To walk through the grand doors of Le Meurice, on Paris’ famous rue de Rivoli, is to step into a glamorous gilded world for this property was the first hotel in the City of Lights to be awarded palace status back in 2011. The 160 beautifully appointed guestrooms including 45 suites are designed in the style redolent of Louis XVI and are set out over seven floors.
For gourmands, the two Michelin starred Restaurant Le Meurice Alain Ducasse under the toque of Executive Chef Amaury Bouhours is a natural draw, highlighting the essential journey of every ingredient. There is also Restaurant Le Dali named for one of the hotel’s most famous guests, Bar 228, the quintessential rendezvous for discerning Parisians and La Patisserie du Meurice par Cédric Grolet, dedicated to the wonderful creations of the hotel’s award-winning pastry chef.
Le Meurice also houses Paris’ first Valmont Spa on the mezzanine level, arranged around a quiet interior courtyard: an exclusive sanctum where natural ingredients and science blend to achieve visible anti-ageing results within its treatment rooms. There are also Jacuzzis, steam rooms accommodating up to six people and separate changing rooms for ladies and gentlemen, each including saunas and showers and a state-of-the-art fitness centre.
Le Meurice is part of The Dorchester Collection.
Located in the heart of the 1st arrondissement between the Place de la Concorde and the Musée du Louvre on the Rue de Rivoli, Le Meurice faces the beautiful Tuileries Garden, famously landscaped by André Le Nôtre, the gardener of King Louis XIV. Behind the hotel are the boutiques and exclusive shops of the Rue St Honoré, rue de la Paix and Place Vendôme. The Opéra Garnier is just a stroll away.
Only 15 minutes from the Gare du Nord (the Eurostar Station), Le Meurice is between 30 minutes to an hour’s drive from Orly Airport and Roissy-Charles de Gaulle International Airport. For resident guests, the hotel offers complimentary parking in their secured public car park. There is also public parking at Place Vendôme.
The nearest Metro stations are the Tuileries or Concorde (Line 1 & 12) within easy walking distance.
Le Meurice has 160 beautifully appointed rooms, including 24 suites and 18 junior suites. Each of the seven floors of the hotel embodies the spirit of Versailles with generously spacious rooms filled with fine period-style furnishings, paintings and beds dressed in luxury French Garnier Thiebaut linen.
There are thirty different decors including more than 170 different fabrics. Twenty-nine rooms and suites from the third to the sixth floor have been elegantly styled by Lally & Berger, a designer duo brought in by Charles Jouffre, Le Meurice’s interior designer of ten years. Their vision was to create what a modern-day Versailles would look like if built today – the result brings lighter and brighter spaces, decorated with a tactile array of the finest French fabrics including silk, damask and velvet alongside bespoke furniture, bespoke hand-painted wallpaper and curated artworks relating to the history of Paris and Le Meurice.
Each sound-proofed room features stunning marbled bathrooms with soaking ‘waterfall’ bathtubs, separate showers and Maison Francis Kurkdjian toiletries. Tech-wise, the hotel offers complimentary Wi-Fi, large flatscreen televisions, video games and Apple TV, iHome, iPod radio alarm and air conditioning. Other amenities also include an unpacking and packing service, a minibar, complimentary seasonal fruit & mineral water and fresh orchids.
The two high ceilinged Presidential suites are found on the first floor facing the Tuileries Garden and both are individually decorated in a formal 18th century Louis XVI style, furnished with one-of-a-kind masterpieces, with parquet floors of aged woods and rugs by Braquenié created with special motifs just for these rooms.
The Presidential Apartment Dali, Park View offers a taste of Versailles in the room loved by Dali for so many years. The beauty of this room is the front-facing windows overlooking the Tuileries Garden. The suite is built around two reception rooms with a second or third suite available to connect or the entire floor can transform into a private apartment. The private dining area can seat parties up to 12 guests and there is a private area at the suite entrance for security.
The Presidential Apartment Tuileries, Park View has a grand and glorious style with room after room revealing opulent furnishings, sumptuous fabrics, sparkling chandeliers and one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture. Attention to detail is everything and Tuileries artworks adorn the walls and even the hand-painted vases have been chosen to echo the garden’s flower pots.
