Sandwiched between the designer boutiques on the Rue Saint-Honore, just a stone’s throw from the Tuileries Gardens, the new Mandarin Oriental Paris, couldn’t be more perfectly positioned. Formerly home to the Palais de Justice, the original 1930 Art Deco façade now gives way to a chic interior remodelled around a vast central courtyard. Bursting with leafy trees and white flowering plants that segue into an eight-storey vertical garden, it’s so peaceful you may well forget you’re in the heart of the premier arrondissement.
The look at the Mandarin Oriental Paris is sleek but not shouty: think luxe materials such as velvet, crystal and marble in a relaxed palette of grey, plum and ecru. Arty details include illustrations by Thierry Mugler designer-turned-photographer Ali Mahdavi and abstract interpretations of Man Ray’s work – a nod to the area’s fashion credentials. Rooms are on the spacious side and kitted out with the latest Bang & Olufsen technology as well as exclusive Diptyque beauty products – a real treat, as this is the first time the French fragrance house has collaborated with a hotel. If you’re after more pampering, there’s a stunning subterranean spa where you’ll find a gym and pool, and seven private treatment cabanas.
In the evening, the hotel’s shimmering Bar 8 – increasingly one of the places to see and be seen in Paris – comes into its own. Here you can settle back with an aperitivo or two before choosing between the two restaurants, both of which are presided over by judo master and head chef Thierry Marx (the Gaelic Heston Blumenthal). In Sur Mesure, an all-cream palette and curving walls draped in overlapping layers of fabric provide a comfortable cocoon in which to experience Marx’s ‘techno-emotional’ cuisine. (It seats only 44, so it’s vital book ahead.) Or, if you prefer a more casual bite, there’s Camelia, where Marx has put together a modern bistro-style menu. You can prop yourself up at the live cooking counter to witness the chefs in action, or reserve the outdoor ‘birdcage’, a secluded, elevated circular booth that’s ideal for dining a deux.
- The location is unbeatable
- The quiet courtyard is a rare find in a city hotel
- The fabulous food
- The very serious spa
- The unrestrained luxury of it all
- It’s modern-luxe rather than classic Parisian grandeur
- You’ll pile on calories just looking at the cake counter
- You have to pay for WiFi
Need to Know: Mandarin Oriental Paris
Number of rooms: 99 rooms; 39 suites.
Check-in/check-out times: 3pm and 12noon
Room service: Yes. 24 hours
Swimming pool: Yes. 15m with a wall of cascading water at one end.
Spa: Yes. Recommended is the signature Oriental Essence massage – 80 minutes of bliss that’s guaranteed to revive even the weariest traveller.
Dogs welcome: Yes. Apart from in the spa and Sur Mesure restaurant.
Eating and drinking: The chic Bar 8 and two restaurants: the haute-cuisine Sur Mesure and the bistro-style Camelia.
Near to? Gucci, Colette, Miu Miu and Jimmy Choo are just a few of the names that occupy the same street, while Place Vendome with its world-renowned jewellers is round the corner. The Louvre, Tuilleries Gardens and the Seine are also moments away.
Getting there? A taxi takes 15 minutes from Gare du Nord or 45 minutes from either Roissy Charles de Gaulle or Orly airports. The nearest Metro stations are Tuileries or Concorde.