The big news in Paris this summer is that two Parisian Palaces were added to the roster, namely the Shangri-La Hotel and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Paris, both of which were awarded, in July, the prestigious distinction of palace hotel.
More big news is the re-opening of the Plaza Athénée, which has garnered much attention, and for good reason. After its purchase of the next door Harry Winston jewelry building, they renovated the property and turned it into fabulous new rooms and suites that are breathtaking.
And the Regina, one of the Baverez family hotels, is ever more majestic sitting across from the Louvre Museum and the Tuileries after its just completed renovations.
Plaza Athénée hotel in Paris — Photo courtesy of Paige Donner
And, of course, the long-awaited Peninsula Hotel Paris was opened at the beginning of August to much fanfare, as well. It's certainly a jewel in the area that encircles the Arc de Triomphe, the monument that crowns the Champs-Elysées.
But switching the dial here now, since you can read about those splashy openings and palace classifications of the world’s glitziest hotels in glossy magazines and 10Best's very own list of best luxury hotels in Paris. Here a few Parisian hotels that are distinctive for their style and class, but they put just a bit less emphasis on the bling.
Just opened this spring, Hotel Dupond-Smith personifies understated luxury, over-the-top service and ultra discretion. Tucked right in the heart of the Marais, just a few steps from BHV Homme, is this nearly invisible hotel – meaning that when you walk by, there’s really no suggestion from its exterior façade that it’s a hotel.
Hotel Dupond-Smith — Photo courtesy of Hotel Dupond-Smith
The Dupond-Smith is a five-star luxury hotel that caters to those wishing to travel incognito. There’s just an outline of a lobby; all the investment has been put into the furnishings of the spacious suites and junior suites, including such details as Hermès silk wall coverings and in-room Nespresso machines.
Diptyque amenities grace every bathroom, outfitted with both waterfall showers and roomy bathtubs. Rooms are named after some of the more famous aliases – such as Alan B. Smithee and Mojo Risin'. You might not want to ask for the John Doe suite, though, if you're superstitious.
Along these lines of discretion and confidentiality, the man behind La Réserve, Michel Reybier, is opening up a new hotel on Avenue Gabriel slated for November. Avenue Gabriel is that little street where you can find the British Embassy, the American Embassy and the garden entrance to the Elysée.
A very posh neighborhood, to be sure, but also here the philosophy is on not just exclusivity, but discretion and confidentiality. The hotel’s 25 suites (including four presidential suites) and 15 rooms have been graced by the touch of interior designer Jacques Garcia.
A mosaic detailing at Prince de Galles Hotel — Photo courtesy of Pince de Galles Hotel
The Prince de Galles Hotel is another gem that is in the center of all that’s happening in Paris but doesn’t shout its presence. The hotel, with its authentic Art Deco style, is a classified historic monument for its exquisite mosaics seen in its interior courtyard façade and throughout the detailings of the 150 rooms and suites of this Luxury Collection (Starwood Group) hotel.
It sits just next door to the George V and was re-opened in 2013 following extensive renovations. Prince de Galles' restaurant La Scène has already earned itself a Michelin star.
If Art Deco is your style, you’ll also appreciate the family-owned, 500-plus-room Hotel du Collectionneur, once a Hilton. Its location is in an area that is most appealing in Paris: just around the corner from Parc Monceau. That puts it within easy walking distance of both rue du Faubourg-St-Honoré and the Champs-Elysées.
An on-site spa, the restaurant Le Safran helmed by Chef François Gagnaire and a bar round out the appeal.
If design hotels are your style, you’ll want to check out the new Hotel Félicien, which is part of the Elegancia Group Hotels. Envisioned and designed by Olivier Lapidus, whose intent it was to build on his father’s (Ted Lapidus) legacy, each floor is dedicated to a scene from the fashion world. Hence, when you reach floor five, you’re greeted with all black walls, and the word Couture, spelled out in Swarovski crystals.
The real star at this hotel, however, is the rooftop jacuzzi. It’s only accessible through the penthouse suite, but the ability to sit in a rooftop hot tub and overlook Radio France, the Seine and the Centre Beaugrenelle across the river has got to be a dealmaker when considering booking a room in this area of Paris.