In July 2016, Le Meurice created an entirely new suite named after the Marquise de Pompadour, the official chief mistress of Louis XV. A classic blend of tradition and modernity, the Madame de Pompadour apartments incorporate intuitive automation and state of the art technology. When stepping into the suite, a bust of Madame de Pompadour, reproduced from an original by the manufacture de Sèvres, faces a trompe l’oeil diorama showing the marquise in front of her chateau. Moving inside, it is the epitome of the 18th century with symmetry, solid oak Versailles parquet, Regency style wood panelling, hidden doors, armchairs by Philippe Starck emblazoned with her image, Louis XV fireplace, cornices, chandeliers and rich trimmings by Maison Declerq.
All three rooms in the suite are in harmony with televisions hidden behind reproduction paintings, USB ports hidden in sofa armrests and complete darkness at the touch of a button.
The pièce de resistance however is the Belle Etoile Penthouse Suite with Terrace on the hotel’s top seventh floor designed by Charles Jouffre and Lally & Berger. With a wraparound terrace with a unique 360-degree view over Paris, this four-bedroom duplex suite boasts a spectacular Italian marble bathroom, filled with natural light from a trio of windows and featuring a circular whirlpool bath overlooking Montmartre.
Other treats include hand-painted clouds in the “boudoir” entrance hall, tactile oak furnishings courtesy of Atelieres Perrault, one-off artworks by Carole Benzaken, bespoke chandeliers by Maison Lucien Gau and a bespoke staircase inspired by the branches of the Tuileries Garden trees. If you stay here, expect a complimentary bottle of Krug Champagne, fruit baskets, treats galore, personalised bathrobes and complimentary round-trip airport/mainline station transfers.
Views are incredible and you can log on to see it yourself on the hotel’s live stream, as the entire Paris panorama is filmed live from the terrace. There is also seamless, intuitive technology interwoven in the suite with AirPlay and Chromecast bringing superior connectivity in seven different rooms whole Bang & Olufsen televisions and Bowers & Wilkins speakers create the ultimate home cinema experience. You can also close those shades and fill your bath at a touch of a finger on the touchpad.
The exclusive Spa Valmont pour Le Meurice is a haven of tranquillity, set in a 340 square-metre space, decorated in soothing bronze, celadon green and beige with accents of gold. Opening onto a landscaped terrace and bathed in natural light, the spa is set on two floors: the ground floor housing La Boutique and the upper: four luxurious treatment suites including a couple’s suite offering a wide range of rejuvenating treatments, a relaxation area, a mani-pedi area, an ice fountain and a state-of-the-art fitness room. There are separate changing rooms for men and women, each offering a sauna, steam bath and showers. Valmont's L’Elixir des Glaciers anti-ageing treatments are much sought after for their soothing effects.
Junior VIPs are welcome at Le Meurice with the emphasis on fun: little ones on arrival are given a special children’s passport which maps out a trail of the city’s most magical sights. The little book encourages children to visit and learn about the main sights of Paris when visiting with their family, collecting tokens and pictures to put inside. On sunny days, a toy sailing boat in the hotel’s colours can be borrowed for sailing on the ponds in the Jardin des Tuileries whilst on rainy days, the hotel treasure hunt will entertain children for hours, whilst on the trail of the hotel’s mascot, Pistache, the dog. At the end of the hunt, they are invited to the General Manager’s office where they are given a special prize. There are also puzzles, ducks and cards to entertain, an online quiz called ‘Les Bons Génies du Meurice’ and even highchairs designed by Philippe Starck. Little ones also have their own Le Petit Prince amenities.
Le Meurice welcomes ‘furry friends’ and provides complimentary pet baskets (for cats and dogs) and specific menus and food options. Grooms are happy to walk dogs in the Tuileries Garden.
Dating to 1835, the discreet and elegant Le Meurice has the good & the great, the rich & famous from royalty to fashion designers and captains of industry to film stars. Since Charles-Augustin Meurice opened his eponymous hotel on the Rue de Rivoli, focused on attracting upper-class British travellers in a style to which they had become used to, the hotel has attracted the glitterati to its doors. The composer Tchaikovsky stayed at the property as did Coco Chanel whilst the Duke and Duchess of Windsor made it their Paris base.
