Originally a classic French building in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, this 1911 Parisian edifice has been reimagined as a five-star hotel in the City of Light: Villa-des-Prés.
With its roots in the area’s intellectual and artistic life, the legendary Rue de Buci, celebrated by French poet Guillaume Apollinaire in a collection of writings titled Le flâneur des deux rives, has welcomed an intimate hotel conceived by French interior designer Bruno Borrione, whose work has been shaping the global hospitality scene for nearly 40 years.
The post-Haussmann-style façade together with art deco touches will give guests a glimpse of the historically enigmatic Parisian atmosphere. As the mastermind behind the entire concept, from the building’s comprehensive remodelling to the bespoke furniture designs, Borrione has beautifully created a sense of the eternal Paris with an air of modernity.
The 34 rooms and suites are not only creative and elegant spaces with residential character but also a way to bask in the hotel’s warm and carefully crafted interiors. All have a private bar, Illy coffee machine, Diptyque bathroom amenities, and sound and light ambiance.
Although the two apartments on the top floor both include a dining room, a lounge, a private bar, and Eiffel Tower views from the terrace, every single room invites guests to curl up with a book, eat just-baked croissants, and regain energy to continue exploring the fashion capital.
To celebrate the heritage of Paris, the founder of Amélie, Maison d’art, Amélie du Chalard, was asked to commission a collection of more than 50 artworks, all custom-made compositions by 11 contemporary French artists, to adorn the hotel’s walls. The roster includes includes Marie Bathellier, François Bonnel, Pola Carmen, Charlotte Culot, Florence Denou, Renaud Gilles, Florence Grundeler, Frédéric Heurlier-Cimolai, Virginie Hucher, Vincent Lemaitre, and Ludovic Philippon. Each has its own language, but all share one common interest: geometric abstraction, enhanced by the play of materials and colours.
Guests will likely spend much of their time at the sensational indoor heated pool or the wellness area to address stress and fatigue. In association with the French Californian brand Odacité, treatments delivered by expertly trained therapists provide complete relaxation. One example is the Temple of Beauty signature massage, which combines beauty techniques from Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine with aromatherapy. Outside the treatment room, there is a sauna, a sensory shower, and a stylish fitness centre, open 24/7 and equipped with two treadmills, an elliptical bike, a stationary bike, a workout bench, free weights, and a yoga mat.
From 7 in the morning until 11:30, breakfast offers viennoiseries, fruit cakes, crepes, a charcuterie-and-cheese buffet, scrambled eggs, juices, and gluten-free options indoors or on the garden patio at the centre of the building. In the evening, and unlike the pool, which is only available to guests, the bar is worth a visit for the classic cocktails and special creations. Sixieme is a nod to the hotel’s location in the sixth arrondissement, made with Saint-Germain liqueur, kumquat liqueur, rosemary, and champagne, and Gourmande is a blend of Rémy Martin cognac, Amarula liqueur, vanilla, and dark chocolate shavings.
The unfailingly professional staff are in the know about the latest designers to buy and restaurants to try among the most coveted places in Paris.
Photography by Gaëlle Le Boulicaut.