Melissa's Travels

First Look: Paris' Hôtel de Crillon

Commanding a prime corner on Paris’ largest and grandest square, the Hôtel de Crillon was designed as a palace for Louis XV in 1758 and has a history as glorious as its proportions. The treaty recognizing America’s Declaration of Independence was signed here and Marie-Antoinette took her piano lessons in the building. The suite that has been named after her has been the site of Paris’ International Debutante Balls, and in the hotel’s latest incarnation is likely to be the most sought-after spot for fashion shoots in the city with its grand terrace that faces the Place de la Concorde.

Contact Indagare for assistance planning a vacation to Paris. Our specialists can book you at the hotel that is right for you, plan great meals and activities and arrange behind-the-scenes tours.

While the hotel’s façade has been preserved along with many heritage details like the frescoes on the ceilings of Les Ambassadeurs bar, much of the interior of the building was entirely rebuilt and reimagined. The latest conceit under the new management of Rosewood Hotels: to be both a palatial residence for visitors and a glamorous gathering point for Parisians. Multiple architects and designers played their part in the massive renovation and an army of 380 workers toiled to transform the palace. Among the new highlights: a vast spa and gym with an underground lap pool lit by a skylight and glimmering with a blue mosaic bottom; an interior garden by Louis Benech, gardener of Les Tuileries; and two suites designed by Karl Lagerfeld that manage to mix grand historic gestures like a sink that was once a fountain at Versailles with modern drama like a mirrored wall of book shelves that slide open with the click of a remote to reveal a dressing room. Parisians have already adopted the public spaces, like the glamorous Les Ambassadeurs bar and the airy Jardin d’Hiver, which manage to feel grand but also intimate, and there are enough of them (there is also a bistro, garden courtyard and gourmet restaurant), that hotel guests and locals seem to be able to find spots.

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But it is the guest rooms that are the most daring addition because they bring a sleeker and more masculine aesthetic to the Paris palace scene. Yes, there are French refinements like Lalique taps, Baccarat crystal and Lesage embroidery on the curtains, but the color palette isn’t overly feminine, nor are the silhouettes. Photographs adorn the walls, not 18th-century prints, and the Nespresso machines have been clad in leather that evokes the fine craftsmanship of a sports car. In fact, a model Citroen DS car was placed atop a pile of art books on Paris in my room, and a vintage 1973 model stands parked outside the hotel entrance. The standard rooms and suites, at least, are not Marie Antoinette’s era. They are a new look and feel.

Related: Shopping with a Teen in Paris

The signature suites offer both this new take on Paris grand living—the Ateliers d'Artistes, designed by interior design darling Chahan Minassian under the mansard roof, feels like the perfect creative loft—while the proper tribute to the palace, the Marie Antoinette suite, features opulent historic details from painted boiserie and gilt mirrors to a columned terrace facing the Place de la Concorde that is worthy of a royal reception. In its ability to mix old and new, grand and cozy, historic and modern, visitor and local, the Crillon could just be the perfect embodiment of Paris’ future.

Contact Indagare for assistance planning a vacation to Paris. Indagare members who book a stay at Hôtel de Crillon with us will receive the following amenities:

  • Continental breakfast for 2 included
  • €85 spa credit per room, per stay
  • Upgrade Room Category subject to availability
  • Late check-out subject to availability

Published onJuly 12, 2017

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