This week we turn over the reins to David Ourisman of Oarsman Travel, a boutique travel agency specializing in VIP luxury travel. I had read some of David’s reports from his seemingly nonstop travels on a frequent flyer website, and loved them so much, I asked if he would contribute from time to time right here. So this is his first report for us, and hopefully there will be more in the future! Photo credits are also by David unless noted.
Paris is a city of
bests. This history-rich city boasts some of the world’s top cuisine, with ten
Parisian restaurants boasting three Michelin stars. Culture buffs can peruse
the world’s greatest collection of Impressionist art (at the Musée d’Orsay) and
the world’s largest collection of paintings by Claude Monet (at the Musée
Marmottan). For those whose tastes include haute couture, the fashion week hub
will please even the most seasoned shoppers.
Where to stay
poses the similarly pleasant conundrum of choosing between several top-tier
selections, as the destination offers the world's foremost collection of luxury
hotels. Having personally inspected hundreds of luxury properties across the
world, I can personally attest that the selection in Paris is among the finest.
Any one of a dozen Parisian hotels could easily quality as the “best of the
best” in hundreds of other cities.
What is there for
you, the aspirational traveler who seeks the most exclusive accommodations in
Paris? To help you choose among the City of Light’s luxury hotels, here are the
six best suites in Paris.
1. For glamour and a view, book the Plaza
Athénée’s Eiffel Suite
The Plaza Athénée
is an art deco palace located in the fashionable Golden Triangle. Following a
multi-year renovation project that completed in 2014, the 5-star property now
offers 208 accommodations in total (that's 154 guestrooms and 54 suites, to be
exact). Of them all, the 1,400 square foot Eiffel Suite is the hotel's most
Named for its
unparalleled view of the Eiffel Tower, guests — included among them are
high-profile names like Mick Jagger, Natalie Portman, Mariah Carey, and Jude
Law, to name a few — are greeted with a spectacular view the moment they set
food inside their room. Located on the hotel's southeast corner, your room
comes with front row seats to the attraction's nightly light show.
Foodies have the
three-starred Michelin restaurant, Alain Ducasse at Plaza Athénée, on-site. The
upscale brasserie, Le Relais Plaza, is the ultimate location for a power lunch.
Spa-goers can relax at the hotel's exclusive Institut Dior, the only Dior spa and
treatment center in Europe.
classical Palace decor, exquisite finishings include elaborate moldings and
silver-leaf detailing. When booked along with the adjoining guest room, the
Eiffel Suite becomes a family-friendly, 2-bedroom/2-bathroom residence,
complete with its own grand salon and grand piano, an ideal setting in which to
host your soirée.
2. For a central location, choose the Hôtel
de Crillon's Grand Apartements Concorde
Hôtel de Crillon
stands out for its prime location on the Place de la Concorde. Like the Plaza
Athénée, the hotel underwent a multi-year renovation, reopening its doors to
rave reviews in 2017.
The boutique hotel
is a stunning example of updated classic decor. The property's 124 total rooms
are comprised of 78 guest rooms, 36 suites, and 10 signature suites. To book
their most impressive suites, ask for Les Grands Appartements. I recommend the
Concorde Appartement which looks directly onto the 21-acre Place de la
Concorde. The 4th floor suite is fully soundproofed, offering views of the
Egyptian obelisk, the French National Assembly, and the Eiffel Tower which
become even more impressive at night. Families or large groups may book the
adjoining Appartement and third bedroom, creating your very own 3,600 square
foot pied-a-terre in the center of Paris.
include the Michelin starred restaurant, L'Ecrin, and the more casual dining
venue, Brasserie d'Aumont. Sense, the Rosewood spa, offers a menu of
traditional spa offerings, along with a beauty salon, men's haircuts, and even
a master shoe shine.
Tip: To orient
yourself during your stay at the Crillon, identify the obelisk at the center of
the square. To the North, look for the classical Eglise de la Madeleine. South
is the Palais Bourbon, the French capitol where the National Assembly meets.
Turning to the East, follow the Tuilleries Gardens in their entirety, with the
Louvre museum at the far end. The entire length of the Champs Elysées sprawls
to the West, with the Arc du Triomphe in the distance. (Images from the hotel)
3. For outdoor space and elegance, the
George V Penthouse Suite is unparalleled
George V has been called the best hotel in the world, known for providing
luxury that lives up to its reputation. The hotel's star-studded lineage
includes the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, who honeymooned there after her second
marriage to Conrad Hilton.
Le George, as it
is affectionately called by locals, knows how to make an impression. Visitors
stop by its lobby to glance at Jeff Leatham's renowned floral arrangements.
With a $1 million annual budget, the floral designer to re-envisions masterpieces
every three weeks, whose flowers are replaced with fresh picks daily.
The hotel’s three
restaurants have five Michelin stars among them — Le Cinq, their fine dining
establishment, has been awarded three Michelin stars, while Le George and L’Orangerie
boast a Michelin star apiece. Their renovated Spa also boasts a 55-foot
Of its 154 rooms,
59 of which are suites fitted with classical interiors infused with
contemporary elegance. The Penthouse Suite is decorated in the style of an
elegant Parisian residence, featuring travertine floors and walls accented with
elegant microsuede and sycamore paneling.
In addition to its
1630 square feet of living space, The Penthouse Suite offers a remarkable 578
square feet of outdoor terrace space. This providing 360º views of the city —
including views of the Eiffel Tower.
