A weekend at The Peninsula, Paris
In Paris there are hotels, then there are five star hotels which are extremely pretty and offer luxurious amenities but if you are bad enough you still end up in a room as big as a shoe box and finally we have the Parisian Palaces - a handful of properties that are over the top. The Peninsula is one of the latter ones and definitely not the worst these 8. I don't want to sound overwhelmed at first, at least my colleague Felix said: wait for the wow-effect to be over and then focus. However, even two days after our stay I am still in the wow effect and I guess that's what makes this place an extraordinary one in the entire world. As the most fascinated hotel lover in Central Europe I should say: Stay at the Ritz otherwise you haven't been in Paris but actually the Peninsula always felt more attractive to me - being a lover of modern and newly styled hotels rather than old school grand hotels (nothing against them, they are mind changing sometimes!).
So to sum it up, it was the most brilliant day of the year so far in the French capital and I arrived at Gare de Lyon perfectly on time (I love the Swiss trains), heading to my Uber bringing me to the hotel of the night. The drive was already blowing me away after having passed the Notre Dame, Les Tuileries, Pont Alexandre, Grand Palais and Musee d'Orsay. It was warm and sunny, the alleys in full blossom and the streets empty when the limousine stopped and the porter opened the door. A light "Bienvenue au Peninsula" was the first words before I could glimpse the most impressive building on Avenue Kleber. I was accompanied to the door, through the Lobby Bar and the marble hallway until we arrived at the front desk. He then said good bye and handed me over to a kind blond lady who checked me in. I was so relaxed and happy to be staying at such a picture perfect property that I used the four minutes to adjust to the elegant atmosphere. The highlight of the whole welcome experience was the arrival of the amazingly friendly Guest Relations Manager Geoffrey who more felt like a private Asisstant rather than a hotel staff member.
He was introducing himself and accompanied me to my room where he continued with a room tour, introduction to all the several technical as well as detailed gadgets such as the two tablets to control TV, radio, audio, atmosphere, curtains, lights, services and messages - well generally everything! I don't know what was the most impressive part of the room and I would not mind saying the walk-in wardrobe which was definitely bigger than some Parisian hotel rooms I bet. Might it be the secret shoe shine box where you can place your shoes into tap the touch-screen paneel to order pick-up and within 60 minutes they will deliver them back to you, the cool nail dryer (hands up for all the ladies out here), the impressive safe box or simply the little details just as lens cleaning cloth with the hotel logo on it. I was blown away by that part already but could not show that :). People might think we experience such hotels every day but actually the majority don't focus on the little details so we get really excited about them!
We then continued to the main bedroom which did not look to be the most spacious but I then registered that the entire bathroom, hallway and wardrobe occupy the most space (isn't that crazy?). It could also be due to the high ceiling, which was due to the big windows, that could easily be opened and that was another highlight since a lot of daylight then filled the room. The vast king bed was upgraded with the best linen in cool grey - I would already say it's a signature thing here at the Peninsula Paris. Next to the bed there were tables with two tablets and a phone next to it, a comfy armchair as well as a writing desk with two chairs, a printer, lots of office stuff and truly amazing welcome amenities consisting of a bottle of red wine, a bellman made out of chocolate, a chocolate bar with pralines indicating Peninsula and a special creation of chocolate along with a handwritten letter welcoming me and my colleague! Was I impressed? Honestly I could not believe it and ended up staying in the room for two hours until Lukas finally arrived from Gare de l'Est, although I planned to go to the pool.
I am a fan when it comes to hotel bathrooms, however I try to avoid them in Paris since they tend to disappoint. However there are some exceptions, such as this amazing hotel. I opened the heavy doors and was welcomed by a stunning bathroom, and I would also say it is one of the most impressive I have seen. A big marble bathtub, double sinks, electronic Toto-toilet as well as a massive walk-in shower - I was not missing one thing. They also provided plenty of guests products and I really loved my first time with Oscar de la Renta toiletries. Since my colleague was still on the way to Paris, I made myself a bath which was filled in seconds due to the big faucet. As soon as I began to relax I registered the en-mirror tv and the touch panel where you could see all the tv programmes and regulate the sound system with every radio channel in the world. There is no thing that tops a bathroom with a build-in sound system - this is heaven!
When my colleague finally arrived, we walked around the "Triangle d'Or" and of course had lunch at L'Avenue to make the day one of the most glamorous ones. After we came back, we headed towards the Spa at the Peninsula with the rather vast indoor pool. To be honest, I thought the pool is quite small (the pictures don't show the real size). I could not believe my eyes when I actually went into the pool and registered that it is for sure one of the biggest I have seen in any European city hotel. I found it to be a nice touch that they provided complimentary sparkling water on the pool along with a cozy atmosphere and a super sleek changing area with a sauna and steam bath. Generally the spa is a great place and it's easy to spend a full day there.
Fully regenerated, we headed towards Saint Germain de Pres for our dinner at the super chic Ralph's which has an amazing restaurant in a picturesque courtyard with lovely furniture. While I knew that the Peninsula has the most amazing rooftop restaurant in entire Paris, I needed the typical Parisian vibes I always get when in Saint Germain de Pres, it's not the chicest area for nothing. Having slept in the most heavenly way, my colleague and me were ready to explore what this palace has to offer for breakfast. I was hesitating whether they serve breakfast at the rooftop or at the magnificent terrace on the ground floor. While I would have preferred the first option, I was impressed of how beautiful it was to sit on the terrace overlooking Avenue Kleber, enjoying the first sun rays of the day and being served a truly outstanding American breakfast. The coffee was great as the juice and the highlight was the signature apple cake that was so soft and tasty. In fact this was the perfect way to start a sunny day in the city of Love!
If you ask yourself why I rated the Peninsula with 10 points out of 10, I have to admit that there was not even one thing that I missed or did not found to be good. It was a flawless stay that has been tailored to a very personal one thanks to Guest Relations Manager Geoffrey. A Parisian hotel that is finally worth the room rates of 1k dollars. I will be back soon for sure!