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11. June 2021
by Varun Sharma
Paris is one of the most visited capital cities in the world. The skyline of The City of Light is dominated by the Eiffel Tower and is home to magnificent monuments and places of worship including L’Arc de Triomphe and Sacre Coeur. With art galleries including the Louvre and major fashion labels including Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Dior housed in Paris, its no wonder why the city brims with class and culture. There is a plethora of truly luxurious hotels in the city – including the nine palace hotels that are the crème de la crème of Parisian - and indeed French - hospitality.
The BusinessClass.com guide to the best hotels in Paris:
Located on the rue de Rivoli – adjacent to the Tuileries Gardens – Le Meurice has been welcoming well-heeled and affluent guests through its doors since 1835. Le Meurice – which features 160 rooms & suites – was the first hotel in Paris to be awarded palace status in 2011. The property has been part of Dorchester Collection since 1997 and is one of two hotels that the luxury hotel group manages in the city – the other being Hôtel Plaza Athénée. The rooms & suites are decorated in Versailles-style – elegant and stylish while still affording comfort and practicality. The bathrooms are swathed in Italian Arabescato marble.
Le Meurice has been working with renowned designer Philippe Starck and his influences can be seen in many of the public areas. Le Meurice boasts a two Michelin-starred restaurant – Le Meurice Alain Ducasse. Diners can expect a magnificent culinary experience with Executive Chef Jocelyn Herland creating delightful dishes to suit all palates. Le Dalí serves delicious Mediterranean fare and is named after the famed Catalan artist Salvador Dalí who made the hotel his Paris home. The Spa Valmont is the only one in Paris and offers a plethora of treatments for him and her. It is an ideal place to destress after a day of shopping, sightseeing or business in Paris.
Situated in one of the most aesthetic and fashionable parts of the city, The Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris opened to overwhelming fanfare in December 1999. It boasts 244 rooms & suites, five Michelin-stars spread over its three restaurants - the most of any hotel in Europe, a spa with indoor swimming pool, ballrooms, and meeting spaces. The George V currently holds three Michelin-stars at Le Cinq – one of the finest haute-cuisine dining experiences in Paris. Chef Christian Le Squer conjures up magical dishes including his signature “big crunchy scampi with citrus emulsion”. The wine list at Le Cinq suits all budgets and one of the most famous sommeliers in the world - Eric Beaumard - is on hand to help you choose.
L’Orangerie holds one Michelin star and offers modern international cuisine with a twist. Alain Taudon – a student of Le Squer - specialises in seafood and plant-based dishes. Finally, Le George which also holds one Michelin star, offers modern Mediterranean cuisine. Italian-born Chef Simone Zinoni has created a superb menu featuring signature dishes like “Le George V onion tarte tatin with parmesan sorbet”. Le Bar is a great place to meet for a drink – it exudes class without a hint of pretence. The spa features a stunning indoor swimming pool.
Le Bristol - 9/10
Opened in 1925 and a jewel in the Oetker Collection of international luxury hotels & resorts, Le Bristol Paris boasts 190 magnificent rooms and suites, 6 restaurants including the 3-Michelin starred – Épicure, a single Michelin starred restaurant - Le 114 Faubourg and bars - all overseen by French masterchef Éric Fréchon, who has built a temple of gastronomy in his role as the hotel’s Executive Chef over two decades. The hotel features Spa Le Bristol by La Prairie and a covered swimming pool, with panoramic views over Paris’s rooftops. The hotel’s prime location – in the heart of the arts and fashion district - is perfect for a sophisticated sojourn to the City of Light. The charismatic Le Bristol has all the ingredients to uphold its palace hotel status, ranking it - officially - among the finest hotels in Paris and as one of the most famous luxury hotels in the world.
With four Michelin stars and the esteemed title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France - Best Craftsmen of France - Éric Fréchon oversees the hotel’s six restaurants and bars. Épicure is the jewel in the crown of Le Bristol and has held 3-Michelin stars for over ten years. This temple of gastronomy is so French and so chic. Gloriously serene, with floral drapes, marble floor and tables with starched linens and designer tabelware, the experience of the tasting menu, once sampled, makes food memories that last for years.
