Top experiences at Paris’ palace-hotels

Learn how to make macaroons with a world champion pastry chef, enjoy a massage with a view of the rooftops of Paris, taste grand cru wines in a private cellar, discover the secretive side to Versailles, or savour a tête-à-tête dinner to the backdrop of a world-famous masterpiece. This autumn, Paris’ palace-hotels will outdo each other with their inventiveness as they offer extraordinary experiences for their guests. The following is a small selection of some of these wonderful opportunities in the City of Light.

Explore the city’s latest artistic trends by bike with the Royal Monceau Raffles

What could be more chic than exploring Paris by electric bike, especially if the bike in question is an iconic VAE made by the French company Solex, enabling you to discover the very latest artistic trends in the city on two wheels. This is what the Art Concierge at the Royal Monceau Raffles, someone who is never short of inspiration when it comes to sharing a passion for art in all its forms, is offering guests. Whether their focus is on unique art galleries, unmissable museums or the latest exhibitions, these bike routes adapt to the year’s calendar of events, but rest assured that there’s always something happening in Paris! If you still have a thirst for culture having explored the city on two wheels, the Royal Monceau Raffles has thought of everything. Completely renovated by Philippe Starck, this palace-hotel even has its own private collection of over 300 works of art which you can view on a personalised visit, in its library of contemporary art, or even via its private cinema, all of which offer plenty of artistic nourishment after all that effort!

Staying at the Royal Monceau Raffles Paris (External link)

Uncover the secrets of a Michelin-starred chef at the Park Hyatt Vendôme

At Pur’, the Park Hyatt Vendôme hotel’s gastronomic restaurant, why not book the chef’s table all to yourself? From this privileged observation deck overlooking the rotunda created by interior designer Ed Tuttle, this intimate table boasts an unbeatable view of the open kitchen run by one-Michelin-star chef Jean-François Rouquette and his team. Savour dishes such as abalone marinated in aged mirin (Japanese rice wine), marin flan with seaweed and broccoli, matelote with smoked pike eggs, and grilled and confit Iberian pork belly. From this lofty viewpoint, you won’t miss a single crumb of the preparation and presentation of his dishes, all of which are prepared with seasonal ingredients and are a pleasure for both the eyes and the tastebuds!

Staying at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme (External link)

Stroll in the footsteps of Picasso in Montmartre from Le Meurice

Le Meurice has always been the “hotel of artists and great minds”, playing host to writers, poets and artists such as Salvador Dali, who stayed in one of its suites with his pet ocelots! But did you know that Pablo Picasso held his wedding here in 1918 beneath the gilded splendour of the Salon Pompadour? To celebrate its links with artistic Paris, Le Meurice is inviting its guests to relive the early career of this Spanish painter with a stroll through Montmartre in the company of a specialist art history guide. Visit the Moulin de la Galette, represented on an oil painting from 1900, the Bateau Lavoir, a breeding ground for budding artists where Pablo Picasso embarked upon his Cubist period with works such as Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, and the Cabaret du Lapin Agile, where fellow artists would meet and enjoy a drink together. After this two-hour guided walk, the paved streets of Montmartre will no longer hold any secrets!

Staying at the Meurice, Dorchester Collection, Paris (External link)

Learn how to make macaroons with the executive pastry chef at the Plaza Athénée

Heading behind the scenes in the kitchens of one of Paris’ palace-hotels is the dream of any self-respecting food-lover. At the Plaza Athénée, just a few steps from the city’s legendary haute-couture boutiques on Avenue Montaigne, enjoy a masterclass with the hotel’s executive pastry chef, Angelo Musa no less, world pastry champion in 2003 and an officially recognised “meilleur ouvrier de France”. How do you make macaroons that are both crunchy and moist at the same time? In less than 90 minutes, you’ll learn how to create these delicious sweet treats that you then get to taste along with a glass of champagne. After this splendid introduction, you’ll then move on to other unique sweet delicacies, such as coconut roll cake and “100% vanilla”. And every trainee pastry chef will receive a signed copy of Angelo Musa’s cookery book featuring 25 recipes. Ready, steady, bake!

Staying at the Hotel Plaza Athénée, Dorchester Collection (External link)

Enjoy a refined wellbeing break at the Mandarin Oriental Paris spa

Welcome to the spa at the Mandarin Oriental Paris, one of the most refined settings in Paris for holistic treatments, featuring a white and carmine glass mosaic floor studded with butterflies in silver leaf, a “haute couture” mother-of-pearl-inspired wall comprising stylised flowers, and walls with moving shadows that cast images of Chinese-inspired foliage around the 14m-long swimming pool. In the cocooned luxury of its seven private suites, three of which are doubles, everything has been taken care of to ensure that you recharge your batteries, with treatments developed with specialists in traditional Chinese medicine and experts in aromatherapy. For a true grandstand experience, guests can also take advantage of an exclusive duo treatment on the terrace of the hotel’s suites to a backdrop of the most stunning view of the city’s rooftops.

Staying at the Mandarin Oriental Paris (External link)

Capture the essence of the Left Bank with the Lutetia

Located just a stone’s throw from Saint-Germain-des-Prés church, this sumptuous Art Nouveau building with its Art Deco interior is the only palace-hotel on the Left Bank. As a result, the Lutetia takes the utmost care in cultivating the intellectual aura that pervades on this side of the Seine via its exclusive experiences, including visits to the Sorbonne, a university founded in the 13th century and crowned by its Baroque-inspired cupola; the Panthéon, with its monumental architecture, and the burial place of France’s most illustrious citizens over the centuries; and the Luxembourg gardens, created in 1612 by Queen Marie de Medici. On this two-hour tour, unveil the historical nuggets that have shaped the spirit of the Left Bank. Not forgetting the unmissable Café de Flore, alternately the “bureau” of Apollinaire (the muse of the New Wave), and the birthplace of existentialism. Why not enjoy a coffee here, served on a tray in chic French style!