It is perhaps best known however for its writers, artists and actors with Picasso celebrating his marriage to ballerina Olga Koklova at Le Meurice, with guests including Jean Cocteau, Guillaume Apollinaire, Max Jacob and Serge Diaghilev. Arguably the hotel’s most exuberant guest was Salvador Dali who, for more than thirty years, stayed for a month every year in what used to be the Alphonse XIII royal suite where his domestic cheetahs scratched the suite’s carpets. The hotel has always had a close association with emerging artists, celebrated in the kiss sculpture in the lobby by Zoulikha Bouabdellah and is still frequented by creative types like Woody Allen and Jay-Z.
The key to the ongoing hotel’s success however is that it has remained “current” – continuously renovating, adapting, re-imagining its spaces with today’s creatives including Phillipe Starck with his daughter Ara alongside designers Charles Jouffre and Lally & Berger. Most importantly however, the original décor – the elaborate mosaic floors, friezes, paintings, hand-carved mouldings, cornices, columns, pediments, and pilasters, have been preserved – the modern enhancements merely complementing the original and inviting guests to “take a fresh look at nearly 200 years of history”.
The hotel’s signature two-Michelin starred Restaurant Le Meurice Alain Ducasse under the toque of Chef de Cuisines Amaury Bouhours offers a rich, subtle and varied menu every day, reinterpreting classic haute cuisine with exquisite precision whilst remaining faithful to each ingredient’s true, authentic flavour.
Philippe Starck collaborated on the design of the room, inspired by the Salon de la Paix at the Château de Versailles and its 18th century grand siècle-style decor. Step through gilded glass doors to a room graced with antique mirrors, chandeliers, bronze, marble, and frescoes juxtaposed with modernist Eero Saarinen Tulip Chairs with large picture windows looking out on the Tuileries Garden.
Starck also designed the Restaurant Le Dalí in a bright, elegant style with a relaxed ambiance, touches of Dali reflected in subtle touches and in the menus. Philippe Starck, inspired by Dalí himself, who said, “my entire life is determined by two conflicting ideas: the top and the bottom” and playing with the same idea, the carpet designed by Starck’s daughter, Ara, echoes the fresco she also painted that stretches across the ceiling. Both works distort reality, the ceiling soaring as the ground sinks. Starck took care to preserve the subtle ties with the spirit of Salvador Dali that permeates the space: the Swan chair and rocking chair are still there alongside new additions – chairs with canvas backs printed with drawings by Ara. The menu meanwhile blends traditional Parisian brasserie dishes and local, seasonal French cuisine.
Bar 228 is the location of a thousand stories where discerning Parisians hide away, settling down in deep leather armchairs to lose themselves in nightly live jazz music. The space is furnished with dark woods, frescoes and painted ceilings with sultry lighting lending it an intimate, slightly decadent appeal which Philippe Starck has refreshed with a Carrara marble bar counter and flashes of pink copper, brass and stainless steel. Cocktails can be created to suit any taste whilst others might prefer the signature Meurice Millennium with Cointreau and champagne or perhaps the bar’s twist on a classic Bellini. There are over 50 whiskies and malts available (served in bespoke Riedel crystal glasses) and guests can even order Dom Perignon by the glass. The Bar also serves seasonal dishes for lunch and dinner ranging from the signature Club 228 burger to the shared grilled antipasti and seafood from the south of France.
For freshly baked Madeleines, brioche Bundt cakes or innovative creations such as the legendary “trompe-l’oeil” sculpted fruit, crafted by Cédric Grolet, the hotel’s talented award-winning patisserie chef, head to Le Meurice’s Pastry Boutique just around the corner from the hotel. To create the boutique, Cédric worked with Ciguë architects to design a space that was modern, chic and perfectly captured his creative vision.
As part of The Dorchester Collection, each property seeks to minimise the environmental impact of its operations, including those relating to energy consumption, water use, waste minimisation and management, product procurement and use and the selection of materials in refurbishment and new build products. Each hotel monitors its environmental impact and seeks continuous improvement in reducing its impact.
At least 95% of the ingredients used in the restaurants and bars of Le Meurice are sourced from local suppliers, who nurture their produce with care and a passion for authenticity. It also means the hotel’s food circuit is short, respecting the environment and cutting down on food miles.