Opened in 2011 - Mandarin Oriental, Paris is comfortably one of the finest hotels in the city and well-deserving of its official Palace status. Residing in the heart of Paris, this chic hotel features 138 rooms & suites, the two Michelin starred Sur Mesure by Thierry Marx, spa, indoor swimming pool, and lush courtyard garden - one of the most beautiful secret retreats in the French capital. While the Mandarin Oriental, Paris style is contemporary, there are plenty of references to the buildings’ Art Deco roots in the plush rooms and suites.
The hotel offers plenty of creature comforts. Oriental touches reflect the hotel group’s heritage and splashes of romance with beautiful floral arrangements are typically French. Butterflies bring the beautiful gardens inside starting with the pretty installation in the reception of 138 Swarovski crystals. Ceramic and fabric butterflies are a theme throughout the hotel. The 99 rooms and 39 suites offered at Mandarin Oriental, Paris are among the most spacious in the city. Many overlook the leafy gardens; while some have balconies or terraces, others enjoy views of famous Parisian landmarks including the Eiffel Tower.
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Tucked away on rue de la Paix – a stone’s throw from Place Vendôme – in the city’s 2ndarrondissement is the wonderful Park Hyatt Paris–Vendôme. A 19th century Paris-Haussmannian building, the hotel features 111 rooms & 45 suites. The rooms were designed by the late, great Ed Tuttle who was responsible for the Aman look. The bathrooms are glorious and feature underfloor heating – a delight on a cold Parisian morning.
The hotel boasts an “in room spa” service which – as the term suggests – invited guests to enjoy treatments – using La Mer products in the comfort of their own room or suite. There is even hair room service provided by the celebrity stylist John Nollet. Park Hyatt Paris–Vendôme does have it owns spa for guests that prefer a proper facility and there is also a small fitness centre available. Breakfast and lunch are served at Sens but Pur’ – Jean-François Rouquette is the hotel’s main culinary attraction – offering guests superb dishes in this Michelin-starred establishment. La Terrasse is a wonderful place to enjoy a flute of fine Champagne to end the day. Situated on the hotel roof, it offers magnificent vistas of the city …
Hôtel de Crillon – 9/10
Reopened in 2017 after a major four-year refurbishment and under management of the Rosewood Group, Hôtel de Crillon has taken Paris by storm. Located close to the Elysée Palace and adjacent to the Place de la Concorde, the hotel cannot be any more central. The building itself dates back to the mid-18th century but has housed a hotel since 1909. The hotel now features 78 rooms, 36 suites and 10 signature suites - two of which were designed by the legend that was Karl Lagerfeld. The guestrooms are magnificent – elegantly designed in a contemporary fashion with touches that nod to the building’s classic heritage.
L’Ecrin conjures up superb cuisine and is the hotel’s signature restaurant but the remarkable Bar Les Ambassadeurs – complete with the superb ceiling frescoes – is one of the city’s premier meeting places. Sense, a Rosewood spa boasts an indoor swimming pool and Sisley provides the treatments. There is also a hair salon by David Lucas and a state-of-the-art fitness studio.
La Réserve Paris Hotel & Spa - 9/10
Paris boasts some of the finest city hotels in the world and the intimate & popular La Réserve is no exception. With just 14 rooms and 26 suites, Jérôme Banctel’s two Michelin starred restaurant Le Gabriel, swimming pool, spa, and butler service, La Réserve is the ultimate Parisian boutique hotel. Once home to fashion designer Pierre Cardin, this historic boutique hotel was originally built as a Paris home for the Duc de Morny - Napoléon III’s half-brother - in 1854. Now, La Réserve Paris Hotel & Spa is a quietly fashionable Haussmanian hotel, found down a leafy boulevard, lined with century-old trees and part of Michel Reybier’s bijoux hotel group that has gained an impressive quality word-of mouth reputation in recent years.
The hotel’s serene cream frontage features wrought iron lattice balcony terraces populated with occasional café-style table and chairs where guests take coffee overlooking the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré and facing the Grand Palace. The red and black entrance hints at the hotel’s lavish interior and once inside, the atmosphere exudes the exclusivity, calm, and class of a private French mansion. Open the door to one of the guestrooms – et voilá – your own heavenly Parisian pied-à-terre awaits.
