What's the latest news from the City of Light? Here are updates from four of Paris' top hotels.
First off: The Peninsula Paris is officially open for business. The hotel is steps away from the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysée. Inside, the 100-year-old building has 200 rooms, including 34 suites—five of which have a private rooftop. It also has six restaurants and bars, including a panoramic rooftop bar—L’Oiseau Blanc—with a 360-degree view of Paris; the Peninsula Spa; a private reception room; and Paris’ first above ground Cigar lounge.
The hotel also has a collection of contemporary artworks from Hong Kong-based Sabrina Feung Fine Art, including two major installations by artists Ben Jakober and Xavier Corberó, one of Spain’s foremost living sculptors.
We hear that Paris is buzzing about the opening of Alain Ducasse at the Plaza Athénée following the palace hotel’s 11 month-closure for renovation. Notably, the superstar chef is making waves for his new sustainable approach to French haute cuisine. While not solely vegetarian, the menu focuses on “line-caught fish and vegetables from the 'Queen’s Garden'” (at the Château de Versailles) along with organic grains, according to Le Monde.
Dishes include black rice cooked in the oven with shellfish, squid and octopus; Mediterranean fish with bulgur wheat in a tagine; and Anjou grown quinoa and seafood. The new menu will retain “palace prices” of €380.
Meanwhile, at the Hôtel de Vendôme through September 30, guests can go on a hot-air balloon ride over the City of Light. Guests are chauffeured to Maintenon (not far from the famous Chartres cathedral in the Eure-et-Loir department) for an hour-long flight over the French countryside.
It gets better: In the evening, guests will be treated to a gourmet picnic basket packed by chef Josselin Marie. The flight is part of a package that includes an overnight in a deluxe room with breakfast.
Other hotels are offering other perks to attract different demographics: The Oetker Collection’s Le Bristol Paris, for example, has a contemporary art appreciation program that takes place every evening at Le Bar du Bristol.
Every month, the program focuses on a different theme to reflect the many historic links between the art world and Le Bristol. From 8-9 pm, the mirror in Le Bar du Bristol is turned into a screen to display a work of art and show a selection of artists' videos specially created for Le Bar du Bristol.
Even better: Every three months, a contemporary French artist presents his or her work on the bar's video screen. The program includes travel with Adrien Missika and Louidgi Beltrame, cinema and its icons with Ange Leccia, Christophe Herreros and Philippe Terrier-Hermann, and sculpture, motifs and the decorative arts with Xavier Veihan and Isabelle Cornaro.