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Chic And Sophisticated Relais Christine Hotel, Paris
June 7, 2018
Tucked away on a romantic little alleyway just behind the Seine, Relais Christine sits demurely at the back of a beautiful paved courtyard, spilling with ivy and flowers.
The hotel is sister to the Saint James Paris, but the feel is very different. Whilst Saint James is all heavy velvets, warm lamps and decadent details, Relais Christine is delicate floral prints, cosy corners and natural lights. It’s extremely conveniently located too, a few minutes’ walk from the Ile de la Cité or the Louvre, and more on less on the door step of the up-market shops of St-Germain-des-Prés.
The hotel has been recently renovated, and the look is a balance between contemporary minimalist and a refined country home. When we arrive it’s bitingly cold outside, and we snuggle into armchairs with cups of coffee in the lounge whilst the front desk complete our check-in. The hotel’s lounges are by far the most beautiful we’ve encountered, and the cosiest.
Whilst we often find lounge areas in hotel odd kind of limbo spaces filled with guests waiting for something to happen, at Relais Christine people do actually go there to relax, read their books, and drink cocktails in the evening (there’s a well stocked honesty bar and waiters poised to take any additional orders). The upper space feels exactly like an elegant sitting room with a dark blue carpet, well curated selection of coffee table books, beautiful lamps, framed architectural drawings and marble fireplaces. Breakfast is served on the lower level at tables, where we witness several people posing for photographs against a particularly stunning gold patterned wall (to be fair, it is an extremely photogenic hotel).
The 48 rooms and suites are all uniquely decorated with the top category being the Garden Suites with French doors that open out onto their own private lawns. We’re in a Duplex Junior Suite which is split over two floors with a snug little sitting room and gorgeous marble bathroom downstairs and the bed on the upper loft level.
It’s luxurious but understated, with a soothing colour palette, exquisite fabrics and huge windows providing a view over the rooftops of Paris. We agree that it’s one of the most relaxing hotel rooms we’ve stayed in; the kind of place that you could really settle into on a longer trip. In fact, we like it so much that we spend a large part of our afternoon curled up reading on the sofa with tea and biscuits.
There’s no in-house restaurant, but there’s a good room service menu and more than enough restaurants to choose from in the surrounding neighbourhood (the concierge are very knowledgeable and eager to help). However, there is a Guerlain Spa located in 13th century vaulted cellars below the reception (the hotel is built on the site of Augustinian monastery), complete with a turkish bath, sauna and steam room, as well as two spacious treatment rooms and a compact, but well equipped gym. All of it has been exceptionally well designed, to somehow feel light despite the heavy stone.
The serene atmosphere of Relais Christine is rare to find in the heart of Paris. It’s charming, homely and indescribably romantic. We can’t wait to go back.
For more information on Relais Christine, see here.
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