A Luxury Paris Travel Guide For The 2024 Summer Olympics


ParisPhoto Credit: Kovop/Shutterstock.com

THE 2024 SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES ARE FINALLY UPON US, AND DARE WE SAY IT, BUT THESE MIGHT BE THE MOST exciting yet. In addition to being this year’s host city — a century after hosting for the first time — the City of Lights will transform many iconic local landmarks into sporting venues from July 26 through August 11. Unbelievably, there will be beach volleyball beneath the Eiffel Tower, archery at Les Invalides, skateboarding at Place de la Concorde, marathon swimming and triathlon near Pont Alexandre III, taekwondo at the Grand Palais, race walking and cycling at Trocadéro, equestrian and modern pentathlon at the Palace of Versailles, and aquatic competitions such as canoeing on the Seine (which is where, incidentally, the Opening Ceremony will take place — an iconic moment in itself in that it is the first time in Olympic history where said ceremony will be held outside of a stadium). With nearly 10 million visitors — inclusive of the 10,000 athletes competing in 32 sports — Paris is projected to be packed, which is why you should have started planning yesterday. Or, you know, four years ago. Regardless, it’s a good time to check out our haute guide, which should help you streamline where to stay, play, wine, and dine as luxuriously as possible in Paris.

HOTELS

Plaza Athenee
Plaza Athenee

Photo Credit: The Dorchester Collection
Some of the most glamorous hotels in the world are, of course, located  in Paris. Who hasn’t dreamed of staying at The Ritz, Plaza Athénée, George V, Le Meurice, Le Royal Monceau, Le Bristol, or the Saint James? We’re always going to be shipping these hotels — they’re classics for a reason — but in the spirit of this year’s games, which have introduced four entirely new categories with breaking, sport climbing, skateboarding, and surfing, we decided to highlight the hottest new hotel players in the City of Love (yes, it does have multiple monikers). So, dear Olympic enthusiasts, may we now present the new guard!

LE GRAND MAZARIN

Le Grand MazarinPhoto Credit: Vincent Leroux
Le Grand Mazarin is, fittingly, a hotel as chic as the neighborhood it’s located in: Le Marais. Martin Brudnizki was the perfect designer to create the artistic, elegantly over-the-top atmosphere, which evokes the 17th-century literary salons of Le Marais, where high society doyennes would host gatherings in their private mansions. On site, there are 61 rooms and suites; a restaurant, Boubalé, which serves up Ashkenazi cuisine courtesy of Michelin-starred Israeli chef Assaf Granit; a secret winter garden; wellness area; cabaret; and swimming pool, all of which reflect the designer’s sumptuous and intimate vision via antique furniture, vintage objects, seashells embedded in the wallpaper, or custom-designed rugs with baroque details. In the hotel’s lobby, a wedding wardrobe typical of 19th-century Europe sets the tone, which Brudnizki himself discovered in England. 17 Rue de la Verrerie, 75004

MAISON PROUST, HOTEL & SPA LA MER

Maison ProustPhoto Credit: Maison Proust

Maison Proust, a stylish 23-suite hotel in Le Marais, is just the homage to 20th-century literary great Marcel Proust that Paris didn’t know it needed. It is a Belle Epoque wonderland, but because it’s located in a six-story townhouse, Maison Proust doesn’t give traditional hotel vibes. Each room, as designed by Jacques Garcia, is named after a muse or friend of the writer, from Napoleon to actress Sarah Bernhardt, all decorated with patterned silk, embroidered fabrics, and eye-catching art. There are also personal Proust touches here, such as a letter he sent to Princess Soutzo. It would be a mistake not to mention the property’s beautiful glassed-in winter garden, stunning bar, lounge — theatrically highlighted with velvet draped curtains, antique mirrors, and crystal chandeliers — as well as a second lounge that is highlighted by a dome ceiling with a gold leaf sun, modeled after the Opéra Garnier. There’s also a magnificent library with over 1,000 rare books, and a Moorish-style spa with a heated pool, hammam, and sauna. So, in honor of Proust’s famous masterpiece, In Search of Lost Time, we can only say that we welcome the chance to get lost here time and time again. 26 Rue de Picardie, 75003

LA RÉSERVE PARIS

La Reserve
La Reserve Library

Photo Credit: Gregoire Gardette

On a scale of fabulousness, La Réserve Paris is a 10. Just a block away from the Champs-Élysées and the Grand Palais, its location can’t get much better. Plus, this stunner, another gem conceived by world-famous designer Jacques Garcia, is housed in a 19th-century building that was once owned by the family of the Duke of Morny, the stepbrother of Emperor Napoleon III. It’s accordingly elegant, with marvelous marble fireplaces and rich fabric wall hangings. It’s discreet, too, in that it houses 15 rooms and 25 suites only. La Réserve Paris is also home to Le Gabriel restaurant, helmed by 3 Michelin-starred chef Jérôme Banctel, as well as a stunning Nescens spa with a 52-foot indoor pool. 42 Av. Gabriel, 75008

