On a sunny day in Avenue Montaigne, along the gleaming store fronts of Dior, Chanel, and Valentino, we come across the historic facade of the Hôtel Plaza Athénée. A stone's throw away from the Tour d'Eiffel, on one of the most iconic boulevards in the city of lights.
For over 100 years, The Hôtel Plaza Athénée has been a pinnacle of Parisian style and elegance; having been a gathering place for the creme de la creme of Parisian Society for over a century. After undergoing a top to bottom refurbishment, the hotel now features 154 gorgeous rooms and 54 luxury suites, all exemplifying the hotel’s signature French allure. Upon arriving at number 25 Avenue Montaigne, you are first greeted by the hotel’s iconic Art Nouveau balconies, all garlanded with fresh spring flowers. The hotel’s signature red marquees add a pop of colour to the classic French architecture of Avenue Montaigne; and is remarkable on a sunny day. On the La Terasse Montaigne, where the marquees are mirrored by cushioned cast-iron chairs, some of the hotel’s gorgeous patrons chat away over a glass of rosé and a cigarette, the true joie de vivre of the French Capital.
You are then escorted by the lovely staff, across the palatial marble floor lobby, and into the executive elevator which is reserved only for the lucky few, staying in their splendid suites. We’ve had the pleasure of staying in the deluxe guest room with a breathtaking view of the Eiffel Tower. Taking inspiration from the extravagant era of Louis XVI, the stylish decor truly epitomises French glamour. The lavish marble bathroom features an amazing full-length window opening up to the balcony; and the room is filled with every modern luxury a discerning traveller could ever want.
On our first night, we had dinner at the Le Relais Plaza, the hotel’s wonderful art deco brasserie dating back to the Flapper days of the 1930s. The food was faultless and so was the service. The king crab and avocado hors d’oeuvres in particular, was absolutely delicious. Chef Phillippe Marc deserves nothing but stellar reviews for his novel take on the French classics.
Additionally, take the time to observe the small wall adjacent to the restaurant’s entrance. This is truly a special little memento to all of the hotel’s most legendary patrons. A signed photo of Yves Saint Laurent sits right in the middle of the wall, with an accompanying sketch from one of our generation’s most important designers. The framed photo says “Pour Werner avec toute mon affection et mes remerciements les plus sincères”, For Werner with all my affection and my sincerest thanks. A rare glimpse into the lives of the icons that have resided in the famed address.
Of course, a visit to the Hôtel Plaza Athénée would not be complete without experiencing one of the only 3-star Michelin restaurants in the world, Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée. The restaurant has just undergone a complete renovation under designers, Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku. The soft curves and chrome details of the furnishings balanced with the delicate hanging chandeliers, is truly a sight to behold. Here, Alain Ducasse’s food philosophy becomes fully realised. Utilising only the finest ingredients, and taking a more natural approach to Haute Cuisine. The dishes and the wine pairings are truly exceptional, all contributing to an unforgettable dining experience.
The Hôtel Plaza Athénée is truly a one of a kind luxury destination, deserving of all the accolades it has received over the years as the number one haute couture address in Paris. A testament to the Dorchester Collection’s consistent dedication to providing the best hotel experiences in the world. Finally, at the end of the evening, there is nothing better than retreating back to your room and marvelling at the breathtaking spectacle of the Tour d’Eiffel lighting up the night sky.
Words by Hannah Tan
For more information visit Hôtel Plaza Athénée
Images Courtesy of The Dorchester Collection
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