Hotel Rating: Unleash your inner superstar at Le Bristol in Paris
One of the most famous five-star hotels in Paris, Le Bristol was founded in 1925 by Hippolyte Jammet, a grandson of Parisian restaurateurs.
Whether or not Jammet was related to Michel and François Jammet, founders of legendary Dublin restaurant Jammet’s, is unknown, but he was clearly a man of vision. The palace was formerly the home of the Comte de Castellane and Jammet managed to transform it into one of the most glamorous hotels in the French capital. Since then it has seen a number of famous guests. American-born dancer and entertainer Josephine Baker was a regular visitor; Shortly before her death in 1975, she threw a party at the hotel for 250 of her closest friends, including Princess Grace, Sophia Loren and Mick Jagger.
New arrivals included George Clooney, Julia Roberts and David Beckham, and during Paris Fashion Week earlier this month, Le Bristol was packed with fashionistas; including actress and model Lily Collins, who thanked the hotel on Instagram (where she has 28.5 million followers) for letting her “channel her inner Eloise.”
Arrival & location
Located in the upscale 8th arrondissement, just a €41 taxi ride from Orly, Le Bristol is close enough to the Élysée Palace to be a regular haunt of France’s ruling elite, the Sciences Po alumni, who run the country . Surrounded by small private galleries where you’re likely to spot works by the likes of Picasso and Morisot almost casually hanging in the window, the hotel is also a stone’s throw from boutiques by Hermes, Lanvin, Prada and Chanel.
Returning to Le Bristol after an evening touring the wine bars of Paris, we were amazed to find a line of beautiful young people – all smoking, of course – trying to attract the attention of the bouncers. A crowd of paparazzi crowded across the street. What on earth was going on?
It turns out that Le Bristol’s purple-lit bar — Le Bristol After Dark, or BAD — has been one of the city’s hottest nightclubs since its reinvention last year by nightclub maestro Loic Berardengo, and a throwback to the golden age of partying offers for which the hotel was known in the 1920s.
Top model Cindy Bruna recently celebrated her birthday at BAD; Her guests included Kylian Mbappé, Precious Lee and Imaan Hammam. 9/10
service & style
The staff is friendly and relaxed, and a short stroll takes you to the vast courtyard garden designed by Arabella Lennox-Boyd, an oasis of biodiversity in the heart of the city, and the Francois Drouais portrait of Queen Marie-Antoinette, which can be seen in the afternoon in the Café Antonia Hangs Tea (the hotel’s entry-level experience) offers delightful pastries with a Japanese twist by pastry chef Yu Tanaka.
The spa uses products by “Green Beauty Engineers” Tata Harper, and you can let your kids play in Paris’ poshest playroom while you indulge in a “sense reset.” Professor Pineau, who decorated the yachts of Niarchos and Onassis, designed the sixth floor pool to look like a 1920s caravel. Swimmers can admire the frescoed driveway to Hotel du Cap, another Oetker Group property, while chalking their laps. 9/10
Of the 190 rooms, 100 are suites. These range from the Suite Imperiale (if you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it) to the Junior Suites, which is where we stayed. This had a super comfy bed, beautiful high thread count linens, a sitting area, and a tiny patio with just enough room for two chairs to admire the rooftop views of the city.
Traditional decor in cream and sky-blue hues is soothing, and the marble bathroom (almost the size of the bedroom) is super luxe, with a huge soaking tub and powerful walk-in shower. On the tech side, things fall down a bit, as you have to crawl onto the floor to plug in a charger next to the bed, and it’s unclear that a specific switch needs to be on to activate the outlet. So, like us, you might find that our phones weren’t charging at night like we thought they would. 8.5/10
If you’re a chow-hound who enjoys visiting Michelin-star restaurants, you can boost your score by four at Le Bristol. Chef Eric Frechon has had three stars at Epicure since 2009 and now another at Brasserie 114 Faubourg. The seven-course tasting menu with matching wines for two at Epicure costs a whopping €1,230 and may include Frechon’s signature poached Bresse farm chicken, suprème of ‘vin jaune’ broth, offal sweets, crayfish and black truffle.
A popular souvenir for departing guests is a loaf of Le Bristol’s Living Bread, made from ancient grains ground in the hotel’s own mill. You’ll find it in L’Épicerie for €8, along with a delicious selection of goodies including pralines made in Le Bristol’s own chocolate factory, some of which honor the hotel’s resident cat, Socrate, who likes to hide in the corridors plays. 9/10
The final result
Le Bristol manages to pull off the difficult feat of being as popular with the young and fashion-forward as it is with their parents and grandparents.
Much like The Lanesborough in London, if cost is not an issue it would be a memorable location for a special birthday or anniversary – and a great setting for a marriage proposal. Also, the good news for those wanting to experience Parisian nightlife is that residents are guaranteed skip-the-line access to BAD.
A 15-minute walk from the hotel at 63 rue de Monceau is the Musée Nissim de Camondo, a private mansion that once belonged to a wealthy Parisian Jewish family. Their tragic story is the subject of Edmund de Waals Letters to Camondo.
A winter offer includes B&B from €2,150 for two people. Katy was a guest at Le Bristol Paris, part of the Oetker Collection. oetkercollection.com
https://www.independent.ie/life/travel/reviews/hotel-reviews/hotel-review-channel-your-inner-superstar-at-le-bristol-in-paris-42388319.html Hotel Rating: Unleash your inner superstar at Le Bristol in Paris