The Italian hotel group J.K. Place – known for its super-stylish hotels in Florence, Rome and Capri – has opened a much-anticipated iteration in Paris and I was lucky to be one of the first through the door. After several years of searching for the right building and location they have taken up residence in what was the former Norwegian embassy in a quiet residential street, rue de Lille, between Boulevard St Germain and the Seine, minutes from the Museé D’Orsay. The thought was that there is nothing quite like this on the left bank.
The hotel’s street presence is discreet, you enter through a courtyard into the main reception where one reception room leads into the other connecting the bar, several sitting areas and the restaurant. Each room is distinguished by its panelling; oak decapé in the library-like reception, more traditional painted panelling in the main seating areas, plaster relief panels in another more intimate seating area, fluted and painted wood in the bar and tongue and groove in the orangerie-style restaurant. The look and feel, designed by architect Michele Bonan who has worked with the owner Ori Kafri on all of his hotels, is chic and deeply comfortable – just as you would expect of this brand. Much of the furniture was sourced on many buying trips to the flea markets: a set of lamps by Jacques Adnet for Hermes, a David Hicks inspired sideboard, many pieces that formed the inspiration for reproductions like the restaurant’s cafe-style chairs. Orchids and plenty of coffee table books provide the layering.
There are 29 bedrooms in all, each different in size and decoration, most have marble fireplaces, marble bathrooms and dressing areas. Mine had an elegant four-poster. The room was compact but well-laid out and a very welcome respite from a busy work schedule. The staff couldn’t have been more welcoming or helpful, breakfast seemed to be able to be anything I wanted to ask for, there was no menu, and I could walk to virtually everywhere I needed to go to. By now there will also be a pool, gym and Sisley Spa in the basement, which was looking likely to be just as smart and pampering as the rest of the hotel.