When in Paris: stay at the majestic La Clef Champs-Elysées

While going up the most iconic avenue of the world, les Champs-Elysées, the huge façade of the Dior headquarters and the Louis Vuitton flagship are impossible to miss. To this day, Les Champs-Elysées remain the epitome of French luxury, history, art and architecture.

Next September, L’Arc de Triomphe, place de l’Étoile – Charles de Gaulle will be wrapped by the Estate of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, the way they wished this project to be continued after their death. Preparations were well underway this summer. This art installation will undeniably honour another of France’s architectural landmarks.

Nestled in a chic perpendicular street, is La Clef Champs-Elysées Paris, the latest addition to The Crest Collection by The Ascott Limited (Ascott) in Paris, following the equally beautiful La Clef Louvre Paris and La Clef Tour Eiffel Paris, other luxury hotels of the blue-chip hospitality global brand.

The 5 star property is housed in an impressive five-storey building of post-Haussmannian architecture, characteristic of the elegant 8th arrondissement, a mere stone’s throw from the famous Avenue des Champs-Elysées, Avenue Georges V and Avenue Montaigne. It was built in 1907 by the Hennessy family, owners of the famous cognac house.

Not only magnificent by its Belle-Epoque charm and its fantastic location (Palais de Tokyo and Palais Galliera are a twelve-minute walk from the hotel), La Clef Champs-Elysées has wonderful volutes, wrought-iron staircases, high-ceilings and views over the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre. Cherry on the cake, the delightful garden terrace offers the perfect setting for enjoying a coffee or a glass of wine.

One can easily imagine how the Hennessy family lived in this bijou-property. Architects Félix Le Nevé and Albert d’Hont were initially commissioned by James Hennessy. Today, the renovated space includes a striking lobby, enhanced by a mirror installation, period-stone mouldings and majestic black lacquer carved-wood artistic columns juxtaposed with original columns.

At the heart of the Triangle d’Or, La Clef Champs-Elysées Paris features remarkable French heritage and refinement. The hotel presents guests the perfect combination of classical charm and contemporary comfort. A cabinet displaying some of the best wines in the world welcomes guests with true taste. This intelligent nod to French wine appreciation and to the family who used to live in this grand space, demonstrates the highest attention to details.

Ranging from very spacious rooms to apartments, the hotel combines comfort and design, whether guests travel for business or pleasure. The colour palette is subtle with tones of grey, white and gold and the choice of furniture and appliances are to the best standards including functional kitchens, Samsung large screens, and telescopes on the terrace to watch the stars and the monuments of Paris. L’Occitane en Provence toiletries make for the perfect beauty moment alongside the freshest and most delicious breakfast and Evian water bottles. Without a doubt, La Clef Champs-Elysées is the hidden secret of Paris’ hotel landscape.

Fragrance expert Jean Charles Sommerard, designed a perfume lounge located in the lobby of the hotel, an interesting and unique experience for guests checking in. This is the first fragrance lounge in the luxury hotel sector, presenting a nice olfactory moment, highlighting again French’s tradition for perfume creation (think Grasse in the South of France).

Combining art, modernity and quietness, La Clef Champs-Elysées is the perfect location to enjoy and wonder around Paris, ‘a home away from home’ in the words of Eliane Wang, Residence Manager, whom we caught up with to discuss the hotel’s main features, green policy and style.

Did you work with an architect and interior designer?

The hotel interior design was entrusted to Jean-Philippe Nuel, a leading international luxury interior design studio with the best reputation within the hotel sector. During the design stage, the most important goal was to preserve authenticity and typically-Parisian spirit, evoking true French art de vivre. As Jean-Philippe Nuel explains: “This residence is not a film set, it’s a place to live, where people should feel like real Parisians, where heritage and creativity come together and where the spirit of the place reflects the soul of modern Paris.”

Throughout the duration of the project, Jean-Philippe Nuel made it a point of honour to highlight the architectural heritage of the building that the Hennessy family built. The result is a dialogue between the building’s heritage and contemporary elegance inspired by the world of Haute Couture.

How would you describe the “soul” of the hotel?

La Clef Champs-Elysées is more than a luxury hotel, it is also a private residence where privacy and discretion are the key words.

The hotel offers all the elements of the Parisian luxe lifestyle: the splendour of a former Hennessy family residence; the charm of a Haussmannian-style building; the delights of one of Paris’s most iconic neighborhoods; the comfort and convenience of carefully designed accommodations; and first-class, personalised service.

It offers the Parisian art de vivre in the comfort of a luxe residence including 70 luxurious rooms, suites and appartments, a business corner, a Fragrance Lounge, a fitness centre, a gourmet restaurant serving fine Shanghai cuisine, and an interior garden.

La Clef Champs-Elysées Paris allows to experience Paris like a true Parisian by designing a place where guests feel at home, where they can discover, experience and immerse themselves in the culture and history of the heart of Paris.

What’s the best asset: the art, the comfort, the design, the strategic location?

I would say a blend of these assets are key.

The strategic location in a quiet street only a short walk from the iconic Avenues des Champs-Elysées, Montaigne and George V offering prestigious brands from fashion, perfumes to fine food is real asset. The location also allows our guest to easily visit a number of cultural attractions like the Museum of Modern Art, the Grand Palais, the Petit Palais and Musée Guimet to name a few.

The comfort and design are key to enjoy a stay like a true parisian: the stylish and spacious rooms and apartments, the harmonious design Parisian design in all spaces, the flexibility of an apartment with a kitchen and of course the discreet but present service of a 5 star hotel.

What’s the best way to come to the hotel?

In my view, depending on where you come from, the best way to come to discover the hotel would be by subway, George V metro station (line 1) is only a 3 minutes’ walk from the hotel. The property is nested at 46, rue de Bassano.

Tell us more about your biggest challenges as Director?

Since one year and a half, ensuring the health and safety of our guests has never been more important given the current situation with COVID.

My top priority as Director is for our guests to enjoy their stay at La Clef Champs-Elysées safely and responsibly while also maintaining a safe work environment for our team. We are proud to commit to Ascott Cares.

What are the Green initiatives taken by the hotel to protect the planet? 

There are four sustainable areas that Ascott focus on: saving water, saving energy, reducing the use of paper and reducing waste.

What are the future plans for the hotel?

Establish La Clef Champs-Elysées Paris as one the leading 5 star properties in Paris is one and to be a place for artists and fashion world looking for a Parisian experience.

Eliane Wang, Residence Manager talks to Art is Alive.

What are your top suggestions for cultural sights in Paris and the area of the property and the recent art exhibitions you have visited?

Well, it depends on your taste and sensibility but there are so many loveliest spots to visit in Paris and it deserves time to really explore it. Paris has so many wonderful things to discover wherever you go. Remarkable monuments as well as squares and fountains are all not-to-be missed features of Paris.

If you walk a few dozen metres more, you’ll arrive at Palais de Tokyo and the Museum of Modern Art. Just across the river, you’ll find the superb Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac.

Personally, I would say every trip to the capital deserves a visit to the Louvre to discover the wealth of treasures it contains.

The current on-going “Night at the Invalides”, with celebrating Emperor Napoleon’s death bicentennial, is the precious light and sound show this summer. Petit et Grand Palais should also be on the list.

With its fantastic service, its wonderful location and delightful garden, La Clef Champs-Elysée is a must-stay in the French capital, with easy access to luxury shopping around, museum-going and experience of French art de vivre.

Thanks to the amazing team of La Clef Champs-Elysées.