228 rue de Rivoli, 1er, Paris, 75001, France
Since 1835, the Meurice has welcomed royalty and celebrities, from the Duchess of Windsor to Salvador Dalí—both of whom resided at the grande-dame establishment. Paris's first palace hotel continues to offer service, style, and views over the Tuileries and all of Paris in the jaw-dropping top-floor Belle Étoile Suite. A favorite of fashionistas and art buffs, its contemporary art collection, along with Philippe Starck's modern touches, work surprisingly well among its early 19th-century grandeur.
If traveling with kids, they'll be pampered with their own Meurice teddy bear, Pistache, tot-size slippers and bathrobe, and sweet treats. There's even a premium pet service that provides a VIP welcome for furry family members.
Classic rooms have an elegant Empire feel—with classic touches and antique furnishings in French and Italian brocades—that offer more intimacy than grandeur. That is unless you're opting for one of the Presidential suites—which Dalí did for 30 years—whose wood paneling, high ceilings, chandeliers, towering windows and period antiques put one in mind of Versailles (these can also be linked for a truly palatial suite). No matter what room you opt for, beds pillows are as soft as a cloud.
YOU SHOULD KNOW This is a grand-dame hotel, so expect old-world elegance not state-of-the-art contemporary design.
Spacious marble baths offer double sinks, marble tubs and separate marble shower, dreamy towels, and luxury products by Penhaligon.
The soaring lobby offers several comfy spots to dine, enjoy a drink or lounge with a computer.
Kids of all ages love writing their name in the lobby ice painting.
The modern spa includes Swiss Valmont beauty treatments, many exclusive to the hotel, Thermes Marins de St-Malo body treatments, and By Terry makeovers.
A small fitness room offers all the latest machines and is open to guests from 5 a.m. until midnight.
An extravagant mix of ancient and modern, the two-star Michelin restaurant, signed by Alain Ducasse and implemented by executive chef Jocelyn Herland, serves gastronomic menus in one of the most beautiful grand siècle settings in the city. A more contemporary fare, also designed by Ducasse, is served at the lobby restaurant Le Dalí.
Don't skimp on the pastries, in-house pastry chef Cédric Grolet was named Best Pastry Chef France 2017, his second year in a row.
Helmed by head barman William Oliveri for the last 40 years, Bar 228 is a Paris institution. Dark and candlelit under muraled walls and soaring ceilings with piano music wafting in from the lobby, you'll feel every bit as pampered as the bar's very first guest, King Alfonso VIII of Spain.
About 3 minutes from Paris's central line no. 1 (Tuileries, Place de la Concorde) and all the metros that converge at Place de la Madeleine.
You will not lack for restaurants here, Daniel Rose's Spring, is about a 10-minute walk away, and Ellsworth, on the rue de Richelieu, is a great new hotspot. Or you can dine at Verjus (9-minute walk), same chef, a little more upscale.
If you'd like to do a compare-contrast of great hotel bars, you might check out the intimate Hemingway Bar at the Ritz (5-minute walk) at Place Vendôme. But if you'd like to spend a bit less than 30 euros a drink, head over to Ballroom du Beef Club (10-minute drive) speakeasy near Les Halles.
WHY WE LIKE IT
As Paris's first palace hotel, the Meurice is a Paris institution, with all the top-notch services, luxury amenities and prestige dining that affords. Despite its attempts at an update, an Old World feeling persists, which, in these days of constant upheaval, is a comfort.
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