New Paris Hotel Fuses Modern Decor With Vintage Trappings 

An impressive ornate art nouveau façade trimmed with turquoise metal and decorative floral patterns makes Kimpton St Honoré Paris stand out among other high-end buildings on Boulevard des Capucines.

Two vintage wood, brass, iron and mirrored elevators just inside the lobby of the recently-opened 5-star hotel enhance its iconic image even more. Over 100-years old, the elevators are protected by French law, as is its historic façade. 

This pet-friendly hotel is actually three interconnected buildings, in former times a 1900s ‘Samaritaine de Luxe’ department store for the wealthy of Paris. It has undergone major refurbishment according to the design of renowned interior designer Charles Zana, inspired by minimalist art déco aesthetics. 

Renovations lasted several years, the property emerging last summer as a 123-room, 26-suite hotel, the first in France for the Intercontinental Group’s (IHG) luxury boutique brand. 

IHG has over 6,000 open hotels in more than 100 countries and a further 1,800 in the development pipeline. Established in 1981 in San Francisco by Bill Kimpton, the development of Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants has resulted in the creation of designer hotels in city centers, resorts and ski resorts worldwide. 

Ultra-modern, chic even, hotel officials describe the decor of Kimpton St Honoré as “a subtle alchemy of art deco style, retro seaside and urban refinement, featuring tones of blue, green and white in select materials, from ‘zellige’ tiles to seat cushions, from palm trees to terrazzo floors.”

Our top-floor suite, 902, was L-shaped with a long corridor, the bathroom half-way along featuring bath, step-in shower and double sink, all clad in Carrare marble, and a spacious bedroom at the end. Large slanted windows granted an abundance of natural light and fine views across the city. Including the Eiffel Tower. 

Thirty of the hotel’s rooms have a balcony overlooking the Boulevard des Capucines and the Opéra. Most rooms also feature iconic classic-style elements – ledges, mouldings, panelling, woodwork, parquet, brass light switches and baseboard strips. Respect for tradition is illustrated by headboards by French fabric house Le Manach and fabrics recreated using period designs from the archives of this manufacturer founded in 1829. Each room has what officials term a ‘closet smile,’ a stylised brass rose created by the French design house Art et Floritude.

As well as a big-screen TV and coffee-maker, our room appliances also included a cocktail shaker, an item you rarely see in hotel guest-rooms.

Elsewhere in the hotel, cosy sofas and armchairs with colourful cushions on the ground floor and and mezzanine invite guests to relax and admire the impressive view of the broad staircase and cascading floors immediately overhead.

The ground floor features the Montecito Restaurant & Bar with interiors by Humbert & Poyet. Contemporary in style, it resembles a casual brasserie offering a combination of dishes from America’s Pacific West Coast that matches American, Asian and Latino influences. Seating 190, the dining area is built around a patio planted with a ‘green’ wall seen through large bay windows, a small oasis in the middle of Paris. 

Hungry after a day’s city walking, we enjoyed a dinner replete with starters of burrata with mushrooms and pumpkin, falafel with a tasty crispy texture and pizzetta with truffles followed by mains of green curry soup and soba (Japanese buckweat noodles) cooked with mushrooms, ginger, dashi, purple cauliflower, radish, shiso, dulse and togarashi. 

The menu also includes cauliflower roasted whole in curry coco sauce served with tahini and crispy chickpeas, fish tacos made with the catch of the day, guacamole, pico de gallo and crunchy langoustine tostada.

Some of the highlights over breakfast were vegan eggs Benedict with lemongrass, huevos rancheros and matcha lattes.

While the hotel’s design is contemporary it is anchored by elements of a bygone golden era. Aside from the vintage elevators and art nouveau frontage, a decorative wrought-iron balustrade in gold and black links the lobby to a first-floor library, though it’s more a relaxing open-space lounge with soft seating, a few dozen books, chess boards and backgammon tables and views over the bustling street below.

An impressive panoramic view is provided from the 10th floor terrace, across the entire city – from the Opera to the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre to Notre Dame Cathedral, to the Pantheon. In fine weather, the Sequoia Rooftop Bar, amidst a setting of marble table-tops and lush plants and greenery, makes time spent here even more memorable gazing across a parade of silvery rooftops and Haussmann facades as far as the eye can see.

For business clients, the hotel offers a series of meetings rooms including a pillar-less grand ballroom with its own reception area and an impressive LED wall. For leisure, there is a spa comprising an indoor heated swimming pool, sauna, hammam and treatment rooms. As indicated by the ‘Take Me, I’m Yours’ notice on a bicycle in the lobby, the hotel also provides guests with bikes to explore the city.

Location is a major advantage for the Kimpton St Honoré situated as it is just around the corner from the famed Opéra Garnier, the Tuileries Gardens Place Vendôme and the Louvre. 

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