Unveiling the new Peninsula Hotel Paris | Paris, France | Last week I had the honor and pleasure to be among the first travel bloggers to preview and experience the brand new The Peninsula Hotel Paris, which I would define as a total game changer bringing an unprecedented new level of distinction the city of lights.The Peninsula Hotels makes its grand entrance into Europe with The Peninsula Paris, setting new standards in design, luxury and comfort. Doors opened last August 1st, and I was there to witness it. I stayed for one night at one of their Premier Suites. Perfectly situated at 19 Avenue Kléber, just steps from the Arc de Triomphe, The Peninsula sits in the heart of Paris within walking distance of some of the world’s most famous monuments, museums and luxury shopping districts.
The Peninsula Paris is located in a late 19th century classic Haussmanian building, which first opened as one of Paris‘s most luxurious “grands hotels” in 1908. Steeped in history, the property has been meticulously restored and discreetly modernised with the ultimate in 21st century convenience. The Peninsula houses 200 luxurious rooms, including 34 suites, which are among the most spectacular in the city. Six years in the making, some of France’s finest artisans were hand-picked to undertake this stunning restoration. From the building façade to interior elements including fine marble, rich wood panelling and gold leaf finishing, the result is the ultimate in French craftsmanship.
The lobby is quite impressive, yet very minimalistic. Soaring curved ceilings, bespoke chandeliers, magnificent drapery, marble floors and contemporary furnishings, the grand entrance provides a spectacular arrival for all guests. A bespoke hand-made Lasvit chandelier crowns The Lobby, reflecting the tree-lined streets outside and creating a luxurious sense of arrival.
The Peninsula Paris offers 45 luxuriously appointed suites, including three uniquely designed theme suites – , two ‘Historic’ suites, resplendent with period decoration, and the ultimate in grand accommodation, The Peninsula Suite. All suites command spectacular rooftop views. Inspired by Paris’ rich heritage and fashion chic, all rooms and suites are styled in soft tones of grey and cream accented with high-gloss lacquered furnishings and detailing to accentuate a sense of luxury and space. Artfully combining distinct Parisian influences with Peninsula signature functionality, rooms showcase classical craftsmanship yet with a taste of timeless and modern aesthetic. I was hosted at one of their lovely Premier Suites (100 sq m / 1075 sq ft). Premier Suites will bring an instant residential feeling to your stay in Paris. Equipped with cutting-edge features yet providing the intimacy of a Parisian pied-à-terre, Premier Suites are the best option for a flawless stay in the City of Light. I was quite impressed by the design and the high-tech features with centralized digital touch screen controls. Watch the video of my Premier Suite.
The Peninsula Paris offers six dining outlets featuring a combination of the very best of France and The Peninsula, including the signature classic Lobby, a feature of every Peninsula hotel. Luxuriously appointed at the heart of the hotel, The Lobby is a true icon of sophistication. I must say, mind they still are on Soft Opening Mode, the Food and Beverages experience was the only weakness I experiences during my stay, to be at their rooftop restaurant L’Oiseau Blanc, The Bar and The Kleber Terrace. Don’t get me wrong, they all looked spectacular, but I felt service and attitude where a bit off, which was indeed disappointing, specially expecting true signature Peninsula gourmet experiences.
L’Oiseau Blanc The Peninsula Paris’ crowning glory is the L’Oiseau Blanc restaurant, bar and terrace, located on the sixth floor of the hotel and serving up 360° views over Paris’ most iconic monuments. The restaurant showcases the very best of France, with traditional dishes revisited and reinterpreted with contemporary flair and techniques by Chef Sidney Redel in a “terroir” menu of locally sourced fare of seasonal and regional ingredients, together with an extensive list of French wines. Read my blog post, of my experience one evening for dinner. The views, mind the time of the day, are quite striking. And I must say that given the location and concept, prices were rather quite modest.
The Lobby , the heart of every Peninsula hotel around the world, the Lobby offers breakfast in the morning and all-day international dining in an exquisite setting. The original grand dining room of the grand hotel opened in 1908, soaring ceilings, meticulously restored gold-leaf panels, mouldings and paintings reflect the glory of the Belle Epoque era, while contemporary gold and glass panels, stylish furniture and live music bring a contemporary feel to the expansive space. I must say that this was the space at the property that I least enjoyed. Unlike other Peninsula Hotels I have stayed and visited in Hong Kong, Thailand and Philippines, I felt this lobby was very cold and and uninviting, specially during breakfast hours. Chef Laurent Poitevin at the helm, The Lobby’s menu offers French and international favourites, together with a selection of delectable cakes and desserts created by Chef Pâtissier Julien Alvarez. With afternoon tea part of The Peninsula Hotels’ DNA since the opening of The Peninsula Hong Kong in 1928, The Peninsula Paris continues the tradition with “L’Heure du Thé” – the much-loved Peninsula Afternoon Tea with scones, finger sandwiches and all the trimmings.
