Refinement at Le Bristol

The first Palace-rated hotel in Paris sets the bar high for luxury By: Terra Judge
The 187-room Le Bristol in Paris was designated as a Palace hotel by the French government earlier this year. // © 2011 Romeo Balancourt
The 187-room Le Bristol in Paris was designated as a Palace hotel by the French government earlier this year. // © 2011 Romeo Balancourt

The Details

Hotel Le Bristol Paris

When the French government decided that a five-star rating system was simply not enough to distinguish the country’s finest hotels, the government announced that it would award the title of “Palace” to hotels exceeding the pinnacle of luxury. Le Bristol, one of the finest properties in Paris, was the first hotel to receive the new Palace distinction.

The accolades are no surprise given the history of hotel. Le Bristol has only been owned by two families since it opened in 1925 and has been part of the Oetker Collection since 1978. The hotel is located steps away from the Elysee Presidential Palace, which means that guests may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of President Nicolas Sarkozy. Also nearby are the Champs-Elysees, Tuileries Gardens, the Louvre, Musee d’Orsay and Opera Garnier. 

Le Bristol features 187 rooms, including 85 suites. The Prestige Suites, the most spacious offerings, measure from 1,190 to 3,230 square feet and include up to four connecting rooms. Woody Allen selected the Panoramic Suite to film his latest movie, “Midnight in Paris.” From its ceiling-scraping windows, the suite offers views of the Sacre-Coeur on one side and the Eiffel Tower on the other. From most vantage points, guests can enjoy a vista of the charming miniature chimneys that adorn almost every building in the City of Light. The suite is decorated, like all rooms in the hotel, in 18th-century style, complete with oil paintings, gilded touches and marble-topped tables. The suite also offers its own private fitness area.

The hotel is not resting on its laurels but, instead, it is concentrating on a renovation. Recently completed are 45 rooms and suites, and The Spa has been enlarged, including the addition of a children’s space. Le Bristol is also creating two Signature suites: the Honeymoon suite, which will occupy the entire top floor of the hotel, and the Imperial suite.

On-site amenities include fine-dining restaurant, The Gastronomic, with three-star Michelin chef Eric Frechon, and the new 114 Faubourg restaurant, which is under the direction of chef Eric Desbordes. Guests can also opt to dine in the bar and lounge for informal breakfast, lunch and dinner. On Saturdays, teatime in the bar allows guests to enjoy afternoon tea while viewing the latest collections of some of the most famous Parisian fashion houses. A selection of 15 teas served with scones and pastries are created especially for each fashion show by pastry chef Laurent Jeannin. Guests can also dive into the enclosed, heated rooftop swimming pool or luxuriate in the almost 13,000-square-foot garden.

And, no one should forget the hotel’s mascot, Fa-raon, a snow-white cat with blue eyes and a matching collar, who affectionately roams the grounds. What says luxury more than a fluffy feline lounging on a marble staircase? 

For Thanksgiving, Le Bristol is offering a family special to highlight the holiday. The hotel is offering families a 50 percent discount on a connecting room or suite. Kids can enjoy customized welcoming packets, in-room toys, cookies, bath amenities, bathrobes and free meals (for children ages six and younger) as well as treasure hunts on the premises.

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