London and Paris’ ultra-luxe hotels for the ultimate European holiday

Lifestyle

From a Michelin food tour in a Porsche to meticulously curated experiences, Paris and London’s luxury hotels have pulled out all the stops to lure high-flying international travellers over the recent European summer. 

MANDARIN ORIENTAL: HYDE PARK

London’s Mandarin Oriental has opened a new quintessentially British garden, giving guests a front-row seat to Royal pomp and ceremony, all summer long. 

The “Hyde Park Garden” overlooks the famous South Carriage Drive, where you can watch horses from the Household Cavalry canter past from Knightsbridge Barracks to Hyde Park. 

It’s a secluded oasis in the heart of London, with a mouthwatering menu designed by the team at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. Think Pea & Ham Hock salad, native lobster and signature oysters, washed down with a spritz or Rosemary Margarita.

The Garden has also played host to a series of “Summer Sessions” over the warmer months. These are exclusive events with award-winning winemakers and special feasts. It’s the perfect evening soiree before retiring upstairs.

Each of the hotel’s luxury rooms and suites was redesigned as part of an extensive multi-million dollar restoration. The pick of the crop is perhaps the Wallace Presidential suite. A sprawling space with an enormous bedroom and adjoining lounge that feels more like Royal quarters than a hotel room, thanks to a Personal Butler Service, champagne on arrival and Regal views. 

This is London, done luxe.

Tap here for a closer look at the full Hyde Park Garden offering.


FOUR SEASONS PARK LANE

London’s Four Seasons Park Lane has announced a major new dining jewel in its crown, with the recent opening of Pavyllon London, headed up by the world’s third most Michelin-starred chef.

Yannick Alleno holds 15 Michelin stars across his 14 restaurants, including in Paris, Dubai and Seoul. This will be his first London restaurant, a British take on his signature modern French dishes. 

Yannick Alleno. Image: Supplied

Some of his popular creations include his “perfect egg” with Paris ham jelly and his cheese soufflé.

A fleet of Bentley Flying Spurs has also been acquired by the Four Seasons. It’s part of a new House Car Service that whizzes guests around Central London in style. These cars are so quintessentially British, you’ll well and truly feel like a local. It’s the perfect way to see the city and it’s complimentary within a three-mile radius. 

The hotel has 153 rooms and 43 suites, from cosy luxury to the all-out decadent glamour of the Garden suite, which overlooks private gardens. 

It’s also one of the only places in London you’ll find a rooftop day spa, with spectacular views over Hyde Park and Westminster. A sleek, sensual space to escape the bustle.


LE BRISTOL

When Woody Allen was scouting locations for his movie ‘Midnight in Paris’, he chose Le Bristol for its iconic, old-world charm. That doesn’t mean, it hasn’t kept with the times though. 

One of Le Bristol’s newest offerings is a luxury reimagined lobby boutique. This isn’t your average hotel shop. The clothes adorning the racks of “La Boutique” are carefully curated with labels from across the globe, including Australian designer Zimmerman

The idea of a modern high-end lobby boutique is becoming increasingly popular in  as a way of providing guests with an intimate and convenient shopping experience, without stepping outside the hotel.

Le Bristol’s has a spacious and contemporary atmosphere with a collection of ready-to-wear clothing, limited edition swim shorts and unique gifts.

The hotel has also launched a unique new breakfast series titled ‘Breakfast with Picasso’. Guests can enjoy their morning coffee and croissant with a private viewing of an original 1930 Picasso masterpiece.


FOUR SEASONS GEORGE V

A Hybrid Porsche Panamera and a Michelin-starred chef. A food tour doesn’t get more luxurious than this. 

The Kitchen Garden Experience is the newest addition at Four Seasons George V in Paris. It’s a luxury culinary tour to Versailles, 21 kilometres from the city centre. 

Chef Simone Zanoni accompanies guests around a kitchen garden and helps them pick seasonal vegetables. Together, they prepare the food in an open-air kitchen and share a lunch around a table in the middle of a spectacular garden. 

Guests are then whisked back to the 8th arrondissement and invited up onto the hotel’s new Outdoor Terrace. The fresh dining space opened in May with a lunch and dinner menu from the hotel’s Michelin-star restaurant Le Cinq, famous for its Truffle Spaghetti topped with gold. 

To complete the experience, a series of new treatments await at Le Spa, complete with a glittering 55-foot swimming pool. The crème de la crème from the treatment menu, is the Dr. Burgener escape. It’s a Chardonnay body scrub, massage and facial with green caviar, capped off with a glass of champagne and a macaron.


LE MEURICE 

One of only 12 ‘Palace’ hotels in Paris, Le Meurice is mid-way through a mega renovation of its Versailles-style digs and the results are jaw-dropping opulence.

No two rooms are the same and no less than 170 different fabrics have been used across the rooms and suites. One-off artworks aren’t just hung in frames, they’re painted straight onto the walls and ceilings. 

The Dalí Suite – named after the famous painter – is 160 square metres of pure grandeur and history, with a view over Rue de Rivoli to the Tuileries Gardens and Eiffel Tower. Even the hallways are photo-worthy but the dining rooms are utter decadence. 

If you’re looking for somewhere decadent to host your European wedding, you can hire the spectacular Salon Pompadour ballroom. It was good enough for Pablo Picasso who hosted his own wedding lunch there in 1918.

Or there’s always the terrace in the Belle Etoile Penthouse Suite. The views are arguably the best in Paris and set the scene for Beyonce’s music video ‘A Spring Afternoon in Paris’.

This is a hotel steeped in royalty. Coco Chanel, Andy Warhol and Nelson Mandela were among the regular guests, along with King George V after he abdicated the throne. If you’re looking for Parisian luxury this summer, Le Meurice is the closest you’ll find to a royal residence.

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