Smiling, the bartender poured me a ruby-red glass of Bordeaux and said, “Madame, you are at home here. You can eat wherever you like.”
He was referring to the fact that as it was Monday night and the hotel’s Michelin-starred (two at present) restaurant, Sur Mesure by Thierry Marx, was closed, I could order whatever food I wished from the hotel’s other menus and eat at the bar, where the walls glitter with Swarovski crystals and where a convivial crowd had gathered. The physical bar itself, in the center of the room, was carved in Italy from a single piece of Spanish marble and weighing a whopping nine tons, would provide a suitable surface to dine like a star.
Speaking of stars, there have been so many quips and quotes about Paris penned over the years and beyond that it is hard to put your finger on one when the need arises. But I believe Audrey Hepburn once said, quite simply, “Paris is always a good idea,” and in my heart, she was spot on.
For I imagine that’s what the Mandarin Oriental group thought when they ventured forth and staked their claim on this 138 room property (99 rooms and 39 suites), taking over as the management team when it opened in 2011.
The only Parisian ‘palace’ status hotel (there are eight) with a contemporary and modern flair, this hotel is the right choice for business people and leisure guests who appreciate unique design, discreet good taste and something out of the ordinary, with service to match. It is also the only 100% eco-responsible hotel in town and is 100% ‘green’, I was told.
I wouldn’t say I felt supremely pampered, as after all, this is France. No one here will insist that you ‘have a nice day’ while treating you as their newest BFF, but if you seek a haven where to rest and unwind after a busy Parisian day, then this well-run, happening and terribly chic haven on the prestigious Rue Saint-Honoré may just be the place for you.
- Daily breakfast for two
- Room upgrade upon arrival
- Subject to availability and maximum upgrade level of accommodation applies
- Food & Beverage credit
- US$100 or equivalent credit to be used during your stay
- One-way airport transfer
- Private car transfer from airport to hotel (suites only and minimum stay applies)
- Early check-in / Late check-out
- Subject to availability
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
Exclusive benefits may vary by hotel or hotel group. Exclusive benefits apply when booking the Best Available Rate and are not combinable with any hotel offers or special packages unless stated.
- Detailed Review +
- Facts & Amenities +
I arrived late at night from the airport and, with the streets being so very quiet, had a chance to properly see all the sights and buildings in the vicinity. The Rue Saint-Honoré really is a treasure-laden and beautifully historic street; I made a mental note of places (well, shops mostly) to visit the following day.
The facade of this art deco building is impressive, as is the reception area with the elegant, garden courtyard just behind. Later during my stay, I sat here and had a coffee and enjoyed the ‘lobby buzz’ while soaking in Paris’ aura.
Check-in was handled quickly by a friendly team and I was escorted to my room in no time, where the individual functions and amenities were all explained by the gracious front office supervisor who was looking after my arrival. I picked up an apple from the fruit basket, turned on my Bang & Olufsen TV to listen to the news, and settled in for the night.
Rooms and suites
Paris is known as the ‘City of Light’, but you wouldn’t know that in this room. The next morning, I looked all over to no avail in an effort to boost the brightness at my desk, which on a grey winter’s day, I needed. So I pushed the little sun button on my laptop to max capacity and took it from there.
I could have stayed in bed, which was very comfortable indeed and guaranteed a good night’s sleep, but as tempting as that was, I had work to do, so I made my way over to the desk with my first Nespresso of the morning, made from the machine in the room which was filled with fresh water and ready to go.
The control panel here on the desk allowed me to connect all my devices hassle-free. WiFi is fast and it never disconnected me during my stay, which was a welcome change from most hotels, plus it’s complimentary. The room offers all the latest technology, including easy-to-use light switches and master controls next to the bed, and there are USB sockets and plugs at the desk and near the TV for connecting to that and the room’s other B&O devices.
Facing the verdant, garden courtyard of magnolia and other beautiful trees and shrubbery, where the walls and fauna are covered in fairy lights, my room offered a nice view of outdoor life at the hotel. But more importantly, I appreciated how quiet this side of the hotel is both day and night. The windows throughout are all triple glazed so I imagine even on the street-facing side I wouldn’t have heard a thing.
Better yet, the air in the room is recycled and filtered to ensure a sound night’s sleep. One of the reasons, the general manager assured me, that guests frequently comment that they sleep better at his hotel than they do at home. I had to agree.
