From baguettes to Bordeaux, Paris is the place to pursue the best of the best. So it is fitting that the Hong Kong-based Peninsula Hotel Group opened its first European doors here. A regal spread, The Peninsula Paris just emerged from a four-year renovation of the former Majestic Hotel, and has since become the brightest spot of French craftsmanship in the city’s luxury landscape.

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The main entrance opens to the bright and airy lobby with a cascade of gold and glass crystal leaves, perhaps reminding guests that in true French style, sparkle should be subtle. The diversity of the 166 room and 34 suite styles exudes disciplined balance and French discernment. Although the Versailles-inspired first floor suite is in traditional Sun King style, the interiors of the standard guest rooms don’t try to outdo the opulence of the common areas and instead have a calm, contemporary design. The palette is a wash of neutrals and greys, with slight Asian-inspired touches as a nod to The Peninsula’s heritage, and each room has a separate dressing suite for an added element of privacy. There is incredible attention to detail—not only in the rooms, but in the technology as well. Each guest room has state-of-the-art tablet control, as well as room service and valet ordering that knows guests’ preferred language out of eleven programmed. It’s designed to make guests from any part of the globe feel instantly at home.

Stepping in from the busier Avenue Kléber, guests are greeted by two Chinese lions—the entrance to The Lobby restaurant, which serves a modern mélange of international dishes, as well as a decadent macaron and pastry-filled afternoon tea. It’s one of the three restaurants available to guests, as well as the locals that are lining up a month or more in advance for dinner reservations. There is also market-based French fare at the rooftop L’Oiseau Blanc, which flies high above the city, offering one of the best views in town, with the open-air bar area bookended by the Eiffel Tower to the south and the Sacré-Cœur to the north. LiLi, however, is the jewel in the culinary crown, led by the group’s Michelin-starred Chef Tang Chi Keung, bringing much-needed upscale Cantonese cuisine to a city where Chinese is mostly microwaved and universally dismal. Keung has elevated the simple dishes here to the level of haute cuisine that suits finicky French tastes.

It is the soothing subterranean spa that is a real retreat. With just eight rooms, there is no crowded feeling of a luxury locker room. The two saunas and large rain shower space felt like a personal relaxation room. The pool, too, lay untouched just off the spa, makes evening swims solitary and serene. The spa offers a variety of massage and facial packages, including couples treatments in special double rooms, and features ESPA and Biologique Recherche products.

Mere meters away from the madness of the Arc de Triomphe roundabout, yet secreted away on a side street that is billed as the tiniest avenue in the city, the hotel is an oasis from the tourists trekking up and down the Champs-Élysées.

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