Inside Hôtel San Régis, a Historic Hidden Gem in Paris With a Dior Connection

Hôtel San Régis made a notable cameo on the Apple TV+ series 'The New Look,' about Dior’s rise to fame in the 1950s.

Hôtel San Régis. Fabrice Rambert

In 1947, Carmel Snow, the then-editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar, famously declared that Christian Dior’s newest collection was a “new look.” The phrase has gone down in fashion history, but so has the hotel where Snow uttered it: Hôtel San Régis, located steps away from La Galerie Dior in Paris’ prestigious Golden Triangle. 

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“She [Snow] used to be a very loyal guest of the San Régis,” Zenia Georges-L’Hénoret, owner and deputy managing director at the five-star Hôtel San Régis, which has been in her family for two generations, tells Observer. “The San Régis was her home in Paris, and she came very often to Paris because she was the queen of fashion at that time. She was key in the word of mouth for the boutique hotel and the way it has become part of the fashion world. And she used to do all of her meetings from her bed. Dior is really important to us.”

Georges-L’Hénoret and her sister, Sarah, now run the 42-room property after taking over from their father Elie, who bought the San Régis in 1984 and ran it with his brothers. It was originally owned by Simon André Terrail, who transformed what was then a sumptuous private home into a luxury hotel, and opened it to guests in 1923 (the hotel celebrated its centennial anniversary last year, in 2023). Because Terrail was also the then-owner of the George V, some of the opulent furnishings around the San Régis were once housed there. 

Sarah and Zenia Georges-L’Hénoret. Virginie Garnier

Today, the Georges sisters aim to balance the building’s storied history with a forward-thinking, contemporary sensibility. Everything has a timeless elegance that doesn’t ignore modern technology or sustainable practices. 

“Every year we renovate some rooms and some bathrooms to maintain the standards and quality of the hotel,” Georges-L’Hénoret explains. “We just finished four rooms. We took advantage of the closing during Covid to renovate the lobby and the reception desk. But really, I don’t think it has changed a lot. The restaurant is more modern because we wanted it to look like a garden, but the wooden panels have been there since the 19th century.”

All the rooms are uniquely designed. Fabrice Rambert

Each guest room and suite is unique, with a different wallpaper and color palette, although everything feels elegant, soothing and suffused with light. The bathrooms are marble, with Diptyque products (the hotel recently swapped out Hermès toiletries to be more sustainable, as Diptyque offers full-sized, refillable options). Four juniors boast enviable terraces with Eiffel Tower views. The mini bars come with complimentary non-alcoholic drinks and the wardrobes are expansive enough for a lengthy stay. And some guests do make the San Régis their residence in Paris, just as Snow did. 

“We have a lot of loyal guests, especially families who frequently come to Paris, and this is like a home for them,” Georges-L’Hénoret says. “And it is a real family home because my sisters and I grew up here. We have a lot of people coming for long-term stays, and they see the same faces every time, which is another reason it feels like home. Our concierge has been here 50 years; other employees have been here for 20 or 30 years. A lot of guests used to stay in the palace hotels, but [now] they’re looking for something more intimate. Because we have pieces from the George V, it contributes to us feeling like a mini palace.”

An impressive view. Fabrice Rambert

The intimacy and thoughtful service has ensured a steady stream of celebrity and VIP guests over the years. Lauren Bacall, Gene Kelly, Jacqueline Bisset, Richard Avedon and Candice Bergen have all stayed at the property, located in the 8th arrondissement. But Georges-L’Hénoret’s lips are sealed about who has come to stay recently. The guests trust the hotel’s discretion, she says, but confirms that it is a favorite of the fashion and film industries. 

“We have had a lot of famous people, but what is nice is when you have returning guests,” Georges-L’Hénoret says. “We cherish all of the people who come here and love to stay with us each time they come to Paris. I think what makes the difference is that we have a family spirit. People can feel and appreciate the family atmosphere, which is not that common in Paris. We have a lot of sincerity and we’re really committed to the clients, no matter who they are.” 

Hôtel San Régis. Romain Ricard

What Hôtel San Régis lacks in amenities like a spa and fitness center, it more than makes up for in charm and attention to detail. Last year, for the 100th anniversary, the property commissioned their own toile de Jouy, a patterned French fabric known for pastoral, romantic scenes and iconography. The designer incorporated hints of the building itself and the décor into the signature pastel blue toile de Jouy, which adorns the hotel’s menus, key cards and more. 

The restaurant, Les Confidences, is located in the center of the property’s glass-covered courtyard, and embraces these sorts of detailed flourishes in its service and menu, particularly at breakfast. It serves three meals a day, but it’s the recently-added “goûter,” or “snack time,” that is especially winning. Helmed by Jessica Prealpato, named the World’s Best Pastry Chef in 2019, the afternoon tea-like service is unique and beautifully-presented. 

The bar. Fabrice Rambert

“My sister and I really love Jessica’s work,” Georges-L’Hénoret says. “In thinking about our anniversary last year, we wanted to do something special that went back to our childhoods. We came here to have cake and juice with our father, so we thought about creating a French snack time. When we met with Jessica, [we realized] we think about products in the same way—the respect for the season, for the artisan. To look for the best products. It was evidence we should work together. We would be happy to continue the collaboration for a long time.”

Recently, Hôtel San Régis made a notable cameo on the Apple TV+ series The New Look, about Dior’s rise to fame in the 1950s. The onscreen version of Snow’s hotel room was shot in a studio and, unfortunately, the hotel’s façade was cut from the final version of the series, but the Georges family loved being part of the drama anyway. Georges-L’Hénoret always wants to celebrate the connection between Dior and Hôtel San Régis, particularly since she started her career in the jewelry and watch department of the designer brand. But guests don’t need a penchant for fashion to enjoy the hotel. As the Summer Olympics approach, Georges-L’Hénoret and her team are ready to showcase the best of the French city however a guest wants to experience it.

It’s the details. RICARD ROMAIN

“Our team is always trying to offer the best Parisian moments,” Georges-L’Hénoret confirms. “It’s what we love to do here. We really want our clients to feel Paris in every corner of this hotel.”

Inside Hôtel San Régis, a Historic Hidden Gem in Paris With a Dior Connection