Hôtel Plaza Athénée Paris

Review of Hôtel Plaza Athénée Paris

BusinessClass.com review by Varun Sharma

The Hôtel Plaza Athénée, officially designated as one of Paris’ "palace hotels" in May 2011, sits right in the heart of Paris’ most exclusive and prestigious designer enclave. This haute couture property is the epitome of Parisian chic, welcoming the great and the good through its doors since 1913. Today is one of the world’s most sought-after addresses. 

It offers 154 guest rooms and 54 suites serviced by six outstanding restaurants and bars including the resplendent Jean Imbert au Plaza Athénée and the Parisian bistro ambiance of Le Relais Plaza decked out in Art Deco glory. For pampering, there is the Dior Spa Plaza Athénée with five treatment rooms, male and female steam rooms and saunas, a relaxation room and a fully equipped gym with state-of-the-art equipment including for the martial arts. 

Children are afforded a warm welcome here from their famous teddy bear, Gustave to a junior bathrobe and slippers. During the winter, the hotel hosts Paris’ famous ice-skating rink whilst during the holidays, there is a special kids (concierge) desk to deal with queries. Our canine friends (under six kilos) are also welcome here – even in the restaurants - with cotton sleeping baskets, dog bowls and their very own welcome note!

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The Hôtel Plaza Athénée Paris is located on the exclusive avenue Montaigne, the tree-lined boulevard of French fashion, close to the Champs Elysées in the heart of the city. The home of haute couture, all the big-name brands including Dior, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Prada are within easy walking distance. 

Centrally located, the hotel is close to all the key landmarks with the Grand Palais around ten minutes’ walk, the Eiffel Tower around a 15-minute walk across the Seine and the L’Arc de Triomphe about 20 minutes’ away. The “Golden Triangle” of high-end theatres and cabarets are also within close walking distance. The Alma Marceau and Franklin D Roosevelt metro stations are a few steps from the hotel for access to attractions like Notre Dame, Montmartre, the Musée d’Orsay and the Louvre. 

With traffic, it is around an hour’s journey time from Charles de Gaulle and Paris Orly airports and about 20 minutes’ drive from the Eurostar terminus at the Gare du Nord.



The style of the accommodation on floors one to six is that of a sumptuously opulent private Parisian home with rooms full of rich fabrics and elegant furnishings, stylishly presented. Higher up, the guest rooms have more of a re-imagined Art Deco simplicity about them, designed by Bruno Moinard and Claire Bétaille. 

Thoughtful touches abound such as the laptop bed tray, the Gourmet minibar, the Gherlain toiletries, the iPad for in-room services and the pillow menu, to name but a few.  When more space is needed, the many suites oblige with bespoke furnishings, beautiful marble bathrooms and Beltrami bed linens. The Presidential Suite offers refined luxury in a classic Parisian style, designed by Marie-José Pommereau with couture-house fabrics with eclectic, vintage finds. 

There are six Signature suites including L’Appartement which is perfect for those who want to entertain when in town. It enjoys a balcony with views over Parisian rooftops and the Eiffel Tower. The Terrasse Duplex Suite is an Art Deco dream, spread out over two floors with a private terrace overlooking the city. There are three Eiffel Tower Suites including the Haute Couture Eiffel Suite on the third floor, decorated in a palatial manner with silk fabrics, elaborate mouldings, and silver-leaf detailing – all in shades of grey and pink in a nod to Monsieur Dior. Sliding doors lead to a living area complete with a baby grand piano. 

The Royal Suite on the fifth floor, again designed by Marie-José Pommereau, is the most spectacular and opulent of all embracing the width of the entire hotel.  It is also the largest suite in Paris. 

There are four bedrooms with marble en-suites complete with Jacuzzi and a steam room, balconies with stunning views over the avenue Montaigne and the Eiffel Tower and beautifully luxurious décor with hand-picked antiques and original artworks. Additionally, there are two drawing rooms, a separate office, a private kitchen, and a spacious dining room seating eight people.  Every comfort has been considered and there is robust surveillance and security.

