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HOTEL of the month

Mandarin Oriental, Paris

January 2018

Mandarin Oriental, Paris is a celebration of Paris today, inspired by fashion and artistic creativity and underpinned by Mandarin Oriental’s legendary service. This truly Parisian Five-Star hotel provides an oasis of tranquility and cocoon of luxury. Its 98 chic rooms and 40 spacious suites offer an exceptionally stylish Parisian experience with nods to couture and unique art pieces.

Located in the heart of Paris, the hotel’s best-kept secret is its inner garden providing a sanctuary from the bustling city and a peaceful dining haven. A range of dining options are overseen by celebrated Chef Thierry Marx, including two-Michelin starred Sur Mesure, all-day dining Camélia, a Cake Shop by Mandarin Oriental, a cool cocktail bar, as well as L’Honoré serving health conscious cuisine. Finally, The Spa at Mandarin Oriental offers unique wellness experiences in a soothing environment, featuring luxurious private treatment rooms, an indoor pool and a state-of-the-art fitness center. Mandarin Oriental, Paris is the preferred choice of discerning travelers who believe they have found the city’s best-kept secret address.

HOTEL INFORMATION

ADDRESS:

251 rue Saint-Honoré
75001 Paris, France

TELEPHONE: +33 1 70 98 78 88

WEBSITE: www.mandarinoriental.com/paris

"Mandarin Oriental, Paris is more than a new destination in Paris; it extends an exceptional art of living and promises an experience beyond compare."

Philippe Leboeuf

General Manager and Area Vice President, EMEA

Philippe Leboeuf

General Manager and Area Vice President, EMEA

the INTERVIEW

We had the exclusive opportunity to sit down with Mr. Leboeuf, the General Manager of Mandarin Oriental, Paris, and Area Vice President, EMEA.

Tell us about the design of Mandarin Oriental, Paris.

The hotel brings together the foremost international names in architecture and design. Architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte supervised renovation of the building, its facade and patio, in consultation with landscape design agency Neveux-Rouyer. Sybille de Margerie of SM Design imagined the interior design and decoration of the rooms, suites, spa and public spaces while Agence Jouin-Manku lent its talent to the bar and restaurants.

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group chose Sybille de Margerie for the interior design and decoration of its first hotel in France. She responded with a Parisian interpretation of Mandarin Oriental's values in connection with the building itself, the surrounding district and the cultural environment of this hotel. Her approach is evident in the layout of the spaces as well as in the choice of materials, colors and the prestigious artists and craftsmen with whom she worked. This is haute couture decoration, distinguished by extreme attention to detail. This is Paris at its most glamorous and exclusive. Sybille de Margerie's idea was for a luxury hotel that would stand out for its design, a unique blend of prestige, romanticism and intimacy instilled with the exoticism of the Mandarin Oriental name. Mandarin Oriental, Paris is more than a new destination in Paris; it extends an exceptional art of living and promises an experience beyond compare.

Mandarin Oriental, Paris also commissioned Agence Jouin-Manku to decorate the hotel's two restaurants and Bar 8, set-up the indoor garden furniture, and its "Garden Table," a delicate, lightweight structure. A contemporary design and Parisian experience are central to this talented duo's work. They created something very Parisian, refined yet at the same time intimate and unexpected, particularly in the layout of the space with nooks and alcoves tucked away. Their ambition was that this became a unique, radical experience, and that it brings a Parisian emotion.

What are three fun facts about the property that many are surprised to learn?

The imposing stone bar in the hotel's Bar 8 weighs nine tons and was designed by Agence Jouin-Manku. Intricately assembled from stone quarried in Spain, it originally weighed 50 tons and was cut in Italy by craftsmen working round-the-clock for two months.

As a nod to the number of rooms in the hotel, 138 Swarovski crystal butterflies fly from the entry doors to the lobby.

Since the 16th Century, the site of Mandarin Oriental, Paris has been a Capuchin monastery, a hippodrome, a royal riding school and a circus called ‘Le Nouveau Cirque.’ Inaugurated in 1886, the ‘Nouveau Cirque’ was a prestigious and avant-garde theater where the first clown artists duo, Foottit and Chocolat, performed. A memorial plaque hangs on the hotel façade to honor both artists.

