Destination Dispatches: A Couture La Maison and La Réserve Apartment for Three Days in Paris

- Federica Antonioli, Kiwi Expert

I arrived at Charles de Gaulle on a Thursday morning to have a long weekend in Paris. It felt like my very first time.

After hopping in a taxi, I asked to go to La Maison Champs Elysées. Located a few steps away from Avenue Montaigne, the most fashionable street in Paris, the hotel was the perfect place for a three-day gateway.

After a warm welcome, the receptionist showed me around. Lucky me, I was shown to one of their elegant, stylish and new Couture Rooms. If fashion is a key word in your vocabulary, this is the place to be.

Re-launched in July 2011, La Maison Champs Elysées offers a new twist on classic Parisian hospitality. The hotel features 57 rooms, 17 of which are the aforementioned Couture Rooms. The name couldn’t be more self-explanatory. Designed by Martin Margiela, the Couture Rooms are what makes this hotel very special. The first thing that comes to my mind is elegance, essentials, simplicity and… white. There are beautiful linens, a spacious closet (for all those shopping bags!) and large bathrooms. Each room is different, from the size to the small details, even if they are all decorated in white.

Some might have heard of the Curiosity Case Suite, a twist on the expected. Everything in this room is painted black. The walls, the parquet, even the sheets (have you ever slept in a black bed?). Curious is not only the color of the room, but the big closet in the lounge which displays various objects from all over the world. Its truly something you need to discover for yourself.

I stayed for one night only, but managed to catch every particularity of La Maison Champs Elysées. The restaurant La Table du 8 is something special when you first walk in. Almost surreal. Many details remind me of my room. White linens cover all the tables giving the the illusion they’re floating.

Alas, it was time leave La Maison Champs Elysées, off to meet my friends Laura and Madlen, both coming from London. They jumped on the Eurostar and few hours later they were in Paris. Isn’t it easy? As we had many things to celebrate, we had to stay somewhere special. We really wanted to experience Paris like a Parisian and so decided to stay in the best part of town, the 16th arrondissement, the capital’s most elegant district.

We were very excited to see each other again and anxious to check into our residence for some much needed gossip. At La Réserve we were met by a very handsome concierge who showed us to our apartment and explained the details. This establishment has a daily housekeeper, exclusive valet parking, a home chef and a fine selection of wines and Champagnes. He explained that a broad range of five star hotel services are also available on request, including a professional chef who can handle all meal requests, special occasions, or receptions.

The fourth floor of the building has a large, fully-equipped kitchen with direct access to the dining and living room. Upstairs on the sixth floor were our three double bedrooms, each with en suite bathrooms. Parfait. Each bedroom and living area is equipped with a large flat screen TV, but most importantly views of the Eiffel Tower. The interior is sleek and elegant topped off with contemporary décor.

Each morning, the housekeeper came to prepare our breakfast. Everything we had requested was there: fresh baguette, tea, coffee, orange juice, selection of cheeses and cold meats, smoked salmon and eggs cooked to our preference. Pure indulgence at our own pace. She offered her ironing services, which came in handy.

From that moment on we knew we would enjoy a relaxed and carefree visit in an environment that felt like home. Although we were quite tempted by the broad choice of in-home personal care services, we decided not to opt for the massages, hairstyling, manicures and pedicures. Paris was calling and we had shopping to do.

Those three days were truly magical. Made magnificent by real hospitality. Paris, I’ll be back.

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