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The Peninsula Paris 5.0

16th and 17th Arrondissements (Bois de Boulogne), Paris, France

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Ultra-luxurious hotel housed in a historic, palatial 19th-century building
  • Located near the Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysees
  • Decadent interiors with gilded ceilings, chandeliers, and gold leaf detailing
  • Spacious, elegant rooms full of high-tech details and luxurious comforts
  • Large marble bathrooms with spa tubs, rainfall showers, Japanese toilets, and designer toiletries
  • Six restaurants and bars, including a rooftop venue with great views
  • Full-service spa with eight treatment rooms and a beautiful pool
  • Two fitness rooms with modern machines
  • Suites available with private rooftop gardens
  • Luxury chauffeured cars (including Rolls Royces) available for transport
  • In-room freebies include Nespresso coffee, minibar soft drinks, and long-distance phone calls
  • Free Wi-Fi

Cons

  • Rooms might be too tech-savvy for some
  • Expensive dining
  • Lobby lacks seating

Bottom Line

The 200-room Peninsula Paris, located in the 16th arrondissement near the Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysees, is one of the city's top luxury hotels and rivaled only by a handful of competitors (Shangri-La Paris and Hotel Plaza Athenee among them). It reopened in 2014 after a four-year, multi-million dollar restoration, and the historic property offers guests opulent interiors and a high level of service made possible by the 600 staff members. Several dining and drinking options include a rooftop restaurant with beautiful panoramic views over the city, a sumptuous lobby bar with outdoor terrace, and a lavish Cantonese restaurant. The hotel also has a full-service underground spa with lovely pool and two fitness rooms. Rooms, which are some of the largest in Paris, feature elegant decor in neutral tones and a bounty of high-tech details, including tablet-operated lights, temperature, and valet calls (though the controls may strike some as too complicated). 

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Scene

Luxurious hotel housed in a historic, meticulously restored building with decadent interiors

The Peninsula Paris hotel is housed in a palatial 19th-century Haussmannian building that has reopened in 2014 after a four-year, multi-million dollar renovation. Once the Hotel Majestic, the historic property attracted such renowned guests as Proust, Picasso, James Joyce, and George Gershwin (who wrote “An American in Paris” at the hotel). Its long history also involved serving as headquarters for UNESCO, housing the Nazi military command, and being host to the signing of the Paris Peace Accords. Now a 200-room luxury hotel that ranks among Paris' very best, the Peninsula attracts a well-heeled clientele who are doted upon by the 600 staff members.

Guests are greeted with an opulent experience as soon as they step into the white and gold lobby, where gleaming marble floors are complemented by sleek black front desks, high ceilings are festooned with decorative molding, and an ethereal, sculptural chandelier of 800 hand-blown crystal leaves is suspended from the ceiling, like a gossamer snow flurry dangling at the center of the glossy room. Though delivering serious wow factor, the space is a bit stark and lacks seating, causing some guests to find it imposing rather than inviting.

The lobby restaurant is a decadent space doused in gold leaf details and trimming, glass chandeliers, and soaring, intricately molded ceilings. Fresh flowers top each white tablecloth and huge windows overlook the Kleber Terrace outside, where a futuristic steel and glass canopy extends over the outdoor tables (and adds a dose of modernity to the facade). The Kleber Bar has oak wood paneling with meticulous, decorative gold leaf detailing as well as lovely damask wallpaper in beige hues and leather seating. Elsewhere, LiLi (serving Cantonese cuisine) pays tribute to Chinese opera with a dark interior full of carved wood and plush red curtains. The rooftop L’Oiseau Blanc restaurant is named after the biplane that vanished while attempting the first Paris to New York flight and features aviation-themed details such as cloud prints on plates, a restored aircraft engine, and a replica of the plane; the panoramic windows overlook Parisian rooftops and the Eiffel Tower.

Location

Located on a tree-lined avenue near the Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysees

The Peninsula Paris is located in the 16th arrondissement on the tree-lined Avenue Kleber, within walking distance to several sights and many shops and restaurants. The Arc de Triomphe is a short walk down the street and the famous Champs-Elysees, lined with restaurants, cafes, flagship stores, and boutiques, can be reached in five minutes on foot. The Avenue Montaigne, similarly lined with high-end designer shops, is a 15-minute stroll from the hotel. The Kleber metro station is right down the street. The hotel also has a fleet of luxury chauffeured cars (including two Rolls Royces) available for transport.

Rooms

Sophisticated rooms with high-tech details and sumptuous bathrooms with Japanese toilets, spa tubs, and inset TVs

The 200 elegant rooms mix classic, chic decor with the latest in high-tech gadgets and gizmos. They are among the largest in Paris, and are clad in neutral tones of grays and creams that are paired with dark lacquered wood details and furnishings. Huge leather Art Deco headboards frame plush beds decked out in sumptuous linens. Almost everything is tablet-operated (tablets are programmed in 11 languages), from heating, lighting, and blinds, to requesting room cleaning or calling the valet; it's a neat feature for some, but might strike some as overly complicated. Tablets also include hotel info, restaurant menus, and a city guide. Touch-screen wall panels allow guests to operate many features as well, including the 3D flat-screen TV with free HD movies. The iPod/iPad docking stations and dual voltage power sockets with universal adaptors are also handy. It's the little things that help elevate the rooms from luxurious to uber-luxurious: the Nespresso machines, minibars stocked with free soft drinks, phones with free long-distance calling, and vases of roses. The spacious marble bathrooms are equipped with a slew of luxurious details, including Japanese toilets, spa tubs, rainfall showers, inset TVs and radio systems, heated floors, and designer toiletries by Oscar de la Renta.

The apartment-like rooms have sitting areas, work desks with a laser printer/scanner/fax/photocopier, and large walk-in dressing rooms that include a vanity table with built-in nail dryer. The 34 luxurious suites come with additional perks such as daily breakfast, dinner at LiLi restaurant, and chauffeured car service, and five units have their own rooftop gardens. 

Features

Six restaurants and bars, full-service spa with pool, two fitness rooms, and a fleet of chauffeured luxury cars available for transport

The Peninsula Paris has several pricey dining and drinking venues, including LiLi restaurant serving Cantonese cuisine, the rooftop L’Oiseau Blanc restaurant, bar, and terrace with beautiful panoramic views over the city that serves traditional French meals, as well as the opulent Lobby restaurant and Kleber Bar. The Kleber Terrace offers outdoor seating beneath a glass and steel canopy, while the Kleber Lounge is an intimate space where guests can indulge in a drink or cigar.

The hotel has a luxurious underground full-service spa with eight treatment rooms, two whirlpools, and a relaxing, Zen-like pool with waterfall wall. Two fitness rooms, though a bit small and lacking windows, are equipped with modern machines and equipment and offer a selection of free snacks including fruit, nuts, and bottled water.

The hotel has a fleet of chauffeured BMWs, Mini Coopers, and vintage Rolls-Royces in signature “Peninsula green” for airport transfers and transport around town. Other amenities include free long-distance calls in all rooms and Wi-Fi throughout.

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Address

19 avenue Kleber, Paris, Ile-de-France 75116, France

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