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Paris and luxury hotels - a match made in heaven

Feminine and airy suite at Hotel de Crillon
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When it comes to luxury travel, few cities can pamper visitors as well as Paris. This is a city that can deliver wonderful surroundings, spectacular views, exquisite food and perfect service with remarkable ease.


The Legends

Every cosmopolitan city has at least one legendary hotel that defines the ultimate, aspirational stay, when money is no object. Lucky Paris then, to have four - though one of its greatest, The Ritz Paris, closed its doors on 1 August 2012 for a two-year restoration project. In the meantime it falls to the Plaza Athénée, the Hotel de Crillon and the George V, all 5-star palaces, to maintain Parisian luxury at legendary levels. With their stellar guest lists, each hotel has fascinating stories to tell. World renowned chef Alain Ducasse presides over four gourmet restaurants at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée. The Hôtel George V opened in 1928, at the height of the roaring 20s and, in an example of entente cordiale, was named for the English king then on the throne. It is decorated with 9,000 flowers, fresh from the Netherlands, every week. The Hôtel de Crillon, on the Place de la Concorde, was commissioned by King Louis XV in 1758 and opened as a hotel in 1909, making it one of Paris' oldest. The place is full of historic milestones. The ill-fated Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were married here; the League of Nations Treaty was signed here and, in 1778 the Franco-American Treaty, recognizing the American Declaration of Independence, was signed here by Benjamin Franklin.


The Classics


Paris has no shortage of other 5-star luxury hotels. The Lancaster, in a Belle Epoquehotel particulière (a private urban mansion), was home to Marlene Dietrich in the 1930s and has a kitchen overseen by master chef Michel Troisgros. The Hôtel de Vendôme keeps an eye on its rival, The Ritz, just across the Place Vendôme. The light and airy Hôtel Le Bristol boasts some of the largest guestrooms in Paris, a Michelin 3-star restaurant and fashion teas with collections from its neighbours in the rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré. The Hôtel Le Meurice, overlooking the Tuileries Gardens, began as a coach inn in 1817 and moved to its current location in 1835. A 20th century hotel of choice for artists, writers, musicians and movie stars, it may have nearly 200 years of history but its newest rooms have been decorated by Philippe Starck.


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