Get in Bed With LVMH
Bloomberg Businessweek|September 20, 2021
With its new Cheval Blanc hotel—16 years in the making—the luxury behemoth reinvents a cultural landmark.
Lindsey Tramuta

Paris has no shortage of exquisite hotels—the $1,565-a-night Four Seasons George V, the contemporary Hôtel de Crillon, and Princess Diana’s favorite, the fairytale-like Ritz—but even in this rarefied air, few convey luxury quite like the new Cheval Blanc, which opened on Sept. 7.

A showstopping 100-foot infinity pool in the hotel’s basement level is one of the largest of any hotel in France; its deck is lined with digital panels that display animated illustrations of the Seine. The top-floor apartment, among the largest penthouses in Paris at 11,000 square feet, has its own 41-foot pool, projection space, and panoramic terrace.

Until now the Cheval Blanc brand has been associated with spots where billionaires bring yachts and don Moncler snowsuits. It has had only four resorts: St. Barts, St-Tropez, the Maldives, and Courchevel, France. This first urban location, like the others, comes courtesy of an arbiter and exporter of French luxe: LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE.

In some ways, the hotel feels as if it’s an extension of the gleaming, modern Fondation Louis Vuitton on the other side of town. Hundreds of contemporary works by both emerging and preeminent artists, including Sonia Delaunay, Ingrid Donat, and Frank Gehry, are displayed in airy monochromatic common areas, corridors, and guest rooms. In others, it feels as if you’re sleeping in LVMH Chief Executive Officer Bernard Arnault’s own version of Disney World. The company’s brands are everywhere: An alum of Parfums Christian Dior designed the in-room beauty amenities, and Chaumet and Tiffany & Co. jewels glisten in lobby windows.

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