The best grand Paris hotels – whichever type of traveller you are – The Telegraph

These luxury destinations in the City of Light are wooing guests with penthouses, spas and sky gardens
Bulgari Penthouse
Of all the buildings in Paris that Bulgari could have chosen for its seventh hotel, a 1970s office block on Avenue George V must surely have seemed the least enticing. But the brand’s go-to architectural firm, Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel, rose to the challenge and after several years of grafting, it opened in December last year as a strikingly modern 76-room hotel.
A glossy, cosmopolitan mix of locals and tourists have been enjoying the hotel, with its blend of understated styles that mixes Italian walnut floors, ceramics by Gio Ponti and herringbone patterned carpets that nod to Parisian parquet. The showstopper accommodation is the two-floor Bulgari Penthouse, which seats 10 in its dining room and has multiple leafy roof terraces from which to gaze at the Eiffel Tower and Sacré-Coeur.
The hotel’s restaurant, by chef Niko Romito, serves reimagined Italian classics (and the odd bistro favourite) and opens up on to a little secret garden. There’s also an elegant bar offering a daily aperitivo hour. A sleek, subterranean spa has a pool lined with mosaic in shades of emerald and malachite, a hair salon and a branch of Workshop Gymnasium, and has just announced a collaboration with the excellent stem-cell scientific research-orientated beauty brand Augustinus Bader.
From €1,400,
Hotel Lutetia
You don’t always need to head to Paris’s Golden Triangle (Avenues Montaigne, George V and Champs-Elysées) to stay in a seriously historic hotel. Hotel Lutetia in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, for example, is the Left Bank’s very own grande dame. Opened in the early 20th century by Marguerite Boucicaut, the owner of neighbouring department store Le Bon Marché, to house her wealthy customers, Lutetia has welcomed Picasso, Matisse, Hemingway, James Joyce and Josephine Baker over the years; Charles and Yvonne de Gaulle spent their wedding night there in 1921.
Built in a style combining arts deco and nouveau, some of its suites were redesigned in the 1980s; then, after a four-year restoration by new owners, it reopened in 2018 with a new relaxed ‘modern grand’ style that has been attracting a sophisticated younger crowd ever since. Splash out on the Josephine Baker suite with its views of the Eiffel Tower, or the book-filled Saint-Germain Penthouse designed in collaboration with Francis Ford Coppola, and be sure to head to the Akasha spa for a swim in the 17-metre pool.
Rooms from €1,600,
La Réserve
An urban mansion just off the Champs Elysées, the club-like La Réserve is the ideal choice for those who want to stay somewhere discreet but central in Paris. When the existing hotel joined the La Réserve portfolio in 2015, its new owners enlisted maximalist interior designer Jacques Garcia to wave his magic wand.
Today, this luxurious hideaway, with just 15 rooms and 25 suites, combines 19th century damask fabrics and wallpapers in a rich palette of coffee, cream, deep reds and pinks, with state-of-the-art mood lighting controlled by interactive tablet. There are two restaurants by chef Jérôme Banctel, both inhabiting sumptuously Versailles-like dining rooms: the intimate, two-Michelin-starred Le Gabriel, which serves French cuisine with Japanese influences, and La Pagode de Cos, which draws on culinary traditions from all over the world and has a charming little leafy patio. There’s also an intimate bar, Le Gaspard, and the supremely cosy book-filled Duc de Morny library, where you can order lunch from the menu at La Pagode de Cos. A highlight of any stay is a visit to the spa with its 16-metre pool and anti-ageing treatments by Nescens.
From €950,
Hôtel Madame Rêve
Another exciting opening of 2021, Hôtel Madame Rêve inhabits the 19th century former 24-hour post office on Rue du Louvre and is attracting creative and fashion crowds. On arrival you are buzzed into a beautifully restored Second Empire lobby with a hand-laid mosaic floor, before being whisked up in a lift to the main part of the hotel, where restored and custom-made furniture and finishes combine with walnut-panelled walls and vintage lamps. There are 82 bedrooms, including 19 spectacular suites, decorated with postage stamp-themed art and built around a lush vertical roof garden.
Unusually for Paris, quite a few of the rooms have private terraces or balconies; others have windows slanted towards the sky. All offer spectacular Paris views – when staying in the Madame Rêve Suite you feel you could reach out and touch the Eglise Saint-Eustache. There are two restaurants, Madame Rêve Café, a double-height historic brasserie-style space serving Mediterranean food, and a Japanese-French restaurant, La Plume, which opens out on to a vertical garden. There’s also a spa and, just opened, a rooftop bar with panoramic views and day beds, filled with cherry trees. Serving serious cocktails, it’s already the hottest spot to rendezvous in Paris.
From €500,
Le Meurice
A short stroll from the Louvre, Le Meurice, a gilded grande dame opposite the Tuileries, was the first hotel in Paris to offer guests a telephone and the first to receive ‘palace status’. In many ways it’s old school, long attracting royals and high society, but it has a quirkiness that sets it apart. Its colourful history – Picasso held his wedding banquet here, and Salvador Dalí, who practically lived at the hotel, once ordered staff to deliver a flock of sheep to his room (they did) – has grown only more vivid with multiple refurbishments by Philippe Starck among others, which have given some of the traditional public spaces a whimsical edge.
A rolling redesign of suites since 2019, including of the utterly decadent Belle Etoile Penthouse, has seen the hotel’s palatial vibe reinterpreted in a lighter way. In 2020 the double Michelin-starred Restaurant Le Meurice Alain Ducasse welcomed a young new executive chef, Amaury Bouhours, who has brought modern flair to its traditional French cuisine.
The hotel recently launched a series of art-themed guided walking tours, following in the footsteps of the great artists. The first art trail, Picasso’s Montmartre, launched last autumn; this summer saw the addition of Revolutionary Brushstrokes, which delves deep into the question, ‘Why was Monet – who is almost universally admired today – considered so radical and rebellious in his day?’; and in the new year the hotel will add Rodin – Love and Torment.
From €950,
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