75116 Travel Guide
We’ve been aching for more details on what Peninsula Hotels has in store for us in Paris, having walked past the construction site on Avenue Kléber earlier this year and last spring. After playing around with their seriously high-tech bedside tablets, we finally have a few more details on what’s going to be inside the 1908 Beaux Arts building in the city’s 16th arrondissement come opening time next year.
First of all, say it with us: rooftop bar, rooftop bar! One of our favorite hotel pursuits will be possible at the Peninsula Paris, with a planned rooftop restaurant, bar, and terrace serving ‘modern French cuisine’. The terrace has capacity for 50 people, so we bet this is going to be one hot ticket once the sun is out. Equally, you can bet we will be getting our behinds up there toute suite after opening to tell you all about it.
Late last month, HotelChatter ambled by the upcoming Peninsula Paris only to find that much of it was still under wraps. Yet last week, we got the chance to meet stateside with some GMs and execs from Peninsula Hotels and we've got a few new things to chatter about with you.
Let's get the big news out of the way now--the hotel is opening in 2014. So we won't get inside their rooms this year. Triste! BUT when the hotel does open, it's going to have some crazysexycool technology--especially these proprietary bedside tablets which will not only control everything in the room from lights to temperature but will also allow you to stream TV channels from around the world.
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There are many reasons why we are pretty excited about the upcoming opening of The Peninsula Paris. It will be the first European venture of the luxury group, and if the renovation efforts over in Hong Kong are anything to go by, accommodations should come with a technology and amenity overload.
Its arrival will see it go head to head with fellow Asians and relative newcomers Shangri-La and Mandarin Oriental, as well as all sorts of longstanding competition that is upping its game. First shots last year showed a monumental building (the former Hotel Majestic) on one of the city’s fancy avenues, proudly displaying giant Peninsula advertisements, yet shrouded under construction covers.
Just over twelve months on, unfortunately much of the hotel is still under wraps, with only a sliver of the back being visible. While opening is still set as a Q4 2013, the subject to change that comes right after has us wondering whether we will still be stepping inside Peninsula Paris this year.
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Poor Shangri-La Paris. It sure has a ton going for it—horse-drawn carriage rides at Christmas time, gorgeous Eiffel Tower views. But that prestige wasn't enough to stop a Saudi Arabian princess from stiffing the hotel on a six-month bill worth over $7 million.
Yup. After booking the entire seventh floor of the hotel for herself and a 60-person entourage, at a cost of EUR 20,000 per night, and remaining there from Christmas until Thursday of last week, Princess Maha al-Sudari tried sneaking out in the middle of the night without so much as tipping the bellhop.
And the worst part? This wasn't the first time.
As we previously reported, The Shangri-La Hotel in Paris was once the residence of Napolean's grandnephew, Prince Roland Bonaparte. This week, The Independent showed up to give the sprawling estate the once-over. Four stars were awarded for the rooms, and (somewhat oddly) value, and an impressive five stars for service, making this newcomer to the City of Lights a serious contender on the luxury scene.
No stars were awarded for Horse-Drawn Carriage-ness. Oh, wait, that's not actually a category. Though, any hotel would be wise to include horse-drawn carriages as couples start seeking the most romantic spots for next month's V-day.
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Thanks to the Shangri-La, Paris can add more reserves to its romantic cache. If strolling the City of Lights' snowy streets this holiday isn't enough to sate your taste for the maudlin, guests of the hotel can book a horse drawn carriage ride from December 23-27.
The tour will take you and your S.O. to the Trocadero, located across the Seine and providing prime views of the Eiffel Tower for you and your sweetheart to "ooh" and "aah" over with delight. Shangri-La's old-fashioned carriage—a white stunner complete with top hat-clad driver—is perhaps the closest some may get to feeling like Cinderella, without fear of the equine-led ride turning into a pumpkin at midnight.
We’ve spent a lot of time this past year oohing and aahing over the slew of new luxury hotels opening in Paris like the Mandarin Oriental, the Shangri-La and the Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris. Now, however, we wanted to tell you about the big redecoration that’s going on at Saint James Paris, a tiny gem of a boutique hotel in Paris’s understated yet elegant 16th arrondisement that’s been getting a fabulous facelift.
Ooh, it's a big day in Paris. For fashionistas, there's both good news and bad. The bad news? Carine Roitfield has quit as the editor of French Vogue. The good: there's now one more tres chic place to stay in the City of Light, with the opening of the Shangri-La Paris.
