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Ambiance and decoration in the Parisian Palaces: tranquility, luxury, and voluptuousness!

Study by Cedric Leclercq - Consultourisme

Consultourisme led a study for at the heart of 8 Parisian Palaces: Shangri-La, Royal Monceau, Plaza Athénée, Bristol, George V, Meurice, Park Hyatt Vendôme and Mandarin Oriental. What are the strengths and weaknesses of these facilities? It there one in particular that stands out? Theme of this third section: decoration, setting and ambiance.

Rédigé par Cedric Leclercq - Consultourisme translated by Joséphine Foucher le Mercredi 22 Juin 2016

Plaza Athénée - Eiffel Suite 361 Evening  - Photo (c) de Laubier
Plaza Athénée - Eiffel Suite 361 Evening - Photo (c) de Laubier
First impressions: these Parisian palaces give off an impression of luxury and splendor right at first glance. While Le Shangri-La (listed as a historical monument of France) is housed by a building from the 19th century, Le Bristol is in an ancient private hotel of the 18th century.

The Park Hyatt’s façade formerly sheltered the Paquin couture home. Le George V’s façade is listed as a historical monument.

All the facilities have car and luggage service upon arrival.


Bar of the Plaza Athénée - Photo Eric Laignel
Bar of the Plaza Athénée - Photo Eric Laignel
Most of the time, the palaces had their interiors conceived or renovated by well-known architects or designers. In this respect, Le Shangri-La contracted Pierre-Yves Rochon, Le Mandarin called on the Wilmotte et Associés agency while Le Meurice worked with Philippe Starck to revitalize the decoration of the common spaces (along with the rooms.)

Le Plaza Athénée opted for a characteristic and colorful style (coining the “plaza red” color.)

Le George V is surely the hotel with the most lavish entrance hall adorned in marble, silk textiles and luxury floor mats, everything illuminated by impressive chandeliers. Le Royal Monceau will amaze you with its gigantic central staircase, decorated with mirrors and chandeliers, offering a unique style. Of Versailles inspiration, Le Meurice is also dazzling with its woodwork, columns, and magnificent ceiling.

Breaking with the classic style of Palaces, Le Mandarin stands out with its contemporary and refined style.

Le Shangri-La was able to create a pleasant mixture between the original atmosphere of the space (the reception hall stayed true to its authentic design) and a more recent oriental ambiance.

Le Royal Monceau aims for an intimate atmosphere in its reception through its small private lounges that make up the Grand Salon.

Le Bristol diversified the refined setting through the development of an extension in 2009. Several art pieces were added inside the facility.

As for green areas, Le Mandarin offers an interior garden of more than 450 m2 behind a large bay window. At Le Meurice, the winter garden is composed of columns and statues reminding of Greco-Roman Antiquity. Le Bristol showcases a French garden of 1,200 m2 with the rooms either facing it or a floral garden.

The Rooms

Room overlooking the Eiffel Tower Shangri-La Hotel, Paris - Photo Shangri La
Room overlooking the Eiffel Tower Shangri-La Hotel, Paris - Photo Shangri La
The most memorable element of the room in a palace can be the view.

At Le Meurice, you will have to be tempted by one of the 4 exceptional suites that offer unparalleled view onto the capital. Likewise at the Plaza, you must opt for the Royale Suite (450 m²) on the 5th floor in order to have an incomparable view on the Eiffel Tower.

In comparison, at the Shangri-La, close to half the rooms provide a view on the Eiffel Tower.

Établissement Superficie annoncée chambre standard
Park Hyatt Standard - 26 à 30 m²
George V Moderate – 30 m²
Plaza Athénée Supérieure  30m²
Shangri-La Supérieure – environ 35m²
Royal Monceau Chambre studio - 36m²
Mandarin Supérieure – 37 m²
Bristol Supérieure - 40m²
Meurice Supérieure - 40m²

The Royale Suite of the Plaza Athénée is the largest of Paris. Expect 245 m² at the George V, and 350m² at the Mandarin.

However, Le Mandarin offers the possibility to create a 1000 m² suite by opening the communicating doors of the suites on the last floor.

The Royale Belle Étoile suite of the Meurice has the advantage of a 250 m² terrace.


Salle de bain de l'hôtel Meurice - Meurice 101 Photo © GdeLaubier
Salle de bain de l'hôtel Meurice - Meurice 101 Photo © GdeLaubier
The rooms of these palaces focus on a permanent attention to detail in order to create an enchanting ambiance. Among the rooms that we called “standard” (even though palaces rarely use these descriptions), the ones of Le Bristol, some of the most spacious, left the strongest impression on us. The luxurious palace feeling is obvious, which might seem overdone to some people, but it remains impressive nonetheless.

While the floral designs are very traditional, each room provides unique art pieces and furniture from the 18th century. They are a typical example of luxury à la française paired with modern comfort. The bathrooms are entirely composed of marble.

Of more contemporary inspiration, the bright rooms (called studios) of the Royal Monceau, were refreshed to today’s trends by the designer P. Starck and carry quality multi-media equipment. Our bathroom had a very pleasant Italian style shower.

Note that the rooms and suites offer, on top of the art pieces coming from the hotel’s collection, original material such as an acoustic guitar, a tropical shower, or original photographs.

Also very modern (in terms of colors, equipment, and furniture), the rooms of Le Mandarin, just like the facility, evoke a sensation of wellness and serenity. Yet it’s clearly the ambiance of the entire palace that must be experienced, more than the room itself, despite its refinement.

Le Plaza Athénée focuses on an art-deco decoration, with a marble bathroom and modern equipment, making the room very comfortable and pleasant.

Very classical without skimping out on comfort and modern equipment, the rooms of the George V are without a doubt those that give off the biggest impression of luxury and opulence. The bathrooms, in marble, even have taps decorated with gold leaf.

The Park Hyatt offers rooms with more somber decoration but giving all the necessary comfort. We loved the “rain effect” shower and underfloor heating system in the bathroom.

The rooms of Le Shangri-La are appreciable for their brightness, highlighting their decoration, classical but luxurious (chandeliers, furniture…), around the thematic of the Empire (early 19th century). Here the bathroom also scores a point with floor heating and an Italian “rain effect” shower, and an integrated television.

Finally, the room decoration of Le Meurice is inspired by Louis XVI style, with furniture from that era! Add the marble bathroom and multimedia equipment. The ambiant calm and serenity of the space were quite pleasant.

Find the entire Parisian Palace study by clicking here


In this study we will review the “official” Parisian palaces. Indeed, this label is very recent in France. The 5 star category dates from only 2009 in our country (a controlled category that must meet criteria pertaining to comfort, hygiene, services, accessibility, access to new technologies, and sustainable development.)

The “palace” distinction is granted by a jury based on very detailed requirements.

In this respect, 16 facilities in France have received this distinction, of which 8 are located in Paris. Our study is based on these Parisian hotels.

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