When in Paris: stay at Le Roch Hôtel & Spa

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Le Roch Hôtel & Spa is without doubt the best recently-opened boutique hotel in Paris.

Nested in the quiet Rue Saint-Roch, five minutes from the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Comédie Française, Jeu de Paume, Le Louvre, Opéra Garnier and Rue Saint Honoré, the hotel is the brainchild of en-vogue French interior designer Sarah Lavoine who has lived in the area for more than twenty years and who runs her eponymous design store nearby. In ten years, her name has become synonymous with Parisian elegance, craftsmanship excellence and contemporary beauty. Lavoine – A Patti Smith and David Bowie fan, you can tell by the playlist – is increasingly popular and Le Roch is her first hotel and latest project to date. At the end of the street, the Tuileries garden is the perfect spot for an early jog or a nice walk. Place Vendôme is very close too and the actual visual identity of the hotel is based on the shape of the famous square. Branding somehow also recalls CHANEL’s Première watch with its octagonal design. Coco Chanel herself lived a few years of her life at the Ritz based on Place Vendôme, a convenient location which allowed her to quickly reach her office and store on Rue Cambon, only two minutes from Le Roch…obviously. You get it: Le Roch Hôtel & Spa is high luxury, in one of the most prestigious locations of Paris. It’s a five-star hotel!

Le Roch has it all: a fantastic bar and restaurant run by Michelin-star-awarded chef Arnaud Faye, a beautiful library and sofa / fire place room – with the latest art, fashion, design books and the international daily newspapers – opening to the cosy dining room, very professional and attentive staff, stylish and very comfortable rooms, subtle lighting, and a cute and leafy terrace. Most importantly, a hammam, a large indoor swimming pool where a spa experience by beauty brand CODAGE are available to guests.  These toiletry products are also available in the rooms and suites.

Art is Alive talked to its director Emmanuel Blanchemanche to get more details on the inspiration and highlights of the hotel: “The Compagnie Hotelière de Bagatelle owns Le Roch. The company has a collection of six 4-to-5-stars-hotels which represents more than 250 rooms in Paris. For each of these “strong-personality-led locations”, the owners commissioned leading interior designers and architects to create and offer its guests exclusive experiences.” The strong character of the hotel is definitely reflected through numerous elements of the design as well as the tones of the rooms: cream Marshall speakers, the gorgeous turquoise blue of the walls, the saffron and pistachio-coloured cushions, the walnut furniture, the rich marble of the bathrooms, the fresh fruits and delicious breakfast under the glass roof in the morning, the velvet curtains and geometric smart rugs. The list could go on and on. No faux-pas at Le Roch.

“Designer Sarah Lavoine set up her family home, her offices and her first store in the neighbourhood. It was only natural to apply her vision to this project. Her main challenge was to accomplish her idea of comfort as well as to embody Parisian Style. The result is a warm atmosphere. She has imagined the hotel as a private apartment, and successfully managed to convey her idea of hospitality. How did she do that? She brought together materials, colours, motifs and details you’d want to find when returning home after a very long journey. Sarah Lavoine has designed le Roch Hôtel & Spa as an elegant and welcoming space, playing with the effects of the soft natural light on the deep colours. This has become her signature: dark colours contrasting with soft pastel shades, the famous Bleu Sarah alongside a luminous dotted brick-red. Privacy, comfort, a feeling of escapism, she thought of everything to make this hotel an intimate and welcoming peace haven. The “soul” of the hotel is: you’re here as if you were at home. And when we first opened it, the director of the local school and the priest of the church of the street both wished us welcome. You feel at home at Le Roch and it’s definitely part of the experience.”

Emmanuel continues: “gastronomy is another crucial point. The restaurant offers a menu conceived by the young two Michelin-star and four 2016 Gault&Millau toques chef Arnaud Faye.” Food is indeed delicious and the attention to details is impeccable. From the flowers displayed in the restaurant to the ceramics used to serve the delicious meals.

“Many celebrities have stayed at the hotel, launched albums etc. Several famous fashion brands have launched products at Le Roch and we’ve hosted many Paris Fashion Week events. However, our strength is to keep our guest list confidential, in harmony with our positioning and strategy. Le Roch is meant to remain an intimate spot. One of my main challenges as a director is keeping up with the fierce competition of Paris where the hospitality offer is so rich. We’re in one of the most beautiful cities in the world and that’s why visitors have so many options. We provide a unique experience: it all starts with the way they’re welcomed as soon as they set a foot in the lobby. I always try to focus on a friendly, warm, casual yet very professional guest greeting. This makes a stark difference. That’s how I brief my team. We pride ourselves on the quality of the service we deliver each day.”

The very bright rooms and suites were designed as Parisian apartments. 32 rooms and 5 suites provide generous living space. The amazing Saint-Roch suite features everything guests need: a private terrace, a very large bed, a private steam room for relaxation, art books, a coffee machine, a mini-fridge with the best French wines (obviously), Maison du Chocolat samples, two large TV screens, bath robes, chic branded slippers, two individual bathroom sinks and a large closet. Each suite and room offers a subtle combination of elegance and timeless contemporary style. In the bathroom, the Moroccan zellige decoration, in the bedroom, a comfortable desk and very light chair, thick sofas, rich textures, harmony and balance. Everything’s perfect. “We worked with local galleries and artists to source art: Muriel Moreau is an example. Marc Lavoine lent some artworks for the lobby and we also relied on Fabrice Hybert for the rooms. This is an eclectic collection.” Said Emmanuel.

Le Roch Hôtel & Spa offers chauffeur service, and Concierge is very efficient. Asked about his 5 top-things in Paris, Emmanuel said: “I’ve been a Parisian for more than 10 years now, and I love our City of Light. Here’s my perfect day off: start the day with a café croissant in one of the terraces in Montmartre, then head to the « Les enfants rouges » market, near le Marais, have lunch on the Saint-Louis island and finish with a Bertillon black currant ice cream. You should also take a walk from Les Tuileries to Le Louvre and then finish with the Palais Royal gardens. Bike along Canal Saint-Martin and enjoy the picturesque bridges, popular restaurants & bars. This is Paris!”

Accessing the hotel is very easy and there’s plenty of options from the airports. Métro Pyramides, (lines 7 and 14), Métro Tuileries, (line 1), Métro Opéra, (lines 8, 3 and 7) are the most convenient tube stations.

As Mr Blanchemanche greeted on arrival: Let’s Roch!

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