The Peninsula Paris
大名鼎鼎的半岛酒店品牌1928年诞生在香港，由香港四大英资集团之一的嘉道理家 族（Kadoorie Family）旗下的香港上海大酒店公司）投资，也是香港史上第一家真正的大酒店。百年风云三代家传，2010年，保守而稳健的半岛酒店第三代终于把踏上欧洲大陆的第一站选在巴黎。
凯旋门附近有个名门贵族聚居的著名的克雷伯尔大街（Avenue Kléber ），占据转角处有座1908年兴建的当时巴黎最风光的玛杰斯蒂克酒店Hotel Majestic。1914年以后，这个老酒店多次被战争时的军方征用，还曾是德军占领巴黎时的司令部。1973年就在这里，基辛格带着美国代表团和越南南北两方政府签署了著名的越南停战协定。一晃三十多年，这座沉寂许久的老牌酒店大楼终于迎来了翻身之日，2009年，法国萨科齐政府把这个承载历史的老楼以4亿欧元卖给卡塔尔迪亚尔公司。紧接着，卡塔尔卡塔拉酒店集团（Katara Hospitality）和香港上海大酒店有限公司合资，共同投入3.38亿欧元，首家欧洲半岛酒店就此诞生。
这还不算，法国设计大师“老顽童”菲利普・斯塔克Philippe Starck设计的金属探照灯款式台灯，瓷器设计大师凯瑟琳・贝尔根Catherine Bergen精心设计的餐具，都在顶层云雀餐厅中与“飞机主题”主题相映生辉。而与酒店集团长年合作的顶级瓷器品牌贝尔纳 Bernardaud，以及1830年诞生的昆庭精品世家Christofle，更为酒店提供了优雅珍贵的餐桌瓷器，银器及水晶用品。
同时，法国水晶奢饰品大牌巴卡拉 Baccarat 的水晶灯被邀请来在大堂阶梯处隆重出演，由著名捷克玻璃品牌拉斯维特Lasvit制作的800块寓意街边梧桐大树的叶片形水晶吊灯，和西班牙当代最杰出雕塑家泽维尔・考博Xavier Corberó设计的地上天然石雕造型上下呼应，成为经典大堂中最为绚丽灵动的景观。
在艺术饰品方面，巴黎半岛集团另外邀请香港冯氏艺术顾问公司Sabrina Fung Fine Art 为酒店搜罗现代艺术装饰。于是，数位当代艺术名家的作品被精心的安置在每间客房和套房里，也被布置在公共区域之中，包括近年十分出名的帕特里亚・艾伯丁Patricia Erbelding 的混合媒介作品，德考斯特的Nathalie Decoster混合铜铝的雕塑等，在传统的法式环境中吹进现代艺术之风，也是半岛酒店一直以来追求温故求新的设计策略，已为楷模。
最为引人注目而印象深刻的，必然是酒店“莉莉中餐厅”门口那个独特的京剧旦角肖像招牌，这幅大型光纤肖像由尼龙网网状布料及光纤编织而成，其发光变幻的效果令人耳目一新，实属世界首创。这作品由香港设计师梁国辉和巴黎RMA的建筑师文森特佩里戈里Vincent Pelligri布艺装饰专家杰罗姆Jérome Declercq联合构思，并由工业设计师克莱门汀Clémentine Chambon 和时装设计师Françoise Mamert携手创制。这五个人的合作造就了酒店里一个精彩的亮点。
The Why Behind its Excellence
The famous Peninsula Hotel was born in Hong Kong in 1928. It is invested by The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited, owned by Kadoorie Family, one of Hong Kong‘s four major Britishowned groups, and is also the first real grand hotel in Hong Kong history. After a hundred years, the third generations of the conservative and sturdy Peninsula Hotel finally chose Paris to be its first stop on the European continent.
Near the Arc de Triomphe, there is the famous Avenue Kléber, where the nobles gathered. The corner is occupied by the Hotel Majestic, which was built in 1908 and the most beautiful view in Paris at the time. After 1914, this old hotel was repeatedly requisitioned by the military during the war, and it was also the headquarters of the Germans when they occupied Paris. Here in 1973, Kissinger signed the famous Vietnam Armistice Agreement with the US delegation and the Vietnamese government. For more than 30 years, the fortune of this longestablished old hotel building is finally ready to change for the better. In 2009, the Sarkozy government of France sold this historic building to the Qatar Diar company for 400 million euros. Then, Katara Hospitality and The Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited jointly invested 338 million euros, and the first European Peninsula hotel was born.
Around the beginning of 2010, the cleanedup building welcomed the first team of the Peninsula Hotel‘s planning and design team and the renovation project has started. With tireless persistence and meticulous efforts, more than double the time of the initial building was spent on renovation. On August 1, 2014, in the summer four years after, the finely crafted The Peninsula Paris was finally opened.
The old hotel‘s gate on Avenue Kléber became the street front entrance of the restaurant. The door was guarded by a pair of Chinese white marble lions, and the main entrance of the hotel was transferred to the side street. The lobby was also transferred, so that the front of the hotel is now quiet and noble, with a slightly mysterious atmosphere. The new hotel awning, steps and gates are in keeping with the Peninsula‘s consistent lowkey luxury style, all decorated with antique copper art.
