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Paris luxury hotels (consolidated thread)

Paris luxury hotels (consolidated thread)

Old Mar 8, 2014, 2:39 pm
  #151  
 
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MOPAR hands down.

I've been twice in as many months, and really, REALLY love it.
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Old Mar 9, 2014, 6:39 pm
  #152  
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Originally Posted by Pierre&Cdric
I don't think PH is overrated. I love les Orchides.

On the other side design of public spaces at MO is poor, or at least quite strange (this awful ceiling at the bar ). The only thing that I like in MO is their outdoor terrace / garden in Summer.
+1
I am not a big fan of interior design of MO (Sybille de Margerie made a mix of kitsch nouveau riche dcor).

Patrick Jouin's design for Thierry Marx' restaurant is much more inventive (but food is really disappointing, except for pastries, and the restaurant lacks some privacy).

I like the bar designed by Sanjit Manku (inventive cocktails and excellent service) and the terrace.
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Old Mar 14, 2014, 3:06 pm
  #153  
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Paris-Park Hyatt or Mandarin Oriental

Having stayed at both properties, I would definitely go for MO over PH. Rooms are much better in all aspects. There is a lovely pool as well as a wonderful spa.
Brunch and Cheminee dining is very good but not worse the choice over MO.

Do use Adrian, the MO head concierge to get a reservation anywhere
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Old Mar 14, 2014, 3:55 pm
  #154  
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I dunno if Adrian is the only one who can do magic, I gave the PH concierges my local phone number "just in case" and they managed to get me a reservation for the 7pm seating at Frenchie tonight -- just got back!

On the other hand, a simple request for some ice is seemingly taking forever.
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Old Mar 18, 2014, 7:29 am
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Mandarin is the best. I loved it for the spa! But, if you are keen on spa, the PH is good.
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Old Apr 23, 2014, 12:58 pm
  #156  
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luxury hotels in Paris

I was in Paris for two nights earlier in April in order to do some site inspections of a few hotels that I had not seen and to meet with sales managers of hotels currently under renovation. This report supplements my April 2008 and April 2012 posts on this forum.

I want to reemphasize that these are my own subjective opinions, based on my own personal aesthetic. The opinions of others may (and should!) be different. I'm evaluating only the physical attributes of the hotel, not its service.



Shangri-La Paris

The Shangri-La Paris is a boutique hotel with dramatic Eiffel Tower views, just 101 rooms and suites. Originally built in 1896 in the Louis XIV style, it was the home of Roland Bonaparte (the grand nephew of Napoleon). Shangri-La acquired the building in 2006 and engaged in a four-year renovation that restored its original architecture and design.

The results are stunning. The rooms are decorated in a very Parisian style that is both classical while remaining light, airy, tasteful, and up to date; no red velvet or heavy brocades here. Public spaces and guest rooms were decorated with extremely tasteful art pieces. Because the hotel was full during my stay, I was only able to see one suite in addition to the first floor Garden Suite in which I stayed. Rooms are generously proportioned for a European city hotel, and the dimensions of Superior, Deluxe, and Premier rooms seem to correspond to American standards.

The Shangri-La Paris is an ideal choice for guests who wish to have a view of the Eiffel Tower from your room. The closest hotel to the Eiffel Tower, Eiffel Premier rooms (half of the room inventory) have a direct view of this iconic Parisian landmark; be sure to request a room on a higher floors for the best views. Even my ground floor Garden Suite had an amazing view of the Eiffel Tower from the large private patio outside the room and from the bathtub! Simply wonderful, especially at night when the tower is illuminated and the lights are sparkling!

All bathrooms in the hotel have dual vanities, soaking tub, step-in shower, and WC, and there is a TV in the bathroom mirror. As is standard across the Shangri-La chain, guests enjoy fast and free internet. The hotel has a beautiful spa, a 16 meter indoor heated pool with plenty of natural light, and a well-equipped fitness facility with a view of the outdoors.

Three restaurants La Bauhinia (French and Southeast Asian cuisine) is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. LAbeille has been awarded two Michelin stars and is presided over by Chef Philipps Labbe of Chvre dOr. Shang Palace is the only Michelin starred Chinese restaurant in Europe.



Prince de Galles (Luxury Collection)

One of the Starwood properties in Paris, the Prince de Galles is located immediately adjacent to the George V with an Art Deco design. With just 159 rooms including 44 suites, the hotel was originally built in 1930 and was called LArc du Triomphe. It reopened in May 2013 after an extensive renovation. Makassar wood, a variety of ebony, is a design elements seen throughout the building, both in the lobby and in all guest rooms.

Lead-in Art Deco rooms are 30 square meters and feel like a Superior room. Bathrooms are compact with a single vanity, bathtub and separate step-in shower. I was not able to see an Art Deco Deluxe room, as all were occupied by guests, as the hotel does upgrade guests when they are able.

Mosaic Suites, the lead-in suite category, offers a small sitting area separated from the bedroom, some with sofa beds. However as the desk is in the bedroom, Mosaic Suites would not work if you want to work while your partner is asleep. Bathrooms are larger than Art Deco Room bathrooms but still have only a single vanity. There is a soaking tub, step-in shower, and WC.

