I have stayed at the Lancaster on four occasions now. To my mind, it is the perfect European town house hotel.
I just wanted to address some of the recurring criticisms in other reviews.
First, the location. Rue de Berri is certainly not the Marrais, or one of the other exquisite parts of Paris. But to suggest that it is seedy is laughable. It is a commercial street, like thousands of others in Paris, London or NYC. Despite my four visits, I never even noticed the Larry Flint club further along the street until I read people bleating about it on this site. Rue de Berri is a safe, well lit thoroughfare, although I agree it wouldn't win a beauty pageant
Whatever the street may lack in charm, it makes up for in convenience. The Metro and cabs are moments away. The Arc de Triomphe is 5 mins walk, Place de Concorde 10 mins, Les Invalides, Les jardins des Tuileries & the Louvre 15 mins. Similarly world class shopping (St Honore), and eating (le Cinq, Laurent, Pierre Gagnaire, Guy Savoy etc) are also within 10 to 15 mins walking). True, the Champs Elysee are not as Elysian as their name suggests - in truth very touristy - but who can deny that the boulevard is not central to the Parisian experience? It's as arterial as the Seine, and scarcely a dozen steps away from the door.
The want of exernal charm is more than set-off by this convenience, and the internal, understated, beauty of the hotel itself.
Next, service. Another reviewer said that opening to door or meeting guests with umbrellas is not part of this hotel's mindset. Well, I suppose I can't doubt the veracity of their personal experience, but all I can say is that doesn't accord with mine, based on visits over the course of eight years. I was indeed met with an umbrella on a wet Easter Sunday, and found the door staff unfailingly courteous and excellent. As others have said, the conceierges are first rate.
The criticism of this hotel which is fair - but is ulitmately a matter of taste - is that it is not always very modern. But it doesn't really try to be. So rooms, while large, may be dim, and antique furniture does not always suit modern business equipment or ergonomic preferences. You can't get Victorian mirrors and picture frames to a perfect, pristine polish. But that is the charm of this hotel, and to see it as an adverse feature is, with respect, to miss its point. If you want spanking new facilities, stay somewhere else. I certainly agree that this is not the first choice for the solo business traveller, and perhaps not for families with young children either.
Some people love the over-the-top glories of palace hotels like George V, the Bristol, the Crillion. If that's your thing, this probably shouldn't be your first choice. But if you prefer a little more restraint, a little more privacy, this understated town house is (at a price) a wonderful city-centre hotel. I recommend it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- 57 Rooms & suites appointed with antique furniture surround a Zen-inspired patio that is a natural complement to the art that pervades the property and the cuisine at its Michelin-rated "La Table du Lancaster".The paintings at this century-old, boutique hotel located on the Champs Elysees are distinguishable from the acquired art lining many European hotels, as they were done by the hotel's artist-in-residence inthe 1930s, Russian painter Boris Pastoukhoff. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Lancaster Hotel Paris