Paris's best luxury hotels
The famous Hotel Westminster on rue de la Paix shines with British elegance. The building was once a private townhouse but became a hotel in 1905 and following a welcome makeover in 2015, it now boasts 101 rooms, comprising 80 rooms and 21 suites. Venerated designer Pierre-Yves Rochon has kept the spirit of the past alive, with stately crystal chandeliers, marble fireplaces, period console tables and vintage clocks.
It’s a long way from the flashy facades of other four-star hotels, so much so that you could pass the Chess Hotel without ever casting a second glance. The entrance is through the discreet rue de Helder, running perpendicular to Boulevard des Italiens, to find this mysterious spot. Ring the intercom and cross a huge corridor which opens onto an elevator. The reception is on the first floor, pitched a hundred metres from the hubbub of Opera below, a unique view with the calm broken by the electronica soundtrack.
From the top of the immense nine floor Hôtel Renaissance République, you can watch skaters and look straight onto the place de la République statue, which is increasingly becoming known as the heart of the city. It’s on the terrace that you can raise a toast or breakfast as the sun rises and the location is ideal – just a few strides from Canal Saint-Martin and Grands Boulevards.
One of the rare ‘palaces’ to reject Paris’s typical historical architecture, the Mandarin Oriental dares to innovate – and it succeeds. Surrounded by haute couture fashion houses and jewellers in the middle of rue Saint-Honoré, the Mandarin Oriental is inspired just as much by its surroundings at its Asian origins. Shades of grey, purple, mauve and ecru, sculptures and works of art by the likes of Nathalie Decoster, a ceiling decorated with golden leaves, a garden resembling a mini jungle-island: enter into this luxurious setting and you will be stunned.
Cross the Champs-Elysées, pass Saint-Philippe-du-Roule and on a small hidden street, you’ll find Hotel Daniel. Inside is a meeting of the East and West; Kazakh carpets, Chinese wallpaper, Syrian trinkets, Turkish silver platters, ebony countertops – a mix of styles which come together harmoniously in this elegant cocoon. The 36 rooms are styled on 18th century Parisian apartments and a special mention has to go to the sublime views of the Eiffel Tower from certain suites.
The Plaza Athénée’s 2014 facelift brought a great deal of change – but it has not denied any of its roots. Quite the contrary in fact, it remains the most ‘haute-couture’ of the Paris luxury hotels, both in its proximity to the fashion houses and for its shared history with Christian Dior. This avenue Montaigne spot pays serious tribute to its heritage, codes and spectacular past. All details are tasteful and tailor-made, thanks to the dream team of experts, each of whom excel at their speciality.
With its enormous golden dragons on the walls, lacquered furniture and Chinese wardrobes, the Buddha-Bar Hotel is the mirror image of its famous restaurant, which enough to fill anyone with wanderlust for the Eastern climes. 4 Rue d’Anjou invites guests to travel back in time to 1930s Shanghai. Illuminated by a hundred cinnabar lanterns, the entrance of the hotel is like an Asian temple. It earns every one of its five stars; the reception is neat and welcoming but not overly so.
L’Echiquier is a four-star luxury hotel located a stone’s throw from the iconic Grand Rex and Folies Bergère. It is owned by the Sofitel group and belongs to the group’s collection of MGallery boutique hotels “dedicated to lovers of life, literature and culture”. And this historic building certainly has some stories to tell. The Echiquier is located on a street which was once frequented by Gustave Flaubert, Victor Hugo and Honoré de Balzac.
A few minutes from the Champs-Elysées, Hôtel du Collectionneur regales the splendour of the thirties with pure art deco styling. Expect to be wowed as soon as you cross the threshold, as noble period materials are majestically combined with more contemporary fabrics. Across from the lobby, the magnificent garden designed by landscaper Olivier Riols is serenity distilled. At 800 metres squared, it is one of the largest hotel gardens in Paris.
Located on Avenue Gabriel in the heart of the 8th arrondissement, this classic Haussmannian building is over hundred and fifty years old, with views onto the Eiffel Tower and the Grand Palais. La Réserve Hotel and Spa is the absolute height of luxury, yet remains in keeping with the strict tradition of Michel Reybier’s other La Réserve hotels in Geneva and Ramatuelle. As is to be expected, the hotel's interior is a unique style of chic.