“Le Belleval”, a perfect city-break Parisian hotel – Meanderings through France n° 163
By Annick Dournes & Frederic de Poligny
Whether for business or leisure the “Belleval” is a new 4-star hotel set in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, in a fine shopping and residential district. Belleval was the name of King Henri IV’s botanist and following a green spirit the hotel is meant to be a “garden of Eden” both for Parisians and foreigners. Since it opened in March 2018 the hotel proposes a good combination of hi-tech, cosy decoration and healthy food. A new Parisian address in tune with our modern expectations!
From the outside the “Belleval” looks like all these superb Haussmann style Parisian buildings of the 19th century. But once you’ve walked through the door you discover a warm atmosphere created by a surprising mix of old and new, classical style and contemporary furnishings, concrete floor and stylish carpets, high ceilings with original mouldings and bare stone walls, flowers and stripes… Renowned designer Jean-Philippe Nuel undeniably achieved here one of his best work of renovation.
Even if you’re not staying at the hotel its restaurant is worth a visit any time of the day. The value for money is great considering the quality of the food and the fact that you’ll be in a 4-star hotel in the heart of Paris (starters from 7 to 8 Euros, dishes from 13 to 17 Euros and deserts from 6 to 7 Euros!). In summer time you can enjoy your meal in the quiet outside patio dramatically decorated with a huge fresco made by a talented street artist, Gola Hundun.
Chef Edgard Prince believes in simple and healthy food and proposes a short seasonal menu with a choice of meat, fish as well as gluten free or vegan dishes. For example this autumn you can start with a pumpkin-soy milk soup or the “Belleval Casserole” mixing celery root with apple, crabmeat, shallot and house made dressing and continue with an Albacore tuna steak or the Chef’s salad bowl made with haddock marinated in citrus fruits’ juice, avocado, roasted butternut squash, grated beet and pumpkin seeds. They all are full of flavours and delicious. For dessert you can make your choice in a very tempting list of sweets including a double chocolate mousse, a berry tiramisu, a mango and passion fruit panna cotta or the chef’s special of the day.
Adjoining the restaurant the hotel’s bar invites you for a drink in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Particular emphasis has been placed on local products. Wines come from a winery, the “Winery Parisienne”, located in the inner Paris suburb. They buy grapes from carefully selected French winegrowers and make their red, white, rosé and sparkling wines near Paris. A real must taste! The bar also proposes local beers and roasted coffees. For a drink you can have organic cider from Normandy or a signature “mixture” such as the rosemary gin & tonic or the basil and blueberry margarita.
In the morning breakfast is a feast. The buffet offers a wide variety of sweet or savoury dishes, several kinds of freshly baked croissants, a wide range of breads including gluten free ones, cheeses, eggs, fresh fruit juices… This is closer to a brunch than a mere breakfast and you can enjoy it even if you’re not staying at the hotel for only 15 Euros.
All of the 52 rooms have floor to ceiling windows and are filled with light. High quality bedding provides a resting night under the dark blue ceiling! The sober decoration is brightened up with a flowery carpet and you have plenty of room to relax enjoying a complimentary tea or coffee. On the 7th flour there also are family suites with a balcony from where you’ll get a spectacular view over the Opera, the Madeleine and even the Eiffel Tower!
In the small library next to the lobby you can seat yourself in a comfortable armchair and read the book of your choice enjoying a coffee or a nice cup of comforting tea. You can also relax in the spacious sauna set in the vaulted cellar of the hotel or sweat at the gym on cardiovascular equipment, indoor cycles or lifting weights.
Hotel Belleval is at walking distance from the Paris’ main department stores “Le Printemps” and “Les Galeries Lafayette” and it could be the perfect starting point for your Christmas shopping. The beautiful and interesting Jacquemart André Museum is only a 10 min walk from the hotel and presently displays a wonderful Caravaggio exhibition. Close by you can also visit the 19th century St Augustin Church, one of Paris most original ones. It’s the first French church of such big dimension built using cast iron. The Saint Lazare railway station is a 5-minutes walk away, making the hotel a convenient starting point for a trip to Normandy to enjoy its picturesque countryside and visit the Normandy Landing Beaches.
You can book directly online on the hotel website and get a special price using the promotional code “WELCOME 10”: www.belleval-hotel-paris.com/en/
Text ©Annick Dournes
Photos ©Frederic de Poligny & Annick Dournes