Hôtel Plaza Athénée
What We Love
- 24/7 room service ordered via iPad
- The fresh flowers in every room and all the public spaces
- The pillow and linen menus
What To Know
- Want those Eiffel Tower views through floor-to-ceiling windows? Book the Parisian Eiffel suites
- The hotel has strollers for loan, all made by Red Castle, painted in the hotel’s colors and branded with the logo
- Free WiFi
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
Bring your best bling to this Parisian landmark, which exudes luxury from every one of its aged but perfectly tended pores. From the distinctive red awnings to the window boxes overflowing with geraniums, the Plaza Athénée leaves no room for doubt: this is the grande dame of the city’s hotel scene. A recent renovation by designer Marie-José Pommereau refreshed the rooms, which have either an Art Deco (the seventh and eight floors) or a Regency look and a flower-tone palette set off by the rich silks and damasks that adorn the windows, chairs, and beds. The Alain Ducasse restaurant, newly redesigned by Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku, is flat-out bonkers: with its glittering silver banquettes, bright white walls and massive crystal-drop chandeliers, it’s what decadent dining might look like on a luxury space station. Le Relais Plaza, meanwhile, is more relaxed with its brasserie menu and regular clientele of business people and diamond-encrusted ladies who lunch. Allow the staff to pamper you silly, with gifts and chauffeured limo rides, before going for a massage at the spa, which is—what else?—Dior.
In the Area
If you’re staying here, money is no object, so wander down the Avenue Montaigne and pick yourself up some fabulous fashion. Armani, Louis Vuitton, Chanel and other similar names are all within steps of the hotel. When you’re tired of shopping, you can stroll over to the Avenue des Champs Élysées, pausing first at the Asian-influenced and très chic Market, a Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant, for an elegant brunch of eggs Benedict with pata negra or salmon sashimi. The stunning Grand Palais, one of the city’s most iconic buildings and home to excellent art exhibits and glorious gardens, is a ten-minute walk. Just around the corner from the hotel is La Maison de la Truffe, an elegant brasserie where the menu (and the stock in the adjacent boutique) is dedicated to the truffle.
How to Get There
45 years in the hospitality industry, 6-7 day weeks, 12-16 hour days...loved it. Now, in my "golden years," I get to enjoy it from the consumer side rather from the provider side. My wife and I experienced the best trip of our 40 year relationship with a 23 day self-driven tour of France in April. We capped it off with 3 days in Paris. Our stay at Plaza Athenee was nothing short of phenomenal. I'm amazed that, an organization as large as Dorchester Group, can achieve such a high level of customer service performance. From the Doorman, Manuel Henry, to Cyrill (Assistant Concierge), to Vincent Brunet (Assistant Concierge), to Jerome Poret (Chief Concierge), to (the absolutely, delightful, charming and helpful) Sarah, in the Gallerie, the staff was fantastic. They all created an indelible memory for my wife and I.
This is the best hotel I ever been in my entire life, more like a palace. Rooms are remarkably decorated, Chef Alain Ducass's restaurant beyond perfection. Hotel employees are very professional and friendly.
Incredibly luxurious hotel from the fragrant smells that permeate the Lobby, corridors and everywhere to the impeccable rooms!
But no complimentary coffee or tea in the rooms, no toothbrushes and everything is grossly overpriced! Room service croque monsieur was €46, salad at €40+ etc. When we requested a coffee machine in the room, they sent up a Nespresso machine but wanted to charge €5 per capsule!
We made the mistake of going to the hotel restaurant for breakfast and were delighted to have a large platter of about 12 croissants/buns that was served to every table irregardless of the number of guests. We ate one each but this stuck in our throat when we realised they charged us €58 for the platter. Our simple breakfast cost about €80 per head!!
Frankly we won’t be back again.
We stayed at the plaza for 5 days during fashion week. This hotel was buzzing with people, a great place to do people watching.
Our suite (356) was quite large (for Paris), bright and we were in the back which was heaven for us as this was very quiet.
The room had a large safe (finally a hotel with a safe larger than a shoe size box!) and lots of storage place.
All the hotel staff was very friendly, ready to help, called you by your name and efficient. The concierge were on top of their game and got us in places even during fashion week. They gave us the hotel Bentley rather than a taxi to go to one of our diners, which was a very nice attention.
