HOTEL REVIEW: The Peninsula Paris

Paris has been established into our psyche as one of society’s landmarks for art, style, and history. Its cultural heritages such as the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Avenue Kléber, and the whole city itself are easily recognizable even to those that haven’t seen them in person.

Should you afford yourself the luxury of visiting the City of Lights, then do it the Parisian way. Treat yourself to luxury at the veritable historical hotel that houses vintage art collections, boasts an exceptional service and equipped with state-of-the-art technology - The Peninsula Paris.

DSC_9700.jpg

History

The Peninsula Paris was built as one of Paris’ most famous “grands hotels,” which dates back to 1908. The former grand hotel lived through 30 years hosting the rich and famous, the titled and tycoons, during the “Belle Epoque” and “Années Folles” eras when Paris was at the height of its creativity and glamour.

After the wartime occupation of Paris, the former hotel was converted into UNESCO’s headquarters in 1946, then turned into the conference centre for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1958 which hosted events until 2009.

After being acquired by The Peninsula Hotels, the former hotel went under restoration for four years. The interiors were designed by The Peninsula Hotels’ in-house team and Henry Leung of Hong Kong-based Chhada Siembieda Leung Ltd. Meanwhile, the architecture was handled by Richard Martinet of Affine architecture & interior design.

The décor dating back to 1908 was reinstated in all its glory. Marble, stucco, mosaics, roof and wall tiles, wood carvings, stone work, gold leafing, paintings and other elements have been lovingly restored by some of France’s distinct family firms with generations that have worked on projects like the Louvre and the Palace of Versailles.

‘Palace’ Distinction

The Peninsula Paris prides itself on receiving the highly-acclaimed “Palace” distinction. Created in 2010, the French Tourism Development Agency, ATOUT France, awards the “Palace” status to select hotels that are deemed excellent to represent the “French way of life on the international stage.”

The awarding of the Palace distinction is also part of ATOUT France’s mission to maintain a permanent system for monitoring supply and demand in the hospitality market.

The Peninsula Paris is under the The Peninsula Hotels’ nine-strong luxury hotel chain across cities in Asia and the USA. Its properties in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Beijing, New York, Chicago, Beverly Hills, Bangkok and Manila have all accumulated awards in the long run. Meanwhile, new hotels in London, UK and Yangon, Myanmar are under development.

Location

The Peninsula Paris is nestled among the most beautiful districts of Paris - 19 Avenue Kléber. It is just steps from the famous monuments, museums, and luxury shopping districts.

Traditional Grand Peninsula Lobby

The Peninsula Paris’ Le Lobby is not just a simple gateway into the hotel. Once you enter the lobby, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into something sophisticated and elegant but welcoming.

The Avenue Kléber entrance leads to the traditional grand Peninsula Lobby with its vintage high curved ceilings, marble floors, and modern furnishings. It also has all-day dining and the celebrated Peninsula Afternoon Tea.

Meanwhile the hotel’s main entrance on Avenue des Portugais is designed for arrival by car, with direct access to the hotel’s ownunderground car park.

Guests will be welcomed by a hand-blown Lasvit chandelier featuring a cascade of 800 crystal “leaves,” supposedly an interpretation of the plane trees lining Avenue Kléber.

the peninsula paris
DSC_9594.jpg

Guestrooms and Suites

The Peninsula Paris’ hosts 200 rooms and 34 suites, with five featuring their own private rooftop gardens.

The guestrooms are among the largest in the city and have the most advanced in-room technology for guest entertainment, communications and comfort. 

Each bedroom provides an interactive his and hers touch screen tablets and voips with an additional unit on the work desk, and wall-mounted touch screen panels, situated everywhere in the room. These allow the guests to control the room features and access other hotel services.

The massive self-contained dressing room and walk-in closet includes a vanity dresser with chair, nail dryer, large electronic safe box, his and hers luggage rack, The Peninsula Hotel signature valet box service, and more. While the living area provides a comfortable sofa, magazine rack, mini-bar and coffee and tea making facilities.

The bathroom is also a true stunner with its all marble-tiling, Villeroy & Boch fixtures and Oscar de la Renta toilet and bath amenities.

Inspired by haute couture, the rooms have overall hues of soft grey and cream, Parisian architectural features and curated artworks. 

DSC_0034.jpg
DSC_9317.jpg
DSC_9828 (1).jpg
DSC_9371 (3).jpg

Theme Suites

The Peninsula Paris boasts of its three crafted theme suites, the Peninsula Suite, the Historic Suite and the Katara Suite. They range from 1,991 to 9,8881 sqft. in size and offer refinement and service blended with latest in-room technology.

