A inconspicuous conforming Parisian entrance on Avenue d’Opera serves almost as a metaphorical overture to the acclaimed Nolinski Paris. Commandingly dark and unassuming doors, subtly and intricately detailed with striking, but elegant trimmings, open up to reveal a strangely comforting and familiar space. It’s a warm environment, but with a foreignness that brings hints of that Parisian seductiveness that the city nobly boasts. Dimly lit hallways, a grand and vogue center staircase, and splashes of striking colors that break through an otherwise classically stylish ambiance, feature as part of its compelling and unique style. It goes without saying, the hotel showcases all that is dynamic about quality Parisian design, but it also elevates that interaction, with a degree of poise and refinement, and a touching and personal attention to detail.
The 45 rooms and suites themselves echo the Nolinski’s stunning presence in its fashion forward and stylish attitude. It achieves a delicate balance between opulence and functionality, with every aspect of the room remarkably bold and dashing, while simultaneously being personal and practical. The custom designed furnishings are dignified and courtly, but still offer functionality in what is an adequately spacious room, considering its prime location. Sharp gold trimmings slice through luscious reds and deepened blues, in a classy and modish manner. A chic, generously sized bathroom sparkles with its lavish brass trimmings and acute grey accents against polished white tiles, completed with Nolinski designed toiletries.
The Nolinski aims to make its guests feel like they’re in their own personal Paris apartment during their stay, and achieves this through its stylish and individualized touches. Rooms are equipped with Marshall amps, which can connect to guests’ devices to play music. On the topic of phones, each room comes with a complimentary smart phone, fully charged and loaded, ready to be used by the guest as they navigate Paris. Not worrying about data usage, or making phone calls in a foreign city is a unique touch that again, lifts Nolinski into a higher echelon of accommodation. But it’s the joys of waking up, and opening your own balcony doors to Avenue de l’Opera on a sun kissed morning that will really have you soaking in the infectious romance of this beautiful city, forgetting that you’re even close to a bustling and assiduous hotel.
The jewel in the Nolinski crown however, is their underground spa. Spa Nolinski is a true hidden oasis in the urban hustle. At the center of a tranquil and candle lit paradise lies a breathtaking 16 meter swimming pool, lined by an abstract landscape light show on the enthralling feature wall. Above it, a mirror lined ceiling flows the reflections of the water and the shimmering colors of the lights into a stream of never-ending serenity. It is unlike any spa you’ll find in Europe, harnessing the emotional enchantment of Paris, and embodying it in a peaceful and heavenly elusion.
Dining options at Nolinski are, to be blunt, an episode of drastic highs and lows. Breakfast served in the onsite Brasserie Rejane is a classically refined, but simply start to the morning, overlooking the awakenings of Avenue de l'Opéra through its open floor to ceiling windows, with a spread of freshly baked croissants, and local bread served with seasonal preserves. It’s not reinventing the breakfast table, but it’s done traditionally well.
Behind the restaurant lies The Grand Saloon, a space that’s easy to pass by unknowingly. The lounge itself returns to the ornate spoils of Nolinski’s finesse. A bronze fireplace stands over a artwork filled room, littered with swivel armchairs, candlesticks, and bookshelves. The other end of the room is occupied by a grand piano, in a somewhat eccentric medley of passionate emotions, yet in a charmingly peculiar way, results in a cosily agreeable and exclusive enclave. It’s here where you can order Chef Yann Brys's world renowned pastries. In 2011, Chef Brys was awarded the “Meilleur Ouvrier de France”, France’s highest accolade for expertise and excellence. His unmistakeable creations are internationally marveled at and sought after, and an essential experience for any pastry lover visiting Paris. A raspberry and coconut finger is delicate and creamy with a refreshingly vibrant lift from the coconut aromas. Its base is perfectly contrasting against the smoothness of the main body; a firm vessel with a gratifying bite, holding a carefully balanced log of sweet zestfulness. Brys’ chocolate eclair is the picture perfect Parisian delicacy. Stately and rustic, with a flawlessly airy and crisp pastry stuffed with a luscious 70% dark chocolate filling, it’s a truly gorgeous bite of chocolatey sumptuousness.
Dinner at Nolinski is limited. Brasserie Rejane offers a contemporary presentation of classic French dishes, but, for discerning guests seeking a quality Parisian dining experience, is disappointing. A classic onion soup is bland and underwhelming, lacking any depth of flavor or heart, and the roasted chicken plate is offensively dry and overcooked. Dessert consists of the same identical pastries from Chef Yann Brys, and while again, outstanding, prove to be a limited ending to a meal, with only fruits, cheese, and ice creams as an alternative desert. In brief, it’s a disappointing offering for guests seeking a strong dinner experience at what is an amiable environment, and you’re better off asking Nolinski’s concierge for local recommendations for reputable restaurants, many of which are a short walk away from the hotel.
Nolinski Paris is a nonpareil destination for appreciators of stylish contemporary design. It produces an exceptional hotel experience with reference to its sleek interiors and striking abstract layouts, but falls short in allowing guests to taste the true wealth of flavors Paris has to offer. Its underground oasis, Spa Nolinski, is a magnificent destination in itself, and the service is for the most part, reasonably accommodating. The grandiose frame is there, but this Parisian painting requires those final master brush strokes, before gaining a prime position in a gallery of exceptional hotels in this city.
The author of this article was hosted by the Nolinski Paris.