Three Paris Hotels for Three Different Types of Travelers
With transportation strikes on hiatus and Fashion Week quickly approaching, now just might be the best time of year to plan a trip to Paris. In a crowded hotel market, these are three standout properties that are right for three different types of travelers.
Visitors coming to Paris to celebrate something—an engagement, a honeymoon, a long-awaited family trip, another year around the sun—will find no place better to do it than Le Bristol. The staff even celebrates with you: On a recent visit, I witnessed one newly engaged couple being congratulated by every staff member they encountered, even those they had never seen before.
Considered one of Paris’ true grand dame hotels, Le Bristol was opened in 1925 by Hippolyte Jammet, handed down to his wife and eventually sold to German hotelier Rudolph Oetker in 1978. In its nearly century of operation, Le Bristol has served as the official home of U.S. nationals from the American Embassy during World War II and hosted hundreds of high-profile guests, among them presidents, actors and musicians. It’s one of four properties the Oetker family actually owns within its Oetker Collection, a group of 10 luxury hotels that includes Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, France, and the Lanesborough in London. Le Bristol is a block from the Élysée Palace (home of French president Emmanuel Macron) on Rue du Faubourg, founding place of Hermes, Lanvin and other French luxury houses.
It’s close to all the Paris sights, but half the fun of staying at Le Bristol is exploring its amenities. Its restaurants have a collective four Michelin stars (three for haute gastronomy at Epicure and one for brasserie fare at 114 Faubourg), its classic hotel bar transforms into a neon-lit party dubbed Bristol After Dark Thursday through Saturday, and its three-story La Prairie Spa is not to be missed. But what might be the best amenity is free to all guests: the top floor pool, whose wide glass windows boast views of the Eiffel Tower. Built in the 1980s, the pool complex was designed by Cäsar Pinnau, a German yacht architect whose clients included Aristotle Onassis. With its wood paneling and colorful murals, it gives swimmers the impression they’re on the deck of a yacht in the Mediterranean Sea, not in the middle of the French capital.
Rates from $1,500, oetkercollection.com
Park Hyatt’s Paris outpost brings modern amenities and the brand’s signature service to a prime location in the first arrondissement. Located just a block from Place Vendome and three blocks from the Tuileries Gardens, it’s a quick walk to some of Paris’ most venerable cultural institutions. Art and fashion aficionados will appreciate its proximity to the Louvre, Musée de L’Orangerie and the Musée D’Orsay as well as the galleries and luxury stores lining Rue Saint-Honoré. Modern art mecca Centre Pompidou is also close by. Despite its location in a busy section of the city, the Park Hyatt manages to be a quiet respite for travelers.
Ed Tuttle, the architect behind the original design of the Park Hyatt when it opened in 2002, also supervised the renovation of its 155 rooms and suites in 2017. Among the upgrades were refreshed bathrooms. With their soaking tubs and spa-like showers, the Park Hyatt’s bathrooms are spacious and modern for a city whose hotels aren’t known for that. The spa, which Tuttle also designed, is an oasis from the busy streets outside, and the bar (known simply as Le Bar), is always bustling but never packed.
Rates from $700, hyatt.com
Multinational French hospitality giant Accor Hotels has 41 brands under its umbrella, so it can be difficult to know what you’re going to get when you pick one. But generally speaking, those under the MGallery by Sofitel brand promise to be modern with a dash of whimsy. (MGallery’s umbrella in the U.S. includes 21c Museum Hotels, which are known for their modern art collections.) Hotel L’Echiquier Opera is no exception to this rule: Built in the 1850s and restored in Art Deco style, expect classic black and white floors with pops of red and blue decor, a lobby bar straight out of The Great Gatsby and an old-fashioned (read: tiny) birdcage elevator. But don’t worry, there’s another elevator big enough to handle all your luggage too, and all the modern amenities you’d expect.
Located on a quiet side street near Bonne Nouvelle metro, Hotel L’Echiquier Opera is the ideal pick for people who want a low-key Paris hideaway. Nearby theaters and comedy clubs mean you’ll never lack entertainment either. If you can, book one of the hotel’s 14 suites, which give you more space to spread out than a typical room here.
Rates for suites from $250, all.accor.com