While the September issue of Conde Nast Traveler had an interesting four-page article on the re-opening of The Ritz (we covered it for you back in January, highlighting some of the best suites), I’ve always believed one of the highlights of a Paris hotel stay is a view of the Eiffel Tower from your window. While there are plenty of options, I asked Anne Scully, President of McCabe Worldwide Travel
, who travels to Paris at least twice a year, to share her recommendations. The good news is while there are some amazing suites that go well into five digits, you can get a postcard view of the Eiffel Tower for under $1,000 at the Westin Paris.
“Our clients love the service and of course great new bar, and the rooms are all very beautiful,” says Scully of Le Bristol
. For a“perfect stay,” she recommends the Paris Suite “with amazing views of the Eiffel Tower, Avenue Matignon and Rue du Foubourg Saint Honore.” For dining, she adds, “Don’t miss the famous Epicure restaurant of Eric Freshen, a 3-star Michelin chef,” noting, “The hotel has been awarded 4 Michelin stars in total for their restaurants.” The Paris suite is in the Matignon wing and features a marble bathroom and kitchen. It’s 2,155-sq. ft.
“This hotel is a great favorite of mine...one of the most elegant palaces of Paris. The location is spectacular as the hotel is on Rue de Rivoli, facing the Tuileries, and minutes away from the Louvre and Place Vendome,” says Scully of Le Meurice
Service at hotels is often a reflection of the managers (it was ranked #4 in Europe by Conde Nast Traveler in 2015), and Scully says, “The hotel has such great leadership under Franka Holtmann and Christophe Chopineau.” Her “favorite Eiffel Tower view” is in the Belle Etoile Suite located on the seventh floor, with a large balcony, and a 360-degree view of Paris, including the Eiffel Tower.
The suite has a sitting room, dining room, walk-in closet, a bedroom and a large marble bathroom. There is also a kitchen and pantry for a personal chef. If you need additional space, the suite can be connected with additional rooms, adding up to four bedrooms. It’s 3,230-sq. ft. of interior space with a 2,690 sq. ft terrace.
One of the newer additions in Paris is Hong Kong-based Shangri-la, in “the former mansion of Roland Bonaparte, the nephew of Napoleon... river view rooms look directly at the Eiffel Tower...you feel as if you could touch the Eiffel tower from you balcony,” says Scully. She adds, “This is the closest (luxury) hotel in Paris to have the most spectacular views...I felt as if the Eiffel Tower was right outside every window (including) the bathroom.” She adds, “L’Abeille has one of the finest chefs in Paris, and the Shang Palace (Chinese fare) has a one star Michelin rating.”
Several of Scully’s favorite suites are here, starting with La Suite Shangri-La
(above), totaling 2,450-sq. ft. and located on the seventh floor. It has floor-to-ceiling windows, and a 900-sq. ft. terrace perfect for parties or romantic dinners. Beyonce recently posted pictures from this suite. If you need more space, you can take over the entire floor, which will then offer four bedrooms and 5,832-sq. ft. of space. Designed by Pierre-Yves Rochon, the marble bathroom offers a deep tub and separate walk-in shower.
Another favorite is the fifth-floor La Suite Chaillot, with 1,175-sq. ft. of interior space, and a 376-sq. ft. terrace, with dining for up to six guests.
The rooms are decked out in traditional French style with the very latest technology. Scully also likes the numerous Eiffel Tower view options, including the Duplex Suites.
Plaza Athenee Paris
“There are a number of suites with amazing Eiffel Tower views...from the bathroom that has the Eiffel Tower perfectly centered, and great views from the balcony,” says Scully, calling it “5-star luxury with a 5-star Eiffel Tower view.” She adds, “This hotel is always a client favorite, sitting on Avenue Montaigne, the location is superb...This is home to Alain Ducasse’s 3-star Michelin restaurant, which is clearly one of the most beautiful and finest dining rooms in Paris.” Its spa was ranked second in Europe last year.
In the case of Eiffel Tower views, Plaza Athenee
has a number of suites with full or partial Eiffel Tower views, so it offers two categories of suites with Eiffel Tower views, the Eiffel Suites and Signature Eiffel Suites. Michael Jackson favored Room 750, a seventh floor art deco penthouse. Journalist Gary Walther did a great review of his favorite Eiffel Tower views from the Plaza Athenee in Forbes
, and picks Room 361, which is hard to argue, with a view of the Eiffel Tower so perfect the hotel framed the window (pictured above).
Scully says the conversation comes down to each client as prices can range from the low thousands to $20,000 per night, meaning there are a wide range of options based on how much space you want, as well as how much you want to spend.
The Peninsula Paris
The newest luxury player in Paris is Hong Kong-based Peninsula Hotels, which has shown it can operate 5-star hotels globally, including Beverly Hills, New York and Tokyo.
Scully says for Eiffel Tower views, she recommends The Garden Suite
. It addition to an open deck, it has a large marble bathroom with separate shower and deep tub, television, and of course Peninsula’s well known James Bond-like technology. The suite is 1,238 sq. ft., and is located on the sixth floor. You also get use of the hotel’s MINI Cooper S Clubman.
