Located just steps away from Paris’s Arc de Triomphe monument, a palace which served as a backdrop to the signing of the Paris Peace Accords that put an end to the Vietnam War has been restored to its former glory.
After six years of planning, design, and construction, the centuries-old palace in the 16th arrondissement has been reworked to become The Peninsula Paris, an opulent 200-room hotel that features the expert handiwork of 900 French artists and craftsmen who painted frescoes by hand, installed marble walls and mosaic tiles and restored aging wood work.
To call the hotel gold-gilded is no exaggeration: In total, 20,000 pieces of gold leaf were used to cover the property.
Originally opened as a grand hotel in 1908, the building was occupied then sold during WWII, only to later became a government building managed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs until 2009.
In what’s now Le Bar Kléber, American diplomat Henry Kissinger helped negotiate the Paris Peace Accords which would bring the Vietnam War to a close.
Other claims to fame: In 1928, hotel guest George Gershwin would write his musical piece “An American in Paris,” and the hotel would also become the headquarters of UNESCO in 1946.
While the hotel pays homage to its heritage with painstaking restoration efforts that went so far as to research original paint colors, rooms are equipped with the conveniences of modern technology, including in-room tablets for controlling everything from lighting to room temperature.
Marble floors, high ceilings and elegant drapery set the tone in the lobby, which is furnished in a modern style. Guests can walk into the hotel through this entrance on the Avenue Kléber in the 16th arrondissement of Paris.
Those arriving by car will enter the hotel directly through the other entrance on the Avenue des Portugais, where they will find an enormous chandelier that was custom-made by the prestigious Lasvit workshop.
The hand-blown work of art is adorned with several leaf-shaped crystal pendants. A stone installation from Bhutan completes the ensemble.
Elegance will be the byword for the decoration of the hotel’s 200 rooms. Grey and beige tones, high ceilings, marble-lined bathrooms and sophisticated lighting will contribute to an ambiance of refinement. Works of contemporary art by international artists will adorn the walls.
Five of the 34 suites will have private rooftop terraces with fantastic views over the city.
Foodies will have access to gourmet dishes at all hours thanks to the hotel’s six restaurants, most of which will serve French cuisine and one of which, the Lili, will feature Chinese dishes.
At L’Oiseau Blanc, diners seated on the terrace will enjoy a 360° view of Paris during their meals.
Guests at the Peninsula Paris can take advantage of a spa with treatments from the luxury brand ESPA, as well as a gym and indoor pool.
Among other high-end services, the hotel will also give guests the opportunity to rent a green Rolls-Royce Phantom II limousine dating from 1934 or two MINI Clubman cars.
Average nightly rates start at €1,095. Slated to open on August 1, the Peninsula Paris will be the hotel group’s first property in Europe.
A new hotel is slated to open in London at a later date.