|The Honeymoon Suite is one of the new apartment-like accommodations at Le Bristol.|
A bevy of new properties (Le Royal Monceau-Raffles Paris, Mandarin Oriental and Shangri-La) is forcing the luxury barometer in Paris to skyrocket. Witness the established front-runners like Le Bristol Paris—which reigns supreme among the nine newly minted “palace” hotels in France—continue to unveil renovations and raise standards.
Case in point: Le Bristol’s new spa by La Prairie opened in last October after a 100 million euro renovation. Though the spa sprawls over three levels, it retains the feel of an intimate sanctuary with natural light and views of the courtyard garden. Designer Pierre-Yves Rochon conceived it in collaboration with Maja Oetker. (Le Bristol Paris is just one of the family-owned properties of the Oetker Collection, which includes the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on the French Riviera and soon-to-open Palais Namaskar in Marrakech.)
Of the eight treatment rooms, two are couples’ suites with private hamams and Jacuzzis. Unique in Paris, the Russian Room has a heated marble table with a Vichy shower.
Options include La Prairie’s Gold Radiance Facial and a Caviar Body Treatment. Tip for jet-lagged travelers: The hotel also provides 45-minute remedial massages in your own guest room. Contact Spa Manager Isabelle Gobbo ([email protected]) for details.
Great for families: There’s even a children’s playroom with a dedicated nanny. Our favorite amenity is the indoor pool, designed in teak and glass to resemble a yacht floating above the Paris streets.
Not content to rest on its laurels, the hotel’s Michelin three-starred restaurant also got a makeover. Helmed by Chef Eric Frechon, a celebrity in the world of French gastronomy, Epicure is a favorite haunt of France’s President Nicholas Sarkozy, whose preferred dish is the macaroni, stuffed with foie gras, artichokes and black truffles. Large windows overlook the garden terrace, and a real working fireplace creates a warm ambiance.
Luxury Travel Advisor dined with CEO Didier Le Calvez on the occasion of the spa’s debut; he described Le Bristol Paris as the embodiment of French art de vivre. Take the dinner table as an example: everything down to the saltshakers was custom-made for the hotel. (Think Christofle silverware, Raynaud porcelain plates by Pierre-Yves Rochon, handblown glasses by Baccarat, linen tablecloths by Garnier-Thiebaut.)
If you’re looking for an unforgettable meal in Paris, one that you can gush to all your friends about, this is it. Tip: The Bresse chicken cooked in a bladder may sound questionable, but it’s a knockout. To cap off the meal, a cart of sweets is wheeled to your table, and we recommend sampling all of the delicacies.
Sleep off your food coma in one of the new apartment-like suites: the Lune de Miel (“Honeymoon”) and Impériale. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was the first guest in the hotel’s Imperial Suite, which is also the hotel’s largest, at nearly 3,500 square feet. There’s a dining room, two bedrooms, walk-in closets and an enormous master bathroom. The light-filled Honeymoon Suite (No. 888) on the eighth (and top) floor has fantastic views over the capital’s monuments. Like the Imperial Suite, the Honeymoon Suite has its own hamam. For VIP bookings, contact Oetker Collection’s Director of Sales North America Stephane Trycionka ([email protected]).