The Checklist: Hotels to Stay in Before You Die

by Ondine Cohane


It seems as if good hotels were invented just for the sake of Paris. The French capital lays claim to some of the most glamorous palace hotels in the world—the George V, the Ritz, and the Crillon, among others—with an easy élan that few other cities can emulate. But often these old-world properties can veer toward the fusty, which is why the Plaza Athénée finds its way onto this must-stay list. Renovations a few years back reinvented the stalwart as the freshest property in the city, while still preserving its terrific sense of place and style. Trust us: You never forget that you are in Paris. We love the hip glass bar designed by Patrick Jouin, the unofficial office for fashion week insiders; the over-the-top Alain Ducasse outpost, with its gorgeous "exploded" crystal chandeliers; and the secret garden of La Cour Jardin, which is perfect for a quiet drink or tea on sunny spring days. Add in the great location on the Avenue Montaigne, close to some of the city's best shopping and the Champs Elysées, and the large rooms divided into classic and Deco decor (all come with sumptuous marble bathrooms). If possible, book a suite with a view of the Eiffel Tower—these include 868 (which also has a view from the bathroom), 878, and 888. Even the most jaded travelers are made a little giddy by that backdrop when they open the drapes in the morning.

Hôtel Plaza Athénée
Tel: 33 1 53 67 66 65
Doubles from $940

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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