It’s an exciting time for choosing a Paris hotel. While we wait for the Ritz and the Hôtel de Crillon to reopen in 2014 (not coincidentally, it’s also when Forbes Travel Guide will announce its debut Paris ratings), several star players have emerged onto the scene, including Mandarin Oriental, Paris and Shangri-La Hotel, Paris, which both opened last year, and The Peninsula Paris, set to open late this year. This summer, the list of must-visit hotels grows with the newly redesigned La Villa Maillot, the brand-new Buddha Bar Hotel and the entirely refurbished Prince de Galles.
La Villa Maillot & Spa
For its 25th anniversary, La Villa Maillot & Spa, a member of the Hotels & Preference luxury group located just west of the Arc de Triomphe, has been given new interiors by Patrick Ribes, the acclaimed designer who also worked on Spa Guerlain, the Hôtel Ermitage at Evian Resort and the Grand Hôtel in Saint-Jean-de-Luz. La Villa Maillot’s 42 rooms now boast a spectacularly modern design in a palette of black, white and fuchsia; one suite even has an original Gustav Klimt painting, setting the scene for the hotel’s greater attention to detail. The formerly outdated and chintzy hotel bar also got a new look and is now fitted with comfortable green Jackson armchairs, offering guests a cozy, chic and contemporary hangout that’s as stylish as the rest of the hotel.
Buddha-Bar Hotel Paris
Following the opening of sister hotels in Prague and Budapest, the Buddha-Bar Hotel Paris debuts this week. A cross between boutique hotel and palace, it’s located in a fancy Parisian hotel particulier (a kind of grand townhouse) and exudes that world-renowned French chicness. And while the 56-room hotel might not be everyone’s cup of tea, it is definitely unique in style — a feat in itself considering Paris has more hotel capacity than any other European city. From the lanterns hanging outside to the palette of scarlet reds, golden browns and stark blacks, the Asian influence is ubiquitous. The charming cobblestone courtyard and Le Vraymonde restaurant terrace, built into the house’s former stables, draw guests back to their Parisian location; it’s this bridge between the Far East’s hushed intimacy and Europe’s refined old-world charm that is the hotel’s forte.
Prince de Galles
Prince de Galles reopened in May after a 27-month closure, revealing a new chapter in the landmark hotel’s long-standing history. Completely revamped by Pierre-Yves Rochon and Bruno Borrione, the hotel saw an update in comfort and modernity while still showcasing its original late-1920s Art Deco allure. The spaces are generally better appointed, making it more inviting; it also has fewer rooms (115) and more suites (44), as well as a 1,776-square-foot apartment with magnificent views of the Parisian skyline punctuated by the Eiffel Tower. The most interesting aspect of the hotel is the combination of the two designers’ styles; while very different from each another, the result is surprisingly harmonious. Rochon’s more refined and classic aesthetic evokes a homey comfort in the rooms, suites, lobby and spa, while Borrione’s clear-cut avant-garde modernist flair breathes new life into the restaurant, bar and patio.
Another new hotel that has emerged onto the scene is Hôtel Marignan. Boasting an upmarket location that’s just minutes from the Champs-Élysées, the 50-room boutique hotel has a light and refreshing Scandinavian atmosphere (clean lines and crisp neutral palette), ensuring that guests are irresistibly comfortable. Perfect for the fashionistas among you, the hotel is also just off avenue Montaigne, which is dotted with Gucci, Armani and some other high-end designer boutiques.
The still relatively new Le Burgundy encompasses beautifully decorated modernist spaces that reflect a love for art (lithographs and black-and-white photos are sprinkled about the property) while keeping a discreet reminder of the hotel’s 163-year-old past in the 59 rooms and suites. Enjoying prime spot right in the heart of Paris, this hotel isn’t just about location, though — the Baudelaire bar and Baudelaire restaurant come highly recommended. Named after Charles Baudelaire, the acclaimed 17th-century French poet and former resident of the building before its days as a hotel, the bar offers hushed lighting, cozy furniture and heavy, luxurious fabrics that come together to form a homely, wintery atmosphere, while the restaurant, located under the hotel’s central glass atrium, reflects an outdoorsy, early-spring feel.
Photos courtesy of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc and Benoît Linéro