Le Meurice is so much more than a luxury hotel in Paris, it’s a museum of oddities, a gallery of modern art and a cult classic in the heart of the City of Light.
Like the Hôtel Plaze Athénée, Le Meurice is part of the renowned Dorchester Collection, but the two hotels are actually very different.
As soon as we entered the hotel we were greeted by the unique Daliesque artwork that is characteristic of the hotel. Actually, Salvador Dali himself was a regular visitor and spent a month there every year for thirty years. The hotel has kept his spirit alive by naming their more casual restaurant, Le Dalí, after him and the eclectic collection of chairs and artwork pay homage to his work.
Acclaimed French designer Philippe Starck revitalised the hotel in 2007 and created a totally visual feast with interesting surreal pieces that hark back to the work of Dali. Starck’s own daughter, Ara, created the dreamlike painting on the ceiling with the intention of bringing back the tradition of artists creating huge pieces for a public space.
I particularly liked this table, half bar and half grand piano, typical of the witty furnishings that decorate the hotel. The hotel has been one of the finest in Paris since 1835 and has been reinvented several times but I loved the way Starck captures the history with the traditional furnishings but keeps it modern and contemporary at the same time.
The restaurant serves a menu of French cuisine but on Sunday there’s a gorgeous brunch offering beautifully presented sweets and savouries.
Our room wasn’t quite ready so we headed out for lunch. The hotel is very conveniently located and it was a short walk around the corner from our previous residence, Grand Hotel du Palais Royal, located between Place de la Concorde and the Louvre. Le Meurice was also located right next door to Angelina, a tea room famed for its incredible patisseries and hot chocolate.
We vowed to get a hot chocolate when we returned for lunch but annoyingly when we got back at around 3.30pm, there was a queue going round the corner. Never mind, we were excited to see our room and spend some time enjoying the hotel.
Our Superior Room was totally lavish with gorgeous golden hues decorated in Louis XVI style with beautifully elegant furnishings and fixtures.
And a sumptuous sofa and armchairs to recline on.
All the gilt touches such as the mirrors, table legs and wall etchings just added to the glamour and brought to mind previous residents of Le Meurice. It was a favourite of Princess Diana, Elizabeth Taylor, Ginger Rogers and more recently Beyonce has stayed several times.
A gorgeous marble bathroom with a luxurious clawfoot bath included robes and towels that all carried the gold insignia of Le Meurice.
We also had a gorgeous Juliette balcony.
With the perfect view of the Eiffel Tower and the Roue de Paris…it was even more beautiful at night…
Before our final night out in Paris we headed down to the bar, named Bar 228 after the hotel’s address 228 rue de Rivoli, described as one of the world’s best bars.
The bar has also been redesigned by Philippe Starck and it’s decked out with plush chocolate-brown leather sofas, crystal decanters and stylish wood panelling. There are over three hundred cocktails on the menu (!) and fifty different types of whisky! They also had my favourite champagne by the glass, the diet-friendly, Laurent-Perrier Ultra Brut.
The hotel is also home to a two-Michelin Star restaurant, Le Meurice Alain Ducasse, though we didn’t visit for dinner breakfast is eaten in the dining room. I think I can say with no exaggeration, it is quite simply the most beautiful dining room that I’ve ever laid eyes on. Chandeliers drip from the ceiling, exquisite artwork adorns the walls and an intricate tiled floor is perfect for the #Ihavethisthingwithfloors Instagram account.
The beautiful room was actually inspired by Salon de la Paix at the Château de Versailles and it truly is palatial.
Sitting on the gorgeous Louis chairs as we admired the frescos and the stunning view of the Jardin des Tuileries from the window, we ordered our breakfast from the à la carte offering.
All served elegantly with silver service and a gilt-edged crockery. This is how breakfast should be done!
As I mentioned in the introduction, Le Meurice is so much more than a hotel. Like an artist with a quirky personality, the hotel is alive with eccentricities, wit and magic.
228 rue de Rivoli
+33 1 44 58 10 10