Marble, crystal and gold meet Philippe Starck's whimsical design
228 Rue de Rivoli 33 (0)1-44-58-10-10 dorchestercollection.com
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At a Glance
With a fabulous location overlooking the Tuileries gardens on Rue de Rivoli, Le Meurice is an exquisite Palace hotel that manages to deliver old-world Parisian elegance with a modern flourish.
- The history: Opened in 1835, this was Paris’s first luxury hotel
- The magical frosted mirror (miroir givré) in the lobby where guests can sign their name
- The Views of Tuileries gardens, Musée d’Orsay and the Eiffel Tower (especially from the wrap-around terrace of the seventh-floor Belle Étoile suite, but also from many of the lower-category suites as well)
In the early 1800s, Charles-Augustin Meurice operated his family’s hotel in Calais, France, frequented by wealthy British travelers en route to Paris after crossing the English Channel. On their return trip, they would often lament that the French capital had no hotels remotely as nice as his provincial property. Enticed, Meurice opened a property on one of the most iconic and influential streets in Paris: Rue de Rivoli, mere steps from the royal palace in the Louvre. The property was an immediate success, and welcomed Meurice’s already loyal customers as well as visiting royalty and dignitaries. In future generations, it became a hub for artists as well, including the likes of Pablo Picasso (who was married here) and Salvador Dalí (who lived here for 35 years).
Nowadays, Le Meurice balances its Grande Dame status and surrealist artistic heritage with the needs of contemporary travelers in a winning combination. Yes, there are the opulent trappings—think major gilt trip with loads of marble and crystal chandeliers—but it is renovated often enough that public spaces and rooms always feel up-to-date. The Philippe Starck-designed lobby, lounge and common spaces are whimsical (in a way that traditionalists may find out of place, but anyone who appreciates the hotel’s unique history will adore) with many elements inspired by the wacky works of Dalí.
As trendy as the public floors seem to be, the guest rooms flaunt French traditionalism in a supremely elegant (as opposed to stuffy) way. While the 160 rooms and suites still feel grand, new fabrics and color schemes are muted and elegant—picture floral patterns on shiny silk in combinations like orange, purple, magenta and gray. The glamour is in the details, with everything from the silk upholstery to the bathroom faucets of the highest quality. The standout feature of the accommodations is the direct view over the Tuileries available in many rooms. Multiple hotels in the city have “iconic” Parisian views—of the Place de la Concorde, Place Vendome or Eiffel Tower, for example—but none can match the pure beauty of looking out to the gardens, with the Louvre on the left, the Musee de Orsay across the Seine, and the Eiffel Tower to the right. The most impressive views, unsurprisingly, come from the Belle Étoile penthouse suite (one of the city’s, if not the world’s top suites) with an enormous terrace that has 240-degree views of Paris.
For dining, the three-Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Meurice-Alain Ducasse, is spectacular, with pastries from Cedric Grolet. Reservations for dinner are hard to come by, but the posh dining room is also where breakfast is served. Adjacent to the fine dining restaurant, Restaurant Le Dali is a lounge-like restaurant and also home to a popular afternoon tea. Bar 228 is a glamorous piano bar that fills up nightly with guests and locals alike.
A Valmont anti-aging spa ranks as one of the best in the city.
Who Should Stay
This grande dame is ideal for first-time visitors to Paris looking to see all the major sites (from their own room, no less). The hotel is particularly child-friendly and also caters to people traveling with pets.
Read Upon Arrival Paris to discover points of interest within a few blocks of the hotel.
Indagare Plus Amenities
- 85 EUR F&B credit (one per room per stay)
- Complimentary Breakfast
- Upgraded Room Category on Availability at Check-In
- Late Check-Out on Availability
- Complimentary WiFi Internet Access