‘A unique space that combines tranquillity, romanticism, grandeur, comfort and luxury’ was the brief which owner André Millon conveyed in 1925 to André Arfvidson, renowned Art Deco architect, when laying the grounds of Prince de Galles, on Avenue George V – to date, one of Paris’ most enviable locations, within walking distance from all major attractions, including Champs Elysee and the exclusive luxury shopping on Rue Francois Ier and Avenue Montaigne.
When taking over the management of the property, Starwood’s Luxury Collection, sensible grasped that, Art Deco at Prince de Galle has not only been about architecture but a state of mind - a lifestyle which today’s guests could subtly grasp – the very warm and relaxed atmosphere, conveyed by the entire staff. Irrespective of culture and nationality, one could not overlook the passion to serve and attention to details which the young team conveys to each and every guest with the utmost pleasure.
It is the motto of the establishment, ‘Ich Dien”, meaning “I serve” in Old Welsh, which attracted actress Marlene Dietrich or Sir Winston Churchill in the early decades of the hotel – while today, I could spot, at dinner, the CEO of Hermes, less than one month after opening, in LA SCENE, a boldly contemporary restaurant chef Stéphanie Le Quellec, one of the most talented female chefs in France. In keeping with the Art Deco rebellious spirit, LA SCENE, defies the rules nowadays ‘fine dining’, with the kitchen, usually hidden, in full view and the 42 cooks are cast as characters in the evening’s entertainment. The signature dish of La Scene is undoubtedly ‘Le homard bleu piqué de lard de Colonnata’ – impossible to put into words…
The LES HEURES Bar is where I enjoyed one of the best breakfasts, with the finest quality home made pastry and a delicious egg-white omelette served with smoked Scottish salmon. Whether at breakfast, afternoon tea or sipping a cocktail in the evening, the floor to ceiling windows of Les Heures open up to the hidden PATIO of the hotel, a courtyard garden, which reminded me of Marrakech, a relaxed atmosphere by the palm-tress, yet another un-expected site in the heart of bustling Paris.
In keeping with the same Art Deco ‘dialogue of contrasts’ - the lobby has been sensibly conceived as a living room of a stately luxurious mansion, where the centrepiece is a handcrafted chandelier by Delisle, inspired by the 1929 archival design of the hotel’s three-feathered emblem; the main door is flanked by two majestic bronze boxwood plants, created by Delisle creating an unexpected, WOW factor.
The ‘Black Saint Laurent’, one of the finest marbles in the world originating from the rare French quarries outside Laurens is one of the defining Art Deco features of Prince de Galle, along with exquisite bronze & wrought iron and the Makassar ebony reception and lobby furnishings as well as those in the Makassar Suite, one of which was my home in Paris during my recent stay. Mosaics also dominate the PATIO and many of the rooms and suites.
Luxury Collection‘s touch is evident throughout all accommodations, with the utmost attention to any type of traveller, whether on business or leisure – two leather covered and generously sized business desks, oversized bathrooms which resemble a private Spa, with large soak bathtub, separate walk in shower and vanity. The quality of furnishings and finishes are incredible – I could not help but ‘caress’ the Makassar wooden furnishings and velvet couch from which I enjoyed gazing at the passers by and the busy Avenue George V, without sensing any noise, due to the very high quality sound-proofing.
The only downside of Prince de Galle and probably the only reason hindering it from joining the Palace ranks, is the lack of a Spa, especially given the very generous space of the fitness and gym. Other details, which I am sure will be easily implemented: the control of the AC and the heating of bathroom floors.