Surrender to the romance of the City of Love
First impressions: From the glittering entrance where blacked-out Mercs drop off VIPs to the gleaming marble floors, arriving at this 150-year-old hotel is all about old-school classic luxury.
Grab your map and you’ll soon realise you’re just a stone’s throw from the shopping meccas that are Galeries Lafayette and Avenue des Champs-Élysées; while 15 minutes in the other direction and you’re crossing the Seine to Notre Dame and the lively Latin Quarter. The hotel’s concierge service is super helpful, too, with recommendations for everything from local cafés to the finest dining. Paris Le Grand is big, so don’t expect the intimate service of a boutique stay. But getting lost in the labyrinth of vast staircases and never-ending corridors adds to the old-school feel.
Room for romance: Heavy, richly coloured furnishings make for a welcoming room that ensured 12 hours’ solid shuteye. The bed, starfish-able for two, has the obligatory air of French grandeur, while French windows lead on to a balcony where you can watch the sun set and observe couples in love on the street below. The honeymoon suite is contemporary chic styling, and comes complete with your own lounge, balconies and location overlooking the Palais Garnier.
The honeymoon suite at Paris Le Grand
Wine & dine: Café de la Paix serves up every kind of breakfast (dine in-room until 12noon for real honeymoon decadence), or treat yourselves to brunch of colourful pastries and rosé champagne. Romantic evenings sharing shellfish at the Oyster Bar is the piéce de résistance.
We love… The romance of getting caught in a thunderstorm as we ran through the Parisian streets – you can’t make it up! Followed by the hotel’s spa – ISPA by Algotherm – where we were soon toasty in the sauna and the Mr had the best massage he’d ever had, as we partook in a blissful treatment à deux.
We don’t love… Eagle-eared types might tune into the faint rumbling of trains that run under some of the rooms in the hotel (it’s right next to the Metro station). Although, as the Mr rightly pointed out, it’s a gentle reminder you’re in the heart of the city (and you can always request a quieter room for ultimate tranquility).
Go there… InterContinental Paris Le Grand: double rooms from €335 (around £268) per night; the honeymoon suite is from €2200 (around £1760) and includes access to the Club Lounge where champagne is on tap as well as a whole host of freshly made goodies. Visit chotelsgroup.com/intercontinental/en/gb/locations/paris-legrand.
Words by Libby Chester