Washington Life Magazine
Washington Life Magazine

Vive la France!

Princes, presidents, and plutocrats love the luxurious HÔTEL DE CRILLON in Paris


Ideally located in the geographic heart of Paris on the place de la Concorde, the historic Hotel de Crillon is within easy walking distance of many major attractions: the Louvre, Madeleine, Opera, Grand Palais, Musee d’Orsay, Champs Elysees and Place Vendome (where many of the top couturiers and jewelers are to be found). The Left Bank is a short promenade across the River Seine and—for those without chauffeurs waiting—there are plenty of taxis and a main line Metro stop just to the left of the front entrance.

Royalty, presidents, plutocrats, and entertainment celebrities have long favored the Crillon. (Madonna recently drew enormous crowds out front every time she and her entourage were rumored to be leaving the hotel). Otherwise, major fashionistas, especially during the spring and fall shows; businessmen (many Asian); and lots of well-heeled older couples.

Everything you would expect from one of the City of Light’s grandest and most luxurious nesting spots after a spectacular $25 million renovation: ornate decor, top notch Les Ambassadeurs restaurant (chef Jean-Francois Piege won back a second Michelin star this year), snazzy bar, cozy Winter Garden Tea Room with soothing harp music, superior service and faultless attention to every detail.


Despite “sound-proofing,” it is much too noisy in many rooms, especially those facing rue Boissy d’Anglas, where a garbage truck approximately the size of the old S.S. Ile de France hoists innumerable dumpsters most mornings between 6:00 and 7:00 a.m. Also best avoided are accommodations off the central elevator corridor, where housemaids gather to chat near their service carts.

Ornate moldings, wood paneling, Baccarat chandeliers and sumptuous silks, velvets and brocades from worldrenowned weavers such as Lelievre and Frey lend the aura of a palatial cocoon to the 103 guest rooms and 44 “Grand Apartments” restored in the Louis XV style by interior designer Sybille de Margerie under the supervision of the French National Landmarks Commission. All fully airconditioned of course, with plasma screen TVs, high-speed Internet access, multi-line telephones, safes and mini-bars.

Most are a minimum 100 square feet and have been rebuilt with lavish use of Cararra marble; separate bathtubs and walk-in showers, double sinks; bidets (naturellement); sinfully soft robes and towels and Annick Goutal perfumed toiletries


Private fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment and training coach; “Femmetastique” private tour and shopping services for women traveling alone; special sleeping baskets and walkers for pets; currency exchange, baby-sitting.

Extensive menu available 24 hours. Try the famous and incredibly delicious club sandwich with secret ingredients. Could it be a smidgen of champagne mustard with a tiny trace of anchovy paste? Mine was so good I saved part of it to savor the next day. Breakfast croissants are predictably flaky and fresh, and the water was boiling hot for tea. (It does help if you remember to order lait chaud.)

The minimum price for the simplest single occupancy room ranges from $600-$700 depending on the season. Superior double rooms: $730-$800; Deluxe doubles: $800-$1,000. Seven categories of suites range from $1,500 to $9,500 per night.

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