New hotels open all the time; new boutiques, new design hotels, new chain hotels. It’s not every day, though, that the curtain goes up on a new grand dame. It’s a lofty goal, to be sure, but that’s exactly what the Hôtel Fouquet’s Barrière aspires to be.
The Fouquet’s Barriere is meant to be a 21st-century palace hotel, a contemporary complement to the likes of classic five-stars like Le Crillon or the Plaza Athenée. In this it lands pretty much right on the mark. The interiors, by Jacques Garcia, are the very picture of modern (not modernist) luxury — they look to us pretty much as the Ritz’s classic interiors must have looked to the hotel critics of the year 1898. And the location, a stone’s throw (underhand, gently) from the Champs-Elysées, is the location of a hotel that doesn’t shy from the spotlight.
Underneath all this, the fundamentals are sound, as they must be at this level. Rooms lack for no modern convenience, there’s a full-service spa in the Roman mode, and the restaurants are fine ones — Fouquet’s has a hundred years of experience in the restaurant world behind it already. Among Paris’s first-class hotels, the Fouquet’s Barriere is a legitimate contender — once in a long while, it seems, they do make them like they used to.
46 Avenue George V, Paris
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