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On Our Coffee Table: WSJ Magazine

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In June, the Wall Street Journal Magazine featured “The Peninsula,” a Parisian hotel reborn.

Photography by Harf Zimmermann for WSJ Magazine

Photography by Harf Zimmermann for WSJ Magazine

For obvious reasons, a hotel renovation in a glamorous city peaked our interest. But, it was the stories from within those walls that captured our attention to the point of fascination.

Behind six layers of paint, lay the legacy of the kind of gatherings today’s artists and history buffs dream of observing: imagine the meal of Proust, Picasso, Joyce, Stravinsky and Diaghilev or the negotiations of the Treaty of Versailles. This building hosted them.

Perhaps the true beauty of the renovation is that the hotel’s history remains its foundation in rising up to meet the present. The original limestone walls of the exterior stand to silently witness the next era. The same shade of beige walls that welcomed guests in 1908 will greet travelers more than 100 years later. Each accessory and furnishing has a story. Many of the mosaics and paintings have been painstakingly restored. Even the tiles on the roof are from “ancient slate quarries in the Pays de Loire region.” At a record-breaking $2.75 million+ per room in costs, the renovation is, as it should be, astounding.

Shall we faire une réservation?