Hôtel Balzac

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Hôtel Balzac, as the name might suggest, was once home to French novelist, Honoré de Balzac who acquired the property in 1846 and spent his last days in the house. Suitably located on rue Balzac and originally built for the director of the Paris Opera, this historic property, now a hotel, has kept a collection of antique books as well as lithographs in homage to the late author – a natural draw for lovers of French literature and La Comédie Humaine – and part of the hotel’s decoration. Located just off the Champs-Elysées, close to the Arc de Triomphe, Avenue Montaigne and Avenue George V at the heart of the City of Light, the property blends the old with the new in a Parisian neo-classical style, immediately evident from the showstopper opulence of the public areas – crystal chandeliers and lamps, sumptuous fabrics, swagged and tasselled curtains, luxury Persian rugs, Louis XIV antique furnishings and fragrant, elegant flower arrangements. The style, designed by Anne-Marie Sabatier, continues with the 57 guest rooms and 12 suites with some rooms having views out over the Eiffel Tower, others over the rooftops of the city. Most have canopy beds, many enjoy a vibrant colour palette of either teal, russet or mauve, still more have a more neutral palette and all feature state of the art technology and marble bathrooms. Room sizes range from the cosy single 15 square metres, doubling in size when you reach the Executive Room category. The 35 square metre Junior Suites have wooden entryways, dressing rooms and marble bathrooms with clawfoot baths and separate walk-in showers whilst the full Suites offer 45 square metres of space with large sitting rooms with dining areas, separate bedrooms and if required, the corner suites can interconnect with deluxe rooms to accommodate up to five adults easily. The grandest accommodation, of course, is the 70 square metre Presidential Suite located on the hotel’s top floor and the larger 95 square metre Royal Suite offering a space of immense period charm with staggering views out over Paris.

 When it comes to dining, there is a treat in store as the property hosts three-star Michelin chef Pierre Gagnaire’s restaurant showcasing modern French cuisine which nods back in tribute and technique to the past. Early booking is highly recommended, and the restaurant closes over the weekend. Alternatively, try Hotel Balzac’s Bar & Lounge, sited at the hotel’s heart and enjoying sunlight courtesy of a glass-ceilinged atrium. Plum and tangerine-coloured comfortable sofas and tables offers the perfect rendezvous for relaxed daytime dining whilst the sleek long black granite bar to the side of the lounge hits the spot for a glass of wine, some fine spirits or cocktail or two.


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