Stroll through the storied Parisian neighbourhood of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, to the corner of Rue du Pré-aux-Clercs and Rue de l’Université, and discover boutique luxury at the new Pavillon Faubourg Saint-Germain, which opened on 1st April 2022. Situated on the French capital’s Left Bank, the design-led hotel is influenced by the rich culture and history of its surroundings, which served as the inspiration for local and international writers, artists and musicians for much of the 20th century. Amongst the neighbourhood’s esteemed visitors, Irish novelist James Joyce finished his seminal novel, Ulysses, while staying on the site of the new hotel over a century ago.
Situated across three traditional buildings and brought to life by interior designer Didier Benderli, the hotel is the latest opening from the boutique group, Chevalier Paris, and features 47 individually appointed rooms and suites, a tranquil spa, a bar and a new restaurant, Les Parisiens, by award-winning chef Thibault Sombardier, all of which offer a refined and contemporary take on the quintessential Parisian experience.
Pavillon Faubourg Saint-Germain is situated in the central neighbourhood of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, in the seventh arrondissement of the city’s vibrant and creative Left Bank. Primely positioned, the picturesque café-lined streets that surround the hotel were once the meeting places and inspiration for some of the world’s most cherished artistic and literary greats, including Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus and even Pablo Picasso.
Offering a blend of culture and heritage, the area is centred around the majestic Eglise Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the oldest abbey in Paris dating back to 543, with beautiful boutiques and historic monuments creating a distinctly village-type feel in the centre of the city. Guests can amble through the romantic streets to Jardin du Luxembourg, to while away an afternoon amidst the vast open lawns and ornamental plantings, immerse in the Musée d’Orsay’s 19th- and 20th-century European art collections or cross the Seine via Pont des Arts to enjoy a visit to the Louvre.
Admired interior designer Didier Benderli has reimagined the hotel with a contemporary flair that remains true to the quirks of the historic buildings. Each of the 47 rooms and suites features a unique design that complements the contemporary and sophisticated style of the spa, restaurant and communal spaces. Solid oak herringbone parquet flooring creates a timeless aesthetic, while discretion and efficiency are prioritised with details such as in-room televisions concealed by decorative mirrors. Guests will find their gaze directed toward the traditional-style windows, which provide views over the Parisian rooftops for a real sense of immersion in the vibrant locale. En-suite bathrooms are tucked behind sliding wooden doors, with terrazzo flooring and marble wall panels decorated with geometric art deco detailing to compliment the wood and brass fittings.
At the new restaurant, curved finishes combine with wooden accents to provide a warm and intimate feel, with leather and velvet benches, quartzite tables and expansive mirrors that reflect the liquid gold of the lacquered canvases adorning the walls. At The Bar, luxury and comfort are combined with plush sofas and armchairs in midnight blue and powder pink velvet, which contrast a bold bronze carpet. At the hotel’s centre, The Library acts as a passage to the various communal areas, with cosy nooks offering a secluded space for reading, relaxation and quiet contemplation. The walls and ceilings are wood-panelled, thick rugs muffle footsteps and shelves are lined with immaculate copies of Gallimard foreign literature.
BAR AND RESTAURANT
Set to make waves on Paris’ diverse culinary scene, the hotel’s signature restaurant, Les Parisiens, serves refined and original cuisine created by Chef Thibault Sombardier, inspired by the flavours of his childhood spent growing up between Burgundy and Beaujolais. Widely considered one of the city’s most exciting and diverse chefs, the restaurant marks a new chapter for Sombardier, who previously worked at the Michelin-starred restaurant Antoine and won second place competing against the country’s finest culinary talent in the 2014 series of Top Chef. Menus expertly combine haute cuisine with a less inhibited style of cooking, showcasing a passion for locally sourced seasonal produce, with dishes including Rosé veal chop with morels, White asparagus with mousseline sauce and indulgent desserts such as Chocolate mousse served warm with almond hazelnut praline and buckwheat vanilla ice cream.
Adjacent to the restaurant, the James Joyce Bar honours the iconic writer with a collection of signature cocktails inspired by his works and the heritage of the area. ‘Bloom Like a Geisha’ – a concoction of Sakura passionflower-infused rum, yuzu and vanilla – is named after Ulysses’ protagonist, Leopold Bloom, while ‘Suspended Garden’ is a nod to the Pont des Arts, which was originally conceived as a hanging garden, composed of gin, lemon yellow arugula shrub salt and grelot onion. In keeping with the lively neighbourhood scene, the bar is open throughout the day and into the night, spilling out onto the street-side terrace with a menu of fine wines, draft beer and small bites.
SPA AND WELLNESS
Leave the vibrant streets of Paris behind for a moment and enter the tranquil Spa des Prés, a zen and uncluttered space designed by Benderli to aid relaxation and the restoration of mind, body and soul. The spa features a meditation room, hammam, plunge pool with water jets, fitness room and two massage cabins, where an enticing menu of treatments includes the Couture Facial, a bespoke treatment for the face and décolleté which responds to the unique needs of the skin and ends with a calming scalp massage, and the Shopping Break treatment, combining a stimulating massage with foot reflexology to eliminate fatigue. The menu has been developed in partnership with CODAGE Paris and utilises the cosmetology brand’s diverse product range to ensure that treatments are fully tailored to match the unique needs of different skin types.
Dating back to 1642, the buildings which house Pavillon Faubourg Saint-Germain were originally built for Sieur Jean Tambonneau, the President of the Chambre des Comptes, and have since hosted a number of notable guests: in addition to James Joyce – whose influence is clear throughout the hotel, from the bar to the spacious James Joyce suite – beloved writer T.S Eliot also resided on the site in 1910. Following a complete refurbishment, the hotel remains true to its past and pays homage to the stories that have unfolded within its walls.
For more information, visit the hotel’s website.