After the Hôtel de Crillon and the Bristol, here’s another five-star hotel whose intimate environment and unique character completely won me over. Located in the heart of the posh 16th Arrondissement, this member establishment of the Relais & Châteaux catalog is brimming with history. With only 48 rooms and suites, the Saint James offers a private and refined atmosphere in a beautiful neoclassical building! More on my exceptional and exclusive experience below!
The magic began as soon as I arrived! Once through the gate, we discovered a splendid building with a fountain in the foreground. An effective aristocratic touch which gave us the impression we were miles away from Paris, even though the hotel lies in the heart of the 16th, a chic and residential neighborhood with tourist attractions just a stone’s throw away.
The Décor: “Crazy Chic” Fantasy Style
The first surprise was the lobby. You may know that I love an elegant ambiance, but I also enjoy seeing elements of originality that leave a lasting impression. This audacious room, designed by Bambi Sloan, certainly fit the bill! I especially liked the mix of styles, lending the lobby a unique ambiance: Napoleon III décor combined with leopard-print fabrics, with an enormous 14-meter-high chandelier to top it all off. A majestic staircase made me feel like I was transported to another era.
The Prestige Suite: My Personal Paradise for the Evening
The 48 rooms and suites are each more elegant than the last! The smallest category, called “Boudoir” rooms, are already sizeable at 25m². From there, guests can climb up the ladder to ultimate luxury: Superior, Deluxe, Junior Suite, Suite, and finally the Prestige Suites. I of course couldn’t resist choosing the latter! Ranging from 58 to 90 m², the Prestige Suites guarantee maximum comfort and luxury. As I opened the windows to admire the decorations in the garden below, the bucolic atmosphere made me feel even more removed from the hustle and bustle of Paris. Inside the suite, the large living room and separate bedroom featured classic furniture, large portraits hanging on the walls, and luxurious fabrics.
Gourmet Break in the Garden
I spent the afternoon in the garden with its chic open-air café ambiance. This lovely green space in the middle of the city is the perfect place to sip on a cocktail in early evening, or to enjoy a sweet snack break in the afternoon. I absolutely loved the three arbors in the garden, shaped like hot-air balloons and reflecting the location’s past as Paris’s first airdrome. We were thrilled to bask in the warmth of summer in this charming, pastoral space.
An Evening at the Saint James
At 7 p.m., we headed to the bar, one of the Saint James’ most fabulous rooms! Once upon a time, it served as the library for the Fondation Thiers, welcoming some of France’s most brilliant minds. Today, it’s been transformed into a decidedly original bar. We settled comfortably into our leather armchairs to admire the 12000 antique works decorating the space, from large portraits to dark wood paneling, while sampling cocktails created by mixologist Gaël Brissiaud.
For dinner, we would have loved to taste the Michelin-starred cuisine in the hotel’s gastronomic restaurant, but unfortunately many of Paris’s best restaurants tend to close in August. We’ll just have to return someday to try the culinary inventions of chef Jean Luc Rocha, classified as a “Meilleur Ouvrier” in France in 2007 and awarded one Michelin star.
The Guerlain Spa
In terms of health and wellness, the Saint James offers a spa in partnership with the prestigious beauty brand Guerlain. In one of the two treatment rooms, each designed by Bambi Sloan and featuring a look mixing eastern and western elements, guests can benefit from luxurious treatments such as the “Orchidée Impériale” or the “Abeille Royal.” A fabulous beauty experience using exquisite products from Guerlain!
Breakfast: A Perfect Start to the Day
For breakfast, we headed to the restaurant dining room. Its antique style took us back to Paris of days gone by. Huge portraits, impressive chandeliers, red velvet benches and wood paneling added to our breakfast experience. Meanwhile, delicious pastries, bread, and savory foods adorned the breakfast buffet, complemented by freshly prepared hot dishes. A true delight!
The Hotel Saint James is a unique luxury establishment in Paris, offering a fabulous experience in an oasis of calm right in the center of the French capital. This favorite among luxury insiders is a subtle mix of grandeur and intimacy, classicism and extravagance, which I found completely enchanting. This Relais & Châteaux establishment possesses a unique atmosphere, not to mention a delicious gourmet restaurant and a lovely garden where the only sound is birdsong. It’s a must-see in Paris that luxury hotel connoisseurs will surely appreciate.
Thank you to the Saint James Paris for the invitation to explore their establishment. Of course, the content of this blogpost was left entirely up to me!
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About Florence Consul
Editor of Experiences Luxe since 2015, I love discovering new exclusive and authentic experiences all over the world. I left my home country (France) 6 years ago to become a global citizen, traveling 365 days out of the year. I am a foodie person and I make a point of tasting local specialities.