A few steps away away from the Iconic Arc de Triomphe, Chinese Foo Dogs guard the entrance to Paris' newest 5 Star accommodation, The Hotel Peninsula Paris. The 19th century building originally opened its doors as the Grand Hotel in 1908. Even then, it was considered one of the most luxurious accommodations in the city. It hosted many famous figures including Pablo Picasso and Marcel Proust, and was home to many historically important events, such as the founding of the League of Nations (a predecessor to the UN). After several decades, the hotel fell on hard times, it changed ownership and the once magnificent property became an ill maintained government conference center.
In 2007, the building was purchased by a Qatar based property group, Barwa Real Estate, and Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels, Ltd. Together, they spent nearly $1 billion dollars funding a six year renovation to restore the building's prestige, reopening it as the Peninsula Group's first European property.
No expense was spared during the renovations. Over six years, nearly 3,000 workers were involved including numerous restoration and art specialists. The beautiful lobby staircase was created by Schwartz & Meurer, who constructed the Eiffel Tower, the interior gilding was done by the same family owned company who worked on the Statue of Liberty, and all of the roof tiles were hand fashioned by the city's most talented craftsmen. Upon completion, the per room cost came in a staggering $4 million.
Inside the Peninsula, you'll find delicate crystal leaves decorating the lobby ceiling, six restaurants (including one on the rooftop with panoramic views of the Eiffel Tower), a luxurious spa with an indoor pool, and 200 stunning rooms. Each room allows the guest free phone calls anywhere in the world and is outfitted with the latest technologies (a hallmark of the brand, you can read more about this here ) , including a printer, coffee machine, a nail polish dryer and an iPad centralizing all functions from dimming lights to ordering breakfast.
Another hallmark of the brand are their motor vehicles, the Peninsula Paris offers a fleet of BMWs, Mini-Coopers, and Rolls Royces to transport guests around town during their stay. Every aspect of the hotel is created with the guest experience in mind. There are 600 staff on hand, including masseuses and cigar connoisseurs, to cater to the whims of each and every guest. The Peninsula Academy includes several customizable courses in arts, language, and culinary topics to create a unique Parisian experience for every guest.
Being one of the mostly highly anticipated hotel openings this decade, the expectations I had were quite high. I'm happy to report that my expectations were exceeded across the board, the hotel was more beautiful than I could ever have imagined in addition to being very functional, the location couldn't have been better and the staff were friendly and attentive. Every minute of my stay at the Peninsula Paris was truly luxurious, I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Thank you to the Peninsula Paris for an incredible stay, I look forward to visiting again soon! For booking information please visit their site
Photos by Alina Kuznetsova