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France holidays: The best hotels in Paris | London Evening Standard



P

aris, with its perennial charm, old world beauty and perpetually chic locals, is always a good idea.

Its close proximity to London means we often bypass the City of Love in favour of other, more exotic locales when choosing where to spend our precious holiday time.

Yet, with the Eurostar you can be in Paris by happy hour on a Friday and back in the office for 9am on Monday morning – in other words, it’s the ultimate weekend break.

Hotels in Paris are in a league of their own, many tap into the city’s antiquated essence, while others add much-needed modernity to the mix. Below, we list our pick of the bunch.

Hôtel des Grands Boulevards

Hôtel des Grands Boulevards

In the second arrondissment, close to several big ticket locations (the Louvre and Tuileries Gardens are an easy 20-minute walk away), Hôtel des Grands Boulevards is The Experimental Group’s second Parisian hotel (Grand Pigalle Hôtel being the first). The group also looks after London’s Henrietta Hotel and the same designer – Dorothée Meilichzon – has been used in each, using soft palettes of blues, greens and pinks to create extremely ‘grammable spaces.

Hôtel des Grands Boulevards was built immediately after the French revolution and its current design pays homage to its rich heritage, mixing arched mirrors and modern gadgets to create a seamless aesthetic of old and new. Bold feature walls in deep teal or powder blue are commonplace in each of the 50 rooms and suites, the restaurant offers conservatory-style dining and the two bars – one on the ground floor and one on the roof – are where locals go for cocktails.

From £200 per night, grandboulevardshotel.com.

Shangri-La Hotel, Paris

Shangri-La Hotels

A Parisian landmark since the nineteenth century, when it was built in 1896 as the home of French imperial Prince Roland Bonaparte (nephew to Napoleon), the Shangri-La Paris is perhaps the most grand of the group’s portfolio. A five-minute stroll to the Seine, the Eiffel Tower is just across the river and over half of the hotel’s 100 rooms (and even some bath tubs) are privy to her presence in the windows.

Despite the palatial interiors (a gold, cream and duck-egg blue palette decorates the rooms), the atmosphere isn’t poncey and guests will find themselves able to relax as soon as they walk through the doors. Of the three restaurants, two are Michelin-starred (including Shang Palace, the only Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant in France), but a trip to the Le Bar Botaniste is a must for its rare botantical spirits and absinthe fountain (if you dare).

From £700 per night, shangri-la.com.

The Hoxton, Paris

The Hoxton

From £216 per night, thehoxton.com.

La Réserve Hotel and Spa Paris

La Réserve Hotel and Spa

While Paris certainly doesn’t lack grand hotels, the arrival of La Réserve in 2015 proved there is always space for one more, offering ultimate luxury in a boutique setting. Minutes from the Champs-Élysée, a single red door at the base of the restored nineteenth century mansion is the marker that you’ve arrived.

Jacques Garcia is responsible for the Belle Époque interiors, which seamlessly blend marble-clad bathrooms with velvet covered sofas and impressionist paintings. The 25 suites and 15 rooms perch above the two restaurants, Le Gabriel and La Pagode de Cos, both overseen by Michelin-starred chef Jérôme Banctel.

From £791 per night, la-reserve-paris.com.

Hotel de Berri

Marriott Hotels

Bold hues and eclectic wallpapers welcome guests into the newest hotel on the eighth arrondissment block. Set on the pretty Rue de Berri – with the Champs-Élysées and Arc de Triomphe a short walk away – this chic hotel opened in 2018 in the former residence of fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli. Each of the 40 rooms and 35 suites pays homage to its previous owner with the ‘more is more’ approach (tiger prints, clashing colours and textured walls will delight), while the bathrooms are a calmer escape, stocked with Diptyque toiletries and Skinjay aromatherapy capsules. The newly-opened spa, with its female-only Hammam, offers welcome respite from a day wandering the Parisian streets.

From £448 per night, marriott.co.uk.

