If being in Paris is already a reason to party, staying at Plaza Athénée promises a high-level celebration. Member of the Dorchester Collection since 2001, the hotel has undergone a series of improvements that have made the traditional space, inaugurated in 1913, even more attractive. Today with 194 apartments, including 46 suites, it has the official French distinction of palace status, a condition reflected in the real royal treatment that its guests receive.
The new approach focuses on healthy, organic foods on a menu that celebrates fish, vegetables, and cereals. The ingredients are almost all sustainable, wild, and mainly, organic. In addition, this major reinvention did not take into account only the types of raw materials. While essentially following the strand of French cuisine, restaurants now also draw on shojin cuisine – a Japanese spiritual approach to cooking vegetables.
And the big names, which keep Plaza Athénée reinventing itself constantly, are not restricted to just one sector. Known especially as an haute couture hotel, the Dior Institute – a luxury space dedicated to beauty treatments that leads to the signature of the fashion brand – has been around for ten years. As well as Dior celebrated its 70th birthday at the hotel, it has become a new tradition in the Plaza Athénée to promote small and intimate celebrations for its most special guests who are celebrating. The mini private parties, held in the suite, are entitled to champagne, balloons, and, above all, the spectacular backdrop of Paris as a plus. Amazing!
The real luxury lies in the simplicity of finely selected furniture with unique and elegant pieces. It is also in the discreet and impeccable service of an extremely well-prepared staff. A home away from home, with attention to the smallest details. This is La Réserve Paris.
A hotel that honors the class, that’s how you safely describe the La Réserve de Paris. In fact, the establishment is listed as the number 1 hotel in the world in different selections of internationally renowned publications. Occupying a distinctive building next to the Champ-Elysées, it graces its guests with views of important historic buildings such as the Grand Palais, the Eiffel Tower, and the Pantheon. In its interior, it brings the elegance of a private apartment of the nineteenth century, with ultra-personalized and discreet services. These characteristics, in fact, translate quite significantly the concept of the hotel.
Unlike some other hotels, where much of the motivation to stay in one of their suites comes from the pleasure of seeing and being seen, in La Réserve the idea involves being very well received, but without pomp, circumstance or ostentation. Here, the greatest luxury comes from the discretion with which its staff accompanies its guests, guaranteeing a service of high quality and, at the same time, keeping your privacy completely untouched. This, in fact, is the standard of excellence present in the other hotels of the network, as in the units of Geneva and Ramatuelle.
Whoever visits the place notice this motto in all moments and environments. Beautifully decorated, the library with its fireplace in the center may be the perfect choice for an afternoon tea, after a beautiful walk through the charming surroundings of the 8ème. For breakfast, it is worth changing the warmth of the suite on at least one of the days to sample the delights of French cuisine on the terrace of the hotel, illuminated by the light of the sun even in the cold days.
Welcoming guests from all over the world is the easiest task of Le Bistrol, which along in decades of operation, eventually entrusted the mission of being the symbol of culture, wealth and local history.
Guardian of the five-star hotel Le Bristol in Paris, Didier Le Calvez is the type that never runs away from a fight and accepts the challenges of a profession with security and maturity that only years of experience could have given him. After collecting visits through some of the most famous hotels in the world, Le Calvez learned to face his own difficulties as a chance of growth and learning, failing to avoid obstacles of the route to actually involve him in it and become a better leader. It was this same thinking, for example, that granted him a CEO position of the hotel in the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, one of the most wanted addresses in the French capital. The same Palace that ensures him a privileged view of the city also gives him a better view of any obstacles of the profession, as the constant harassment of the competition. “Particularly, I think this dispute between big hotels is something very good for the market. Honestly, I recognize the lack of high standard accommodations in Paris – which explains the openings and investments in this area.
When all works get done and the hotels open their doors, we will have strong competition, and I find it quite inspiring. I think my team is prepared and I trust in the talent of everyone who works with me. In addition, we have differentiated gastronomy at the Le Bristol says Le Calvez. His speech does not leave any room for mistakes and hesitations, which make us think he always knew their destination and only worked to make it become true. “In fact, I’ve always been in love with good food and the art of good service. So when I graduated from high school, I knew I wanted a career that would take me to this side and could provide me this feeling of accomplishment: The hotel management seemed to be a perfect choice – and I went through all possible hierarchies, working as a clerk, Night manager and a lot more. Thus, in fact, I could experience all processes and positions that a five-star hotel requests, then when I got to the office director, I knew exactly what to do” says the current chairman of the Union des Metier et des Industries de l’Hotellerie.
