Recently Travel + Leisure released its annual World’s Best List based on readers votes. In this issue we look at the five top scoring city hotels in Europe, which brings us to Paris, London and Venice.
1. La Reserve Paris Hotel & Spa
La Reserve Paris Hotel & Spa is part of the same group that owns the similarly named city resort near Geneva. In this case, with just 26 suites and 14 rooms locatedbetween Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré and Avenue Montaigne, you are a stone’s throw from the Champs-Elysées. However, this urban mansion has all the elegance of a 19th century private apartment and the discretion that comes because the library, a smoking lounge, and 50-ft. indoor pool are all reserved exclusively for guests. Travel + Leisure says, “Set back from the Champs Elysées and hidden behind a line of trees, La Réserve is a modern update of a Haussmannian building. Guest quarters are plush but clean-lined, with velvet headboards and jacquard wallpaper. Don’t miss the small but decadent spa, whose three treatment rooms are set around a 50-foot-long indoor pool.”
Grand Palais Suite
The 2,152 sq. ft. Grand Palais Suite gives the feel of a private apartment from the Belle Epoque. The suite pays tribute French heritage, with its authentic Napoleon III furniture, its antiques collected over the years, as well as its historical or contemporary works bridging the centuries. From the balcony, enjoy views of the Eiffel Tower and the glass roof of the Grand Palais. There are two large lounge areas, two private bars, a wine cellar offering Grand Cru vintages, two bedrooms, each with its own large dressing room, and a Carrara marble bathroom featuring a bathtub with a view over the Eiffel Tower or the Grand Palais, an Italian-style shower and twin vanity sinks. For more suites at La Reserve, click here.
2. The Peninsula, Paris
Situated at 19 Avenue Kléber steps from the Arc de Triomphe, The Peninsula is in walking distance of the city’s famous monuments, museums and luxury shopping districts. The Peninsula houses 200 rooms, including 86 suites. In addition to rooftop private dining, you will find the forward thinking technology that is standard at Peninsula Hotels. Travel + Leisure says, “When the Peninsula Paris opened (in 2014), it became an Instant Classic, thanks to an incredible four-year restoration of everything from the gilding to the trompe l’oeil frescoes. At the rooftop terrace and restaurant, beef tartar with mint and braised veal are bested only by views of the Eiffel Tower.”
The Peninsula Suite
At 3,425 sq. ft., The Peninsula Suite is the largest suite of the hotel and an authentic Haussmannian residence with high ceilings with detailed moldings, a fireplace, and large double-door windows. There’s a grand piano and there is an option for two adjoining rooms. For more suites, including the Rooftop and Katara Suites, both with rooftop terraces, click here.
3. Le Meurice, Paris
Le Meurice combines 18th-century splendor modern comforts in what is a living work of art.
Travel + Leisure says, “Philippe Starck’s public-space redo of this Paris institution, adjacent to the picturesque Tuileries gardens—including the bar and three-Michelin-starred restaurant—brought surreal new touches like a refrigerator-cooled mirror that’s literally frosted, and three-legged tables dressed in fancy shoes. All tradition wasn’t cast aside: Italian craftsmen were brought in to restore the lobby’s green-and-white marble floors.”
Belle Etoile Suite
At 3,229 sq. ft. with a 2,691 sq. ft. terrace Belle Etoile Suite features a rooftop terrace with panoramic city views, a dining area for private dinner parties for up to four guests and includes as standard inclusions Krug champagne, Alain Ducasse chocolates, Cédric Grolet pastry, and a fruit basket if you have the willpower to not indulge. The four-bedroom duplex suite is on the top floor with Italian marble bathrooms. The terrace has a 360° view including the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, the Sacré Coeur, Musée d’Orsay and the Eiffel Tower. For more suites at Le Meurice click here.
4. Aman, Venice
A rare city retreat for the group, Aman Venice is set in a 16th-century palazzo on the Grand Canal and today is home to museum-quality collectibles including Tiepolo frescoes, gilded ceilings and centuries-old leather wall coverings. There is an Aman Spa with three treatment rooms including a menu of Eastern-influenced therapies using Aman’s signature chemical-free product. The fitness studio offers sweeping views over the Venetian skyline. Travel + Leisure says, “Overlooking the Grand Canal, this magnificent hotel is housed in a renovated 16th-century palazzo that retains some of its original frescoes and reliefs in its 24 rooms including a Tiepolo ceiling fresco. Also named to the Top 100 Hotels in the World list, the Aman has a small spa, two dining rooms, and a private garden, lending it the feel, said one reader, of ‘staying in a special friend’s villa.’”
Grand Canal Suite
The 1,044 sq. ft. Grand Canal Suite features a separate sitting room with views of the Grand Canal and can be configured for two bedrooms. There is a separate bedroom with king-size bed living room with writing desk, sofa and lounge chairs. For more suites, including the Alcova Tiepolo Suite with ceiling fresco, click here.
5. The Lanesborough, London
Located at Hyde Park Corner, The Lanesborough is home to the fine dining Céleste, a famous afternoon tea service, its discreet Library Bar and one of London’s few cigar and lounges – The Garden Room.
Travel + Leisure: “Anyone who’s ever driven past the Lanesborough can’t fail to have noticed the hotel’s handsome, Neoclassical façade overlooking Hyde Park Corner. And ever since a 2015 face-lift, that exterior grandeur is now matched by equally impressive guest rooms and public spaces, including a state-of-the-art spa and a Michelin-starred restaurant, Celeste. Each of the hotel’s 93 rooms and suites has been painstakingly returned to its Regency-era glory, in a project that employed 300 craftsmen and used more than 42,000 sheets of hand-painted gold leaf. Given that T+L’s readers voted it their favorite London hotel for 2018, the effort clearly paid off.”
The Presidential Suite
With views of Wellington Arch, The Presidential Suite can be configured for up to five bedrooms and ranges between 1,755 sq. feet and 3,908 sq. ft. with the possibility to sleep up to 14. With full and separate living room and dining room, it is perfect for entertaining or business meetings that need to be conducted with privacy. The Master Bedroom has a four-poster bed, walk-in closet and a grand, lavish bathroom. A dedicated kitchen area provides separate entrance for the butler, who is available around the clock. For guests booking the entire suite, one of the hotel’s fleet of chauffeur-driven cars is available as a complimentary service. For more suites, click here.