In the immortal words of Coco Chanel, "Luxury has to be comfortable otherwise it is not luxury.” Cheval Blanc, referred to by those on the inside track as the ‘Maison’, has captured the essence of those words within the surroundings of their luxurious hotel.
When it comes to the very top end of the luxury market, elegant rooms, spa-like bathrooms, excellent food, and ‘switched-on’, highly-personalised service, is what is expected. And yet, surprisingly, a large amount of luxury hotels and resorts promise this but many fall way short on delivery. Cheval Blanc has achieved one of the hardest things: calculated balance. Elegant and contemporary surroundings, excellent service, and good, if not great, food are all delivered within the realms of a casual, but ever so chic, beach holiday.
And that's exactly what it should be, as guests here seek to be relaxed pampered and made to feel special. Where Cheval Blanc excels is in the little details. The very personal approach and dedication to individualised service is second to none. You are not just another guest here. The small touches in the room, some 62 amenities, and a staff of competent professionals, this is indeed the art of hospitality.
I have been unusually effusive about this hotel because truly, I would love to holiday here myself with friends and family But take note. Regardless of what the hotel’s marketing material may say, this is not a family property. Not at all. During my visit in August there were indeed young children about but this is not kiddie territory.
It is a property where romance is alive and well. Couples arm-in-arm watching the sunset with a glass of champagne, couples finding their mojo again, and small groups of close friends having some quality time together. This is the essence of Isle de France and even for a singleton like me, in the midst of such jarring loveliness, it did not disappoint. Didn’t the French invent the word ‘chic’?