The Westin Paris - Vendome
While Scully rates the Westin Paris - Vendome
“more in the 4/5-star” category, she says, “There are multiple suites with balconies and views of the Eiffel Tower...you can get a Junior Suite With Eiffel Tower View (starting at 725 Euros) for less than (the lowest priced rooms at the) palace category hotels...You are a 10-minute walk to Place Vendome, and to the Louvre...and a short walk across the Seine to the left bank.” Her conclusion is, “Great views, but again short of a 5-star experience, but 5-star views.”
Travel Agents Pick Their Favorites
Recently I attended Virtuoso Travel Week, a confab that brings together over 2,000 travel advisors who specialize in luxury travel. The group annually surveys its member advisors, to pick their “best of the best,” which I’ve highlighted a few selections below:
Hotel of the Year:
Borgo Egnazia, Savellerti di Fasano, Italy
is described as “an architectural marvel of local stone and quicklime (in the tradition of an) Apulian village amid olive groves and lemon trees.” At the top of the rear heel of the boot that makes up the geographic form of Italy, “Borgo Egnazia (built at a cost of $186 million) and the area of Puglia is one of the most exciting, new destinations in Italy that one could ever encounter. The (six year old) hotel has an amazing ambiance, warm and friendly people, incredible food and a spiritual spa,” says Annette Sordoni of Protravel International.
There is a main building with suites, plus separate 3-bedroom private villas with 4 baths, each with its own swimming pool. Adjacent is San Domenico Golf Course, with 18 holes, par-72 (site of the European Challenge Grand Tour Final and ranked in Italy’s top 50 golf courses), the Vair Spa (19,375-sq. ft) with water and body treatments, the Beach Club, tennis and kids club, and many other activities, including fishing, hiking, wind sailing and other water sports. The coastline features ancient olive groves, the Roman town of Egnazia and the UNESCO World Heritage town of Alberobello. UK Conde Nast Traveler says the hotel is “ideal for families who want to be entertained without sacrificing on style.” The New York Times argues, “winter, not summer is prime in Puglia,” claiming in the cooler months (temperature gets into the low 50s F) “the food is even better.”
After it opened in 2010, it made Travel + Leisure’s list of Top 50 new hotels and the Hot List for both the US and UK editions of Conde Nast Traveler.
The two closest airports are Papola-Casale/Brindisi Salento Airport (BDS), about 30 minutes by car from the hotel. It has a 10,000 ft. runway and is an international port, and operates 24 hours a day with restrictions. Palese/Bari-Karol Wojtyla is about 45 minutes by car, and has a 9,252 ft. runway, and is likewise a port of entry and operates 24/7 with restrictions. There are FBOs at both fields.
Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Lake Como, Italy
“The spa has a gorgeous setting with breathtaking views of Lake Como, and wonderful treatments that incorporate natural herbs. Lake Como is magical and the new Grand Hotel Tremezzo Spa
is where the magic happens for all their guests,” says Isabel Bernardo of Ovation Vacations.
With over 100 years of history, the iconic Grand Hotel Tremezzo is located in the heart of Lake Como, with unparalleled views of Bellagio and the stunning Grigne mountains. This art nouveau landmark, which sits adjacent to Villa Carlotta’s famed gardens, is an authentic Art Nouveau palace that offers a warm inviting welcome and the delights of a true 5-star vacation.
The hotel itself has 10 different suite types, including four types of rooftop suites, and six historic suites. There are stunning lake views. Suites range from 538-sq. ft. (Rooftop Corner, Maria, Carlotta, Aurelia and Garden (this one doesn’t have lake views) to 1,184-sq. ft. (Rooftop Penthouse).
Bride’s magazine, which put the hotel on its list of top honeymoon venues, wrote, there are “unparalleled views of Bellagio and the Grigne Mountains...immersed in a century-old park, this Art Nouveau palace is an authentic and luxurious retreat.” Town & Country put Grand Hotel Tremezzo on its list of “100 Hotels That Will Change Your Life.”
There are five restaurants, and lots of lake water sports. Including three swimming pools.
Most Innovative Guest Experience:
Belmond Hotel das Cataratas, Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil
“Take advantage of the exclusive opportunity to visit the falls early in the morning before the Iguassu National Park opens and again in the evening after it closes,” says Alex Korey of KK Travels Worldwide.
The only hotel located within Brazil's Iguassu National Park,Belmond Hotel das Cataratas
is a short walk from the waterfalls.A former Portuguese-colonial residence, the setting is perfect for “redolent of lazy days lounging on a veranda or beneath sub-tropical palms.”
Among the activities: Helicopter trips over the gorge and jungle treks to view wildlife, including colorful toucans and giant butterflies. While there are 193 keys, there are only two suite types, large junior suites, which are really 1-bedroom suites, and Cataratas Suites, each in colonial style, with a separate living room and two bedrooms. Both bathrooms have twin, marble-topped vanities with separate bath and shower.