Hotel Vernet — Paris, France
Haussmann may have rebuilt Paris but the Belle Epoque is when it got sexy. The Hôtel Vernet’s 1913 post-Haussmann building has a swooping art nouveau awning and curvaceous balconies that befit the City of Love. And a new interior transformation now does it justice. The hotel, steps from the ’étoile’ around the Arc de Triomphe, brought in the interior architect François Champsaur to overhaul the rooms with sinuous furnishings and a backdrop of glass, brass and glossy marble that echoes the guests’ stiletto heels. The cosy wood-panelled reception now feels closer to a private residence than a hotel. Upstairs, the bedrooms are tailored with tactile cottons, silks and velvets and cosseted in curved wood walls; the bar is splashed with flattering golden light and modernist art. But the main draw is the Le V restaurant, with its original glass dome by Gustave Eiffel. Champsaur added curved leather banquettes to follow its rounded forms and mirrored walls to reflect the light around. It is a space to fall in love in, and fall in love with.