The best five-star hotels in Paris, from multi Michelin-starred restaurants to exquisite interiors
These are unusual times, and the state of affairs can change quickly. Please check the latest travel guidance before making your journey. Note that our writers visited these hotels pre-pandemic.
At their best, the French capital’s most high-end hotels offer a service that goes way beyond a place to rest your head, rather providing unique and memorable experiences: think sleeping in Oscar Wilde’s last resting place, private butlers, or taking in the rooftops of Paris from a top-floor pool. In a competitive market, the best five-star hotels in Paris are forever striving to welcome their guests in greater splendour and style, providing exceptional service and facilities (with a price tag to match). Here’s our pick of Paris’ finest, featuring opulent interiors, Michelin-starred dining, period charm and fabulous service.
On a wide avenue off the Champs-Elysées, the George V impresses the moment you step in: think palatial comfort, space, excellent gastronomy (it was the first palace hotel in Paris to have three Michelin-starred restaurants) and the most remarkable flower displays in town. Period interiors are bourgeois to the hilt, with spectacular art works, crystal chandeliers, and 17th-century Flanders tapestries. This opulence continues to the rooms, decorated in a quintessentially French, classical Louis XV style. Even entry-level rooms are huge by Parisian standards. And then there’s the designer spa with pool, Hamman, jetted whirlpool and Champagne bar. Exquisite.
Opened in 1925, Le Bristol is one of six hotels in Paris awarded official ‘Palace’ status (a notch up from five stars). The emphasis is on old fashioned luxe, where traditional door keys replace cards, service is personal, marble floors are polished, crystal chandeliers hang overhead, and Versailles-style furniture lines grand salons. Look out for the portrait of Marie Antoinette in drawing room-style Café Antonia. Rooms are located across two buildings separated by an elegant French-style garden featuring ornamental parterres. The jewel in the crown is Epicure, the triple Michelin-starred restaurant, where the food is positively ambrosial.
If rue Saint-Honoré, where this Palace hotel is situated, is all about conspicuous consumption, Mandarin Oriental Paris itself is a haven of elegance and understated pampering. From champagne on arrival to the lavish choice of pillow (rose-scented down perhaps, or memory foam perfumed with coconut milk?), service is polished and all-embracing from the off. Interiors are cool and contemporary, served up with a slice of the Orient in the form of cherry wood panelling and fine silks – the rooms have a touch of 1930s Paris. Sur Mesure par Thierry Marx is a three-Michelin-starred affair in an all-white setting that has been designed so as not to detract from the ‘sensory’ dining experience.
On the avenue between the Arc de Triomphe and Parc Monceau, this ultra-luxe Palace-grade hotel is well placed for those looking to explore the finer things Paris has to offer. Despite a history dating back to the 1930s, the Philippe Starck-designed interiors are thoroughly contemporary, with arty influences almost everywhere – expect a gallery, an “art concierge”, a concept store and a cinema, for starters. Rooms are an artistic clutter of eclectic lamps and tables with vast island beds, photos and artworks propped against the walls. A mirrored spa, the largest hotel swimming pool in Paris, and two restaurants with Michelin stars complete the offering.
This ultra-luxe Parisian hotel is well-placed for lovers of old-school prestige and quality, with the high-end boutiques of Rue Saint-Honoré and Avenue Montaigne within close walking distance. Exquisite styling by star designer Jacques Garcia has given the boutique a pared-down look, but there is still proof of his signature playful blending of styles, with elements of Second Empire (think intricate wall mouldings and Versailles parquet), Deco pillars in the Gabriel restaurant and contemporary art pieces. The elegant library, open only to guests of the hotel during the day, presents a tranquil spot to read and work, with a view out onto the leisurely interior courtyard. Butler service is standard, and a courtesy car is available for guests for outings.
Since it first opened 100 years ago this grand, historic address – one of the most expensive hotels in Paris – has encapsulated elegance and sophistication. An extensive renovation involving four interior designers has transformed the property with extraordinary attention to detail. Expect lots of polished stone, bespoke furnishings and very large, comfortable beds in 124 butler-assigned rooms (two suites were designed by Karl Lagerfeld). The biggest successes are the two internal courtyards which have been transformed into leafy gardens with the brasserie and the spa spilling into them. For formal dining, chef Christopher Hache, who ran the one Michelin-starred Les Ambassadeurs restaurant, oversees L’Ecrin.
A location by the Louvre, contemporary interiors, and the only Paul Bocuse brasserie in Paris return the renovated Hôtel du Louvre to its rightful position among the city’s best five stars. The landmark building dates back to 1855 when it first opened for the Exposition Universelle, but behind its historic façade the lobby and rooms are stylish and bright – think white walls, marble-topped coffee tables, collage-style prints by Emmanuel Pierre, and standout features including the marvellous neoclassical glass roof in the bar, L’Officine du Louvre. Facilities have been cleverly chosen; the cabines privées (private rooms) for pre-check-in arrivees are a great innovation. Complimentary experiences include tours of the Louvre in winter.
A smart, compact, très belle artistic ode to 1920s Paris on Avenue George V. The Prince of Wales (named after the future Edward VIII before he met American divorcee Wallis Simpson) opened in 1929 as a showcase of Art Deco, its smart streamlined interiors ditching the flouncy frills of Art Nouveau to create one of Paris’ most modern hotels frequented by Winston Churchill, Marlène Dietrich, Laurel and Hardy et al. Expect rooms fashioned by contemporary French designer Pierre-Yves Rochon to sparkle like new; gastronomic dining with one of the city’s few female Michelin-starred chefs; a very romantic wellness suite for two, and an excellent multi-staffed concierge desk.
