The historic Bristol ranks among Paris's most exclusive palace hotels with the long accolades to prove it—and it's even hit the big screen, in Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris. The public salons are stocked with old master paintings and sculptures, sumptuous Oriental carpets and tapestries, gilded chandeliers, and fine antiques, and you can expect the kind of world-class service—and Michelin star dining—befitting royalty, no matter what your status in real life.
Le Bristol makes a special effort to charm the youngsters, offering every child a stuffed bunny, Hippolyte, named for the founder, plenty of activities for kids, especially around the holidays, and two friendly resident cats. Seriously, how cute is that? Come on. Love it.
Think opulence in these spacious room—none less than 400 square feet, enormous for Paris—yet in a pleasing understated style; some with Louis XV and Louis XVI furniture and silk damask fabrics, others with a more relaxed 19th-century feel. All of the rooms—many refurbished in the last year or two—offer total luxury, plenty of light, quiet and a serene elegance.
Some upper rooms offer lovely Eiffel Tower views, so if that's important to you, be sure to request when booking.
The gorgeous marble bathrooms are also enormous, with tubs and walk-in showers, double sinks, snowy towels, and luxury bath products.
The elegant lobby is not really for lounging, but you have plenty of other spaces for that throughout the hotel's vast and beautiful downstairs.
Resembling the prow of a boat, the brilliantly daylit rooftop pool—with views over Paris all the way to Sacré Coeur and a private sunning area—is one of the best in Paris.
Expect total pampering with exclusive Swiss La Prairie products used in the eight treatment rooms of this stunning spa, featuring private garden terraces and gourmet snacks from Eric Frechon.
The spa's special packages around holidays, like Valentine's Day and Mother's or Father's Day that make fabulous gifts.
A small fitness room offers state-of-the-art equipment and the possibility of a private personal trainer or yoga class.
The Bristol has a total of four Michelin stars, the most of any palace except the George V and the award-winning Epicure is one of Paris's great gastronomic restaurants. Helmed by 3-Michelin-star chef Eric Fréchon, it has a modern-elegant atmosphere and a beautiful outdoor courtyard terrace to enjoy in warmer weather. Brasserie 114 Faubourg serves up a more relaxed bistro fare that is no less gourmet. Teatime at the Café Antonia is an elegant pleasure. A scrumptious (if pricey) à la carte breakfast is served in L'Epicure.
Holiday dining is a specialty here, especially at Christmas, New Year, and Easter when the hotel goes all out.
A melange of classic and modern, Le Bar du Bristol has a relaxed-elegant setting all the better for sampling a menu of imaginative cocktails concocted by a master barman. Themed Tuesday night parties screen films on the behind-bar mirrored screen and louder music for a livelier crowd.
A five-minute walk to the Franklin D. Roosevelt metro station servicing line no. 1, Paris's fastest central line, and the Miromesnil station, which services lines 13 (direct to the Musée Rodin) and 9 (direct to the Eiffel Tower).
Elegant dining is not a problem here, nearby Ledoyen (an 11-minute walk and where Napoléon met Josephine) is helmed by Yannick Alleno, another of Paris's great chefs, and Caviar Caspia (11-minute walk), one of Paris's best caviar restaurants, is at Place de la Madeleine.
If you feel the need to explore outside the hotel, the bar at nearby rival La Réserve (5-minute walk) is a great choice, otherwise the nearby speakeasy Blaine Bar (11-minute walk) offers a louche boudoir atmosphere and top-notch cocktails.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The question might be rephrased as, "What's not to like?" We'll begin with Le Bristol's legendary service, which lavishes guests with a true palace experience. The hotel has pretty much left no stone unturned when it comes to a top luxury experience.