Plaza Athénée

Dorchester Collection

With over a century of history behind its geranium-filled window box façade, Plaza Athénée is a fashion set favourite (Christian Dior named collections after the hotel and it has appeared in both Sex and the City and The Devil Wears Prada). While you can expect to see fashion editors mingling in the lobby, guests will be too distracted by the décor to notice – it’s grandiose and knows it.

Here, Art Deco meets Versaille, with silk-covered armchairs, marble floors and dazzling chandeliers. Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée restaurant drips with crystals (and serves top notch food to match), while the rooms are as elegant as you would expect; high ceilings, views of the Eiffel Tower and bathrooms stocked with Guerlain toiletries.

From £700 per night, dorchestercollection.com.

Molitor Hotel

Molitor Hotel

One of the newest hotels on this list, the Molitor was once Paris’ most iconic swimming pool – the Piscine Molitor. Now reborn as a luxury hotel, it sits in the sixteenth arrondissment in western Paris with two nearby metro stations that can take guests directly into the city. The hotel, which is best enjoyed in summer, is centred on its namesake 46-metre outdoor pool which first opened in 1929. Many of Molitor’s original features remain: mosaics, the yellow façade and the leaded-glass windows. Inside, guests can expect an industrial vibe with low-hanging lights and shell chairs, while the former changing rooms now function as an in-house art gallery. Upstairs, the 117 rooms and seven suites are designed by French architect Jean Philippe Nuel and reflect the hotel’s heritage, minimalist and made to look like retro changing cabins all with views over the central pool. In summer, head to the rooftop for food and cocktails on the seasonal terrace.

From £198 per night, mltr.fr.

Nolinski

Nolinski

With the Louvre and the Seine just a five minute walk away, it’s hard to find a better placed hotel in Paris than the Nolinski. The façade is delightfully traditional, iron-gated balconies overflowing with flowers, fairy lights are strung out front to welcome guests on arrival and inside the lobby you’re met with marble, gold and green-blue hues.

The 45 rooms are spread across six levels, with rooms on the higher levels allowing for a peak of the mid-renovation Notre Dame. The calming reception hues continue to the rooms, with pops of raspberry and yellow, geometric mirrors, lacquered wardrobes and neoclassical wood panelling. The signature Réjane breakfast – a bowl of pastries and breads, selection of cured meats and cheeses, fruit salad and preserves – is not to be missed, while the decadent spa with its luxe swimming pool is perfect for resting after a day of sightseeing.

From £382 per night, nolinskiparis.com.

Hôtel Grand Powers, Paris

Hôtel Grand Powers

In the heart of Paris’s Golden Triangle (the tourist sweet spot in the eighth arrondissment between three of Paris’ most famous boulevards: the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, the Avenue Montaigne, and the Avenue George V), sits the five-star, family-owned Hôtel Grand Powers.

The hotel, a nineteenth century Haussmannian townhouse which first opened in 1920, re-opened in 2019 after extensive renovation and now boasts high ceilings, herringbone wooden floors and a sumptuous palette of dark teal and deep rose. Some of the 50 generously sized rooms offer views of the Eiffel Tower, while most offer elegant iron windows, deep soak tubs and Art Deco fixtures.

From £369 per night, hotelgrandpowersparis.com.

Mandarin Oriental Paris

Mandarin Oriental

The Mandarin Oriental hotel group is synonymous with luxury – and its Parisian outpost is no different. Refreshingly modern in a city that prides itself on old world romance, the Mandarin Oriental Paris is moments from the Louvre and a favourite of the fashion set with its nods to French haute couture.

Guests are served a glass of champagne on arrival before walking past the internal leafy garden and heading to one of the hotel’s 138 rooms, which either look out to the garden or onto the Rue St Honore. Rooms are muted, with velvet artworks, calming greys and Diptyque toiletries. The spacious sunken spa offers signature Mandarin Oriental massages using own brand products, and the three restaurants and cake shop will fill your fare of Parisian treats.

From £735 per night, mandarinoriental.com.

