Some of the best seasons to visit Paris are the spring or in the summer when the Parisians are on vacation.
We previewed three luxury hotels and their restaurants that have made a commitment to preserve the French and Parisian heritage.
Hotel Le Meurice/Restaurant Alain Ducasse
Le Meurice is one of the most iconic Parisian gourmet hotels. As soon as you step into this palace hotel, you feel as though you’ve been transplanted to another dimension. Le Meurice is a museum, a place of opulence and comfort, but this ambiance is not confined to the hotel’s public areas alone. Every one of the 160 rooms and suites, decorated in a style redolent of Louis XVI, is a peaceful oasis of calm, providing guests with the ultimate in luxury and plenty of memorable moments.
Highly acclaimed by food writers worldwide, Alain Ducasse recently took over the management of the three Michelin star Le Meurice restaurant. Inside, you will be totally impressed by the restaurant’s main room, inspired by the Salon de la Paix at the Château de Versailles. Immediately after being seated at your table, you will understand the difference between a traditional restaurant and Le Meurice by Ducasse. The service is just impressive. Head chef Christophe Saintagne and Alain Ducasse have masterminded a seven-meal menu that is just an extraordinary experience of the senses where real taste is returned to its truth, without any superfluous ingredients. We recommend the young partridge pate, the turbot with olives, and the Roe deer with pepper sauce. The selection of wines is also out of this world.
Hotel Mandarin Oriental Paris/Restaurant Sur Mesure
When you walk into the Mandarin Oriental, Paris for the first time, you feel as though you are entering into an extraordinary ancient world. The ceiling surrounding the front desk is made of 17,000 sheets of gold leaf, and the imposing mobile sculpture Air, designed by artist Nathalie Decoster, gives the theme of this five-star Parisian hotel’s 138 luxurious rooms and suites. The Mandarin is located on Rue St Honoré, one of the top streets for luxury shopping in the French capital. At Mandarin Oriental, hospitality is the key — the key that opens the most important door, the door to your heart.
The master of culinary impetus, Chef Thierry Marx, one of the most celebrated chefs in France, invited us to experience his new “made-to-measure” lunch concept at Sur Mesure, the two Michelin star restaurant at the Mandarin. Sur Mesure serves the finest in haute dining or “techno-emotional” cuisine, whose dishes are firmly based in tradition. The interior of Sur Mesure looks like a cozy cocoon, a white space away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The gastronomic restaurant’s décor is inspired by Parisian haute couture. White is used at the core of this magnificent creation as the ultimate symbol of timeless elegance. Presented with an unusual lunch menu, we selected the five-course lunch to try Marx’s famous molecular cuisine. There is no word to describe this unique form of cuisine. We truly loved the experience. The soya risotto with oysters and black truffle will remain a lasting memory as well as will the scallops with lobster bisque.
Hotel Shangri-La/Restaurant L’Abeille
We discovered a great number of luxury hotels, but the Shangri-La Paris is definitely for us, as one of the most luxurious hotels in France. Originally built in 1896 as the home of French Imperial Prince Roland Bonaparte, the iconic building once again welcomes Parisians and world travelers within its walls, 114 years after the prince first opened the doors of his residential palace to Parisian society. Of course, if you decide to stay at this incredible place where the service is truly impeccable, you must select one of the 101 rooms or 36 suites featuring a breathtaking, direct view of the Eiffel Tower and the Seine River. We also recommend that you not close the blinds at night so you can dream all night long. From your bed you can almost touch the Eiffel Tower which continues to sparkle at the top of each hour at night, providing indelible memories.
For lunch or dinner at Shangri-La, we recommend the two Michelin star restaurant, L’Abeille (the bee) that refers to the imperial insignia of the Bonaparte family, an emblem that has been subtly incorporated into the restaurant’s décor. Chef Philippe Labbé is one of the master French chefs. With his signature “essential cuisine,” Labbé offers dishes composed like a pitch-perfect musical scale, featuring highly creative modern variations on classic French dishes. We loved the duck foie gras coated in chocolate served two ways, the seared turbot à la plancha and the confit shoulder of lamb inflected with Aomori black garlic. Most of the time, Labbé loves to greet his guests and spend a few moments talking about his dishes.