No. 1, Place Vendôme. Located at this prestigious address in the midst of the finest landmarks of Paris—the Louvre, the Tuileries Gardens, and Sainte-Chapelle—is Hôtel de Vendôme, a discreet jewel of a palace. The luxury five-star boutique hotel, originally built in 1723 on the site of the Vendôme family’s residence, is an exquisite retreat.
Hôtel de Vendôme’s setting is an intimate Parisian residence. Each of the 29 guest rooms (which includes 10 suites) has its own extensive themed decor, such as antique and period furniture; French fabrics, including tickings, toiles, tapestries; noble woods; and intricately inlaid marble floors. All rooms offer contemporary in-room amenities, and the spacious Presidential Suite is noble, indeed.
The building gives the square its name. Place Vendôme is the starting point of rue de la Paix, and its origin dates back to the 17th century when King Louis XIV commissioned his chief architect, Jules Hardouin-Mansart, to design the octagonal Place des Conquêtes, today called Place Vendôme. Frédéric Chopin lived at no. 12 Place Vendôme until his death in 1848, and César Ritz opened the Ritz Paris at no. 15 at the beginning of the 20th century.
Hôtel de Vendôme is surrounded by Paris’s finest boutiques. Across the way there are an array of shops, including master cobbler’s Massaro and his custom-made shoes; Colette, a fashionista’s haven; the venerable Charvet; and Eglé Bespoke, specializing in all things made-to-measure: suits, jeans, and shirts with personalized engraving on the buttons. Rues Cambon, Saint-Honoré, and de Rivoli exude the ultimate in style, and are within walking proximity.
The fashionable hotel commissioned Italian designer Michele Bönan to redesign the interior of its restaurant, 1 Place Vendôme Restaurant, which reopened earlier this year. Acclaimed for his work at the JK Place Capri, the legendary Palazzo Tornabuoni, and Ferragamo’s Lungarno Hotels in Florence, Bönan outfitted the new restaurant in a couture style. Creative touches include silver-studded black-and-white houndstooth chairs, plush silk-velvet sofas, and a bookcase full of fashion and design books. It is an intimate space, high on glamour.
Located on the first floor of Hôtel de Vendôme with magnificent views of the square, the restaurant serves refined French cuisine crafted by head chef Nicolas Rucheton. The Vendôme aperitif, with raspberries, fresh mint, black pepper, and champagne, is a signature cocktail. Dinner specialties include roasted crayfish with sautéed chanterelles, almond shavings, and edible flowers; and grilled duck foie gras with marinated tomatoes, vanilla and cardamom, pineapple, olives, and pistachios.
Classic and palatial, warm and inviting, Hôtel de Vendôme is an elegant haven well worth a stay.
Photos by Manuel Zublena.