A stop by the lobby of the Plaza Athénée
Let there be light once more! At first glance, it may be difficult to remark any changes upon entering the hotel. As I happened to arrive in the first days of the reopening, I stayed for ten minutes to observe the lobby and take note of things, such as the play of differences and the changes brought into the place. Everything is a matter of details, as it so often is of luxury establishments. The secret lies therefore in changing what one does not usually see but which in fact makes all the difference. It is an art of its own!
Bruno Moinard has thoroughly overcome this challenge. The essence of the place remains untouched. He has simply restored the light and the timeless quality of the space. The golden chandeliers have adopted a platinum color, the casement windows allow even greater light than before into the space, and the hotel lobby has become masterful enough to allow the chandeliers to appear in perspective from the entrance to the restaurant. He has even added several new pendants of varying colors, alluding to an epoch when not everything was perfect or necessarily identical. If it seems easy today to create chandeliers with identical pendants, it certainly was not so in the 19th century.
The concierge space has further expanded and grown more illuminated. The floral decor remains ever present and delivers touches of color to the space. The cushions and reupholstered couches recall the Haute Couture trademark and signature red of the Plaza Athénée.
A new welcome counter made of bronze, marble, and brushed oak has been inaugurated for the reception and concierge. There is even a reminder in the gallery for the welcoming of guests.
The same goes for the new gallery chandeliers, wall lamps, and furniture legs: the gold palette has been replaced by platinum to bring in greater light. The curtains are finer and allow greater light to enter the gallery, which overlooks the garden courtyard, with its spirit of an updated French garden. The gallery thus harmonizes with nature, whether this be the effect of the acanthus leaves placed on the furniture (end table, couch, wall lamps, etc.) or the view over the garden. There you will find perennial geraniums in red planted upon the request of Jean Gabin, as well as climbing ivy vines and camellias. The date has been set in December for the installation of an ice rink, which promises to deliver even greater joy to the Plaza Athénée’s numerous ardent fans.
Laurent Delporte, an editor and conference speaker, is a strategic expert in the sector of hotels. A visionary, he brings his unique look on hotels in service to the decision-makers in the industry, whether to enhance the development of new projects or strategic visions.
Laurent has visited and audited over 350 hotels across the world and also participates in mystery visits to provide quality control for the world’s finest hotels.