Category Archives: Paris

Le Meurice • Paris, France

A grand history in the City of Lights

Le Meurice Suite

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The opulent Le Meurice hotel is located in the heart of Paris, France, just across the street from the Tuileries Gardens, The Louvre museum and the Musee d’Orsay. The hotel maintains an impeccable and flawless mien, while still showing the soft glow of the patina of history. The lobby looks out to the winter garden with its shimmering glass ceiling. A discreet staff will provide for any inquiries and can help plan the busy traveler’s day with suggestions for upscale shopping and the best time to visit monuments.

The history of Le Meurice is long and dotted with royal names and the etoiles of stage, screen, the literary world and fashion. Many celebrities have used Le Meurice as their Parisian pied à terre. Founded over 200 years ago, the original clientele in 1771 were largely British travelers on the long journey to Paris, put up in a coaching inn owned by Charles-Augustin Meurice. A second inn opened in 1817 in Paris to welcome the guests after their long journey. The hotel moved to its present location in 1837.

Thackeray once wrote, ‘If you don’t speak a word of French, if you like English comfort, clean rooms, breakfast and maîtres d’hôtel; if in a foreign land, you want your fellow countrymen around you, your brown beer, your friend and your cognac – and your water – do not listen to any of the messengers but with your best British accent cry heartily: “Meurice!” and immediately, someone will come forward to drive you straight to the rue de Rivoli.’

Le Meurice - Restaurant

Throughout the years, the hotel became a haven for aristocracy and noted for lavish dinners that could go on for hours.

Current guests can still enjoy the beautiful rooms, careful and attentive service and the echoes of history at Le Meurice. The rooms themselves continue the elegance of the lobby with oil paintings, oriental carpets and historical furniture. The marble baths were upgraded in a recent renovation so all feature spacious tubs and showers with high speed jets.

The extremely exclusive restaurant, also called Le Meurice, is a favorite of gourmands and extends the history of grand hospitality even further.

Le Meurice - Restaurant

Le Meurice
Location: 228 Rue de Rivoli, Paris, France 75001; 40 min by taxi to Charles de Gaulle, may vary due to traffic.

Luxury style: History lives at Le Meurice and tradition is revered from the greyhound emblem on the logo to the customs of service honored by staff from top to bottom. History buffs and connoisseurs will enjoy the ministrations of Le Meurice and of course,if you are a queen or an internationaljetsetting playboy, you will feel right at home.

What we’ve heard: Le Meurice lives up to its reputation and service, all with a definite French flavor.

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Hospes Hotel Lancaster • Paris, France

An exquisite Parisian hideaway

Hospes Hotel Lancaster - Room

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This 1889 mansion, secluded on a quaint side street off the Champs-Elysees, became a hotel in the 1930’s under the careful tutelage of Emile Wolf, hotelier and bon vivant. This stylish small hotel, with a charming hidden garden in its courtyard, soon became a favorite of celebrities such as Marlene Dietrich, Noel Coward and Grace Kelly. They found elegance and impeccable service within a very private setting, qualities maintained till today.

Hospes Hotel Lancaster

The 60 rooms (which includes 11 suites) are range in size from intimate or very spacious, but all feature a very French touch to the decor with rare antique furniture, paintings and rich textures and opulent fabrics. All rooms are very 21-st century with multiple phones, DVD, cable/satellite, internet access through free wifi and voice mail. The bath is another font of luxury with marble and rare wood fittings and bathroom fixtures with a retro feel. The towels, bathrobes and slippers are all custom-designed for the Lancaster, as are the bath amenities.

The suites could allow the traveler to imageine their own salon in Paris. Each one is unique, but all feature antiques, comfortable fauteuils and pleasing sophisticated color palettes. In particular, the Suite Emile Wolf (after the hotel’s founder) comes with an immense living room, a grand piano, armchairs and large sofa.

