One of the most beautiful hotels in Paris, is The Peninsula Paris. The high-end luxury hotel is part of the Peninsula 5-star luxury hotel group that dates back to 1866 with its origin in China. In fact, the Peninsula in Hong Kong is the oldest luxury hotel. Following an extensive four-year restoration of the former legendary belle epoque Hotel Majestic, and marking the debut of The Peninsula Hotels into Europe, the newest hotel in The Peninsula Hotels’ portfolio, The Peninsula Paris, opened in October 2014 on tranquil Avenue Kléber.
The building’s historical value that dates back to 1908, is undeniably interesting. In 1928, George Gershwin wrote An American in Paris while staying at the Hotel Majestic and, over the years, Pablo Picasso, James Joyce and Marcel Proust all spend time at the hotel. During the second world war the building served as headquarters for the Nazi military command in Paris and, in 1973, the United States and Vietnam signed the Paris Peace Accord in what is now Le Bar Kleber.
The Parisian luxury hotel that stretches along a huge part of Avenue Kleber, is a landmark that elucidates sophistication and glamour. And, with the Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysee in walking distance it is ideally located for a city trip to the France capital.
The Peninsula Paris’ interior and exterior were restored in full galore with beautiful details that required traditional craftsmanship. The typical Hausmann style architecture like golden details, gleaming marble flooring, high ceilings and creamy white walls, and minor modernized details, celebrate Parisian heritage, while the hotel’s themes transport you back to the Orient and early years of aviation. Moreover, the Peninsula Paris seamlessly combines past and present into an one-of-a-kind luxury hotel experience. Old world hospitality and elegance are combined with modern state-of-the-art technology. For example, all 200 rooms and suites are equipped with interactive digital tablets and everything is controlled and accessed at the touch of a button; curtains, room lighting, temperature, and room service. When your room’s phone rings, the television volume automatically lowers. There’s even a nail dryer in the dressing room and a walk-in wardrobe.
When entering the spacious lobby you are greeted by friendly bellboys wearing the classic white pillbox hats and uniforms. Focal point of the lobby is an art piece consisting of 800 hand-blown Lasvit glass leaves hanging mid-air as if a gust of wind tossed them into the space. The eye-catching installation, called Dancing Leaves, is a nod to the plane trees lining Paris’ famous boulevards.
There are multiple restaurants, all in different styles. A glamourous and gleaming corridor leads to the Cantonese fine dining restaurant Lili, which I liked most. Unfortunately I wasn’t allowed to take photos as that would disturb guests, but believe me it is an awe-inspiring interior that transports you to a high end elite Chinese establishment.
In Le Lobby, which is actually the former dining room, you can enjoy an out-of-this-world high tea. This space truly reflects the glory of the Belle Epoque era with all its golden ornaments, mirrored walls and impressive crystal chandeliers.
The Kleber Bar and Lounge is somewhat more formal and felt to me like a historic gentleman’s bar with oak panelling, gilded mouldings, soaring ceilings and giant mirrors. Here they serve cocktails, fine wines, Champagnes, spirits and international whiskies. Double-height windows lead out on to La Terrasse Kléber for drinks al fresco.
The best kept secret of the Peninsula Paris is found on the top floor: Restaurant, Bar and Rooftop Terrace L’Oiseau Blanc. This restaurant has a 180 degrees view of Paris, with a view on the Eiffel tower and panoramic views that reach as far as the Montmartre! Especially in summer it is a popular spot as you can have lunch, dinner, or snacks at the outdoor rooftop bar.
L’Oiseau Blanc restaurant, terrace and bar takes you back into time with a historical aviation themed interior. As soon as you step out of the elevator you see a classic propeller plane outside and a glass cabinet with vintage aviation accessories. Once you enter the restaurant you quickly learn that the aviation-themed interior celebrates flying aces Charles Nungesser and François Coli who attempted to cross the Atlantic in 1927. Surrounded by a breathtaking view you can indulge in traditional French dishes that are reinterpreted with contemporary flair by Chef Sidney Redel in a “bistronomique” menu.
The Peninsula Paris is definitely a luxury experience, and even if you don’t stay there, do try either their afternoon tea, drinks on the terrace, or dinner at one of their restaurants. A hotel to heart!