LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
January 27, 2012
By: Christopher Roney
Valentine's Day is coming up, and, as such, it's time to think about where you'd like to spend the day with that special someone. Whether you're enjoying a cozy night in or an adventure on the town, a night in a luxury hotel can be the perfect gift to the both of you, a chance to escape to another world where no expense will be spared in giving you the night of a lifetime. What follows is just one in a series of our favorite romantic hotels, and, we think, a great place to take him or her this February the 14th.
For a city like Paris, its romantic image the stuff of fairy tales, it is almost impossible to pick our favorite romantic hotel. Whether an iconic mainstay of the cityscape or a small boutique hotel tucked away in a charming neighborhood, each jewel in the Parisian crown has its sparkle. So instead of evaluating by some arbitrary metric, like roses/sqm or candles of candlelight, I just thought to myself, "Where would I take my girlfriend if I found myself in Paris just a few weeks from now?" And once I stopped troubling myself with the details, the answer came quickly: The Hotel Plaza Athenee. It's everything you could desire for your romantic evening, a dream of a hotel within a dream of a city. And for the girl of your dreams, how could you ask for anything less?
Whether you're staying in the Eiffel Signature Exclusive Suite with a view onto the tower itself or a cozy room tucked away for perfect privacy, the Hotel Plaza Athenee promises to make a night you'll forget in the moment but remember forever. And with staff members outnumbering rooms nearly 3 to 1, you'll be sure that every detail is inch-perfect.
To set the evening off right, simply go downstairs to experience the cuisine world-renowned chef Alain Ducasse. The lightest brush of your lips against the bouquet of flavors in each of his dishes will create a never-before experienced synesthesia, a fusion of light and color emanating from your taste buds. Savor each bite as time itself begins to slow to a rest. And when you pair your meal with a bottle of the finest French wine, well, I don't even have to tell you.
It's a rare hotel indeed that I can recommend without reservation, but I guarantee that the Hotel Plaza Athenee will give you the Valentine's day experience you didn't even know you were looking for.
January 10, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky
We can’t think of a better place to celebrate the most romantic holiday of the year than the City of Love, and we can’t think of a better luxury hotel to embrace the romance than the Ritz Paris. From its grand lobby and luxurious suites to its beautiful décor and charming dining rooms, this historic hotel never fails to enchant and inspire all who stay here. Decorated in classic French style and located in one of the loveliest squares in Paris, this hotel has welcome guests such as Marcel Proust, Elton John, Oscar de la Renta, and Coco Chanel.
On February 14th, 2012, the Ritz Paris is offering an unforgettable celebration. Enjoy a romantic gourmet dinner at the L’Espadon Restaurant which will have live piano music and an exquisitely romantic menu. One lucky lady will win a jewel, and every couple will receive a beautiful floral arrangement and a bottle of Ritz rose Champagne. In the evening, the Ritz Paris will offer guests a romantic ride through the Place Vendome in beautiful horse-drawn carriages. For the entire month of February, guests will be given extra attention and special treatment. Upon arrival, all guests will be offered an elegant rose and a chocolate surprise specially made by the Ritz Paris pastry chef. Each room will have all of the ingredients to make a “Miss Bonde,” the iconic cocktail from the Hemingway Bar made from Ritz Champagne and strawberry liquor. To remember the special weekend you and your special someone shared, each couple will receive pillowcases embroidered with their initials and a copy of The Ritz Paris: Mixing Drinks, a Simple Story by Colin Field, the head bartender of the Hemingway Bar.
Can’t make it to the Ritz Paris for Valentine’s Day? Then be sure to plan your trip sometime this year because this beautiful hotel will be closing down in the summer of 2012 for an extensive two year renovation.
By: Oksana Balytsky
December 29, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance
In the final days of 2011, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 20 Luxury Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, as decided by our guests.
In the #3 spot we have La Tremoille, located near the center of Paris's Golden Triangle.
- The 93 rooms and suites are decorated in 30 different patterns and color schemes, accenting the personalized and unique stay of every guest.
- Renovated for 15 months in 2002, La Tremoille leapfrogged much of its competition as one of the traditional deluxe Paris hotels.
- Rooms feature a special "Hatch" foyer that offers ultimate privacy by separating guest rooms further from the hallway and allowing wait staff to bring room service and amenities without actually entering your room.
- Not only the hotel has been upgraded, the restaurant has been renovated even more recently than the hotel and has reopened under a new name, Le Louis2, offering wonderful French cuisine.
- The suites give a panoramic view of Paris rooftops and offer both living rooms and armchairs so comfortable, you find it hard to get yourself back out of them.
- The spa includes a sauna, hydro-jet shower, two private massage rooms, and beauty care rooms, not to mention the much-coveted jet-lag recovery therapy.
View photos, learn more about the hotel, and check availability at La Tremoille > >
Be sure to keep up with our countdown! Check back to see our top two hotels for the year!
December 20, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky
Located in the heart of the city of lights, the W Hotel Paris Opera is set to open on Valentine’s Day, February 14th, 2012. The W Paris will be the first W Hotel in France, and it will be more of a boutique hotel, offering only 91 guestrooms, including 22 suites. This luxury hotel is steps away from the Granier Opera House as well as a short walk from the Rue de la Paix and Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore, two fashionable shopping streets.
The restaurant at the W Paris provides guests with a culinary experience unlike any other. The chef prepares the menu with extreme attention to detail, highlighting the best ingredients available each season. Be amongst the first to experience the W Paris, and prepare to get swept away by the beauty and romance that comes with the city of love and Valentine’s Day!
By: Oksana Balytsky
December 19, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance
In the #13 spot we have the Hotel de Crillon, the exclusive and historic Parisian icon.