Service & Facilities


In 1946 Christian Dior opened his first boutique on avenue Montaigne with the idea of introducing his salon to the Hôtel Plaza Athénée’s well-heeled guests, a close commercial relationship that continues to this day. Today, this legacy extends to the property’s spacious, richly decorated Dior Spa Plaza Athénée - decorated with fashion sketches by Christian Dior and photos of his fashion shoots at the hotel. The Dior Spa is about rejuvenation, revitalising both the body and the mind. 

There are five treatment rooms including a double for couple’s therapies, male and female steam rooms, and saunas, a relaxion room and a fully equipped gym for the fitness orientated.

La Cour Jardin, the property’s pretty seasonal courtyard garden, features bright red parasols, awnings and lush greenery and is a haven of peace away from the busy streets of the city – perfect for light bites, a private party or for simply idling away the day.



There’s no Parisian hotel more distinctive than the Hôtel Plaza Athénée on Avenue Montaigne, a landmark in the heart of Paris with its signature red flowers and awnings. 

The hotel was created in the ornate Parisian Haussmann style of architecture opening in April 1913 in grand style. A while later, Christian Dior opened his first boutique nearby and other important brands followed suit soon after, with the location swiftly becoming known as the “Avenue of Fashion”. 

That early relationship with the world of haute couture set the scene for the property’s style, with Hollywood’s elite and VIPs of all descriptions frequenting the property and lending it that special, exclusive cachet. 

To all intents and purposes, it is the beating heart of fashion and style, especially during Paris Fashion Week with even the Haute Couture Eiffel Suite dedicated to Dior in the brand’s signature grey and pink tones and his perfume permeating the beauty treatments in the Dior Spa. 

With its marble floors, chandeliers and an interior design style which effortlessly intermingles touches of the 17th century, Art Deco and today’s modernism, it is very definitely a glamorous, palace hotel of the old school which unsurprisingly remains a statement hotel still treasured by today’s power elite – a place to see and be seen.

Restaurants & Bars


There are six restaurants and bars on property with a range of options to suit every palate and mood. 

Jean Imbert au Plaza Athénée returns diners to the origins of French gastronomy, timelessly following the great traditions of French cuisine in the hotel’s signature restaurant. Unearthing ancient recipes, many centuries old, dishes are re-presented with a new energy and vibrancy by this young chef, named one of the 50 most influential French people by Vanity Fair. To complement the cuisine, the décor created by Remi Tessier offers a grand Royal Table crafted from antique Breccia marble, a gilded ceiling, and a warm and welcoming ambiance. 

Le Relais Plaza is one of the city’s best loved restaurants, opening in 1936 with an Art Deco design by Constant Lefranc inspired by the first-class dining hall of the SS Normandie, one of the finest cruise ships of the age. Offering true Parisian brasserie dining as envisioned by Jean Imbert, the restaurant oozes old world charm with Diane Chasseresse’s original frescoes displayed alongside Lalique’s amazing chandelier and engraved zodiac-stained glass.

The summer-opening La Cour Jardin, the inner courtyard of the hotel, is a haven of peace and serenity. The red awnings, flowers and parasols with cascading ivy covering the walls gives a sense of light-hearted frivolity and privacy, serving an ever-changing seasonal menu all day long.

La Terrasse Montaigne is ideally situated for watching the world go by during the summer months. The al fresco restaurant, protected by those signature red awnings, runs right along the façade of the hotel, serving light bites on Paris’ most fashionable street.

La Galerie in the heart of the hotel is a determinedly chic, elegant space designed by Bruno Moinard. With a resident harpist as background, La Galerie is the ideal spot for light meals, drinks and afternoon tea with delicacies devised by Executive Pastry Chef, Angelo Musa. The floor to ceiling arched windows bring the sunshine right into the centre of the space, reflected in the chandeliers and marble floor.

