We speak to the artistic director of Maisons Pariente, a French, family-owned luxury hotel collection, about the company and its latest hotels
Born from the “desire to explore a bold new design of the hotel experience”, Maisons Pariente is a family-owned, French luxury hotel collection. Run by Patrick Pariente and his two daughters, Kimberley Cohen and Leslie Kouhana, the collection is currently composed of three hotels: Hotel Crillon Le Brave in Provence, Lou Pinet in Saint Tropez, and Le Coucou in Méribel.
Maisons Pariente offers a new kind of hospitality; each of its hotels is designed as if it was a private home, and each property has its own unique identity. With another project underway – which is due to open in Le Marais area in Paris, at the end of 2021 – it is clear that Maisons Pariente have found a perfect niche in the luxury hotel industry. To find out more about Maisons Pariente, we spoke to Kimberley Cohen, discovering what it’s like to work as a family, how the locations and designs for the hotels are chosen, and what makes this hotel collection stand out from the crowd.
Tell us a bit more about Maisons Pariente?
Maisons Pariente offers a different kind of hospitality, by bringing a dazzling little twist – as if you were home – to always create a different story in legendary places. Each hotel is designed as a private house, and each address has its own unique identity; they are not a copy and paste of a successful concept, which is known and used everywhere, but an entirely personalized approach for each address featuring a custom visual and olfactory identity.
Maisons Pariente creates beautiful, private getaways for city dwellers with active, hyper-connected, and nomadic lifestyles to be able to relax and find themselves. Our hotels guarantee to give guests privacy, while offering attentive but discreet service, all the while helping them recharge their batteries in a unique environment, which will make them feel right at home.
What are your roles within the business?
My father, Patrick Pariente, is the one who gives the initial impulse for the collection; he finds the projects and oversees construction as well as hotel operations. My sister, Leslie Kouhana, organises and manages the various teams, coordinates different contributors on the project, and selects talents who will be able to tell the story the family has dreamt up.
I am the Artistic Director of Maisons Pariente; my focus is on the identity of hotel projects, their positioning, promotion and their sourcing. I am in charge of the customer experience in the hotel as well as online or on social media. I also imagine the atmosphere of a place, from the tableware to the olfactory signature and the choice of bedroom amenities – a special touch for guests of the Maisons Pariente hotels.
What is it like, working as a family?
It is honestly thrilling to work with your family. I know that for some people it is unthinkable, but my sister, father and I are a great team; we’re very different and we each handle different departments in the business. The most important part of working as a family is that each of our tasks is well defined.
We don’t always agree on everything, of course, but we take into consideration each other’s points of view, and we’re not scared to change our minds if someone else has a better idea. Also, we spend a lot of time at work and it is nice to be able to lean on each other when work becomes too stressful.
Tell us a bit more about Maisons Pariente's different hotels?
Hotel Crillon Le Brave
Image: Yann Deret
Hotel Crillon Le Brave is located in Provence, in the Vaucluse. With the foothills of Mont Ventoux on one side and the Dentelles de Montmirail on the other, the medieval village of Crillon le Brave is one of the highlights of dreamlike Provence – it’s a 35 minute drive from Avignon.
Unobstructed views on the hotel’s balconies show vines and olive groves stretching as far as the eye can see; the landscape is completely unspoilt. The hotel is a fully fledged part of the village with various private houses, enhancing the sense of togetherness. The current nine houses form an incredible Provençal complex; they are an enchanting jumble of stone houses with traditional tiling and small courtyards linked by pedestrian alleys and galleries, some of which lead to spectacular views of the surrounding area. The hotel was fully renovated this year by the renowned French architect-decorator Charles Zana; it now boasts a brand-new look, where timeless Provence traditions find a whole new sense of modernity.
Hotel Crillon Le Brave is composed of 16 rooms and 18 suites, an outdoor pool facing the view of Mont Ventoux, a bar and spa located in the 18th-century vaulted stone former stables, and two restaurants by Chef Anissa Boulesteix. La Madeleine is our gastronomic restaurant (only open at night), and is inspired by the wealth of Provence’s local terroir, with iconic dishes like “Nid de Poule” (Hen’s Nest) accompanied by three butters flavoured with garlic, Espelette peppers and fleur de sel, all moulded in the shape of madeleines.
At La Table du Ventoux, our bistronomic restaurant, Anissa Boulesteix serves up another fine celebration of the Provencal landscape, this time through bistro- style cuisine: the very best local produce is enjoyed within a relaxed, friendly setting and the outstanding view. The sardines with piquillo pepper, the ceviche, or the pissaladie`re served on a wooden board are all perfect for sharing with friends whilst admiring the view from the terrace.
Hotel Lou Pinet in Saint Tropez
Located five minutes away from the Place de Lices, towards the Salins, the Hotel Lou Pinet is a boho-chic refuge miraculously sheltered from the lively surroundings of the town. Hotel Lou Pinet takes guests on a journey through time... to holidays and carefree abandon.
