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4 weeks ago

Inside the Most Exclusive Hotel Suites in Paris

From absolute privacy to total decadence, and often with a personal team of staff thrown in.

By Nicola Leigh Stewart and Elite Traveler

Nothing sparkles quite like the best hotel suites in Paris, France. The City of Lights is home to 12 palace hotels (a status created for those deserving of even more than five stars), plus a collection of world-class, world-famous properties.

Parisian hospitality is the epitome of grand luxury, with historic private quarters fit for royalty and designer living spaces, not to mention lush terraces with the city’s most enviable views.

Checking in also comes with choice extras such as access to chefs of Michelin-starred restaurants and top sommeliers; secret staircases for ultimate discretion; and a personal team of staff dedicated to making Parisian dreams made true. Whether you’re looking for absolute privacy or absolute decadence, here are the suites that have it all.

[See also: Two New Paris Hotels for Your Next Jaunt to the City of Lights]

Bulgari Penthouse, Bulgari Hotel Paris

Bulgari suite paris
The Bulgari Suite is made for entertaining with a huge salon / ©Tommy Picone

Bulgari made a bold entrance onto the Parisian hotel scene when it opened its doors on the prestigious Avenue George V in 2021. While the palaces dazzle with gilded salons, Bulgari has brought sleek Italian styling to the French capital and given a stylish makeover to what is, surprisingly, a former office block.

Luminous guest rooms bring together bespoke Italian furnishings and French craftsmanship — note the milky-white glass panels behind each bathtub, expertly crafted using the Lalique method — and they are decorated with oversized prints of Bulgari’s vibrant gems. But the Bulgari Penthouse is the sparkling jewel of the crown. The two-floor space is made for entertaining, with a huge salon finely dressed with goatskin-covered walls and bespoke furnishings, a mirrored private bar for mixing up ice-cold martinis, and a dining room surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows and crowned by Barovier & Toso Venetian crystal chandeliers.

The master bedroom looks toward the Eiffel Tower, and bathrooms come with tubs carved from single blocks of rare Italian Arabescato Corchia marble. As Bulgari takes wellness seriously, there’s also a private fitness room and hammam. But perhaps most impressive of all is the lush rooftop garden, a rarity even in some of Paris’ top suites, where magnolia, scented lavender and fruit trees create a bucolic haven set against the Eiffel Tower backdrop. Back down on the ground floor away from the dizzying heights of the Paris rooftops, guests can enjoy cocktails in the rather sexy black-lacquered bar and dine on comforting dishes of lobster pasta at Niko Romito’s Il Ristorante.

From €45,000 (approx. $49,100) per night. Contact reservations@bulgarihotels.fr, +33 181 721 000, bulgarihotels.com

Suite Impériale, Ritz Paris

Suite Imperiale
Suite Impériale will make you feel like the king or queen at Versailles / ©Vincent Leroux

If waking up at the Ritz makes you feel like royalty, then waking up in the Suite Impériale will make you feel like the king or queen at Versailles. The hotel’s largest suite is also its most decadent; it’s draped in silks and velvet and decorated with period furniture and objets d’art that pay homage to the famed royal château. One of the bedrooms is even a replica of Queen Marie Antoinette’s bedchamber while the unique wood-paneled bathroom and The Imperial Salon, which pays tribute to Napoleon Bonaparte, are both listed as historical monuments.

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Other notable rooms include Suite Mansart, which has direct access to its own rooftop terrace, and Suite Coco Chanel, decorated in the iconic monochrome colors of the maison. Whichever you choose, don’t miss an evening at Espadon, the hotel’s recently reopened continental restaurant, where newly appointed chef Eugénie Béziat blends the flavors of her African childhood with classical French techniques and memories of family summers in Provence.

Round off the evening with one of Bar Hemingway’s famous martinis or a signature creation at the lively Ritz Bar, where drinks are inspired by the signs of the zodiac. The incredible spa has also been refreshed and now offers facials from cult Parisian brand Biologique Recherche and appointments with hairstylist to the stars David Mallet.

From €46,900 (approx. $51,1000) per night. Contact reservations@ritzparis.com, +33 143 163 030, ritzparis.com

L’Appartement Prince Bonaparte, Shangri-La Paris

Shangri-La Paris was originally built in 1896 as a home for Napoleon’s grand-nephew / ©VRX Studios

L’Appartement Prince Bonaparte at the Shangri-La Paris was originally built in 1896 as a home for Napoleon’s grand-nephew, Prince Roland Bonaparte. Sitting on the second floor in the hotel’s historic quarters, the suite is now a listed monument thanks to its beamed ceilings, castings, gilt work and decorative carvings. In keeping with the original period style, design details inspired by authentic motifs from Prince Roland’s era have been woven into the decor, while the bathroom showcases a late 18th-century Directoire style and has been completely finished in marble.

