Given your choices for a romantic getaway to Paris, what hotel would you spend a weekend or a week with? The Hilton, the Ritz Paris perhaps, the Westin Paris, or maybe Hotel de Crillon? Possibly, but remember I asked about a romantic getaway. It’s seems a logical certainty anyone so inclined would want a hotel as sensual and feeling, one as imbued with atmosphere as is possible, one so akin to the world’s most romantic city, as to literally belong there. Hotel 7, a bit of a central Paris chicness, is just such a place.
Let me show you not just a hotel, but a vision of emotion emitted most amazingly from as charismatic and polished a businessman as we ever met, Philippe Vaurs.
We had the opportunity to visit several boutique hotels in Paris this past week, Hotel 7 being one in our focus, and as it turned out, the accommodation that would play host to our little family. Now if there ever were a test of a hotelier’s ability to be hospitable, to be flexible, and to be all any innkeeper should be, then transforming the avante-garde, even the titillating, into charming family hospitality…
Hotel 7′s entire staff, and especially her owner, passed unequivocally. Like the pastoral comedy conveyed in Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” the Seven Hotel is all about love really, in all its guises.
7 Sweet Suites + A Lot More
A Paris fixture since its opening, this seductive designer hotel exudes emotion. The subject of nearly a review per minute, or so it seems, Hotel 7 is no less of a charismatic charmer in the physical world, than it is in print or online. Let me lead you into the emotional and lucid vision of one Philippe Vaurs (below), owner of this and other innovative Paris stays. Vaurs’ Five, Seven, the crisp business elegance of Le Dauphin, all his current and upcoming boutique hotel affairs, reflect so much more than touristic moneymaking mercantilism – where the Hiltons and Hyatts of the world dress up for the guest ball, Vaurs’ little bits of elegance are in reality, expressions of true sharing and hospitality.
Just as this article in French speaks of him, Philippe is first a hard worker, then a child of hospitality (his father was in the business too), and lastly a tightly focused business practitioner. This may sound like PR fluff or hyperbole, but for those able to discern truth in an age of falseness, it’s easy to see how excellence gets rewarded here. And interestingly, Philippe’s motivation is clearly not monetary. As he told me, the creative flow shown in his work, the sharing with those who would appreciate, is the substance of his efforts. Making money is a byproduct only, and the ever elusive need to please everyone - non-extant in the man’s psyche.
It occurs to me, when Philippe Vaurs was a very young man, being a perfectionist may have been uncomfortable, somehow impeding. At least this was my impression after having talked with him in the bar at his now famous Hotel 7. Mihaela and I, and later our two sons, enjoyed his company at length, but our first few moments talking showed an elegant man, soon to be 50 (though he looks 35), of almost inestimable warmth – and the quality of knowing that only comes around infrequently.
The reason I impose the discomfort of youth here is, somewhere along the line (I will not disclose where here) a great shift occurred in an otherwise successful person. Put bluntly, Philippe is truly, all about kindness and expression, and a lot less about making money. For those of you out there who have never seen true altruism in an acute businessman, meeting this gentleman was refreshing, to say the least. I believe it was the late and very great Martin Luther King Jr. who said:
“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”
To meet such creative selflessness, in person, is as emotion inspiring as sexy lighting and the trappings of a love nest have ever were. Feeling and sensitivity invading, where simple intillect and knowhow existed before – as is customary with success. It was at this life juncture, even by Vaurs’ own accounts, an extraordinary business took shape. More importantly, for what must be a great many employees now, a really fun and fascinating working environment has taken bloom. More on this later, the hotel itself, is in fact, the Co-star of this report.
From the moment one steps in off of Rue Berthollet, Seven does nothing if not captivate. For those who know Paris hotels, simple facades can give way to the most fantastic departures into art, architecture, design, and especially mood. And the people behind this hotel facade are at least, if not even more, attractive and provocative than the hotel suites the place is so famous for. The 007 nor the Marie Antoinette bedchambers actually play second fiddle to the many reception, bar, and service staff we encountered. It was clear from our first moments at Hotel 7 that friendly, intelligent, and most of all kind souls do the work of running Paris’ sexiest boutique hotel.
As the pictures above show, Hotel 7 is all about setting a mood. Too, Philippe explained to me, that a life changing event can awaken sentiment in us, as had taken place for him. The conveyance, expression, and sharing of emotion and feelings, having become a sort of mission for Vaurs, Hotel 7′s soul is expression. No detail has gone unattended at trying to evoke the right emotions from guests. From the hotel’s manager to each shift’s receptionist, classically beautiful people, all sexy in the most tasteful way, provide the human background for an interior designer’s playground, a miniature hotel/gallery made for romance.
The effect is almost dizzying. From the psychedelic ambiance of of La Suite Alice (featured image), to the Spartan cool of the 007 Suite, there’s no doubt a hint of anyone’s fantasy for frolic and sensual immersion went into designing this place to stay.
The Seven Hotel is Funky. Any Baby Boom visitor to Paris’ Hotel 7 will recall a term used to describe that indescribable transient style trend back when – gigantic bell bottoms perhaps, shag rugs, mirrors, the place where fashion seemed to have no rules but “shocking” or…
Whether your idea of a sexy holiday in Paris involves ideas of France’s sensual yet sometimes tragic past, say for instance the Dauphine of France Marie Antoinette, grabbing some emotive fantasy is all part of the plan here. As you can see in the photo below, dainty and luxurious abound in the Hotel 7 suite by the same name.
