There’s no shortage of fine hotels in Paris so the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group had to craft their own version of luxury in the City of Lights. Mission accomplished. When the Mandarin Oriental Paris opened its doors in June 2011 with 99 rooms and 39 suites, a splendid new luxury hotel icon was born. The “wow” starts the minute you walk into the Mandarin Oriental Paris’ light and art-filled lobby.
Visually stunning at every turn, no expense was spared when this thoughtfully designed hotel was conceived between a team of masters from the architect, Jean-Michel Wilmotte, to Sybille de Margerie, responsible for the glorious interior decoration. And the good news for families is that all this sumptuous new hotel wants to pamper children and their parents.
I’m leading with service, as this is a big part of the kid-friendly experience at the Mandarin Oriental Paris. The hotel is filled with intimate nooks and crannies, yet staff members seem to be discreetly placed at every turn to offer assistance. The service tone is formal, but warm. The goal is to ensure that every guest feels pampered. The clientele is quite international here so to meet that goal, the staff must cater to different nationalities, as well as age groups. They are kind and attentive with zero pretentious attitude. It’s the kind of service where a guest can ask for something crazy and the person at the other end will do their utmost to make it seem like anything is possible. I didn’t give it a test drive, but I’d imagine this includes a long list of kid-specific requests from meals at odd hours to baby proofing.
Asian elements are paired with Parisian aesthetics within an Art Deco exterior. Many of the public spaces and the guest rooms look out on a lush courtyard garden with guest seating. A big difference between the Mandarin Oriental Paris and their 5-star competitors in town is that there is nothing old-world about this guest experience. It’s modern and bright — there’s nothing stuffy about it. Precious stones and crystals dangle from the ceiling and adorn the walls — I found myself constantly wanting to touch the designs around me in an awe-inspired haze. Even the fan, the Mandarin Oriental brand symbol, hanging in the lobby is an opulent work of art; it was created by Maison Lesage and took over 200 hours to make.
Room configurations at the Mandarin Oriental Paris for families include suites (most sleep three people) and connecting rooms. Guest rooms offer the same decadence as the public spaces with opulent fabric and textures, dramatic custom art, state-of-the-art lighting and electronics, plus wonderful bathrooms. These lavish guest rooms are the best I’ve seen in Paris for comfort and appealing design. Guests know and appreciate that they are in an incredible luxury hotel at all times here.
Although I only enjoyed breakfast at the Mandarin Oriental Paris during my stay, the two restaurants are visually appealing with a Michelin-starred chef, Thierry Marx, behind them. Sur Mesure is his award-winning fine dining prize, while Camélia offers casual meals overlooking the garden. There’s a decadent Cake Shop, as well as elegant Bar 8 for drinks. Both restaurants and room service offer kids’ menus.
The spa is a true urban oasis with a fantastic 14 meter lap pool that offers family hours. There’s a complete fitness center, as well as a long list of face and body treatments available. I love hotels that have an indoor swimming option for kids in cities. The perfect sightseeing break!
Located on the Rue Saint-Honoré just blocks from the Tuileries and the Louvre Museum, the Mandarin Oriental Paris is the ultimate Right Bank address for families who want easy access to all the main attractions of Paris. Cabs are plentiful, the Metro is a 5-minute walk away, and the best of Paris luxury strolling is right outside the door.
I kicked off my family travel coverage of International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) in Paris. Stay tuned for more articles on new luxury and luxury family travel trends for 2013 in the next few weeks.
Editorial Note: Ciao Bambino was offered complimentary accommodations in order to have the opportunity to review the Mandarin Oriental Paris. As always, our opinions are our own.
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