Mad About Paris, Much more than a guide
Photo: © Martine Houghton
If you want to experience a new form of luxury, the Maison des Champs Elysees is the place for you. Be prepared to be surprised. Think of a poetic trompe-l’oeil trip into another world, and imagine something like the reinvention of comfort and pleasure. Think luxury as creative bliss.
Among the high luxury hotels recently opened in Paris, the Maison Champs Elysées holds a special place. Since it’s refit by Maison Martin Margiela and its reopening beginning 2011, the four star hotel is attracting a clientele looking for a new form of luxury experience. The décor is edgy, the approach offbeat, the idea of hospitality redefined.
Maison Martin Margiela has redesigned the lobby, the restaurant Le Huit, the smoking room, the white salon and 17 of the 57 rooms (Couture Collection). Nothing is what it seems here: carpets display the design of a typical Parisian ceiling, sometimes of wooden flooring; steel lamps illuminate paintings that are not there anymore and only the dusty outlines of their frames are left. There is a huge amount of black and white, but no certainties remain. Everything plays with illusion where reality and make-believe seem to blend.
I really like the opposition between the white salon and the totally black smoking room.
Imagine a white room where chairs and sofas are wrapped in white fabrics – one of the distinctive marks of Margiela and a leitmotiv of the hotel. A perfect place for a green tea.
On the other side you find a smoking room with burnt wooden panels, conscientiously waxed after being burnt, and cosy leather armchairs, inviting you to have a heavy whiskey with a Montecristo cigar.
The hotel, partly situated in an old mansion dating from 1866, is perfectly situated on the edge of what the Parisians call the Golden Triangle, the triangle between Avenue Montaigne, Avenue George V and the Champs-Elysees. It’s far away from the hustle and bustle of the Champs Elysees, but only a stone’s throw away from the Grand Palais, hosting the best exhibitions in Paris, and Avenue Montaigne, home of Dior, Chanel, Prada.
But careful: the majority of the rooms, the much cheaper Boutique Collection, do not have the edgy touch of the Belgian designer (who actually is not at the head of its fashion house anymore). The rooms are freshly renovated, light and airy, the creative gap between the latter and the Couture Collection is deep though. But in case money is an issue for you, why not inhale the spirit of the house while paying much less?
The Maison des Champs Elysees is not only a place for the fashion crowd, but for all those looking for a different experience. They will find the cool edginess of a design hotel, the intimacy of a boutique hotel with the amenities of a Parisian palace.La Maison des Champs Elysées