Distracted by its own beauty, reflected on the surface of the Seine River, which crosses and divides Paris, Le Bristol forgot to battle against time and for that, it was pardoned: it is a living Narcissus, of undeniable beauty. With a history to count in decades, but without wrinkles, the hotel retains its royal essence in its details. This palace has about 90 accommodations, all with a Hollywood view of the City of Light and its unique architecture. All rooms are decorated with Persian rugs, crystal chandeliers, silk curtains and more. To avoid the same fate of the mythological character who languished in contemplating such beauty, the hotel offers a different cuisine, able to steal attention to the idyllic surrounding countryside. In the Epicure restaurant, for example, guests enjoy the most sophisticated recipes of traditional French cuisine, interpreted by chef Eric Frechon. The excellence of the restaurant is such that he was given the highest honor in the world of gastronomy, three Michelin stars. For those seeking romance, the ideal place is the Le Jardin Français, perfect for sunny days when you can make the most of the bounties of an establishment outdoors, immersed in a garden.
As an alternative to fine dining, guests can also enjoy brasserie 114 Faubourg, recipient of a Michelin star. Also, It is there that during the first Monday of the month, the sommelier Fabien Guillemot gets a visit from a guest winemaker. During the night, guests have the chance to discover more about a particular wine and can taste bottles in harmony with a menu of four courses, set by chef Jean-Charles Cauquil. Meanwhile, in Cafe Antonia, patrons can enjoy a great atmosphere for informal and leisurely meetings. The menu follows the premise of the spontaneity of the house and offers more casual options — but not less tasty. Aside from the varied and hearty menus of its bars and restaurants, Le Bristol in its entirely remains a delectable feast for all of the senses. From the pool, surrounded by glass walls, we can admire the always infallible Eiffel Tower, and the charming Montmartre: it is the ideal place for those who like (or need) to slow down life and enjoy the best the City of Light has to offer.
For those who have some energy, the journey continues in the fitness center, equipped with Kinesis machines – a market benchmark. Bathed in natural light, the gym is open throughout the day and personal trainers are on hand to prepare a series of unique exercises, specially designed to meet every guest’s needs. Prepared for weddings and tailored events, the hotel unfolds in endless possibilities, just do not interfere with the Zen atmosphere of the Spa by La Prairie and its eight treatment rooms – including a Russian Banïya one. Regardless of the service, visitors are always accommodated in a slightly heated bed, so they can relax from the first moment. Treatments begin with the sauna, to release tension and calm the members – especially those susceptible to stress points. To complete the experience, the best possible way, a ginger infusion is offered with lemon and honey to all guests and visitors so that they come out of the spa feeling refreshed and serene. Parents on duty can stay carefree: the spa offers everyone properly trained staff to entertain the kids at the Kids Club so that parents can enjoy the most of the experience without any distractions. Fro those still looking for “something more,” Le Bisrol offers hairstyling services for those “finishing touches.” Speaking of beauty, it is worth mentioning that while Narcissus lived and died because of his vanity, the Parisian hotel wrote itself a happier story — one with a better ending. The difference, in this case, is that beauty is all the way inside out.
Those who were born to be a king will never lose their royalty, even if it means to deal with the weight of the crown: to break with all that was once known and launch itself into a new era. Thus, from its own French Revolution, the Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris returned to the throne of the French capital. Everything began in 2010 when guests, friends, and the media were able to closely check the radical metamorphosis that cost two years and 800 million Euros. The extreme makeover of the palace was led by French designer Philippe Starck, who made the premises of Le Royal Monceau a sweet and creative metaphor of Paris and of life itself.
Therefore, art, hospitality, fashion, warmth and haute cuisine get together at number 37 of the distinct Avenue Hoche – of which still can be seen, just around the corner, the imposing Arc de Triomphe. But in order to stay grounded in front of so much beauty, Starck brings us subtlety back to earth when purposely introducing a bit of chaos in the hotel’s facilities: a scruffy carpet, a crooked lampshade, a slightly out of place table – all to remind us that life is not straight; it is full of small idiosyncrasies that make our human experience even more amazing. It was not for the lack of notice or attempt: French designer Phillippe Starck did everything in his power to keep us in balance with reality, but it is impossible not to return to the clouds when we taste the wonders that make Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris a five-star hotel with praise.