The Historic Suite and the Peninsula Suite, both located on the first floor, have high ceilings and enhanced security features, ideal for high-level delegations and visits. The Historic Suite has custom-made furnishings and soft tone fabrics bathed in light. The Peninsula Suite is the hotel’s largest suite with a 10-person dining room and an office space.

The Katara suite has 2,820 sqft. rooftop and terrace-garden which offers a 360° view of the city. It is decorated with Art Deco furniture and antiques.

Restaurants

The Peninsula Paris has six standout restaurants that are open everyday, namely, Le Lobby, LiLi Cantonese restaurant, La Terrasse Kléber, Le Bar Kléber, Le Lounge Kléber and L’Oiseau Blanc rooftop restaurant, bar and terrace.

Le Lobby is the hotel’s grand dining room for international cuisine, decorated by magnificent ceilings and golden furinishings reminiscent of the Belle Epoque era.

The Peninsula Paris claims La Terrasse Kléber is Paris’ largest enclosed terrace. It serves café goers with international and Cantonese dishes, drinks, and snacks throughout the day. It is a few steps away from  Le Bar Kléber, which offers other beverage types like cocktails and spirits for the more adventurous.

LiLi is part of the Peninsula hotel’s award-winning Cantonese resaturants. It is notable not only for its cuisine, but for its grand eastern setting – with marble columns, midnight blue walls and chandeliers, lacquer-red curtains, and Shanghai-inspired dome.

Le Lounge Kléber is an intimately set lounge, designed for guests that like to have a luxuy cigar over some drinks.

The “crowning glory” of the hotel is the L’Oiseau Blanc restaurant, bar and terrace, located on the sixth floor of the hotel. It has 360° views over Paris’ Eiffel Tower, Montmarte, and the Notre Dame, complete with a retractable roof. Guests are treated to traditional French dishes and wines in chinaware created exclusively for the Peninsula.

The Peninsula Paris also has an impressive wine cellar, presided by Chief Sommelier Xavier Thuizat, composed of unique boutique wines from all over France. The hotel also has a focus on sweets, cakes, pastries and desserts created by its own pâtisserie team.

IMG_4309.jpg

Artworks

The Peninsula Paris is not only a hotel, it is an art gallery as well. Its artwork collection was curated by Sabrina Fung of Sabrina Fung Fine Arts Ltd, who also created art programmes for Peninsula hotels in Hong Kong and Shanghai, but decided to emphasize French artists for the appropriate venue.

Fung scoured Paris and the world for artworks to be displayed in the hotel. As a result, two-thirds of the art were specially commissioned for The Peninsula Paris. Most of the showcases are framed in gold leaf, original wood panelling and mouldings. Not only that, the collection went beyond art on canvas and included art forms in crystal, paper, poetry, and more.

The hotel’s art collection includes he mixed media works of Patricia Erbelding in every guestroom, bronze and aluminum sculptures by Parisian Nathalie Decoster located in the Katara, Historic and Terrace suites, Michel Alexis’ oil and gesso painting in the Kléber Gallery, and Deçan’s twin oil paintings in the Historical Suite.

One of the notable works in the hotel is the 800 crystal “dancing leaves” referencing the plane trees that line Avenue Kléber, that was hand-blown by a veteran artisan at the Lasvit crystal studio in the Czech Republic.

Another work to look out for is the giant crystal installation of a traditional Chinese opera headdress that welcomes guests into the Cantonese restaurant LiLi. Korean/New York artist Ran Hwang used 33,000 crystals into a plexiglass base to make the installation.

DSC_0226.jpg
DSC_0223 (1).jpg
DSC_0237 (1).jpg

The Peninsula Spa

The Peninsula Spa is a haven for relaxation. It offers an interior design with traditional eastern furnishings. Expect to find plants and mineral notes everywhere. Guests are also treated to facilities such as a 65 ft by 16 ft indoor pool, two Jacuzzis, eight private treatment booths (with two other suites for couples).

Once you’re in the spa, you would be welcomed to the Asian Tea Lounge. This welcome area serves a selection of rare Yemaya teas. In this area, each guest can already feel special as therapists identify their individual needs before going through the treatments.

If you're a couple and would love to enjoy a complete privacy while you indulge the ultimate spa experience, you should look out for "The Private Spa Suites". It features a double soaking bath, oversized shower, changing area with private bathroom, relaxation area and double treatment room for side-by-side treatments.

