Answers from Our Experts (2)
Luxury hotels in Paris are as much of a destination for visitors as are some of the city's most prominent monuments. From the famed Ritz, where the seats at the Hemingway Bar have been frequented by some of the most famous writers, artists and actors of all time, to the lesser-known Saint James Hotel in the West of Paris, decorated with fantastic hot air balloons and a beautiful terrace garden, luxury lodging in Paris is abundant.
My top picks for luxury hotels on Paris’ right bank are the Royal Monceau Raffles, which was redesigned by Philippe Starck in 2011 and boasts a spa by Clarins, the Mandarin Oriental, with its gorgeous patio for drinks, rooftop views of Paris, and restaurant by Thierry Marx, and the Shangri-La, where suites give onto terraces with Eiffel Tower views, and the concierge is happy to book you a private cruise on the Seine. Other luxury hotels on Paris' right bank, currently under construction, are the Hotel Crillon and the Ritz Hotel. I can only imagine how splendid these hotels will be when they are finished in 2014-2015.
As for Paris’ left bank, the luxury hotels here come with a rich history and a charming artistic vibe unique to the area. From L’Hotel, the last home of Oscar Wilde, and the Hotel Lutetia, which was the German headquarters when Paris was occupied, to the intimate Relais Christine, and the Hotel Thomieux by Thierry Costes, interior designer India Madhavi and chef Jean-François Piege, the left-bank also offers some stunning luxury hotel options for visitors.
Even if you aren’t staying in a luxury hotel in Paris, you can (almost) always stop in for a drink at the bar. While seated in the plush chairs sipping a special cocktail, like at Le Bar at the Georges V, or on the Avenue Montaigne terrace of the Plaza Athénée, you’ll feel like you’re in the lap of luxury.
Paris is the most visited city in the world and with over 6,000 hotels in the Ile-de-France region, it is the European city with the highest hotel capacity - so how do you choose?
You can either go for one of the emblematic high-profile 'palace' hotels (the term 'palace' denotes a hotel above 5 stars) like the Plaza Athénée, Four Seasons George V or Le Meurice; or you can for something more boutique. In terms of luxury (non-palace) hotels, my selection of top hotels includes the gorgeous art nouveau Régina just across the road from the Louvre and the iconic Raphaël close to the Champs-Elysées. These two hotels exude early 1900s charm like no other place in the city. If you don't stay here, make sure to drop in for a drink at least.
In terms of lesser-known boutique hotels, the very best includes the funky Hôtel Thoumieux designed by India Madhavi and design duo M/M, close to Invalides (metro Invalides line 8 or 13), the chic Pavillon de la Reine just off the Place des Vosges in the Marais (metro St Paul, line 1 or Chemin Vert, line 8), and the beautiful Hôtel Particulier in Montmartre (Abbesses, line 12).
For something more contemporary go for the newly-opened Hôtel de Nell in the busier neighbourhood of Bonne Nouvelle/Grands Boulevards or Duo just next door to the Hôtel de Ville ('town hall' in English).
For the first-time visitor for whom location is the main priority, then try the Hôtel de Lutèce or Hôtel des Deux Iles right in the heart of Paris on the Ile Saint-Louis located on the Seine and a stone's throw away from Notre Dame.