All the codes of the global Buddha Bar brand converge in this 18th-century historic mansion—set in an upscale neighborhood near the Élysée Palace and the American Embassy—best described as 1920's Shanghai-meets-Louis XV. Here, the Buddhas and dragons, bold Orient-inspired colors, and lavish materials add up to a seamlessly glamorous retreat with all the luxuries of a five-star hotel—outdoor terrace, spa and fitness room, gastronomic restaurant, bar, and tearoom—and plenty of Paris chic.
YOU SHOULD KNOW This is not the liveliest area at night, but the hotel provides it's own nightlife with themed party nights and live DJs.
Walls and screens in burnished gold or lacquer and elegant parquet floors create a lavish backdrop for Art Deco-style furnishings in daring red and glossy black all gleaming under stylishly moody lighting. Rooms are spacious yet their plush opulence and warm color schemes lend a certain coziness. The two gorgeous Historic Suites on the second floor meld the mansion's original frescoed ceilings, gilding, and intricate woodwork with an Asian décor that some might find incongruous.
Some higher category rooms have balconies.
Enormous bathrooms come in shimmering deep red, gold, or black glass tiles with spacious walk-in rain showers or dragon-emblazoned tubs and all the luxury amenities. Though lighting could be brighter, many bathrooms offer windows to let in bright daylight. Heated toilets are separate.
Once voted Best Bathroom in Paris, the Grand Historic Suite's 300-sq-ft bathroom, which boasts its own fireplace, chandeliers, and sitting area, is worth the price of the room. Though you may be tempted to spend the day in the tub.
There is no formal lobby, but a warren of plush intimate rooms includes a tearoom and a bar and lounge area where you can relax any time of day or night, as well as a spacious outdoor terrace that's open year-round, thanks to heaters in a winter-wonderland setting in the colder months.
Though small for a hotel of this calibre, the spa follows a luxe Asian formula in its two treatment rooms, where you can opt for a series of "holistic" Ayurvedic massages and beauty treatments, complete with singing bowls, and afterwards relax in the jewel-like hammam.
The fitness area is compact but offers all the basic high-tech equipment you'll require and is open 24 hours, so you can be sure to have the room to yourself.
Beautiful Le Vraymonde's gastronomic Asian-fusion menu is built around the four elements, meaning you'll have meat, fish and fowl—raw and cooked—as well as plenty of vegetable-centric dishes with top-notch wine pairings.
The Buddha Bar franchise has had plenty of experience in what it takes to keep a discerning crowd happy, and you won't be disappointed at the hotel's Le Quatre bar, where you can sip a well-crafted Asian-inspired drink while rubbing elbows with Parisians in a plush, award-winning setting. Lunch and bar snacks are served here too.
For high-end shopping you've hit the jackpot: the Faubourg Saint-Honoré, and its continuation, the Rue Saint-Honoré, is one of Paris's great high-end shopping streets, jammed with dozens of top designers, including Hermès, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Goyard, and Chloé, to name a few. Ten minutes away in the other direction, the capital's legendary haute shopping area, Avenue Montaigne, George V, and the Champs-Élysées, which intersect to make up the Golden Triangle, are home to the likes of Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo, Céline, Guerlain, Gucci, Valentino, Marni, Aläia, Dior, and so many more.
A few minutes walk to the Concord metro stop (line no. 1). If you don't know Paris well, this is a great base for exploring. Set two blocks from the Madeleine on elegant Faubourg St-Honoré (the President of the Republic lives on this street), you're close to the bustling tourist areas—Ave. Haussmann, Concord, Madeleine, Champs-Élysées, Tuileries—but not in the thick of it. Plus, you're within easy walking distance of some of the city's great museums, shopping, and gardens, including the Musée d'Orsay, the Grand and Petit Palais, L'Orangerie (home of Monet's Waterlilies), the Louvre, Jeu de Paume, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, the Palais Royal gardens, and the big department stores on Blvd. Haussmann.
Some of Paris's greatest gastronomic restaurants—mostly in other hotels—are an easy walk away, including Le George, at the Four Seasons George V, La Scène, at Prince des Galles, Alain Ducasse at the Plaza Athénée, and their wonderful Art Deco bistro Le Relais Plaza with its popular Wednesday jazz nights, Epicure at Le Bristol, and Ledoyen, Paris's oldest and arguably most romantic restaurant (Napoléon met Josephine there), to name a few, all within a 5-15-minute walk. If these exceed your splurge fund, three-star chef Eric Frechon of Le Bristol designed the menu at Mini Palais, housed in the Grand Palais, whose all-day and late-night hours and outdoor terrace make it a neighborhood favorite (10 minutes by foot).
Your best bet for good cocktails in a chic atmosphere are the many nearby hotel bars: La Réserve's opulently cozy lounge, designed by interiors star Jacques Garcia, the superb Art Deco Les Heures at Hôtel Prince des Galles, and the newly opened Hôtel de Crillon's Les Ambassadeurs, hands down Paris's most gorgeous bar. But Mini Palais is your go-to place for a more reasonably priced cocktail, especially for warm nights out on the sprawling terrace, with the added benefit of staying open till 2 am (all are within a 5-15-minute walk from the hotel). Or, if you haven't had enough of the Buddha-Bar brand, chic Buddha-Bar, always a scene, a few minutes away, at 8 rue Boissy-d'Anglas).
WHY WE LIKE IT
Bold, stylish, and always ready for a party, this artful hotel raises the Buddha-Bar brand a notch, adding a smidgeon of historic elegance and a dose of serenity to appeal to more than just the fashion set.