It’s Alexander’s third night on the job, yet he commands the space behind the sleekly designed bar at the Le Roch Hotel & Spa with the expertise of a master conductor, wielding a shaker instead of a baton. No sooner had I told him my plans for the evening – dinner and a show that would later lead me to the Eiffel Tower glittering along the Seine – and was he mixing me a pre-departure mocktail both complex and energising. A refreshment was a necessary fix after a long day of amusing myself before my room was ready – complete with an artfully placed flower along the rim of the glass, a welcome sign in a chilly late autumn Paris. Et voila, he said smiling, his Polish roots no match for his perfectly accented French.
Patio at Le Roch Hotel & Spa
As I surveyed the scene in the hotel’s dimly lit lobby, where the bar was tucked away before opening to the seating area buzzing with diners, I realised I could be anywhere, if not the timeless location of the beloved French capital. There are some hotels that strive to embody their city perfectly, never betraying the sense of place for those who cross the threshold, and then there are hotels that are their own sense of place, where one could disappear into a relaxing rendezvous without all the touristy fuss. Le Roch Hotel & Spa, a 5-star boutique experience in the 1st arrondissement that has been topping travel lists during 2017, is certainly the latter.
Le Roch Restaurant & Bar
Designed by the quintessentially Parisian Sarah Lavoine, whose impressive resume includes restaurants, retail spaces, hotels, and private residences, the 37 rooms, common areas, and lobby of Le Roch evoke a sense of easy luxury and French cool, with a colour palette – deep greens, luxe pastels, and lots of understated gilt – to soothe and delight the most millennial of travellers to their aesthete parents. This, along with the immediate friendliness of the staff, envelope you from the moment you walk into the hotel.
Hammam at Le Roch Hotel & Spa
Everyone has been expecting you and is eager to accommodate, from securing you a hard-to-get restaurant reservation, to ensuring your comfort in any one of their charming rooms or facilities. I was given my own tour of the jewel-box like building, which included a spotless gym, the aforementioned dining area and lobby complete with a roaring fireplace, the spa, perfect for a private recharge, and the impressive underground swimming pool which led to an enclosed Turkish-style hammam – both rarities in the city even in the most exclusive of spaces. Additional amenities include a personal shopper, private car and driver, laundry services, an on-site barber, and 24/7 room service.
Deluxe Room at Le Roch Hotel & Spa
And the rooms! Accommodations were as decidedly hip and cosy as I had been led to expect from my gracious welcome. With a view that overlooks Rue Saint-Roch – not to mention a primary school where I could hear the laughter of children the next morning, a far more charming alarm than my phone – the room boasted a fitted entranceway, an en suite bathroom that including a generous tub and rain shower, a vanity, stylish armchairs and a luxurious bed complete with nightstands that offered flowers, natural juices, and a Marshall stereo should I require my own soundtrack to such a stay. Noise was never an issue, and the turndown service offered in the evening – which was very much appreciated after a lengthy night on the town – gave such a personal touch to the experience, as if my every need was anticipated and attended to, even invisibly.
Prestige Room at Le Roch Hotel & Spa
Breakfast was included the next morning, and as I dined with the other patrons, I could tell this was not just a space for the discerning traveller, but for the proud Parisian. The outdoor patio and terrace – open in the warmer season – could be the spot of a wedding reception, business meeting, birthday party, or brunch – so versatile was the décor.
Interior courtyard at Le Roch Hotel & Spa
A stay at the Le Roch Hotel introduces a casual luxury to those who’d rather do without, an authentic escape from a city that requires no introduction, charming you with the idea that life could – and should – be this tasteful and welcoming no matter where in the world you find yourself.
For more information and to book a reservation, please visit Leroch-hotel.com/en.