Hôtel Barrière Fouquet’s New York review: Parisian panache in the Big Apple

“Paris-New York, the two high tension magnetic poles between life, life of the senses, of the spirit in Paris, and life in action in New York.” So wrote the feminist diarist Anaïs Nin, and it is the spirit of Paris amid the action of New York that so aptly describes a stay at the Hôtel Barrière Fouquet’s. 

The Manhattan branch of the French chain Hôtels Barrière is an homage to the hotel of the same name in Paris. The legendary Parisian abode is just a short hop from the Arc de Triomphe, between Avenue George V and the Champs-Elysées. That’s what makes the first impression of its American cousin a bit of a surprise. 

On first appearance, the eight-storey building could almost be missed, nestled – as much as you can nestle an eight-storey building – on a quiet Tribeca corner. But once inside the hotel’s lobby you realise the purpose of the decision by UK-based Martin Brudnizki Design Studio to focus on understated grandeur with cool pinks and inviting blush colours adorning the walls and an inviting array of armchairs and sofas in front of reception. Speaking of the reception, it’s worth noting that the hotel’s commitment to service is exemplary. From the moment we walked in to the moment we left, everyone from the front of house to the spa assistants all went above and beyond to ensure a relaxing and hiccup-free stay. 

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Hotel Barrière Fouquet’s, New York

The guests-only speakeasy Titsou is among the many perks of a stay

(Image credit: Hotel Barrière Fouquet’s, New York)

Rooms and suites

The hotel’s 97 residential-style rooms and suites are spacious and beautifully appointed with intricate wallpaper featuring the very same Manhattan skyline that hides just behind the curtains of the huge windows. Part of the appeal of staying somewhere as luxurious as Fouquet’s New York is that every little thing is taken care of. That starts from before you check-in with guests prompted to let the hotel know what style of pillow they’d like and how warm or cool (this being New York) they want their room to be on arrival.

An exceedingly comfy bed and all the amenities you’d expect in a hotel room from past masters like the Barrière group are available, including a remedy to a personal pet peeve in the form of a really excellent hair-dryer. The televisions are also worth mentioning with an array of on-demand and live options should you finally tire of the city that never sleeps. Few things excite more in life than a good hotel bathroom and the Hotel Barrière Fouquet’s does not disappoint in that regard with a stunning marble-finished ensemble featuring dual vanity sinks and gold accents that are equal parts opulent and comforting.

Other thoughtful and theatrical touches around the guest rooms are a fully stocked mini-bar and French fancies including an incredible chocolate recreation of the Arc de Triomphe – with the only difference being that the real thing is a bit bigger and hopefully has a tad more structural integrity.

Hotel Barrière Fouquet’s, New York

The hotel features 97 residential-style rooms and suites by world-renowned designer Martin Brudnizki

(Image credit: Hotel Barrière Fouquet’s, New York)

Eating, drinking and relaxing

As you’d imagine from a French establishment, you won’t be short-changed on the eating and drinking front at Fouquet’s New York. We sampled the delights of the hotel’s daytime café Par Ici, situated in a light and airy atrium at the back of the building. The vegetarian-focused menu is something of a welcome respite if, like me, you’d over-indulged the night before, with a classic array of breakfast items and lunchtime bites that is a celebration of flavours and textures. We shared a delicious smoked salmon plate that came with cucumber, shaved onion, fine herbs, capers and in true NYC style was served on an everything Russ & Daughters bagel. Alongside this we had a fresh and zingy fruit salad while the coffee was some of the best we’d tried in the city. The overall feel of Par Ici is once again understated excellence, everything feels effortlessly perfect and it’s clearly a hit with the locals too.

The flagship dining option at the hotel is Brasserie Fouquet’s, a sister restaurant to the famed bistro in the centre of Paris. With a menu designed by three Michelin star chef Pierre Gagnaire there is a classic menu of brasserie fare with French onion soup, sole meunière and steak tartare the highlights. Another jewel in the Fouquet’s New York crown is the guests-only cocktail lounge Titsou, taking its reference points from the French speakeasy Le Marta Paris. Behind an unmarked door at the back of the hotel’s lobby, is a beautifully appointed bar serving elegant cocktails at all hours of the day and night. The reception staff were keen to impress that as a guests-only space they would do everything to accommodate our timings – even booking us in for a pre-dinner spot just in case we needed it. Titsou is a great example of what sets Fouquet’s New York apart, too many other hotels would either open it up to non-guests or perhaps not even bother with it at all. This dedication to guest’s experience permeates throughout the entire operation.

Other experiences available to guests at the hotel include the Spa Diane Barrière which has five treatment rooms (including one for couples), a sauna and steam room, and an indoor pool. Next door is an impressive gym and fitness centre, run by gym-to-the-stars DOGPOUND with everything you could want to burn off that extra cocktail from Titsou.

Hotel Barrière Fouquet’s, New York

There are three vibrant food and beverage destinations

(Image credit: Hotel Barrière Fouquet’s, New York)

The verdict

One of the most remarkable things about Anaïs Nin was her ability to juggle two secret relationships with two separate men thousands of miles apart for most of her life. “I tell so many lies I have to write them down and keep them in the lie box so I can keep them straight,” she once said.

Thankfully the 3,000-mile relationship between Fouquet’s New York and Paris is a lot less illicit and a lot more straightforward, with guests now able to rediscover everything they loved about the Paris hotel in a new city. After all, to take a leaf out of Nin’s book – why choose between them when you can have both?

Jamie Timson was a guest of Hotel Barrière Fouquet’s New York. Nightly rates start from $950 (£772), per room, per night. Breakfast is not included. 456 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013, United States; hotelsbarriere.com

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