Just before the Christmas holidays I received an invitation to come along to Paris to explore a few luxury hotels. You can imagine I didn’t have to think about that one – Pack a bag, and here I come!
We took the Thalys at Antwerp Central, and got off at Paris Nord two hours later. Very convenient indeed.
Good tip: Book your tickets in advance. My traveling companions booked a while back and paid about 80 euro for a first-class ticket. I booked the day before we left and paid 250 euro for a second-class ticket.
Paris is already top of the list of romantic cities in the world, but it has even more during the run up to Christmas. The city is lit up so beautifully everywhere, and the hotels seemed to have a “create the most wonderful Christmas tree” competition.
Christmas in The Ritz
We had quite a packed itinerary however and went straight to the first hotel.
4 luxury hotels in Paris
Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme
Park Hyatt Paris iis situated a stone’s throw from the Place Vendôme in a beautiful historical building on the Rue de la Paix.
You will find all famous jewellers in this street by the way. If your partner isn’t tempted to give you that sparkling ring here, I give up. The City of Lights is the City of Bling Bling here.
The hotel has 153 beautiful rooms and suites and no less than 5 restaurants. We had a light lunch in Les Orchidées. Afternoon tea and snacks are served at La Cheminée. In the summer you can enjoy the inside gardens at La Terasse. Connoisseurs will be at home in Pur, the starred restaurant of chef Jean-François Rouquette.
We enjoyed afternoon tea in the Bar Vendôme in the world-famous The Ritz. The décor is truly magnificent. It is a place to see and be seen. And for those who don’t want to be seen, there is a tunnel under the Place Vendôme, straight into the hotel. Celebrities can arrive unseen this way.
The suites in the hotel are named after famous visitors like Marcel Proust and F. Scott Fitzgerald. But the most famous inhabitant of the hotel was Coco Chanel. She lived here for a long time and a corridor would bring her from the hotel to her atelier.
The basement of the hotel is home to the only Chanel Spa in the world. If you really want to pamper yourself, you can get a Chanel treatment here. The adjoining shop is the only place where they sell all of Chanel’s perfumes.
La Réserve was by far the cosiest hotel in my opinion. With 14 rooms and 26 suites it is somewhat smaller and the (extremely posh) homeliness is immediately noticeable. Nothing is nicer than to nestle by the fire or in the library. I could spend hours here with a good book and a tasty beverage.
All rooms have a butler! He thinks of everything and fulfils all your wishes, even before you have thought of them.
The rooms, too, are a joy to behold! A bed that you’d want to jump into, a heavenly bath tub and last, but not least, a Japanese toilet. Our friends in Barcelona have one like it, and our kids visit the toilet 100 times a night. For those who don’t know it: If you approach the toilet, the lid automatically opens. The seat is heated, lovely for the buttocks. And when you leave, it closes by itself. Who wouldn’t want one?
At night you can pamper your taste buds in restaurant Le Gabriel, awarded with two Michelin stars, or perhaps La Pagode de Cos, where they also cook the stars from the sky.
A feast for the eye!
Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris
The last in the list is the one where we stayed. This refined hotel in the Raffles group has an excellent location, near the Champs Elysées and the Arc de Triomphe. Le Royal Monceau opened its doors in 1930 and has a rich history. Winston Churchill, Hemingway and Michael Jackson were often welcomed here.
Here, too, the rooms are beautifully decorated and equipped with all the latest technology. It therefore took me a while before I discovered how to switch off all the lights.
The bathroom is enormous and the multitude of mirrors makes it feel extremely spacious. At night we got to test restaurant Il Carpaccio, crowned with 1 Michelin star. The risotto they served will linger long in my memory. Delicious!
The courtyard garden was the cosiest one of all. Here are a number of gondola's set up where you can reserve a table for a maximum of four people. Perfect for an intimate dinner.
Fotocredits Justine Van Bauwel. Follow her on Instagram.
The breakfast is also reputed to be fantastic, but unfortunately I was unable to enjoy it due to a bad attack of the flu during the night. But at least now I have a good reason to return.
Paris is huge, so here's a guide to choose the best arrondissement for you to stay.
Here's another detailed post on where to stay in Paris