On June 28, the Mandarin Oriental Paris is set to open its doors in the French capital’s 1st arrondissment alongside the most glamorous shopping street in the galaxy.
The 138-suite ultra-luxe hotel is located on Rue Saint-Honore, just west of the Louvre Museum and south of the the old Paris Opera House. That street is an extension of Rue du Faubourg Saint Honore where every imaginable European designer is lined up side by side for almost a mile: Chanel, Dior, Roger Vivier, Valentino and Yves Saint-Laurent, just to name a few.
Faubourg is home to the headquarters of Lancome and French Vogue, as well as flagship stores for Hermes, Lanvin and Prada (below). Whenever a new and magnificent work of window art appears inside the Prada shop, it makes the local newspapers.
Last time we were there, two polite but chillingly brusque and heavily armed gendarmes interrogated us on the street in front of Hotel Le Bristol, where an important head of state was squired away for a couple nights. Apparently when on assignment for Prevue in Paris, we look like La Femme Nikita, which isn’t all bad. But it does give you a sense of the type of exclusivity we’re talking about.
Come to think of it, this is the street where Oprah had a difficult time back in 2005.
Back at the hotel, the Mandarin Oriental, Paris features a restored Art Moderne façade updated by architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, who has assisted with the refurbishment of contemporary museums from Doha to Beijing. The indoor garden courtyard is the focal point of the entire interior experience with all four meeting rooms opening out to the leafy square filled with white and pink camellia trees. Total function space is 2,100 sf, plus the large top floor suites with terraces opening up to l’Opera and the Eiffel Tower.
For post-meeting/shopping rehab in the City of Light, the 9,700-sf Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Paris is one of the city’s largest hotel wellness centers. There are seven private suites for hydrotherapy and heat treatments, a large indoor pool with an Oriental herbal steam room and a fitness center.
With two Michelin stars already under his belt, Thierry Marx is directing operations at the two restaurants. Details at present are sketchy, but Sur Mesure is the gourmet restaurant with an all-white décor not unlike Space Odyssey 2010. Marx is promising cuisine that’s an: “exploration of the link between the technical and the emotional in sight, sound and taste.”
For more down-to-earth cuisine, Camélia features Marx’ more traditional take on French cuisine in a subdued Asian ambiance. And in the summer, Marx can cater garden parties where everyone can open their shopping bags and compare their new shoes.