In the third part of our luxury travel views column from the Spring 2022 issue, LUX’s Editor-in-Chief Darius Sanai checks in at the Hotel Costes in Paris
My first encounter with the Hotel Costes was in the early 2000s, when I was meeting a Vogue photographer for a drink in the bar, on an evening a fashion house was also having a small gathering there. Despite being well turned out, and spending my working days at Vogue House, itself then a kind of office catwalk, I endured scrutiny by the beautiful boys on the door and by the beautiful girls inside before being let in, to a bar and lounge space, designed by Jacques Garcia, which gave the impression of sitting inside the bloodstream of a human being.
Jean-Louis Costes, the hotel’s owner, whom I interviewed in the last issue of LUX, is an iconoclast and an original. He created the velvet womb of the Costes and decorated its rooms with 19th-century oil paintings in the minimalist, contemporary-art obsessed 1990s.
He has now opened a new wing to the hotel, or more precisely a new Hotel Costes adjoining the old one, making the second stroke of an L shape on the corner of Rue Saint-Honoré and Rue de Castiglione – without doubt the most desirable address in Paris. To check into the Costes, you now enter a grand, light, high-ceilinged lobby in the Rue de Castiglione.
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If you are staying in the old Costes, you can walk through the lobby and pull back a curtain, like passing through a looking glass, and voila. I, however, was sampling the new Costes: up on the second floor my suite was designed with the whimsical perfection of an obsessive and talented owner. A white carpet, like walking on a Persian cat, a bed with the black stained outline of a four-poster; a blood-red ottoman, a purple sofa and a lot of empty space. The bathroom had chandeliers and glass wardrobes: the message here is that your clothes had better be great, because they’re all on show. The walk-through shower and bath in light marble were immense: there is scale here that the original, boutique Costes, adjoining, never had. From the balcony you look out to Place Vendôme. From some of the suites, you have a view across Paris to Montmartre and Notre-Dame.
There will be a resort-style pool in the basement spa, currently being completed, and at the moment you still dine in the original and excellent courtyard restaurant of the original Costes. Another courtyard restaurant is being built at the Castiglione wing.
Read more: Paris Revisited: A Diary of Art and Culture
Every detail is both original and edgy: the Costes is the hotel that invented the hotel DJ and soundtrack, and bespoke hotel scent (both hard to believe now, as all the greatest and most pervasive inventions are). Twenty-seven years on, Jean-Louis hasn’t lost his touch.
Find out more: www.hotelcostes.com
This article appears in the Summer 2022 issue of LUX