The Newest 5-Star Paris Hotel
Bons vivants may already know the Lucien Barrière group, which owns such legendary palace hotels as Deauville’s Normandy and the Majestic in Cannes. Now the company has launched Hôtel Fouquet’s Barrière (46 Ave. George V; Eighth Arr.; 33-1/40-69-60-00; www.fouquets-barriere.com, doubles from $914), raising the stakes in the world of five-star Paris. Barrière gathered a cabal of 30 advisers from the likes of Ferrari, Vacheron Constantin, and LVMH to brainstorm about what’s been missing from the market. The fruits of their labor: a palace hotel with an 8,600-square-foot spa and the city’s largest indoor hotel swimming pool. Even the most basic guest rooms have flat-screen TV’s encased in sand-colored sharkskin, and separate bathrooms and dressing areas to maximize privacy. Designer Jacques Garcia, of Buddha Bar and Hôtel Costes fame, is to thank for touches such as the lobby’s embroidered leather walls and the hundreds of tree branches dipped in silver that adorn the outdoor terrace. The location (the haute heart of the Champs-Élysées), satellite restaurant (the famed Fouquet’s Brasserie), and Haussmann-era façade couldn’t be more Parisian, but the service aims even higher: when calling to book a room, guests are e-mailed a two-page questionnaire about their mini-bar, pillow, and ambient music preferences.