It’s no coincidence that the cap of Chanel No. 5 perfume and Paris’ Place Vendôme share the same octagonal shape. The city’s historically fashionable square was a constant inspiration for Coco Chanel, who lived in an apartment close to Vendôme’s eight angles of neo-classical façades—luxury jewellers like Cartier and Chaumet set behind them. To this day, the gemstones and glamour of the 1st arrondissement have continued to shape its contemporary ventures including the Renaissance Paris Vendôme hotel, which unveiled its multi-million dollar renovation in June 2018.
With a mix of fashion boutiques and historical landmarks like the Louvre and Jardin du Palais-Royal located steps away from the 97-room hotel, French interior designer Didier Gomez didn’t have to look far for inspiration. The building’s Haussmann-style façade may have all the markings of a Vendôme classic—idyllic French shutters included—but its new interiors tell a story of the area’s transformation from an aristocratic playground to a high art and fashion hub. Naturally, Gomez’s past design collaborations with French brands Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint-Laurent, Céline, Kenzo, and Christian Dior also informed his sartorial approach.
“It is memory mixed with modernity,” says Gomez in reference to the patinated mirrors, black-and-white photographs, and Versailles-inspired patterned carpets that decorate the lobby and guestrooms. “The jewellery inspiration is reflected in the wall sconces, which look like rings. All the patterns, pictures and motifs suggest only an idea, a memory of the past.”
The Renaissance Paris Vendôme’s new interiors tell a story of the area’s transformation from an aristocratic playground to a high art and fashion hub.
Juxtaposing the vintage elements are bold features atypical to the area’s other 5-star hotels: concrete walls, artwork hung on the ceilings over the beds, glossy alabaster floors, and collaborations with young French brands like Maison Baluchon, which designed the textiles for the pillowcases and curtains. Outside is a large-scale mural by street artist IZa Zaro featuring stencils of icons like Josephine Baker. In recent years, the Renaissance brand has focused on partnering with local creative forces to foster an element of neighbourhood discovery. This focus extends to the concierge program, which offers tailor-made itineraries that could include designing your own custom fragrance at alternative perfume house Ex Nihilo or tasting wine at the century-old Legrand Filles et Fils. The Renaissance Paris Republique Hotel, located in the trendy 10th arrondissement, also recently underwent a renovation led by Gomez and has since become a local destination for art exhibits and presentations during Paris Fashion week.
Meanwhile, Balagan, Renaissance Paris Vendôme’s newly opened restaurant by acclaimed Israeli chef Assaf Granit, has become a stylish hotspot. Award-winning Parisian designer Dorothée Meilichzon devised the airy white interiors and, in contrast, brought her art deco-inspired signature aesthetic to the adjoining bar, a velvet-clad speakeasy-style space.
Swing through the double doors and you’ll end up back in the hotel’s Le Studio lobby, which plays host to locally inspired music, art, mixology, and gastronomy events. If you arrive early enough, you may even nab a seat in one of the comfortable octagonal chairs—another one of Gomez’s nods to the 18th century. Given the location, there’s no better place to reflect on how Vendôme has shaped Parisian classics, from Chanel perfume bottle caps to the changing walls of the city’s luxury hotels.
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