Hôtel de Berri, Paris’ newest premium boutique hotel and the Luxury Collection’s second Parisian property, is concealed behind the glass façade of a Maurice Novarina–designed office building from the 1970s. Even before the flashy exterior came to be, the hotel’s rue de Berri locale—just off the Champs-Élysées and steps from the Triangle d’Or fashion district—was once a tony address for Parisian elites, such as Princess Mathilde Bonaparte (Napoleon’s niece) and the 20th-century fashion couturier Elsa Schiaparelli.
Hoteliers Stéphane and Pascal Dokhan, who also own the city’s Le Metropolitan and Le Dokhan’s, both part of the Tribute Portfolio, sought to rekindle that highbrow residential legacy when they bought the contemporary architectural landmark to transform into their latest hotel.
“Before doing the project, we wanted to understand the history of the site,” explains Stéphane Dokhan, sitting in the Berri’s Bar Bizazz overlooking the hotel’s garden. He calls this overgrown three-quarter acre the “Jungle Champs-Élysées” and plans to landscape the green space—a rarity in this neighbourhood—in the spring. “Rue de Berri was very well known for townhouses,” he continues. “It was a very elegant place to live. When we bought the place, we wanted to bring back some DNA of the original.”
Hôtel de Berri’s intimate, low-key atmosphere appeals to travellers who prefer privacy and seclusion to the grandeur of the city’s famous palace hotels. The Berri is a passion project for the Dokhans, prolific art collectors who spent four years furnishing it with family heirlooms and treasures from Parisian antique markets and European auction houses. Forty fireplaces were installed throughout, along with thousands of sculptures, antiques, and objets d’art.
Each of the spacious 75 guestrooms, which includes 35 suites, features its own distinct style. Interior designer Philippe Renaud worked with the Dokhans to transform the former office space into rooms with residential charm. “The idea is to bring an atmosphere you don’t find in any other place, one you only find in a private home,” says Dokhan.
Renaud’s designs celebrate various eras of 20th-century decorative arts with a hint of whimsy and eclecticism that cleverly mixes true and faux with a palette of vibrant colours, fake parchments, ancient Chinese furniture, and custom pieces. He conceived 10 different “in the spirit of” themes that allude to the work of interior design luminaries such as Jean-Michel Frank, Madeleine Castaing, Henri Samuel, and David Hicks.
In the 1,345-square-feet neo-classical Suite Parisienne, an empire-style settee is upholstered in bold stripes, a signature of Castaing, who often took inspiration from the Second Empire period, during which Princess Mathilde lived.
Themes also draw inspiration from fashion icons like Coco Chanel, Jeanne Lanvin, and former resident Elsa Schiaparelli, who often collaborated with surrealist artist Salvador Dalí. A couch inspired by Dalí’s Mae West Lips Sofa, upholstered in Schiap’s signature shocking rose, serves as a focal point in room 102.
Schiaparelli was also the inspiration for the hotel’s Italian restaurant, Le Schiap, under the culinary direction of chef Michele Dalla Valle, a Tuscan native and veteran of Hotel Plaza Athénée and Le Meurice.
Artist Hippolyte Romain painted the walls with a colourful depiction of Paris’ fashion and cultural glitterati, both past and present. Find Diana Vreeland, Chanel, Jean Paul Gauthier, Karl Lagerfeld, Dalí, and—who else?—Schiap wearing the famous shoe hat she created with Dalí in the 1930s.
Room to Request
Suite 101. With walls upholstered in extravagant blue silk adorned with a deco-style gold geometric motif, this expansive room with garden views offers homage to a suite created for fashion designer Jean Lanvin in 1925. A signed lithograph of Picasso’s Motherhood hangs above a settee facing a marble fireplace mantle.
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