Once a summer destination for stylish Parisians, The Molitor is as close as you get to a resort hotel in Paris. The legendary Art Deco swimming pool was reborn as a hotel and sports club after 20 years of abandon, and interiors reflect its history and heritage. Stained-glass sporting scenes and geometric tiles have been restored, alongside memories of graffiti artist squatters, and three rooms have original Art Deco, steamer-style portholes (most overlook the pool). The legendary summer pool is of course the pièce de résistance here, but the Molitor offers just about everything else you need for a spot of R&R; a large state-of-the-art fitness room, classes that range from boxing to ballet, and pampering courtesy of Clarins in the spacious spa.
Perfect for a romantic weekend. With 20 rooms and Jacques Garcia décor, Maison Souquet falls within the current trend for small-scale prestige rather than the giant palaces of old. Colonising the characterful district of Pigalle, the historic building’s brief moment as a maison close (brothel) gives it a slightly naughty spirit. Each room is named after a courtesan, and the decor is a feast of different textiles covering walls and stuffed bedheads, from peacock feathers to chinoiserie, plus some very Garcia touches in velvet poufs and fringed satin lampshades.
Highly personalised service is akin to having your own butler and, once checked-in, you should have no desire to leave.
Le Meurice stands out among the Paris palaces with its prime position on arcaded rue de Rivoli, just minutes from the Louvre. It’s very grand yet not stuffy. Dali used to stay here with his ocelots and that has clearly left a legacy of tolerance for guest’s foibles. Almost 400 staff can lay on anything from chauffeur-driven tours and the promise of bodily perfection in the Valmont spa to walking your dog.
The 160 rooms and suites are sybaritic oceans of pastel-coloured silks and bergère chairs à la Louis XVI. Now in the hands of multi-starred superchef Alain Ducasse, Restaurant Le Meurice offers superb dining under a blowsy rococo ceiling. Le Dali is also outstanding.
This palatial Parisian pied à terre was originally the private mansion of Roland Bonaparte, eccentric botanist and great-nephew of Napoleon. It has a wedding-cake facade, grand stairway and a string of historic salons, restored with hand-gilded panelling and neoclassical friezes. Expect lashings of fine service, from top-hatted doormen to cheongsam-clad reception staff, a stand-out spa, and a not-so-secret garden with unrivalled Eiffel Tower views. Individually designed rooms are spacious (especially for Paris), with the best offering garden-view balconies or enormous panoramic terraces. There are three impressive restaurants but head to Shang Palace to experience the only Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant in France.
Located on the Avenue Montaigne, this is one of the city’s most unabashedly opulent hotels (and yes, one of the most famous hotels in Paris for its role in Sex and the City). Grand décor blends touches of 17th-century Versaille style and Art Deco elements with a modern finish, while staff are warm and efficient, with attentive and formal service in the hotel restaurants (Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée is the showpiece). In terms of rooms, some have superb views of the Eiffel Tower – including room 888 which has a viewing telescope – while others might have gorgeous interior courtyard shots. Standard doubles are the size of a small Parisian apartment.
On a quiet residential road amidst the busy hum of the prestigious Triangle d’Or, this delightfully understated five-star was a favourite hideaway for Hollywood celebrities and the Paris fashion set (think Lauren Bacall and Gene Kelly). There is no spa or a gym; instead, the five stars come from the exceptional level of service which feels personal, genuine and warm. The look throughout is luxurious – from a gleaming marble entrance and French designer fabrics on furniture and walls, to rooms that are all a little different. The higher the grade, for instance, the more eccentric the decor. Dining is a low-key but stylish affair, with 34 covers and meals served under the elegant glass roof of restaurant Les Confidences.
A Hong Kong vision of Parisian grandeur, lavishly redone with vast corridors, polished marble floors, a striking glass-leaf chandelier, panelled bar, meticulously restored rococo salon, and service with all the theatre you would expect from a hotel of this kind. There are six bars and restaurants, including top-floor panoramic French gastronomic restaurant L’Oiseau Bleu and Cantonese restaurant LiLi. In the subterranean spa you’ll find the longest hotel pool in Paris (20m), plus treatment rooms and a large gym space. Should you wish to go out, the car fleet includes limousines, a vintage Rolls-Royce Phantom II and two Minis (guests may also borrow electric bicycles). And dogs are welcomed too, with a bed and personalised blankets.
This address has welcomed many celebrity guests throughout the years of which, of course, Oscar Wilde is the most famous. The writer rented a furnished apartment here, then the Hôtel D’Alsace, before his death in 1900, famously saying that he was “dying beyond his means.” Throughout the 20th century, the property continued to attract famous figures including Ava Gardener, Frank Sinatra and the Aga Kahn. It has been entirely renovated by Jacques Garcia and is decorated in the sumptuous and eclectic style for which the designer is known: think elaborate wall mouldings and grand chandeliers contrasting with leopard print carpets. Service is efficient and the welcome is warm, with a more formal approach in the restaurant.
A stylishly opulent five star, located in the epicentre of Paris, which has been remodelled as the space of a wealthy fictional traveller (“Nolinski”). The décor, courtesy of interiors maestro Jean-Louis Denoit, blends Belle Epoque Paris – think marble surfaces and suites named after Hemingway and Josephine Baker – with contemporary touches such as abstract art, jagged geometric lines and dazzling mirrored surfaces. The hotel boasts an impressively spacious subterranean spa with sauna and hammam, and a very swish 16-metre pool, enhanced with a mirrored ceiling and elegant dim lighting. For traditional French fare with modern twists in both décor and menus, head to the lively Brasserie Réjane, with views of Avenue de l’Opéra.