The many bars and nightclubs in the neighborhood can make for noise, especially on the weekends
The 57-room boutique Hotel Lancaster is a gem, a very expensive, finely cut and cared for gem, that envelops guests in an atmosphere of intimacy and privilege. Marlene Dietrich lived here in the 1930s, and the Marlene Dietrich Suite is available for those who want to vacation in the movie star’s stilettos. Built in 1889, the Lancaster is close to the Champs Elysee but hidden away, a discreet, elegant escape from the 21st-century tech and neon chaos that now permeates the famous avenue.
Good art, antique furniture, Baccarat chandeliers, and a Michelin-starred restaurant
The Hotel Lancaster is ultra-civilized, offering modern comfort in an intimate, luxurious, exquisitely tasteful environment decorated with marble, Louis XV and XVI-era furnishings, beautifully curated works of art, 18th-century clocks, and Baccarat chandeliers. Many of the paintings are by Russian artist Boris Pastoukhoff, a former resident who paid his bills with artwork. Entering guests step back in time into the marble foyer with high-backed benches and former gaslights lighting the way. But the hotel's vibe is visible from outside; each window has a crisp striped awning and wrought-iron juliet balcony that sends the message that something interesting (and rich) is happening inside. The hotel bar is elegant, done in blues and silvery grays, flatteringly lit, with clusters of comfortable seating and Art Deco, stained-glass skylights. La Table du Lancaster, the hotel's one-star Michelin restaurant, is sophisticated and offers a creative, seasonal menu, which diners can consume under the gaze of the geishas painted on the walls, or, during warmer months, in the courtyard/botanical garden, surrounded by plants and flowers from five continents. Even the scarlet elevator and the hallways to the guestrooms are sexy and mysterious, with a single blooming red rose in a bud vase outside each guestroom door.
Just off the Champs Elysee but hidden away, like a secret
The Hotel Lancaster is located in the fashionable heart of Paris, between the Champs Elysees, Avenue George V, and the Faubourg St. Honore. Translation: Luxury shoppers will be in heaven here, as will guests with sightseeing in mind. The Lancaster is within walking distance of the Arc de Triomphe and the Grand Palais, and is about a five-miute walk to the Georges V metro station (the M1 line), which cuts east to west across the city, and includes the stop for the Palais Royal, the Louvre, and the stops for the Marais (Hotel de Ville and St. Paul). The hotel sits on a small side street that is quiet, but on weekend nights, the area can get a little noisy from the bar and nightclub crowd.
Parquet floors, marble fireplaces, antique furniture, and premium cable
Rooms, including 14 suites, at the Hotel Lancaster are glamorous and have everything from video game consoles to hypo-allergenic bedding and high-end Clarins toiletries. The parquet floors, marble fireplaces, antique dressers and wardrobes, French doors, and roses outside guestroom doors add to the feeling of stepping back in time to a day when Marlene Dietrich lived there. (Her former suite can be rented, and features a grand piano.) Superior rooms have full bar closets, and the attention to detail is so thorough that the rosettes on the inside of the juliet balconies are painted gold.
Michelin-starred dining, elegant meeting rooms, fitness center, courtyard
The Hotel Lancaster's fine-dining restaurant, La Table du Lancaster, overlooks the garden, and in the summer offers outdoor seating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The menu is seasonal and creative, drawing on the origins of the food as well as classic French cuisine. At lunch, the restaurant offers a prix fixe menu, in addition to a la carte options. The hotel's small top-floor fitness center has three machines, weights, and a sauna, but it's most notable for its views all the way to Sacre Coeur. The meeting rooms are as elegant as the rest of the hotel, with chandelier lighting, antique furnishings, walls hung with art, parquet floors, and candelabras.