The Parisian fairytale starts early, at breakfast, served at La Cuisine, Chef Laurent Andre. There, the day begins in the most organic way possible, with natural juices and freshly made pastry options. Democratic in every possible way, La Cuisine follows the routine of their guests and, on weekends, allows mornings to drag on until later in a generous brunch. Another temptation in the hotel to which we must surrender ourselves is the Il Carpaccio Italian restaurant, awarded a Michelin star. Led by chef Roberto Rispoli, a native of Tuscany, the restaurant has a menu guided by the seasons, since it only admits fresh produce. To celebrate 30 years of the place, Rispoli went personally to Sicily to create the house olive oil. As if it wasn’t enough with its hearty and well-prepared dishes, Il Carpaccio has a bonus of typical Italian desserts, but with a special touch that only one chef patissier Pierre Hermé’s caliber could do. Relaxing moments deserve equal attention – and, in this case, the best option would be the tables of Le Bar Long, a more casual and friendly atmosphere, and more flexible hours as well.
To make sure you take in the most you can from this “palace,” save some time to visit the Terrace. A restaurant that, as the name suggests, is in a more open environment – the official description, it is even called “garden restaurant.” Although this is not the most formal restaurant in the hotel, it is probably the one that best describes it, since it changes with the seasons, and never fails to bloom. The tables are arranged around a glass dome, which reveals the ever-restless waters of the spa pool, located on the ground floor.
The passion for culture that runs through the veins of Paris also circulates through the halls of Le Royal Monceau, the only hotel in the world to make an Art Concierge available to guests – a professional expert in cultural trends, able to close the Pompidou for private visits for some hours. Although the golden keys of the concierges of the palace can open any door, there is no need to go too far to find the best of the cultural life of Paris. This very inn houses a gallery dedicated to modern art and a bookstore meticulously curated, bringing together the best books, magazines and tangible objects in the universe of fashion, film, and art.
When the options are many and the mind asks for rest, a visit to the Spa My Blend by Clarins can be the solution to every dilemma. Also known as “white paradise,” the center and relaxation of Le Royal Monceau is home to one of the largest indoor pools in Paris, 24 meters long and 8 wide. Voted Best Hotel Spa in 2012 by Virtuoso Award, the My Blend by Clarins is guided by the uniqueness of its customers, already adapting their treatments to the profile of its users. After relaxing in a totally white environment, a burst of color waiting for guests on the screens of Le Cinéma de Lumières, with a capacity for 99 spectators. Equipped with the latest machines, the cinema of Le Royal Monceau is able to play 3D movies, which puts it in the crosshairs of the most exclusive premieres of France and beyond.
As might be expected, the 149 suites at the palace hotel are equipped with all of the comfort items you can imagine: a king size bed, pressurized shower, walk in closet, plasma television and more. All accommodations, from the simple studio room to the majestic Presidential Suite 241, summarize the whole philosophy of the inn. And each, in its own way, balances this unique blend of chaos, colors, culture, tastes, technology, and urban havens – and constantly reminds that it is not necessary to be asleep in order to dream.
Summer 2018, and with its unexpected name and equally unlikely site, Girafe assumes a position at the heart of the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, (Museum of French Architecture and Heritage) Place du Trocadéro in Paris.
There is a new place conquering the hearts of seafood lovers in Paris since the early European summer. It is the Girafe restaurant, very well located in the Trocadero. The privileged view on the Eiffel Tower and the splendid 1930s-inspired decoration, created by the architect Joseph Dirand, with cream benches, marble bar, original pilasters, and tropical plants, are attractive on their own for those looking for a place to savor the climate, Parisian. Joining this look to the sumptuous menu, full of fresh fish options, presented both cooked and raw, Girafe ended up becoming one of the most talked about places among the French. One of the most precious requests of the seasonal menu, orchestrated by chef Benoît Dargère, is the ceviche of lobster, sole, and turbot, subject to availability. The convenience of the service goes beyond cold nights when blankets are offered to those who sit under heat lamps on the terrace watching the main postcard of the city.
The menu at Girafe is imagined as joyful, supple, seasonal and relevant but above all we wanted it to be readable. And with a sea-based cuisine, simplicity and sophistication have no problem sharing the table with opulence and decadence. Simple starters with international flavors, like langoustine ravioli and curried broth, gamberoni rossi and fish cakes. The dishes revolve, according to the month and the haul, around seven main staples of the sea (lobster, red mullet, sole, turbot, sea bass, Atlantic Bluefin tuna, sea-bream), prepared as the mood dictates, whether irreverent, chic, classic, exotic, raw or cooked. The dishes at Girafe present a mirror to the surroundings, occupying space between traditional cooking and modern cuisine, a sole meunière or a fried whiting, whole fish depending on the season to be shared roasted, grilled or salt-crust baked. In the timeless glow of the brasserie, seafood as you like it on plates and platters in the dining room and at the bar.