Paris luxury hotels | four reviews

the pyramid in front of the Louvre in Paris
During my recent trip to Paris, I spent three nights in Paris. I stayed at Le Meurice and visited three new Paris luxury hotels I had not previously seen. Here's what I saw and thought:

Le Meurice
This is my personal favorite in Paris. While neither the most expensive nor the most elegant of Paris's palace hotels, I love Le Meurice for two reasons.

(1) Location, location, location. Le Meurice has the most perfect location. Walk out the front door, cross the street into the Tuilleries, and you can walk everywhere!

(2) The hotel feels very Parisian to me. Rooms are large and comfortable with a traditional feel.

Le Meurice has reasonable rates, especially compared to some of the other luxury hotels of Paris, and Virtuoso guests receive a 10% discount, Full American breakfast for two daily, and a room upgrade if available.

Mandarin Oriental Paris
A brand new hotel that just opened in June 2011, the Mandarin Oriental is located just off the Place Vendome, one block from the Tuileries. The Mandarin Oriental is a terrific choice if you want a new contemporary hotel that enjoys a great location.

Guests enter an elegant and sophisticated lobby that overlooks a beautiful courtyard garden. Planted with over 200 varieties of trees and plants, the courtyard sets the tone for the entire hotel that is designed to be an urban retreat in the middle of a busy city.

We were able to see a Deluxe Room and a Superior Suite. Rooms will appeal to guests who appreciate warm, contemporary interiors. Rosewood is used extensively in the doors, headboards, and built-ins. There are no painted surfaces in the room; walls are finished with fabric surfaces. Bathrooms are finished in polished white marble, and all rooms have dual vanities, deep soaking tub, step in rain shower, and separate WC. However, the design of the bath area in the Deluxe area was a bit unusual. The two sinks were on one side of the tiled entry into the bedroom, while the tub, shower, and WC were on the other side. Although called a Deluxe Room, it felt like a Superior room in terms of space provided.

Raffles - Le Royal Monceau
Located near the Arc du Triomphe, Le Royal Monceau was built in 1928 at the height of the Roaring 20's. Along with the Ritz, it was a favorite of the expatriate community in Paris. The hotel has been recently renovated with a bold, contemporary interior design by Philippe Stark that I would describe as more LA than LA. Visitors looking for something quirky, artistic, and avant garde will love Le Royal Monceau. But if you favor traditional Parisian styling, or prefer more classic contemporary styling, you'll want to look elsewhere.

Guestrooms have a bit of a cluttered design. Starke is not a minimalist; his intention is to provide lots of details to intrigue the eye. Each room has at least one large widescreen TV within a mirror leaning against the wall. Bathrooms have lots of mirrors, so you'll see yourself in multiple reflections. Each bathroom has a large, deep soaking tub, two large vanities (large, square, and just an inch deep), step-in rain shower, and a separate WC. My favorite rooms were in the back of the house, very quiet and overlooking the large garden. Among other features, Le Royal Monceau offers the largest hotel swimming pool in Paris and a movie theatre.

Esprit St Germain
Looking for a boutique hotel on the Left Bank? Eglise St Germain is located near the Eglise St Sulpice and offers an attractive location from which to explore the 6th arrondissement with its shops, boutiques, and markets. The major feature of the hotel are the two homey, comfortable living rooms on the ground floor. Guests make extensive use of these common areas which feature a complimentary open bar, soft drinks, and coffee and tea throughout the day.

Guest rooms are quite small. This is typical of Left Bank hotels as they are situated in older buildings with smaller rooms. Most luxury guests will want to book either a Premier Room or a Suite. The Premier room is essentially the size of the hotel's Deluxe rooms with a larger closet and bathroom. The top floor Premier room has a terrace looking over the rooftops toward Eglise St Sulpice, while the others have more floor space. Suites are small Jr. Suites, a small sitting area separated from the small bedroom.

If having a lot of space is a priority, this hotel will not work for you. But Esprit St Germain has a lot of repeat guests who enjoy the residential feeling of the hotel.

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copyright (c) 2012 by David Ourisman LLC. All rights reserved. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website. .

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