Standing opposite the imposing yet blasé Notre Dames de Reims, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is La Caserne Chanzy, expensive hotels and spa the city has long been waiting for. After having been left empty since 1993, it opened in August after a 4-year refurbishment that transformed it from an abandoned World War I fire station into a stylish hotel that is constantly on the honour its heritage. Marriott’s unique Autograph Collection created more than just expensive hotels in La Caserne Chanzy Hotel and Spa, they made a celebration of the town of Reims itself.
La Caserne Chanzy Hotel and Spa, Autograph Collection Review: Things to Expect
La Caserne Chanzy Hotel and Spa, Autograph Collection boasts 89 rooms, 30 of which possess a view of the Cathedral that rivals its Parisian sister. Your accommodation is sleek and intimate because of warm lighting and a spa-like scent that entices those who go into the lobby. The scent was developed specifically by the Autograph Collection for La Caserne Chanzy and just as their tagline suggests; it’s – exactly like little else. All of the décor of the hotel is to remind visitors from the champagne from a shimmering gold colour pallette to some bottle rack backdrop behind the leading desk. The lines around the bedroom floor represent the vines within the vineyard and the shower screen was hand-painted to represent the bubbles in champagne.
The courtyard overlooked by suites further back in the building is the best place for a romantic drink within the warmer months. Every day at 6 pm there’s a 15-minute ceremony to honour the history from the fire station away from drying tower in the courtyard. This was in which the fireman’s water pipes were hung to dry out. Personnel here are proud of a brief history of La Caserne Chanzy Hotel and Spa, Autograph Collection and the wider Champagne willing and able to talk about these tidbits of history with guests. You get the sense that staff genuinely love working here, Reims really have been waiting for expensive hotels like this to serve the city. They’ve created a real sense of belonging here, beige and gold, and shimmering.
La Caserne Chanzy Hotel and Spa, Autograph Collection Review: The Spa
The onsite spa is a triumph on its own and an alternate entrance means that people in the city can take advantage of onpar gps. These include a multi-level hammam, two saunas, an ice bucket shower and dispenser for closing the pores post-steam and a jet pool with massaging features. The spa is small, chic and and adds that extra relaxation step to your trip without needing to leave the hotel.
La Caserne Chanzy Hotel and Spa, Autograph Collection Review: The Food
You don’t have to stray not even close to your accommodation to obtain some superior quality French cuisine either, just downstairs. La Grande Georgette may be the hotel’s Bistronomic restaurant named after the fire engine that when belonged towards the station, which rather unflatteringly was named after the fire chief’s wife, Georgette. The waiting staff wear a navy and red braces and bow ties. Clever accessories are incorporated, including fire buckets to chill the champagne along with a fireman’s bell and press. The restaurant is light with big windows and has a stylish cool-toned metallic look that contrasts with the warmth of the hotel itself.
The restaurant features a traditional open-plan kitchen that permits you to begin to see the chefs cooking the bathroom not just doing the garnishes. The menu is traditionally French having a focus on seasonal produce. They stock roving champagnes and try to stock more independent and lesser-known brands for guests to try. I highly recommend the Tuna ceviche, leche de tigre, citrus starter for a fresh and zingy start to what is certain to be an unforgettable meal.
La Caserne Chanzy Hotel and Spa, Autograph Collection Review: Things to Do
There’s plenty to determine and do within the town of Reims. It’s bustling with shops and also the wider Champagne region is rich with history and wine-making tradition. Notre Dames de Reims was the traditional place for the coronations from the French monarchy and holds great cultural importance.
Millions upon countless champagne bottles lie in cellars under the unsuspecting streets of Reims, in an underground network that when kept locals protected from bombing in the first world war. In fact, 80% from the city was destroyed which is the eclectic architectural style. There are many independent champagne houses, there is always something new to try and endless around champagne cellars to discover – perfect for the wine buff!
The traditional Christmas market happens in the shadow of Notre Dames de Reims each year, which guests can view from the front-facing suite window. The locals tell me the market is not to be missed which means next Christmas I’ve a reason to go back to this incredible city…
La Caserne Chanzy Hotel and Spa, Autograph Collection Review: Our Verdict
The Autograph Collection champions individuality, all the hotels within their portfolio provide a story and no two are the same. La Caserne Chanzy Hotel and Spa, Autograph Collection is a beautiful hotel which honoured the essence of Reims and France’s Champagne region. Perfect for history, culture and people alike, La Caserne Chanzy is indeed a treat of a stay.