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January 20, 2019

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Le Bristol, a signature in art, history and splendor

EACH detail of Le Bristol Paris, from marble walls, painted ceilings, Aubusson tapestries and Limoges porcelain, to the sublime grille of an Art Deco elevator, keeps alive the past and holds the weight of the history.

The story of the legendary hotel began in 1923 when Hippolyte Jammet discovered an 18th-century mansion, the former home of Comte de Castellane on rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honore, close to the Elysee Palace in the heart of Paris.

A refined hotel was then created in 1925 with a devotion to detail. Combining ultra-modern comfort with the French art of living, each space inside the hotel features elegant antique furniture and original artworks exuding magnificent.

Over the decades, the hotel has greatly expanded and has undergone several renovations, notably to its three restaurants, bar, spa, rooms and suites.

“These renovations were performed without closing the hotel doors to its guests. The main structure was untouched, however the decor across various areas of the hotel were entirely revamped,” said Caroline Goux, vice president of Oetker Collection. Le Bristol is a member hotel of Oetker Collection.

Directed by Bergit Douglas, the architectural firm, MM-Design, created spaces for the palace that retained all the Louis XVI refinement while playing with softness in colors and the result is a lighter, beautifully balanced style.

The French art of living is present in all 188 rooms and suites and each with a unique decor that combines classical style and calm. The interior design responds to a single objective: Offering travelers a perfect stay. No two guest rooms are alike, suggesting a unique history — a room with a soul.

“The French ‘Art de Vivre’ is conveyed through the palace’s forward thinking style, without losing sight of its soul. In the cosy redecorated apartments, we cultivate the rarest and most precious luxury that a palace can offer us: To feel truly at home,” Goux said. “Because no two guests are alike, the decor of each room is different, suggesting a unique history. The Oetker family, owners of Le Bristol, personally design each of our spaces to combine the refinement of the Louis XV period with the grace of the Louis XVI style. Each essential element, from the furniture, paintings, fabrics to mirrors, lights and precious objects, is carefully conceived and selected to create a welcoming and peaceful atmosphere.”

The earthy hues of the walls provide an elegant contrast with the colorful patterns of carpets and fabrics. The rooms are distinguished by chintz bouquets, arabesques on bed covers, chairs in toile de Jouy, geometric damasks on plush sofas, a taffeta quilt, silk tapestries and double-hung curtains in rich velvet. Dressers, desks and vanities in the Louis XV and Louis XVI style are all part of this cozy intimacy.

Crystal chandeliers and lamps shaded with silk or taffeta envelop the space in a soft glow that enhances the feeling of confidential serenity.

The hotel became the favorite haven for important personages and leading figures from around the world since its inauguration in 1925. During World War II, Leo Lerman, a Jewish architect, left a mark on the hotel, and one can still admire a major piece of his work today: the fine wrought iron grille of the lift by the foot of the great staircase.

At the heart of Le Bristol Paris, in a cozy and convivial setting, Café Antonia is an elegant rendezvous. The place is flooded with natural light in the daytime, lit by a soft glow of chandeliers at night, with a changing musical atmosphere.

“Precious artworks include a portrait of Queen Marie Antoinette by François-Hubert Drouais, a court portraitist at the end of Louis XV’s reign. The portrait is chosen as our muse, and so it follows that the stylish cafe should take the Queen’s familiar name Antonia,” Goux said.

When Le Bristol Paris expanded into a new wing the 114 Faubourg brasserie was opened. The Paris-inspired cuisine is executed by chef Eric Frechon and his menu brings a twist to traditional dishes.

Today, Le Bristol also remains the only palace in Paris to offer the guests a peaceful and harmonious 1,200-square-meter French-style garden, designed in the spirit of Le Nôtre’s Versailles.

Le Bristol reveals its rich history on a wall or table centerpiece with works of art and antiques, showcasing class from the past that feels like the present.


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