La Reserve, Paris
When you think of the highest “Palace” rating that hotels receive in France I often imagine a large, opulent, slick but perhaps impersonal place where you walk in and look down at your shoes and think are they smart enough. La Reserve couldn’t be more different on almost every level.
With just 40 rooms you may ask how it can have this coveted Palace rating and I can tell you it is because it thoroughly deserves it. From the minute you walk up to the front door the friendly but ultra efficient staff are there to greet you. There is a small hallway but no check in desks. This is done either in the suite or with a glass of champagne in the lounge. That is when you know you are somewhere special. It is friendly, warm, smiling and gentle but at the same time opulent and jaw dropping in style.
One incredible man owns it: Michel Reybier who also owns, amongst many other things, a Champagne house. I can happily report the Champagne is delicious.
It is a buzzy property with lots going on in the restaurant and bar at lunchtime but step through a mirrored door and you find yourself in a guest only lounge with a full library and Monsieur Reybier’s personal art collection. The fact there is an honesty bar for guests just adds to this sense of private ownership. I can imagine a glorious late afternoon spent with shoes off reading books and enjoying a glass of that delicious Champagne after a morning of sightseeing.
We had a wonderful lunch in their more casual salon produced by the same kitchen and chefs that run the two Michelin Starred restaurant there. It certainly explained the quality of the food and if it is possible to create Michelin starred chips, they did it.
The hotel is a feast for the senses with flowers created by Julian http://julian-fleuriste.com who is a MOF and before you ask, the title of Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (shortened to MOF) is a unique and prestigious award in France according to category of trades in a contest among professionals.
This is a glorious property and somewhere I am already recommending to my clients.