14 Sep 2009

The French Hotel

Le Meurice, Paris, French Hotel


There is something so particular, individual and enchanting about a Parisian hotel that is unlike anywhere else. Walking through the revolving doors into a large Parisian hotel is like entering another world; the crystal chandeliers, the paneled and gilt embellished walls, the antique furniture and the formally suited employees is the formula for a classic scene. The French hotel is all about the sounds and the scents; it is the hushed tones of guests talking business, it’s the clink of glasses as friends toast to their catch up, it’s the click clack of heels as the elegant sashay across the wide expanses of marble and it is the floral scents and the candles that tickle the nose.


For the price of a coffee (probably the most expensive coffee you may ever drink) the hotel opens its doors and their world becomes yours – Parisian glamour first hand. The lobby is the heart and soul of the French hotel and the place to people watch; this is the place to contemplate fashion trends, to study up on interiors, to learn the art of the table and to try and soak up the Parisian accent. If you are a committed Francophile like me this is the most perfect way to spend a morning. I love to take note of simple things like furniture arrangement; I look for ideas in the soft furnishings and the colour combinations, for if nothing else the French are brave and only too happy to push boundaries. I take note of the porcelain, the glassware and the linens and the way the food is served; styling and presentation are immaculate. Parisian hotels are famous for their resident florists. A walk into the major hotel lobbies in Paris is like taking a floral class with the best of the best. One rule applies when arranging flowers de la mode francaise; one variety and lots of them.


The luxurious Parisian hotel bedroom is all about brocade quilts, Egyptian cotton sheets and thick pile carpet. The walls are covered in rich damask paper, the sconces are capped with petite silk lampshades that cast a rosy glow and the furnishings are finished with a hint of gold. The curtains are fringed and heavy and the windows double-glazed to block out the sounds of the scooters changing gears as they burn up, down and around the rue outside. The bathroom is all about marble, a quarry load of marble – marble shower, marble walls, marble floor and marble bath surrounds. Thick and chunky sheets of veined marble give a dramatic solidity to the space. The taps and the mirrors are chrome and oversized; everything is bold in the bathroom. Scented soaps, potions and lotions are aplenty as are the thick white towels stacked above the bath. Room service is the very definition of discretion and served with downcast eyes firmly focused on the tray. The table is laid up just as beautifully in the bedroom as in the restaurant – silver, porcelain, linen and flowers. Delicious concoctions from the Michelin starred kitchen direct to your door and no need to frock up and make-up.


If I could be lost for a day it would be here in this Parisian paradise with room service at my fingertips, a fluffy white bathrobe as my couture and glamorous French decor as my friend… xv

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Luxurious! I would love to sit and watch the world pass by. That wall of hand-held mirrors is gorgeous. A nice thought for a collection. You always know how to take us away on a little escape~and I'm not at all sure I would want to return from this one.

Make Do Style

Oh yes! Sheer divine delight.

Actually would you recommend where to go in Paris on a Saturday to get some bric a brac.
We don't arrive from London until midday so an afternoon venue – if you know of anywhere.

Morning T

We stayed at the Hotel Elyees Regencia Park in Paris last fall and while it lacked most of what you describe, it was a fabulous boutique hotel in the perfect location.
That wall of hand-held mirrors is amazing! Lovely post and images.
Happy Monday to you.


Dear Vicki,
You just stole my heart! Le Meurice is where I stay every year! My husband and I adore this hotel. Your words and images put me right there. Thank you for such the gift you gave in this post!


Wonderful! Me too I adore Parisien Hotels. A few years ago we stayed for 2 nights in the Ritz! I had the same experience of what you said in your post!
It is af you enter another world!


The Daily Connoisseur

Vicki I love this post. You are so right- Parisian hotels are the chicest in the world!

When we renovated our master bathroom in Santa Monica I wanted to call upon the essence of the Hotel Ritz or George V- so marble it was- everywhere! And it is still my favorite room in the house

Beautiful post xo


ohhhh yes! i stayed at the prince de galle on st. george for one of my visits to paris, it was an oh-la-la for sure! i switched over to all white bathroom linens after that visit :)

la la Lovely

There is nothing better than a fancy hotel (as I like to call them) and I am sure they are fanciest of all in France. Do you have a favorite?
x Trina

mondo cherry

Take me there….! I love your photos, particularly the display of hand mirrors. And I was trying very hard not to be extremely jealous while reading your very attractive description.
Clare x

Parisienne Farmgirl

I will never forget strolling thru the Georges V and seeing white rose petals and candles on the marble floor, it was so elegant – surely there would be some fire code here in the states preventing such creativity.