What touches do you believe make a room or suite feel like a home-away-from-home?

Knowing our guests well helps us to make them feel at home. We take notice of their preferences which can be a specific pillow, a favorite mineral water, a special diet, etc. We ensure our returning guests have the impression of never having left the hotel. I truly appreciate that our guests feel like they are at home here. It means they feel safe, secure and comfortable.

Walk us through your ideal stay at Mandarin Oriental, Paris.

First, check-in to your room while tasting a glass of champagne. After a long trip, the best way to rejuvenate is at The Spa with our signature treatments or the swimming pool. You can go on with your relaxing experience by enjoying a cocktail made with homemade honey in the hotel’s peaceful garden. Your journey’s highlight will certainly be your dinner at Sur Mesure par Thierry Marx where you can indulge the senses with the most innovative and delicate cuisine of Paris. Afterwards, seek comfort in your room and experience the best sleep ever thanks to the fantastic quality of beds and Frette linens. The next morning, begin the day with a fitness or yoga lesson before a healthy breakfast at Camélia.

What is your greatest indulgence at a hotel when you travel?

An out-of-this-world gym along with an incredible spa. And a real lap pool like at Mandarin Oriental, Paris is a must!

Can you share your go-to in-room dining order?

A good, hot soup, a beautiful cheese plate and a lovely red wine.

What is the most unique experience you’ve put together for a guest?

There are many, of course. I particularly enjoy a recent one at Mandarin Oriental, Paris, when we arranged a surprise for the daughter of a guest. We heard from a previous stay that she was a fan of the Minions cartoon. So, when her parents asked us to prepare something special in celebration of their daughter’s birthday, our Guest Relations Team surprised her with a Minion birthday party, transforming the Royale Mandarin Suite into a Minion world: the decoration, cakes and candies, beverage, etc. One colleague even dressed up as a Minion to check-in the guests. You can imagine how happy and moved the young girl was – and so were her parents! A unique experience is all about emotion.

If you only had 24-hours in Paris, where would you visit?

I’d suggest a long walk taking in Tuileries Gardens and the grounds of the Louvre, which are a few steps away from Mandarin Oriental, Paris. Then, down along the Seine to Notre Dame and then up the Left Bank and across Pont Alexandre III. Walking along the river is the best way to take in the beauty of Paris. Even if it rains, it is still very romantic. Paris is all about romance!

What do you believe is the greatest hidden gem in Paris?

The garden of Mandarin Oriental, Paris. While located in one of the busiest neighborhoods in Paris, the property’s garden is an oasis of serenity. Interspersed with green alcoves, the garden is a peaceful heaven. The black marble fountain at its heart creates a water mirror in which the trees and the botanical wall made of ivy and star jasmine are reflected.

In your opinion, why is January (or winter) a great time of year to visit Paris?

January is a fantastic time to enjoy Paris after the crowds of festive season. You can just enjoy walking in the hotel’s neighborhood. The city's great museums such as the Louvre, the Decorative Arts and the Jeu de Paume are only minutes away. Combining sightseeing, culture, history, shopping and simply strolling, the hotel is five minutes from two landmark Parisian squares: Place de la Concorde and Place Vendôme with its world-renowned jewellers. Nearby are the Comédie Française, the Orangerie and the Garnier Opera – and not to mention the world's most famous avenue, the Champs-Élysées.

January is also a very exciting month for all shopping addicts thanks to the sales. A shopping spree on rue Saint Honoré is a must!

Why do you travel?

I travel a lot for my job to promote the hotel all over the world and meet our guests: the loyal ones, the new ones and the potential ones. I also travel for my own pleasure.

How do you define luxury?

Luxury is Time. Today, life is so frantic that it’s a luxury to offer time within service. I also believe luxury is about creating original offers rather than the same old things like a fruit basket and champagne or an upgrade. Guests want an experience full of emotions, not a cookie cutter.

What does it feel like to wrap yourself in Frette?

My favorite linens are from Frette. They are the softest and most delicate fabric to laze around in. I love their chic and simple design. You instantly have a very cozy feeling.

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