Official Website – Design Hotel Paris and Saint Tropez

Hotel Sezz Paris, design boutique hotel 4 star near the Eiffel Tower, Hotel Sezz Saint Tropez, luxury design hotel 5 star in Saint Tropez...

SHAHE KALAIDJIAN, Conceptor and Hotelier

Shahé Kalaidjian, a classically trained hotelier, was born in Beirut and grew up in London. The next phase in the apprenticeship of a master hotelier came when he returned to Paris after a six-month stint in New York.

In 1994, he opened the Holiday Inn at Marne La Vallée where Disneyland Paris is located. This taught him everything he needed to know about the hotel he did not dream of building one day.

Shahé Kalaidjian’s dream was always to “break the mold” and open a hotel with design as a key element.

In 1999, Shahé Kalaidjian opened Pavillon de Paris, the first canvas on which he could sketch his ideas of what a hotel ought to look and feel like. Kalaidjian has a passion for architecture and modern design.

All Kalaidjian’s experience, from Beirut to Pavillon de Paris, lead up to Sezz. Here is where Shahé finds the fullest expression of those principles that describes his eclectic approach to the hotel business: comfort above all, easy elegance and service that adapts itself to the needs of the guest, rather than the other way around.

For him, running a luxury hotel in the 21st century is not about teak finishes, cashmere throws on the bed or hand-blown Murano glass flower vases. “Luxury is no longer what it was in the 1980s and ‘90s”, says Shahé Kalaidjian. “Today, the notion of luxury in my business is space and service”. He doesn’t care about the traditional formula for running a luxury hotel. If the old manner of doing things doesn’t promote ease and unforced elegance, he comes up with creative ways to do things better”.

The Sezz Paris opens in 2005. It all fits together, the place, the style and the refusal to fall back on the old formulas of hotel management. “The idea is to surprise people – to supply the “wow factor” that elevates the hotel experience to another level”, says Kalaidjian. “I want this hotel to feel as if you’re going to a friend’s house where you’re pleasantly surprised by the level of décor and the comfort”.

His vision for the Hotel Sezz Saint-Tropez is equally simple: “I had in mind a hotel that corresponds to what I have seen in Asia. A place of gentleness and serenity. A place where elegance and sophistication are the rule. A place where space and service are incomparable. The Hotel Sezz Saint- Tropez is a sanctuary of well-being complemented by the natural bounties of light, air and wind”, he says.

One mastermind helped him realize his dream: designer Christophe Pillet.

Christophe Pillet, designer

« The rock star of design », as Kalaidjian calls him, received his masters in Design from the prestigious Domus School in Milan, and made a name for himself working with powerhouse designers like Martine Bedin and Philippe Starck. He has been running his own studio out of Paris with a small team since 1994 and has worked in all of the traditional design categories including architecture, furniture and product design, interiors and set design. In 1994 he won the acclaimed French award “Designer of the Year” from the renowned French trade fair “Maison and Objet”.

That breadth of experience made him the perfect partner to realize Shahé’s vision, of which design is a key element.

At Sezz Paris, the concierge-less lobby is the first view of this unconventional space. Two salons flank the entrance, done in muted shades of red and brown that set off the khaki-grey stone from the town of Cascais in Portugal that appears throughout the hotel.

Christophe Pillet knows Saint-Tropez by heart. It’s where he designed the “Bar du Port”, one of the most popular spots in town. “I’m not creating what is commonly known as a “design hotel”, but a property with charm and personality. A hotel that immediately evokes the atmosphere of being in a family home”, he says. “Therefore, I designed furnishings which are timeless and well-crafted. They are equally suited to the public areas as well as to the guestrooms”.

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