An old hotel built in 1908, after a lapse of 100 years, recreates a new hotel. The glory of the old times was replaced by modern luxury. The classics of history are also sought by today‘s nostalgia. It is also a beautiful reincarnation of cultural genes.With the help of the ancient historical buildings of Europe, the influence and actual meaning of this brandnew hotel culture has a significance that is incomparable whether in terms of its own development or its position in the world economy. Looking at this 100yearold building, the original space layout has not been changed, but the Peninsula brand has been most successful with the restoration,I can not help but sigh: if you are faithful to the classic, it will remain classic; when works are excellent, there must be a reason for it.
The Peninsula Paris has 200 rooms, including 34 suites. The 3.38 million worth of renovation project is equivalent to an average investment of 1.69 million per room. This is a huge and rare hotel investment movement in France around 2010. The shows the determination of the Peninsula Group to land in Europe for the first time and its consistent positioning of the meaning of excellence.
At the beginning of the renovation of The Peninsula Paris, the Peninsula Hotel Group has decided on the principles of refurbishment and restoration to restore pure French style and French traditional craftsmanship. All the glory, all the brand values, all the market strategies, all the guests experience must come out of this principle. Therefore, they have to entrust the most experienced designers and artists, as well as finding the most famous French traditional craftsman family, and this is just the first step in the project. It is no wonder that this old hotel was built and opened in two years a hundred years ago, but the restoration after that has taken more than four years
Let‘s look at which designers are found and what roles do they play:
The overall planning and design of the hotel was completed by the planning and design team of the Peninsula Hotel Group and designer Henry Leung of Hong Kong CSL. Henry Leung also designed the most dazzling LiLi Chinese restaurant in the hotel, a Chinese opera art theme restaurant. The overall design of the indoor public area is spearheaded by Richard Martinet, the most senior hotel designer in France, who is nearly 70 years old, but still energetic and talkative. He is well known in the design of French luxury hotels and is also the designers of ShangriLa Hotel, Paris and many famous hotels. He has a group of old friends of the famous French traditional craft family. This time, The Peninsula Paris invited nine of France‘s most revered family firms, dating back generations, to do the job, they include wood carving restoration, goldplated restoration, gold leaf hand sweeping, classical plaster decoration, old patio painting restoration, silk brocade making, antique metal decoration, antique stained glass making, and even curtain tassels. Most of these families have only a dozen or so young people that continue to inherit the crafts. The history of their ancestral crafts is longer than that of this old hotel. These families have worked on heritage projects such as the Louvre and the Palace of Versailles and other French castles. Since the manual restoration work spread all over the hotel building,countless operations must be done with meticulous ingenuity, so the slow birth of the Peninsula Paris can be imagined.
Not to mention, the metal searchlight style table lamp by the French design master ”enfant terrible” Philippe Starck, and the carefully designed tableware designed by porcelain design master Catherine Bergen, all shine together in the L‘Oiseau Blanc rooftop restaurant with an ”aircraft” theme. Bernardaud, the top porcelain brand that has been working with the hotel group for many years, and Christofle, a brand which was born in 1830, both offer elegant and precious tableware, silverware and crystal products.
At the same time, the French luxury crystal brand Baccarat was invited to appear above the lobby ladder. A bespoke handblown Lasvit chandelier featuring a cascade of 800 crystal ”leaves” a modern take on the plane trees lining Avenue Kléber echoes the natural stone sculpture on the ground created by the contemporary Spanish sculptor Xavier Corberó, creating a luxurious and splendid view in the lobby area.
In terms of art accessories, the Paris Peninsula Group also invited Hong Kong‘s art consultant firm, Sabrina Fung Fine Art, to collect modern art decoration for the hotel. As a result, the works of several contemporary art masters have been carefully placed in each room and suite, and also in public areas. Works include the mixed media work of Patricia Erbelding, who is very famous in recent years; the copper and aluminum sculptures by Nathalie Decoster. Blending modern art style in the traditional French environment is also a model design strategy that the Peninsula Hotel has been pursuing.
The most eyecatching and impressive feature is the unique portrait of the Peking Opera‘s female Dan character at the entrance of the hotel‘s ”LiLi Chinese Restaurant”. This largescale fiberoptic portrait is made of nylon mesh, mesh fabric and fiber optic. The dazzling effect is most refreshing and the first in the world. The work was coconceived by Hong Kong designer Henry Leung and Paris RMA architect Vincent Pelligri and fabric decoration expert Jérome Declercq, and produced by industrial designer Clémentine Chambon and fashion designer Françoise Mamert. The cooperation of these five people created a wonderful highlight in the hotel.
The abovementioned amazing designers and artists, under the organization and care of the Peninsula hotel building team, have rejuvenated this centuryold building, and made it dazzling.
The Peninsula Paris is built with great effort, and operated with great care, culminating to its eternal magnificence. When all is excellent, there is always a reason behind such excellence.