When it comes to picking accommodation in Paris, Saint James Hotel is a game-changer. Here are 5 reasons why!
The story of a trademark building
The majestic residence on the Place Adenauer, which houses Saint James Paris, began its life as home to the Thiers Foundation, created in 1892 by the widow of former French President, Adolphe Thiers. An ardent philanthropist, she decided to support brilliant young students by attributing scholarships and comfortable living conditions. Thanks to the generosity of this remarkable woman, the building served as a boarding house for elite groups of French students, foreshadowing its future as a hotel. At the time, the 16th arrondissement of Paris had a country feel to it. Parisians of the Belle Époque marvelled at exoticism in the Jardin d’Acclimatation, while hot air balloons were launched from the capital’s first aerodrome, in a field just across from Saint James. Setting our sights ever higher, always a step ahead… The years went by, and the building became home to the Saint James Club: an ambiance of wood panelling and velvet in the great tradition of London gentlemen’s clubs. The library and former study room became iconic venues, symbols of French cultural and intellectual life.
Saint James was acquired by the Bertrand family in 1991 who opened it as a hotel and a private club. Embracing the city more than ever, it has a special place in the hearts of Parisians, a confidential refuge where friends meet for coffee, discuss world issues in the Club or enjoy lunch in the cool garden shade. Throughout the year, travellers from around the globe, neighbours from down the street and inveterate Club members rub shoulders and strike up conversations. They form the “Saint James society”, an informal community that espouses a mindset all its own
Reason 1: A hotel in a hôtel particulier
In Paris, the only manor houses— hôtels particuliers– surrounded by gardens are museums. Except for Saint James, ensconced entirely in greenery, like an island in a city. So rare, it is unique! A rare venue that cultivates the quintessential Parisian art de vivre. Stepping into the Saint James gardens, you enter an oasis of calm and tranquillity, far from the madding crowds, and yet Avenue Foch is right there, on the other side.
Reason 2: A private secret garden in the heart of Paris
5000 square meters of gardens in the middle of Paris. What more could a landscape architect ask for? Xavier de Chirac could let his imagination run wild, working his magic on the outdoor space all around the Saint James. Behind the monumental entrance gate, a wide old-fashioned gravel path leads to the courtyard and circles the sculptural fountain. On every side, plants, shrubs, flowers fill the space, forming a garden that draws us into its depths. Everywhere you look, a charming blend of sophistication and bohemian fancy create a poetic ambiance, a privileged moment where time stands still. Paris is magnificent in every season. So are the Saint James gardens, thanks to the savoir-faire of Xavier de Chirac who has fashioned a promenade offering myriad colours and scents year-round.
Reason 3: Jaw-dropping interiors
Laura Gonzalez, the interior decorator juggles different styles and periods with well-practiced ease. For her, the Saint James embodies the iconic Parisian hôtel particulier. Her ambition was to enhance the building’s neoclassic architecture, adding light and subtracting surplus to spotlight the incredible volumes, mouldings and myriad ornamental details. Highlights, such as the magnificent tiling on the ground floor, were left untouched, while she brightened the atmosphere by using light, soft tones ranging from butter to shades of green, yellow, pink and blue…
The new Saint James invites guests on an amazing journey through time, into a seamlessly stitched patchwork of styles from 19th century Chinese curios to art deco details, from floral art nouveau patterns to Greco-Roman geometric details. Everywhere you look, the ultra-classic architectural bases are tweaked by unexpected eclectic inspirations.
Laura Gonzalez imagined the Saint James as a gracious and luminous private residence, one where the garden invites itself indoors. Each of the 50 rooms and suites — including some duplex and two ground floor suites with a terrace—are unique. All have remarkable volumes and ceiling height as well as a masterful medley of art deco spirit and contemporary details. Geometric patterns flirt with 18th
century flowers while luxuriant, velvety textures are perfectly paired with Versailles parquets and antique details, all part of four delightful colour schemes.