Heavenly Hotels: Hôtel Marignan, Paris

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In the continuing series, Conor Power checks into the Hôtel Marignan in Paris’ posh 8th arrondissement

Name:
Hôtel Marignan

Address:
12 rue de Marignan, 75008 Paris.

First Impressions:
The Marignan is on a quiet street right in the heart of where most people visiting Paris would like to be – i.e. just off the Champs-Elysée.

Elegant façade: the front of the Marignan

Elegant façade: the front of the Marignan

The monumental Pierre Yovanovitch-designed wrought-iron door with its strong decorative gilding sets off a unremarkable but undeniably elegant façade that blends strong elements of art deco with dark Zimbabwe stone. It feels instantly more art gallery than five-star hotel.

Inside, the calm oasis of class gives a feeling of being cocooned from the city outside in an airy black and white interior. What you get with the Marignan is a feeling that’s completely different from just about any other hotel of its class in Paris. It makes the most of its space with its cutting-edge style. There’s always something beyond or something out of the corner of your eye to entice you to keep going. The reception area is a case in point, with split-level flooring and high ceilings, leading off to a discreet dining area.

The bar is long, spacious and well designed for a cosy intimate atmosphere that’s lacking in so many other bars of hotels in its class. Volumes of books are within easy grasp at every table and the modern soft furnishings are funky and cool yet lose nothing in terms of comfort and intimacy.

The Story:
Originally, it was a private home owned by a succession of Second Empire generals and prestigious families until a certain Princess Charles-Marie de Faucigny-Lucinge turned it into an art gallery to house her impressive private collection.

After a further succession of owners over the last 100 years or so, the Richard family too over the property and transformed it into the unique hotel you see today.

The Marignan is one of the very few Parisian five-star hotels that’s French-owned. Interior architect Pierre Yovanovitch – icon of the so-called New French Style – was asked to apply his magic modern touch to this building that once housed foreign diplomats.

The only area where you get a hint of the hotel’s previous life is in its grand staircase – a feature that’s well worth skipping the lift for a gander at its exquisite timber panelling and stained-glass windows.

Do they look after you?

Interior Airiness: The groovy and curiously calming lobby area of the Marignan

Interior Airiness: The groovy and curiously calming lobby area of the Marignan

An attentive doorman tends to open the large heavy door before you know it. Inside, the attention to the customer is formal and friendly – a reflection, perhaps, of the fact that it’s an hotel on an altogether more intimate level of welcome; not belonging to a distant foreign chain but a local personality with a live interest in keeping the ship sailing smoothly for all who enter. Another point of interest is that the genial Managing Director of the hotel Dominick Adrian is half-Irish – the product of an Irish mother who met her French chef husband at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin.

What are the rooms like?
There are 50 in all – more than you would imagine in such a hotel. In fact, it is one of the pluses of this hotel that it never, ever feels like a place holding 50 rooms.

There are three classes of rooms and five levels of suites, with the top-of-the range coming with a generous 70m2 of living space and a spacious balcony with a stupendous view of the Eiffel Tower.

The rooms all have as much individual character as possible. Many feature double-height doors for extra roominess and quirk. We stayed in a deluxe duplex room with living room and toilet downstairs and mezzanine bedroom and bathroom upstairs. The coffee machine was great and the mini bar has a limited range of soft drinks but the good news is that it’s free (apart from the packs of snacks), but that’s all right because thirst is the real killer in these air-conditioned hotel rooms.

Deep Comfort: A room with a view at the Marignan

Deep Comfort: A room with a view at the Marignan

Beds are unfathomably comfortable and the bathroom isn’t the roomiest you’d expect in this class but one cannot otherwise complain and the toiletry range is to die for.

Getting Fed:
The standard breakfast here is strictly continental so anyone accustomed to the by-now Americanized standard of buffet breakfast is in for a land. That said, the cuisine is exceptionally good and it is well worth going for the evening meal.

The location of the restaurant serves the evening eating experience even better and it actually makes the ideal location for an intimate soiree away from the madding crowd. The menu is modern French, broadly speaking, and with excellent execution, presentation and service


The bottom line:

Rooms start at €243 per night with suites ranging from €820 per night up to €2,300 for the 70m2 Prestige Suite.

Contact:
Website: www.hotelmarignan.fr. Telephone: +33 1.40.76.34.56
Metro: Franklin D Roosevelt (M1 or M9)

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