Bastille Day and the whole French Revolution put an end to that whole French Monarchy thing but as it turns out, Paris is still filled with palatial opulence worthy of a queen. If you fashion yourself a modern day Marie Antoinette, or just a regular old queen who appreciates a good royal treatment, here’s how to best enjoy the famed French City of Light.
We’ll never know if Marie Antoinette would have liked its art deco exterior, but its safe to say she’d appreciate the 17th century tapestries and floramastery that line the halls of this palatial hotel built into an historic 1928 building just off the Champes-Elysees. Modern day queens, though, will certainly have fun calling to the paupers on the street below from their private terrace—You, of course have already sent your personal assistant out to wrestle with the crowds at the couture and designer boutiques below. Anyway, who has time to shop when you’re being waited on, hand and foot, at the hotel’s 2 Michelin starred restaurant Le Cinq. When you’re not busy running your small empire, you can ease the stress of it all by lazing in what many call the most luxurious hotel spa in the entire city.
Commissioned by Lous XV (the king before Marie) the hotel is the same 18th century building that really saw the shit in the fan back in the French Revolution Actually, its on the Place De La Concord where Miss Marie Antoinette, and all her other old school 1% types, were guillotined way back when. But a true modern day queen will want to measure the success of this famed hotel of royal creation that’s set to undergo a 2-year makeover as of October 2012. To do that, she’ll need to stay there now so when it comes time to return in 2014, she can properly assess the work of her royal subjects. As in how can they improve upon ornate suites with Baccarat crystal, Aubusson carpets and Wedgewood medallions? Or their views of the Eiffel Tower especially form the spa-like bathrooms. Not to mention the Bar du Crillon, which is elegance at its most French withi mirrored mosaics, red velvet covered chairs and enough chandeliers to maybe make Marie Antoinette herself feel a bit guilty. Only a queen can really say.
Maybe a queen wants something a bit more modern, more sleek, more kinglike— like this contemporary meets classic hotel designed by the famed Ed Tuttle. It maybe less ostentatious than her older sisters, but this 5 star hotel shares their same penchant for pampering. Starting with its prestigious Rue de la Paix address, it lavishes still with its Michelin star rated restaurant, Pur and Le Spa, where its possible to get a massage with custom oils hand crafted by the hotel’s exclusive perfumer. The rooms are finished with wood, bronze and silk, a limestone bath, rain shower and exquisite views of either the street or the beautiful courtyard.
Marie Antoinette might appreciate the Louis XVI style or she could revel in the Regency and Art Deco of the others. Old meets new at this 100-year-old hotel on the Avenue Montaigne (where all the haute of Paris go shopping). A queen of today will in frolic in merriment as she holds court in the hotel’s chic bar – one of the most fashionable scenes in the city. But also, she’ll enjoy an opulent treatment at the hotel’s Dior Institut spa that uses the fashion houses fragrances. And when its all done, let Alain Ducasse’s head sommelier give you a tour of the 35,000-bottle wine cellar.
5. Le Meurice
The history of Le Meurice, which dates from the 18th century, is already bejeweled with the touch of monarchs the world over—as in Queen Victoria of England, King George VI and King Alphonse XIII of Spain and . Why not yours? Philipp Stark recently added his modern touch (and one inspired by Dalí who also loved the hotel) to the whole space, and added things like refrigerator-cooled frosted mirror (actual ice) and tables with actual feet. And when you tire of taking in the crem de la crème of modernity, have a snack three star Michelin Restaurant Le Meurice. Maybe you’ll like it.