Coming from the elegant Group Barriere, the multi-faceted Hotel Barriere Le Fouquet’s in Paris pampers and treats you, without any of the snob value, which French are quite wrongly accused of. Chic, stylish and full of glamour, the hotel will make you fall in love with the city, yet again
By: Soumya Jain Agarwal
Posted on: December 3, 2019
LF Says: ★★★★★
Champs-Elysees is the busiest and the buzziest street in Paris. Full of pomp, splendor and luxury, this street is your entryway to the best Paris has to offer. Leading on to the majestic Arc de Triomphe, several establishments on this street are hundreds of years old, if not all.
The brassiere Fouquet’s is one of them. This historical high-end restaurant had opened at the turn of the century, in 1899, and has been delighting fine diners since then. Acquiring this landmark in 1998, the Barriere Group bought surrounding buildings as well, finally opening the Hotel Barriere Le Fouquet’s Paris in 2006.
But that is not where the story stops. Rather, this is where it begins, because the hotel crafted by the Barriere’s – even though considerably new – has the true aura of French excellence combined with Hollywood glamour. The grand staircase is bordered with golden curtains, floors are covered with red patterned carpets while the walls feature portraits of iconic French actors. And truly, this is just the beginning…
Step into glamour
As the liveried gentlemen at the door open the gates of Hotel Barriere Le Fouquet’s and you step into a discreet, enveloping world, its art deco style reception will belie the modernity you’ll find in their rooms.
But once you have gone through the seamless check-in, and crossed over the threshold to your room, you’ll be greeted by avant-garde style interiors mixed with technology.
We stayed in the Prestige room, which was enough to make us feel rich. Although the room was given muted tones with dark accents, small designer details made quite a bit of difference. A massive quilted headrest framed the large bed. The lamps had a classic European touch to them. The curtains were embroidered. The art on the wall was more cerebral – going beyond the usual landscapes and flowers you see on most hotel walls. The small table held a platter of fresh fruits along with required cutlery and cloth napkins.
The bathrooms – yes, there were two of them – were impressive. The main double-door bathroom, outfitted in all marble, included a marble tub flanked by an artwork (of course, we are in Paris!) and facing towards a personal TV. Another shower cubicle, also crafted in all Italian marble, had a refreshing Italian shower. The floor of the bathroom was heated, ensuring you never have to shudder with cold. The mirror atop the double sinks was framed by porcelain and backlit. The whiteness of the bathroom was in sharp contrast to the rest of the room, making you feel as if you have magically entered another cocoon.
Being situated right on the busy Champs-Elysees has a chief inconvenience – the street noise. The hotel, however, has astutely sealed the windows with double windows, blocking out the noise completely! A peaceful sleep is guaranteed – especially with a pillow menu that features paddings from Ergonomic to Hypoallergenic to Natural.
Merging classic grandeur with high-tech amenities, watch for the iPad and bedside controls which can make anything in the room dance to your tunes. Switch off the television, open the curtains, dim the lights or call the room service. And the TV, placed behind a black glass, adds further tech scenery.
Having revamped itself in 2017, the hotel’s 19 suites have also undergone a transformation, and recently unveiled in September 2019. Floor-to-ceiling windows, Hausmann style mouldings, unique lighting fixtures, furniture that is modern and Parisian chic, and large fireplaces define these suites. The spacious proportions of these suites make them ideal for large family groups, giving you the feeling of living in a timeless, classic Parisian apartment.
That buoyant feeling
That luxurious, tony feeling extends throughout the hotel. However, breakfast at the hotel’s Le Joy was a slightly different experience, owing to its vibrant outdoor seating! Much different from its indoor area, the outside is wrapped in turquoise and green shades, accentuated by vibrant sunflowers and herb planters. The décor certainly did justice to its name. Of course, we always chose to sit outside in the early morning air of Paris, with such gorgeousness surrounding us.
The interior is as vibrant as the outside, but much more plush owing to its velvet furnishings in jewel tones, highlighted by large bookcases with volumes you can get lost into for the whole day. The sunflowers follow inside too, as part of cutesy decorated corners, causing you to smile with a joyful tug at the heart.
Epitomising its name, breakfast starts with cappuccino which always have different, happy messages printed on it! From ‘Good Morning Sunshine’ to ‘Fall in Love’ to a Mona Lisa, we started looking forward to their morning messages! Our pretty personal fruit platters, made like a tart with slices and chunks of vibrant fruits, was fresh.
Having an a la carte system of breakfast instead of the usual buffet, you do end up feeling special when you don’t have to keep making rounds. My hot chocolate would come with chocolate and milk separate, and mixed to perfection at the table.
For the main dish, we would call for Eggs Benedict (eggs poached well-done – just the way requested – and topped generously with Hollandaise sauce and freshly shaved black truffles), French Toast (crispy, made without egg – unlike the Indian version), Omelettes or Waffles, and would simply wallow in the presentation and fresh taste all these dishes would offer. The breakfast menu had a range of choices inspired by Asian, Mexican, European and American cuisines. You’ll certainly find something new every morning to begin your day with.
True luxury beckons
There is much to explore in the hotel, which is a part of The Leading Hotels of the World. The iconic Fouquet’s offers fine dining with well-loved dishes given a contemporary spin. The hotel’s two bars – L’Escadrille and La Marta Paris – will always be abuzz on weekend nights – prompting you to enter and snick a drink or two in the outstanding bars.
The Spa Diane Barriere mixes traditional European and modern design effortlessly while offering a spa menu that is unique and enticing. The Legacy Store at the hotel is the stuff dreams are made of! From RJ watches including pieces of the Apollo rocket, to shiny Mickey Mouse structures, from beautiful coffee table books depicting varied cultures to complex mechanical clocks boasting hundreds of gears, the store has chosen its merchandise very carefully, apt for the kind of clientele it invites – curious, intelligent and suave.
The service at the hotel is impeccable. A punctual daily turn down service at night means a bed made ready for slumber, soft slippers placed next to the bed, chocolates kept with water at the side table, and the bathroom made clean. The concierge at the hotel will act like a genie, making your wishes come true. And last minute requests will be honored with as much panache as any.
If the fabulous location of Hotel Barriere Le Fouquet’s Paris – surrounded by the chicest stores and establishments - is not invitation enough, its elegance, heritage and mix of beaux-art, art deco and avant-garde design will certainly enchant you. A base for the many French celebrities, the hotel will make you a star in its own right with the way they care for you.
LF Says: ★★★★★
Coordinates: 46 Avenue George V, Paris, France