Occupying the former mansion of Prince Roland Bonaparte, Napoleon Bonaparte's grandnephew, the Shangri-La Hotel Paris has the only luxury accommodations facing the Eiffel Tower, and a quarter of the rooms have a balcony or terrace with eat-your-heart-out views.
In his lifetime, flora-obsessed Roland Bonaparte created Europe's largest herbier. And at the new Botanist Bar, you can sip a potent cocktail crafted with interesting plants and herbs, such as Sichuan peppers, tonka beans, even pine cones.
Fans of Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris" will recognize Le Bristol, which served as one of its sets. With exquisite dining by chef Eric Frechon and a teak-lined pool resembling a yacht floating above the Paris rooftops, it's easy to see why soccer star David Beckham shacked up here when he played a season for Paris Saint-Germain.
Next in line to nab the palace title surely is the Ritz, which made international headlines when it reopened last year after a no-holds-barred renovation.
Romantics: Arguably, any place in Paris is saturated in romance, but in addition to the palace hotels, there are a few standouts. The Pavillon de la Reine is housed inside a 17th-century hotel particulier (nobleman's mansion) on the prettiest square in Paris: the Place des Vosges in the Marais. From under the arcades, duck inside the leafy courtyard to find this discreet four-star address.
Between the Champs-Elysees and the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore, the Hotel Daniel is a showcase of 18th-century French Orientalist style; think chinoiserie-inspired wallpaper and exotic toile de Jouy.
With its ancient timber beams, Versailles parquet floors, a monumental fireplace and a jazz piano bar, Hotel d'Aubusson has an unbeatable location in the Saint Germain-des-Pres district.
Dressed to the nines in Carrara marble and hand-painted walls, the Nolinski Paris opened in July 2016 on the Avenue de l'Opera. The rooms are so stunning - is that an armoire imagined as a travel trunk in lacquered wood? - that you'll pine to take a piece home with you. Luckily, you soon can; a catalogue will highlight custom decor - such as cubist-style mirrors by Cassimidy - available to order. Great food can be found at the hotel's Brasserie Rejane, and the subterranean spa features treatments by La Colline skin care.
In the seventh arrondissement, Le Cinq Codet was conceived by Jean-Philippe Nuel, one of France's most in-demand hotel designers. The custom decor is striking; the lobby desks, for example, look like Rodin's blocks of marble, in homage to the nearby Rodin museum. The duplex suites are decorated in oak paneling, while the Dome suite has a terrace overlooking the gold Dome des Invalides. There's also an open-air Jacuzzi on the patio in the spa.
Trendsetters: In Paris, you'll find thrilling new hospitality concepts. Case in point: MOB Hotel, Of the People, founded by philosopher-entrepreneur Cyril Aouizerate. He has teamed up with Steve Case, longtime friend Starck and business magnate Michel Reybier on what he calls a new "movement" - "not a hotel chain."
Leave it to Aouizerate to pinpoint the cool, emerging neighborhoods, and Saint-Ouen, a northern suburb which is home to the famous Marche aux Puces antiques market, is seeing a renaissance. Here, inside a red brick building that was former a telecom facility, MOB opened in March. Film screenings and cultural events are hosted, neighbors cultivate the vegetable garden, and a rotating roster of start-ups are allowed to use workspace free. There's an organic restaurant, an expansive outdoor terrace and pop-up shops to showcase the work of young creatives. A true innovation is the "Air Mob Lounge" where guests can nap, shower, or make international calls in the Skype phone booth - all before check-in. In the rooms, fun, playful touches abound: air mattresses for additional guests, teepees, smartphones for guests' personal use during their stay, and shadow-puppet theaters behind the headboards. Future locations include Washington, D.C.; Lyon, France; and Los Angeles.
Also coming soon: Yooma, a new "urban lodge" concept decorated by French designer Ora-ïto in collaboration with artist Daniel Buren, who sculpted the facade - his biggest permanent work in Paris after the striped columns in the Palais Royal courtyard. Situated in the 15th arrondissement next to the Seine and Le Cordon Bleu's new cooking-school campus, Yooma aims to create a "lifestyle ecosystem" and bring together visitors and locals. Other features: a rooftop garden, a lobby robot to check guests in, artists in residence, a cooking school and rooms accommodating up to six guests.
Fringers: For a nautical experience, check into Off Paris Seine, the city's first floating hotel. This custom-built barge - complete with a trendy lounge and a little pool - is docked near the Gare de l'Austerlitz.
Love art? In the heart of the city, the new Drawing Hotel was founded by Carine Tissot, who heads the contemporary art fair DRAWING NOW PARIS. Six artists were commissioned to decorate the corridors on the hotel's five floors. Hotel perks include an art concierge and a private art center called the Drawing Lab.
For amorous couples looking to take it up a notch, check into the "erotic suite" at the 9Hotel Montparnasse. In a convivial neighborhood in the 14th arrondissement, the 43-room hotel recently opened a stand-alone wood cabin in its own private garden. This cedar-lined nest comes with a sensorial shower, a super-comfy bed, and bespoke furniture. (The bedside tables are repurposed tree trunks.) Granted, La Cabane is also perfect for solitude-seekers, but with the "Your Lovebox" amenity, full of sensual accessories, we can see why the hotel has marketed it as a suite for playing out your "Fifty Shades" fantasies.
Calling all foodies. Fauchon, the famous gourmet food emporium on the Place de la Madeleine, will be opening an eponymous hotel in 2018. Let's hope their pretty éclairs are part of the turndown service.
Source: The Washington Post.