Designed by architect Philippe Starck, this hotel is relatively new on the Paris hospitality scene, having opened its doors in October 2018. Formerly the area’s post office, the hotel now opts for a much less quotidian aesthetic, with a mishmash of exotic wood and leather.
Situated in the 16th arrondissement, the hotel’s views are impressive – a number of its suites give unspoilt views of the Eiffel Tower.
But more than being simply somewhere to lay your head, the hotel takes a holistic approach to its offering, describing itself (grandly) as “a pioneering philosophy of life.” It incorporates within its walls a restaurant, spa, patisserie (overseen by pastry chef and Meilleur Ouvrier de France 2011 Yann Brys), and cocktail bar. If you’re lucky enough to be staying in one of the suites, a rooftop terrace is open to you, complete with egg-laying hens, a vegetable garden, and dining area which overlooks the city.
To make sure its guests are feeling their best, its onsite Sports Club (free for members) features a whole host of fitness classes, in addition to professionals who are available to provide osteopathy, naturopathy and dietary consultations as required. Money may not be able to buy health, but, at Brach, it can buy a pretty decent sense of wellbeing.
2. Hotel Lutetia
Reopened earlier in 2018 after a four-year renovation, Hotel Lutetia is already casting light on a new era. Touting itself as “the only luxury grand hotel on the city's Left Bank,” its position in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés quarter places guests in the heart of the arts scene; the area has countless bookshops, galleries and cafes to explore. (Literature fans klaxon: James Joyce found inspiration to write parts of his book Ulysses at the hotel.)
The site’s refurbishment has brought its original Art Deco spirit into 2018, with a mix of restaurants (including the Lutetia Brasserie, under the watchful eye of three Michelin-starred chef Passedat), frescoe-ceilinged bars and lounges under its roof.
Behind every good luxury hotel is a good luxury spa, and Lutetia is no exception. The hotel’s Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre takes relaxation very seriously, with a 17m swimming pool featuring natural daylight, a wide range of treatments and massages – and the crucial infinity edge hot tub, for all your Instagram needs.
3. Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme
Set back in the stylish second arrondissement, with the Champs-Élysées, the Louvre and the Seine within a 10-minute walk, this hotel is all about simple sophistication. From its Hausmannian exterior to its clearly named amenities – ‘Le Spa’, ‘Le Bar’ – it’s a refreshingly unfussy approach to hospitality.
In addition to the standard fare of in-hotel restaurants and bars, Park Hyatt has its own nail suite and John Nollet hair salon. Even better, you don’t need to leave the hotel to show off your new look – weekly DJ sets are hosted at ‘Le Bar’, allowing guests a night ‘out’ without the admin of a taxi journey home.
4. Le Bristol
Le Bristol Paris has been serving up hotel stays a la français since 1925. Nestled in the eighth arrondissement, many of the bedrooms look out over the Eiffel Tower or Sacré-Coeur Basilica.
Part of the Oetker Collection, its 3 Michelin-starred restaurant, Epicure, 1 Michelin-starred brasserie, Le 114 Faubourg, and Spa by La Prarie give a sense of what this hotel seeks to offer – essentially, the best of the best.
There’s even a rooftop swimming pool with skyline views for those wishing to take a dip. And a white Burmese cat named Fa-Raon who belongs to the hotel spends his time strolling its rooms, much to the delight of those staying.
So far, so luxurious. But if all that luxury starts feeling a bit safe and predictable, you can seek adventure at the bar, Le Bar de Bristol. There, the hotel sets out to reveal “a secret side to its character” with its B.A.D evenings (standing for ‘Bristol After Dark’) every Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
In its own words, Nolinski aims to deliver “à la carte hedonism at its best.” And it succeeds – with interiors designed by architect Jean-Louis Denoit, featuring marbles, greens and blues, the hotel feels like an escape from the madness of the city on your doorstep.
If you’re looking to abscond even further from the world outside, the hotel’s underground spa comes equipped with a sauna, hammam, and a mirrored-ceiling swimming pool. As you’d expect, beauty treatments are also on the menu.
In the city which hosted intellectual heavyweights like Molière, Voltaire and Balzac, you may not be surprised to learn that this central Parisian hotel rates culture highly. Art exhibitions, live music events and photography showings regularly take place in its shared areas, adding a touch of depth to hedonistic proceedings.
Like Madonna and Prince after it, this boutique hotel goes by only one name.
Oscar Wilde was (in)famously staying here when he passed away, and it feels a suitably opulent last visiting place for the original dandy. The hotel is decorated in deep reds and rich purples, with everything seemingly designed with comfort and aesthetics in mind, in all from the bar’s plush sofas to the secluded subterranean hammam pool and steam room.
It’s the smallest 5-star hotel in Paris, with just 20 bedrooms, all unique in design, decoration, and set-up – some even have their very own terraces. But, in this case, good things come in small buildings – its diminutive size means that each guest is offered a personalised, one-to-one service; a rarity in a city as bustling as Paris.
