The Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme opened in 2002 at the heyday of Asian minimalism, with American architect Ed Tuttle employing dark woods, taupe silks, and clean-lined furniture to transform the grand, 19th-century former headquarters of the Paquin fashion house into one of the city’s most luxurious business hotels. It's accented with modern French touches such as bespoke sculpted bronze door and cabinet fittings, underfloor heating, Louvre-quality limestone soaking tubs, and rain showers with Blaise Mautin toiletries. Amid other services, airport pick-ups in a Bentley Continental or Rolls Royce Phantom helped win over tourism officials who granted the hotel its current palace status, a grade above a mere five-star rating. Still steadily occupied, but often as hushed as a bank vault, the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme is a calm, elegant counterpoint to the nearby Palais Garnier Opera and blingy Place Vendôme, epicenter of the city’s jewelry district. It's been a home away from home for Lady Gaga, Maria Sharapova, and Roger Federer, as well as a Paris Fashion Week base for top models Karlie Kloss, Joan Smalls, and Natasha Poly. New Ambassador Suites were added in 2013.
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The Rue de la Paix leads from the 19th-century Paris Opera house to the Place Vendôme where high-end jewelers, the Ministry of Justice and the Ritz Paris are located. Dance students and shoe fetishists find bliss trying the models at the original Repetto (22 Rue de la Paix) ballet supply store that has branched into fashion clothes and footwear. Chanel’s 1918 flagship (31 Rue Cambon) is a two-minute walk from the hotel, as is the boutique-lined Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, where the Jacques Garcia–designed Hotel Costes is a perennial celebrity and fashion nightlife magnet. At lunch, locals and lovers of traditional French cooking line up at Le Petit Vendôme for takeaway sandwiches with excellent baguette and ingredients; the sit-down service offers hot Auvergnat dishes.
Need to Know
Rooms: 158 rooms. From $723. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Le Pur’, the Michelin-starred gastronomic restaurant helmed by Chef Jean-François Rouquette, might serve a cake in the shape of an Art Nouveau sculpture incorporating almond biscuit, crystallized lemon, absinthe, white chocolate ganache, and Tahitian vanilla cream. Les Orchidées sprawls between a glass conservatory and open air-terrace popular in warm weather for business lunches, while the Bar, perfect for after-hours negotiations, serves tapas and artisanal cocktails such as the Hermosa Despedida, created from tequila, mezcal, lemon juice, red pepper juice, barbecue bitters, spices, basil, and beer. Spa and gym details: The smallish fitness center is open 24 hours and has a pool, two treadmills, a cross trainer, and a single exercise bike. For additional cardio, guests can jog over to the Tuileries Gardens for a scenic run along the Seine. The four-treatment-room basement spa uses Crème de Mer products, including a patented “Miracle Broth” derived from sea kelp. Former suite 601 is now a Kure Nail salon with polishes made from natural ingredients such as wood pulp, cotton, wheat, corn, and potato.
Who’s it for: Business travelers, opera lovers, shopping addicts who prize hotels that favor discretion over glitz. Our favorite rooms: The Presidential Suite is laid out like a dream apartment with a grand piano, a bed big enough for six, and a private spa with a hairdresser’s chair, whirlpool bath, gold mosaic steam room/shower, and massage bed. The Vendôme Suite has a dramatic balcony overlooking the Place Vendôme. Restaurant highlight: Foodies (or guests with dreams of becoming reality show judges) can book a Chef’s table facing the open kitchen of Pur’, select seasonal ingredients, and challenge the hotel cooks to prepare an off-menu meal.