The minibar at Fauchon L’Hôtel has foie gras – and it’s free. That alone might be enough to entice some to stay at the foodiest hotel in Paris, but the minibar that’s really a “gourmet bar” (more on that later) is only the tip of the iceberg at this French gourmet food and delicatessen’s first foray into hospitality.
Fauchon’s story began with street vendor Auguste Fauchon selling fresh food products on Place de la Madeleine nearly 150 years ago and Fauchon still symbolizes Paris at its gourmet, hedonist best. All of the food items served at Fauchon L’Hôtel, from pastries and confections to mustard and jam, are made at Fauchon’s flagship store just a block from the hotel. The gourmet emporium is one-stop shopping for the best wines, liquors, condiments, cheeses, meats and sweets in all of France.
Fauchon L’Hôtel has just 54 rooms and the property’s intimate nature is apparent as soon as you enter. Rather than standing in line to check in, take a seat in the fashionable living room where freshly baked macarons await.
Many luxury resorts greet guests with a welcome drink, but how many are concocting non-alcoholic cocktails with their own tea? The drink in question is well-balanced with lime and almond syrup, with an edible flower garnish. A lovely welcome to Paris after a long journey.
The entire hotel is decked out in Fauchon’s signature colors – magenta, black, white and gold. Sleek, stylish and modern. Even the Dyson hair dryer in the room matches. Rooms are spacious, with ample natural light, and bathrooms are outfitted with Carita toiletries. Instead of room service, there’s “chef service,” with the entire menu from Grand Cafe Fauchon downstairs available to enjoy from the comfort of your room.
Within the guest rooms, the custom-designed Roche Bobois gourmet bar is undoubtedly the centerpiece. A dozen sweet and savory snacks are available on a complimentary basis for all guests. Anything you consume is generously replenished daily. You’re encouraged to take whatever you don’t finish home, as an edible souvenir to spread the Fauchon love.
There’s even a bottle of private label Fauchon rosé champagne for the taking. A freshly chilled bottle is promptly delivered upon request and pairs wonderfully with buttery parmesan and white truffle sablé cookies. New Yorkers can check out the metallic pink diamond-patterned fridge and gourmet pantry at Roche Bobois’ Manhattan showrooms. Take one home for the price of $12,000.
Breakfast here is a not a chaotic buffet like you might find at larger hotels, but a more dignified and leisurely affair. Servers offer fresh-squeezed juices and baskets overflowing with bread and pastries, to be sampled with a selection of Fauchon’s own jams, honey and chocolate hazelnut spread. Continue with seasonal sliced fresh fruit, Fauchon granola or gluten-free muesli with yogurt, aged cheese and eggs prepared as you wish with an array of garnishes.
If you’re hoping to start the day on a lighter note, there’s also a continental or healthy breakfast option and the acai bowl here is tops. Enjoy your breakfast on the 40-seat outdoor terrace and people-watch like a true Parisian on the Place de la Madeleine.
There’s afternoon tea in the Jardin des Thés for pastry lovers (try the Bisou Bisou), and instead of happy hour, there’s Glam’Hours between 5 pm and 7 pm, where French cheese and charcuterie are paired with tea-infused cocktails.
Knowing that you’ve been indulging all day, the dinner menu at Grand Cafe Fauchon offers each dish as a tasting or regular portion, so you can try half-portions of more flavors and create your own degustation menu. Start with black sea bream carpaccio and a bouquet of seasonal vegetables with carrot-ginger dressing before digging into Gascony pork and candied tomatoes or fried sweetbreads with avocado and mustard seed juice.
The fitness center is open 24 hours a day, so technically it is possible to walk out of here without gaining five pounds, even with nougat and salted caramel tempting you around every corner. But it’s hard to muster the motivation to exercise when you could also be enjoying a massage at the Carita Beauty Spa following a quick steam in the pink-mosaic tiled steam room.
Choose your own fruit and dessert-inspired aromatherapy for your massage oil from a half dozen scents. Of course, Fauchon tea and macarons await once you emerge from the relaxation of being kneaded like bread dough.
When I inquired if there was any dark chocolate around, a plate of Ecuadorian single-origin chocolate tiles emerged as if by magic, but really my therapist ran up to the restaurant to retrieve them. I thanked Angelica profusely, for the great massage and for going out of her way to find me chocolate, to which she quickly responded, “But it is normal.”
Only at Fauchon L’Hôtel is it normal to be this well-fed at every moment of every day.