Crowds and high temperatures are a sure sign of summer in Paris. But, so are long-lived traditions, such as fireworks from the Eiffel Tower for La Fête Nationale (Bastille Day). And summer means the vibrant red geraniums are in full bloom at La Cour Jardin. The seasonal courtyard at the Plaza Athénée is one of the city’s most elegant outdoor dining venues.
Plaza Athénée underwent major renovations last year. Along with extensive design updates, it annexed three adjacent buildings. They’ve been transformed into new suites, a ballroom and meeting rooms.
Jeannie Cartier Sauleau was impressed with the improvements during her recent stay. As president of Sixth Star Travel, a Virtuoso Agency in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Sauleau specializes in customized luxury and adventure travel.
“The newly-redesigned Le Bar is a tres chic meeting place for the locals as well as guests of Plaza Athénée. We also paid a visit to the dazzling Alain Ducasse gastronomic restaurant. There’s an amazing display of crystal dripping from the ceiling, and mirrors to reflect the unique artistry of the tables and art pieces from yesterday and today. It provides a futuristic atmosphere combined with extraordinary cuisine,” Sauleau tells Travel Agent.
Suzanne Hall, senior director of land supplier partnerships for the Ensemble Hotel & Resort Collection, praises the renovations at another Paris property.
“Sofitel Paris le Faubourg has undergone a major redesign. It’s amazing what the customer experience is there now. Their spa is unbelievable. They’ve hired a Michelin-starred chef to introduce some new culinary concepts, such as a desert library. It’s really a sign of what creative minds can do in the luxury hotel space right now,” said Hall.
Other news comes from The Peninsula Paris. Opened in August 2014, the property is offering some special experiences geared for summer. They include the new Peninsula Academy. It’s designed to provide insider access to Parisian history, culture and lifestyle.
Summer time offerings include a match followed by a private meeting with the Paris Saint-Germain football team; a Versailles excursion in the hotel’s 1934 vintage Rolls-Royce Phantom and a chocolate class by World Pastry Award-winning chef Julien Alvarez.
The property’s five luxury garden suites feature staircases that lead to private rooftop garden terraces. During the summer, guests can enjoy private dining there. Choices range from aperitifs and tapas to elegant barbecues served with cocktails, wines and Champagnes.
The Peninsula’s rooftop restaurant L’Oiseau Blanc is a trendy meeting place for a meal or glass of wine. During the summer, it’s also a chic morning workout venue.
Guests can enjoy 45-minute exercise sessions featuring yoga, stretching and Pilates. Afterwards, they can stay in the fitness mode with a “Wellness Breakfast” served on La Terrasse Kléber along Avenue Kléber.
“Spectacular public spaces are a hallmark of The Peninsula Paris. The outdoor Kléber Terrace at street level is the quintessential Parisian café, and the rooftop restaurant, L’Oiseau Blanc, offers stunning panoramic views of the Eiffel Tower, Sacré-Coeur Basilica and everything in between. This is a hotel that celebrates Paris from every angle,” Peninsula spokesperson Stacy Lewis tells Travel Agent.