7. Saint James
If the word ‘chateau’ conjures up images of country residences set out in the sticks, then Saint James is here to make you think again. Consider the hotel your very own castle retreat, in the centre of Paris.
With a chequered history as alternately a school, the site of the first hot-air-balloon airfield and a private members’ club (a role it still plays), the hotel has an undeniably eccentric character. The interiors are the brainchild of decorator Bambi Sloan, incorporating knowing nods to the venue’s past – from balloon-patterned wallpaper to a hot air balloon chandelier – as well as unorthodox prints like leopard and tartan in bedrooms. Put simply, this is a hotel that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
What the hotel lacks in swimming pools (no pool), it more than makes up for in Turkish baths (two of) and central location. Sitting in the 16th arrondissement, you’re just a short walk away from Parisian treats like the Arc de Triomphe and Trocadéro.
After a long day exploring Paris, you’ll have earned yourself a drink. The hotel’s bar boasts an ever-expanding cocktail list, concepted by the bartending team, who continuously work to develop new and innovative blends. Set in a former study, the bar still holds 12,000 dusty tomes, giving the experience of ordering a round of drinks a much more salubrious hue.
8. Hôtel de Crillon
If you’re looking for a place in Paris with aristocratic heritage, Hôtel de Crillon’s a safe bet. With a past life having been commissioned in 1758 by King Louis XV and serving as the 18th-century residence of the Duke de Crillon, in 2017 the hotel surfaced from a four-year renovation. It’s long held a certain prestige as a serious hotel of luxe, in Paris and further afield, and its new-look has done nothing to dampen its allure.
Post-refurbishment, the already-grand site retains its Neoclassical façade, but its interiors have been made even more sparkly. There’s marble – forty different kinds – and precious stones galore. Two of the hotel’s suites (‘Grands Apartements') were designed by fashion legend Karl Lagerfield.
For those wishing to really soak up this Rosewood hotel’s aristocratic spirit, there’s a private cigar lounge, ideal for retiring to following a meal at L’Ecrin, Hôtel de Crillon’s gastronomic restaurant. Oenophile’s rejoice: the venue also houses La Cave, a private wine cellar, featuring wines dating back to the 20th century. It’s bookable for guided food-and-wine pairing sessions with the hotel’s resident Chef Sommelier, but guests with large friendship groups be warned: La Cave is an exclusive setting – it can only hold 12 people.
The one fly in this particular Parisian ointment is that The Hôtel de Crillon comes with a pretty substantial price tag. That’s unsurprising – it’s fit for royalty.
9. Fauchon L’Hôtel
Fauchon L’Hôtel is the first foray of this Parisian gourmet food brand Fauchon into the world of accommodation. Having only opened in September 2018, it’s already making waves in the hospitality world, promoting ‘gourmet moments’ and ‘the pursuit of pleasure.’
In the eight arrondissement, on the Place de la Madeleine, the hotel finds itself just a few minutes’ walk away from the Palais Garnier opera house and the Place de la Concorde.
The hotel, befitting its roots, plays heavily in the area of high-end food. It sets itself up as “the new epicenter of contemporary Parisian epicure and luxurious hospitality.”
In-room minibars are no more – in their place, you’ll find ‘gourmet bars’ – an elegant, Willy Wonka-esque reimagining of the usual crisps-and-cans fare. Highlights range from pastry, chocolates and foie gras, alongside a drinks cabinet holding wine, spirits and champagne. If you’ve got specific tastes or dietary requirements, the staff have got it covered – they’ll get in touch ahead of your stay to determine which snacks will best fit your specific palette.
The hotel also puts on ‘Delicacies Discovery’ sessions, hour-long classes in which guests explore one seasonal ingredient with a Fauchon chef, going on to taste and cook a dish with the product.
A member of Leading Hotels of the World, Fauchon L’Hôtel marks a move away from the traditional luxury of heritage buildings and regal design, with a hotel whose main aim is that you go away with a good taste in your mouth.
10. Le Meurice
This 5-star hotel has a history intertwined with artistry, having played host over its 183 years to some suitably illustrious names. And ‘illustrious’ is no stretch: the likes of Dalí, Zola and Warhol have all stayed here. Fittingly, the building now invites you to “Sleep in your own work of art,” with each of the its 160 guest rooms decorated accordingly. Upon entering the hotel, you’re left in no doubt as to which city you’re in, as each of the rooms is pure, ornate Versailles – chandeliers and draped curtains abound.
The location is in keeping with the creative tendencies of the hotel, with the Tuileries Garden directly in front of the hotel doorsteps and the Louvre just set a few steps to one side, allowing you to explore large parts of the culture Paris has to offer. Less glamorous, but worth noting, is the fact that the Eurostar station is a mere 15 minutes away, for a hassle-free arrival and departure. Though after a few days at the Le Meurice, you may not be so keen to make a speedy getaway.
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