CHEVAL BLANC PARIS

Cheval Blanc Paris
Cheval Blanc Paris Spa

Photo Credit: Alexandre Tabaste

Anything LVMH touches is basically gold, and that’s certainly the case at Cheval Blanc Paris, the luxury group’s stunning urban Maison in the heart of the City of Lights. As imagined by architects Édouard François and Peter Marino, the hotel is an art deco daydream, with a focus on food and relaxation (and who doesn’t love that?). The property, which overlooks the Seine, is home to chef Arnaud Donckele’s 3 Michelin-starred restaurant Plénitude, Parisian brasserie Le Tout-Paris, Italian eatery Langosteria, the new Japanese-focused Hakuba, and rooftop sky garden, Le Jardin. It also hosts the exquisite and exclusive Dior Spa Cheval Blanc Paris, which offers a holistic immersion into the world of Maison Dior, as well as a stunning curved swimming pool adorned with mosaics for a true sensory escape. 8 Quai du Louvre, 75001

BULGARI HOTEL PARIS

Bulgari Hotel Paris
Bulgari Hotel Paris penthouse dining room

Photo Credit: Bulgari Hotel Paris

Located on the Avenue George V, in the “Golden Triangle” between the Seine and the Champs-Élysées, the Bulgari Hotel Paris fully brings the bling to the City of Light — but make it Italian. The interiors of the hotel, entirely designed by the Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel Italian architectural studio, are quietly luxurious, as one has come to expect of the Bulgari brand. Like its sister properties, the hotel is dotted with exquisite Italian-made marble, silk wallcoverings, granite, tapestries, and varnished eucalyptus woodwork. Similarly, fans of the brand will find continuity in its signature eatery, Il Ristorante – Niko Romito, a Workshop Gymnasium, Bulgari Bar, and 82-foot, semi-Olympic swimming pool. The highlight here, however, is its Bulgari penthouse. The Eiffel Tower, Sacré Cœur, and Grand Palais all seem to be within touching distance of this 4,300-square-foot palace, which features sparkling glass and gold chandeliers, two kitchens entirely clad in Arbescato marble, a hammam, pantry, private studio with its own cigar cellar, fitness room, and — best of all — a private 6,450-square-foot outdoor terrace with 360-degree views of the city. 30 Av. George V, 75008

CHÂTEAU VOLTAIRE

Chateau VoltairePhoto Credit: François Halard

Paris is one of the world’s most fashionable cities, and Château Voltaire plays to its sartorial strengths in that the 32-room-and-suite property was conceived by owner Thierry Gillier, the founder of fashion label Zadig & Voltaire. The hotel is comprised of buildings from the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, a short jaunt away from the Tuileries Gardens, and, appropriately, close to the glamorous Galeries Lafayette shopping center (where, of course, Zadig & Voltaire is carried). There’s a mixed esthetic here: it is both opulent and old-world thanks to Louis XIII-style armchairs, fringed velvet furnishings, liberal trompe-l’oeil, and heavy tapestries, but it’s also airy and contemporary with details like seashell light fixtures and a soft color palette throughout the rooms. It’s F&B — the beautiful L’Emil brasserie, with wooden banquettes, marble tabletops, and stained glass — and sultry La Coquille d’Or bar are already Parisian hot spots. 55 Rue Saint-Roch, 75001

HÔTEL MADAME RÊVE

Hôtel Madame Rêve
Hôtel Madame Rêve rooftop

To sleep, perchance to dream. You’ll be doing both at Hôtel Madame Rêve (rêve meaning, in French, “to dream”) near Les Halles in Paris’ former only 24-hour post office, a Haussmanian building dating back to the late 19th century. There’s certainly a chic, sexy vibe here that makes this feel especially saucy at night, and that vibe extends from the rooms to the two restaurants — especially at the hotel’s signature eatery, La Plume, a dark and sensual French Japanese hybrid with moody lighting (though its Kitchen by Stéphanie Le Quellec exudes a carnal atmosphere, too). Its rooftop, the aptly named “ROOF,” is truly the pièce de résistance of the hotel. This is a 10,000-square-foot oasis, overlooking Notre-Dame, the Panthéon, and Beaubourg, among other landmarks, that affords a 180-degree view of the City of Lights. It can’t be missed. 48 Rue du Louvre, 75001

LA FANTAISIE

La FantaisiePhoto Credit: Jérome Galland

We love a good Martin Brudnizki design, and, as his first entry into the Parisian hotel scene, La Fantaisie does not disappoint. The whimsical designer has created fantastical designs for his inaugural property, nestled in the bustling Faubourg-Montmartre neighborhood in the heart of the ninth arrondissement. The hotel’s concept and raison d’être, its heroes, are 16th-century gardener brothers Jacques and Jean Cadet. Brudnizki has made sure that the late green-thumbed siblings are prominent throughout the hotel, from the palette of greens, warm yellows, and coral touches he uses throughout the rooms to the ceilings covered with floral wallpaper. This fantastical hotel also uniquely marks the homecoming of 3 Michelin-starred French chef Dominique Crenn, the owner of San Francisco’s L’Atelier Crenn, who, here, with her zero-waste restaurant, Golden Poppy, showcases a menu wholly centered around local and sustainable fare.24 Rue Cadet, 75009

