A storied hotel with Parisian chic
154 Rooms / 54 Suites
While it debuted in 1913, Hôtel Plaza Athénée still defines of Parisian chic. The Athénée resides on Paris’ most favorite fashion street, France’s fantastic chef Alain Ducasse watches over its five restaurants, and the hotel had a 2014 facelift that made it even better. Royals (Grace Kelly), fashion stars (Christian Dior — the Dior connection runs so deep that the hotel offers a Dior Institut spa with treatments inspired by the designer — Rudolph Valentino), actors (Elizabeth Taylor, Johnny Depp), singers (Josephine Baker, Rihanna) and even spies (Mata Hari was arrested there) have called this elegant icon their Paris address.
Along with its undeniable stylish verve, the Athénée is known for its attention to detail, from its incredible view of the Eiffel Tower in many of the rooms to talented pastry chef Christophe Michalak’s tiny, delicious bonbons. The small touches make your stay feel special.
Hôtel Plaza Athénée’s 154 rooms and 54 suites are a haven of resplendent colors, fabrics and views. Embroidery, silks, marbles and woods are accented with warm tones of peony, yellow and silver. Objets d’art such as antique tables, mirrors and drawings recall 18th-century Parisian luxury. There are 15 rooms with an Eiffel Tower vista, but you will want to stay on the eighth floor’s Suite 878, with its art deco décor, rich jewel tones and unobstructed 180-degree view of the iconic monument. Otherwise, try No. 745, a three-bedroom suite on the seventh floor with an Eiffel Tower view from each room, including the bathroom.
The Restaurants And Bar
The Paris hotel has five top-notch restaurants and one bar, all of which are helmed by legendary chef Alain Ducasse. The eponymous Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée is Barbarella meets fine dining, a futuristic space of curves with tables made of wood, leather and stainless steel. The restaurant’s seasonal menu focuses on fish and vegetables. Signature dishes include an Atlantic sea bass cooked in the ikejime method (a Japanese technique of more humanely spearing fish), young leeks, black olives, vegetables from château de Versailles gardens, and lemon from Nice with kombu seaweeds with tarragon. Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée primarily serves dinner but is open for lunch on Thursdays and Fridays.
For something less formal, try the art deco Le Relais Plaza, a grill room straight out of the 1930s, and La Galerie, where you can have French high tea with pastries like meringues tinged with mango and passion fruit and crispy petit fours with pistachio and apricot from Michalak. For those who love Paris in the spring, the luxury hotel has garden courtyard La Cour Jardin and street-style café La Terrasse Montaigne for seasonal dining. Be on the lookout for the celebrity favorite Le Bar, a chic cocktail spot, where you can sit behind the glass bar, which looks like sculpted ice, and sip a Rose Royale (made with champagne and fresh raspberries) amid the hip crowd.
Hôtel Plaza Athénée is on Avenue Montaigne, the most coveted address in the eighth arrondissement and the best area for haute retail therapy. Chanel, Celine, Louis Vuitton and many more are located on the fashion boulevard that meets the Champs-Élysées. And if not, you’ll likely find them around the corner — Christian Dior, Balenciaga, Givenchy, Balmain, to name a few. Paris’ top cafés, such as L’Avenue, and discotheques, like Le Baron, are within walking distance from the hotel as well. A leisurely 10-minute stroll will bring you to the beautiful Grand Palais, Ponte Alexandre III and the Seine River, where you can cross over to the seventh arrondissement, another enclave of fabulousness.
From the Athenèe, you also can take a lovely 30-minute walk through the Tuileries Gardens to the Louvre. Head southwest over the charming arch Pont de l’Alma and in 15 minutes you’ll be at the base of the Eiffel Tower. Twenty minutes north and you’re at the Arc de Triomphe. This fashionable hotel puts you near it all.