Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Avize, France (Champagne) - A Stay at Hotel Les Avisés with Anselme Selosse

After doing a fair bit of research on where to stay in France's Champagne region, I discovered Hotel Les Avisés. The more I read about the property, the more I became intrigued by its owner, Anselme Selosse. You see, Anselme is the son of famous champagne maker Jacques Selosse, and one of the most renown producers in the entire region, some say the world. His champagne is so rare he has attained a cult following putting collectors in a frenzy just to have a bottle of his liquid gold.

In fact, Selosse champagne is made in such limited quantities and so sought after, that thieves stole $350,000 worth of champagne in April 2013 in a desperate attempt to get their hands on his bottles. Ask any expert in the region who the most avant-guard, pioneering, knowledgable and influential producer in the region is and the answer is almost always the legendary Selosse.

Anselme and his wife, Corinne, restored this gorgeous chateau surrounded by vineyards with the help of Bruno Burrione, an interior designer known for his work with Philippe Starck. The hotel only consists of ten rooms, but each one is best described as minimalist chic, where each piece is hand-picked and carefully curated with all the necessary luxury amenities in tow. The common areas are as comfortable and inviting as your own home.

The award for the coolest hotel room keys goes to Les Avisés - miniature bottles of Selosse champagne (not drinkable, sorry!):

We were led up the stairs through this hallway to our room:

The room was a beautiful and soothing space with calming colors that both looked out to the front of the estate from the bedroom and to the beautiful gardens in the rear from the bathroom.

We were delighted to be given a tour of a few of the other guest rooms in the house, and here you can see the unique decor of each room:

Unfortunately, Selosse is not open to the public for tasting and tours like the surrounding champagne houses. Even their restaurant is only lucky enough to get three bottles of their champagne an evening to serve their dinner guests. You can imagine my surprise then, when the next morning I was told I would be given a private tour of the Selosse caves led by Anselme himself! Here is a peak inside the areas that are not open to tourists:

Here is Anselme lighting a piece of paper to help illustrate one of his many philosophies on wine making in the region:

While Anselme and I communicated in my best French (he is timid to speak in English), dare I say it is enough just to be around him. Having a private audience with Anselme in his own caves, one gets the sense that they are in the company of a modern day Picasso, someone so influential and expert in their art, that they will be talked about and celebrated for their genius and contributions long after they are gone.

I will never forget being in the company of Monsier Selosse and the hospitality he showed me during my stay. He is a true artist with so much passion. I can't urge you enough to stay at Hotel Les Avisés when you are in the region; it is a slice of luxury. And even if you can't spend the night there, their restaurant is spectacular ... more on that in my next post!

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