Saint James Paris Recreates Vintage Exoticism with Montgolfier Hot Air Balloons

Welcome to the Saint James Paris, one of Europe’s “best-dressed” hotels.

This Spring, we traveled to Europe in search of hotels with impeccable style. With their world-class design sensibility, unique approach to interior decor and stylish amenities, these “best-dressed” European hotels go beyond being merely fashionable. They are truly timeless.

Saint James Paris

Saint James Paris Europe Stylish Hotels Photo

Whenever talking about style, we’d be remiss not to start in Paris. In the city of the palace hotels, the Saint James has managed to make a bold statement worthy of its own fragrance by Guerlain, which is also responsible for supplying the spa.The Saint James’s stylish legacy began even before the neo-classical chateau was constructed in 1892, as the site where well-heeled Parisians used to embark on Montgolfier hot-air balloons. In 2008, the Saint James gave designer Bambi Sloan carte blanche to redesign every corner of the property. Sloan’s theatrical design recaptures the hotel’s fin de siècle exoticism with modern luxe, including the recreation of Montgolfier balloons out on the terrace.

These grand hot-air balloons reappear as a decorative motif throughout the Saint James. Otherwise, the style can best be described as an anachronistic reverie, where it’s easy to envision every guest ­­– from the 19th century onwards – as being spellbound to reside here eternally.

Thanks to Sloan’s daring vision, every one of the 48 rooms at the Saint James is uniquely dressed with whimsical fabrics, rare furniture and vintage portraits that the designer herself hunted down from Parisian antique shops and flea markets. You can book a stay based on your personal style, whether that be a love for velvet drapes or trompe-l’œil.

My favorite rooms are the prestige suites on the hidden top floor, like room 504, with their own solarium foyers that let in a decant gleam of daylight. The rest of the hotel is a dimly-lit palace so consider yourself lucky if you happen to spot Pilou, the Saint James’s resident black cat.

Oscar Raymundo
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