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No matter the time of year, Paris is a-buzz. But this year, especially. With jaunts off to Europe on nearly everyone's calendar for the next few months, there are a few hotels to put on one's bucket list. One such hotel is nestled on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré—and is a veritable landmark of Parisian hospitality. Here, we go inside Le Bristol with Hotel Manager Leah Marshall to get the scoop on the hotel's very finest lodgings.
What do you consider to be the best room at the property and why?
The Paris Suite is my pick for the best room at Le Bristol Paris as it is the pinnacle of romance and refinement, just like the city whose name it proudly bears. Amongst all of Le Bristol’s impressive rooms, the Paris Suite is uniquely designed in the spirit of an elegant Parisian apartment, offering a special home away from home feel. It has an expansive sitting room adorned with Louis XV and Louise XVI-period furniture, silk drapes, and rugs, as well as a private dining room and kitchen, where triple-Michelin starred Chef Eric Frechon can come prepare a private meal. My favorite part, though, is its wraparound wrought-iron balcony which offers mesmerizing views of the Eiffel Tower and many other quintessential Paris landmarks.
How much does it cost per night?
The Paris Suite starts at 11,000 euros per night (currently approx. $11,518)
How would you describe the guests that stay at Le Bristol (new and returning) and the general atmosphere/vibe?
This season more than ever, it’s been amazing to see Paris as a premier destination, fully booked with travelers returning to the city after years of not having been back. We’ve seen an increase in American families coming for extended stays, in an effort to make up for lost time.
We have also been thrilled to welcome back several returning guests for yearly events such as Paris Fashion Week, as well as those making a return to experience timely cultural events or to see exhibitions at the Louvre Museum or Fondation Louis Vuitton. It’s always true that Paris sparkles, but especially these last few months and increasingly this summer, the city is bursting with a renewed energy that is infectious.
What is one thing about the hotel that you think first-time visitors will find the most surprising?
Something that surprises first-time guests is the familial atmosphere that is palpable from the moment you walk in and are greeted by any member of the Le Bristol team. The staff are experts at creating a welcoming environment, many of them having been with Le Bristol for over 20 years, while maintaining a quality of service that is deeply rooted in the commitment of making sure every guest’s experience is exceptional. Whether we have your favorite afternoon tea waiting for you in-room or Socrate, our in-house Sacred cat of Burma, casually saunters over during your stay to give you a warm welcome, guests feel an immediate sense of home here.
What do you think gives the hotel such a unique identity?
The building in which Le Bristol Paris operates has a rich history in Paris dating back to 1715, when following the death of Louis XVI, the court left Versailles to return to Paris and built large and luxurious mansions in what is now Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Hippolyte Jammet purchased the abandoned private mansion once belonging to Count Jules de Castellane in 1923 and transformed it into Le Bristol, where following its official opening in 1925, it has served as the choice for socialites, celebrities, fashion icons, and politicians for nearly a century. The hotel claims many firsts, as it was the first hotel to be equipped with air conditioning and room service and was the first hotel in France to be awarded ‘Palace’ status.
Due to the history as a private home, no two suites within the property are the same, both in their décor and layout. One suite that particularly encapsulates our history is the 1925 Suite, an ode to the American-born French entertainer and socialite, Josephine Baker, a much-loved habitué of Le Bristol. She is honored through her portraits decorating the walls throughout, complimented by an intimate atmosphere with a mixture of period furniture, soft colors, and rich fabrics.
What is a local attraction that you always recommend to guests?
We definitely recommend a private Cruise on the Seine River, the perfect way to discover Paris (without its traffic). The yacht is suitable for up to 6 passengers and embarks from a private dock between the Concorde square and Pont Alexandre III, reachable within a 20-minute walk or short car ride. The tour lasts approx. 1 hour and 15 minutes, and it takes place in an old Venetian Water Taxi.
What sets the Le Bristol apart from its peers in the area? What can you get only at Le Bristol versus any other 5-star hotel?
Our in-house gastronomic workshops, Les Ateliers du Bristol, which include our on-site bakery in which Chef Eric Frechon has installed a flour mill to produce fresh artisanal breads and pastries daily, a chocolate factory where the in-room welcome boxes of truffles are handmade the day of arrival, an exclusive wine cellar, and the recently added cheese aging cellar. Guests are invited to visit these workshops to see the expert culinary team in action and taste the delectable creations. The products can also be sampled in our on-property restaurants, including our beloved Jardin Français, one of the city’s best-kept secrets. Newly reopened for the Spring and Summer, this is a truly rare outdoor space for a Paris hotel, designed by world-renowned landscape designer, Lady Arabella Lennox-Boyd, who selected flora native to the Paris region so that they would be suited to local conditions. Le Bristol is also home to Paris’ only indoor rooftop pool, surrounded by glass with views overlooking the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre, and the Sacré-Coeur.
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