Paris has no shortage of what I would call ultra-luxury hotels. Hotels that charge upwards of $1,000 per night for their most basic rooms, with suites costing well into five figures. While any hotel can impress you with fancy design and celebrity chefs, it’s the people, the employees that make the different between a regular hotel and something special.
Dorchester Collection’s Le Meurice and Hotel Plaza Athenee are considered the city’s two top luxury hotels, both continuing an over-100-year reign as the city’s best places to stay. I’ve visited Le Meurice many times and on my last Paris adventure, finally had a chance to spend some time at Hotel Plaza Athenee. As with all Dorchester Collection properties, the service, warm, personal yet unobtrusive, was the highlight of my stay.
The Hotel Plaza Athenee opened to rave reviews in 1913 as then the city’s newest and best luxury hotel. It continued to hold that reputation over the years by providing the best in accommodations and service. Fashion icon Christian Dior opened his first Paris boutique next door in 1946 and the hotel has maintained a strong connection to Dior and to the fashion world.
Foodies are always welcome, the hotel’s Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenee restaurant has three Michelin stars and is considered one of Paris’ best places to dine.
I had a chance to spend some time in one of the hotel’s most desirable accommodations, the Eiffel Suite. There are actually two Eiffel Suites at the hotel, one has a classic design, one an Art Deco style. I stayed in the Art Deco suite.
The suite itself was fantastic and had a very cool Art Deco vibe. It was a nice contrast to the typical Second Empire style you find in so many Paris luxury hotel suites. There was a large living room with a desk and office area, a large foyer, a powder room, the huge bedroom and master bath.
The design was classic yet modern with interesting artwork and art pieces. Throughout the suite the cabinetry and the finish and wood grain of the surfaces was incredible. The views were incredible too, I just wish there was a patio or balcony to enjoy it. The adjoining suite does have an outdoor space. You have a large window in the living room facing the Eiffel Tower and a second one in the bedroom. You have a perfectly framed view of Paris’ most iconic monument visable from the bed.
I traveled to Paris on Norwegian from LAX, my fourth flying experience with the international discount airline. I flew to Paris in their comfortable Premium cabin, a mix of Business Class and Premium Economy. I flew home in their Economy cabin which was a nice, though less comfortable, experience.