The legendary department store complex known as La Samaritaine, originally founded in 1870, had been closed in 2005 for safety concerns, effectively shuttering a swath of prime Paris real estate. After a no-holds-barred restoration, the newly reborn Samaritaine Paris Pont-Neuf was unveiled in June, with the Cheval Blanc following on September 7.
The setting couldn’t be more central. From this first arrondissement perch overlooking Pont Neuf, the city’s oldest bridge, all of Paris is at your doorstep — from the nearby Louvre museum and gourmet delights of the revitalized Les Halles district to the chic boutique shopping of the Marais and Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
The 72-key hotel has been remodelled by architect Edouard François, while the listed building’s interior was reimagined by star-architect, Peter Marino, in the style of a Parisian residence.
Marino has integrated French artists and craftsmanship into every aspect of the Maison’s design, commissioning and curating paintings, sculpture, photography, and furniture throughout its nine floors, ensuring a sense of place. These include Vik Muniz’s commissioned works of the Eifel tower, photography by Nicholas Ruel and David Drebin and an elevator installation by Thierry Dreyfus.
In terms of F&B, there are four restaurants inside the Maison, including Plénitude, which will be overseen by three Michelin starred chef Arnaud Donckele, whilst Pastry Chef Extraordinaire, Maxime Frédéric will delight guests with his patisserie masterpieces. Langosteria, the Italian fashion favourite will transport its flavours and vibe from Milan to Paris. The rooftop offers one of the best views in Paris.
Occupying the ground floor of the Maison is The Dior Spa Cheval Blanc Paris. With six individually design treatment rooms each themed by Dior, including Bonne Etoile, which is astrology themed and has a bespoke ceiling depicting constellations, guests can expect bespoke rituals combining traditional techniques with modern technologies.
This exquisite spa, which takes cues from the design of Parisian apartments, includes a fireplace, niches for sofas, and bookcases, also feature an impressive 30m swimming pool and a Rossano Ferretti Salon.