Travel

Le Bristol Hotel

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A child of the 90s I grew up with this fantasy of Paris I found in movies. The hotel suite that perfectly frames the Eiffel Tower in its windows, bouquets of flowers and white walled gardens where fluffy white cats come to lay in the sun before evenings in little chic black dresses and dinners where each course comes with a wine pairing. I found that glamorous Paris I so long ago dreamed about at Le Bristol Hotel.

I have been lucky enough to find myself in Paris quite often, and from time to time I can be caught in a daydream of what it would be like to live in this city that captures my soul. When I come to Paris I mostly just take my camera and walk. Walk for days. It never gets old to me, I never run out of things to photograph or be inspired by. Never, not even when I stayed in the most lovely apartment, have I desired to “stay in”… that is until I stayed at the Le Bristol. Already as I write this at Charles De Gaulle airport the memory of our suite feels more like lying half awake in a garden day dreaming all afternoon.

There is not a single detail of this hotel, which opened in 1925 in the heart of Paris’s fashion district, that isn’t wonderfully glamorous and idyllically French. From the dazzling array of chandeliers to the 18th century Toile de Jouy decor, it is unapologetically luxurious. It’s no wonder it attracts the stylish clientele to match from movie stars to entertainers and (to my pleasure) fashion photographers. It even had a place in Woody Allen’s movie Midnight in Paris.

During World War II the Hotel Le Bristol became the American Embassy and even harbored a Jewish architect who would later design the stunning glass and wrought-iron elevator I described as what it must feel like to travel inside a diamond

Of course they have a beautiful spa, wonderfully opulent bars and restaurants tucked here and there around the hotel corridors, but it was what we discovered on the 6th floor that really took our breath away. A pool designed in the likeness of a large sailboat as imagined by Professor Pinnau, who most notably designed the yachts for the Onassis family, wrapped in walls of windows with sweeping views of Paris and most beautifully, Sacre Coeur. While the pool was a popular spot in the afternoons, it was early in the morning alone with the sunrise I found it to be one of the most peaceful places in Paris.

But perhaps the most surprising feature of this incredible hotel are the two fluffy white cats that live amongst the marble and roses. There is nothing more charming than having afternoon tea in the hotel’s garden with company of a furry little friend at your feet.

90 years after her opening here she stands, a lovely as ever….

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Above, heading for cocktails at the hotel’s bar lounge in Tadashi Shoji’s Swing Blouse & Lora Skirt which is also great on its own, Tiffany & Co. East West watch and Banana Republic’s Avila Pump (SO COMFY for a heel)

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Above,  one of the two fluffy white resident cats that live at the Le Bristol and have complete run of the place. In my next life, I want to come back as one of these cats!

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Above glass and wrought-iron elevator designed by a Jewish architect the hotel harbored during World War II. 

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Below, in the most comfortable date dress by Theory

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Dining at Le Bristol’s 114 Faubourg 

Dining at the Le Bristol Hotel's Michelin star resturant in Paris, 114 Faubourg Dining at the Le Bristol Hotel's Michelin star resturant in Paris, 114 Faubourg Dining at the Le Bristol Hotel's Michelin star resturant in Paris, 114 Faubourg Dining at the Le Bristol Hotel's Michelin star resturant in Paris, 114 Faubourg Dining at the Le Bristol Hotel's Michelin star resturant in Paris, 114 Faubourg Dining at the Le Bristol Hotel's Michelin star resturant in Paris, 114 Faubourg    Dining at the Le Bristol Hotel's Michelin star resturant in Paris, 114 Faubourg Dining at the Le Bristol Hotel's Michelin star resturant in Paris, 114 Faubourg Dining at the Le Bristol Hotel's Michelin star resturant in Paris, 114 Faubourg Dining at the Le Bristol Hotel's Michelin star resturant in Paris, 114 Faubourg Dining at the Le Bristol Hotel's Michelin star resturant in Paris, 114 Faubourg Dining at the Le Bristol Hotel's Michelin star resturant in Paris, 114 Faubourg Dining at the Le Bristol Hotel's Michelin star resturant in Paris, 114 Faubourg Dining at the Le Bristol Hotel's Michelin star resturant in Paris, 114 Faubourg Dining at the Le Bristol Hotel's Michelin star resturant in Paris, 114 Faubourg

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Other romantic hotels we have loved:

Londolozi, South Africa || St. Regis, New York || Inkaterra, Peru || Greyfield Inn, Georgia || Zero George, South Carolina || Amangani, Wyoming || St. Regis, Italy || Como Shambhala, Bali



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  • *Sigh* What a perfect Parisian experience. Adored seeing both of your snaps of this place!

    • YESSS I wish I could add the snap story to this post, it was SOOOO fun!!! I’m glad you saw both sides :)

  • These pictures are to die for!!! Loving all the colors.

    XO, Jessi
    mywhiteT.com

  • Lisa

    Gorgeous images as usual. I completely agree with you about coming back as one of those cats in residence…

  • Bethany Hankes

    I always enjoy your work, but the shot with the apples stopped me in my tracks! I love the strong lines and monochrome. The shot down the staircase is also stellar. Paris does seem to bring out your best!

    • Thank you! There is something about photographing this city that keeps me so inspired, I’m glad you can see that in my work :) Thanks for the lovely comment.

  • I think Liz Lemon sums it up pretty well:

  • Nando Pascual

    A fabulous article, as always! Pity the blurred photo of the tower

  • I have always wanted to go to Le Bristol, such a classic Parisian hotel and beautiful fashion to match – I feel like I have vicariously been there:)

  • Carrie

    Great spread! I was lucky enough to stay here in the 90s as a young teen. It was likely a once in a lifetime experience but your photos were like revisiting. Remarkably, it hasn’t changed!

  • Tarragona IN

    What beautiful and romantic views there were in that hotel!!! You looked so elegant with so much style.
    http://tarragonain.blogspot.com.es

  • I’m so happy to have discovered your blog, Jamie. Your photos are absolutely stunning – it’s clear you are incredibly talented! You really capture the magic of Paris, a city I love. Now you’ve got me thinking of my one of my favorite movies, Midnight in Paris :)

    Thank you for being such an inspiration! I’ve loved photography for a while now, but seeing your photos is giving me a push to improve in the best way possible.

  • Tess D’Urbervilles

    Reading your posts (and, most of all seeing the pictures) is always a great pleasure. From the images I feel I can almost touch and breathe the air of Paris!
    From Tuscany, with love

    Vittoria from 5 IN THE MORNING
    http://vittoriafiveinthemorning.blogspot.it/

  • MK

    So lovely. I traveled throughout France and Europe right after college, aka as a poor recent grad. The backpacking experience is amazing and I wouldn’t trade it for anything, but I do long to return to Paris with more than 30 euro to spend on a room. Someday…

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