My big question as I booked the Peninsula Paris was could it possibly live up to the amazing memories I have of the first Peninsula located in Hong Kong. I am delighted to report yes yes yes!!!! This is the group’s first foray into Europe; they have not compromised a thing. The stunning Second Empire building first opened in 1908 as the Majestic Hotel incorporating what had originally been the exiled Queen Isabella II of Spain’s house. After a 338 million euro investment and 6 years of complicated restoring and rebuilding, the Peninsula Paris opened on August 1, 2014. Quickly designated as one of France’s Palace properties, think 5 star on steroids, the hotel successfully marries old world elegance with a contemporary edge. The rooms are big and high tech, the pool is the largest of any hotel in the city and the concierge desk is one fabulous resource. They helped me plan a perfect Valentine’s Day for John, book train tickets on my laptop and gave me a list of places to try on my next visit. The hotel had history before being acquired by Peninsula in 2008. The signing of the 1973 Paris Peace Accord ending the Vietnam War took place in what is now the Keiber Bar. During WWI it was a field hospital for wounded officers. Picasso, Stravinsky and Proust attended the ‘dinner party of the century’ in 1922; Gershwin wrote An American in Paris while staying here a few years later. During the German Occupation it became the head office of the high command where Von Stulpnagel plotted the failed assassination of Hitler. After the War it was UNESCO headquarters and the Center of Foreign Affairs. Today, the rooftop restaurant L’Oiseau Blanc not only has incredible views of the Eiffel Tower, fabulous cuisine and a great wine list but it is a dedicated to French aviation. There are great relics of this bygone era including covetable aviator glasses and a whole bi-plane which Instagram has made a star in its own right! The cloud dessert is a bit of heaven!! In need of a break from French food? Try the dim sum and Chinese tea at LiLi. With decor inspired by Imperial opera, the restaurant pays tribute to the hotel’s Asian heritage. The candied walnuts are among my all-time favorite treats! The green Rolls Royce’s, the uniformed bellhops and the fantastic hospitality are reminiscent of Hong Kong, the style is pure Paris… elegant, modern and chic. I can’t wait to go back even if it’s just for a stroll through the lobby.
Number of Rooms: 200 (including 86 suites)
Sweet Suite: The Rooftop Garden Suite. Not the biggest but the one with the most romantic terrace imaginable! Breathtaking views of the Eiffel Tower and perfect Paris rooftops this is one space you will never want to leave. If I ever get married again…
Favorite Thing: The Peninsula Academy for both kids & adults. These bespoke programs have unique access to local, cultural and historical experiences. You can visit jewelry workshops around Place Vendome, go behind the scenes at Paris Saint-Germain FC or explore parts of Versailles not opened to the public. My dream is too wake up early and head to the Marche de Rungis, the world’s largest wholesale produce market with the Peninsula’s executive chef Chistophe Raoux. None of these are cheap… but if you are into buying experiences rather than things, it is worth the splurge.
Near By: Arc de Triomphe, Musee Baccarat, Trocadero, Eiffel Tower, Musee d’Art Moderne, Palais de Tokyo, Grand Palais, Place de Concorde
Amenities: valet box, in room tablet for controlling everything, 20 m indoor pool, spa, fitness centre, LiLi Chinese Restaurant, 24 hour laundry/dry cleaning, business Centre, Peninsula Academy, 1934 Phantom Rolls Royce, bespoke mini cooper, BMW electric bikes, Le Lobby (reminded me so much of the original in Hong Kong, it is the perfect breakfast spot), La Terasse Kleber, Le Bar Kleber, Le Lounge Kleber (the hotel is on Kleber Ave), L’Oiseau Blanc Rooftop Restaurant and Bar, free internet, VOIP calls, coffee & tea making facilities in room, nail dryer, free HD movies, fax/scanner/printer in room, multi pin power sockets, bedside multi adaptor charger