By Angela Fairhurst
Paris is one of the top tourist destinations for Americans and Europeans alike. Delicious food, fine wine, architecture and fine art are some of the few reasons to visit, but romantic and prestigious hotels are also a big draw.
Hotel Le Meurice is one of those establishments. Having been around for over two centuries, its current and historic clientele of aristocrats, artists and celebrities speak for its significance in Paris. Now part of the Dorchester Collection, the hotel has undergone four major renovations since moving in 1835 to its current site overlooking the Tuileries Garden. During a two-year renovation starting in 1905 that added private bathrooms, workers adopted a stray greyhound, which became the hotel’s mascot and still serves as the emblem of the hotel today. The most recent refurbishment is a 2007 renovation of the public spaces by Philippe Starck.
The hotel is a classic French palace, but feels like an eighteenth century home, including Louis XVI décor, painted ceilings and original architectural details, which just happens to be equipped with all the technology and modern conveniences.
There are 160 rooms and suites in the hotel, each decorated differently, using the finest fabrics and furnishings. The bathrooms can be considered some of the best in the world, using exquisite marble, sumptuous tubs and bidets. It’s the character of the hotel that gives it a special and romantic feel.
Master chef Alain Ducasse supervises all the food at the Hotel Le Meurice. The fine-dining Restaurant le Meurice Alain Ducasse has two Michelin stars. The Restaurant Le Dalí is named after the famous surrealist painter, a spirited guest, who spent at least one month annually at the hotel. Bar 228 is a cozy bar decorated with dark woods and leather, serving decadent cocktails, an array of spirits and Dom Perignon by the glass all out of crystal glasses specially produced by Riedel.
The Spa Valmont for Le Meurice is a welcoming retreat featuring Valmont’s line of anti-aging treatments, a hammam, nail bar, sauna, fitness room and a landscaped terrace.
With its ideal location virtually next to the Place de la Concorde and the Louvre, and steps from the Opéra Garnier, the shops of rue de la Paix and rue Saint-Honoré, the hotel is pure Paris. But it’s the service that takes this hotel to another level ensuring an exceptional and romantic experience in the City of Lights.