Quick, name three words that come to mind when you think of Paris. For me, they are: light, love and chic. Few hotels portray all three as well as the luxe, art-loving Mandarin Oriental in the heart of Paris’s shopping district. Right outside the hotel entrance is Rue St Honore where Chanel, Ferragamo and Armani sit side by side. It’s like a live Vogue editorial.
Located in a palatial building that used to be the Ministry of Justice just off the Place Vendome gardens, this hotel is full of art, colour and elements of surprise. The Mandarin hotels around the world are synonymous with luxury and amazing location – in London, it’s right next to Hyde Park and in New York, it’s on Columbus Circle next to Central Park. The Paris hotel is no exception, carrying with it a hint of Asian influence as a tribute to the chain’s origins.
When I had a work trip to Paris, I didn’t stay here, but I couldn’t resist coming in for breakfast and asking for a tour of the hotel right before my flight back home. From landscaped roof gardens to 2 Michelin star restaurants, I left hoping to be lucky enough to experience a stay some day soon. Paris, je t’aime!
The first impression I got from this hotel, after being dazzled by the glam storefronts outside, is that I have entered an artistic wonderland. This hotel is a design aficionado’s paradise. There’s a deep purple carpet that leads into the hotel flanked by doormen in top hats. Inside, white butterflies hang from the ceiling and beautiful portraits of famous faces adorn the entrance hall leading into the reception. The decor is modern and fuses Oriental touches with inspiration from fashion houses.
There’s literally a work of art in every corner – how pretty is this elevator?
The rooms are minimalist, though they are decorated in splashes of the fuchsia pervasive throughout the hotel. There are also stunning works of art leading to the rooms and in each room.
My favourite rooms were the suites. Set on two floors and often featuring private garden terraces, these rooms are simply breathtaking – and bigger than my apartment back home 😀
The Mandarin Oriental Paris has mastered the art of rooftop gardens in an urban setting, complete with a beekeeper on the grounds to make homemade honey. A sweet touch!
Now, you may be surprised to hear the bathroom was actually my favourite part of the tour of the suites, but this photo should explain everything:
The flowers! The vanity area! The Eiffel Tower view! It’s perfection.
The rest of the suite has beautiful art around every corner. It’s made-for-Instagram.
I had a quick tour of the restaurants, one of which looks like an otherworldly experience. Not just because I could smell truffle oil as soon as I walked in, but because the decor made me feel like I was in a spaceship.
The breakfast that I attended was scrumptious. You can’t come to Paris without indulging in pain au chocolat (or two or three), but this was also a unique mix of Asian and French treats. Think croissants and berries on one side, and Chinese white tea and dumplings on the other.
There’s also a garden terrace where you can dine that includes an awning to protect you from the rain.
This is a gorgeous corner of the hotel. A gong sounds when you walk into this heavenly spot that has floral motifs, an indoor pool, and fancy Guerlain products.
All in all, a stunning hotel that I hope to try properly one day! Maybe during warmer weather 😀
What to Pack
There were ladies in the lobby carrying massive Chanel and Gucci store bags. While most of the outfits I put in this section are meant to be aspirational, the women at this hotel do dress tres chic. The jacket in my pictures is from Mango, but if you would like to crank it up a notch, here’s some sartorial inspiration:
4,040 AED – 1stdibs.com
395 AED – tessabit.com
2,575 AED – luisaviaroma.com
9,545 AED – portero.com
135 AED – violetgrey.com
455 AED – saksfifthavenue.com
750 AED – zincdoor.com