Le Bristol Paris, Oetker Collection

112 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008 Paris, France

This hotel is on our list of The 15 Best Hotels in Paris.

From the luxury Oetker Collection, Le Bristol is one of the first hotels in France to obtain Palace distinction. Occupying nearly an entire block on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré near the Élysée presidential palace, this soulful property has been a gathering place for Parisians since 1925. The 190 guest rooms, which feel like private apartments, are decorated with precious fabrics, paintings, and 18th-century antiques. The on-site attractions include a spa by Le Prairie, a teak-lined pool resembling a yacht, and a courtyard garden fragrant with jasmine. For more than a decade, chef Eric Frechon has held three Michelin stars at Epicure, where menu fixtures include the macaroni stuffed with black truffle and foie gras. Frechon’s culinary dominions are a portal into French gastronomy itself: The hotel has its own chocolate factory, cheese cellar, flour mill, and boulangerie.

What sets Le Bristol apart is the warmth of the staff, many of whom have worked for the hotel for decades. Jean Philippe Quellier (guests cashier) and Jean-Marie Burlet (head of guest relations) count a half-century between them. The 14-person concierge team doesn’t just sweat the details for guests. They also spoil Socrate, the resident Burmese cat and successor to Fa-Raon, who after years of hotel antics—including elevator rides and naps on Louis Vuitton luggage—retired to the countryside.

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L'art du vivre

At the nexus of fashion, art, and politics on the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Le Bristol so embodies French l’art du vivre that its pampered Burmese cat, Fa-Raon, sports a collar by Goyard and a sterling name tag by Christofle. The first hotel in France to be awarded palace status, it occupies nearly an entire block, steps from the presidential residence and major embassies. Luxurious amenities abound—a 13,000-square-foot garden offers a serene, flower-filled retreat, while an indoor rooftop pool, reserved exclusively for guests, has views of the Eiffel Tower and Montmarte. Throughout the hotel, six years of refurbishment, completed in 2014, added even more marble, precious woods, and luxury textiles, heightening the 18th-century French style without compromising the discreet, competent service for which the hotel is known.

This is the kind of place where staff members greet guests by name and work the month before arrival to secure hard-to-score tickets and restaurant reservations. One hardly needs to go out, however, as the hotel’s restaurants, wine tastings, fashion shows, and weekend live DJs at Le Bar du Bristol anchor French high society. In fact, Epicure, chef Eric Frechon’s three-Michelin-starred restaurant, is continually booked for lunch and dinner by the capital’s movers and shakers, all of them vying for the black truffles imported from Périgord, the caviar from Sologne, and the freshly caught whiting fish from Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie. Frechon is also behind the menu at Café Antonia, known for its breakfast and natural juices, as well as at the Michelin-starred 114 Faubourg Brasserie, where classic French dishes are served with a modern twist.

The Epitome of Fine French Cooking

Consistently voted one of the top restaurants in the city, Epicure is a seriously splurge-worthy spot that lives up to its three-Michelin-star rating. The setting is the luxurious Le Bristol hotel, which dates back to 1925, and the plush, stately dining room looks out onto the hotel’s flower-filled courtyard garden (an idyllic place for a pre- or post-dinner drink). Expect superlative French cooking with a seasonal approach—nearly everything on the menu is sourced from France, from the famed Bresse chicken (here, poached in a pig’s bladder) to the succulent Loire Valley duck. Every dish is beautifully prepared, artfully plated and of course, service is impeccable—as befits the hefty price tag.

Stylish Beauty

It is hard to imagine a city that could make a plausible claim on Paris’s title as the style capital of the world. From the Place de Vosges’ construction in the 1600s to the French New Waves of the ‘60s, the city has a long history of showing the rest of the world what urban life looks at its best. Its famed “palace hotels” have contributed to that legacy, as exemplified by Le Bristol Paris. The hotel provides a lesson in the elements of French style—always flawless and yet often surprising. At first glance, the Bar at Le Bristol may look like a staid English gentlemen’s club, but as the evening progresses it becomes clear that it’s anything but. Original video installations are played behind the bar which serves original cocktails and an exceptional selection of eau-de-vies. Epicure holds three stars from Michelin, thanks to Eric Frechon’s daringly creative dishes, like sweetbreads braised with tobacco leaves and lamb in a nori crust. From the magnolia- and rose-scented gardens to the French and English fabrics decorating the rooms, Hôtel Le Bristol delights all the senses.

Learn the Fine Art of French Cooking

Start your trip to France by learning more about one of the country’s most famous cultural contributions, its cuisine. From the morning’s first pain au chocolat to stops for croques monsieur and crepes as you explore, the country’s famous dishes will likely be high points of your day. But to truly gain an appreciation for French cuisine, Shelby can arrange a turn behind the stove at the original workshop of L’Atelier des Chefs, on Rue de Penthièvre in the 8th arrondissement. Courses include everything from French macarons to classic bistro fare. And once sated by your rich meal, a dip in the pool at the nearby Bristol is an ideal way to cap off the afternoon. The design of the indoor pool was inspired by classic yachts, complete with teak decking, and floor-to-ceiling windows that look out across the city with views of the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre and the Sacré-Coeur basilica.

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