Quick facts about the Hotel de Crillon:
- A historical monument in its own right, the luxury hotel is steeped in the culture of 18th century Paris. Its Louis XV design believes strongly in gold filigree and ornamentation, but never crosses the line into gaudiness.
- The gourmet restaurant Les Ambassadeurs fills the former ballroom of the Dukes de Crillon and dinner guests can enjoy the world class cuisine in a room that has entertained kings.
- And speaking of entertaining kings, so many famous guests have called the Hotel de Crillon home, that it almost seems an affront to the others to single any out. Theodore Roosevelt, King George, Andrew Carnegie, Cary Grant and many more have all called the hotel home, and they even flew the flag of Texas when Lance Armstrong celebrated his Tour de France victory inside their walls.
- Its suites are unparalleled, including the Leonard Bernstein suite, named for the famous composer who frequently called it home which offers a view of the Eiffel tower from your bubblebath. The other famed American to reside there, Edith Wharton much preferred the Hotel de Crillon to the nearby Ritz, where "the newly rich but uncultivated Americans stayed."
- It houses seven palatial meeting and reception rooms that can house up to 350 people.
View photos, learn more about the hotel, and check availability at the Hotel de Crillon >>
Be sure to keep up with our countdown! In case you missed it, here are our previously featured hotels:
#18 – The Peninsula Chicago
#17 - The Tower Club at Lebua
#16 - Auberge du Soleil
#15 - The Mount Nelson Hotel
December 16, 2011
By: Christopher Roney
The Mandarin Oriental Paris is one of the hotels that's constantly driving things forward, looking to stay one step ahead of the competition. And with the unveiling of 37 new suites, they're certainly prepared to bring hotel accommodations in Paris up a notch. All of the suites offer the most modern technologies including 32"-40" LCD TVs, iPads, and even Playstation 3's, not to mention a mirror tv. The top-floor Atelier suites overlook Paris for a romantic view of Montmartre that will be sure to inspire your love ballads.
The flagship suite is definitely the Royal Mandarin Suite, nearly 4,000 sq. ft. in size, occupying two different floors, and having a bathtub with a view of the Eiffel Tower. I'm sure you could count on one hand the number of bathtubs in the world that could rival that vista.
If you're in the market to try out some of the premiere new suites in Paris, make sure to check out the Mandarin Oriental.
December 14, 2011
By: Christopher Roney
It's cake time! The Hotel Le Meurice in Paris is offering a special cake to bring in 2012 with style. The Galette des Reines, as the cake is called, is a rich and decadent chocolate cake with a special surprise in it. Evoking the spirit of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, one of the slices hides a Tiffany & Co charm in the shape of a golden key. The charm is further incentive to savor ever bite of your dessert, which comes in it an exclusive 14 euros a slice. Only ten cakes will be made over a 20-day period, so it's worth jumping on this one early, since they could easily run out. In our mind, it's certainly worth it after a meal by three-star Michelin Chef Yannick Alleno.
And staying in the hotel itself, opposite the Teuleries garden, is an experience in itself. With a storied history back to 1835, the hotel has been called home by a number of greats, including Salvador Dali, whom the new restaurant, Le Dali, is named for. If you're looking to stay in Paris this January, the Le Meurice is certainly one to look at, with its signature Queen's Cake and chance at a Tiffany Charm.
Tip via HotelChatter
November 14, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Want to spice things up for Christmas this year? Hop the pond to the most visited city on earth for some raucous merrymaking-- French-style. The Champs-Élysées will be sparkling with lights, the street markets fragrant with hot mulled wine, the department stores dazzling with over-the-top window displays. What are you waiting for? Paris awaits you with open arms. Bed down at Le Meurice- the majestic palace hotel facing the Jardin des Tuileries- and you'll be privy to some fun festivities, as the hotel decks the halls with colorful decorations and goes all out in the food department. Best part of all: Santa will be pulling up his sleigh at Le Meurice for three Wednesdays in December, starting December 7, to give gifts to the kids at teatime.
The hotel is offering a special package for Christmas, available from December 1- December 28, 2011, starting from 560 euros, which includes accommodations (upgrade guaranteed at booking time) and American breakfast for two guests, Champagne and petits fours amenities, a Christmas gift for children, and free access to the wellness centre, Sauna, Turkish bath and Jacuzzi.
Here's your chance to "plant your roots in French History" at the Château de Versailles. Talk about cool Christmas gifts! The Hotel Plaza Athénée, the luxurious Parisian palace hotel, is offering you a special limited-time special offer to buy a Christmas tree and plant it at the legendary Château, where you'll have your name engraved, and get free access to the Château de Versailles for one year. Not only that, you'll also receive your very own ownership certificate to show off to friends back home. The sprawling palace-- a symbol of royal opulence-- is surrounded by an important forest, currently being replanted by local governmental organizations. To be part of the legend, you must act fast! The Plaza Athénée's "My Private Tree" offer is limited to 10 available trees. Here's what's included in the package, priced from 1428 euros in a Deluxe Room (with guaranteed upgrade to a Junior Suite):
* At Château de Versailles: Your own Tree (Value 1000 euros) only 10 trees available; Ownership certificate; Your name engraved at the Château de Versailles; Free access to the Château de Versailles for one year
* At the Plaza Athénée: Daily Continental breakfast for two and a bottle of organic Champagne with your luxurious accommodations
Rates are per night for a two nights stay minimum. Available until December 28, 2011.
Looking to get inspired for your next getaway? The savvy editors at Fodor's have just released their first-ever list of the world's best hotels. After careful deliberation, the team of Fodor's editors and writers curated the "Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards 2011" spanning eight hotel categories. Here's a sampling of some of our favorites that made the cut.