Cover Some of the rooms and suites at Cheval Blanc Paris have a charming balcony (Photography: Alexandre Tabaste)

Cheval Blanc Paris is a homecoming for the LVMH-owned hospitality group—here’s a peek inside the property that was years in the making

From old-school luxury hotels to hip bijou boltholes, there’s a hotel in Paris for every type of traveller. You’d think the City of Light has seen it all, but its newest arrival, Cheval Blanc Paris, promises a different perspective and is out to impress even the locals.

Located by Pont Neuf and set within the historic La Samaritaine building, the much-anticipated Cheval Blanc Paris opens its doors next week. There’s no shortage of chic conversion projects in the city, but few have seen the genius of both Edouard François, the architect who preserved the building’s exterior, and Peter Marino, who designed the interiors.

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The duo transformed the Art Deco wing of La Samaritaine, an iconic building designed by Henri Sauvage in 1928. La Samaritaine was closed in 2005 and underwent an extensive renovation costing almost US$1 billion; LVMH opened the luxury department store in June to much fanfare.

Designed in the mould of a contemporary Parisian residence, each of the 72 rooms and suites features a classic black and cream palette, artisan-crafted furnishings, and expansive windows that frame a fantastic view of the city and its landmarks. Some of the suites have petite balconies that overlook the Seine—just to place to park yourself and savour the moment (or pretend you're a character from Emily in Paris). 

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Cheval Blanc Paris is the brand's fifth property and first-ever urban hotel as the group took their time to find the perfect location in their ‘birthplace’. One of three hotel brands owned by luxury behemoth LVMH, the others being Belmond and White 1921, Cheval Blanc was developed by LVMH Hotel Management first launching in 2006 with an intimate hotel in Courchevel, France.

It was followed a few years later by Cheval Blanc Randheli in the Maldives; the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have reportedly stayed at the resort's Owner’s Villa. Cheval Blanc also established hotels at St. Barth and St. Tropez, destinations considered to be the playground of royalty, celebrities, and billionaires alike. Five properties in 15 years seem like they’re moving at a glacial pace when compared to the rapid expansion of competitors like Aman Hotels and Resorts, but it’s probably because they’re obsessed with the details and the partners they bring on board.  

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For instance, dining is of paramount importance to the Cheval Blanc brand and its Paris hotel has four restaurants including the first international outpost of Italian fine-dining restaurant Langosteria. The culinary offerings are led by three-starred Michelin chef Arnaud Donckele, who also oversees Cheval Blanc St. Tropez, and pastry chef Maxime Frédéric.

Being part of LVMH, it also has amenities unique to them—in this case, a tranquil Dior Spa and a glorious curved infinity pool clad in handcrafted mosaics by Michael Mayer. And though guests are ensconced in an ultra-luxury environment that may seem formal from the outside, Cheval Blanc welcomes the entire family and even has a whimsical area dedicated to little ones called Le Carrousel.

Cheval Blanc Paris opens on September 7, 2021.


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