An Insider Guide on the Paris Hotel Scene

Above image: Le Grand Salon at Hilton Paris Opera

The two-years-plus closure of both Le Ritz and Hôtel de Crillon hardly brought the French capital to a standstill. Yet, no city exalts is historic grand hotels as does Paris (here, they are give the classification “Palace.”) But the 2015 reopening of both will vie for column inches with a hotel scene that is particularly abuzz, from hip hostels to fashionista faves.

Here’s what you need to know…

 

Delayed from its summer 2014 target, Le Ritz is expected to open its doors anew this spring, as part of the Oetker Collection. Expect the Vendome facing suites to once again be populated by the likes of Anna Wintour and John Galliano. Ironically, Hôtel Le Bristol, which knocked Le Ritz off its lofty perch in 2012 when honored as “France’s Leading Hotel” at the World Travel Awards, also belongs to the venerated group. Its Le Bar du Bristol (pictured below) remains one of the trendiest spots in Paris for the style set, with its ongoing contemporary art program and sceney Thursday After Work weekly party.

2984Le_Bar_du_Bristol_4

Hotel de Crillon, long a favorite with the likes of Madonna, Penelope Cruz and Reese Witherspoon—and dating back to 1758—will reopen this spring as a Rosewood hotel. Always the most “glitzy” of Paris’ Palace hotels, the Crillon has employed Herr Lagerfeld himself to redesign a pair of suites. Expect no small amount of Ancien Regime flourishes from the 18th Century obsessed designer.

The ideologically minimalist Maison Champs Elysees, opened in 2013 with interiors by Maison Margiela, has introduced newly designed rooms. These chambers (pictured below) feature oversized mirrors and trompe l’oeil flooring, but still essentially adhere to the overall white on white aesthetic of the hotel.

Maison Champs image

Hôtel Les Bains first opened in 1885, and was later a decadent spa/nightspot that attracted the likes of Johnny Depp, Sean Penn, David Bowie, Depeche Mode, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Jean Michel Basquiat. Now to be reborn this spring as a bastion of bohemian luxe, the new Marais hotel is sure to be a playground for a new generation of le famous and le fabulous—especially the private lounge.

For those seeking great historical flourishes without the Ritz price tag, the Hilton Paris Opera has just reopened after a $50 million makeover. Rooms have been modernized, but its stunning, lavishly baroque Grand Salon remains intact.

La Villa Maillot & Spa, set in a residential area of the 16th, has gotten a sleek and colorful makeover, including the stylish new V Bar, a private Japanese garden and, of course, a top class spa (pictured below).

Spa Le M - Espace Bien-être La Villa Maillot PARIS

At the groovier end of the market, the Generator Paris (pictured below) is just opening in the perpetually hip 10th; it’s the brand’s eighth property, including London, Barcelona, Berlin, etc. It follows the burgeoning “chic hostel” trend (Mama Shelter, Cool & Chic, Freehand Miami), with a rooftop bar scene, an in-house Urban Gardener for ingredient sourcing, a lounge with pool tables, and, perhaps most exigently, easy access to the nightlife scenes of Canal Saint Martin and the rue Oberkampf.

Gen Paris - Mezzanine area - Nikolas Koenig

Hôtel Costes, the Parisian sleep that veritably defined the era of boutique hotels as fortresses of exclusivity and intimidation (for untold years its website was condescendingly blank), will finally be exporting its brand. In a Victorian building close to London’s Sloane Square, expect a small (less than 50 rooms) version of the celeb and fashionista magnet to open in early 2016. No word as to whether it will mimic Jacques Garcia’s opulent Empire style from the original.

 

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