If ever there was a treat hotel, the Hotel de Crillon is it. A former palace commissioned by Louis XV, it overlooks the Place de la Concorde at the foot of the Champs-Elysees, a trot from Place Vendome and a hop from Le Louvre. Should you want to leave, that is.
As you enter the grand facade, you step into a quintessentially romantic vision of old world grandeur. (Note: this is not a hotel that you turn up at in your old parka.) Service is swift, sweet and attentive (the concierge, for instance, is happy to help track you down sold-out exhibition tickets), without ever feeling suffocating.
The 18th-century architecture and furnishings extend to the 147 lavish bedrooms. Each features Grand Siecle furniture, sympathetically and discretely modernised for the boutique traveller, fancy TVs – angled towards your bed at turn-down – iPod docks and free WiFi. Exquisite marble bathrooms come complete with Annick Goutal smellies and floor-to-ceiling windows opening out on to the Paris skyline – with some rooms even boasting views of the Eiffel Tower.
But lovely as the rooms are, you should really be downstairs drinking tea in the stylish enclave of the courtyard in summer, sunk in to a sofa in The Winter Garden when it’s cold, or listening to Mr Piano Man while drinking cocktails in the red velvet-lined bar. Restaurant Les Ambassadeurs has long been credited as one of the world’s finest, but under recently appointed Chef Christopher Hache, new life has been breathed. Get dressed up for a gastronomic feast of an eight-course tasting menu, then slump back to the bar to drink it all in over another cocktail (or two).
- Beautiful rooms
- Stylish surroundings
- Central location
- The place for an occasion
- Expect a hefty, but well-merited, bill
Need to Know: Hotel de Crillon
Number of rooms: 147
Check-in/check-out times: 2pm and 12noon
Room service: Yes. 24 hours
Swimming pool: No
Spa: Yes. While not as spa/wellness-orientated as one or two of the other Paris grande dames, there’s a fitness area (complete with personal trainer) and a fantastic Carita ‘Maison de Beauté’ treatment centre open Monday to Saturday.
Dogs welcome: Very. The hotel offers a ‘Dog de Crillon’ package (which is also available for cats). As well as dog-walking, sitting and grooming services, it includes everything from dog-sized beds to Crillon name tags and doggy room service.
Eating and drinking: The Crillon has two restaurants – the relaxed and contemporary L’Obe, and the gastronomic Les Ambassadeurs. Les Ambassadeurs’ menu is extensive – renowned Chef Christopher Hache has his eye on more Michelin stars – so it’s really worth going for the tasting menu in order that you can try a little of everything. From sautéed scallops with butternut and dried beef to roasted langoustine with crispy fennel and yuzu, it’s all delicious. Just don’t fill up on too many bubbles.
Near to? Hotel de Crillon overlooks the Place de la Concorde, at the foot of the Champs-Elysees, a trot from Place Vendome and Rue de Faubourg Saint Honore and its extensive shopping, and a 15 minute hop from Le Louvre and the Grand Palais. Head to fashion week favourite La Castiglione on Rue Saint Faubourg – a 10 minute walk away – if you want to venture out.
Getting there: Gare du Nord is around a 20 minute cab ride from the hotel, while the hotel is right next to Concorde metro station.