1. For glamour and a view, book the Plaza Athénée’s Eiffel Suite
The Plaza Athénée is an art deco palace located in the fashionable Golden Triangle. Following a multi-year renovation project that completed in 2014, the 5-star property now offers 208 accommodations in total (that’s 154 guestrooms and 54 suites, to be exact). Of them all, the 1,400 square foot Eiffel Suite is the hotel’s most sought-after. Named for its unparalleled view of the Eiffel Tower, guests — included among them are high-profile names like Mick Jagger, Natalie Portman, Mariah Carey, and Jude Law, to name a few — are greeted with a spectacular view the moment they set food inside their room. Located on the hotel’s southeast corner, your room comes with front row seats to the attraction’s nightly light show.
Foodies have the three-starred Michelin restaurant, Alain Ducasse at Plaza Athénée, on-site. The upscale brasserie, Le Relais Plaza, is the ultimate location for a power lunch. Spa-goers can relax at the hotel’s exclusive Institut Dior, the only Dior spa and treatment center in Europe. Decorated in classical Palace decor, exquisite finishings include elaborate moldings and silver-leaf detailing. When booked along with the adjoining guest room, the Eiffel Suite becomes a family-friendly, 2-bedroom/2-bathroom residence, complete with its own grand salon and grand piano, an ideal setting in which to host your soirée.
2. For a central location, choose the Hôtel de Crillon’s Grand Apartements Concorde
Hôtel de Crillon stands out for its prime location on the Place de la Concorde. Like the Plaza Athénée, the hotel underwent a multi-year renovation, reopening its doors to rave reviews in 2017. The boutique hotel is a stunning example of updated classic decor. The property’s 124 total rooms are comprised of 78 guest rooms, 36 suites, and 10 signature suites. To book their most impressive suites, ask for Les Grands Appartements. I recommend the Concorde Appartement which looks directly onto the 21-acre Place de la Concorde. The 4th floor suite is fully soundproofed, offering views of the Egyptian obelisk, the French National Assembly, and the Eiffel Tower which become even more impressive at night. Families or large groups may book the adjoining Appartement and third bedroom, creating your very own 3,600 square foot pied-a-terre in the center of Paris.
Dining options include the Michelin starred restaurant, L’Ecrin, and the more casual dining venue, Brasserie d’Aumont. Sense, the Rosewood spa, offers a menu of traditional spa offerings, along with a beauty salon, men’s haircuts, and even a master shoe shine. Tip: To orient yourself during your stay at the Crillon, identify the obelisk at the center of the square. To the North, look for the classical Eglise de la Madeleine. South is the Palais Bourbon, the French capitol where the National Assembly meets. Turning to the East, follow the Tuilleries Gardens in their entirety, with the Louvre museum at the far end. The entire length of the Champs Elysées sprawls to the West, with the Arc du Triomphe in the distance. (Images from the hotel)
3. For outdoor space and elegance, the George V Penthouse Suite is unparalleled
Four Seasons George V has been called the best hotel in the world, known for providing luxury that lives up to its reputation. The hotel’s star-studded lineage includes the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, who honeymooned there after her second marriage to Conrad Hilton.
Le George, as it is affectionately called by locals, knows how to make an impression. Visitors stop by its lobby to glance at Jeff Leatham’s renowned floral arrangements. With a $1 million annual budget, the floral designer to re-envisions masterpieces every three weeks, whose flowers are replaced with fresh picks daily. The hotel’s three restaurants have five Michelin stars among them — Le Cinq, their fine dining establishment, has been awarded three Michelin stars, while Le George and L’Orangerie boast a Michelin star apiece. Their renovated Spa also boasts a 55-foot swimming pool.
Of its 154 rooms, 59 of which are suites fitted with classical interiors infused with contemporary elegance. The Penthouse Suite is decorated in the style of an elegant Parisian residence, featuring travertine floors and walls accented with elegant microsuede and sycamore paneling. In addition to its 1630 square feet of living space, The Penthouse Suite offers a remarkable 578 square feet of outdoor terrace space. This providing 360º views of the city — including views of the Eiffel Tower. The suite’s 226 square foot bedroom terrace allows you to wake up to a fantastic view of the city, visible from the Balinese bed. To give you a sense of its truly unique offerings, the suite’s 226 square foot bedroom terrace is larger than the entire guestrooms of many Parisian hotels. Even the beige marble bathroom is equipped to the nines, including a large step-in shower and an infinity soaking tub adorned with jacuzzi jets and a chromotherapy system. (Images from top to bottom by Gregoire Gardette, GdeLaubier and Michael Goczal)
4. If you are hosting an event, look no further than the Shangri-La Paris’ Shangri-La Suite
The Shangri-La Paris became one of the city’s newest “palace hotels” in 2014. Built in 1896, the hotel was originally the former residence of Prince Roland Bonaparte. More recent guests have included Hollywood royalty, most notably, power couple Beyoncé and Jay-Z, along with their daughter, Blue Ivy. The Shangri-La, located in the 16th arrondissement, provides guests with the most direct views of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Out of 100 rooms total (64 guestrooms and 36 suites), 40% of regular staterooms and 60% of suites provide face the Eiffel Tower.
