Hotel Bristol one of Paris' Closely Guarded Secret

Hotel Bristol one of Paris' Closely Guarded Secret


Hotel: Hotel Le Bristol

Address: 112 Rue du Faubourg, St. Honore, 75008, Paris


TraveLife Ranking: Five Stars

Rooms: 175 – some suites overlook magical courtyard gardens.

Room rates: $700 +

Awards: Conde Nast Traveler magazine picked the Bristol as one of its top hotels in the world and the No. 1 property in Paris.

Highlights: The glass enclosed roof-top swimming pool is set in solid teak and gives the impression of the prow of an ocean liner sailing towards Sacre Coeur and the Paris skyline. Very impressive! In keeping with the elegant theme, servers in the Bristol's main dining room wear ties and tails while other members of the staff are deckedout in butler and maid's garb. Very chic! The hotel's wine cellar is home to over 30,000 bottles, including a 75-year-old Cognac, a Champagne from 1865, a Chateau Petrus 1959 and a Mouton Rothschild 1958 that all fall under the category of priceless.

History: The Hotel Bristol started out as an 18th-century palace and was turned into a luxury hotel in 1924. The Bristol's courtyard garden is the largest of its kind in Paris, encompassing more than 35,000 square feet. The wife of a German pudding king, who owns the hotel, took charge of decorating the rooms and public areas during a recent multi-million dollar renovation. They are indeed sweet.

Interior highlights: Built in Eiffel style, the hotel is filled with priceless works of art and delicate floor to ceiling silk Gobelin tapestries adorn the limestone walls in the Bristol's public areas and crystal chandeliers twinkle in the lobby, hallways and bedrooms. The hotel also features sweeping staircases and one of those old open-type French elevators. Giant floral arrangements strategically placed throughout the hotel are warm and welcoming and all created on site by a team of florists.

In the next room: Because it sits in the heart of the city’s shopping and diplomatic sector, the guest sleeping next door could be a visiting dignitary, top rate model or movie star. You can tell how important your fellow guests are by the security outside the hotel.

The rooms: They come stuffed with the trappings of a French chateau – fine drapery, brightly colored decorations. The 300-square-metre Presidential Suite is a palace within a palace and comes complete with two living rooms and dining rooms. Many of the suites at the hotel have even been used by French designers for fashion shoots.

Amenities: Mini bar, cable television, Fax/Internet in room service, Hermes toiletries, marble bathroom, hairdryer in room, handicap facilities, 24-hour room service, Egyptian cotton towels, bathrobes and slippers.

Restaurants: The circular Restaurant d'Hiver is of two-star Michelin beauty and one of Paris’ best dining spots – a great honor in a city with so many great dining rooms. You’ll fall in love with the intimate surroundings. The courtyard restaurant known as the Restaurant d'Ete is one of the most popular gathering spots for business and political figures. Sunday lunch has become a tradition with Parisians in the summer months at the hotel's courtyard eatery. With such an English name, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the Bristol also offers afternoon tea, complete with all the traditional trappings.

Shopping: The St. Honore district is home to some of the world’s most exclusive shops – places where if you have to ask the price, don’t bother entering. Christian Dior, Yves St. Laurent, Christian Lacroix, Chanel and Hermes all have shops located a few yards from the hotel. The area also has some fine art shops. However, the area is also surrounded by some excellent cafes and bakeries that are much easier to swallow from an expense standpoint.

Spa: There is no spa on site but the hotel staff will arrange for treatments at the highly-respected Anne Semonin Beauty Spa, located right next door. The spa and its personalized natural skin-care therapy are well known by Paris’ social set. The property’s fitness centre is also a treat.

Close By It’s located just a few steps away from the Elysee Palace, the official residence of French presidents, and some other important government buildings - not to mention the U.S. and British embassies. The city’s iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Champ de l’Elysee are and easy walk away from the hotel.

Tips: This hotel is one of Paris’ most closely guarded secrets – mainly because of the army of police usually seen patrolling the area because of its close proximity to state buildings and embassies. The richly appointed rooms, winding marble staircases and quaint elevator make this hotel very special. If you want to impress a business colleague or that special someone in your life, make reservations at the Michelin star restaurant. The term “understated elegance” best describes this property. The warm atmosphere is the main reason this gem can boast an 80 per cent repeat guest rate, one of the highest in the city. If you elect to dine at the hotel’s main restaurant, TraveLife highly recommends the spider crab dish, prepared by award-winning chef Eric Frechon, which comes swimming in a deliciously rich sauce that is poured back into the scooped-out shell.


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