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Suitcase Series: Kimberley Cohen of Maisons Pariente

Parisians get style, in fact, it’s who many look to for style savoir-faire. From the family of the renowned Naf Naf, (many will remember it as the uniform of the nineties), it’s no surprise Kimberley Pariente took on a world of fashion.

Splitting time in her early adult life between Los Angeles and New York in the fashion industry, Kimberley  studied at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. But it wasn’t long before she decided to combine her love of style with hospitality and design.

The Pariente family, by then, had shaken up the French hospitality scene with their hotel group Maisons Pariente, a new luxury collection of boutique five-star hotels in Provence, Saint-Tropez and Méribel. In 2015, Kimberley joined her sister Leslie and father Patrick as Artistic Director, focusing on the identity of hotel projects. Curious about the spirit of the times, nothing is more exciting to her than imagining the atmosphere of a place, from the tableware to the olfactory signature and the choice of bedroom amenities, a special touch for guests of the Maisons Pariente hotels. Ready to become a Pariente junkie?

We delve into Kimberley’s suitcase psyche and the essentials any French woman needs for their travels…


What’s the first trip you remember taking?

My family are travellers. I have been travelling since I was a baby. But the first trip I remember would probably be to Marrakech in Morocco. We use to go at least once a year to hotel La Mamounia which has the most beautiful gardens. I remember feeling free there.

What’s been your favourite vacation?

My honeymoon was my favourite trip. We went on a 45 day world trip journey and explored over 15 countries in Africa, South East Asia, Oceania, and America and visited places like Queenstown in New Zealand, Tetiaroa atoll in Tahiti, Serengeti in Tanzania, The Chobe Park in Botswana or the Victoria falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. We got to meet new people and discover their culture. It was a very tiring trip because we moved every couple of days, always on a plane… but what an experience. This was really a trip of a lifetime.

Where or what is your escape?

When I need to escape, I like to go to my parents country house in Normandy. We’ve had the house since I was a couple of years old and I am very attached to it and the beautiful surrounding landscapes. It’s a place where we disconnect, put down our phones and spend quality time together as a family.

 

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What’s the biggest lesson you’ve taken from your travels?

That planning is overrated. Usually things don’t go as you planned. You need to adapt to any situation. During our world tour, we had planned some destinations that we had to cancel due to bad weather.

And secondly, you need to pack your suitcase right. You don’t need 10 pairs of shoes or shorts but you should definitely always have a scarf, a sweater or two, a bathing suit, a pair of jeans, leggings, sweat pants, sneakers, flip flop and heels. I like to say that a well packed suitcase is one where you have a bit of everything.

My first stop post isolation is..

…My hotels in the South. I miss them so much. I want to enjoy the view and food at Hotel Crillon Le Brave in Provence and then go to Lou Pinet in Saint-Tropez to enjoy the beautiful pools and our beautiful garden.

 

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If I could go anywhere tomorrow, I’d go…

A restaurant! I’m dying to go to a restaurant. Any would do. Just being able to order food and wine. If I could pick, I’d go to my favourite Japanese Omakase in Paris Komatsubaki which is located on the rue d’Artois.

What’s your idea of a luxury holiday?

Going on holiday is already a luxury for me. Luxury holidays can take different forms but I’d say to go to a hotel that has great service and comfort, a great spa, that pays attention to details, that calls me by my name and that has a great concierge that can share his tips with me on where to go, what to do and who to ask for. The real luxury is when you can rely 100% on someone without ever overthinking it.

Where do you get your holiday inspiration from?

I read many travel magazines, online blogs as well as inspiration from Instagram. Our friends and the trips they have taken are also a great inspiration. We exchange tips. We also have a great travel agent, the one who organised our world tour that knows all the best places in the world.

If you could sit next to anyone – dead or alive – on a long-haul flight, who would it be?

I would pick Romy Schneider. I am her biggest fan even though she died before I was born.

How do you recover from jet-lag?

I always travel with Melatonin and it really helps me.

Your flight’s delayed an hour and your phone’s out of battery. How do you pass the time?

I buy magazines and I eat.

 

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Favourite hotel? Why?

This is very hard.. There are so many hotels that I love.

In France it will be Hotel Crillon le Brave. There is something magic about this place. But outside of this, Six Senses Zighy Bay Hotel in Oman.

Favourite airline?

I am used to Air France. I find the stewards always very nice and helpful.

What’s on your travel playlist?

I have a playlist for everything!

I put the mellow one on when I am on the plane with titles like Feeling Good (Nina Simone), And I love him (Esther Phillips) or How Can You Mend a Broken arm (Al Green).

When I am travelling by car, I put my Road Trip playlist with titles like: Man Funk (Guts, Laron Thomas), Tieduprightnow (Parcels), Letter to The Editor (Thievery Corporation), La Rua Madureira (bon Entendeur, Nino Ferrer)

If I am at the beach or by the pool, I will listen to titles like: The Optimistic Voyeur (Yse Saint Laur’ant), Bam Bam (Sister Nancy), El Musica (Osunlade, Nadirah Shakoor)

I’m currently binge watching…

Casa del Papel and Hunters.

What are your must-have suitcase picks?

Where next?

I think Saint Tropez at Hotel Lou Pinet. So many of my friends are going to St Tropez this summer. It will be nice to see some people again.


First thing that comes to your mind

Your hand-luggage essential?

Computer, scarf, phone charger, lip stick, snack.

Packing: roll or fold?

Fold.

Inflight book or inflight film?

Film..

Time killer on a long-haul flight?

Movie or work – I can’t sleep.

Holiday tipple of choice?

Rosé wine.

Bucket list top destination?

Japan and Peru.

Best shopping gem found abroad?

I always find gems on my trips, especially jewelry. Probably a medal necklace I bought in Mykonos.

Beach or City?

Beach.

Ultimate holiday treat?

Desserts and wine for lunch and dinner.

What to Pack

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