At La Table du Lancaster, master chef Michel Troisgros has created a menu which emphasizes fresh intense flavors. The atmosphere is understated, intimate and congenial.

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Hospes Hotel Lancaster
Location: 7 rue de Berri, Paris, France 75008; 40 minutes from airport

Luxury style: An intimate space that is perfect for a romantic weekend. Also ideal for the urbanite who prefers their city excitement cushioned by a layer of tranquility.

What we’ve heard: Live out all your diva dreams by staying in the Marlene Dietrich suite, decorated in her favorite shade of lilac.

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The Ritz Paris • Paris, France

A true legend of hospitality on the Place Vendôme

The Ritz Paris - Guest room

The Ritz Paris has maintained the highest standards of hospitality (many of these standards originating with the hotel’s founder, Cesar Ritz) for more than a century. Kings, queens, starlets, statesmen, authors and celebrities of every ilk have visited the famed Ritz. It is as much a symbol of Paris as the Eiffel Tower, and in everyday speech has come to mean the epitome of luxury as in “puttin’ on the Ritz.” Located on the historic and elegant Place Vendôme, the Ritz has dominated the roster of luxury hotels in Paris since its founding in 1898.

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Ritz Paris spa facilities
Perhaps the most famous denizen of the Ritz, Ernest Hemingway, who stayed frequently and lengthily and also logged record time in the bar (now called the Hemingway Bar), described his version of heaven:

”When I dream of afterlife in heaven,” he said, ”the action always takes place in the Paris Ritz. It’s a fine summer night. I knock back a couple of martinis in the bar, Cambon side. Then there’s a wonderful dinner under a flowering chestnut tree in what’s called ‘Le Petit Jardin.’ That’s the little garden that faces the Grill. After a few brandies I wander up to my room and slip into one of those huge Ritz beds. They are all made of brass. There’s a bolster for my head the size of the Graf Zeppelin and four square pillows filled with real goose feathers – two for me, and two for my quite heavenly companion.”

The Bar at the Ritz Paris

The Hotel Ritz consists of two townhouses, one on the Place Vendôme and one on the rue Cambon, linked by long corridor with shopping display cases of some of Paris’ most exclusive goods, earning it the name “Temptation Walk”.

Attention to every single detail, from the light switch (a golden key) to the bathroom glasses (stored inside an ornate medicine cabinet as decreed by Cesar) is carefully considered by the 500+ staff for the guests in the 106 rooms and 56 suites. The rooms vary in size and decor, but all are opulent, gilded and sporting reproduction Louis furniture of high quality as well as every amenity.

The Ritz Paris • Paris, France - Lobby

The oversized and elegant marbled bathrooms evoke another legend. One of their features is the king-size bathtub, a innovation of Cesar Ritz, whose royal guest, the also oversized Edward VII, got stuck in an ordinary tub. Cesar is also reputed to have been the inventor of the “king”-size bed.

The culinary offerings at the hotel are superlative including the haute cuisine experience at the renowned L’Espadon restaurant, afternoon teas in the garden and cooking classes at the onsite Ritz L’Escoffier cooking school. There is also a health club with indoor pool, Turkish baths and saunas as well as massage and beauty treatments.

 

 

The Ritz Paris
Location: 15 place Vendôme, 75001, Paris, France; Charles de Gaulle (CDG) is 30 minutes by taxi.

Luxury style: A night at the Ritz is a likely item on many lifetime ‘to-do’ lists and one easily attainable with sufficient cash. The name brand of luxury is still a magnet for celebrity, but the truly gracious standard of service extends a warm welcome to all guests regardless of their celebrity or pocketbook. Perfect for a truly memorable special occasion, anniversary or honeymoon.

What we’ve heard: ‘Don’t miss’ experiences include the one-color menu at L’Espadon and the famed afternoon tea in the garden. And the “Temptation Walk” of luxury vendors might inspire a truly memorable souvenir of the Night at the Ritz.

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