First look: The newly reopened Hotel de Crillon Rosewood Paris

Iconic luxury hotel Hotel de Crillon Rosewood Paris underwent a four-year extensive renovation, adding a brand new spa, an indoor heated swimming pool and a whole new outlook. The newly refurbished hotel which opens July 5th features 81 rooms, 33 suites and 10 Signature Suites, a gastronomic restaurant, a brasserie, a bar and winter garden, a spa, hair salon and grooming spaces.

When the Crillon opened in 1909, said Brice Payen, the Paris historian who consulted on the property’s renovation, it had electricity, hot water, an elevator and a hair salon. And while the Majestic, the Astoria and the Ritz Paris were already part of the city’s luxury hotel scene, the Crillon may have been the most formal, he said. “The décor was in a typical 18th-century style, and the standard of service was very high,” he said.

Highly anticipated is the all-new swimming pool — a skylight in one of the interior courtyards will bring natural light onto the 17,600 fish-scale mosaic lining the basin.

All the hotel’s listed elements — which include the façade, parquet flooring as well as the Batailles, Aigles and Marie Antoinette reception rooms — have been meticulously restored.

Karl Lagerfeld was responsible for the decor of the Grands Appartements, a set of two suites and a room overlooking Place Concorde. Their walls hang with photographs that the designer shot himself, such as an image of the Palace of Versailles, and then printed on canvas to give them the look of being 18th-century paintings. And in an over-the-top touch, one of the suites has a white and black marble bathroom with a two-ton bathtub.

The Duc de Crillon Suite, named after the mansion’s first Crillon occupant (the count became a duke in 1815), and the Marie-Antoinette Suite, adjacent to the salon where the queen took piano lessons, have also been redesigned with new furnishings but with an 18th-century aesthetic.

Architect Richard Martinet oversaw the renovation with interiors by decorators Chahan Minassian, Cyril Vergniol, Tristan Auer and Paris-based firm Culture in Architecture under the artistic direction of Franco-Lebanese architect Aline d’Amman. Spaces have also been redistributed, with a chic bar now occupying the Concorde-facing rooms once home to the Michelin-starred restaurant Les Ambassadeurs.

The renovation also involved 147 Métiers d’Art craftsmen in the rehabilitation of the non-listed areas. Guests can expect 40 different hues and types of marble, armchairs upholstered with eel leather and bronze coffee tables created by designer Anasthasia Millot, as well as artwork in public spaces and the rooms.

There’s a new garden with 35 varieties of plants and trees in what was once an unused courtyard; the pool’s glass ceiling looks up to the garden.

Food enthusiasts will look forward to the return of chef Christophe Hache, who previously helmed Les Ambassadeurs. He will oversee the gastronomic identity of the hotel and head its new restaurant L’Ecrin. His right hand man, Justin Schmitt, will officiate in the Brasserie d’Aumont, while sweet delicacies and pastries will be the work of Jérôme Chaucesse.

The spa will feature products by French brands EviDenS de Beauté and Maison Caulières, while men’s grooming will be in the hands of La Barbière de Paris. The hair salon has been turned over to hairdresser David Lucas.

The new Crillon is intended to be the opposite of stuffy says General Manager Mr. Marc Raffray, “We want to be humble, approachable and non-intimidating,” he said. “Instead of having an air of formality, our staff will greet everyone with warmth like friends.”

Unlike the past, when the hotel was a hangout primarily for its wealthy overnight guests, attracting Parisians, he said, is a big priority. Locals won’t have to cross the lobby to enter the new bar past the main entrance to the right. Formerly the fine-dining restaurant, Les Ambassadeurs, the space still has its original 18th-century sky-blue ceiling and marble and gold walls, but the ornate antique furniture has been replaced with contemporary pieces, and patrons can expect a menu of creative cocktails and a lineup of regular live entertainment.