eclectic mix of students, tourists and residents that enjoy the area for its undisputed charm and artistic heritage. You may not find a flagship store on the street corner but you will find an independent boutique selling one-off pieces that you will treasure forever.

Without delving too far down into Southern Paris, Hotel Le Bellechasse sits on a quiet street resting on the bank of the Seine,within easy access to all famous landmarks and transport links, in fact there is a metro station at the top of the street.

You could be easily forgiven for walking straight past the boutique hotel if it wasn’t for the swish of highly polished glass doors and the large, monogrammed ‘B’ adorning the rather staid grey exterior. The hotel is quintessentially small with only 7 floors housing a total of 33 rooms but once you are inside you’ll see that this is exactly the way its meant to be and blows all larger hotels out the water in terms of design. Any bigger and it would have lost its charm. Hotel LeBellechasse is something very special indeed.

The hotel was entirely designed by the legendary couturier Christian Lacroix, who is equally as famous for his outlandish fashion designs and he was for his pivotal non-acting part in the British comedy sitcom, Absolutely Fabulous starring Joanna Lumley. French born Lacroix is known best for his opulent couture and he has applied the same love for all things fantastical and outlandish to the hotel.

The collaboration was inspired by the 19th-century artistic and cultural influences of Paris’ left bank and the result is a truly unique hotel that manages to be both chic and flamboyantly decorated at the same time and does so just fabulously.

Each of the hotel rooms are pocket-sized yet full of character and are awash with colour. They are based on seven design themes that reflect the local area of the hotel, including Saint-Germain, Tuileries, Quai d’Orsay and Jeu de Paume. Don’t be astounded when you capture bizarre artwork that reflects both bohemia and neo-classicism in the common areas. We won’t spoil the fun by spilling the metaphorical beans!

With three main room types available; the Discovery room, Original room and the Privilege room, each interior is completely different to the other which makes booking a stay here a real treat, not quite knowing what you will get. Will it be the pastel pink striped walls with contrasting black and cream curtains? Or will you be greeted by deep red and gold baroque textiles set against a palette of primary coloured stripe chairs and monochrome artistic wallpaper? The trick is to not have a preference.  The sound proof rooms start from 16 metre squared and are just big enough for two people to share, although for those that are implicit about their privacy, the bathrooms may come as a shock. On many there is no door separating the small bedroom and the even smaller bathroom, in fact some of the rooms even have the bathtub at the end of the bed! As with the fashion world, this is not a hotel for those with inhibitions!

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For slightly more space book a Chambre Privilege which comes with a choice of either a king size or twin beds and is decorated high in colour and character with rich, gilded fabrics, large wall murals and decorated ceilings that create a truly unique ambience. It’s slightly lighter than some of the other rooms and that extra space is welcome in a room that can feel like the walls are closing in.

Each room complete with its wacky decor should feel a little oppressive, with some much detail it’s hard to know where to focus your eyes, but somehow it manages to stay on the right side of fun, the sheer excess of the design manages its objective in the fact that it is actually not only chic but definitely makes for some exciting holiday snaps! A double bed takes centre stage in all rooms and is accompanied by a LCD tv and free wifi, perfect for uploading all your stylish selfies.

Although no real in-house dining options, ‘The Aquarium’ once again designed by Christian Lacroix, is located in the basement and is where you can enjoy the breakfast buffet which is fully stocked with French breakfast fare.

As luxurious as Hotel Le Bellechasse is, it is not a hotel to whittle away hours relaxing in a lobby bar, it’s more of an extremely fashionable base for you to explore the city. There is a myriad of art galleries, antique shops, bistros and restaurants on your doorstep and Le Musée d’Orsay is practically within touching distance. The Eiffel Tower is just a 15 minute walk away as are both the Louvre Gallery and the beautiful Tuileries Gardens.

The hotel is lavish, over-the-top and tongue-in-cheek, it’s 4-star luxury for its sheer brashness alone, but for pure wow factor you can’t beat this bijou beauty for a truly unforgettable stay in Paris.


http://www.slh.com Part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World Collection

1 comment

  1. Wow, what a nice hotel. I love that very special design. It just perfectly fits into the scheme of Paris. It really deserves being a member of the SLH. Thanks for the review 🙂


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