Makassar Suites, the second category of suites, are a large 70 square meters and decorated with silk wallpaper in either blue or beige (I preferred the beige). Makassar Suites and up provide dual vanities in the bathroom.

The hotel has a small fitness center in basement and a spa. Its one-star Michelin restaurant, La Scene, features cuisine typical of Provence. Until May 11, 2014, the Prince de Galles offers a Virtuoso upgrade at time of booking.



FS George V

The George V recently underwent a soft goods renovation. Although it was not really necessary as rooms were already beautiful, Le George is responding to the continuing development of new luxury hotels in Paris (i.e., the Ritz and the Peninsula). The idea is to stay ahead of the curve and not play catch up. The results are outstanding and have made the rooms lighter and brighter. Three color schemes are used throughout the guestrooms yellow, blue, and green (like a sea foam), and I found each to be attractive. Also contributing to the lighter look: the new interior designs did away with a lot of the floral patterns, eliminated cloth table coverings, installed mirrors, and removed armoires from the rooms. Responding to guest feedback the new rooms also feature minibars at eye-level (you dont have to kneel to use the minibar).

The George V provides Bulgari amenities, and even guest rooms receive the more generously sized amenities that FS normally provides in Suites. Bathrooms are available both in single or double vanities, and room assignment takes into account whether a guest is traveling along or as a couple. Some of the hotels Deluxe and Premier rooms have sofas, all of which have been converted to sofabeds.

The hotels Spa, indoor pool, and jacuzzi are for the exclusive use of hotel guests; the FSPP amenities include a 100 spa credit.



Fouquets Barriere

Being curious about the name of the hotel, this was the first question I asked at my site inspection. Fouquets is the name of a Michelin-starred restaurant at the corner of Avenue George V and the Champs Elysees. Barriere is the company that owns the restaurant. It bought several buildings adjacent to the restaurant in order to create what turned out to be a unique, whimsical Art Deco boutique hotel that opened in 2006.

Though it has just 81 rooms and suites, the property has 5 restaurants and 3 bars, in addition to a pool, an 8 room spa, fitness room, jacuzzi, and sauna. There are three categories of rooms Superior rooms at 37 sqm, Deluxe at 40 sqm, and Executive Rooms also 40 sqm with a view overlooking the Champs Elysees. I was able to see an Executive Room. Quite avant grade, the room had a masculine feel. It was decorated in shades of brown and gold, with a desk suitable for work, free WiFi for guests, a fax/scanner/copier in desk, and free minibar. The black marble bathroom had dual vanities, tub, separate shower. There was a dressing area, and the separate WC was by the front door.

Regarding the free minibar: Do return your guest preference form that the hotel sends as part of your welcome email, as your minibar will be stocked with the soft drinks and juices you prefer.

Not an early riser? You can have the Virtuoso complimentary breakfast up until 1 p.m. in Gallery Joy, and up to 4 p.m. via room service.



La Reserve

La Reserve is a collection of nine luxury apartments in Paris, ranging from 1 - 4 bedrooms. Located on a corner in the fashionable 16th arrondissement, the property has a discrete entrance. So discrete that, even though I knew the block it was on, I couldnt find it! Had to ask a waiter at a bistro across the street. La Reserve marked by a tiny R on the brass plate by the doorbell.

I was able to see the large 1 bedroom apartment (1500 square feet), and it had everything you could possibly want bedroom, living room, dining room, fully equipped kitchen. If you need an apartment for a long stay in Paris, consider La Reserve. Not an inexpensive option, but you do get Virtuoso amenities and the services of a concierge.



Peninsula Paris

I had the opportunity to have a hard hat inspection of the new Peninsula Paris upon my arrival in Paris. Still four months away from completion (scheduled to open August 1), it doesnt require much imagination to know that this will be a beautiful refurbishment of an 19th century property located at 19 Avenue Klber, situated between the Arc du Triomphe and the Seine.

Originally built in 1868 as a private palace, the building became the Regina Hotel in 1908 and was used as such until World War II. After the war, it was taken over by UNESCO and was used for office and conference space. In fact, the treaty that ended the Vietnam War was signed in this building. The hotel wanted to name its bar after Henry Kissinger to honor this historic moment, but Mr. Kissinger declined the honor. (I suggested they could name it Bar Henri well see).

Walking through the grand public spaces, its easy to see that this will be a most impressive hotel. The building is being meticulously renovated, preserving its original style and details. I saw gold gilt being applied to the capitals of pillars, intricately detailed ceiling trim, the rotunda mosaic floor which is being recreated tile by tile, and even a recreated stained glass ceiling.

There will be four categories of guest rooms Superior, Deluxe, Premier, and Grand Premier. No two rooms in the hotel will be exactly like (such is the reality when renovating historical buildings; these are not cookie cutter rooms). While there were no completed rooms, I could see that guestrooms will feature silk wallpaper and exotic wood trims. Superior rooms, generally, will have one vanity while larger rooms, generally, will have double vanities, a request to keep in mind when making booking. Every bathroom will have a soaking tub, a step-in shower, and a WC.

