Saint James Paris. Really. It is in a beautiful 19th-century chateau with a contemporary, cheeky decor on the inside. You have animal prints mixed with vintage illustrations and marbled wallpaper. Interior design fans would have a decor-gasm just looking at the stairs. The library bar has sultry lighting and fantastic cocktails. The formal dining room is the perfect fantasy of classic luxury. The terrace outside is like an Alice in Wonderland dream garden.
The hot air balloon theme I saw running through the hotel (the wallpaper on the stairwell, the giant booths at the restaurant, the sculptures of the ceiling) from designer Bambi Sloane are a tribute to the location. The posh neighborhood was home to the first airfield in Paris where Montgolfier hot air balloons departed. Coincidentally, my husband had proposed to me the day he took me for a hot-air balloon ride. Our stay at the Saint James was a celebration of our 10th wedding anniversary.
There is a luxe Guerlain spa onsite with lots of luscious-looking treatments. Guests are free to use the steam rooms and nicely appointed gym. If you are staying here for Paris Fashion Week, they'll make sure you look glowing. Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to get to those this time. The staff was sweet. The restaurant manager gave me a jar of jam made by their kitchens as a souvenir. The concierge was very helpful in directing me to locations and instructing me on how to pronounce items I was looking for.
I was so sad to leave Saint James Paris for the airport. Any day you leave Paris is a sad day.