Le Meurice Hotel, Paris Luxury Accommodation, Building, Design, Image
Le Meurice Hotel Paris : Building
Luxury Parisian Accommodation, France – design by Philippe Starck
11 Feb 2010
Le Meurice Hotel
Le Meurice…more than ever Le Meurice!
Once again Le Meurice embraces creativity and places the art of living even more firmly at the centre of its history. Since its creation, Le Meurice has nurtured intimate links with artists. From Rudyard Kipling to François Mauriac, from Arletty to Florence Gould, from Salvador Dalí to Viktor & Rolf, Le Meurice is the reflection for contemporary creation.
Of all the guests to have stayed at Le Meurice, Salvador Dalí is certainly the most extraordinary. For more than three decades he would spend one month a year at the hotel, leaving behind wonderful stories, all witness to his legendary extravagance, and innumerable sources of inspiration.
Now it is the turn of Philippe Starck and his team, Ara Starck, Yannick Alléno, Alejandra di Andia and numerous other artists to give us their vision of Le Meurice.
A behind-the-scenes tour of the creativity and trends now sweeping Le Meurice…
Taking time to be timeless…
Ideally located opposite the Jardin des Tuileries, between Place de la Concorde and the Louvre, Le Meurice has stood out as the jewel among French palace hotels since 1835. True to its philosophy of the art of living à la française, Le Meurice is a calm and magical place, infused with elegance, where eighteenth-century architectural splendours and the most sophisticated modern comforts sit happily side by side. Le Meurice is also where Yannick Alléno, the French Chef at the head of the le Meurice restaurant, celebrates the seasons with his culinary creations. His heavenly cuisine elevates Parisian gastronomy to the rank of art. He adds a bold twist to our grandmothers’ recipes to bring past and present together with flavour and flair. Situated in the very heart of Paris, just minutes from Place Vendôme and Rue Saint-Honoré with their abundance of luxury boutiques and young designers, Le Meurice is there to be discovered, a haven of peace where all you need be is yourself.
Franka Holtmann, General Manager of Le Meurice, has chosen Philippe Starck to restore Le Meurice’s heritage to its rightful prominence, and in doing so exalt its riches and beauty. His response is an «invisible transformation» with considerations of colour and light, a new interpretation of furniture, a play on transparency and movement, while Ara Starck has painted a monumental canvas…
Starck reawakens Le Meurice…
‘‘I wanted Le Meurice to move to a different beat, a warmer, more welcoming, more glamorous heart. I see Le Meurice as the most French of places, where everyone must feel at home. I want to shake it up, to make it a new destination where people will come to enjoy time out, lunch, a drink, or be transported by gastronomy. I asked Philippe Starck to imagine a new atmosphere, to create a mood that would enhance and respect the beauty and proportions of this magnificent palace. His response is what I had secretly dreamed of. Philippe Starck will reveal Le Meurice’s soul.’’
Le Meurice + Starck
And so Philippe Starck has ventured into the land of fairy tales:
‘‘Le Meurice is like Sleeping Beauty,
Beautiful, elegant, romantic, classic, timeless,
But caught in slumber.
A not-quite-charming prince has kissed her
And suddenly she springs to life.
An extravagant life, thrilling, luminous, sexy, bubbling and unique.
Stone becomes fire, wood becomes flesh, waiters are knights in shining armour,
Chambermaids fairies and the chefs ogres…
In a few months the new Le Meurice will open the doors
Of its enchanted interior,
To leave us enchanted.’’
At just 38, Yannick Alléno entered the elite circle of the world’s greatest chefs when he received his third star for his gastronomic restaurant at Le Meurice. He took the helm of Le Meurice’s kitchens in 2003, describing the hotel as the dream setting in which to exercise his passion. It is here, in this exceptional environment, that his expertise comes truly to the fore. At the head of a brigade of 74, this ambitious and visionary chef, whose dream is to reinvent gastronomic cuisine, continues to perfect his talent and creativity to take the hotel’s restaurant to the summit of its reputation.
Yannick Alléno wished to create a new form of plate that would answer certain of his concerns. ‘‘I wanted to fill the empty space before the customer when their plate is taken away.’’ With his thoughts focused on the constant movement of plates as courses are served, Yannick Alléno looked for ways to bring interest to an empty table, as plates are whisked away, and to create fluidity and continuity, a perpetual motion, in the service.
His wishes were the starting point for the Ondes© collection whose founding concept is a plate that can be separated from its contour: a detachable centre inside a decorative ring that remains with you throughout the meal.
To redefine the art of living à la française…
Stone, gold, warm colours… the materials that render the noble character of each space are magnified by an atmosphere akin to a dream. Reinvented lighting, secret alcoves, ochre, wood, leather. Philippe Starck has imprinted a world onto a world he has imagined as a tableau vivant whose boundaries are nothing more than an incitation to dream. ‘‘This sleeping beauty is gently awakened and already guests can see the light of a thousand glittering stars reflected in the fountains of the Tuileries.’’ Franka Holtmann
The grand foyer
Your eyes open on a harmony of beige lifted with red and black, on an association of wood, glass and metal, on scattered touches of velvet, satin and leather. A historic yet totally timeless space.
The spirit of Dalí still reigns supreme over a place where your most surreal dreams become reality, where Yannick Alléno undresses French cuisine and Ara Starck proposes a monumental canvas, the keystone of the project. A place for encounters and a moment to savour.
Prepare to rethink your habits, infused with the atmosphere of the bar that is subtly warmed by the crackling glow of tobacco shades and highlighted by the sparkle of rare crystal decanters, to be filled at leisure. An exceptional moment to share.
Your palate delights in new culinary creations, signed Yannick Alléno, each a poetry of flavours, contrasts and textures that are a taste of Paris. Your eyes follow the curved form of the Ondes© plate before gazing out across the Jardin des Tuileries. A visual and gustative feast.
Work in progress
Le Meurice turns to the future…
This is not the first time Le Meurice has been modernised and renovated over the course of its history, yet never before has such a transformation so creatively anchored it in a new millennium. The new decoration of its public areas brings the hotel’s true dimensions to the fore, exalts its historic decor with subtle surrealist touches and brings its full brilliance to light.
Audacity and Generosity
It took Philippe Starck and his team barely ten months to recreate a 500 square-metre decor, imagine more than 600 different items of furniture and give a more creative dimension to the grand foyer, Le Dalí , Le 228 and the le Meurice gastronomic restaurant, building a bridge between past and present.
Ara Starck hangs a monumental canvas under the restaurant’s glass dome, in perfect harmony with the surroundings. Gold evokes the very history of Le Meurice, red epitomises all that is human and white is for dreams. Red and gold curtains are swept aside to reveal four scenes on a white background. Even the extravagant dimensions – 145 square meters – are a reminder of the room’s surrealist past.
Le Meurice Hotel Paris – address
228 rue de Rivoli
75001 Paris, France
Le Meurice Hotel Paris – contact
+33 (0)1 44 58 10 10
Le Meurice Hotel Paris : further information
Photo credits: J.B. Mondino / F. Maréchal / DR
Le Meurice Hotel Paris images / information from Philippe Starck
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Le Meurice Hotel Paris Building