For something special, book one of the five suites on the sixth floor of the hotel. Each will have exclusive access to their a private rooftop terrace with views of the Eiffel Tower, Arc du Triumph, and (from some locations) the Sacre Coeur.



Plaza Athenee

The Plaza Athenee, a palace hotel on Avenue Montagne, is currently closed for construction and plans to re-open around July 1, although the date is not firm. The hotel acquired several floors of an adjoining building and is incorporating this space into the original hotel. The addition will provide eight new suites and six new rooms, some with direct Eiffel Tower views. When it re-opens, the Plaza Athenee will have a total of 208 rooms (54 of which will be suites). To avoid impacting guests with the noise and dust of construction, the entire hotel has been closed until the completion of this project.

Existing rooms are not being renovated during the course of this project.



Ritz Paris

One of the worlds iconic hotels, the Ritz Paris is located on the Place Vendome, one of the major shopping squares of Paris. It has been closed for a much-needed renovation and re-construction of the entire hotel.

I was unable to tour the construction site but did have a meeting with the hotels sales staff who showed me the artists renderings of the new hotel. The look and feel will remain very much the same, retaining the hotels ornate Louis XIV style. All of the original furniture has been preserved and will be used in guestrooms. Bottom line: If you loved the original Ritz, you will love its reincarnation even more!

Why the renovation? There were significant physical issues with the old hotel which joined together two buildings, one facing the Place Vendome and the other facing Cambon Street. I can relate from personal experience how frustrating it could be to find your way from a guest room on the Cambon Street side to the Spa and swimming pool. Even doing simple things like delivering room service orders promptly (with the food still hot) was problematical due to the maze-like back of the house. Hallways were narrow. Plumbing, electrical, and mechanical systems were antiquated. Interior walls are being removed so existing guest rooms can be enlarged. All of this is being addressed in what is essentially a massive reconstruction of the original Ritz Paris within its existing exterior walls.
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Old Apr 23, 2014, 1:17 pm
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David O - Just a pedantic correction, Shang Palace at the Shangri-La isn't the only Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant in Europe. London currently has five.
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Old Apr 23, 2014, 1:33 pm
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I think he meant it's the only one in Paris.

David,

Any updates on the Crillon?
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Old Apr 23, 2014, 1:38 pm
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Actually you may have caught the sales manager in a fib! Don't have any updates on the Crillon. Only had 36 hours in Paris

Originally Posted by wripro
I think he meant it's the only one in Paris.

David,

Any updates on the Crillon?
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Old Apr 23, 2014, 7:29 pm
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That's a busy couple of days! Thank you, David.
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Old Apr 23, 2014, 8:58 pm
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Thank you very much, David!

I thought the rooms of the Peninsula looked very nice, as nice as the George V. But, I wasn't convinced by the lobby art instillation of falling leaves. Personally I prefer the garden of flowers which greets us at the Four Seasons.

I can't wait till their restaurants open, including the roof top bar. This is potentially a game changer for the luxury hotels in Paris.
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Old Apr 23, 2014, 9:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Pausanias
David O - Just a pedantic correction, Shang Palace at the Shangri-La isn't the only Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant in Europe. London currently has five.
And I recently ate there. The service was excellent, definitely at true luxury hotel standards.

As for the food, the star clearly shows once again (as if it was really necessary) that a western Michelin inspector has no clue about Asian cuisine. Had the fixed mid-range Jade menu (E98/person). Sure, it was good, but nothing really stands out in my mind. There are plenty of Chinese restaurants in places such as Toronto, Vancouver, and San Francisco that can top it, not to mention China!
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Old Apr 24, 2014, 2:27 am
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I can't wait for Peninsula to take reservations!
It will probably be from the very beginning a choice to consider!

Originally Posted by RichardInSF
And I recently ate there. The service was excellent, definitely at true luxury hotel standards.

As for the food, the star clearly shows once again (as if it was really necessary) that a western Michelin inspector has no clue about Asian cuisine. Had the fixed mid-range Jade menu (E98/person). Sure, it was good, but nothing really stands out in my mind. There are plenty of Chinese restaurants in places such as Toronto, Vancouver, and San Francisco that can top it, not to mention China!
+1
I was quite disappointed by Shang Palace when I ate there the first time.
Second was better (in room dining with Shang Palace menu).
But definitely not the level of a Michelin 1-star restaurant anyway.
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Old Apr 24, 2014, 3:01 am
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Originally Posted by RichardInSF
There are plenty of Chinese restaurants in places such as Toronto, Vancouver, and San Francisco that can top it, not to mention China!
If you head to Richmond (near Vancouver Airport) you can get Chinese food that is on par with HK, BJ, and GZ.

Agree that Michelin should really stick to what they know- which is not Asian food- any more than CTS creating a "best European restaurant" list and awarding stars or points.
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Old Apr 24, 2014, 1:18 pm
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Thanks, David, for the update and the reviews.
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