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Two recently renovated Relais & Châteaux properties in France reopen to travelers

The Saint James, Paris

The Saint James Paris turns over a new leaf to offer a verdant getaway in the center of the French capital, complete with club chairs, travel souvenirs, and sustainable cuisine. Over the years, the interior of this neoclassical mansion has been revisited by several renowned decorators, including Andrée Putman and Bambi Sloan. In 2021, the equally famous Laura Gonzalez injected the property with her style. She kept some of the essential elements, such as the flagstone on the ground floor, and combined them with timeless pieces such as 19th-century chinoiseries with Art Deco details and Art Nouveau floral patterns. The blend is both personal and enduring. The rooms are crafted to look and feel like those of a private home, and the unusual objects, books, and sculptures there are hand-picked by the designer herself. On rainy days, guests might seek sanctuary in the library bar or Le Bellefeuille, the hotel’s winter garden-style restaurant. There, Julien Dumas – once chef of the Lucas Carton restaurant – assiduously pursues his quest for the finest farm-fresh ingredients. With his credo being “local and responsible” cuisine, he also relies on the Saint James vegetable garden in Seine-et-Marne. With the sun’s first rays, guests are welcome to luxuriate in the lush grounds laid out by landscape designer Xavier de Chirac, from the terrace to the hydrangea groves to the pergola. The Saint James is peppered with paradoxes: it is monumental yet cozy, sophisticated yet natural, eternal yet modern… And it exudes a truly unique spirit.

Le Saint James Paris

Le Domaine du Mas de Pierre, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Alpes-Maritimes

After a year-and-a-half of renovation work, Le Domaine du Mas de Pierre, nestled against the ramparts of Saint-Paul-de-Vence, reopens at last. The establishment has forged a reputation for excellence over the years and, with time and care, has grown into a 20-acre property with an abundance of fruit trees, ancient olive trees, and other Mediterranean plants. The original seven bastides have been extended to include two others. There, the spirit of Provence is gently expressed in the lavender, white, and cream color scheme throughout the 22 rooms decorated with Toile de Jouy, baroque console tables, flamboyant chests of drawers and Louis XV armchairs, all selected by interior designer Patrick Ribes. Chef Emmanuel Lehrer plies his culinary craft at La Table de Pierre, serving a locavore Mediterranean menu featuring ingredients from the hotel’s vegetable garden and local farms. The establishment’s commitment to eco-friendliness is clear in its conscientious waste management and the EU Ecolabel it earned for water management, with the special oxygen-activated filtration systems in its swimming pools. Get ready to unwind in the 21,500 square feet of spa, and to relax alongside the clear lagoon rimmed by a beach of fine sand. Revive your senses as you stroll through the lavish grounds shaped by landscape designer Bruno Ricci. A cool, calm oasis on the French Riviera, a haven where you can escape life’s little concerns, and an idyllic spot to hit the reset button.

Le Domaine du Mas de Pierre