75116 Travel Guide
Nearly ten years in the making, Peninsula Paris will finally have its first regular guests file through the doors on Friday, August 1. We spent a few hours last week exploring what those premiers clients can expect for the nearly $1,000 (€695) a night and up they will be spending on one of the hotel’s 200 rooms and suites under the “Avant-Première” opening offer.
Room-wise, the lead-in rate that’s (for now) just shy of four digits puts you in the Superior category, which comes in at 35 sq m (375 sq ft) with either King or Queen Bed. All rooms come with a separate dressing area, marble bathrooms, free WiFi and long-distance VOIP calls, and proprietary in-room tablets in 11 languages. More space is available in four steps towards a Grand Premier Room, which adds an additional €1,000 ($1,370) to the nightly bill. As we’ve said before, Parisian Palace Hotels aren’t for the faint of heart.
Even capricious Paris was on best behavior yesterday for the preview of its latest palace hotel arrival, framing The Peninsula Paris with blue skies, cotton clouds and a blazing summer sun. Now five weeks away from official opening on August 1, we had a chance to peek inside the spectacularly restored 1908 grand hotel on Avenue Kléber – above in an official early evening photograph showing off its scale and symmetry in a way that the former makes difficult to capture closer up.
Earlier this month, we finally got our hands on a first guestroom image at the upcoming Peninsula Paris, having walked down Avenue Kléber many a time to see how the hotel was coming along from the outside.
The August 1 opening is still a little while away, but it looks like Peninsula is treating us to a whole range of additional imagery to pore over with the release of its new website. A video shows glimpses of craftsmen working on the restoration of the Beaux Arts building and shots of what the finished product will look like, including the glamorous – and almost spare – entrance lobby above.
The chandelier is a hand-blown Lasvit made of crystal ‘leaves’, referencing the trees lining the Avenue outside. We’re intrigued by the artwork underneath (it’s a stone installation from Bhutan), which looks to have a reflecting surface. From renderings of the restaurants and suites to rooftop views in the video, we patiently collected a few more impressions for you below.
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We knew an opening had to be close when we walked by the Peninsula Paris in early October and saw that the facade had been freed of construction wrapping. Now, Le Figaro is reporting that the luxury hotel will actually open on August 1st.
We tried to read the article using our rudimentary French skills but we picked up the most important part--the opening date. Besides we already knew that the hotel would have 200 rooms, an all-day dining restaurant in The Lobby, a Chinese restaurant, cigar lounge, a rooftop bar and terrace and an 18,000 square foot spa below ground with indoor pool.
The hotel's website is not taking reservations yet but we hope that changes in the new year.
Hat tip to Hoteliere de Luxe for the heads up.
[Photo: JasonD for HotelChatter]
Last time we walked down Avenue Kléber in Paris to check in on the construction progress at The Peninsula, the former Hotel Majestic was still covered in scaffolding. Just over five months later, there is much more to see, with the limestone exterior freely basking in a pale autumn sun last week. The 1908 façade has some beautiful architectural details, and the u-shape that will enable a lobby terrace facing the avenue is clearly visible.
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.