An exclusive Champs Elysées address in Paris: The Fraser Suites Le Claridge – Meanderings through France
Annick Dournes & Frederic de Poligny
What could be more tempting for a city-break in Paris than a private apartment on the most beautiful Parisian street? Located on the Champs Elysées this 5 star Hotel has just been recently renovated. Although apartment hotels are getting more and more popular with businessmen as well as tourists there are very few in Paris. Of course it’s part of the holidays to go to restaurants and discover French cuisine but searching for the right ones twice a day not knowing if the menu will fulfil your expectations can quickly get tiring. So having the opportunity to avoid this daily quest especially with children is a true privilege in Paris.
The Claridge Hotel was unlucky enough to open in 1914 and had to close shortly after it opened and was turned into a hospital by the Red Cross. During the Roaring Twenties it definitely was the place to be to meet Colette, Ernest Hemingway, Josephine Baker or Mistinguett. Later, after the Second World War it still was a popular luxury hotel with show business artists: Edith Piaf, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald were regular guests while Marlene Dietrich and Jean Gabin shared precious moments in one of the suite that still is named after them.
The recent renovation was entrusted to Pascal Allaman a renowned French interior decorator and designer. He decided to pay tribute to famous French fashion designers. For instance the black and beige geometric pattern of the carpet floor reminds us of Chanel while the black and blue colour code on the walls is a tribute to Yves Saint Laurent. Precious materials such as wild silk curtains, leather and wool bedspreads, velvet armchairs, marble bathrooms and a big headboard featuring a view of the Jardin du Luxembourg create a chic yet comfortable atmosphere. In each suite a fitted kitchen is in a separate room, preventing the cooking smells to spread in the other rooms. If you wish you can have breakfast at the Elysées Café on the second floor and enjoy a hearty and tasty buffet. For lunch and dinner you have many options: you can go to one of the many restaurants close by or you can go shopping at the Monoprix a well-stocked supermarket that is only a 5 minutes walk away and cook your own meal. You can also call one of the restaurants on the list suggested by the Claridge and they will deliver your order at your door. Housekeeping is done every day and you can ask for a specific time if you don’t want to be disturbed by the maid. To make you feel home you can play your own DVD or read your favourite newspapers and magazine on your TV screen. A free launderette is available as well as a fitness room or a baby-sitting service.
There are 110 spacious suites including the top floor duplex apartments offering a spectacular view over the Grand Palais, the Eiffel Tower and the Parisian roofs. The suites overlooking the Champs Elysées are the ideal place to watch the winter lightings and the New Year’s Eve fireworks, the 14th of July Parade of the French National Holiday or the Tour de France cycle race arrival. No need to say that an early booking is required on these special occasions!
Staying at The Claridge Hotel is being in the heart of the city. Cinemas, fashion shops and small shopping malls, restaurants, theatres, music-halls, museums make it one of the most lively and busy area in Paris. If you happen to be in Paris next April the Claridge will be the ideal place to stay at to discover the brand new show created by Franco Dragone at the Lido Music-Hall also located close by on the Champs Elysées. This show is impatiently waited for since it should revolutionize the world of music-halls in Paris. Being in your apartment you will feel at home and free to visit the city at your own rhythm as a true Parisian could.
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Text © Annick Dournes & Frederic de Poligny
Photos courtesy of Frazer Suites Le Claridge