Avenue Kléber entrance to the Peninsula Paris
When traveling, there are those who use their hotels and hotel rooms as a convenience where they can drop off their luggage, take a shower and sleep. There are others, like AAC, CPA and me, who like to hang around the hotel, to enjoy our accommodation and to be well taken care of and, perhaps, to be pampered – just a little bit.
Welcome to the Peninsula Paris – one of the most luxurious and beautiful hotels it’s been our pleasure to visit. Originally opened in 1908 as the Hotel Majestic and conveniently located on the Avenue Kléber within a 5-minute walk to the Arc de Triomphe, the building was sold by the French government in 2008 for a reported $460 million; it reopened as the Peninsula Paris on August 1, 2014. The extensive rebuilding cost €338 million.
The lobby entrance to the hotel – town cars at the wait
We first stayed at the Peninsula Paris in 2015 for a too-quick 36 hours, and were dazzled by the experience. It immediately became one of our top-5 favorite hotels of all time. When AAC, CPA’s hip thing forced us to juggle our travel schedule (see my earlier entry “Hips and Ships” for details), we decided to spend Christmas in Paris.
Although I generally book all of my hotel reservations through the sensational Veronica at AmEx FHR, on this occasion the hotel was offering a deal that was too good to pass up and which, unfortunately, AmEx was unable to match: stay 2 nights and get the 3rd free. As we were staying a total of 6 nights, we ended up getting 2 nights for free. Additionally, when we booked the trip in August (sometimes it definitely pays to plan ahead), the rates at the hotel were as low as I’ve ever seen them, literally hundreds of Euros lower. Perhaps it was a flash sale, and we got lucky.
In the months leading up to our arrival, I must commend the superb concierge team, who assisted us in making dinner reservations and dealt with an assortment of requests. Because we were in Paris over Christmas week, we decided that we wanted to send our holiday cards from the hotel and, sure enough, our intrepid hotel concierges were happy to oblige. Always prompt, always cheerful, armed with lots of useful information, each of them was a joy.
A great feature of the Peninsula hotels and that they basically have 24-hour check-in; that is, you let them know what time you plan to arrive and, in most cases, your room will be waiting for you. As we flew overnight from New York to Paris, we were at the hotel before 10:00 AM and, yes, we were immediately escorted up to our room, a junior suite.
The guest rooms in this hotel are gorgeous, and I thought you might enjoy seeing where we stayed.
Our bedroom area
iPads on both sides of the bed – they did everything. We had dueling remote controls!
The living area (printer included at the desk)
We got goodies.
As we arrived on Christmas Eve, we were given these for Santa to fill.
This is our dressing room – loads of room for all our stuff.
Perhaps the pièce de résistance: our bathroom
We each had our own sink.
Excusez-moi, but here’s our Japanese toilet (with heated seat)
Perhaps now you understand why we didn’t mind spending time in our room after a day of sightseeing or museum-going. It was the perfect place to hang out and relax.
The rest of the hotel is equally gorgeous. Allow me to give you a quick tour of some of the public spaces:
Side entrance to the hotel
The grand staircase
AAC, CPA under the Christmas tree
Le Lobby, the main restaurant, where we had breakfast each morning.
AAC, CPA’s Continental Breakfast – enough to share
On Christmas morning, we were treated to a floorshow with breakfast!
The intimate Bar Kléber – great for a pre-dinner cocktail
L’Oiseau Blanc, the hotel’s rooftop gourmet restaurant, view included
The view from our table at L’Oiseau Blanc on our last night in Paris
A replica of the real L’Oiseau Blanc (The White Bird), which gave the restaurant its name
Just a final word about the hotel staff: from the front desk, to the doormen, to the maids, to all of the restaurant personnel, everyone was pitch-perfect. It’s the mark of a truly great hotel where everyone makes you feel welcome and always greets you with a smile.
There are Peninsula hotels all over the world. We’ve been extremely fortunate to visit the ones in Beverly Hills, Chicago and Paris. They are each in their own ways superior properties, but the Paris hotel is the absolute top. If you have the means to splurge for a special occasion, by all means you must stay. At the very least, drop by and take a walk through the lobby and, perhaps, have a cocktail at the Bar Kléber or afternoon tea at Le Lobby. You won’t regret it.
LODGING TIP: The Peninsula Paris
CUISINE TIP: Le Lobby
CUISINE TIP: L’Oiseau Blanc
IMBIBING TIP: Le Bar Kléber