Over the years, I have stayed at many grand hotels and the Crillon is my preferred destination in Paris. Sadly, that particular grande dame is currently closed for renovation, so I decided to try Le Bristol on my most recent trip to the City of Light.
Our welcome was warm and friendly; check-in was quick. We received an upgrade to a junior suite and the room was immaculate, with a huge bathroom (with separate shower, of course) and comfortable seating area. There were free fruit and water awaiting us in our suite, and two complimentary bottles of Evian were placed on our bedside tables each evening as part of the turn-down service.
All of the facilities we tried in the hotel were top notch: our American breakfast, delivered to our room at precisely the specified time each morning; the gorgeous spa and luxurious bar (see separate reviews); dry cleaning service; room service for dinner. The concierge desk was fantastic: my partner asked for an adapter for her hair straighteners as we were leaving the hotel to go sightseeing and it was in our room upon our return a few hours later. Similarly, my girlfriend asked if we could purchase a couple of jars of the hotel's rather wonderful jam as I was checking out and she was presented with a whole bag full of the tiny jars!
What really elevates the Bristol above the other luxury properties in which I've stayed is the staff. Everyone, from Irina at reception all the way through to Waleed at check-out, seemed genuinely happy to be there. Walking around the hotel, every single employee greeted us with a cheery "bonjour"; there was nothing forced or contrived at all. The porter who brought up our luggage and the room service waiters were all friendly and willing to chat- there was none of the surliness which often mars visits to this kind of establishment.
Sadly, there were a couple of negatives. Soundproofing was generally good but, even so, the sound of doors being slammed shut in adjacent suites reverberated around our room. I can't believe that the hotel trains its staff to slam doors shut- perhaps more civilised guests could be sought?
Finally, my personal pet hate: corporate avarice. When guests are paying a minimum of €700 per night for accommodation (and often much, much, more), what possible justification can there be for charging €12 for a 40g box of Pringles or €24 for 24 hours' worth of wifi access? To be fair, Irina was most apologetic when explaining how to access the wifi and said that the hotel was working on offering it for free.
I know that all the leading hotels charge for minibar products and wifi access. And, obviously, nobody is forcing guests to use these services. Still, it would be nice if the Oetker Collection could break the mould and offer free minibar privileges (perhaps with the exception of alcoholic beverages?) and complimentary wifi to guests? These small changes would turn a wonderful hotel into the perfect one.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- An authentic, generous, fine and stunning palace, where the service is an art. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Le Bristol Hotel