Jouin Manku were behind the sleek, contemporary style of Le Bar which features a lively atmosphere with a regular DJ.  A fluid Yves Klein blue ceiling of deep sapphire swirls of fabric above a transparent bar crafted from a single block of resin – contrasting with the rich backdrop of wood panelling - captures the essence of haute couture, an appropriate design statement for such a fashionable haunt. There is even a playlist for Le Bar created by American director and producer Stan Neff which can be enjoyed via Spotify. Expect classic and innovative cocktails and an ever-changing selection of the world’s most exclusive Dom Pérignon champagnes. The vintages are displayed in a striking display case designed by Nicolas Francart.


The Hôtel Plaza Athénée believes that the power of sustainable development lies in their people and culture. They have undertaken several long-term partnerships which benefits both Paris’ monuments and citizens. 

For example, since 2011, they have been patrons of the Palace of Versailles supporting many of their initiatives including replanting 115 trees damaged by storms in 1999 and the renovation of the Château-Neuf Orangery in Versailles with the relaunch of the royal walled vegetable garden of Marie-Antoinette. This is where the hotel grows its own organic vegetables under the expert guidance of head gardener Alain Baraton. All fish is sustainably sourced by local fishermen who respect the seasonality of the sea’s produce and avoid overfishing.

The hotel’s sustainability plan seeks to minimise the environmental impact of its operations including energy consumption, water use, waste minimisation and management, product procurement and use and the selection of materials in refurbishment and new build projects.

This includes reducing their carbon emissions with new LED bulbs throughout the hotel, recycling bio-waste to generate green electricity, donating used products to support children’s charities, switching electronics to standby and using a new management system for their air-conditioning and heating. In 2012, the hotel was named a “Green host” destination by the Paris Tourism Board.

What We Love

  • Colour: Nearly 2,000 red geraniums in window boxes give Hôtel Plaza Athénée that distinct look. When they are in full bloom and the red awnings are down, there is no more sumptuous hotel façade in the world.
  • Address: Rue de Montaigne in the 8th arrondissement of Paris is one of the most famous streets in the city. Every luxury fashion brand from Celine to Versace and Chanel to Fendi is represented here and of course the always-fashionable Hôtel Plaza Athénée (at No. 25) has been a home for the well-heeled since 1913. The hotel can even arrange a fashion tour of Rue de Montaigne.
  • Fun: While Paris is one of the most interesting cities in the world – filled with attractions for all ages, the Hôtel Plaza Athénée still manages to give you a reason not leave the premises! The Dior Spa is a huge draw but the hotel also offers wine tasting, etiquette classes, a Macaron masterclass (yum), feather and perfume workshops and a virtual treasure hunt around the city’s foremost art museums.

    Varun Sharma

What They Love

  • Its elegance: Hôtel Plaza Athénée is a hotel like no other – chic and sophisticated, it is simply timeless. A favourite feature of mine is La Galerie. It has such a calm and serene atmosphere. It is the perfect place to enjoy breakfast, lunch or sit for afternoon tea.
  • Our people: The people at Hôtel Plaza Athénée are who really bring it to life. The team here are wonderful – from the doormen who greet you on arrival, to our knowledgeable concierge and friendly restaurant staff, each of our dedicated employees are committed to ensuring that their guests have a truly memorable stay at the hotel.
  • The food: With five restaurants to choose from at Hôtel Plaza Athénée you really are spoilt for choice. The new gastronomic restaurant Jean Imbert au Plaza Athénée is outstanding, while Le Relais Plaza offers a modern interpretation of the traditional French brasserie. La Galerie is ideal for light lunch or afternoon tea, and for al fresco dining, you can choose from our courtyard, La Cour Jardin, or La Terrasse Montaigne to immerse yourself in Parisian ‘flaneur’ life.

    François Delahaye
    General Manager
    Hôtel Plaza Athénée

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About the author
Varun Sharma
With over 25 years of experience in luxury travel journalism, Varun is responsible for all the content you see on BusinessClass.com. He works closely with all the hotel and airline brands that appear on the website. BBC-trained, Varun has appeared in print, on radio, television, and now online media - having worked for outlets including the BBC, Telegraph (UK), MSNBC, Travel Channel and Cond...
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