The Peninsula Paris
, which opened in August, has made a huge splash in a city dominated by über-luxury hotels. Peninsula joins other Asian hoteliers, Shangri-La, Mandarin Oriental and Raffles (Royal Monceau) in entering Paris' luxury hotel scene. They all will be providing stiff competition to the classic "palace" hotels such as the Ritz and the Crillon, both of which are closed for multi-year renovations, the newly re-opened Plaza Athenee, as well as icons such as the George V, Le Bristol and Le Meurice.
The building itself is not new. In its former life, the Peninsula was known as the Hôtel Majestic, opened in 1908 and holding a position at the center of Paris’s Belle Époque and Roaring Twenties social
scenes — including playing host to the "greatest dinner party of all time" in 1922 with a guest list including luminaries such as James Joyce, Marcel Proust,
Pablo Picasso, Sergei Diaghilev and Igor Stravinsky. George Gershwin wrote An American in Paris while staying there, and it was the sight of the signing of the Paris Peace Accords ending the Vietnam War.
During the four year and nearly $1 billion restoration, experts took the best aspects of the historic building and carefully restored each element, enhancing the traditional grandeur with 21st century modernist elements many expect from the Peninsula brand.
“This building has no soul without the people,” says Nicolas Béliard, the general manager, referring to his staff of 600 (for 200 rooms)...anyone who has ever stayed at a Peninsula is familiar with their extraordinarily high standard of service, which no doubt is ever present at the Peninsula Paris.
The rooftop restaurant L'Oiseau Blanc is the IT table of the moment in Paris...with views like that, it is no surprise. If the lead-in room rate of 1000 euros/night is a bit deep for your pockets, dinner or drinks at this gorgeous rooftop restaurant would be a great way to experience the hottest hotel in town.