New York, NY – November 22, 2006:- Earlier this month, the eagerly awaited Hôtel Fouquet’s Barrière opened it doors on Paris’ Avenue des Champs Elysées. The new hotel, with 67 rooms and 40 suites, combines 21st century technology with fin-de-siècle grandeur and is the first “palace hotel” to open in the French capital in almost eighty years — since the George V was unveiled in 1928. Its cornerstone is Le Fouquet’s restaurant – a Paris legend that opened in 1899 and today is a listed landmark of “monument historique” status.

SIX YEARS AND $500 MILLION…
It took the French, family-owned, Lucien Barrière Hotel Group six years, half-a-billion US dollars and endless patience to amass the necessary real estate and make sure every detail of their first Parisian hotel would justify its “palace” status. Located on the “golden triangle,” where the Champs Elysées meets the Avenue George V, Hôtel Fouquet’s Barrière was designed by architect Edouard François in traditional Parisian “Haussmann” style. The hotel wraps around the original Fouquet’s and is across the street from the enormous new Louis Vuitton store – the world’s largest luxury boutique, featuring a spectacular art deco exterior. Four thousand ornate silver branches adorn the hotel’s interior open air terrace and garden; a large balcony, with views of the Eiffel Tower, is available for private parties.

TV’S EMERGING FROM MIRRORS, WATERPROOF REMOTES…
The interiors of the Hôtel Fouquet’s Barrière are the brainchild of renowned Parisian designer Jacques Garcia – noted for incorporating Zen minimalism, ancient Egyptian exoticism and Napoleonic grandeur into his work. At the new Fouquet’s Barrière, marble, mahogany, silk, velvet and embroidered leather are juxtaposed with high tech digital equipment. All rooms come with at least four telephones, wi-fi Internet, a fax-scanner-printer-color copy machine, and flat screen televisions with international channels. In many rooms, a wall mirror miraculously turns into a television screen. Each room has a separate dressing area and a bathroom equipped with twin sinks and both tub and a mosaic-lined rain shower. The toilet and bidet are in a separate room. Guests can watch the bathroom’s very-own flat-screen TV from the roomy bathtub or Jacuzzi, and needn’t worry if the remote control falls beneath the bubbles – it’s waterproof.

SERVICE, SERVICE, SERVICE…
“A special emphasis is put on service, with a butler taking care of guests’ every need,” says Eric Boonstoppel, General Manager. When guests arrive they are escorted upstairs by elevator and met by their butler who is available for packing and unpacking, restocking the complimentary mini-bar, seeing to wardrobe care and even the printing of business cards. The hotel’s concierges, reachable via cell phone at any time of day, ensure that guests experience the best of Paris. The stress on service starts the moment every reservation is made when a detailed questionnaire about specific preferences is sent to each guest. Roses or Orchids? Sweet or Savory? Milk chocolate or dark? Hard pillow or soft? Classical Music or Jazz? No detail is overlooked.

In addition to Fouquet’s Restaurant and Fouquet’s Brasserie on the Champs Elysées, the hotel also houses the elegant Le Diane restaurant– offering innovative French cuisine, La Gallerie Joy – overlooking the hotel’s interior private garden and serving light dishes and refreshments. In the few weeks it’s been open, Le Lucien Bar has become a draw for Parisians in search of buzz, appetizers, wines and outstanding cocktails. All the hotel’s restaurants are under the direction of chef Jean-Yves Leuranguer – winner of the Meilleur Ouvrier de France award.

In the hotel’s lower level, the sumptuous U Spa – designed with slate, golden woodwork, and mosaic tiles — features one of the largest indoor hotel swimming pools in Paris. A wide range of exclusive treatments – for example, a 6-handed massage – incorporates Terraké products, specially designed by the internationally renowned Thalgo Group. The spa also has a fitness center with the latest in cardiovascular equipment, an aqua-slimming trail, six massage and cosmetic treatment rooms, a steam room, a sauna and hammam.

In recent years, the Champs Elysées has been experiencing a revival. The arrival of Hôtel Fouquet’s Barrière is further proof that the boulevard’s luster and international renown are very much alive.

To know more about Hôtel Fouquet’s Barrière, visit: www.fouquets-barriere.com

For more on France at ITKT