Paris has always had a special place in my heart, but this month it became even more special as the home of our engagement.
Our trip was made so memorable with a two-night stay at the elegant five star Grand Hotel du Palais Royal. Now, I’ve stayed at many luxury Paris hotels but this has been without a doubt one of my favourites for a number of reasons.
Of course, we never would have believed that just a few days after our dreamy, rose-tinted stay in Paris, when the city felt as majestic and cultured as always, such darkness would fall. The wounds are raw and the city is still healing, but let me share the magic of Paris as we know and love it.
Grand Hotel du Palais Royal boasts an enviable central location overlooking the prestigious Palais Royal Garden – in fact it’s the only five star hotel in this historic quarter. Also on the doorstep is the Comédie Française on the popular Place Colette, the Louvre, Tuileries Gardens and chic rue Saint-Honoré for designer shopping.
The hotel occupies a beautiful 18th century building, neatly tucked away from the main street on the quiet Place de Valois, and features 68 rooms and suites. Inside, it’s all about understated luxury with tasteful interiors by one of my favourite designers Pierre-Yves Rochon.
We were warmly welcomed by the staff at check-in and instantly felt at home in this charming luxury hotel. The lobby is so cosy and refined with intimate lounging nooks filled with books and objets d’art, elegant white lilies and an intoxicating signature scent of warm tuberose.
Take a peek through to the original listed staircase and you’ll meet a classical bust of Jean-Baptiste Lulli, composer for the royal court and Louis XIV, whom the hotel’s restaurant Le Lulli is named after. You also can’t miss the fabulous leather trunk at the foot of the stairs, referencing the glamour of travel and Parisian heritage brands such as Hermès and Goyard.
Our Deluxe Room on the fourth floor was lovely and bright with highlights of soft lime green, mocha and light wood to evoke the lush greenery of the Palais Royal Garden. It was just the right size for a Paris city break and I liked the addition of a juliette balcony overlooking the courtyard.
The hotel was completely renovated and redesigned two years ago, so all of the furnishing still appear brand new, to the credit of the meticulous housekeeping team.
I was pleased to find a kettle in our cabinet with a selection of teas by Palais des Thés, a TV with English language channels other than the news, free wifi and a tempting room service menu that includes a rather posh Croque Madame.
We were kindly welcomed with beautiful flowers, a large bottle of Evian and a selection of hand-made macarons – the ideal pick-me-up after our Eurostar journey. The nightly turn-down was just as dedicated with complimentary bottles of mineral water and slippers placed on a cotton mat by our bedside – those extra five star touches.
The bathroom was petite but well-appointed with a powerful walk-in massage shower, two sets of bathroom products by Atelier Cologne (an independent Paris fragrance and body care brand based nearby) plenty of fluffy towels and embroidered bathrobes and slippers.
Breakfast is a indulgent affair with a luxury breakfast buffet served in Le Lulli restaurant. Breakfast service can often let down even the best hotels, but the morning staff at Le Lulli are a real credit to the hotel. They were so friendly and caring, making everyone’s day begin with a smile and some much-needed caffeine.
The generous offering included eggs cooked to order, hot dishes, smoked salmon, mini pastries, crêpes, charcuterie, French cheeses, set yoghurts and even a few treats such as bite-size chocolate fondants and fruit tarts. Each morning, I started with warm pancakes with maple syrup and fresh berries and a bowl of apple compote (a childhood favourite), with a tasty little pain au chocolat for good measure.
On our second day in Paris, we enjoyed a fabulous, leisurely three-course lunch in Le Lulli, but more about that later…
After a long day exploring the city, the floral-mosaic hammam is perfect for unwinding. There is also an elegant spa with treatments by Parisian skincare brand Carita and a well-equipped gym.
Grand Hotel du Palais Royal is the very definition of a hidden gem – a real insider’s address for those who appreciate discreet luxury and a warm, homely atmosphere. We left feeling charmed by the hotel, its dedicated staff and the city itself – as always, Paris is full of wonderful surprises.
For more information and booking, visit: www.grandhoteldupalaisroyal.com
Chérie City was a guest of Grand Hotel du Palais Royal
Photos by Chérie City and Grand Hotel du Palais Royal