It's stellar location a few minutes from the Jardin des Tuileries, Palais Royal, the Louvre, and world-class shopping on nearby Rue Saint-Honoré may be the best thing about this mid-priced four-star hotel. Professional service and a handsome, if dated, decor make for a comfortable stay, but some improvements in basics, like workable air-conditioning, would go a long way toward polishing its image.
Handsome wood-paneled rooms in contemporary tones exude an outmoded elegance. But beds are comfortable and there is plenty of closet space, especially in higher category rooms.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Though the hotel has central air conditioning, it has not kept up with Paris's ever more frequent heat waves. Windows do open, but street noise can be an issue.
Marble baths are elegant enough, with good water pressure, amenities, and quality bath products, but fixtures are somewhat outmoded. Toilets are separate, one old-fashioned touch we like.
The generous lobby is one of the hotel's better features, with plenty of lounge space under the stained glass verrière and elsewhere, like in the handsome paneled bar, and in front of a small fireplace.
The spacious restaurant is a pleasant spot to enjoy the hotel's liberal breakfast buffet, with plenty of hot and cold choices, and their own health-conscious menu.
From 11 am until midnight the comfortable Meliá lounge serves beverages, cocktails, wine, coffee, etc. along with a menu of tapas and quick meals that can tide you over if you're not in the mood to leave the hotel.
In this neighborhood, you'd have to walk a ways to find a breakfast of equal quality for a lower price, so it may be worth the 20 or so euros to dine in.
The lounge is a pleasant enough place for a drink with plenty of comfy sofas, banquettes, and easy chairs to enjoy an apéro before heading out or hunkering down for the evening. The tapas menu has enough small dishes to serve as a full meal.
If you feel like a classic Parisian teatime, two historic flagship tea salons (both now chains)—Angelina, renowned for its velvety chocolat chaud and sinful pastries, and the original Ladurée, a gilded jewel box on nearby rue Royale—are just minutes away. For a more contemporary experience, and some of the most outstanding pastries in Paris, Jean-Paul Hévin's chocolate boutique and tearoom (231 rue Saint-Honoré), and an outpost of superstar pâtissièr Pierre Hermé (4 rue Cambon), are also steps away.
You're about 2 minutes from the Concord metro station on one side and Madeleine on the other, serving about five lines between the two. Buses on the Rue de Rivoli take you up the Champs-Elysées. Upscale territory indeed, with the Louvre on one side, Place de la Concorde on the other and only minutes from some of Paris's best shopping on the rue Saint-Honoré. Almost across the street from the Tuileries and close to the Palais Royal gardens, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, L'Orangerie—home of Monet's Waterlilies—the Jeu de Paume photography museum, and across the river from the Musée d'Orsay, this is an art-lover's paradise, too. You've also got the elegant Place Vendôme and Opéra Garnier an easy walk away.
Some good wine bars not around the corner but within easy walking distance, include Willies Wine Bar—an expat hotspot—featuring small producer wines and good bistro fare at lunch and dinner. Verjus Bar à Vins, below its gastronomic restaurant parallel to the Palais Royal gardens on rue de Montpensier serves a small but choice selection of wine and gourmet tapas, and Ellsworth, parallel to the Palais Royal gardens, is getting rave reviews for it's Anglo-inflected French gastronomic fare.
You can go for drinks at any of the wine bars above, but for a classy cocktail, pop into Le Meurice's atmospheric Bar 228 piano bar or the legendary Hemingway Bar at the Ritz—both helmed by a famous Parisian barman. They'll set you back a bit, but it doesn't get more Parisian that this.
WHY WE LIKE IT
If location is everything to you, this hotel has a leg up. But as four-star hotels go, this one could do with some sprucing up.