The 16th arrondissement in Paris is not usually an area that we explore when we go there. However, when I started to see photos of the renovation of the Saint James Paris and in particular the garden, I knew it would be the right place for Mr Big and my romantic weekend in Paris.
- 50 rooms
- from 500 euros
Saint James Paris is near the Bois de Boulogne
The hotel is very close to the Porte Dauphine metro. it’s really just a four minute walk from the hotel and from there of course you can go anywhere in Paris very quickly. Paris is a small city so being out of the way is not an issue at all.
The hotel is also very close to the Bois de Boulogne which is practical for those of you who may want to do a jog in the morning. It also means that within 23 minutes walk you can go visit the fabulous Louis Vuiton foundation.
A warm welcome at Saint James Paris
The building is a former private residence and private school and as a classy entrance. As you walk in the soft murmur of the fountain welcomes you. A quick look at the cars parked in front of the hotel already tell you the kind of clientele that comes here. They were Porsche, Ferrari and Bentley, all cars that you see regularly in London but not so much in Paris.
Despite this intimaditing display of wealth, the reception is very warm. I chatted with the doorman about said cars and it was very relaxed. Walking towards the reception desk, I admired the high ceilings, the big staircase and the lush sofas. The sense of light and elegance immediately strike you.
As my room was not ready they took me to the restaurant onto the outdoor garden terrace where I was able to enjoy lunch and my first glass of rosé. That pergola and garden is truly a gem in a Paris hotel, more on this later.
Saint James Paris review – why I loved the design
The recent refurbishing and redesign by Lady X is just stunning. The combination of an art deco inspiration with green tones and soft blues adorned with zebra patterns and lush fabrics everywhere as well as the architectural majesty of the place works very well.
Words can’t really do it justice so I really encourage you to look at the gallery above or at the video on my YouTube channel.
The restaurant and Terrace are open to non-residents so you can enjoy some of the most beautiful parts of the hotel without having to pay for a room.
Our room was a deluxe category. We were on the first floor with a view of the entrance of the hotel through three tall windows. The sense of light and space was a true luxury for a Paris hotel. Usually rooms there are very small.
The bed was very confortable and the bathroom had Guerlain toiletries, which is a brand I love. We didn’t get to appreciate the sofa area with a room service diner for instance but it probably would have been really pleasant.
The Saint James Paris restaurant and bar
There are various places where you can have foood in the Saint James: in the restaurant of course, the bar, in your room and in the warm months, in the delightful pergola outside.
This outdoor space with garden, tables, sofas, is fresh and pretty in green hues and rattan furniture. The pergola’s conic roof is covered with a green and white pattern. It’s worth looking up !
In that space, you can have a proper lunch or outside of hours an all day classic menu.
Because the kitchens are in the building, the waiters have to go between the two areas to get everything. As a result, the service was quite slow. Not an issue if you are here just to relax but as I had a work appointment to get to after lunch, I was a bit frustrated.
Breakfast Is served in the main restaurant room, a beautiful space with a winning combination of flowery wallpaper and somptuous chairs and sofas opening onto the garden via wide tall doors.
There is no buffet; Instead, the waitress kind of goes through a checklist: cheese, meat, juices, eggs yes or no? I actually found this very practical and easy. However we were disappointed that the bread basket of pastries and bread didn’t bring any classic French baguette. I do understand that luxury hotels want to offer something different but at the same time a classic French breakfast with proper fresh baguette and simple croissant is something that I think most foreign guests would expect.
The second night we had dinner in the gastronomic restaurant Le Belisaire. The chef adopts a very poetic approach to his cuisine: the dishes description on the menu is actually a story and takes you on a journey. It sets the tone well for the rest of the dinner. His cuisine is very focused on fish and you can really taste the sea in many of the dishes. It was really very good and I would be happy to try it again. Apparently the dessert chef is someone who has had some very high rankings in the patisserie world but she was on maternity leave. Desserts were really good though.
In addition to the bar outside in the garden there is a dark moody very English gentleman club bar in the former library. It is a smart alternative to the fresh and airy look in the rest of the hotel. It would be a lovely place to relax in the winter time. As the name says, it is in the former library in the house and you are surrounded by shelves filled with books. We enjoyed a very nice cocktail as a nightcap when we came back from a diner in the centre of Paris on Friday.
The Saint James Paris spa – beautiful space but treatments were a bit underwhelming for us
The spa is run by Guerlain and is on the lower ground. It has a pool and a gym and is available to residents for most of the day. You have a wonderful comptoir of Guerlai perfumes which you can test and try. My regular perfume is Guerlain so I was really in my element and I was so happy to discover some new fragrances.
The pool is really well conceived. Despite being in the lower ground, it feels airy as there are some skylighters at one end. It is also a very good size to do some lanes. At the other end you have a jacuzzi. Sauna and steam room are also available.
Mr Bigg and myself had a massage with facial at the spa. We were slightly disappointed with the facial as it really was just the application of various products, which we could have done ourselves. There was none of the expert face massage you usually get. I also would have liked a bit more ceremony at the start of the massage with some explanation of the treatment and the products being used.
They sell Guerlain perfumes here of course and I was tempted to purchase the range they have only available in the spa but the price discouraged me.
Saint James Paris review -my verdict
I highly recommend Saint James Paris hotel as a destination for a romantic weekend in Paris. It is beautiful, elegant but not stuffy. The outdoor space is a true delight and privilege in Paris. The various options for food are really well thought. And the design and space of the various rooms are worthy of a vast countryside hotel but it’s right in Paris.
There are lots of nice hotels in Paris, but I think we found our base in the city of lights for future escapes!