Though revised palace criteria has upped the number of luxury hotels throughout the City of Light, none garners more global reverence than Plaza Athénée, the backdrop for Carrie Bradshaw’s Parisian romance in the final episodes of Sex and the City.
Even before we fell in love with the hotel vis-à-vis New York’s fabulous fictional columnist, Athénée for 100 years had reigned as a celeb-stacked powerhouse with the likes of Grace Kelly and Jackie Kennedy patronizing the emblematic Haussmann masterpiece. Nowadays, the hotel is universally recognized for its geranium-clad exterior—1,900 luminous red flowers spread over 380 baskets on guestroom windows. It’s situated on Paris’ most fashionable street, Avenue Montaigne, a few blocks from the Champs-Elysées.
A honeymoon idyll, Plaza Athénée is more of an experience than a hotel—one that demands significant time on property to absorb its intricacies and celebrity. The hotel employs only the finest in every facet of operation—from handcrafted classic French-style furniture in guestrooms to one of the world’s most renowned chefs, Alain Ducasse, in its signature restaurant. Most suites command an exceptional view of Paris’ No. 1 attraction, the Eiffel Tower, from the balconies.
The entrance of Plaza Athénée
The terrace of the Eiffel Suite at the Plaza Athénée
A deluxe room in the Plaza Athénée
Down the Champs-Elysées, another palace, Hôtel Fouquet’s Barrière Paris, offers a respite from the city’s traditional disposition. The decor and design have not compromised the character that defines the city; it presents an evolution of style and avant-garde luxury. The love affair with Le Fouquèt’s begins upon entry—blinded by giant diamonds and Murano glass chandeliers, intrigued by the upholstered and embroidered chocolate leather walls and inexplicably drawn to the fabulous gilded Rococo furniture and ornaments. First impressions metamorphose into riveting sensory overload.
This majesty is matched by the fairytale suites, bathed in golds, coppers, browns and beiges and adorned with massive bedposts that reach the ceiling as well as damask curtains that open up to sublime views of Avenue George V, the Champs-Elysées and the Arc de Triomphe. plaza-athenee-paris.com; fouquets-barriere.com
Hôtel Fouquet’s Barrière Paris is situated on the Champs-Elysées.
Hôtel Fouquet’s Barrière Paris’ suites’ outdoor terraces provide a way to enjoy the bustling city without leaving the hotel.
A view from Hôtel Fouquet’s Barrière Paris
A deluxe room in Barrière Paris