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Paris luxury hotels (consolidated thread)

Paris luxury hotels (consolidated thread)

Old Jan 20, 19, 2:25 pm
  #751  
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Pools at urban hotels do not interest me, except in Miami area. But I frequently repair to Mexican beach resorts and sometimes have private pool so I get plenty of pool time. Indoor pools make me claustrophobic and remind me of the Y. Ok, hyperbole but you take my point.
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Old Jan 31, 19, 7:01 pm
  #752  
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two Paris hotel site inspections Hotel Lutetia and Le Bristol

I'm recently back from three nights in Paris and four nights in London. Here is my first set of site inspection reports from Paris. I emphasize, as always, that these are my own subjective opinions based on my personal aesthetic. Others can and should disagree.

Hotel Lutetia

Set in the Saint Germain des Prs area of Paris, Hotel Lutetia is destined to become a highly sought-after Left Bank hotel. I did a hard-hat site inspection last spring; my preview can be read here. The hotel has gone through an extensive multi-year renovation; some finishing touches in a few public areas were still being applied at the time of my stay. The renovation reduced the number of guestrooms, thus increasing the average guestroom size.

Lutetia is the only Palace Hotel on the Left Bank, the older half of Paris. The Rive Gauche is full of narrow, winding streets. I took a neighborhood walk while waiting for my room to get ready. Meandering wherever my eye took me, I walked down streets strung with linen lampshades, passed quirky boutiques and galleries, and came across familiar landmarks such as the glise de Saint Germain des Prs. Before long, I found myself at the Seine. There’s a lot to visit within a mile of the hotel — Le Jardin du Luxembourg, the glise Saint-Sulpice, the Rodin Museum, the Muse d’Orsay, and the Louvre.

Guests enter the hotel, passing under the art deco porte couchere, and see the stunning renovations of the building’s original details. I saw skilled artisans at work during my “hard hat” inspection last year. The restoration is now complete, and the public areas are quite wonderful, especially the Bar Josephine whose wall and ceiling details had been covered under layers of paint. Here's how it looked 8 months ago (photos were embargoed at the time).


workers restoring Bar Josephine in May, 2018

Rooms are contemporary with clean lines, cool colors, and a masculine feel. While lead-in guestrooms are small, Junior Suites and above provide comfortable space. I was upgraded to a high-ceilinged suite on the first floor, pictured below. The marble-floored foyer had a large walk-in closet. A very short hallway led to the bedroom. The bed was centered on the inside wall facing exterior windows which looked over the front of the hotel. I even had a peak of the Eiffel Tower. A couch and easy chair were located in front of the windows, with the desk set in the center of the room. The large work surface provided convenient desk-level power receptacles and ports. The large bathroom featured massive amounts of Carrera marble, both the double vanity and the soaking tub having been carved from single blocks of marble. There was a separate step-in shower and WC.


my bedroom (January, 2019)

A bit of work remains to be done. The bathroom’s lighted makeup mirror needed to be tightened so that it can be positioned as desired. The room was not entirely sound-proofed; I could hear some street noise, and I occasionally felt the vibrations of subway cars passing underneath the hotel.

Hotel Lutetia has some WOW Signature Suites including the Josephine Baker Eiffel View Terrace Suite.


Le Bristol

This was my third stay at Le Bristol, a hotel I had found a bit underwhelming in the past. However, this stay provided a most pleasant surprise. A few very slight but fortunate changes can make a most significant and welcome difference, and such was the case with this latest stay. Read on to hear about those slight changes, but first a few words about its place among the hotel of Paris.

Located on rue du Faubourg Saint Honor, a prestigious shopping street, Le Bristol is literally a block from the lyse Palace, home of the President of France. The hotel has always been well loved by its devoted repeat guests. It exudes a residential rather than corporate feel, its character perhaps best captured by the white cat who presides over the lobby. The Bristol has never gone for flash; it has always offered personable service and comfortable accommodations. All of this remains true.

But something had been lacking in the past, and those shortcomings have now been fully addressed. Le Bristol has been in the hands of the Oetker family, and the family matriarch had taken upon herself the task of individually decorating each of the hotel's 190 rooms and suites. That task has now been handed over to the next generation, and all rooms have recently been renovated. Their Louis XVI grandeur has been preserved, but the new, subtle changes have made a world of difference. When I was shown my room, the words that came out of my mouth were, “It’s beautiful.” And I meant it! I didn't notice any of the individual changes — at least not at first — but the overall effect was profound.

Small changes, but so welcome!

First change: the previous room design used the same fabric for the draperies, the bedspread, and the table skirt. The result — it looked dated to me, a bit dowdy. The renovations simply removed the bedspread and replaced it with with a crisp, white linen duvet. Pillows, no longer tucked under the bedspread, are cased in white and propped against the headboard.


a bedroom at Le Bristol during a former visit in 2007


my bedroom at Le Bristol in January, 2019


Second change: The hallways during my last visit in 2016 were harshly lit with exposed light bulbs. No longer! Each bulb is now covered with a small shade, and the indirect hallway lighting creates a much more pleasant and restful atmosphere.


hallway sconces in 2016


hallway sconces in 2019

Additional changes (which you can't see in the photos). The old CRT television sets placed upon armoires have been replaced with wall-mounted flatscreens. Crown moulding and wood paneling in guestrooms used to be painted a flat white, creating a flat appearance. The new color scheme may not be immediately apparent, but painting the trim with different shades of off-white enhances guestrooms with a sense of texture and depth.