This is also the hotel’s largest suite, coming in at 3,390 sq ft; there’s an option to connect the suite to make a three-bedroom, 3,770-sq- ft space. There’s also a dining area for intimate dinners for up to eight guests, which can be prepared in the private kitchen by a team of serving staff. Prince Bonaparte chose the apartments facing the Avenue d’Iéna rather than the Eiffel Tower; his daughter Marie got the suite with the Iron Lady view. The other three Signature Suites — Gustave Eiffel, Chaillot and Shangri-La — all have that same view, as do 40% of the rooms and 60% of the suites.

Shangri-La Paris
L’Appartement Prince Bonaparte is the hotel’s largest suite, coming in at 3,390 sq ft / ©VRX Studios

Other than its spectacular Eiffel Tower views, the hotel is best known for the fantastic Shang Palace restaurant, the only Chinese restaurant in France to be awarded a Michelin star. The hotel also serves an afternoon tea from pastry chef Maxence Barbot, whose desserts are a real delight. Don’t skip the spa, where you’re likely to drift off to sleep thanks to what are arguably the best massages in Paris.

From €18,000 (approx. $19,600) per night. Contact reservations.slpr@shangri-la.com, +33 153 671 998, shangri-la.com

Les Grands Appartements by Karl Lagerfeld, Hôtel de Crillon

Hotel de Crillon suite
The renowned Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld oversaw the interiors / ©Geraldine Bruneel

Chanel is intertwined with the Ritz, but the spirit of Karl Lagerfeld lives on at the Hôtel de Crillon. The renowned Chanel creative director oversaw the interiors, and in 2017 the palace hotel reopened after a complete refurbishment with two Lagerfeld-designed suites, Les Grands Appartements, individually named Concorde and Eiffel. The 18th-century design has been given a contemporary twist in tonal shades of gray and, in true Karl Lagerfeld style, manages at once to be both chic and extravagant — case in point: the two-ton bathtub carved from a single block of Carrara marble that had to be lifted into the suite with a crane.

The chandeliers are from the designer’s own personal collection, and photographs dotted throughout the rooms were taken by the man himself. The two Grand Appartements can be reserved separately or booked together, with the option of also adding on the Choupette bedroom (named, of course, after Lagerfeld’s beloved Birman cat) next door to create a vast, 3,600-sq-ft, three-bedroom private apartment.

The refurbishment also saw the opening of Sense, A Rosewood Spa, the group’s signature offering, while a recent dining addition to the hotel includes Nonos & Comestibles by chef Paul Pairet, who heads up the three-Michelin-starred Ultraviolet in Shanghai. No stay at the Hôtel de Crillon is complete without indulging in the desserts of pastry chef Matthieu Carlin. The hotel’s Jardin d’Hiver is one of the most sumptuous rooms for afternoon tea, or stop by the new Butterfly Pâtisserie for a slice of Carlin’s signature ultra-creamy vanilla flan.

Les Grands Appartements Concorde from $27,400 per night; Les Grands Appartements Eiffel from $21,900 per night; Les Grands Appartments plus the adjoining Choupette Room from $52,800 per night. Contact crillon.reservations@rosewoodhotels.com, + 33 144 711 500, rosewoodhotels.com

The Parisian Apartment, Mandarin Oriental Paris

Parisian Terrace Suite
The Parisian Apartment, at 4,628-sq-ft, is one of the largest of the Parisian palaces / ©Mandarin Oriental

Guests seeking privacy often check into the Mandarin Oriental’s L’Appartement Parisien, or The Parisian Apartment, a huge, 4,628-sq-ft suite that is one of the largest of the Parisian palaces. The apartment comes with multiple entrances so high-profile celebrity guests can enter incognito and, once inside, be attended to by a priority concierge team for a truly discreet stay. The incredible suite features four bedrooms, all with en-suite bathrooms, two massive living rooms, and a well-equipped kitchen and a dining room for up to 12 guests.

The apartment can also be split in two for smaller groups, and still comes with access to the large leafy terrace, where a huge selection of plant species have been gathered from various Parisian parks. To add another layer of privacy, both rooms and terraces look over the courtyard to avoid prying eyes from neighboring apartments. Guests can enjoy a private tête-à-tête in the intimate Sur Mesure. The eatery offers a sharp contrast to the usual French fine dining experience with its contemporary all-white decor; you can also dine alfresco in the summer at eco-conscious Camélia.

