When we looked at Paris hotels early last year, we said that no other city has a luxury segment like the City of Light, with its string of Palace (and Palace-adjacent) hotels. That same summer, after four years of renovations, Hotel Ritz Paris reopened its doors, ready to reclaim its Palace distinction with as many suites as rooms (71 of each) by the hand of Thierry W Despont.
This year will see the opening of two more grandes dames, completing a years-long cycle of new arrivals and rebirths that has resulted in a dizzying array of options when your nightly budget stretches to four figures and up. And more is to come, but, luckily, there is movement outside the ultra-high-end segment as well. We take a look at a selection of new and upcoming hotels for the French capital.
Maison Albar Hotel Paris Celine
A new hotel and a new brand, Maison Albar Hotel Paris Céline arrived in the first few months of this year on Rue du Pont Neuf, east of the Louvre and a short stroll from the Seine and the western tip of Ile de la Cité.
Inside the 1866 townhouse you will find 60 rooms and suites in Art Deco style by Alexandre Danan, as well as Odette Restaurant and a spa with indoor pool. Maison Albar intends to open 100 hotels in Europe and Asia by 2025-2030, with each of those having no more than 100 rooms.
Hotel de Crillon
About a year after Hotel Ritz, having been closed for a similar four-year period, the Hotel de Crillon returned to Place de la Concorde. In a building dating back to 1758, first transformed into a hotel in 1909, the Crillon now offers 78 rooms, 36 suites, and 10 signature suites.
Signature suites include two Grands Appartements designed by Karl Lagerfeld; elsewhere, there is a spa with pool and fitness centre, two restaurants and a lounge, as well as bar Les Ambassadeurs inside what once was one of the main rooms of the Duc de Crillon’s private residence.
The opening of this grande dame also marked the arrival of Rosewood Hotels in Paris, joining the big-name brands – from Peninsula to Raffles and Mandarin Oriental to Shangri-La – that have found their way to the city.
Hotel Barriere le Fouquet
Meanwhile, Hotel Barrière le Fouquet’s unveiled a renovation of its accommodation and public spaces this summer. There are 81 rooms and suites, and Fouquet’s restaurant on the corner of the Champs-Elysées and Avenue George V.
Down the street, Four Seasons George V has also been refreshing its rooms and suites (among other things, there are two new contemporary Royal Suites). Its spa and pool remain closed for major works until 2018, but as of the beginning of this year the hotel has no less than five Michelin stars for its three restaurants.
Citizen M Paris La Défense
Following its Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport hotel, citizenM has tripled its presence in Paris. The Citizen M Paris La Défense – in the city’s business district – has 175 rooms with the familiar design of the Dutch brand, along with Vitra furniture-filled public spaces. You can read a review here.
Another, larger option at 338 rooms has arrived at Gare de Lyon, and a city-centre hotel (80 rooms) is still in the works – and as you can read here, that will not be all. Speaking of airport options, capsule brand Yotel has opened an 80-cabin hotel airside at Charles de Gaulle.
The Hoxton Paris
Still with that brand-new-hotel-smell is The Hoxton Paris, now open in the city’s 2nd arrondissement in a 16th-century building that had been vacant for a decade. There are 172 rooms, along with Rivié restaurant, Jacques’ Bar, courtyard and winter garden, all done in the brand’s signature relaxed style.
We mentioned The Hoxton Southwark and Williamsburg as upcoming properties in our roundup of London hotels, and now we can add Los Angeles and Chicago to that list.
Hotel Astor Saint-Honore
Before the year is out, Hilton will introduce its Curio by Hilton collection to Paris with the reopening of Hotel Astor Saint-Honoré, following a refurbishment. Built in 1907 by John Jacob Astor – who would go on to construct the Astoria hotel in New York, which became the famous Waldorf-Astoria – the hotel will have 128 rooms and suites.
Over in the 14th arrondissement, a row of townhouses is being converted into another Curio hotel: Niepce Paris, a 52-room hotel named after Joseph Nicephore Niepce, a French inventor and pioneer in photography.
On the city’s Left Bank, the last major grande dame renovation will come to an end at the Lutetia Paris this year. Opening as part of The Set Hotels (joining London’s Café Royal and Amsterdam’s Conservatorium), it will have 184 rooms and suites, Lutetia Brasserie restaurant, jazz bar, and Akasha spa with swimming pool.
On a completely different scale will be the arrival of Hotel Grands Boulevards, the third boutique hotel of Experimental Group and sister property to Grand Pigalle Hotel and London’s Henrietta Hotel.
Early next year, luxury grocer Fauchon will branch out into the hotel world at its original home of Place de la Madeleine. Hotel Fauchon will have 54 rooms and suites, as well as a Café Fauchon with 100-seat terrace. As always, this is the beginning of a multi-country presence for Hotel Fauchon, with 20 properties planned by 2030.
Having opened Nolinski Paris in summer 2016, Evok Hotels Collection is planning to add another property in the 16th arrondissement in April next year: Brach Paris. Designed by Philippe Starck, it will have 59 rooms and suites, and offer a ‘pioneering philosophy of life’, along with a sport and wellness club with two swimming pools and a rooftop garden.
You can watch a moody, black-and-white video of the construction site here. The group isn’t stopping there – another property will follow in 2019, this time with 44 rooms in the Marais quarter.
Following a long legal battle, department store La Samaritaine is being transformed by Japanese architects Sejima and Nishizawo into a mixed-use complex that will include a 72-room Cheval Blanc hotel, the luxury hotel brand of LVMH, with opening sometime between now and the end of the decade.
Skipping ahead to the year 2020, that’s when Kimpton Hotels – part of IHG – will open a Paris property with 149 rooms and suites. Finally, there are of course the three skyscraper projects for Paris to look forward to, each with planned hotel components: Hermitage Plaza, Tour Triangle, and Tours Duo.
Paul J DeVries