The suite's 226
square foot bedroom terrace allows you to wake up to a fantastic view of the
city, visible from the Balinese bed. To give you a sense of its truly unique
offerings, the suite's 226 square foot bedroom terrace is larger than the
entire guestrooms of many Parisian hotels. Even the beige marble bathroom is
equipped to the nines, including a large step-in shower and an infinity soaking
tub adorned with jacuzzi jets and a chromotherapy system. (Images from top to bottom by Gregoire Gardette, GdeLaubier and Michael Goczal)
4. If you are hosting an event, look no
further than the Shangri-La Paris' Shangri-La Suite
Paris became one of the city's newest "palace hotels" in 2014. Built
in 1896, the hotel was originally the former residence of Prince Roland
Bonaparte. More recent guests have included Hollywood royalty, most notably,
power couple Beyoncé and Jay-Z, along with their daughter, Blue Ivy.
located in the 16th arrondissement, provides guests with the most direct views
of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Out of 100 rooms total (64 guestrooms and 36
suites), 40% of regular staterooms and 60% of suites provide face the Eiffel
Shangri-La Suite is the location's crown-jewel. The top floor space occupies
2,420 square feet and features 46 feet of window views of the Eiffel Tower.
Setting it apart from the rest of the hotel's decor, the suite is adorned in
soft-hues and modern decor, offering both a private kitchen and dining room.
include L’Abeille, which has two Michelin stars, and Shang Palace, France's
only Chinese restaurant to be awarded a Michelin star. For more casual dining
options, La Bauhinia provides guests with culinary flexibility.
The hotel is very
proud of its beautiful indoor pool which is illuminated with natural light from
the wall of south-facing windows. The Shangri-La is also ideal if you are
looking for space in which to host an event, as the hotel’s historical salons
were once used by the Bonaparte family. Their decadent furnishings and its
period appeal ensure unforgettable memories from your party or reception.
5. For those who like to explore on foot,
book the Belle Etoile Suite at Le Meurice
favorite place to stay in Paris is Le Meurice. With a more understated elegance
than the other hotels on the list, the palace hotel is perfectly situated for
all types of travelers whose aim is to explore the city. Whether you are a
first-time visitor, or you are already a well-seasoned francophile, the Belle
Etoile Suite provides a truly dynamic experience.
The room is found
on the top floor of the hotel with views above the rooftops of Paris. An
immense 2,690 square foot rooftop terrace affords 360º panoramic views of the
city, while its interior 3,230 square feet are decorated in the 19th century
Belle Epoque style.
residence includes a kitchen, a pantry for a personal chef, and your own
private dining room. Notable past guests of the Belle Etoile Suite have
included Angelina Jolie, Madonna, and Katy Perry.
the street from Le Meurice is the Tuileries Gardens, the large formal park in
the center of Paris. You can walk directly across the park to the Musée d’Orsay,
or turn left to walk to the Louvre. Taking a stroll in one of the world's most
famous cities is the perfect way to maximize your experience during your stay.
Whether indulging in a garden stroll or en route to sightsee, you are merely
steps away from these iconic centers of French art and culture.
Le Meurice has 160
guest accommodations of which 118 are rooms and 42 are suites. Its fine dining
offering is Le Meurice Alain Ducasse, which has been awarded two Michelin
stars. Le Dalí, featuring an avant-garde ceiling that was painted by Are
Starck, is their more casual restaurant serving Mediterranean fare.
6. For a world-class shopping experience,
do not miss the Ritz Paris' Coco Chanel Suite
The Ritz Paris,
the first hotel opened by César Ritz, is found in the northwest corner of the
sartorial hotspot, La Place Vendôme. Located steps away from some of the
world's most esteemed jewelers and designers, signature shops by Chanel, Dior,
Cartier, Piaget, and Rolex lend an air of sartorial decadence to the
discretion prevail at the Ritz. Incidentally, because of its close proximity to
such high-end retailers, you’ll also benefit from some of the most stringent
security of any hotel in Paris while at the Ritz. All are welcome at the the
Bar Ritz, located immediately to the left of the front door; however, only
hotel guests are granted exclusive access to the hotel lobby and the “hall of
dreams.” Be assured that truly fashionable guests grace the Ritz Hotel.
Ritz Paris has 142
rooms and suites — 71 guestrooms and 71 suites, including 15 historic Prestige
Suites. Renovations from 2012-2016 maintained the integrity of the historic
hotel's exterior facade and interior design, while equipping rooms with modern
technology and amenities to make your stay more comfortable. Rooms were made
bigger, natural light was let in, but the original charm of the iconic hotel
The Suite Coco
Chanel is the Ritz's most famous suite. Located on the second floor and
overlooking the Place Vendôme, the apartment is named for the iconic fashion
designer, Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel.
took up residence there in 1937, and the interior decor pays homage to its
most-beloved guest with each of its crystal chandeliers, mirrors, photographs,
and sketches on display. The 2,024 square foot interior is inspired by Chanel's
minimalist-inspired color palette of black, white, and beige. Furnishings
include bespoke items, especially created for the two-bedroom suite, inspired
by Chanel's own decor.
include two different Michelin starred restaurants — La Table de L’Espadon,
with two Michelin stars, and Les Jardins de L’Espadon, with one. Afternoon Tea
is served in the Salon Proust, and students of French cuisine can study at the
Ecole Ritz Escoffier cooking school on-site. Of special note is the Ritz Spa
with an elegant indoor pool and a decadent spa. (Images from the hotel)