From €32,000 (approx. $34,900) per night. Contact mopar-reservations@mohg.com, +33 170 987 888, mandarinoriental.com

Royal Suite, Four Seasons George V

Four Seasons suite living room
The hotel’s Royal Suites were impeccably designed by the world-renowned Pierre-Yves Rochon / ©Four Seasons

Ask anyone why the Four Seasons George V is their palace of choice, and the flawless service will surely be the answer — but the hotel restaurants’ five Michelin stars, excellent shopping-spree location and beautifully appointed rooms are also certainly part of the appeal. The hotel’s largest rooms are the Royal Suites, impeccably designed by the world-renowned Pierre-Yves Rochon.

Inspired by classic Parisian apartments, each one exudes elegance and comes dressed in creamy shades, soft pastel highlights and a smooth blend of period style and contemporary furnishing for a pied-à-terre feel — think: sleek glass coffee tables paired with French antiques and 18th-century paintings. The light-flooded salon leads out onto a pristine Parisian terrace decorated in chic monochromatic shades and overlooking the hotel’s attractive marble courtyard, known for its sublime floral installations courtesy of art director Jeff Leatham.

The marble bathroom is also gorgeous, with a superbly sized tub, its own steam room and windows opening onto the leafy exterior. However, if you want that all-important Paris view, check into The Penthouse for a panoramic vista. Other hotel highlights include the elegantly cozy Le Bar, where craft cocktails are served up in a gentleman’s club-style setting, and chef Michael Bartocetti’s wonderful pastry creations at La Galerie, served amid 19th-century artworks.

The palace is famously home to the three-Michelin-star Le Cinq, but chef Simone Zanoni’s one-Michelin-star Le George shines with its sustainability-focused (and absolutely delicious) Italian and Mediterranean cuisine. Guests can also book an experience with the exuberant chef, who will drive you out to his vegetable garden near Versailles in an electric Porsche to handpick organic produce, which you’ll then cook up together back at the kitchens of Four Seasons George V.

From €27,000 (approx. $29,400 per night). Contact reservation.paris@fourseasons.com, +33 149 527 000, fourseasons.com

Panoramic Suite, Le Bristol

The Panoramic Suite played a starring role in the Midnight in Paris movie / ©Le Bristol

Le Bristol’s most spacious signature suites, the 3,445-sq-ft Royal and Imperial, will soon reopen with a fresh new look — but with 11 signature suites to choose from, the palace hotel has plenty of other options to tempt guests. A favorite is the Panoramic Suite, which comes, as the name suggests, with a spectacular 360-degree view of the city from a private terrace. Inside, rooms are elegantly dressed in a quintessentially French style with pastel shades, Louis XV furniture, antique mirrors and plush fabrics from the likes of Loro Piana and Manuel Canovas. It’s perhaps no wonder that the suite played a starring role in the Midnight in Paris movie.

The suite also comes with its own kitchen (not all do) and dining room for hosting parties with a menu by legendary chef Eric Frechon. It also has its own private staircase for utmost discretion. Elsewhere in the hotel, the iconic palace also has a rather lovely spa, with a light-flooded pool and treatments courtesy of La Prairie and Tata Harper. And during your stay, don’t forget to look out for Socrate, Le Bristol’s resident snow-white cat who lives a princely life in the palace hotel.

If you’re not hosting an intimate in-suite soirée then you should be indulging at Epicure, Le Bristol’s three-Michelin-star restaurant, or the one-Michelin-star 114 Faubourg, both also overseen by Frechon. Afternoon tea in Cafe Antonia is not to be missed, and in summer the pretty Le Jardin Français opens its doors to guests who want to dine alfresco. Next door, L’Épicerie des Ateliers du Bristol sells gourmet goods, such as chocolate, cakes and pasta made in the hotel’s own workshops, for guests who are craving a taste of Le Bristol at home.

From $19,600 per night. Contact reservations.lebristolparis@oetkercollection.com, +33 153 434 325, oetkercollection.com

Peninsula Suite, The Peninsula Paris

Peninsula Suite bedroom
The Peninsula Suite has bulletproof windows and a heavy-duty main entrance door that renders the space soundproof /©Peninsula

Originally built by a Russian oligarch as his own mini-Versailles (although he never actually lived in it), The Peninsula Paris has lived various lives — as the grand Hotel Majestic, once frequented by Marcel Proust, Picasso and James Joyce; the first Unesco headquarters; and the site of the signing of the Paris Peace Accords — before being reborn as a Parisian palace.

The authentic and historic Haussmannian Peninsula Suite is the hotel’s largest residence and a popular choice with guests concerned about security, thanks to a host of safety-first details including its easy-to-evacuate first-floor location, bulletproof windows and a heavy-duty main entrance door that renders the space soundproof. But it’s as beautiful as it is practical, with traditional Parisian design features such as high ceilings and original moldings accessorized with chandeliers, a smooth black-lacquer grand piano and floral bouquets prepared by the in-house florist. You’ll also be appointed your own dedicated team that includes a private housekeeper, butler, sommelier and chef (who can whip up dinners in the private kitchen, which has private butler access).

