Mary Gostelow finds Lupin a master of disguise, in Paris

Girlahead goes in search of Suite 813

This is a tale of a suite that does not exist. To save those of you who have Netflix-fan clients, there is a need to try to book Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme’s suite 813 – it was specially concocted for the second Lupin series, streaming now.

“We were forced to close because of the pandemic,” says the 156-room hotel’s flamboyant Italian GM, Claudio Ceccherelli (pictured below). He points out that meant the Netflix production crews were able to have the run of the seventh floor property without inconveniencing any guests, or vice versa. It also allowed the temporary re-numbering of one door with 813 numbers.

Lupin, as millions worldwide already know, has the wacky style that fits beautifully with French heart-throb Omar Sy. He not only plays Lupin, he IS Maurice Leblanc’s fictional gentleman thief Arsène Lupin. The continually-surprising script by Brit George Kay, whose French is primary school, and François Uzan ranges at lightning speed from Algerian desert to on-board TGV fist-fights, to a black-tie soirée at Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme. To show how addictive the fast-moving show is, I know one top hotelier who binge-watched the entire series, all night long.

Ceccherelli says regular guests are really enthusiastic about the exposure of this under-the-radar luxury hotel, and new bookings are coming in fast, especially from Asia. These first-timers will find the discreet entrance, at 5 rue de la Paix, leading north from Place de Vendôme, belies stunning interiors. Once home of couturier Jeanne Paquin, it is still a living gallery of all the arts.

Designer Ed Tuttle – who did ‘monumental’ for the inside of Park Hyatt Milano – has here gone for shades of coffee-cream. Add the literally hundreds of Roseline Granet’s tiny flying-angel gold sculptures that form, say, closet handles in bedrooms, plus wall art chosen by the cultural attaché to the US embassy and you appreciate luxury, Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme style.

Ceccherelli seasonally turns the 1891-vintage building’s central courtyard into, perhaps, an alpine hut, complete with gluhwein and raclette – or, perhaps as now, a summer terrace with an aura of Amalfi. I actually like courtyard-facing rooms, say #221, which I shared with eight of those little angels – choose the second floor duplex Impériale Suite if you want most space (230 square metres).

Lupin’s son Raoul, by the way, was held by kidnappers up on the ‘eighth floor’ while daddy, disguised as a kitchen steward, evaded the police back of house among storage trolleys. Were he to return, I am sure Lupin would do as I won’t, breakfast and lunch under the skylight windows of the lobby lounge. Dining might well be fresh Brittany abalone at Michelin-starred Pur’ – Jean-François Rouquette, or perhaps, in winter, such comfort foods as coq au vin, or fish and chips in front of the lobby’s two-way fire.

And before checking out, I would buy souvenirs, branded for the hotel but, once again, so discreet. 5 rue de la Paix perfume has been blended by ‘nose’ Christophe Laudamiel, President of the Academy of Perfumery and Aromatics, and the hand-rolled silk scarves and neck ties compete with any of the best Hermès. Next time at Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme, Lupin will undoubtedly present a completely different look, disguised under a froth of 5 rue de la Paix designer wearables.

Mary Gostelow publishes the daily and a unique weekly 15-minute industry Mary Gostelow Girlahead Podcast, both part of Almont Global.

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