Paris is home to some of the most elegant hotels in the world, including real palaces dappled with gold and dangling chandeliers. Here’s our selection of the seven best luxury hotels in the French capital, embodying Parisian sophistication in all its glory.
Hôtel Lutetia | Courtesy of Hôtel Lutetia / Hotels.com
Despite undergoing a multimillion-euro makeover in July 2018, Hôtel Lutetia’s unmatched spirit remains the same. The property was built in 1910 in the Art Nouveau style and is the only grand hotel on the Left Bank. It has attracted the likes of artist Pablo Picasso, former president Charles de Gaulle, and singer and actor Marianne Oswald over the years, with James Joyce rumoured to have written part of Ulysses (1992) there too. The legendary landmark ranks a huge wellness centre as its most distinguished feature, offering an array of sophisticated treatments and massages. There’s also a Jacuzzi and 17-metre-long (56 feet) swimming pool, complete with a sauna, steam room and plunge pool next to a large fitness room.
The Prince de Galles hotel delivers an authentic Parisian experience that will definitely not disappoint. Another legendary jewel of the Parisian Art Deco movement, one that has impressed visitors since 1928, the Prince de Galles hotel is a beacon of grace. One of the main reasons this hotel is so sought after is because it boasts an unbelievably stunning location, just a stone’s throw away from the Champs-Elysées and Avenue Montaigne. The palace offers 44 suites bursting with opulent charm. Bag the right room and you can gaze out across monuments like the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower and the Grand Palais from your bedroom window.
If you prefer to relax surrounded by plentiful greenery, then Hôtel de Berri is for you. Not many places in Paris, even the most luxurious, can offer the verdant expanse that Hôtel de Berri can – a rare asset in the busy centre of Paris. Behind the hotel lurks an expansive private park dotted with century-old trees, creating an unexpected haven of calm. Step back inside the building itself and the ambience is just as relaxing. There’s a range of wellbeing and relaxation options on offer at the hotel’s spa, including two Carita treatment rooms, a tropical shower and two hammams, one exclusively for women. The fitness centre is open 24 hours and is equipped with state-of-the-art weightlifting and Technogym machines.
Le Meurice is a five-star hotel with a prime location in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, tucked away between the Place de la Concorde, the Louvre, which is the largest art museum in the world, and the gorgeous Tuileries Garden. Its dreamy interiors whisk you back to the Louis XVI era, and have been dazzling the luckiest visitors for centuries. Part of the esteemed Dorchester Group, there is a three-Michelin-star restaurant, an on-site spa and numerous surprises fusing a classic style with modern amenities – peek behind the paintings and you’ll most likely find a huge plasma television. What makes this place unique are the subtle winks to artist Salvador Dalí, with one of the hotel’s restaurants named in his honour.
There are five-star Parisian hotels, and then there are officially named Parisian palaces, which represent an even higher level of elegance. Le Royal Monceau, Raffles, is one of those rare venues, boasting five floors of first-class suites for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The interiors have been refurbished by world-renowned designer Philippe Starck, whose impeccable eye for detail has laboured over every last stitch of upholstery, leaving no aspect of design uncared for. With an Italian Michelin-star restaurant in the quarters, flaunting a Sicilian Baroque style with an extravagant shell decor on the walls, you can expect the food to be just as high-end.
The Peninsula Paris is another impressive hotel endowed with the palace distinction, the highly prestigious title reserved only for the most luxurious five-star hotels. As far as location goes, not many hotels rival The Peninsula Paris, as it is within walking distance from the Arc de Triomphe, with many rooms gazing out over the landmark. Having enjoyed notoriety as a hotspot for famous names of the Roaring ’20s, such as novelist Marcel Proust and composer George Gershwin, the hotel still attracts a range of celebrities to this day.
The Shangri-La Hotel is a five-star palace offering a slice of the good life. You can start the day in true Parisian style by asking for fresh croissants to be delivered to your room, then finish off the day with a pampering session at the spa. The best place to soak up the splendour in this hotel is from one of the highly coveted Eiffel Tower suites, which are located so close to the monument you can practically touch it. The hotel’s restaurants are just as spectacular, with dinner best followed by a mature cheese sharing platter and a bottle of champagne.