The most beautiful Palaces in Paris: capital elegance

Beyond their 5-star status, Paris’s finest palaces boast a rich history, fabulous service and opulent luxury. A review of the French capital’s finest palaces.

Le Ritz, Paris 1er: our favorite palace, which isn't a palace at all!

The story? Located on Place Vendôme, the world's most chic square, Le Ritz is Paris' most emblematic palace, even though it does not officially belong to the "palace" trade distinction. This official label groups together 12 luxury Parisian hotels that have applied to Atout France and obtained the commission's approval to use the most prestigious title in the hotel industry. The Ritz, whose success continues unabated among the elite, no longer applies for the "palace" label. And yet, by the very definition of the term "palace" (a "luxury hotel with services of the highest quality, in a dream location"), it is one in every respect and, in the eyes of YONDER's editorial team, the most accomplished palace in Paris!

Suite Grand Jardin © Vincent Leroux Ritz Paris

History? Founded in 1898 by businessman César Ritz, the luxury hotel has since asserted its dominance over the hotel world. At the time, it was admired for being one of the first hotels in Paris to have private bathrooms, elevators and telephone service. Filled with classic French elegance and enhanced by its recent renovation in 2016, The Ritz has never ceased to shake the finest palaces in France and the world. Paris's most glamorous address, from its inauguration to the present day, has always attracted some of history's leading figures. Marcel Proust drew inspiration from its discerning clientele for hisRecherche, Audrey Hepburn paced the corridors as much as Coco Chanel... It's clearly our favorite palace in Paris!

How is it? The renovation project was entrusted to architect Thierry Despont, known for the Plaza Hotel in NewYork, the Four Seasons hotels in Budapest and Mexico City, and the Ritz-Carlton hotels in Istanbul, Bangkok and the Cayman Islands. With 142 rooms and suites, the hotel's grand interior design - inspired by the Château de Versailles and French aristocratic style - shines through with crystal chandeliers, master paintings, velvet armchairs, chandeliers, gilding, tapestries, red silk curtains and discreet Art Deco and Baroque motifs. The tables at The Ritz Paris - which range from chic Parisian brasserie to tea room - offer a unique ambience suited to the different moods of the day. The Bar Vendôme, with its red velvet banquettes, offers a fine brasserie-style menu under its period glass roof, the Bar Hemingway serves legendary cocktails to be sipped in a (very) confidential atmosphere, A Taste of the Ritz Paris delights with its Sunday brunch, while the Ritz Bar is appreciated for its soothing atmosphere, not forgetting the Salon Proust for an exceptional teatime experience, accompanied by the pastries of chef François Perret. On the wellness front, the same luxury and level of excellence can be found at the Ritz Club & Spa, one of the finest spas in Paris, peaceful and uncluttered with its floral theme, indoor pool, fitness room and hairdressing salon run by David Mallett.

ritz Paris

What makes the difference? The Art Deco influenced Hemingway Bar, filled with Parisian class but also a singularly incomparable essence, tells a mythical story of the writer's unfailing affection for this cult address.

Ritz Paris
142 keys from €2,096 per night
15 place Vendôme 75001 Paris France

Lutetia, Paris VIe

History? Located in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, in the 6th arrondissement of Paris, the Lutetia is the only palace-class hotel on the Left Bank. Built in 1910, at the height of the Belle Epoque, the hotel was founded by Madame Boucicaut, wife of Aristide Boucicaut, founder of Le Bon Marché. At the time, the aim was to provide a place to stay for foreign tourists who came to shop in this first department store. A destination in itself, with a name emblazoned in large gold letters on the storefront. From Victor Hugo to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry or Joséphine Baker, many artists made it their meeting point. A true monument whose glamour has been preserved and enhanced in 2018 by interior designer Jean-Michel Wilmotte.

Josephine Baker Suite © Lutetia

How is it? Sonia Rykiel and India Mahdavi have also contributed to the hotel's design. 72 rooms and suites with herringbone parquet flooring, panelled walls adorned with a collection of works by artists who have made the journey to Lutetia. Plush carpets complement the soft, uncluttered colors of king-size beds, sometimes boldly adorned with refined black leather. Geometric lines lend a liner-like allure to this picture. For a bite to eat, head to the Brasserie Lutetia, enjoy a late-night drink at the Bar Aristide, or head to the Saint-Germain to contemplate the glass roof sliced by fine lines of dark steel, where pop colors like pink, turquoise and azure blue stand out all the more..

What makes the difference? The Joséphine bar and its walls covered with Art Deco frescoes in nuanced colors, all enhanced by the gilding of light fixtures that would make the most prominent galleries in Paris shudder. On the wellness front, guests can luxuriate in the Akasha Spa, with its swimming pool and sauna, and take advantage of its famous menu of revitalizing treatments.

