There are few cities in the world which can claim to rival Paris for luxury hotels. London is one of them, as would likely be New York, but there can’t be many more.

Paris has a long tradition for world-class hospitality which, along with its legendary aesthetic appeal, contributes greatly to the city’s firm grip on the top spot in the chart of most visited cities in the world. Both those characteristics – exceptional service; exquisite beauty – can be found at Le Bristol Paris.

An address on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré is about the most prestigious in the city, and Le Bristol has held that honour for almost 100 years (that milestone comes in 2025 – expect a grand celebration).

Having taken over several of the neighbouring structures over that time, the current iteration of the hotel is vast: 190 rooms and suites, four dining options, and a former winner of Best Bar in the World surround a mammoth garden courtyard.

To sit in that courtyard, enjoying a coffee and cigar while marvelling at how a space so central can also be so tranquil, is almost enough of a reason to book here in itself, but across the expanse of the property and through the astonishing marble corridors this hotel has so much more to offer.

Hotel Le Bristol
Hotel Le Bristol

Why Stay Here?

A stay at Le Bristol could either be a holiday in itself or a launchpad for a tour of the best of Paris. If you’re looking for a night or two of pampering in the romance capital of the world, there’s a spa on the sixth floor, which offers treatments by La Prairie, Tata Harper, and Hydrafacial (you may not think you need a facial, but afterwards you’ll realise you did) as well as an indoor rooftop swimming pool whose views can’t really be done justice by mere words.

Strolls through the gardens of the Champs Elysée or along the banks of the Seine are just outside, but thanks to that huge courtyard you don’t even need to leave the hotel if you want fresh air. Different cuisines for different moods can be found in the various restaurants, as well as the option of in-room dining for the truly indulgent, and there’s even a resident cat to play with as you sit and sip tea in the lobby.

For those who wish to see more of the city from an opulent base, the location couldn’t be better. Most of the typical tourism is within walking distance – Eiffel, Louvre, Opèra, etc. – and the Metro (3 stations within 5 minutes’ walk) connects you easily to the rest.

This neighbourhood, the 8th arrondissement, is packed with shops and bars and monuments and mystery (there’s a barber round the corner, on Rue Jean Mermoz, with a hidden cocktail bar in the back); the street the hotel is on has pretty much every luxury brand you can think of, including some heart-stopping watch boutiques. Being so central allows you to easily access everything Paris can offer you, all with the knowledge you have the most comfortable bed you’ve ever laid in (probably) waiting for you when you’re finally exhausted.

How’s The Food?

As is becoming the custom for the Paris Palaces, there’s a flagship with three Michelin stars – Epicure serves modern French gastronomy, with tables in the courtyard if the season allows and a refined atmosphere (and dress code – wear a jacket) befitting the location. This is classic French fine dining, with the formality you would expect. 114 Faubourg is found in the newest wing of the hotel and has an altogether livelier vibe, but at no detriment to the food. An open-plan kitchen buzzes and crackles all through service, and it’s not uncommon to find more well-heeled locals than hotel guests taking their seats each evening. In a town with such renowned competition for diners’ attention, that’s high praise indeed.

A word must be said for the breakfast: the bar is high for this class of hotel but cleared easily by Le Bristol. There are actually two to choose from – Café Antonia and Epicure – and I went for the latter; pancakes the likes of which I had never experienced were liberally drenched in the hotel’s own honey (they also mill their own flour on-site for the bread at 114 Faubourg) and washed down with a rich, hot coffee. The perfect kick-off to a day of Parisian discovery, and quite possibly the best I’ve ever eaten.

To round off the day, a cocktail at the simply-named ‘Le Bar’. The space is cosy, all dim lights and dark woods, and makes a wonderful contrast to the bright, pristine marble of the lobby it sits off. In the latter half of the week this bar becomes a place for raucous late-night partying, bathed in purple light and with resident DJs playing some surprisingly lively music. I was a little taken aback at first, given the aesthetic and character of the rest of the hotel, but it’s a welcome change of pace from the traditionally reserved nature of the grand Paris hotels.

What Are The Rooms Like?

As you would expect from a hotel of this size, they’re generous. A standard room here is the size of a suite in most other places, and the fixtures and furnishings are of the absolute highest standard. Décor is mostly in a classic regency style – think long velvet curtains, cornicing and some incredible decorative plasterwork – and was completely restored in the last renovation which was completed in 2018. Upper floors at the front of the building can have balcony views which show the Tower lights at night.

The classical elements are liberally complemented with modern technological comforts: why not stream your own video content to the gargantuan TV from bed, possibly after taking a soak in an enormous bathtub, while lounging in the super-soft robe the hotel has provided? I have a feeling you’ve earned it. Signature suites are frankly astonishing – more apartment than hotel room, and with the price tag to match – but for the majority of us who will consider the ‘normal’ rooms a treat, you’re certainly getting the space and luxury you’ve paid for.

Swanning around a hotel of this grandeur, scratching the ear of their cat as he passes, might not be the kind of thing you do on every holiday you take, but it should be something you do at least once. Paris is the most magical city in the world, and using Le Bristol as your base while you visit truly brings that magic home.

Rooms from €1,590;