A doorman wearing the traditional crisp white uniform opened the door to The Peninsula Paris. “Bonjour!”, he beamed. Our polite smiles quickly turned to excited gasps as the foyer opened up before us. The late 19th century Haussmannian building typifies Paris’ architectural heritage. But beyond the landmark facade, a breathtaking synergy of traditional and modern design awaits.
The 800 hand-blown glass leaves floating from the lobby ceiling will most likely catch your eye first. Dancing Leaves is one of the many beautiful art installations in the hotel, where modern art sits moments from period pieces. Light also bounces from the marble seemingly covering every surface and gold leaf adding a touch of opulence. The Peninsula Paris, the group’s first European hotel, opened just over a year ago. The building itself dates back to 1908 and has a rich and very interesting history. It took four years of painstaking work to completely renovate the property, creating what we see today – nothing short of a masterpiece.
The Peninsula Paris‘ 200 rooms and suites have been crafted using the tenets of elegant French design. A palette of greys and creams off set by dark wooden furnishings, typical of Peninsula properties, features throughout. In a city where space is at a premium, rooms at The Peninsula are more like luxurious apartments and include sitting rooms furnished with custom designer pieces, walk-in wardrobes, ultramodern tablet technology to manage lighting and entertainment and one-of-a-kind valet boxes as part of their commitment to personalised service.
Bold and opulent Chinese inspired interiors set a dramatic backdrop for a Cantonese food feast at Lili. The menu ranges from their signature dim sum menu to a selection of seasonal a la carte plates. Book a seat at the Chef’s Table to catch the award-winning team prepare your meal in front of your eyes.
L’Oiseau Blanc restaurant and terrace serves up views of Paris’ most iconic monuments, the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre and Notre Dame from its enviable location on The Peninsula rooftop. Savour their modern French “bistronomique” style menu. The light filled space is decorated with aviation-themed interiors (honouring pilots Charles Nungesser and François Coli’s attempt to cross the Atlantic in 1927) with a replica of the “white bird” plane the pair flew, hanging outside.
We indulged in a long lunch at The Lobby restaurant, located in the original grand dining room of the former hotel. Lofty ceilings, exquisite hand painted moldings, extravagant chandeliers (you see many incredible chandeliers throughout the hotel) suspended over the immaculately presented tables and gold leaf glowing from every corner. The room is a spectacular representation of the Belle Epoque style. Sitting among tables of business men and women, leisurely lunch dates and lucky regulars, we chose the seasonal set menu accompanied by a glass of wine from the hotel’s vast private cellar.
Our starter was Squid cooked with garlic, parsley and spicy sausage, served with squid ink creamy polenta, Duck breast with spices, celeriac mousseline, cherries and fresh almonds followed and we finished off with the Emotion chocolat – Chocolate (Grands Crus) marriage with macadamia nuts in textures and “Macaé” ice-cream. The menu was deliciously decadent with some very traditional French ingredients delivered in a wonderfully innovative and modern way. We absolutely loved every bite.
The Peninsula Spa
After lunch we made our way down to The Peninsula Spa for a 60 minute Aromatherapy Massage. A focus on delivering a personalised service in a discreet manor was obvious as soon as we arrived. We were shown to the change rooms to jump into super fluffy robes and slippers and on to one of the double treatment rooms. It was enormous. Our therapists talked to us individually about our needs and helped us choose one of their signature massage oils. The massage was one of the best I have ever had in itself and in typical style of The Peninsula, the indulgence didn’t end after the treatment. Entering the relaxation room afterwards was unlike anywhere I had been before. Four individual reclining massage chairs (more the size of king single bed) were set out in a softly lit room. Refreshments, snacks and magazines are available and each chair is made up with a doona and pillows, a massage function and phone charging capability. It was incredible and it took all of my will power not to settle in for a few hours of sleep. When you are ready to head back to the change room, a spa, sauna, steam room, jacuzzi, indoor pools are all available to you to continue your wellness experience. In fact, all guests are encouraged to arrive at the spa an hour earlier to use the wellness facilities prior to their appointments. The Peninsula Spa was the most luxurious spa space I have ever been to.
The Fit Traveller was a guest of The Peninsula Paris for this day of indulgence. As always, the opinions and words are authentically our own.
The Peninsula Paris
19 Avenue Kléber
Paris, France, 75116
+33 1 5812 2888
Skye is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Fit Traveller. She is a journalist, writer, photographer, intrepid traveller and a former personal trainer with a passion for helping others reach optimal health. As a TV journalist and producer, Skye has worked for household names such as 60 Minutes, Sunrise, TODAY and Nine News. She has also written for Women’s Health, Fodor’s Travel and Yahoo7 Travel, among many others.
Skye created The Fit Traveller as a beautiful online space and community where people feel inspired to escape the desk to move and explore more.
Equally comfortable in a 5-star resort or hiking a far-off mountain, Skye loves the unexpected and enriching life experiences that each trip brings and can often be found in a backstreet chatting to locals with her camera in hand.
Skye is based in Sydney, working to master the balance between motherhood and her insatiable appetite for adventure.