The eponymous Shangri-La Suite is the location’s crown-jewel. The top floor space occupies 2,420 square feet and features 46 feet of window views of the Eiffel Tower. Setting it apart from the rest of the hotel’s decor, the suite is adorned in soft-hues and modern decor, offering both a private kitchen and dining room. Its restaurants include L’Abeille, which has two Michelin stars, and Shang Palace, France’s only Chinese restaurant to be awarded a Michelin star. For more casual dining options, La Bauhinia provides guests with culinary flexibility. The hotel is very proud of its beautiful indoor pool which is illuminated with natural light from the wall of south-facing windows. The Shangri-La is also ideal if you are looking for space in which to host an event, as the hotel’s historical salons were once used by the Bonaparte family. Their decadent furnishings and its period appeal ensure unforgettable memories from your party or reception.
5. For those who like to explore on foot, book the Belle Etoile Suite at Le Meurice
My personal favorite place to stay in Paris is Le Meurice. With a more understated elegance than the other hotels on the list, the palace hotel is perfectly situated for all types of travelers whose aim is to explore the city. Whether you are a first-time visitor, or you are already a well-seasoned francophile, the Belle Etoile Suite provides a truly dynamic experience.
The room is found on the top floor of the hotel with views above the rooftops of Paris. An immense 2,690 square foot rooftop terrace affords 360º panoramic views of the city, while its interior 3,230 square feet are decorated in the 19th century Belle Epoque style. Your Parisian residence includes a kitchen, a pantry for a personal chef, and your own private dining room. Notable past guests of the Belle Etoile Suite have included Angelina Jolie, Madonna, and Katy Perry. Directly across the street from Le Meurice is the Tuileries Gardens, the large formal park in the center of Paris. You can walk directly across the park to the Musée d’Orsay, or turn left to walk to the Louvre. Taking a stroll in one of the world’s most famous cities is the perfect way to maximize your experience during your stay. Whether indulging in a garden stroll or en route to sightsee, you are merely steps away from these iconic centers of French art and culture. Le Meurice has 160 guest accommodations of which 118 are rooms and 42 are suites. Its fine dining offering is Le Meurice Alain Ducasse, which has been awarded two Michelin stars. Le Dalí, featuring an avant-garde ceiling that was painted by Are Starck, is their more casual restaurant serving Mediterranean fare.
6. For a world-class shopping experience, do not miss the Ritz Paris’ Coco Chanel Suite
The Ritz Paris, the first hotel opened by César Ritz, is found in the northwest corner of the sartorial hotspot, La Place Vendôme. Located steps away from some of the world’s most esteemed jewelers and designers, signature shops by Chanel, Dior, Cartier, Piaget, and Rolex lend an air of sartorial decadence to the extravagant hotel. Exclusivity and discretion prevail at the Ritz. Incidentally, because of its close proximity to such high-end retailers, you’ll also benefit from some of the most stringent security of any hotel in Paris while at the Ritz. All are welcome at the the Bar Ritz, located immediately to the left of the front door; however, only hotel guests are granted exclusive access to the hotel lobby and the “hall of dreams.” Be assured that truly fashionable guests grace the Ritz Hotel.
Ritz Paris has 142 rooms and suites — 71 guestrooms and 71 suites, including 15 historic Prestige Suites. Renovations from 2012-2016 maintained the integrity of the historic hotel’s exterior facade and interior design, while equipping rooms with modern technology and amenities to make your stay more comfortable. Rooms were made bigger, natural light was let in, but the original charm of the iconic hotel remains. The Suite Coco Chanel is the Ritz’s most famous suite. Located on the second floor and overlooking the Place Vendôme, the apartment is named for the iconic fashion designer, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel. Chanel herself took up residence there in 1937, and the interior decor pays homage to its most-beloved guest with each of its crystal chandeliers, mirrors, photographs, and sketches on display.
The 2,024 square foot interior is inspired by Chanel’s minimalist-inspired color palette of black, white, and beige. Furnishings include bespoke items, especially created for the two-bedroom suite, inspired by Chanel’s own decor. Dining options include two different Michelin starred restaurants — La Table de L’Espadon, with two Michelin stars, and Les Jardins de L’Espadon, with one. Afternoon Tea is served in the Salon Proust, and students of French cuisine can study at the Ecole Ritz Escoffier cooking school on-site. Of special note is the Ritz Spa with an elegant indoor pool and a decadent spa.
David Ourisman at Ourisman Travel at 510.925.2010 or Team@ourismantravel.com