With three of Paris’s heavyweight luxury hotels sidelined for renovation, five-star “boutique” inns are raking in a new clientele. Corinne LaBalme visits the venerable Hôtel San Régis, which completed its oh-so-chic makeover just in time to welcome refugees from the Ritz, Crillon and Plaza Athénée.
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The best adjective to describe the family-run Hôtel San Régis, nestled on a side-street betwixt the Grand Palais and the Avenue Montaigne haute couture shops, is discreet. However its latest renovation, completed in 2013, is all about glasnost. Owner Elie George literally blew the roof off his “insider’s only” restaurant, which originally catered only to hotel guests. The lighter-and-brighter glass-roofed result is now open to all hungry and thirsty travelers and residents seeking a quiet refuge from museum blockbusters, Dior ODs, and Champs-Elysées traffic.
The restaurant/tea room, now re-named Les Confidences du San Régis, has a glass roof that shows off the half-timbered walls of the hotel’s attractive, provincial-esque courtyard. The new concept also includes longer hours. Jet-lagged travelers can now drop in for a cozy little chorizo-laced cheeseburger (24€), club sandwich (22€), Caesar salad (28€) or organic omelets (16€) in sophisticated surroundings from 3 to 6pm.
Reflecting the hotel’s new contemporary spin on its classic decor, the new menu adds curcuma-laced quinoa to the tomato fritters (16€) and proposes a hummus garnish with the lamb filets (34€). Quite astutely, the wine selection tends towards to affordable, rather than aspirational, vintages. The Château de Lachaize Brouilly, one of the best bargains in Beaujolais, is a case in point at 24€.
The San Régis has also expanded its tea-time offerings, with over a dozen super-stylish Kusmi teas accompanied by finger sandwiches and/or lush pastries from Philippe Conticini’s ‘Patisserie des Rêves’, like the re-visited Paris-Brest.
The latest renovation includes guestrooms given 21st century pastel update (bayberry greens, powdered azur and gold) by designer Pierre-Yves Rochon while retaining classic touches like the Art Deco style light fixtures beloved by SR regulars.
Hôtel San Régis Paris. 12 rue Goujon, 75008. Tel: 01.44. 95.16.16. Metro Champs-Elysées-Clemenceau or Alma Marceau