The iconic courtyard restaurant is wonderful for lunches and the food was very pleasant.
The bar area is fun in the evening, cocktails were creative and quite good, and always guests to discuss with. The outdoor bar, on the side street, is pleasant to grab a quick bite or for a drink if you want a quieter spot than the bar.
The dual elevators going to our room made it that you never had to wait for an elevator which was nice.
This hotel has a number of negatives:
- the main complaint we have was that there was mold in the bathroom (see pics) and lots of it. Not acceptable for a luxury hotel like the Plaza (still waiting for an email of apology...)
- the fitness room has limited hours of operations so if you’re an early bird, too bad you have to wait 7am until they open... As a side note there is no swimming pool in the hotel.
- the main central safe also has limited hours of operations so it is closed when you return in the evening from your party or event (closes around 11pm if we remember correctly, and reopens at 7am)
- for some reason, the cleaning crew would never pick up our dirty laundry bags, we had to call every time. Like all Parisian hotels, laundry service is pricey (we had a 500 euros bill the first day to get all our clothes ironed, a bit steep if you ask me...)
- the suite, while very pleasant, did not offer much privacy: there was no sliding door/panel between the bedroom and the living room, so made it hard to have a conference call without waking up my partner.
- no USB port. In today’s day and age, we all have at least our phone to charge so USB ports are a must. We did not find any by the bed.
- access to the hotel can be a problem when you have many (too many) chauffeured cars waiting for the guests. But it is not a problem only with the Plaza, all the other luxury hotels have similar problem.
- breakfast is in the main dining room which is absolutely gorgeous, and we love that place. We though however that the food quality was average (greasy croissant/pain au chocolat, impossible to get an “œuf à la coque” -boiled egg- not broken, heavy muffin for the egg Benedict’s etc...). We were surprised in this kind of establishment that the personnel would not know there products: they had no clue what kind of caviar they were serving (beluga, sevruga, Ossetia...) but we assumed it was Sterlet due to the golden color, same with the Assam tea (first flush or not, what estate...)
- the lovely courtyard restaurant was at times closed for special events, so if as a guest of the hotel you want to have lunch outside in this iconic restaurant, too bad...
Overall the Plaza is a gorgeous hotel, great location and pleasant staff. Granted not our favorite, it’s still in the top 10 hotels to stay at in Paris.
We went to the Plaza Athenee for a celebratory birthday cocktail (we were in Paris celebrating a friends 50th birthday). It is indeed one of the most gorgeous hotels I have ever seen, from the breathtaking facade to the interior courtyard, but somehow the bar missed when it comes to decor. I felt oddly dated and incongruent with the rest of the public spaces. However, that was the least of our concerns as it appeared that despite the $35 price for a drink, we were given some of the worst service I can remember in a high end hotel. The server and the bartender ignored us for a good ten minutes and when he did approach the table he was none to friendly. He took our order for three martinis (that would be American style martinis), which we clearly explained to him. In such an International establishment, one would hope that this is not even necessary. We then watched as the bartender ignored the order for another ten minutes (the bar was not busy in the least). In fact it seemed that the two of them where in some weird sort of spat....extremely unprofessional to say the least.
When the bartender decided to make our martinis we watched in horror as he started to poured vodka straight from the bottle into wine glasses. At this point, I approached the bar to tell him how to make an appropriate Martini. When I told him that he needed to use Martini glasses, he replied they didn't have any. WHAT? This is the PA in Paris! Interestingly enough, just as the words were rolling off of his tongue, a female server showed up with Martini glasses which she set in front of him with an utter look of disdain (intended for the bartender).
I then explained to him that Martini's should be shaken (as we had explained to the server) to which he responded....the Vodka is cold as it just came out of the freezer.
At this point, I was starting to lose my patience and tersely told him that Martinis need to be shaken with ice.....period....per our request. He gave me a snide look but did eventually shake the vodka for us.
We didn't let it ruin our evening, and in fact we had to laugh...the most expensive martini ever and I had to instruct the crabby bartender in the fine art of making one! But seriously, the hotel needs to take a good hard look at it's bar staff/service and training protocol. I've had better service in Starbucks!