Over the past year, as Paris slowly rolled out its multi-step reopening, the city welcomed some of the most anticipated hotels of the last decade. From the art-deco-inspired Cheval Blanc Paris overlooking the Seine to Bulgari Paris on the glamorous Avenue George V near the Champs-Élysées, these are the spots redefining the hotel landscape in the City of Light.
Hôtel Madame Rêve
Laurent Taïeb, who dreamt up KONG restaurant and bar under the glass roof of the Samaritaine, is behind the nine-year project that converted the 19th-century Louvre Post Office into Hôtel Madame Rêve. Accessed by a discreet, almost speakeasy-like entrance, the boutique hotel features 82 rooms and suites, plus a terrace with 360-degree views across the city’s rooftops and landmark monuments. The honey marble-clad ground floor café is draped in sumptuous velvet and nods to the artistry and elegance of eras past with period-piece-style furniture reminiscent of salons that sat in the city a century or two ago.
The warm, walnut-wood-lined rooms are spread across the third floor of the square-shaped building and showcase vistas over Paris or the suspended courtyard garden, and nearly half have a terrace or balcony. Each room feels like stepping into a different apartment, with some featuring vaulted ceilings below the glass roof, in addition to original artwork and furnishings that pay tribute to the building’s past and present life as a post office. French perfumer Olivia Giacobetti (who has developed fragrances for Hermès and Diptyque) is behind the subtle, cedar-and-rose scent wafting through the dimly lit, boudoir-inspired halls.
On the same floor as the rooms, you have your own private entrance to the contemporary Japanese eatery La Plume. The sultry space, helmed by former Zuma London and Dubai chef Benjamin Six, is outfitted with plush, cognac-colored leather chairs and shows off panoramic skyline views, as well as a colorful ceiling fresco à la Chilean artist María José Benvenuto.
Bulgari Hotel Paris
Following suit with its sister properties in Milan, London, Dubai, Shanghai and Beijing, Bulgari Hotel Paris, which opened in December 2021 on the fashionable Avenue George V, is a celebration of Italian craftsmanship, from the marble and silk wallcoverings to the granite and eucalyptus woodwork.
It’s not easy to stand out in Paris’ Triangle d’Or (“Golden Triangle”), the area bordered by the well-heeled Avenue Montaigne, Avenue George V and Rue François 1er. This is the home of flagships like Louis Vuitton and palace hotels like Plaza Athénée Paris and Shangri-La Hotel Paris, after all. And while the unassuming ’70s façade blends into the other buildings on the block, Bulgari’s understated elegance shines throughout, with windows spanning two floors (a nod to the aristocratic palaces designed during the Italian Renaissance) and balcony views over Avenue George V.
The 76 rooms and suites include amenities like terraces overlooking the internal patio, butler service, and private hammams and kitchens. For one of the best views over the Eiffel Tower, book the lavish penthouse, a “garden in the sky” that spans more than 10,000 square feet across two floors that are connected by a statement-making spiral staircase and features a wraparound terrace and rooftop garden.
The two-story spa pays tribute to ancient Roman baths and is encased in natural Vicenza limestone from the Veneto region of northern Italy, while the 25-meter, semi-Olympic pool is covered in mosaics in shades of emerald and jade with glimmers of gold. The 26-table Il Ristorante – Niko Romito, meanwhile, incorporates a made-in-Italy approach with its Milan-sourced upholstery and Murano glass light fixtures, but the greenhouse-inspired restaurant that spills out to a tucked-away garden is much more discrete — fitting for the level of fine Italian fare designed by self-taught, decorated chef Niko Romito. Start with the antipasto for two before moving on to classics like spaghetti e pomodoro and the signature vegetable lasagna. The dishes pair beautifully with the many Italian organic and biodynamic wines on the menu, which range from big-name classics to gems from lesser-known wineries.
Cheval Blanc Paris
LVMH’s Cheval Blanc refers to its properties as maisons, since they’re meant to feel more like an intimate home than hotel. Since debuting in 2006, the brand has set up shop in beachy locales from St. Tropez to St. Barts, but Paris marked the first “urban haven” when the property opened its doors in fall 2021. Intended to feel like a vitrine overlooking the Seine, Cheval Blanc Paris takes over a Henri Sauvage-designed 1920s building that has been reimagined as a private apartment, complete with modernist and contemporary artwork by the likes of Vik Muniz and Sonia Delaunay.
Just a five-minute walk from the Louvre, the stone façade, which sits across from the Pont Neuf — the oldest-standing bridge on the Seine — has been restored to its original form. The interior takes on a gilded touch with a woven-metal staircase that leads from the lobby down to the Dior Spa Cheval Blanc (where you’ll also find the intimate Rossano Ferretti Salon), while the 72 rooms and suites take on a winter-garden-like feel with bay-window views, placing the river on prime display.
In addition to a bathtub stocked with scented amenities crafted by Maison Dior’s perfumer, the marble-clad shower doubles as a hammam, and in the suites, you can indulge in a selection of products from the Dior Beauty Bar.
The ground-floor eatery Limbar plays on the tradition of afternoon goûter with petite pastries and a decadent dessert trolley shaped like a tree, each “branch” displaying reinterpreted regional sweets from across France. At the seventh-floor Le Tout-Paris, the upscale brasserie and cocktail bar overlooks the city’s rooftops (thus the name) and features one of the hottest new terraces in town that offers up some of the best sunset shots over the Seine and twinkling Eiffel Tower come nightfall.
Kimpton St Honoré Paris
Boutique hotel brand Kimpton took over the former 1900s Samaritaine de Luxe department store and converted it into the art-nouveau-inspired, 149-room Kimpton St Honoré. Located near the iconic Place Vendôme in the stylish Opera district, the white- and cream-toned suites nod to lavish Parisian apartments with floor-to-ceiling windows and standing tubs stocked with made-to-measure French cosmetics line CODAGE — the same brand used in the tailor-made treatments in the subterranean spa (which also features an indoor heated pool, steam room and sauna).
Those familiar with the Kimpton brand will recognize amenities like evening social hour and morning tea and coffee service in the mezzanine library area with complimentary offerings from Parisian roaster Lomi and Kusmi Tea. The pet-friendly policy also takes on a Parisian touch with luxe dog treats in the form of all-natural macarons by Bonne et Filou, plus in-room dog beds and bowls.
This spring, the pièce de résistance, the 10th-floor, Charles Zana-designed rooftop bar and garden, Sequoia, will open and show off picture-perfect, 360-degree shots of central Paris — including close-ups of the Eiffel Tower and Opéra Garnier — which you can admire over a glass of wine, champagne or the signature mai tai. Already open, the laid-back, California-inspired Montecito Restaurant & Bar is a playful take on a traditional French brasserie with colorful ceramic plateware, craft cocktails and dishes like crunchy langoustine tostadas.