Le Bristol Paris

Oetker Collection

A Parisian stalwart since 1925, Le Bristol sits at the end of Faubourg-Saint-Honoré in the middle of the arts and fashion district. Le Bristol is legendary for a reason: it’s the first French establishment to be awarded the title of ‘Palace’ (of which there are only 10 hotels with the honours in the capital).

Gilded mirrors, dripping chandeliers and gold-leaf staircases create an opulent space that feels both indulgent and relaxed all at once, while its 13,000 square-foot garden is one of the loveliest in the city. Head to the sixth floor to discover its indoor rooftop, chlorine-free pool with views over Montmartre and the Eiffel Tower. The hotel houses three locally-loved restaurants – of which Epicure, with its three Michelin stars, is the chicest. After a multiple-course menu of true French cuisine, let your hair down at the surprisingly unpretentious bar, Le Bar du Bristol – it has a DJ playing from Tuesday through Saturday.

From £685 per night, oetkercollection.com.

Four Seasons Hotel George V

Four Seasons

Tucked away on Rue de Avenue George V, steps away from the Arc de Triomphe, a decadent escape awaits inside Four Seasons Hotel George V. Guests, who in the past have included Gwyneth Paltrow and The Beatles, are greeted by floral installations in the lobby (designed by Kardashian favourite Jeff Leatham), with an estimated 9,000 flowers being flown from the Netherlands each week for the designs.

Venturing further inside, interiors are courtesy of Pierre Yves-Rochon and the 244 rooms and suites will suit those who prefer the finer things – gold-fringed curtains, marble bathrooms bigger than most flats in London, lined with Guerlain toiletries, and plush sofas with views across Paris. Dining here is a must – it’s the first palace hotel in Paris to have three Michelin-starred restaurants – as is a trip to its subterranean spa, where they have more expert facialists on staff than they do massage and beauty therapists.

From £833 per night, fourseasons.com.

Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel

Rosewood Hotels

For four years, between 2013 and 2017, Hôtel de Crillon shut its doors while hotel aficionados waited in wonder to see what Rosewood would do to the former grand dame. The results surpassed anyone’s expectations; Hôtel de Crillon has been lovingly restored and completely modernised and once again become the top choice in Paris for the elite.

Sitting pretty next to its neighbours, the Champs-Élysées and the Tuileries Garden since 1758, Hôtel de Crillon’s renovation was led by architect Richard Martinet and interiors were created under the artistic direction of Aline Asmar d’Amman. The result is a hotel fitted with 40 different types of marble, its gold-framed cerulean ceiling still in place (it’s a registered landmark), while the 78 rooms, 36 suites and 10 signature suites are lined with muted tones and hand-selected artwork.

From £823 per night, rosewoodhotels.com.

Le Meurice

Dorchester Collection

Nestled within the first arrondissment, the city’s swankiest postcode, Le Meurice inhabits an eighteenth century building that has seen two extensive renovations – one in 1905 and the second between 1998 and 2000. The latter was courtesy of Philippe Starck (Sanderson, London and Hudson Hotel, New York), which means Le Meurice easily mixes opulence with contemporary touches – geometric chairs sit neatly beside renaissance art.

Interiors of the 160 rooms and suites, like the ornately patterned wallpapers, cosy nooks and gold-plated fixtures, will inspire you to switch up your décor when you (begrudgingly) return home. For gastronomic delights guests only need to look to hotel’s restaurant, Michelin starred le Meurice Alain Ducaisse for décor that mirrors Versailles. Yet, it’s the foliage covered rooftop of Le Meurice that is its true star with sweeping views across the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower.

From £787 per night, dorchestercollection.com.

Hôtel Providence

Hôtel Providence

Just three stops on the metro from Gare du Nord, Hôtel Providence is a remarkably romantic bolthole. In the heart of the tenth arrondissement, surrounded by bistros, boutiques and boulangeries, this boutique hotel is decadent and sexy all at once. The brainchild of Pierre Moussié, who owns several celebrated brasseries in the French capital, each of the 18 rooms (including three suites) are individually decorated – think statement wallpaper, flea market trinkets and gold fixtures complete with swoon-worthy views of the city.



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