The Bar, Oak panelling, gilded mouldings, soaring ceilings and giant mirrors mark this historic bar – the scene of the signing in 1973 of the Paris Peace Accords, negotiated by Henry Kissinger and bringing the Vietnam war to an end. From negotiations to libations, and Le Bar Kleber offers an extensive collection of cocktails, fine wines, Champagnes and spirits, while double-height windows lead out on to La Terrasse Kléber for drinks al fresco. I loved this space and was intended to be my watering-hole during my stay. Unfortunately I wasn’t quite fond of the attitude of both bartenders, which were quite unfriendly, reason why my parking time was very short. Despite the fact, that for second time in the night, first at the L’Oiseau Blanc and second at The Bar, I was informed that my classic Dirty Vodka Martini was not an option.
Lili, unfortunately timing was not on my favor, so I will have to try on my next visit. The Peninsula Hotels’ long heritage of award-winning Cantonese restaurants, LiLi promises to bring a new dimension to Chinese dining in Paris. Located in the space that was once the dining room of the former grand hotel and taking as its theme the marriage of Chinese and French opera, LiLi is a dramatic setting – marble columns, original mouldings, midnight blue walls and chandeliers, a dome inspired by the sound stage of a hall in Shanghai, enormous deep blue and green tassels, stunning art works and a revolutionary 3 sq m fibre-optic hanging at the entrance. The room is bathed in light with floor-to-ceiling windows, and with direct access to La Terrasse Kléber, guests can also enjoy Chef Chi Keung Tang’s Cantonese fare al fresco.
The Kléber Terrace, Café society at its best at what is arguably Paris’ largest enclosed terrace, La Terrasse Kleber , which offers direct pedestrian access from Avenue Kléber to the Lobby, Le Bar Kléber and LiLi. The landscaped venue with its futuristic glass and steel canopy serves international and Cantonese dishes, drinks and snacks throughout the day – an ideal spot to relax, see and be seen.
Revitalise the mind, body and spirit in a five-star atmosphere, and unwind at The Peninsula Spa for a haven of peace occupying 1,800 square meters of relaxation and rejuvenation. The menu of Oriental, Holistic and European-inspired treatments transport guests to an oasis of calm where a 22-metre indoor pool, hammam-style relaxation rooms complete with dry saunas and aromatic steam showers, and lavish treatment rooms await. Two exclusive “spas within a spa” are available for a luxurious private spa experience and ideal for couples, completing your luxurious spa journey. And a great fitness center.
The building took two years to build yet four years to restore to its former glory, in a meticulous process by teams of French master craftsmen utilising traditional techniques in use for hundreds of years. Only a very small number of companies still possess these levels of experience in restoration of heritage buildings – usually small family companies dating back years, with skills passed from generation to generation.
I was very happy to see my dear Les Clefs d’Or Concierges when walking by the lobby, although I knew before hand, since prior to my visit, they helped me via email, to confirm all my restaurant bookings, which for the month of August is quite a daunting experience. Not because of availability like during Fashion Week, but because most options remain closed.
Vibrant and contemporary artworks displayed throughout the hotel reflect The Peninsula Paris’ cosmopolitan elegance and its historical site, and include works by mid-career and established artists from France and all over the world. The artworks are juxtaposed with the building’s historical elements while complementing the property’s sophisticated interior, so to create a dynamic interplay between the artworks and their surroundings.
The Peninsula Paris, is without a doubt a fabulous addition to the hotel scene of Paris, become a very strong competitor in a market with quite a few strong players. The Asian tradition and excellence in service, meets French sophistication and glamour, in perfect sync, ombining Past & Present, Heritage & Technology. I can only foresee great things in the near future for this, the brand new and first presence of Peninsula Hotels in Europe. Have I made up your mind ? As a member of VIRTUOSO Book with me and get the following VIP Amenities: Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability + American Breakfast for up to two in-room guests daily + $100 USD Food & Beverage credit, to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full) + Early check-in/late check-out subject to availability. Special Thanks to All-Business-Class Boutique Airline La Compagnie for being my official carrier of this visit to Paris. Carlos Melia Luxury Travel Curator – www.carlosmelia.com
(*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone # 917.754.5515. Also check our scheduled Small Travel Groups at Coups de Coeur. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of LGTNetwork, VIRTUOSO, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network. www.carlosmelia.com