Staying at the Hotel Lutetia Rive Gauche Paris (External link)

Enjoy an extraordinary brunch beneath the listed dome of the Shangri-La Paris

As you gaze at the vertiginous cupola bathing the La Bauhinia restaurant at the Shangri-La Paris in glorious light, it’s hard to imagine that it could have remained hidden for so many years. Yet, this architectural marvel with its Eiffel-like structure was only discovered during its renovation, when the former residence of Prince Roland Bonaparte was transformed into a hotel, and subsequently a palace-hotel. An extraordinary setting deserves an extraordinary brunch, so to celebrate French art de vivre, La Bauhinia is pulling out all the stops: no buffets, except for chef Maxence Barbot’s irresistible desserts, and a full table service with caviar and champagne, chef Christophe Moret’s signature dishes, and a parade of surprise creations conjured up by these renowned cooks.

Staying at the Shangri-La Paris (External link)

Delve into the world of Art Nouveau in the Champagne region with the Four Seasons George V

Enjoy an exclusive behind-the-scenes peek into the world of an historic champagne house and jewel of Art Nouveau architecture dating back to 1811 with this sparkling experience offered by the Four Seasons George V. At this address at 11, avenue de Champagne in Epernay, the stained-glass door designed by the famous architect Hector Guimard leads to the largest private Art Nouveau collection in Europe, featuring objets d’art and furnishings by Emile Gallé and Louis Majorelle, glassware treasures, and bottles of the world’s oldest champagne vintages. Enjoy an exquisite tasting in the secretive world of the Eden Cellar before savouring the chef’s culinary delights in the garden, followed by a chance to explore the unique vineyards that are the bedrock of these grand cru champagnes. If you haven’t had your fill of “bubbly”, why not extend your stay with a night in one of the handful of the Maison Belle Époque’s guestrooms, each dedicated to an Art Nouveau artist?

Staying at the Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris (External link)

Taste grand cru wines in the private cellar of the Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel

Would you like to discover one of the most secretive places in the private world of the city’s palace-hotels? If so, why not head to the famous Place de la Concorde, home to the Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel, and its secret wine cellar? This hushed, intimate, private dining room with its wood-inspired decor can be reserved in advance by guests for fine-dining suppers and tastings of exclusive wines. To a backdrop of 2,000 highly prestigious bottles, savour these fine wines along with exquisite cuisine under the guidance of head sommelier and wine expert Xavier Thuizat. With wine pairings, champagne, the world’s finest dessert wines and Japanese sake, the passion for wine has no borders!

Staying at the Hotel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel (External link)

Discover secret Versailles with the Peninsula Paris

To decipher the mysteries of the grandest of the chateaux of the kings of France (with around 2,300 rooms and a surface area of 63,154m²) and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in its own right, nothing beats a private guided tour. And this is just what the Peninsula Paris is offering with this off-the-beaten-track excursion to LOUIS XIII’s maze-like hunting lodge which went on to become the sumptuous palace of Louis XIV. After a journey by Rolls Royce (as the occasion demands!), enjoy the explanations of an expert historian who will provide in-depth insights for you, from the secret apartments of the King and Queen to the palace gardens, where a gourmet picnic worthy of the memorable feast of 1668 in the Bosquet de l’Etoile awaits guests in fine weather. In winter, you’ll return to your palace-hotel for a sumptuous, regally inspired dinner in the intimate surroundings of your suite or lounge.

Staying at The Peninsula Paris Hotel (External link)

Savour a tête à tête dinner with one of Chagall’s works of art at Le Bristol Paris

If you have dreamed of a romantic tête à tête dinner to the backdrop of a world-famous artwork, Le Bristol has made this a reality! To take advantage of this privileged experience, head to the Paris Suite, one of the most remarkable suites in this iconic palace-hotel where Woody Allen filmed “Midnight in Paris”. As part of this romantic dinner, devour views of Paris and the Eiffel Tower through the suite’s elegant windows, beneath the gaze of “Les Mariés au Coq”, a luminous, joyful painting by Marc Chagall that provides a feast for the eyes as you indulge in your romantic supper. In this stunning behind-closed-doors setting, delight in the unique signature flavours conjured up by three-star-Michelin chef Eric Fréchon (Sologne caviar, smoked fingerling potato mousseline, and caramelised hazelnuts with pure lime jelly) that provide a perfect counterpoint to the artist’s bold colours. A rare and romantic experience to enjoy with your loved one – just as in the painting!

Staying at the Bristol Paris (External link)

Create your own perfume with an experienced “nose” at La Réserve Paris Hotel and Spa

How about sharpening your five senses during a stay at a Parisian palace-hotel? At La Réserve Paris Hotel and Spa, a veritable private residence for gourmet food-lovers, the olfactory senses of our guests will definitely be stimulated as they learn how to create their own perfume! It all starts with the participation of a professional perfume expert or “nose” who has worked in a number of leading perfume houses. Equipped with a palette of fragrances, he will guide you in your quest to create an “olfactory skeleton” that is tailored to your personal preferences, your personality or your childhood memories, before you design the perfect bespoke essence just for you. And last but not least, you can even create your own perfume bottle to protect your precious custom-made fragrance!

Staying at La Réserve Paris Hotel & Spa (External link)

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