Arguably the most famous hotel in Paris, Hôtel Ritz has been welcome guests since 1898. Designed by César Ritz, the façade of the building dates to 1705. Overlooking Place Vendôme, the hotel has been frequented by the rich & famous – attracted by its sheer opulence, attention to detail and of course, the address. Coco Chanel made the hotel her home for many years and the property boasts the world’s one and only Chanel Spa. Hôtel Ritz, Paris is independently owned and has the ability to tailor its services to guests on an individual basis. An example of this is the monogrammed pillow cases that greet the guests in their rooms. There are 71 rooms and 71 suites in the hotel including 15 Historic Prestige Suites – the height of Parisian luxury.
Hôtel Ritz, Paris features three restaurants - the highlights being Nicolas Sale’s one Michelin-star Les Jardins de l’Espadon for lunch and the two Michelin-star Table de l’Espadon - for an elegant supper. The hotels features three bars including Bar Hemingway. Legend has it that author Ernest Hemingway liberated the bar from the Nazis in 1944 and drank 51 cocktails in a row following his feat! The bar has borne his name ever since. Guests can book cooking classes at the amazing École Ritz Escoffier. The Chanel Spa boasts and indoor swimming pool and treatments that take guests to heaven and back. In the words of Hemingway: “when I dream of afterlife in heaven, the action always takes place in the Paris Ritz."
Hôtel Plaza Athénée - 9/10
The most photographed property in Paris, Hôtel Plaza Athénée is that luxury hotel that features bright red canvas awnings over its windows and manicured window boxes resplendent with red flowers. Expect more of the Plaza Athénée rouge inside the property – from the parasols to the guest teddy-bear! Located on avenue Montaigne in the city’s 8th arrondissement close to the Champs-Élysées – the Hôtel Plaza Athénée opened as a hotel in 1913. The hotel joined Dorchester Collection in 2001 and was awarded palace status in 2011 – days after its Parisian sister property Le Meurice. The three Michelin star restaurant Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée will close on June 30th – after 21 years at the hotel. From September 1st, 2021 - celebrated chef, Jean Imbert will take over the reigns as Head of Culinary. La Terrasse Montaigne serves superb cuisine al-fresco – overlooking the avenue. It is a chic spot to enjoy a salad lunch on a Paris summer day.
La Cour Jardin is set in the hotel courtyard – an oasis and escape from the hustle of the city. While most of the hotel is designed in classical French – the seventh-floor rooms and suites are very much Art Deco. The hotel has 154 rooms and 54 suites – with those enjoying views of the Eiffel Tower from their balconies the most popular. The Dior Institut au Plaza Athénée spa is an incredible health & beauty facility and offers amazing Dior treatments from highly trained aestheticians. There is also a fitness studio. Hôtel Plaza Athénée is a delight.
The Peninsula Paris - 9/10
The Peninsula Paris is simply one of the finest luxury hotels in The City of Light. The hotel offers 200 guestrooms, a single Michelin-starred restaurant – L’Oiseau Blanc and a glorious mosaic swimming pool in its superb subterranean spa. Ornate balconies and rooftop terraces offer 360-degree views across the city which includes the Eiffel Tower. Its chic Belle Epoque style and Art Nouveau influences delight the eyes and the hotel itself is housed in a cream 19th century Haussmanian building that occupies a whole block in a central Paris location. From the moment guests step through the hotel entrance, a rarefied and tranquil atmosphere greets them – the well-heeled clientele includes international A-list celebrities and sporting stars.
A team of 600 plus staff service springs into action to cater for their every whim with the legendary Peninsula service promise. The top-floor dining room L’Oiseau Blanc holds a single Michelin star, but its wow-factor is the panoramic views of the Eiffel Tower. Awarded the star in 2020, guests can expect haute cuisine overseen by acclaimed French chef and Executive Chef David Bizet. Originally from Mortagne-au-Perche, Bizet is a champion of local, seasonal produce with a special love for his home region of Normandy.
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