Le Peninsula Paris
It took master artisans four years to transform the faded Hotel Majestic, a belle époque landmark, into a 21st-century palace hotel. Le Peninsula Paris
reopened in 2014 with just 200 rooms—created at an average cost of 2.75 million dollars each—and a paparazzi-proof parking entrance. The first European entry of the Hong Kong
–based chain, the hotel’s primary investor is actually a hospitality group headed by a member of the Qatar royal family. Despite bas-reliefs, painted ceilings, marble parquet floors, and 2,100 acres of gold leaf (applied by the same company that re-gilded the torch on the Statue of Liberty), the hotel feels utterly modern, with original works of contemporary art scattered throughout; the rooms have a soothing gray and ecru color scheme, and tablets control everything from lights and TV stations to curtains and climate.