Room with a View
It’s known as the sexiest hotel in Paris—quite an accolade in the city of love. visits the recently refurbished Hôtel Plaza Athénée and finds all the allure of France in one luxurious package
ne of the most renowned beauties in Paris has had a dramatic facelift. After spending months obscured under construction tents, the celebrated red awnings, scarlet geraniums and art deco balconies of the Hôtel Plaza Athénée have returned, refreshed and adding that Riviera joie de vivre to Avenue Montaigne.
The 103-year-old grande dame is a national treasure. During the Liberation of Paris, the hotel’s dining room served as a cafeteria for US soldiers. In the 1950s, it was Christian Dior’s home away from home. Carrie Bradshaw stayed in one of the suites in the final season of Sex and the City and, when the hotel reopened last year, French foreign minister Laurent Fabius gave a rousing speech at the launch.
Since its inception, the Haussmannera palace has welcomed actual royalty, Hollywood royalty, heads of states and international billionaires—and to keep the world’s most glamorous clientele coming thick and fast, the Dorchester Collection recently footed the bill for a ¤200 million expansion and renovation.
As well as redesigning the bedrooms, spa and restaurants, Dorchester bought three buildings adjacent to the hotel and was thus able to add 14 guest rooms and three event spaces, including an opulent ballroom that can seat up to 170 people.
The result is spectacular—a mix of oldworld charm and cutting-edge design that’s quintessentially Parisian. “Everything has changed, but nothing has changed,” says the PR representative, Victoire Grégoire, as