Bold and beautiful, the lavish spectacle that is Le Hotel de Crillon effortlessly manages to radiate grandeur. More museum than hotel, its 18th-century origins are combined with 21st-century touches throughout its walls. Historically, it’s a must for members of the traveller glitterati.
Legend has it that Marie Antionette learned to play the piano here back when it was a family home. Whether true or not, it is certain that she and many of her acquaintances lost their heads directly outside the hotel door. Since then, Crillon has been a favourite retreat for stars such as Diaghilev, Charlie Chaplin and Leonard Bernstein.
Past the landmark façade, the hotel’s Corinthian colonnade and Coustou sculptures give way to a fashion fantasy. Originally commissioned by King Louis XV, the 18th-century former residence of the Duke de Crillon has for more than a century housed a fine mix of antiques, including the beautifully restored woodwork and objets d’art. Forty different kinds of marble and minerals play a large part in the decor, and new additions include La Cave, which holds the hotel’s impressive collection of fine wines; L’Etincelle, an exclusive gentleman’s club where rare cigars can be enjoyed; as well as Terrasse Le Guanahani, a Caribbean-inspired gourmet tour-de-force of pastries and cocktails from the chef Matthieu Carlin.
When it comes to the rooms, Rosewood chic runs throughout most of the hotels 124 rooms and 36 suites. Standards are decorated in muted tones and offer very large, very comfortable beds draped in Italian linens, and all the little luxuries you could hope for – USB charging points by the bed, butlers assigned to every single room despite category. Nespresso machines, ready-mixed cocktails and deliciously fragrant Buly 1803 soaps.
Those looking for a more genuine city experience should book out one of the bank-account busting signature suites, which were designed by Karl Lagerfeld. Overlooking the Place de la Concorde, they are an ode to the City of Love and its pre-Revolutionary past.
Gastronomes will love it here. Culinary options include the intimate Michelin-starred L’Ecrin for Chef Boris Campanella’s sophisticated tasting menus; the warm, indoor-outdoor Brasserie D’Aumont for all-day dining on Parisian brasserie classics; and the Jardin D’Hiver lounge, a local gathering spot for the well-heeled in search of afternoon tea and beautifully crafted sweets. Breakfast, served in Brasserie D’Aumont, is a feast headlined by eggs cooked any way and an invigorating ‘better than botox’ juice of beetroot, aloe vera, apple, cucumber, pomegranate and mint.
Wellness, central to the Rosewood concept, comes in the form of a long heated swimming pool, glinting with 17,600 gold scales. Sense, a Rosewood Spa, with products that make good use of French brands, such as the highly nourishing Kos, is neighboured by a Hair Salon by David Lucas and a Barber by La Barbière de Paris, as well as a fitness studio.
When you come to venture outside of the hotel, Paris is quite literally on your doorstep. La Grand Palais exhibition centre is a 10-minute stroll from the hotel entrance, and all the big names from Le Louvre to Musee d’Orsay, Jardin des Tuileries and Notre Dame are moments away either by foot or taxi.
Double rooms from about £1,130 a night, B&B.