Miriam Braun
La Réserve Paris
42 Avenue Gabriel, 75008 Paris, France
12th December 2016

Consider yourselves officially in the know. With just 40 rooms and suites, La Réserve is one of the most exclusive hotels in Paris today, and we now know why.

For me, La Reserve is in the absolutely best location in Paris - right in the middle of the 8th arrondissement. On Avenue Gabriel, just next door to the Presidential home, you find yourself within reasonable walking distance from basically everything central Paris has to offer. Two seconds from a glass of hot wine at the Christmas market on Champs-Élysées (and the shops, of course), and a 20-30 minute walk from everywhere else - Place Vendôme, Saint-Germain, and we even got as far as Le Marais. I never felt I was too far from anything, which I guess is the beauty of Paris, it's big and small at the same time.
Who stays?
Those who have the money to spend on luxury accommodation, yet want to remain low-key and stay in what feels like an extremely exclusive private members club. The guests seem to be mostly European and from English speaking countries, but you hardly come across one another, despite the hotel having only 40 rooms and suites.
Style and Character
What makes La Reserve so great and so unique, in Paris, is that you feel 100% at home, from the moment you step inside. It’s extremely Parisian, with gorgeous bold colours, fabrics and pieces of furniture throughout. The hotel calls itself an "Urban Mansion", and that’s exactly right. Most impressive is the art hanging on the walls which I absolutely loved, particularly the full collection of cartoons by Sem on each floor of the hotel. The public areas are cosy, warm, and inviting, and you just want to get a drink, sit by the fireplace, and enjoy the atmosphere and people.
Overall the service was very good, from the doorman who knew me by name before I had even stepped out of the taxi, to our lovely breakfast waiter (they made sure we had the same one throughout our stay), and the rest of the team. However, for a property that prides themselves in their tailor-made and personal service, I have to be honest and say that I wasn’t totally wowed by the overall service experience. Nothing disastrous happened during my stay (far from that, in fact) but it was the little things that added up at the end of the day. I felt that the concierge could have been more helpful in her restaurant suggestions, rather than simply suggesting a nearby restaurant that was not really what we had asked for (we wanted something low-key, nothing fancy) and booking a table without consulting us or asking at what time we’d like to dine. Turn down service on the first night was quite late (21:30) and after travelling most of the day we simply declined and asked that the following day they come earlier (at around 19:30/20:00). This did not happen, and when we left for dinner at 21:30 the following evening, no one had come yet. Like I said, nothing close to making our stay less great than it was, but definitely an area that I felt the hotel could improve in.
Rooms and Suites
We stayed in a Premier Room (45 sqm), the higher of the two room categories at the hotel (there are only 14; the remaining 26 rooms are suites). It was extremely spacious, and this is in fact one of La Reserve’s biggest advantages – rooms that start at 40 sqm in a city where you can find yourself in a 17 sqm at other luxury properties. We had a great view of Avenue Gabriel, plenty of closet space, a comfy bed, and an incredible oversized mirror which is actually where the TV is located. The bathroom was large and came with a gorgeous free-standing tub, my favourite TOTO toilet, and a rain shower. My only issue was with the ladies’ bathrobe which is meant to be knee-length but when you’re 5”11 just doesn’t really do the job. Having said that, it didn’t take more than 5 minutes for them to send up a more comfortable one for me, so that ended up being ok.

My choice of room here though, for those who can afford to spend a little more, would definitely be the Junior Suites. More spacious, more light, and just that little bit more of everything that makes a difference.
Food and Drink
Unfortunately the only meal we had at the hotel was breakfast, but the restaurant was buzzing during lunch and dinner, and I’d definitely recommend that guests have at least one meal other than breakfast, during their stay. We had an American breakfast included in our rate, so a selection of juices, coffee, pastries, fruit salad, eggs, etc. Being an egg-addict, I ordered Eggs Royale on the first day, and scrambled eggs with smoked salmon on the second day. Both dishes were tasty, but nothing to write home about really. The poached eggs could have been runnier, and the scrambled eggs came with a plate of gravlax (not smoked salmon) on the side rather than mixed in. Silvia, who was travelling with me, asked for a selection of cereal and some yogurt, instead of eggs, and got a surprisingly tiny bowl of granola with the smallest yogurt on the side; not what you’d expect when paying €56 per person.
Features, Wellness, and Amenities
The spa is lovely, with a 16-meter indoor pool, steam room, treatment rooms, and fitness area. The pool was just a little bit too cold to enjoy, and the steam room a bit too steamy (wearing contact lenses was not easy in there), but overall a great area to relax.
Perceived Value
5* luxury does not come cheap in Paris, but at La Reserve you'll be spending wisely. It's personal, warm, and friendly, yet exclusive and totally fabulous at the same time.
I would without a doubt recommend staying here, for those who want a home away from home in one of the most exclusive neighbourhoods in Paris. If you’re looking for top quality accommodation, attentive service, and intimate yet lively surroundings, this is the place to be. Yes, there are some small aspects of the overall guest experience that can be improved, but it’s definitely one of the best hotels in Paris today, and well worth splurging on.