InterContinental Paris Le Grand
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This 1862 hotel is the chain's European flagship - but, given its size, perhaps 'mother ship' would be more appropriate: this landmark establishment occupies the entire block (three wings, almost 500 rooms) next to the opera house; some 80 of the honey-coloured rooms overlook the Palais Garnier. The space under the vast verrière is one of the best oases in town, and the hotel's restaurant and coffeehouse, the Café de la Paix, poached its chef, Laurent Delarbre, from the Ritz. For a relaxing daytime break, head to the I-Spa for one of its seawater treatments.