This suite, like all the others, is spacious and trend conscious, but more sicinctly, designed to stir the special series of emotions that become passion. And this, this is really what Vaurs’ 7 Hotel, all his hotels, revolve around – a passion for life a bit uncommon where the practice of living goes. I cannot actually say enough about the man or his vision, to be honest. In fact, both my wife and partner Mihaela, and myself, discussed this special character in depth, but that is interesting ammunition for yet another story.
Suffice it for your understanding and a preview of Hotel 7, to say, being a guest here is extraordinary.
By way of a little rundown of services at Hotel 7, let’s start with the basics of this suite, the Marie Antoinette. The bed is gigantic, a round floating affair, inviting and provocative as we have seen. The bioethanol chimney in the center of the room adds not only cool-chic, but even more warmth to the atmosphere. A terrace with Jacuzzi for two, separate shower room, a funky cowhide bath tub, and not one but two large flat screens separate the boudoure from the ultra comfortable lounge corner of the suite. As you can see too, from the images, exquisite taste and finery surround the guest not only here, but in all Hotel 7′s rooms.
Room service, free breakfast made of lots of wonderful French pastries, rich and aromatic coffee, fruits, breads, Serrano and the like, and the ever present chic decor offer guests all anyone could expect at any reasonable price. The hotel bar, this was another discovery for us, if not for design wonders, for meeting yet another of Philippe’s fantastic staff, bartender Jean-Marc (image below), from Boston, no less (more on this fascinating character via our PR site). What more can you expect by way of ornamental and physical enjoyments at 7?
Well, don’t expect cheap Champagne, some cliche Lindt chocolates, or toiletries that are a speck less than luxuriant, that’s for sure. 7′s stock is all top drawer fare.
At last, simply listing the free stuff, the amenities of Hotel 7 is a necessary evil, I suppose. The reason I say “evil” is because, anyone staying here will certainly enjoy free Wi-Fi, the Nespresso machine in their room, maybe the safe, even the convenient iPod base, but soft terrycloth bathrobes hung gently on their stainless hooks are just window dressing compared to a purely hospitable experience. Not to mention more intimate emotional responses – yes, without being crass, all the rooms at the hotel play on the passionate side, I will say no more.
In all. we toured three of Hotel 7′s seven suites, guests having sometimes do-not-disturb signs hung out, you know. Each shows its own character, evokes individualistic response, or as the CEO of Elegancia Hotels suggested to me, a sort of luxury that seduces.
This ethereal nature of the place played out interestingly, over and over again, as it appears in this article too – a bit of the story impossible to ignore, don’t you see? The artwork about the hotel, exemplified in the example below, does its fair share of provocation. Tasteful nudes, the feminine form mostly, etched into the fabric of 7.
All Hotels Should Feel This Way
Hotel Seven is situated appropriately in the Latin Quarter, just a walk or public transport stop away from Notre Dame, Jardin du Luxembourg, and all the central Paris attractions. Much like the city that beckons the world, Hotel 7 is a luxurious vision, an enclave within an enclave, dedicated to love really, as I have alluded. What is sensual about Paris, can also be found here.
The people, the finery, and especially the nature of our own intercourse – sensuality brushed delicately onto the canvas of a visionary, the floors and walls of what would otherwise be, just a building. For you, the guest, Paris is one hell of a lot more than some dusty buildings, the city of love offers a far more eternal power – the power of our own feeling. Can you tell I was captivated by Paris, Hotel 7, and especially the people there? Any hotel is only as good as the people who work for it, and we will be doing stories of some of 7′s staff to come, if this is indicative.
The morning receptionist, Anna (pictured below with her contemporary Manon), actually took the time to walk me to the hotel’s parking garage some streets away, when I was too dumb to open the security doors. A lesson to all hotel proprietors her is, hire genuinely friendly and caring staff.
“You will be too, I am certain.”
I mentioned taking our family on the visit to Paris, this was spur of the moment, as so often happens. While children are not commonplace at Hotel Seven, aside Philippe’s obvious joy in them via meeting our Paul, it was Seven’s bartender Jean-Marc, mentioned earlier, who showed the most kindness, downright patience, goodness in adapting to the wonder and horror that is a 3 year old boy. Imagine the scene, the upscale bar, a suave man taking the time, joyfully, to play cars on the bar with a child. And not having had so many visit the venue, ever.
In the end, after we are WOW’ed by creativity, passion, shiny baubels no matter how expensive, it is how we are treated that is most memorable. Such things are the reason people like me endeavor to write. You can see that here. Our reason for being in Paris was wholly separate from this post. I had to write it, as the first of many reviews of Paris people and attractions. And for Philippe Vaurs? I really have not done you justice, even in this expressive article. I do hope people enjoy it, and visit your wonderful art and work.
We leave you with video from Seven Hotel’s Youtube Channel. To be further immersed in the feelings of this fine boutique hotel, be sure and watch specific videos about the various suites, services, and even entertainment Philippe Vaurs and his people have created. Be sure and check Everything PR News for an upcoming profile too.