Later on that day I took a tour of some of the hotel’s other facilities. Cleverly, the suites can interconnect with other rooms and other suites, so a myriad of options are available for bigger parties or families. Terraces off the suites and big windows offer sightseeing opportunities, including vistas of the Eiffel Tower, the Big Wheel, L’Opera and right on up to Montmartre. I was surprised, however, that all of this opulence doesn’t come with a butler service, which to me, would be de rigueur in a suite of this caliber.
The hotel’s top floor has some stunning duplex suites, all done up by French designers in contemporary and rich-looking, local fabrics. The Royal Suite has direct elevator access, a mini gym and, impressively, a huge white bar in Italian marble. Ah…the parties I could throw…
I believe bathrooms distinguish great hotel rooms from each other. And this hotel’s facilities are typically Mandarin, typically huge and typically opulent. Essentially, even in this entry level room type, there are two wings, one containing an enormous walk in shower, bathtub and a separate WC, and the other containing two separate sinks (his and hers, as the mirrors were at different heights), and a huge wardrobe. I should mention that each mirror was lit and had its own makeup mirror attached. A nice touch.
The hair dryer and straightening iron provided were the same as I would use at home. Really, I lacked for nothing, except for the fact that there was not a single bar of soap anywhere. There were bottles of gel in the soap dishes. Had they run out? Was this to do with being ‘green’?
Bath products, including the afore-mentioned gel, and body lotion were from one of Paris’ most distinguished perfume houses, Diptyque, and smelled sublime.
For a country that prides itself on food, I have never understood why Monday, specifically, is the day all good (and some bad) restaurants choose to close country-wide. Regardless, I wasn’t having Thierry Marx’s famed fare that night and so I dined in Camélia, where several other hotel guests were already eating. I sat looking out to the courtyard which because of the cold, was deserted. I imagine in summer it would be a whole other story however. Meanwhile, the service here was professional and friendly, unobtrusive, and perfectly timed.
Several wines were offered by the glass, all carefully picked, but I chose a robust Côtes du Rhône to complement a simple steak, which I felt was a suitable choice for a cold winter’s night in Paris. The salad that I ordered for starters looked like it belonged in the nearby Louvre. Someone had surely spent half an hour assembling it, it was that beautiful. I was tempted to take a photo, something I rarely do.
Before heading upstairs, I stopped in to have a peek into Sur Mesure which the friendly bartender had offered to show me. The all-white decor will wow the most blasé of critics, even if I, myself, was not keen on the lack of windows (there are none).
Other restaurant options
I stopped in at Bar 8, a locally-frequented, low key, busy and very well appointed locale. The bartenders here kept me entertained for a good half hour, and while I didn’t take them up on their offer of a mystery cocktail that I wouldn’t have to pay for, they said, if I could guess the ingredients, I had a nice glass of Chablis and some Lucques olives, a specialty from the Languedoc region.
Spa and wellness
I believe Mandarin Oriental as a group pride themselves on their spa facilities. In my experience they are always a sure bet, and here in Paris that mantra holds true.
One of the largest facilities in town, it has four totally private ‘suites’ for treatments which can be accessed directly from the room floors, so there’s no need to traipse through the lobby in a bathrobe on your way to and from the spa, pool or gym, all located on this lower level of the hotel.
Facials are performed with Guerlain products which smell heavenly.
Pool and beach
The indoor pool here is worth a visit; early morning would be my advice when it opens at 7am. A 14-meter lap pool of double width, it is something truly luxurious for such a central Paris location. And, after a swim, there is a gym on the mezzanine above, open 24 hours and also for guests only, where a personal trainer can coax you through some new routines if you so desire.
Rejuvenation is the name of the game. I imagine this may be one of the best places in town to undergo such a rebirth.
Staff and service
The service in the hotel is impeccable, well-timed and attentive. It was only in the bar, perhaps to be expected, that the staff seemed to have a sense of humour.
Fellow guests staying here were, according to accents I overheard, American, French, Arabic speaking and Asian. Some on holiday and many on business.
The front desk staff were quick and efficient with the checkout formalities over in a few minutes. The doormen, formal and polite, helped me into my cab.
How to get there
35 minutes by car from Charles de Gaulle Airport
177 Rooms and suites