After a $900 million renovation that restored the luster of this landmark building, dating from 1908, the lavishly appointed, state-of-the-art Peninsula raises the bar for luxury hotels in Paris. No detail was overlooked: from the luminous lobby to the glamorous rooftop restaurant, all of the common areas are exquisitely conceived, with touches of gold and silver accented with works by top contemporary artists.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Glittering, lavish, and very expensive, the Peninsula still lacks the intimacy of other palace hotels.
Rooms and suites—many with terraces or balconies and sweeping views of the city and the Eiffel Tower—have a restrained elegance that speaks of pure luxury, with lacquered-wood finishings, large walk-in closets, tons of natural light, and LED touch-screen controls to regulate everything from temperature to lighting. All rooms come with tea and coffee-making facilities and the service, as you'd expect in a palace, is flawless.
Views from top-floor terrace suites are as breathtaking as the prices. If you're going standard, you can still have a view and some cash left over for a blow-out dinner. Be sure to ask when booking.
Marble baths have it all: separate shower, tub and toilet, two washbasins, telephone, mood lighting, and built-in television.
Two entrances, one from the hotel's past incarnation as the historic Majestic, the other sparkling and new, open onto wide open, gorgeously luminous spaces with limited coziness--but you can lounge in La Terrasse Kléber.
At 20 m x 5 m (65 ft x 16 ft) the indoor pool is fairly large, by Paris standards, it is also well-appointed, with lounging areas and easy access to locker rooms and gender-specific steam rooms and saunas in the lavish locker rooms.
The Peninsula chain excels in its spas, and this one is a pinnacle. Paris's largest hotel spa, its eight treatment rooms, two of them double, offer every imaginable indulgence for body, face and mind, many of them Asian inspired. Its luxuriously serene atmosphere—complete with fragrant essential oils and candlelight—pretty much enforces relaxation. You absolutely must relax.
The two fitness rooms are equipped with state-of-the-art machines, plus a weekly schedule of 45-minute fitness classes held in the gym or pool.
Check out the aquagym classes held almost daily in the pool.
The Penisula's operatically beautiful LiLi, Paris's best gastro-Cantonese dining room, is a not-to-miss experience, as much for the eye-popping decor as the exquisite small dishes or sublime peking duck. On the rooftop, the luminous Le Oiseau Blanc gastronomic bistro is the place for a more casual meal with to-die-for views.
The hotel offers two fabulous bars, both with a history: the Paris Peace Accords, ending the Vietnam Wars were signed at the elegant Le Kleber bar, on the ground floor. And Les Oiseau Blanc is named after the French plane that first attempted (and alas failed) the first transatlantic flight. You'll find a perfect replica of the plane hanging outside the restaurant). Both bars offer a full gourmet bar menu.
Attention cigar lovers, no need to cadge a smoke out on your terrace, at the hidden Cigar Bar, in Le Bar Kléber, offers a range of choice cigars (to guests only) and a beautiful room in which to puff away in total peace.
Just steps from the Kléber metro stop (no. 6 train direct to Trocadéro), five minutes from the Charles de Gaule Étoile stop servicing line no. 1, 2, 6 and RER A. Truth be told, this is not the most accessible or lively neighborhood, but for some that's the whole point. Off the beaten path in an upscale quartier near the Arc de Triomphe, you can nevertheless walk to many cultural sites from the hotel, including the marvellous Musée Dapper and Musée d'Ennery, part of the Musée Guimet.
A bit of an anomaly in this neighborhood, where good food at a decent price can be hard to find, Le 116 Wine Bar (4-minute walk) is an excellent choice for a superb, gently priced Japanese-inflected lunch or dinner accompanied by a natural wine. For a more elegant meal, the nearby Pages, helmed by the celebrated Japanese chef Ryuji Teshima, has been drawing rave reviews since its opening in 2014.
This is not you neighborhood for casual cocktail bars, but, that said, there are plenty of elegant watering holes to check out should you feel the need to leave the hotel. For stellar Eiffel Tower views, the beautiful Monsieur Bleu, at the Palais de Tokyo (13-minute walk), is a stylish spot for a drink on the terrace or dinner. Le Saint James Hotel's Bar Bibleotèque (5-minute drive) is a club by day and an atmospheric bar by night. G'Bar & Lounge at the Renaissance Paris Le Parc Trocadero (12-minute walk) is Paris's only gin bar.