If you decide to stop by TLPC for my post on hospitality, don't be surprised if i'm not home…I will be on my way to meet you at "The French Hotel!"
What a moving meditation on the love of a place Vicki.
Always such a joy to visit with you!


My dream is to spend a month at one of the great Parisian hotels. Someday!!! Thanks for this wonderful post.


Di Overton

You are so right about Parisian hotels they are out there on their own. I miss staying in them sometimes as now my daughter has a big house outside Paris there is no need. I do pop in for a cup of their expensive coffee now and again though.

Janet K @ Manly Gallery

stop it! stop it! I cant bear it any longer – its all to gorgeous to take in!! how absolutely divine, so luscious and exquisite. Chris Reilly, one of my artist is flying to Paris tomorrow, so hopefully on her return, we'll have gorgeous "French" women in everyday poses. This was a beautiful post – as usual!

Francine Gardner

I am off to France very shortly (Bordeaux), it would be a dream to stay in this French Hotel. Thank you so much for your very gracious praise on my showhouse.
An eerie coincidence: Toni Colette who plays the character Tara for whom I designed the showhouse (Showtime Series) just purchased my australian design client's house in Sydney……would love to design for her next… Your blog is an inspiration to me and always put a smile on my face

Josephine Tale Peddler

Vicki, I smiled all through this post. The hotel I stayed in the two times I visited Paris was way down the budget scale than your lovely description – but do you know – it still contained all the glamour and romance to me? Paris has that effect for some reason I cannot divine. Even budget still has a sense of grandeur and beauty to it. Next time I go to Paris, I would prefer to do it the Vicki way! xx

Ingrid Mida

You made me long for Paris. You have a way of capturing the essence of whatever you are writing about. Thank you for the lovely interlude.

Inspired Comblogulations

Thank you for stopping by and leaving your kind comment and joining my blog.

As for "The French Hotel" I loved the hand mirrors…I have a little wall space covered in baroque minature mirrors of various sizes… but this is a nice arrangement… I might just rearrange mine.

It was just dripping with ambiance…wasn't it? Beautiful.


Few have mastered the art of hospitality like the French. There is something so magical about hotels in France. Great post and lovely photos, Vicki. XO

mimi charmante

There are days, my friend, when my envy of your life in france is endless… Thank you for sharing a part of it with the rest of us. You are an inspiration~


This is fabulous! Love the Parisian hotel in all its glamour and you captured it so well!
Thanks for stopping by today!
I tell you, it was really lovely!


Gorgeous. I loved the photos and your very detailed descriptions.
I'm fascinated about the resident florists…

Having only traveled to Paris once, and as a student, I did not experience this kind of lodging. Life is long, though.

Thank you, Vicki.


Oh, I know, I know.

It's been such a long, long time for me.

Now you're making me long to figure out a way to tuck in for just one night. More likely I'll tuck into a coupe, but it will be so sumptuous, so glamorous.

I'll have to remember to drink sloooowly.

Merci for the reve.


Carole~Maynard Greenhouse

It is things like this that makes me wish my parents never moved here!!! well that's not exactly true…but it would be nice to come back SOMEDAY!!!
I need to say this: You could write about a door knob and make it sound romantic.

Ma petite folie

I have lost myself in your beautiful book (My French LIfe)(Christmas present from my beloved)over the last couple of days at Hamilton Island (Queensland Australia). I am delighted to have found your blog! Cannot help but mention two French hotels at which we were guests in June this year – Champs Elysee Plaza in Rue de Berri in Paris and La Mirande in Avignon. (I noticed apron from LM in your book!)The Plaza is modern but very stylish and service divine. La Mirande was utterly exquisite. We were guests at the chef's table with Jean Paul – an indescribable delight. France is a constant magnet to me, thank you so much for your book and blog, you are a lovely writer and Carla's photographs are gorgeous. Both are an absolute treat. I appreciate the hard work but the divine reward when the house was complete (not that that task is ever truly complete!!) I now need to plan for the next trip to France!!


So Magical! Today I am missing France EVER SO MUCH! Thank you for reminding me of it's beauty!
Also there is beautiful places and Hotel to enjoy holidays in in Alagrve


it’s really a wonderful place… one can enjoy luxuries of life. It is a better place… i want to stay there. i like burning candles and all of its beautiful. i have no words to explain its beauty


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