Opened in 1815, Le Meurice is nowadays recognised as a Palace property, the highest and most exclusive ranking awarded based on very strict criteria by the French authorities. With over 400 staff, the luxury property which features 160 ultra luxury rooms decorated in the Louis XVI style.
In 1835, Le Meurice moved from Rue Saint Honore to its current location on the Rue de Rivoli, in a new heritage building, right across from the Tuileries Gardens and steps from the Louvre Museum. In 1891, the hotel had electric lights, new plumbing, and accommodated 200 guests.
To compete with The Ritz , which opened in 1902, the owner of Le Meurice at the time, turned to Swiss hotelier, Frédéric Schwenter and the property was enlarged by the addition of the Metropole Hotel, located on Rue de Castiglione. The rooms were equipped with modern, tiled bathrooms, telephone, and electric butler bells. The elevator was a copy of the sedan chair used by Marie Antoinette. Other additions included the grand salon Pompadour with white trimmings, a restaurant with marble pilasters and gilded bronzes as a living tribute to the Peace of Versailles, and the wrought iron canopy over the lobby.
In 2007, Le Meurice began renovations under Philippe Starck under the guidance of immensely talented luxury hotelier Franka Holtmann as General Manager. While the hotel has been impeccably maintained, with constant works, it was in 2018 that Le Meurice underwent almost two years of extensive renovations, one of the most impressive such processes for a heritage property of this calibre.
Rooms and suites received a complete make-over while preserving intact the aristocratic DNA of the property. No detail has been overlooked utilising the most luxurious furnishings and finishes – every single detail has been studied, for instance, the comfort of the large sofa, which you may equally enjoy in a formal posture, or a most comfortable, casual one. Particular attention was paid to enhancing lighting, creating sophisticated hues, a WOW factor every time one would enter the room.
Bathrooms have been completely overhauled, the most important addition being the stand-alone glass-enclosed walk-in shower. High water pressure at your precise desired temperature flows instantly at the touch of a button. It may seem a less important element, but high water pressure is a basic for any luxury hotel, hence the achievement in such a historical building. Bespoke luxury bathroom amenities by French perfumer Francis Kurkdjian have been added.
Thanks to its exceptional collection of grand signature suites, Le Meurice has accommodated numerous Royals, sultans, heads of state and other eminent guests and celebrities. Salvador Dalí spent about a month of each year over 30 years in the old Royal Suite, which had been used by King Alphonse XIII. Other celebrities included Mata Hari, Rudyard Kipling, Edmond Rostand, Gabriele D’Annunzio, Paul Morand, Walter Lippmann, Yehudi Menuhin, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Plácido Domingo, Bette Midler, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.
In 2019, Le Meurice took Paris by surprise, with a spectacular roof-top Belle-Etoile Penthouse Suite, a newly constructed structure covering 6,674-square-feet (620 sqm) is almost a hotel within hotel. Then four bedroom penthouse suite boasts its very own outdoor garden with stunning 360 degrees of Paris.
A banquet dinner at Belle-Etoile becomes a cocktail party with lifting table, while custom sliding panels reveal a hidden bar for when the party really begins. This is your place to unwind, to entertain or simply luxuriate in your own private space high above the city. As one walks from room to room French craftsmanship is more than evident – cool marble, the glimmer of gold, the fabrics, Declercq trimmings, sumptuous Brabbu furniture and Meljac fittings.
Le Meurice boasts two restaurants, the fine dining gastronomic Restaurant Le Meurice Alain Ducasse in an authentic Versailles style decor and Restaurant Le Dali situated under a 145 square metre (1560 square feet) canvas painted by Ara Starck, the daughter of Philippe Starck. Cocktail bar Bar 228 has been a favourite of Parisians with a unique ambiance – live ‘cafe concert’ music with leather armchairs and dark woodwork furnishings. Food is sublime and so is service !
The dining offering is complemented by La Pâtisserie du Meurice par Cédric Grolet, undoubtedly the most critically acclaimed Chef Patissier (Pastry Chef) in Paris. The 15 sqm boutique at the back of the hotel is only open for a few hours until the day’s ”stock” runs out. Grolet is not only a wizard when it comes to the most innovative shapes and taste but is also a great communicator, a rare quality. The fact that he is followed by 1,8 million people on Instagram alone, only enhances desirability, the essence of true luxury.
This year, Le Meurice Paris has once again stolen the limelight not just renovating its existing Spa and developing a brand new one, talking luxury wellness to another level, unique not only in design but also in its offering. Didier Guillon, a French-Swiss art collector, entrepreneur and philanthropist – also the founder and CEO of the luxury cosmetics brand Valmont was given full liberty over recreating his dream Spa.
The finest and the most luxurious equipment has been chosen, while every single corner makes one feel more than pampered. There is even a ‘hidden’ courtyard lounge space superbly designed and naturally lit – roof of the courtyard space lounge is in the open air. Service is simply flawless – warm, caring – one can only feel embraced in a luxurious cocoon.
On the ground floor, La Boutique is what Valmont calls a ‘beauty laboratory’, a golden gem nestled among the colonnades of rue de Rivoli. The Spa and the boutique have been conceived as two interconnecting spaces with one 360o experience – upstairs Le Spa and downstairs the boutique, which can also be directly accessed from the street.
Le Meurice Paris is not a home-away-from-home. Le Meurice Paris is a dream that only a fortunate few can experience. Le Meurice Paris is #trueluxury.
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