The Private Spa Suite is a haven of tranquility for a minimum of three hours, which
includes an hour of relaxation time in which to enjoy the facilities and relax followed by a two hour treatment of your choice for each person.

The Peninsula Spa is open seven days a week. The spa’s wellness area is open from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., while its reception area receives guests from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

DSC_0231.jpg
DSC_0341 (1).jpg
DSC_0329 (1).jpg
DSC_0401 (1).jpg

Event Venue

Guests will completely miss the point of staying in The Peninsula Paris if they don’t look at its history as an event venue. As mentioned earlier, the hotel was converted into UNESCO’s headquarters in 1946, then turned into International Conference Centre (Centre International de Conferences) for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1958, used to host high profile events until 2009.

The center was a witness to the signing of some historic accords. Here the Paris Peace Accords of 1991 was signed, which ended the Cambodian-Vietnamese War and the Khmer Rouge civil war. The 1973 accords which ended the Vietnam War were also signed here by governments of North Vietnam, South Vietnam, the United States, and the PRG (Provisional Revolutionary Government, representing indigenous South Vietnamese revolutionaries).

Recently, it has also been a site of negotiations on Kosovo, Ivory Coast and other international matters.

Car Fleet

The Peninsula Paris has two Rolls-Royces from very different time periods. The vintage Rolls-Royce Phantom II, dating back to 1934, has withstood history and stayed stable after several modern refurbishments. The modern Rolls-Royce, bought in 2014, enjoys a more sophisticated internal car systems. The vintage Rolls-Royce is used for special occasions and available through the hotel’s invitation only.

There are also two mini Cooper S Clubman cars that may be used by The Peninsula Paris’ guests at no charge for up to three hours, as long as they stay within the ten-kilometer radius of the hotel. The cars are stretched out versions of the iconic and classic Cooper hardtop.

The hotel also offers 10 BMW 7 Series long-wheelbase sedans that have been tailored to Peninsula’s brand of luxury. The cars have the signature livery of Peninsula green and modern systems of power, refinement, and efficiency.

The Peninsula Paris also just added an authentic 1957 Citröen 2CV to their car fleet, used by its pages for their missions in Paris.

What to do in Paris

Here are some things to include in your bucket list once you stay in the hotel.

1. Visit the amazing Eiffel Tower and enjoy an idyllic walk around the Champ de Mars to see Eiffel's breathtaking beauty at every angle.

2. Have a succulent lunch and savor the very best view of the Eiffel Tower at the 2 star Michelin restaurant - L’oiseau Blanc, The Peninsula Paris.

3. Visit Palais Garnier and travel back in time to when it all began.

4. Contemplate the breathtaking 360-degree Parisian panorama from the Montparnasse Tower.

5. Appreciate the City of Paris from the luxury limousine river boat down the Seine River.

6. Treat yourself to perfect Parisian High Tea at Le Lobby, Peninsula Paris.

7. Dine and unwind at Le Rooftop, The Peninsula Paris and admire the view on the capital’s most iconic monuments, including the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower. Le Rooftop is a haven of peace, perfect to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.

8. Visit Le Louvre and dine at one of the most beautiful Parisian secrets - Cafe Marly.

9. Explore Louis XIV’s Chateau de Versailles and enjoy leisure activities, such as cycling, walking and boating in Grand Canal.

10. Enjoy bird watching at the scenic Seine River.

11. Indulge in a relaxing spa at The Peninsula Spa, a sanctuary dedicated exclusively to well-being and refined relaxation.

12. Dine at the local restaurant Le Flamboire.

13. Have a morning swim at The Peninsula Paris' indoor swimming pool.

14. Set your heart all aflutter and shop luxury items at Avenue Montaigne, the most prestigious shopping address in Paris. 

15. Pamper yourself with bubble bath, a bottle of Champagne Brut Cuvée Peninsula, candlelight, relaxing music and white rose petals in the comfort of your own room at The Peninsula Paris. 

Conclusion

There is nothing quite indulgent than staying in one of the finest hotels where guests' comfort and satisfaction is the top priority, and highlighted with exquisite art that has passed through generations of luxury and has been preserved by the history makers of Paris. 

The Peninsula Paris is a luxury hotel with beautiful harmony of all the good things both classic and modern Paris has to offer. It has preserved history, art, and style, perfected with thoughtful service and the most advanced technology that enhance the experience of today’s travellers.

After staying in France for 2 weeks, our stay with The Peninsula Paris made an indelible mark in our hearts and elevated our taste for real and authentic experiences that epitomize the finer things in life.

Thank you, The Peninsula Paris. You are truly a happy place in the City of Lights!