Chain hotels often get a bit of a bad rep. However, The Peninsula Hotels have established a global reputation as the purveyors of luxury par excellence, and with ten award winning hotels under their name and two more in the pipe line, it seems that the brand have perfected a winning formula. Indeed, if the newest Parisian incarnation – opened in 2014 – is anything to go by, world domination is not only likely but inevitable.
Located in the in the heart of the chic 16th arrondissement, The Peninsula Hotel Paris is just a stone’s throw away from the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysées. Aside from sight seeing, guests can nip up to Avenue Montaigne in The Peninsula’s own MINI Cooper S Clubman and peruse the couture stores with ease. It’s also a mere two minutes from Kléber metro station, so is perfectly situated for those who want to explore the city without succumbing to its traffic.
Much of what makes The Peninsula Paris so spectacular is the block in which it is housed. Meticulously restored over a four-year period, the historic late 19th century Haussmanian building has an impressive history of its own. Originally opened as the Majestic Hotel over one hundred years ago, the establishment was the site of the “dinner party of the century”, attended by Marcel Proust, Pablo Picasso and Igor Stravinsky.
Old school glamour still pervades. The décor of The Peninsula combines tradition and innovation in such a way that the whole hotel feels timelessly elegant. The Peninsula is distinctly Parisian in style, the gilded gold wall embellishment and polished marble floors are offset by an what can only be described as a glass leaf chandelier – come – modern art installation.
There are two hundred rooms, including thirty-four suites, five of which have their own rooftop gardens boasting panoramic views of Paris. Our suite was tastefully decorated in subtle cream and grey hues and featured the kind of revolutionary in-room tablet technology that would impress even the most jaded of luxury travellers. The built in television in the bathroom made relaxing in the marble bathtub with an aperitif feel that little bit more opulent, as did the LED touch-screen panels that control the mood lighting.
We dined at The Peninsula group signature classic restaurant The Lobby, which, like the rest of the hotel, reflects the glory of the Belle Epoque era. The ‘red tuna served with herb marinated, crunchy vegetables as a niçoise salad’ was, in true Peninsula style, a fresh and well thought out take on a classic, and made for a delightful starter. For my main, in keeping with the Parisian tradition, I decided upon the beef fillet served with cream of potatoes. The meat was as beautifully rare as one would expect when feasting in France.
After our meal, we proceeded to enjoy an after-dinner drink in Le Bar Kléber, which with the original 1908 oak panelling still intact felt every bit as historic as the rest of the hotel. The champagne cocktail was suitably delicious, as was my companion’s espresso martini. Should you be so inclined, one can also sample exclusive cigars over a drink in the intimate Le Lounge Kléber, which further heightens the illusion one’s self as an early twentieth century aristocrat.
Paris’s reputation as ‘the city of love’ may seem a more than little tired and cliché at times (proposal up the Eiffel Tower anyone?), but just one night in The Peninsula would reignite a belief in French style romance for even the most sceptical of cynics.
The Peninsula Paris is old world luxury at its finest. It may have been the first foray outside of Asia for the brand, but given the hotel’s assured elegance, you’d be forgiven for assuming that The Peninsula had been a Paris institution all along.
On the 11th of each month The Peninsula Paris offers special room rates (30% off the published room rates) and in-room welcome amenities, so that everyone can treat themselves to a dream stay at the award-winning hotel.