Everything about Hôtel de Crillon is designed to make you feel at home. Arriving in style in the property’s Mercedes-Maybach, I’m greeted by name and ushered in, enveloped by a warm environment. Reception is as it should be: an intimate salon, two writing desks and a quiet seating area.
Walking through the carefully curated public areas, some warmly lit by Baccarat chandeliers, I’m invited to relax with a cocktail or a coffee over a game of backgammon. the sofas are cushy; the original artwork is superb; and it’s difficult not to stop and linger. Throughout the hotel, there are 70 types of marble, and gold leaf abounds. It’s classic understated grandeur.
The ceilings are high; the windows are appropriately dressed; and every need is catered to by your private butler. Beds are draped in Italian linens by Rivolta Carmignani; pillows and decadent duvets are from Drouault; and deep soaking tubs are paired with heated bathroom floors, while bespoke toiletries by Buly 1803, plush robes and fluffy slippers further enhance the experience.
The minibar is a study in sumptuous accommodation: crystal glasses and decanters, bone china cups and saucers, a leather-encased Nespresso machine with coffee pods and tea in a Christofle container. There are also premade Avantgarde Spirits cocktails, including 10 Les Ambassadeurs, crafted for the hotel.
Officially designated as a Palace grade hotel in 2018 by Atout France, Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel, reopened in July 2017 after a more than four-year renovation. Overseen by four Paris-based interior designers—Aline Asmar d’Amman, Chahan Minassian, Cyril Vergniol and Tristan Auer—the $222 million project totally updated and redesigned the 1758 Louis XVcommissioned palace. The result is an exquisite blend of old and new, with a ﬁnely honed eye toward preserving its unique features, including the magnificent grand staircase.
Located in Paris’ 8th arrondissement, the five-star jewel box plays neighbor to the American Embassy and is mere steps from Avenue des Champs Élysées. On the third floor, my Premier room is, simply put, astounding.
In addition to the 78 guest rooms, the hotel also offers 36 guest suites and 10 signature suites. The largest single suite is the Suite Bernstein (from $22,042 per night), which has a wraparound terrace with views of the Eiffel Tower and the Grand Palais. en, there’s the Suite Marie-Antoinette (from $17,634 per night), where you may book the salon next door, where she reportedly took piano lessons (squeal!).
Among the cadre of elite designers involved in the project, Karl Lagerfeld designed two suites, Les Grands Appartements (from $3,975 per night), both of which display his photographic work. In a nod to preservation, red marble from an original courtyard fountain was fashioned into two sinks, each sitting in the powder room of his respective suites. The most memorable room Lagerfeld created is the Carrara marble-clad bathroom in the larger of the two suites. Bathed in light from French doors overlooking the Place de la Concorde, the massive tub carved from a 2-ton piece of Carrara marble invites you for a soak as you sip Champagne and enjoy the view. Cake in the bath, anyone?
A significant part of the hotel’s renovation was taken up by the pool and spa facilities. They required an excavation equivalent to two floors beneath the hotel. The result is a stunning achievement. The 14-meter pool, sheathed in 17,600 gold fish-scale-shaped mosaic tiles, shimmers beneath a skylit ceiling. The spa, Sense, A Rosewood Spa, invites you to immerse yourself in the peaceful tranquility of the moment from pre-ritual ginger tea to start the relaxation process to a postritual snack of fresh fruit to replenish. I opt for the Essential Absolute Radiance Ritual, a six-step facial experience that is beyond decadent.
Bar Les Ambassadeurs, formerly the hotel’s fine dining room, is now a gathering spot for guests and chic locals to enjoy live music in the evenings. The renovation created a grand space covered in frescos highlighted with 18th century-style detailing. The original ceiling, a registered landmark, is hidden beneath a new ceiling that depicts the sky. Rimmed by low-slung cushy divans, this French brasserie is open for lunch and dinner (from 3PM), emphasizing regionally sourced products utilized in a modern twist on traditional cuisine.
Jardin d’Hiver is awash in mica panels with aubergine sofas. Although it offers all-day dining, Jardin d’Hiver is a cozy retreat for guests, excelling in its tea service—both savory and sweet. Behind a mirrored door is the entrance to L’Ecrin, the hotel’s gastronomic restaurant and a local favorite. Nestled in the corner, down a flight of steps, this intimate space is the backdrop for executive chef Boris Campanella’s sophisticated, refined cuisine. Open for dinner only five nights a week, this culinary experience is a must. Wine pairings are done in consultation with Xavier uizat, the hotel’s oenological expert.
Adjacent to Brasserie d’Aumont, Cour Gabriel is an outside courtyard designed by landscape architect Louis Beach, of Versailles Water Theater Grove fame. Guests here enjoy brasserie cuisine surrounded by the scent of jasmine and the sound of flowing water. The Cour d’Honneur, an open-air courtyard, affords guests a secluded piece of paradise in an otherwise bustling city. This summer, the hotel transformed the courtyard into the Yacht Club Terrace to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Negroni cocktail. I raise a Negroni to the Hôtel de Crillon too—a classic that continues to defy the ages and has reinvented itself to continually delight and cosset its guests. À votre santé! Room rates from $1,214 per night, deluxe suite rates from $1,992 per night, rosewoodhotels.com/hoteldecrillon