This palatial Paris hotel appeals to the Francophile in everyone

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Any Francophile with a taste for good old-fashioned decadence might want to consider a stay at Hotel Alfred Sommier in Paris. The beyond-elegant five-star hotel is a hôtel particulier with a backstory as sweet as it could be. That is, the noblemen behind this mansion made it big in the 19th-century sugar industry.

While Alfred Sommier’s descendants have no remaining interests in what has since evolved to become Saint-Louis Sucre, the heir behind the hotel, Richard de Warren de Rosanbo, has evidently inherited his great, great, great, great grandfather’s head for business.

That’s lucky for us, because this home deserves to be shared around, with its stately position on Rue de l’Arcade, close to the neoclassical Madeleine church, its ironwork, parquet floors, painted wall frescos and the elaborately gilded interior architecture of its salons. Not to mention its two monumental marble staircases and 45 marble fireplaces. Oh, and 70 enormous antique mirrors that will help you acknowledge that yes this is really you and you are really here.

While Alfred Sommier is possibly more famous for having bought and restored the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte just southeast of Paris, he was behind the success of the family business and the building of Rue de l’Arcade.

The facade is exactly as fantasy would have it, Haussmannian in era but 18th century in design. The place is marketed as a ‘family mansion’ and it’s true that familiar warmth emanates from even the most distinguished of corners.

There are 80 rooms in total, including 22 suites and 14 connecting rooms, perfect for families. All enjoy the basic amenity of marble bathrooms. Fifth-floor views take in the Eiffel Tower and the Butte Montmartre.

The dining and meeting rooms are just as palatially appointed. Les Caryatides restaurant takes on the Golden Salon of the Elysee Palace with its Louis XV decor and, when the sun is out, guests can take their meals in the private garden. Chef Franco Miotto’s succinct menu reimagines the food that was served to the Sommier family’s guests back in the day, and to literally experience being a guest of the family, you can even book dinner with the owner himself (if his diary allows).

Within walking distance from upmarket department stores Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, as well as the famous Champs-Elysées, it’s also perfectly placed for a little accidental shopping or a sneaky French confection to celebrate the sweet life.


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