CHÂTEAU DES FLEURS

Chateau Des Fleurs
Chateau Des Fleurs bar

Photo Credit: Mr. Tripper

There are flowers covering the windows at Château des Fleurs, located within a 1910 building in the 8th arrondissement, but the “fleurs” in its name actually refer to a former famous place for 19th century, Belle Epoque-style dance parties. What we do see is red. There are touches of the hue everywhere, not oppressively nor subtly, but the shade does set the tone for the stay to come at this 37-key hotel at the top of the Champs-Elysées. Given that there is a boudoir room on site, well, you get the drift. That said, we are absolutely obsessed by every crimson touch on site, be it via the Korean eatery, Restaurant by OMA, or its lovely Omnisens spa. 19 Rue Vernet, 75008

HAUTE CUISINE

Air France
A La Première dish from Dominique Crenn

Photo Credit: Air France

This year’s Michelin Guide named 121 Parisian restaurants as worthy of a Michelin star, which isn’t super surprising given that, well, haute cuisine originated here. Here are a few of our favorites. Pierre Gagnaire’s eponymous eatery will be one of the most exquisite meals you’re likely to eat in this lifetime. Le Gabriel at La Réserve, just a block from the Champs-Élysées, is Jérôme Banctel’s opulent eatery, set in a 19th century Napoleon III-style mansion with Versailles parquet flooring. There is Épicure, Éric Fréchon’s Louis XVI-furnished restaurant at Le Bristol; Plénitude, helmed by Arnaud Donckele at Cheval Blanc Paris; L’Ambroisie, Bernard Pacaud’s simply perfect eatery in a Place de Vosges townhouse; and Kei Kobayashi’s eponymous Japanese restaurant by the Louvre. Architect Pierre-Yves Rochon created the magical ambiance of Le Pré Catelan, helmed by chef Frédéric Anton on the famous Bois de Boulogne; Yannick Alléno continues to impress at his restaurant on the first floor of the superb, néo-classical mansion Pavillon Ledoyen; and the pairing of chef Christian Le Squer and award-winning sommelier Éric Beaumard at Le Cinq, located at Four Seasons Hotel George V, is one for the books. Hélène Darroze, the master chef who inspired Colette in the animated film Ratatouille, inspires excellence at Marsan par Hélène Darroze on Rue d’Assas, while LVMH darling Jean Imbert impresses at Plaza Athénée. The most decorated chef in the world, Alain Ducasse, does the same at Le Meurice, among his seven other eateries. And last, but certainly not least, we always stand by our favorite: Jean-Georges Vongerichten, whose Christian Liaigre-designed restaurant Market on avenue Matignon near the Champs-Élysées, serves up eclectic, Asian-French cuisine.

There’s also now a three Michelin starred experience in the sky. So, if you must fly commercial, it isn’t a horrible thing… should you choose not to fly private, Air France makes the experience more palatable — literally — thanks to Dominique Crenn, the only 3 Michelin star female chef in America. Crenn has now developed an exquisite menu for first and business class travelers. Crenn has created 12 original dishes for the airline, which will offer two signatures every month in both cabins, such as lobster, pico de gallo, and tea sauce and root vegetable mille-feuille with truffle sauce.

BEST BRASSERIES

Little Red Door Photo Credit: Little Red Door

You’re basically spoiled for choice when it comes to iconic Parisian bars. Our top spot is Little Red Door, which earned the sixth spot on the 2023 World’s 50 Best Bars list. It is, of course, defined by its — you guessed it — little red door, a nod to speakeasies found during the Prohibition era in the States. Each cocktail at this cozy, comfortable brasserie receives a two-page menu illustration by a local artist, with only the drink’s name listed. But do trust them to work their magic. Then, head to Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis for the sip-worthy stylings of Le Syndicat, the epitome of French bars. This den of cool prides itself on its patriotism, highlighting everything from French ingredients to French tunes, even recently creating a menu of cocktails based on the most well-known Parisian monuments. We also love the gorgeous art deco-inspired daydream that is Bar Nouveau in Le Marais, the Brooklyn vibes of Danico in Saint-Germain, and Bar Hemingway, a classic homage to former patron Ernest Hemingway, at The Ritz. 

BEST OF THE REST

The Louvre
The Louvre

Photo Credit: Dennis van der Water/Shutterstock.com

You’re in Paris! Explore! Be aware that, during the Olympics in particular, spots like the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, and the Louvre will be absolutely overrun with tourists, but that it’s still possible to wander without purpose and get lost in the cobblestoned streets of the city, to find a lovely neighborhood bistro (with available seats) in one of the 20 arrondissements, in order to find your own personal slice of the city, whatever that may look like. That being said, we do recommend visiting the Louvre to check out its new exhibit on the creation of the Olympic Games, which launched in April and runs through September. And on that note, we’re not sure if we should say “santé”… or “bonne chance!” 





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