If you've ever wanted to stay in an historic French home, this is your chance: the hotel is located inside an 1896 mansion that was home to Napoleon's grandnephew Prince Roland Bonaparte.
It may not be Noël Blanc in Paris this season but it will be a bright, shiny, new one for the Shangri-La Hotel which is now set to open on December 17.
We already knew the hotel would be located in the 16th arrondissement, created out of a former residence of Prince Roland Bonaparte, nephew to Napolean. But instead of 109 rooms, the hotel will now have 81 rooms with marble baths, deep soaking tubs, walk-in showers, heated floors and, fingers crossed, free WiFi.
Also on site will be a full-service spa, swimming pool and for the warmer months, a secluded garden "re-invented" by landscape designer Louis Benech. And of course, no luxury restaurant is complete without a couple of restaurants.
Executive Chef Philippe Labbé is in charge of the hotel’s culinary division. La Bauhinia, the all-day dining restaurant and lounge in the center of the building, features a newly uncovered and restored glass cupola modelled after the Eiffel Tower. The French gourmet restaurant L’Abeille and the city’s first authentic gourmet Cantonese restaurant, Shang Palace, will open in early 2011. Chef Labbé will also oversee the cuisine for Le Bar and the former residence’s banqueting rooms.
Le recession? Quel recession? To celebrate its opening last month, Paris’ new Villa and Hotel Majestic is having an opening offer of up to 40 per cent off rack rates.
Not bad, right? Right. Until you realize that even with the discount, rooms start at €300 ($408/£261), excluding breakfast and tax.
The 52-roomed hotel promises
stylish interiors combining classic French design with contemporary abstract artwork and furnishings resulting in an entirely modern aesthetic throughout the hotel.
Us, we’re not quite sold on the stripy/blotchy curtains in the bedrooms, and we can’t help thinking the decor looks a tad over-busy, though we’re definitely fans of wooden flooring (as long as it’s soundproofed), we love that the rooms look a lot brighter than a lot of dark Parisian places, and the lobby looks pretty stunning.
You may recall that the first totally-fly Radisson Blu to open in Paris was the Radisson Blu Le Dokhan's where we giggled about the opportunity to get drunk on champagne and high on Louis Vuitton (mmmm) and now the new boutique brand has opened a second chic boutique property in the City of Lights with unreal views of the Eiffel Tower: Radisson Blu Le Metropolitan, Paris Eiffel in the 16th arrondissement.
The 48-room property boasts interiors by Francois Champsaur (which are super modern; which looks cool up against the 19th century former private residence that houses the hotel) as well as "unrestricted Eiffel Tower views" yeah, the place pretty much faces the landmark.
The hotel's Metropolitan restaurant features cuisine by an Alain Ducasse-trained chef, and you can take tea in the tea room from The O Dor (a Parisian "luxury brand") or opt for a more boozey alternative (if the views don't make you woozey ha, see what we did there?) at the Metropolitan Bar. The hotel's got a spa and indoor pool, too, if you want to detox the ol' skin or swim some laps to work off a couple of those fancy cocktails.
Oh, yeah: and free WiFi all over the hotel. Which certainly doesn't make us Blu. Rates start at 225 Euros (around $309).
We are suckers for a room with a killer view. We find that we are even more likely to forgive some minor hotel inconveniences if we can stare out the window at something pretty--yeah we are that shallow. Let's help out our fellow hotel mavens by uploading rooms with killer views to the HotelChatter/Flickr photo pool, or by sending the photo along to us. We will feature our favorites in this space from time to time. Remember to tell us the name of the hotel and the room number of the hot view.
HotelChatter tipster Cecile recently stayed at the Hotel Gavarni in Paris and sent us this killer view--the Eiffel Tower might be something the locals used to want to tear down as an eyesore, but we think staring out over it from our hotel room makes the experience just that bit more Parisian.
There's another bonus about staying at the Gavarni, according to Cecile:
It's an old style hotel in the 16th arrondissement but at the same time green, they put in place variety of things such as recycling the water from the showers, organic food etc.
Yep, green is good. Even the rates are relatively reasonable: double rooms go for 160 (US$235) in the low season and the most expensive possibility, in the high season, is to grab three friends and stay in the Eiffel Suite (with this view, of course) for 550 (US$810).