The hotel is surrounded by nature; two magnificent pine trees watch over the enchanting garden, through which little winding paths offer a great place to wander while the scents of lavender, orange, lemon and jasmine surrounds you. Our swimming pool – one of the biggest in Saint-Tropez – takes centre stage on the huge terrace. The hotel was fully renovated in 2019 by architect and decorator Charles Zana, who designed the spaces and passages to bring sophistication and intimacy to the hideaway. He also drew on Provence’s tremendous decorative arts heritage, from glass to ceramics, and was inspired by artists such as Matisse, Calder and Picasso – they too captivated by the beauty of the South of France.
With Charles’ culture and taste for elegance, Hotel Lou Pinet’s decor features numerous period pieces from this era. The hotel has a beef-bar restaurant – the concept was created by Riccardo Giraudi in 2005 in Monaco – and offers the best meat on the planet, such as Wagyu or Kobe, as well as a Méditerranean influences dishes revived into street food specialties.
The 34 spacious rooms and suites are bathed in light with dual-aspect windows in many of the rooms and bathrooms. Each suite comes with a private garden and an outdoor lounge for that at-home or at-a-friend’s feeling. In our spa, we work with Tata Harper Skincare, a certified-organic American brand, which is highly concentrated on active ingredients. Transparency, authenticity and the purity of the raw materials are some of its key values, along with protocols and routines, designed especially for salon treatments.
Hotel Le Coucou Meribel
Perched on the heights of Belvédère, close to Le Rond-Point des Pistes, Le Coucou is in one of the loveliest spots in Méribel. The hotel rubs shoulders with the snow-capped summits and overlooks the entire valley. It contains 55 rooms, including 39 suites; two private chalets, directly accessible ski-in ski-out slopes; two restaurants; a Tata Harper spa, one Kids Club and one Teens Lab; one indoor, and one outdoor pool.
Le Coucou interprets the mountain lifestyle in a chic and casual way, where five-star luxury enhances every experience, thanks to the careful attention of the teams. Engaged in a global architectural approach, from layout to decoration, Pierre Yovanovitch has created a reinterpretation of the classic repertoire of the Alpine style in Le Coucou, with a contemporary look that is minimal, but warm and subtly original.
Designed like a boutique lounge with a changing room and cosy café area, the ski room opens directly onto the slopes, with a take-off terrace. The Bar is the ideal observatory for watching skiers race down the slopes. It is a meeting place at any moment of the day, with a peak for the snack time buffet and cocktail hour… At lunchtime and in the evening, the BeefBar, welcomes lovers of exceptional meat inside, or on the immense terrace with a view of the valley. It is just what you need to restore strength before getting back on the moguls or racing down the slopes.
What can guests who stay at a Maisons Pariente hotel expect from the experience?
We have seven mottos that define the spirit of Maisons Pariente:
1. Sophisticated places where excellence and simplicity live in perfect harmony
2. A contemporary atmosphere, chic but laid back, never too formal
3. The conviction that nothing is more valuable than experiencing rare and powerful emotions
4. The certainty that the ultimate luxury experience is created through a spacious environment where privacy is guaranteed
5. Perfecting service elevates the most beautiful places in the world to a new level of sublime
6. No matter where you are in the world, nothing can top that incredible feeling of being at home
7. When time is a luxury, every moment needs to be exceptional
Are you planning on adding anymore hotels to the collection?
Yes we are! We are actually working on a hotel in Paris located in the heart of le Marais district. The hotel should open by the end of 2021. We are also always looking at new opportunities.
How do you choose the location/building for a new Maisons Pariente hotel?
We work mainly with the affect; we need to fall in love with the place and be inspired by it, in order to build the story telling around the location. We must see the potential in a location and be creative about what we want to achieve, so that we can bring together the right team for each project.
Do Maisons Pariente hotels have a particular design threaded through them, or are they designed to be individual?
Each hotel is unique; we go deep into personalisation and never standardise. We like to work with renowned residential architects, rather than hospitality professionals, to ensure that our guests will feel at home away from home. We like to mix contemporary design with vintage history charged pieces – for example, in Saint Tropez, we have put Robert Picault ceramics alongside bespoke furniture from Charles Zana.
What is the most important thing to keep in mind, when designing luxury hotels?
Above all, we want to create a gateway experience where the guests will feel comfortable We want our guests to feel at home and to ensure that the design of each hotel always fits with the location.
Have you noticed any new hotel trends this year?
We believe that more and more people choose a destination rather than just a hotel. They want to live an experience. We can see that customer are looking for true experiences.
At Maisons Pariente, we tend to stay away from trends. From our previous experience in fashion, we understand that being ‘trendy’ or in fashion one season does not mean you will be in fashion next season. What is too fashionable will come out of fashion very quickly, so we would rather create timeless hotels that will always stay in fashion.
What makes Maisons Pariente stand out?
We imagine our hotels as if we were real guests. Our customers appreciate the attention to details and the generosity of our team.