IPA Magazine-Luxury Travel Reviews

An Artist’s World in Paris: Would You Like to See My Bedroom?

JulietteWith that evocative question, Would you like to see my bedroom? the coquettish Juliette Récamier (1777-1849) invited female guests into her Parisian home, and, in time, other guests into her 19th-century salon.  Inspired by her passion, her mystery and the era from which she came, La Belle Juliette was selected as the name for this four-star luxury hotel in the inspiring St. Germain des Près district of  Paris’s renowned rive gauche (Left Bank) area.

La Belle Juliette was once the Hotel Ferrandi, purchased by Corinne Moncelli in 2008 and, in just two years, transformed into a refined environment that marries a distinct classicism with a modernist edge.  Designed thoughtfully and creatively by Anne Gelbard, who is known for producing fabrics for some famous names in the fashion industry, the rooms on each of the hotel’s five floors illustrate a significant time period in the life of Juliette, one of the most famous salonnière in Parisian history.  Says Gelbard: “My approach for this hotel was to make a place, a reassuring house, not a “concept.”   Juliette was an excellent host, so I wanted to make the hotel a warm cocoon for voyagers discovering Paris.”

The first floor is dedicated to Juliette and Germaine de Stael who played an essential part in Juliette’s life.  The two became extremely close, but Madame de Stael was banished from Paris by Napolean and the same fate eventually happened to Juliette as well.  The second floor is dedicated to Juliette’s sojourn in Italy, a time of exile and strenuous travel.  The focus of the third floor of the hotel is upon Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand, father of French Romanticism and one of Juliette’s great loves.  The fourth floor, Les Causeries, provides a taste of the salons of Juliette’s era.  The ground floor is a treasure chest of tributes to Juliette Récamier, from the marble floors (recalling memories of Italy) to the particular shade of blue (of her salon) to the music room (she played harp and piano).

Also on the ground floor is Le Talma restaurant where guests may enjoy breakfast.  The menu changes throughout the day as Italian-style dishes are offered.  Cakes and tea are served in the afternoon and, in the evening, guests may enjoy a plate of sliced meats and cheeses along with fine wines.  There is also a spa located below the ground floor.

A complimentary bottle of water is found in the guestroom minibar upon arrival.  There is a combination safe available to store valuables in each room.  Our room was decorated in dark wallpaper and vibrant colors with several framed sketches of Juliette and scenes of her era on the walls.  We enjoyed our Italian-style shower with three back massage jets as well as a raindrop shower.  Free wi-fi is available in all guest rooms and throughout the hotel as well—no password is required.  Guests may access the internet on their own laptops or use the computer in the room.  Air conditioning is provided in all the rooms as well as flat-screen television with cable or satellite hook-up.  Soft, terry-cloth bathrobes are hung in the closet.  Our room had a Nespresso coffee machine with a few pods for brewing a demitasse of espresso.  Room categories are standard, superior, deluxe, and suite.  The hotel is 100% non-smoking.

Hotel La Belle Juliette is one of five upscale, artist-inspired hotels that form Hotels Paris Rive Gauche (HPRG).  Together these establishments epitomize the vision of owners Pascale and Corinne Moncelli to revamp small hotels on the Left Bank by transforming them into bold and vibrant boutique-style inns that combine fashionable furnishings with an emphasis on showcasing the Parisian community of contemporary artists and photographers.  Here you will find art de vivre, reminiscent of the eighteenth and nineteenth century salons where literature and the arts were freely discussed.

For example, every year since 2007 the HPRG organization has welcomed new and seasoned photographers to submit photos intended to charm, intrigue, or catch the attention of a jury formed to judge a competition known as “Photo d’Hotel, Photo d’Auteur,” A Hotel Photo, An Artist’s View.  Twelve photos are selected and displayed in the Galerie Esther Woerdehoff and in the Hotel La Belle Juliette.  Each year the hotel-based theme changes slightly, and photographers create imaginative, surreal, or dreamlike images for the competition.  Every month, a photographer is invited to spend the night in a hotel rated by the association and given carte blanche to produce a work of photography. An exhibition of the works is held and a 3,000€ prize awarded.

Thus, a visit to Hotel La Belle Juliette is, in reality, a visual feast for the eyes, considering the extreme amount of planning, designing and implementation that went into the embellishment of the hotel and its varied room themes, as well as the ongoing art displays that are found in the hotel throughout the year.

Recently, eleven new rooms were added to the hotel’s new wing overlooking the garden, providing  a “funky” new style mixing designer objects and vintage furniture.  Also designed by Anne Gelbard, they’re named the “Abbaye-aux-Bois” rooms, in honor Juliette Récamier’s final place of residence.  With the addition of these new rooms, the total number of rooms in the hotel is now 45.

juliette spaThe Spa

The spa in La Belle Juliette was created to be a reverie, a walk in the gardens of Boboli, reminiscent of Juliette’s stay in Italy.  It also pays homage to the freshness and beauty of Juliette’s skin.

The beauty treatments of The Spa of La Belle Juliettte provide new sensations of beauty and wellbeing in harmony with the Parisian seasons.  Here Eastern traditions of Chinese practice are used with cosmetic expertise.  To help guests relax, tea is served after all beauty treatments and guests are allowed free access to the Turkish bath and little pool.  Products are by Maria Galland, the most Parisian of brands, with forty years of experience, who offers a tailored ranged of facial products.  Additionally, Phytomer, whose name means “ocean plants” is a brand of products which are first in the world to integrate the benefits of the marine world into modern cosmetology.

The spa uses the Claret Coquet method which accompanies the body’s seasonal biorhythms with a Traditional Chinese Medicine questionnaire.  This precise diagnosis allows every treatment to be adapted to the person’s energy requirement.

The spa offers a digitolift face massage, an accupressure treatment for the face based on the theory of the body’s energy meridian.  The treatment works on faces that are already marked as well as a preventative measure to slow the onset of wrinkles, which usually show up around 25 years of age.

Several treatment specialties are found on the Spa menu.  There is one treatment called “Languishing Lovers,” consisting of two individual massages followed by an introduction to mutual back massage.  There are facial massages, hand massages, leg and foot massages as well.

For further information, please contact Priscilla at +33 01-42-22-29-23 or send an email to spa@labellejuliette.com

 Hotel La Belle Juliette

92 rue du Cherche Midi

75006 Paris

Website: http://www.hotel-belle-juliette-paris.com

Email: reservation@labellejuliette.com

Tel +33 1 42 22 97 40

Fax +33 1 45 44 89 97

Hôtels Paris Rive Gauche

262 rue Saint Jacques

75005 Paris

info@hprg.eu

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