Hôtel de Vendôme In The Heart Of Paris: Now Owned By Chopard
Though I had walked past this hotel many times when visiting Paris, I hadn’t really noticed it outside of the fact that it is also home to Chopard’s Paris boutique, which is situated at street level with the typically dressed windows facing out.
I stayed there as a guest of Chopard on the way to Le Mans (see Porsche Wins 24 Hours Of Le Mans 2015 And Chopard Presents Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Jacky Ickx Edition) and this is when I learned a very interesting fact: the beautifully appointed hotel housed within an eighteenth-century mansion now belongs to Chopard.
This move is certainly part of a very clever strategy to ensure that Chopard will always retain its boutique at the prestigious address Place Vendôme 1. As the five-star hotel was surely bound to change hands sooner or later, Chopard co-presidents Caroline and Karl-Friedrich Scheufele made the very intelligent decision to purchase it.
Purchasing the hotel confirms the importance of the Chopard boutiques and their positioning in Chopard’s overall retail strategy, particularly in cities with large numbers of affluent tourists like Paris.
In conversation with the Digital Luxury Group, Caroline Scheufele revealed the following regarding the hotel purchase, “Obviously, the first reason we bought the hotel is because it houses our flagship Chopard store in Paris [on the ground floor]. The second motivation behind that purchase is perhaps because of the experience/benefits of moving into another luxury field that is somehow linked with us in terms of lifestyle.
“Obviously, there are many opportunities that we can create and currently we’ve been trying to get this particular one off the ground. The location is key – there’s only one number 1 Place Vendôme in the world, and always will be, so as pure real estate it will always be a top investment. Now we just have to make the inside just as beautiful as the address!”
This is not the first non-watch or jewelry element that the family-run brand has invested into. Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, a connoisseur of fine wines, also has a small chain of extremely well-appointed wine shops called Le Caveau de Bacchus, with branches in Geneva, Lausanne, and Gstaad.
Additionally, Scheufele and his wife Christine acquired the wine estate Chateau Monestier La Tour in France’s Bergerac region in 2012.
“As a hobby we have the wine business – which is more owned by my brother, and partner in business – and I think there’s a lot to do in that space,” Caroline Scheufele told the Digital Luxury Group. “Obviously, with the wine, you’re drinking it at Baselworld, and the wine is also in the hotel.”
The Hôtel de Vendôme was built in 1723 by Armand-Claude Molet (architect of the Elysée Palace, the official residence of the president of the French Republic) for Pierre Perrin, secretary to Louis XIV, and comprises 19 elegant rooms and ten suites of classic French design including plenty of luscious marble and high-quality woods.
The rooms are spacious – this building was originally a palatial private residence and had also been the Texas embassy in 1842 during a time when France was the only country to recognize the state’s bid for independence from the United States. However, it retains a homey feel thanks to the choices of accouterments and materials, which includes sweeping drapery, unobtrusive carpeting, and comfortable furnishings.
The Scheufeles are planning to remodel the inside of the hotel; it was last remodeled in 1998.
Naturally, the Hôtel de Vendôme also contains a gourmet restaurant, which bears the name Le 1 Place Vendôme. The cuisine is exquisite and, naturally, the wine is delightful. The service was also exceptional without being snobby (something that can be a tad, well, French in Paris).
All in all, staying at the Hôtel de Vendôme was a delightful experience.
For more information, please visit www.hoteldevendome.com.