• John Marques

The Iconic Mandarin Oriental Paris

Know for its understated approach to luxury, the Mandarin Oriental Hotels are known to be some of the best in its class around the globe. Previously I stayed at their Barcelona address (You can read about it here) and now it was time to spend a weekend at their renowned property in the famous Rue Saint-Honoré.

The Parisian hotel originally opened its doors during the Summer of 2011 where a 1930's office building used to stand in a project signed by architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte and interior designer Sybille de Margerie. Over the years Mandarin Oriental on Rue Saint-Honoré has become a Parisian icon with its Michelin starred dining outlets, Givenchy signed Spa, 39 suites and exactly 99 guest rooms.

On the way to the hotel from the airport, it's impossible to miss the beautiful architecture that characterizes Paris and all the prestigious boutiques when you are actually reaching the hotel. If you are not familiar with Paris, the Rue Saint-Honoré where the hotel is located is home to iconic names in fashion and jewelry like Saint Laurent, Goyard, Killian's, and even Hermès flagship store.

When you first step inside the hotel, the one thing you will notice right away is the amount of beautiful artwork around - with particular attention to the "Air" sculpture created by Nathalie Decoster - and the luscious garden taking place in the property's hearth.

After checking in with the team at the lobby, we were taken to our Mandarin Room where a welcoming selection complete with a chocolate Eiffel Tower was waiting for us. The room was decorated in the most classical Mandarin Oriental style with a small walk-in closet area and one thing that caught my eye: the stunning Bang & Olufsen electronics throughout the room.

Not only the room, but we also got the chance to visit two of the most impressive suites in the hotel: the Mandarin Penthouse Suite and The Parisian Apartment.

The first one, Mandarin Penthouse Suite, was a perfectly conceived Bachelor pad fit for a Hollywood celebrity (Which many have actually stayed here). The duplex suite has on its ground floor a large living area perfect to welcome guests while overlooking the gardened balcony, followed by a generous dining area and private office. When you take the in-suite elevator, you reach the master bedroom complete with walk-in closet and private gym - but one of my favorite amenities here has to be the amazing panoramic views from the bathtub over the city.

The second suite is one of the largest and most exclusive ones in Paris with more than 430 square meters and at a rate starting near 30,000€ per night. This particular suite is a flagship not only for the hotel in Paris but for the Mandarin Oriental Group. You can see a video tour below:

Suitably called The Parisian Apartment, it has four suites within the room along with two living areas, a dining room, a fully equipped kitchen and 230 square meters of terrace with dining and lounge area. Thoroughly decorated in the most recent Mandarin Oriental interior design style, one of my favorite features of this space are the beautiful art pieces spread throughout the suite - all commissioned to young artists living in Paris.

When it comes to dining, there are 3 outlets in the hotel: a fine dining restaurant, a more casual restaurant, and the hotel's bar. Unfortunately, the Sur Mesure restaurant headed by Michelin starred chef Thierry Marx was under renovation during our stay but the adjacent Bar 8 was a delightful stop from the bustling city over a drink or a cup of coffee.

The third dining outlet is Camélia also overlooked by chef Thierry Marx and serving all meals from breakfast to dinner. This became one of my favorite spots in the city for a Summer breakfast, adding to the delicious food there's also a very relaxed feeling when you are having your morning coffee at the terrace surrounded by greenery while listening only to the small birds living in the hotel's garden.

Another amenity worth mentioning is the hotel's gym and spa, while the first one is complete with top of the line equipment and open for 24 hours. The second one offers signature treatments in a beautiful atmosphere just like its interior pool - all under the Guerlain name.

Overall this has to be one of the best experiences one can have while staying in Paris. It is probably difficult to find a better location along with such exceptional service all wrapped in an unmatched atmosphere. I would definitely suggest the Mandarin Oriental Paris as one of your mandatory stops while in the city of lights.