As I said, small and subtle differences that you may not notice at first, but they make a world of difference!
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Old Feb 1, 19, 8:21 am
  #753  
 
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I agree that Lutetia has a fabulous location, but I could not get on with the rooms/suites, which felt like sleeping in a boardroom.

Good to see that Le Bristol has moved away from Madame Oetker's design sense!
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Old Feb 25, 19, 2:48 pm
  #754  
 
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Some pictures of the Four Seasons George V pool/spa area:


So over the last 2 years I've now stayed in: Le Bristol, La Reserve, Peninsula (x 3), Crillon, Ritz, Four Seasons George V and Plaza Athne. As I've said many times before, Paris is the most competitive city market in the world. The standard of hotels is so high that you could pick any number and be satisfied, whereas in London they may have a larger number of choices (unsurprising, as it is a significantly larger city), but the quality is nowhere close. The base price of rooms is agonisingly high, but once you get to suites then it's often better value than London.

For me my top 3 are FSGV, Crillon and Peninsula (as long as you're in one of the higher suite categories). La Reserve is a solid 4th choice if all else fails. Le Bristol and Plaza Athne are good hotels, I just don't find them good enough within Paris to be considered great.
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Old Feb 25, 19, 3:16 pm
  #755  
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Love FSGV!
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Old Feb 26, 19, 11:10 am
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Will be at the Crillon in April for the first time. Looking forward to it.
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Old Mar 2, 19, 3:42 am
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Hope this is not out of topic but anymore disturbance in Paris recently? Will have a weekend trip coming up. News has largely been silent on this.
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Old Mar 2, 19, 4:04 am
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Originally Posted by BENLEE View Post
Hope this is not out of topic but anymore disturbance in Paris recently? Will have a weekend trip coming up. News has largely been silent on this.
Youll be fine. Paris is surprisingly quiet despite Fashion Week.
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Old Mar 2, 19, 4:26 am
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Originally Posted by scented View Post

Youll be fine. Paris is surprisingly quiet despite Fashion Week.
Thanks. Cheers.
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Old Apr 9, 19, 8:28 am
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Paris hotel help

My husband and I will be spending 4 nights in Paris this fall as part of a 2 week trip to Europe. It will be my first trip to Paris, and I have narrowed the hotel choice to two groups: Le Bristol, la Reserve, the Ritz....or the Westin or Intercontinental. We are pretty set on the general area we want to stay in, but my husband and I can not agree on the category of hotel to stay in. His concern is that since we will be on a long trip we will be traveling with very casual clothing.

For those that have stayed in one of the nicer hotels is it appropriate for a man to wear shorts and a polo shirt in public spaces and to breakfast or would we be better suited staying at the Westin or Intercontinental given we will be traveling mostly with very causal clothing?

Thanks!
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Old Apr 9, 19, 11:09 am
  #761  
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Originally Posted by kmd0506 View Post
My husband and I will be spending 4 nights in Paris this fall as part of a 2 week trip to Europe. It will be my first trip to Paris, and I have narrowed the hotel choice to two groups: Le Bristol, la Reserve, the Ritz....or the Westin or Intercontinental. We are pretty set on the general area we want to stay in, but my husband and I can not agree on the category of hotel to stay in. His concern is that since we will be on a long trip we will be traveling with very casual clothing.

For those that have stayed in one of the nicer hotels is it appropriate for a man to wear shorts and a polo shirt in public spaces and to breakfast or would we be better suited staying at the Westin or Intercontinental given we will be traveling mostly with very causal clothing?

Thanks!
I wore shorts from Costco and a t shirt in the public areas at the Four Seasons and nobody questioned me. I wouldnt worry about it.
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Old Apr 9, 19, 11:15 am
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Originally Posted by kmd0506 View Post
My husband and I will be spending 4 nights in Paris this fall as part of a 2 week trip to Europe. It will be my first trip to Paris, and I have narrowed the hotel choice to two groups: Le Bristol, la Reserve, the Ritz....or the Westin or Intercontinental. We are pretty set on the general area we want to stay in, but my husband and I can not agree on the category of hotel to stay in. His concern is that since we will be on a long trip we will be traveling with very casual clothing.

For those that have stayed in one of the nicer hotels is it appropriate for a man to wear shorts and a polo shirt in public spaces and to breakfast or would we be better suited staying at the Westin or Intercontinental given we will be traveling mostly with very causal clothing?
Thanks!
At any hotel in Paris, shorts in the public areas will be out of place in the eyes of locals and most other hotel guests. There’s nothing wrong with casual, but furthermore in the Fall wouldn’t he be more comfortable in long pants? Nothing special is required, but at a minimum “smart casual” is advisable at any of these places.

Go with le Bristol. Try to get a fourth night free rate if available on your stay dates.
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Old Apr 9, 19, 3:34 pm
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Casual street wear is ok in all hotels. You wont have the same issue in Paris than what you may have at the Savoy in London or even the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok. Formal dress code would be requested only for dinner in their main restaurant (Espadon at the Ritz or le Cinq at the FSGV), but for all other venues a jean and a polo shirt is ok.

Le Bristol is very french yet overrated (never understood the positive reviews), la Rserve is great if you look for a residential small hotel, the Ritz would be my favorite for a first stay.
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Old Apr 9, 19, 5:56 pm
  #764  
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Le Bristol fan here. I would not let my husband wear shorts at Le Bristol. Chinos and short-sleeved shirt yes. It is not a dress code issue so much as a sense of place and respecting the ethos of the venue.
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Old Apr 10, 19, 6:47 am
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Thank you everyone for your feedback. It will help narrow down our hotel choice in Paris!
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