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Grand Hôtel du Palais Royal

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PARIS The change of season and the end of the yellow vest protests made Paris a perfect weekend prospect - especially when our stay was at the exclusive Grand Hôtel du Palais Royal.  Sat Bal

The hotel is more intimate than its name suggests: 57 rooms and 11 suites set in imposing 18th-century architecture. Apt too that the hotel is part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World group which itself features over 500 small, but perfectly formed, boutique venues around the world.

PURPOSE

A weekend of partying. Where better to disport ourselves than the Panoramic Suite? The most luxurious suite in this maison took up the strain with panache. Its versatility also makes it ideal for business stays and families.

LOCATION

Very Paris, but located away from the noisy bustle thanks to the hotel’s position by the neighbouring gardens of Palais Royal. Yet the Louvre, Place Vendôme and Palais Garner are an easy stroll away.

DESIGN

This elegant five-star hotel was designed by Pierre-Yves Rochon whose design portfolio includes the likes of the Four Seasons Hotel George V and the Shangri-La Hotel in Paris. The artwork is imposing on arrival into the lobby where Hellenistic sculptures add to the guest greeting. Hangings and fabrics come from the expertise of Pierre Frey with furnishings by Philippe Hurel and lighting by Delisle.

PANORAMIC SUITE

This is the best suite in the house, edging past the Royal Suite, and was the perfect venue for our party stay. Its exclusivity was made immediately obvious by our own private elevator which whisked us to the seventh floor.

The first real impression was made on the terrace outside the suite. With the Eiffel Tower clearly visible to the left of us and the Louvre and Palais Royal gardens in our sights, the Panoramic Suite certainly lived up to its name! The Palace of Versailles might have been out of our panorama but the "Sun King" feel prevailed nonetheless.

The usual guest view from the seventh floor - avec Eiffel Tower

We made instant use of the expansive terrace which was flooded by sun and, soon enough, with bottles of France’s best. Nearly 300 sq ft of space and an assortment of loungers, tables and chairs easily held 15 people here. Let the party commence!

Our view from our seventh floor terrace - Vive la France!

The feeling of seclusion and privacy here meant that there we no qualms about plugging in sound systems unintrusively.

The Panoramic Suite also features a private dining room in the lounge area and king beds beyond for when sleep becomes a necessity.

It has to be said that the circa £3,500-plus that secured this suite over the weekend will get you ‘Paris space’ ie. more compact than apex suites in other cities and the Panoramic will thus only sleep two adults and two kids. The rest of the rooms in the hotel follow suit with Paris space and start at around £350. Yet the upside is that all rooms, suites and leisure spaces come with a finesse that is unequivocally…Paris.

As if to emphasise the sunny day, shafts of daylight set the marble bathroom aglow, amply furnished with double sink, bath and shower in the Panoramic.

STAFF AND SERVICE

The lounge bar

Staff joyfully aided and abetted our seventh-floor shenanigans, encouraging us Brits to make merry. The warmth and courtesy percolated down to the lobby. Special mention must also be made of Leon, the French-sounding Englishman, who presided over the intimate hotel lounge bar and swapped tales of Birmingham and tricks with gin.

Le Lulli restaurant is headed by Jean-Baptiste Orieux whose exquisite dishes are made from local and seasonal ingredients.   

Elsewhere, Wi-Fi comes free and accomplished ‘Clefs d’or’ concierge caters for all whims. There’s also a Carita spa, Turkish bath and fitness centre. There are also special services for families and children.

GRAND HÔTEL DU PALAIS ROYAL

4 rue de Valois, Paris, FR, 75001

33-142-961535

www.grandhoteldupalaisroyal.com

www.slh.com

Soho Residence in £1m Transformation

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LONDON The launch party of the Soho Residence brought in rafts of revellers - and a feeling that  this iconic venue is set to change Soho’s leisure scape. Here's how the event unfurled...

The heritage-rich Soho Residence resides in the 126-year-old Roundhouse building and offers three floors featuring a Botanical Bar with art deco style, late night party space Festival Club and the decadent Gin Parlour.

They have in common an elegant style and grace typified by the snug sofas and rich fabrics. Here, the capacity crowd of 350 can enjoy a selection of craft beers and botanical cocktails or the opulent gin parlour.



On the ground floor is the Botanical Bar, art deco style with huge windows and a fresh botanical feel aided by hanging plants. Banquette seating and plump cushions offer guests a cool Soho welcome. The basement Festival Club is a place for late, adult partying with refined lighting and big screen imaging to encourage glitterati to let its hair down.

Take a stroll to the first floor Gin Parlour with its high ceilings and tall windows which offer up the bustling streets of Soho below. Here, an extensive selection of the world's finest gins can be sipped in the sumptuous comfort of the furnishings, aiding the VIP feel.

The good news for groups is that both the Festival Club and the Gin Parlour are available for private hire.

Look out for venue details after more images of the night...




Soho Residence
http://sohoresidence.co.uk/
020 7434 9413
83 -85 Wardour Street, Soho, London W1D 6QE

Art-itechture at New McQueen Store

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LONDON British fashion icon Alexander McQueen has opened a brand new store on London’s Old Bond Street in a must-see blend of art and architecture.

It hails an experiential shopping vision that harks back to McQueen himself and his fixation with nature and natural materials.  

The store exhibits the design talents of Serpentine Pavilion architect Smiljan Radic. The design concept was envisioned by Sarah Burton,creative director at Alexander McQueen.

Dark and light wood abounds per the brand’s fixation with the natural world with futuristic glass cylinders bringing in a clever contrast and lots of light.

The nature-as-art theme continues with the sculptures of Chilean artist Marcela Correa whose works of bronze, granite and wood dot the store.

The building comprises three floors and brings in the label’s womenswear and menswear collections. It also honours McQueen with a presentation of past collections and photography.

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