Unlike other palace suites, there is no terrace — but also unlike the others, the Peninsula Suite comes equipped with a private office with a telephone and a multi-use printer if you’re here for business rather than pleasure. If you prefer a more contemporary Art Deco style — and your own rooftop garden — check into the top-floor Katara Suite, while the Historic Suite preserves the 1850s spirit of the building.

The subterranean spa is the largest palace spa in the city, with one of the longest palace pools. The spa brings together East and West with treatments based on Ayurvedic philosophy and courtesy of cult French beauty brand Biologique Recherche.

Crowning the hotel is the two-Michelin-star rooftop restaurant L’Oiseau Blanc, where glass-domed windows offer a stunning view over the Eiffel Tower, particularly when it sparkles by night. Ask for ‘the perfect table’ for the best view.

From €24,000 per night (approx. $26,300). Contact Chiara Fiocchi, reservation manager, chiarafiocchi@peninsula.com, +33 158 126 611, peninsula.com

Belle Etoile Penthouse Suite, Le Meurice

The Belle Etoile Penthouse Suite and its garden cover an impressive 6,674 sq ft / ©Le Meurice

Meaning ‘beautiful star’ in English, the Belle Etoile Penthouse Suite at Le Meurice sparkles with subtle highlights of gold and bronze. Together, the four-bedroom suite and its garden cover an impressive 6,674 sq ft, making it one of the most spacious in the city.

Designed as a tribute to Paris and a celebration of modern French craftsmanship, the suite has been luxuriously handcrafted by Parisian master artisans, with oak furnishings by heritage brand Ateliers Perrault and bespoke chandeliers from Maison Lucien Gau, as well as a custom-made staircase inspired by the branches of the Tuileries Garden trees that sit below. But it’s the magnificent marble bathroom that is the pièce de résistance, with a huge whirlpool tub sitting center stage and surrounded by three windowed walls offering views of Montmartre and Sacré-Coeur.

Le Meurice
The magnificent marble bathroom that is this suite’s pièce de résistance / ©Le Meurice

The views continue outside on the terrace, which has a unique 360-degree vista of Paris’s most famous monuments — the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Sacré-Coeur, Musée d’Orsay and Eiffel Tower can all be spotted — as well as a magical sunset view. If you choose to leave your luxurious cocoon, Le Meurice’s daily breakfast is served in a spectacular salon inspired by the Palace of Versailles; it’s also home to the two-Michelin-starred Restaurant Le Meurice Alain Ducasse. To enjoy it in all its glory, make a reservation for dinner and sample executive chef Amaury Bouhours’ sustainability-focused creative cuisine. There’s also a wonderful spa dedicated to Swiss beauty brand Valmont with its own terrace to prolong the relaxation.

From $28,000 per night. Contact Diane d’Andrea, guest experience supervisor, suites.lmp@dorchestercollection.com, +1 855 900 7009, dorchestercollection.com

Suite Lalique, Prince de Galles,  a Luxury Collection Hotel

Suite Lalique living room
Suite Lalique marked the hotel’s 90th anniversary in 2019 / ©Luxury Collection

Prince de Galles, a Luxury Collection Hotel is next door to Four Seasons George V and their histories have been closely intertwined (two brothers ran the neighboring hotels when they first opened in the 1920s.) Today, however, they could not be more different. While Four Seasons George V offers traditional Parisian elegance, Prince de Galles is an unabashed homage to the fashionable Art Deco era in which it was born.

While the hotel’s interior has undergone significant redesigns, notably in 2013, its exteriors remain firmly in that vaunted age. Its traditional facade and beautiful courtyard appear lifted from a Wes Anderson film set. Inside, it is as buzzy as any hot new spot in town. The champagne Sunday brunch ($140 per person) has become a right of passage for Parisian socialites.

For a taste of ultimate glamor, head to Suite Lalique, unveiled in 2019 to mark the hotel’s 90th anniversary. The hotel partnered with the famous glassmaker and renowned designer Patrick Hellman to transform its biggest suite into a celebration of contemporary Art Deco style.

As well as precious pieces from Lalique’s collection (including a stunning Seville chandelier designed by Marc Lalique in 1947), this one-bedroom, bi-level suite offers wonderful views of the Parisian skyline, unbroken up to Sacre-Coeur. Those views are best enjoyed from the dining room or, if the weather permits, the 1,076-sq-ft private terrace.

From €16,000 ($17,000) per night. Contact hotelprincedegalles@luxurycollection.com, +33153 237 848, marriott.com

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This article appears in the 04 Mar 2024 issue of the New Statesman, Spring 2024

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