Yesterday Luxury Travel Advisor attended the exclusive preview of The Peninsula Paris, which will officially open to guests on August 1 as the brand’s first hotel in Europe. It took 20 years to identify an opportunity in Europe, explained Clement Kwok, the CEO of Hong Kong & Shanghai Hotels, Limited, to a rapt crowd of journalists and local officials assembled in the gilded Lobby.
As the 10th Peninsula Hotel worldwide, the Paris property represents a true “labor of love” with over six years of design and construction employing the skills of France’s finest artisans. A feat that French newspaper Le Figaro calls “pharonic.” As we reported back in the May issue of the magazine, this debut is one of the most anticipated openings of the year.
As befits such a momentous occasion, there was Champagne and beautiful pastries- and lots of applause for the team members who were presented. In fact, many had just returned from a Peninsula Academy program in Hong Kong, soaking up the Peninsula culture and service standards to bring back to Paris. The vintage Rolls-Royce and signature Mini Coopers were already parked at the ready in front of the beautifully restored facade, and the page boys beamed in smart uniforms.
General Manager Nicolas Béliard, who used to helm The Peninsula Bangkok, described the hotel’s goal of becoming a hub for the local community, revitalizing the 16th arrondissement’s Avenue Kléber, which is a major artery between the Trocadéro and the Arc de Triomphe. The restaurants are certainly a star attraction, and will be the talk of the town among Parisians. The Kléber Terrace, its entrance flanked by two enormous lion statues, echoes the Parisian “sidewalk café.” It's covered by a lightweight glass canopy to protect from inclement weather. Lili, the Cantonese restaurant, is marked by its dramatic design inspired by Chinese and French opera. And the rooftop restaurant, L’Oiseau Blanc, will likewise be one of the most coveted tables in town.
With the Peninsula standards of service and the “most personalized hotel rooms in the world,” the Peninsula Paris aims to become "the finest hotel" in the French capital, easily one of the world's most competitive markets.