In Review

Le Burgundy hotel review: utopia in the heart of Paris

A boutique hotel perfect for dedicated followers of fashion

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Imagine stepping away from the hustle and bustle of central Paris and into an oasis of calm and luxury.

That’s the experience you can enjoy at Le Burgundy, a five-star boutique hotel nestled on a quiet side street in the city’s swanky 1st arrondissement.

Le Burgundy is part of the Utopian Hotel Collection, a hotel group which launched in September 2018 to cater to a growing thirst among travellers for a more authentic kind of luxury.

The 33 hotels in the collection have been selected because they offer not only unparalleled comfort but also a unique character.

The portfolio includes everything from mountain chalets to beachfront resorts, each offering a unique experiences, whether that’s driving a husky sled through the Alps, horseback riding through Portuguese vineyards, or being whisked off to an uninhabited Egyptian island.

Le Burgundy’s star attraction is its location. Mere steps from Rue Saint-Honoré, lined with boutiques of every design house from Chanel to Tom Ford, it's a fashion-lover’s paradise.

The creativity and craftsmanship on display in these celebrated ateliers is reflected the hotel’s 60 rooms, each decorated in its own distinctive style, as well as being easily among the largest you’ll find in this city of compact accommodation.

As well as having a fashion mecca on the doorstep, guests are also in the heart of historic Paris. A five-minute stroll takes you to the Jardin des Tuileries, where art-lovers can take their pick of the Louvre at one end and the Orangerie museum at the other.

We opt for the Orangerie to take in its famous Monet Water Lilies panels, before crossing the Seine to continue our artistic odyssey at the Musee d’Orsay, a Beaux-Arts former train station which is now home to masterpieces by Renoir, Cezanne, Degas and Van Gogh, to name a few.

And once you’ve had your fill of museums and shopping - or, at least, window-shopping - there is no shortage of equally refined eateries dotted among these streets.

No more so than Hotel Costes, the place to see and be seen in Paris. Since it opened its doors in 1995, the hotel’s exuberantly baroque ground-floor restaurant has been the hip hangout of celebrities, fashionistas, models and media moguls.

Alas, we don’t spot any stars today as we enjoy lunch in its airy courtyard terrace, but the food is more than enough compensation.

The eclectic menu is occasionally cryptic, but we are rewarded to sticking to its simpler options - a resplendent slab of steamed salmon served simply with haricots verts, and an impossibly moreish plate of confit aubergine crowned with a layer of quivering fresh burrata.

If you’re after something a little more down-to-earth, but no less hip, stray into the neighbouring 2nd arrondissement to Daroco. Once a Jean-Paul Gaultier boutique, this trendy loft-style restaurant now serves hearty Italian classics, including some of the best pizza this side of the Alps.

Back at the hotel, it's time to rest and recharge in Le Burgundy’s subterranean Sothy spa, which boasts an immaculate pool, steam room and sauna, as well as a fitness suite and two treatment rooms offering just about every kind of pampering you can imagine.

For poolside reading, Utopian’s partnership with Mayfair bookseller Heywood Hill means that guests can take advantage of a pre-holiday reading consultation, and have their hand-picked reading list delivered to their door before departure.

If that’s not enough, guests also get a month-long free trial of mindfulness app Headspace, gaining access to a vast catalogue of guided meditations for every mood.

If I wasn’t relaxed enough after all that, I’m practically horizontal after sampling the handiwork of the mixologists in the hotel’s sleek Le Charles bar, a favourite meeting spot for publicists and press agents from the nearby fashion houses.

Named after Romantic poet Charles Baudelaire, whose mother once lived in a house on the site, the bar’s arresting ornate ceiling fresco is inspired by the poet’s chef d’oeuvre Les Fleurs du Mal.

With dim lights shimmering in the bar’s beautiful display of Saint-Louis crystal, Le Charles is the perfect setting to enjoy a sophisticated evening over a cocktail - or a few - but tonight it is the precursor to the main event: a very special dinner in the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Baudelaire.

One of the highlights of Le Burgundy’s Nordic season, for two nights only executive chef Guillaume Goupil has been joined by Christer Økland of Bergen’s Restaurant 1877.

Together, they serve a menu ringing with the fresh flavours of the fjords - oyster, wild halibut, berries, yoghurt, and Norwegian cider, to name a few - each course impeccably paired with a wine selected for us from Le Baudelaire’s cellar.

After presenting the best of what Scandinavia has to offer, the feast finishes in grand Gallic style with a transcendent Paris-Brest.

Although Økland’s visit was a one-off, if this sounds up your gastronomic street, good news. On 12 and 13 March, Tommi Tuominen from Helsinki’s ULTIMA restaurant will be joining Goupil in the kitchen for a second Nordic extravaganza, showcasing delicacies including Finnish reindeer, wild salmon and Arctic bramble.

It is with heavy heart the next morning that we pack our bags and take our leave of the hotel’s unfailingly charming staff for the last time.

Le Burgundy makes a perfect base to explore the City of Lights and experience a new kind of high-end travel – a five-star experience where the world-class attractions available on the hotel’s very doorstep are just as important as the luxuries within.

Classic rooms start at £353 per night including continental breakfast and spa entry.

For more information and to book, visit www.utopianhotels.com

Places at the Nordic Dinner cost 150€ per person without drinks. For more information and booking, call: 0203 510 0190 or visit: lebaudelaire.com/restaurant

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