Ah, Le Bristol!
We were eager to return, having stayed at the hotel in 2007 to celebrate my wife's 60th birthday. It is one of only four Paris five-star hotels deemed worthy of the assignation "Palace," and it certainly deserves the accolade, seemingly impossibly having become even better than it was last time.
We've been fortunate enough to stay in some of Europe's and America's finest luxury hotels, but very few can compare to Le Bristol. All have extremely high standards of service and everything else one would expect of a fine hotel. But Le Bristol's staff, from the very highest level, President and General Manager Didier Le Calvez, to the lowest level chambermaid, exudes a virtually unique warmth, concern and friendship that is characterized by its absolute genuineness. Those smiles are not painted on, and people at Le Bristol participate in conversations, not merely idly listening to them. Not a trace of obsequiousness to be found.
OK, so Jean-Marie Burlet, Guest Relations Manager, might have used an old trick (of having the doorman slip him our names from the luggage) to enable him to accost us by name upon our delayed arrival, but his greeting was no less genuine. He was present in the lobby virtually every time we passed through, eager to ensure that we were enjoying our stay and ready to offer whatever personal assistance we needed. Other seemingly omnipresent front-of-the-house staff, including Jérémie Tolédano, our receptionist, and Eric Régnier, Front of House Manager, were equally helpful to a turn, Jérémie offering his first-hand experience of the changing moods in Monet's Les Nymphéas rooms before our visit to Musée de l'Orangerie.
One evening, we attended an intimate cocktail party given by the hotel for select guests. Over Champagne and hors d'oeuvres, we chatted at length with Le Bristol's Hotel Manager, Leah Marshall, a gregarious transplanted Canadian by way of California and a veteran in the luxury hotel segment, about our trip, our dining choices and our stay at Le Bristol. When we commented about our observation of the "face" of Le Bristol, she said it was one of the things she insisted on improving even more upon her arrival in 2009. The idea is to eliminate all artifice, treating hotel guests as if they are entering a fine home, not necessarily a commercial establishment. The hotel, family owned since it opened in 1925, was founded on that principle, and it has continually honed and enhanced that image, never more so than in the past few years.
It's no coincidence that, as we were leaving to travel on to London, Jérémie asked us to wait a moment. Leah had asked to see us before our departure in order to bid us farewell personally.
A wonderful, unforgettable stay!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Le Bristol is a unique place in Paris for its exemplary service and great refinement. Located on the elegant Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, at the heart of the city's arts and fashion district, the hotel has been welcoming privileged guests since 1925 and features 188 rooms and suites, all renovated, spacious, bright and decorated in elegant 18th-century style. Three star Michelin chef Eric Frechon creates everyday an exceptional, generous and innovative cuisine in the new gastronomic restaurant "Epicure." ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Le Bristol Hotel