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A grande dame city needs a grande dame hotel or two, and they don’t come much grander than Le Bristol.
The good news is that in this case 'grande dame' is not code for old-fashioned and uncomfortable, because Le Bristol combines heritage elegance with the mod-est of mod cons in one perfect package.
Le Bristol is on the chic rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, perfectly located in the exclusive 8th arrondisement close to many of the (many) highlights of Paris such as the Champs Elysée, the Elysée Palace and the Louvre. In total there are 188 very comfortable rooms and suites decorated in classic Louis XV and Louis XVI-style. Marie Antoinette herself would have appreciated the two signature suites created in 2012, including a palatial 3,475-square foot two-bedroom Imperial Suite with a 12-seat dining room and sitting room with walk-in closet.
For food fit for an emperor, try the revamped restaurant Epicure, where 3* Michelin chef Eric Frechon creates delicious dishes such as roasted lobster with rosemary. Le Bristol's other restaurants include the 114 Faubourg brasserie and Le Jardin Francais for tea and relaxed lunches and dinners with views of the hotel gardens. In summer the restaurant terrace is a very civilised place to while away an afternoon - you may even be joined by Fa-Raon & Kléopatre, the hotel's resident cats. Award-winning architect Pierre-Yves Rochon's vision is also in evidence in Le Bar du Bristol, a contemporary take on a wood-panelled English gentleman's club, serving excellent cocktails and with DJs playing on weekend nights.
New as of 2011, the Spa Le Bristol by La Prarie is spread across three floors with a salon, treatment rooms (some with private balcony terraces overlooking the gardens), kids' club and a banya, a Russian-style sauna. Alternatively enjoy the teak and wood clad pool, designed to resemble a 19th century royal yacht. The perfect place to relax after a day's wandering around Paris.
Why we love it
While David Beckham was playing for Paris St Germain in 2013 he stayed in the Imperial Suite at Le Bristol at a mere £14,500 a night. As you do.