Mandarin Oriental Paris

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 Welcome

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.

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Audrey and Marilyn greet me at the entrance!

There’s literally a work of art in every corner – how pretty is this elevator?

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Sweet Suite

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.

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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 😀

 

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Private terrace on a rooftop

 

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Cold outside, but the view is worth it

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!

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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:

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Bubble bath with a view of the Eiffel Tower? Count me in!

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.

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‘Watch what you eat’ takes on a whole new meaning

 

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Embroidery on the headboard

 

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Food-tastic

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.

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Works of art on your plate and encased in glass

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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.

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Yum things

 

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Breakfast for one = selfie time

 

There’s also a garden terrace where you can dine that includes an awning to protect you from the rain.

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Spa-mazing

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.

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Giddy with Guerlain

 

This indoor pool makes a splash

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All in all, a stunning hotel that I hope to try properly one day! Maybe during warmer weather 😀

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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:

 

Paris

 


Christian Dior corset style top
4,040 AED – 1stdibs.com

Givenchy cropped trousers
395 AED – tessabit.com

Yves Saint Laurent pointy toe pumps
2,575 AED – luisaviaroma.com

Chanel vintage leather purse
9,545 AED – portero.com

Chanel lipstick
135 AED – violetgrey.com

Christian dior perfume
455 AED – saksfifthavenue.com

Oliver Gal Artist Co retro wall art
750 AED – zincdoor.com
Guest Post by Rupert Wright of Ashbright
Welcome
 
Paris holds no terrors for well-heeled travellers, who can check into one of the city’s eleven palaces such as ­ the Georges V, Plaza Athénée, Le Bristol or my favourite, Le Meurice. But for those on any kind of budget, finding a decent place to stay in the French capital can be a challenge. Bedrooms smaller than a bathroom, bathrooms smaller than a bidet, we’ve all stayed at one of them and lived to regret it. So, it’s with great pleasure that I have found almost the perfect Parisian hotel – and you don’t need to be a tech billionaire to afford it. The Bedford has been family owned and run for more than a hundred years, combining Swiss roots, French flair and English tradition. It benefits from strong leadership, attention to detail, and a staff eager to look after you. With just 140 rooms, it is large enough to intimate, but not so large that you are anonymous. It’s a 4 star, but deserves more.
 
The rooms
 
Parquet flooring; high ceilings; comfortable beds and pillows; keys rather than plastic cards; and best of all, real switches, that turn the lights on and off. The Bedford has sensibly ignored many of the technical traps that can make staying in a hotel room more challenging than setting up your own satellite transmission site. The result is a place that combines understated elegance with modern touches and old school service. Some rooms overlook the rue de l’Arcade, others look over a courtyard, but all are a decent size and a muted colour. There is air-conditioning too, which is a relief when the summer strikes.
 
Eating
 
Breakfast is a buffet in a glorious belle époque room, boasting stucco reliefs and a glass roof. Dinner happens here too, French cuisine and fairly formal. There’s also a relaxed bistro/bar that serves meals and cocktails.
 
 
Location
 
A stone’s throw from the Place de la Madeleine, the Place de la Concorde and the Tuileries Gardens, and the Opera, this is one of the best areas to stay in Paris. (Marcel Proust used to live just around the corner). It is a lively area, with great boutiques, wine bars and an eclectic mix of restaurants, Japanese, Italian, Chinese, Korean, Lebanese and French too.
 
Don’t miss
 
The Bedford knows that many people like to travel with their pets, so they are allowed to stay too.
 
 
HOTEL BEDFORD, 17, RUE DE L’ARCADE 75008 PARIS Tel. : +33 (0)1 44 94 77 77 Fax : +33 (0)1 44 94 77 97 More information at www.hotel-bedford.com
 
Rooms from €250; Suites from €450

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Sara Hamdan

Welcome to a magazine editor’s guide to luxury hotels and what to wear when you’re there! My work has appeared in: The International New York Times, Rolling Stone, Variety and CNN Travel. I’ve held editorial roles at VIVA Magazine, Dubai Magazine and Stylist Arabia.  Now, I freelance for the likes of Google, CNN and Savoir Flair!

Editing travel pages was always my favourite part of working for lifestyle magazines. I started this blog out of a love of beautiful hotels that provide the fairytale escape of a day as a princess where breakfast is a buffet and chocolates appear on my pillow.

PR queries, feedback and compliments? Email sara@holidaysinheels.com!