Le Méridien Etoile — Paris, France
Has it really been 44 years since Le Méridien opened in L’Étoile as a brand extension of Air France? Long time fans will know that far from preserving itself in aspic, the group – which has since grown into over a hundred hotels and resorts – has constantly reinvented itself, quietly, almost effortlessly keeping up with the competition.
In a sense, it’s timely that the flagship hotel is just emerging from a tip-to-toe renovation under the assured baton of London-based architects Michaelis Boyd, the French interior designer Jean-Philippe Nuel, and the in-house Le Méridien team.
The hotel’s 1,025 rooms, alongside the public spaces including the Jazz Club Étoile, have been reworked with a mid-century mood board of light pastels of grey, light blue and charcoal, vintage furniture, brass finishes, and bespoke photographs of Paris’s arrondissements by the American photographer Angie McMonigal. The detailing is quirky, not least painted stitched lines on the bedroom walls that mimic the Seine and its fabled bridges, and light fixtures that suggest the contours of a supersonic jet.
This close to the Étoile, the best views in the house are from the club lounge where the panorama is dominated by the Eiffel Tower, while the ground floor courtyard and garden provide a quiet sheltered nook for whispering sweet nothings.