Fodor's Expert Review Hôtel de Crillon
10 Place de la Concorde, Paris, France See on Map
Grand even before a total renovation shuttered the hotel for four years, the Crillon reemerged in July 2017 as the city's preeminent palace hotel. No expense was spared to create these sumptuous gilt-edged spaces, where ancient and modern merge in utmost harmony and comfort and, best of all, service comes with a smile.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Five top designers and 150 skilled artisans were employed to restore the 18th-century mansion's original features and create elegant new details—like the exquisite ceilings of the Winter Garden and tiny gaming lounge, a new pool, and two spiffed up garden courtyards.
Though each interior in the hotel's 124 rooms and suites is unique, all combine opulent fabrics, precious woods and marble, original artwork, and antique and custom furnishings for a timeless, quintessentially sophisticated effect. Each room has its own theme, which could be, say, gardens, where you might find an art book on Le Nôtre, green velvet loveseats, fresh flowers, and other whimsical touches. Rooms come with all the amenities (tea and coffee facilites, delicacy-laden mini-bars, luxury linens) and temperature and light controls are blessedly easy to manage. But every room room is assigned its own personal butler if you should need explanations.
Two of the hotel's ten signature suites, the "Les Grands Appartments," were designed by Karl Lagerfeld, artistic director of Chanel and Paris sophisticate-at-large.
Spectacular marble baths all have heated floors, separate tubs and walk-in showers, beautiful (and bright) lighting, and luxury products by Buly 1803, a chic new all-natural brand that channels ancient Parisian apothecaries.
Separate from the reception area (in its own historic inlaid-wood panelled room), the lobby consists of a sumptuous sitting area and cozy gaming room, in front of the hotel boutique, men's grooming salon, and a shoe-care boutique, and the entrance to the spa and women's hair salon, all punctuated with colorful contemporary art. The winter garden tearoom and terrace are also on the ground floor, as well as the two restaurants and Les Ambassadeurs bar, which repeat clients will recognize as the former gastronomic restaurant.
A small but lovely pool, surrounded by sculpted copper walls resembling gilded undersea crustaceans, benefits from skylights on the hotel's upper terrace and serene lounging areas.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Small changing rooms do not communicate easily with the pool, sauna, and steam room areas so you may find yourself wandering a bit in your robe.
The lavishly serene Sense spa features a menu of "lost" plant-based remedies from French skin specialists EviDenS de Beauté and Maison Caulières.
The well-equipped guests-only gym offers a half-dozen different types of state-of-the-art fitness machines, weights, sauna, and steam room. A personal trainer is available by appointment.
Guests have a choice of the chic Brasserie d'Aumont for lunch or dinner, featuring French classics (including dishes from the original 1910 hotel menu), or the exquisite 22-seat L'Ecran gastronomic dining room, helmed by Christopher Hache, who earned two stars at the hotel's former Les Ambassadeurs restaurant before the renovation, and seems poised to earn them back again. The lovely Jardin d'Hiver and terrace are open all day for lunch, teatime, or a glass of champagne.
Set in the old historic dining room, with its dimpled putti and gilded scenery all luminously restored, the bar is really the hotel's pièce de resistance. This is where you'll want to hang out, whether a guest or not, for a cocktail or drink at the glistening bar or artfully reclined on a plush velvet sofa. DJ nights spice things up, in a sophisticated way, on weekends.
Champagne lovers will delight in the wine list's 100-plus bottles.
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, Chloé, etc. Ten minutes away in the othe direction, the capital's other 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 many more.
The Concorde metro station, serving Paris's fast central line, is just outside the front door, and at nearby Place de la Madeleine three other metro lines converge.
Set at the southern edge of the Place de la Concorde, near the American Embassy and the Tuileries gardens, you couldn't be more central. Within walking distance of two of Paris's best shopping meccas, the Golden Triangle and the rue Saint-Honoré, as well as many of the city's cultural treasures, including the Grand Palais and Petit Palais, the Louvre, L'Orangerie (home of Monet's grandest Waterlilies), as well as Place de la Madeleine, and the grands magasins (Galeries Lafayette, Printemps).
Some of Paris's great gastronomic restaurants—some in other hotels—are an easy walk away, including three-star Epicure at Le Bristol, two-star Le Gabriel at La Réserve, as well as three-star Ledoyen, Paris's oldest and arguably most romantic restaurant (Napoléon met Josephine there), to name a few (all within a 10-minute walk). If these exceed your splurge fund, three-star chef Eric Frechon of Le Bristol designed the menu at Mini Palais, at the Grand Palais, whose all-day and late-night hours and sprawling outdoor terrace make it a neighborhood favorite (10 minutes by foot).
We're not sure why you'd forsake Les Ambassadeurs for a drink, but if you must, this is ground zero for Paris's storied hotel bars, starting with Le Meurice's Bar 228 piano bar and the legendary Hemingway Bar at the Ritz—both helmed by a famous Parisian barman (5-10-minute walk). For something a bit more prosaic, head across over to the Mini Palais for its well-priced drinks, late-night hours, and all-weather terrace (10-minute walk).
WHY WE LIKE IT
We would never condone bank robbery, but it would almost be worth it—and necessary—for most mortals to indulge in a few-night's stay at this glittering hotel. But for a special occasion or blowout weekend in Paris, you're sure to get the best bang for you buck, without too much snobbery or fuss.
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