Saint James Paris – Relais & Chateaux
What We Love
- Lovely outdoor garden and terrace
- The spa is in partnership with Guerlain
- The atmospheric bar, stocked with thousands of books
- The hotel has a parking area (rare in the city) and a Smart car convertible for guests
- In-room toiletries by Guerlain
What To Know
- A city tax of $3/2.25€ per person per night will be collected by the hotel at checkout
- The hotel is in the posh 16th Arrondissement, a residential area that's west of the city center but an easy metro ride from the Champs-Elysées, Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower
- The Saint James is also a private club, so guests share the fitness room, spa, restaurant and bar with members
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
You’ve probably visited a chateau or two in Paris, but staying in one is a different story. The only hotel in the City of Light with official chateau status, the Saint James Paris combines panther-print walls and flea market finds with a smattering of Directoire chairs and Napoleon III decor. The hotel has just 48 guestrooms, but since it’s also a private club, it has an impressive array of facilities including a Guerlain spa and a restaurant helmed by a Michelin-starred chef.
Bed & Bath
Behind the stately façade, the interiors are anything but staid. Design-loving travelers will drool over the work of Franco-American designer Bambi Sloan, a whimsical mix of imperial-chic and bold colors that take the hotel far, far away from any images of fusty chateaux. Sloan visualizes fantastical spaces with humor and joie de vivre. One guestroom has an Asian theme, decorated with blue and white Chinese porcelain; another is decidedly masculine, resembling a Magritte painting, with light fixtures made of derby hats and walls covered in shirt fabric. Another plays homage to designer Madeleine Castaing.
The modern updates to the interiors haven’t forsaken the hotel’s history. The wallpaper depicts the hot air balloons that used to take flight from the chateau’s park, and the whimsical lights leading to the spa are shaped like balloons. New landscaping has added balloon-like arbors to the garden, the perfect spot for a summer meal. In fact, Michelin-starred chef Virginie Basselot keeps a garden plot from which she plucks herbs and vegetables for her kitchen. Take a seat in the library bar and you’ll sense the hotel’s proud ties to tradition. Like a private gentlemen’s club, the wood-paneled drinking den is filled with leather armchairs and gilt-framed portraits.
In the Area
The Saint James is in a quartier known for its concentration of museums, so take your pick. Gape at Monet’s waterlilies, sans the crowds, at the little-known Musée Marmottan, or get your fix of elegant Asian art at the Guimet. Also nearby is the Louis Vuitton Foundation housed in a striking building designed by Frank Gehry in the the Bois de Boulogne. For gourmet tacos and killer cocktails (served in a hidden, speakeasy-style bar), head to Candelaria, a hot spot in the upper Marais. Burn off your croissant intake with a jog through the nearby Bois de Boulogne, the largest park in Paris. Classic Parisian sights are a short metro ride away, including the Champs-Elysées. While you peruse the shops, make sure you stop at a Ladurée tearoom for a taste of the legendary macarons.
How to Get There
This hotel is very charming and unusual. Though the decor could use an update, you can forgive it, because it’s part of the charm. The property is away from the hustle and bustle of the city which is the good news and bad news. You feel like you’re in a private home, with a lovely yard both in front and back.
My son and I did a quick trip to Paris from London. It was my first time in Paris. The staff couldn't have been friendlier. They were extremely helpful and pointed us in the right direction for Paris newbies. The food was delicious ( we had three meals there). Our room was large but charming at the same time. My son slept on a comfy pullout sofa and I had the bedroom upstairs. Perfect for a mom traveling with a teenager! Thank you American Express for pointing us to this great hotel. I would love to bring my husband back for a romantic get-a-way.
I loved that this hotel was off the beaten path (away from the tourists) but still close enough to walk everywhere. Just a quick hop from the main train station to the metro. If you just have a carry-on, then this is they way to go.
Amazing hotel in Paris which we were so lucky to find. Fantastic service, great gardens, beautiful bar and wonderful staff. The location is excellent and convenient. We stayed for 3 nights and wished we stayed much longer. We'll be back!