From €1,485 per night
45 Boulevard Raspail, 75006 Paris France

Four Seasons Georges V, Paris VIIIe

History? Subtle Art Deco influences can still be seen on the façade of this internationally renowned hotel, built in 1928. In 1999, Four Seasons, the Canadian luxury hotel collection, renovated and modernized the building, which was occupied by the Germans and later by the Liberation, and today retains its Parisian essence.

four Seasons

What's the hotel like? The palace's 244 suites and rooms were reinvented in 2014 by Pierre-Yves Rochon, him again. Distinguished chandeliers, fringed curtains in timeless colors, cream-colored leather seats, gilded brass handles... No doubt about it, we've completely rediscovered the classic, chic style of the famous designer. For lunch, L'Orangerie offers the freshness of seasonal, natural cuisine. For dinner, head to La Galerie for a revisiting of traditional recipes. Or dine in Italy at Le George, with its Mediterranean flair. Chef Christian Le Squer's Le Cinq takes the cake with its three Michelin stars.

four Seasons

What makes the difference? Stone walls set off the marbled floor to create a relaxing spa atmosphere. Natural light streams in through the glass ceiling and illuminates the elaborate mosaic of the heated indoor pool. Loungers resemble delicate white sofas and invite you to relax. Hammam, Jacuzzi and signature treatments, Olivier Claires range, DR Burgener Switzerland treatments... A must-try.

Four Seasons Georges V
From €2,360 per night.
31, Avenue George V, 75008 Paris France

Le Meurice, Paris 1er

The story? Since 1835, Le Meurice has been promoting French hotel excellence on rue de Rivoli. Le Meurice was named after its founder, a waiter with a passion for the hotel business, who bought the Grand Monarque and renamed it after himself. In the 60s and 70s, the hotel became the preferred address of artists from all over the world, including Salvador Dalí, Ernest Hemingway, Mick Jagger and Madonna, who filmed the video for her song Justify My Love here in 1990. Since acquired by the Dorchester Collection, the Parisian palace has established itself as an illustrious address in the capital...

le Meurice

How is the hotel? In 2007, the hotel was renovated by designer Philippe Starck, and again in 2016. The 160 rooms and suites, each more luminous than the last, reveal an incomparable aesthetic finesse. With its regal design, plush king-size beds and soft, patterned carpets, it's safe to say that the hotel's classic allure is a sight to behold. The setting is just as beautiful, from brunch at the Dalí restaurant to dinner at Le Meurice, before enjoying a cocktail at Bar 228. Cédric Grolet's trompes l'œil and giant cookies are just the thing to tempt the palate. As for relaxation, Maison Valmont delights guests with a varied menu, plus body treatments by Kos Paris.

le Meurice

What makes the difference? At the head of the main restaurant of this distinguished address, the Michelin-starred chef who needs no introduction: Alain Ducasse.

Le Meurice
From €2,309 per night.
228 rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris France

Peninsula, Paris XVIe

The story? Located in the 16th arrondissement, near the Golden Triangle, the Peninsula Paris has belonged to the Hong Kong-based hotel collection of the same name since 2009. Previously, and since 1908, it was the Majestic Paris hotel. After the German occupation and the Liberation in 1944, the French government turned it into the headquarters of the Ministry of Defense.

peninsula Paris

What's the hotel like? The façade, renovated by Richard Martinet (Lutetia, Le Crillon, Shangri-La, George V...), has regained its former charm, while Pierre-Yves Rochon has restored the refinement of this historic building to its former glory. The contemporary design of the 200 rooms and suites infuses them with a timeless elegance worthy of a true Parisian palace. When it comes to cuisine, there's plenty to choose from: the two-Michelin-starred Oiseau Blanc headed by chef David Bizet, the LiLi restaurant celebrating Peninsula's Asian roots, the Kléber and its spring terrace, and the rooftop with its breathtaking view of the Eiffel Tower. A hanging garden unlike any other in the capital.

peninsula Paris

What makes the difference? The huge spa designed by architect Peter Marino. It features a spacious swimming pool, hammam and sauna, two Jacuzzis and Dr. Barbara Sturm products, all in a subdued, mysterious atmosphere that reflects a relaxing Asian minimalism.

From €2,210 per night.
19 avenue Kleber, 75116 Paris France

La Réserve, Paris VIIIe

The story? Just a stone's throw from the Elysée Palace and Place de la Concorde, this address is as prestigious as it is historic. When the building was constructed in the 19th century, it was destined to become the palace of the Duc de Morny, a relative of Napoleon III. On his death, the Rothschild family bought the place and turned it into an address cherished by the world's great and good. It wasn't until 1974 that La Réserve saw the light of day, becoming one of the capital's 12 palaces.

la Réserve

What's the hotel like? 40 sumptuous rooms and suites welcome guests to this hotel. The design evokes imperial influence through noble materials, golden lines and rich motifs decorating the walls. Nestled in the chicest district of Paris, La Réserve attracts an exceptional clientele. The gastronomic offer includes the Gabriel restaurant, headed by Jérôme Banctel and awarded three Michelin stars, which invites guests into a grandiose room for a memorable feast. The spa offers a moment of relaxation in the hammam, plus an indoor pool and treatments by Nescens, with anti-aging cosmetics made entirely in Switzerland.

la Réserve

What makes the difference? The bar Le Gaspard and its cosy atmosphere. Here, red velvet seats, a Haussmann fireplace, busts and gilded engravings recall the elegance of Parisian evenings. Ideal for enjoying a cocktail, alone or with friends, around the counter.

La Réserve
From €2,660 per night.
42 Avenue Gabriel, 75008 Paris France

All locations are independently selected by our specialist journalists. If you make a reservation, we may receive an affiliate commission.


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