Hotel Le Meurice – French Genius for the Art of Living

by Naima Sanowar

in Travel

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The architecture, the art, the Seine , the fashion, the food, the wine, the brassiere’s, the arrondissements  – My Parisian adventure was a dream come true. The moment my Husband Joseph , six year old son Jaden and I arrived in Paris, my heart was racing, stomach fluttering and I fell instantly in love. A week before in New York City, I was nervous that I had over romanticized, over analyzed, and over planned our short but sweet holiday in Paris. If one was to take a peek into my “Paris bookmark folder” on my lap-top, one would have found at least 40 different blogs, websites, reviews on how to see Paris. Then a few days before my trip a friend of mine sent me a message on Facebook:  “We just walked around until we found things we liked and had a great time discovering things accidentally. It’s Paris- you really can’t go wrong, but it is nice to have a few simple goals in the process.”

Alright then, I had a few simple goals- The Eiffel Tower, Arch de Triomphe , The Louvre, a jardin, seeing ” Hemingway’s Paris” circa 1920′s, eat as much steak and frites, baguettes, croissants, crepes, drink loads of wine and take my son to the many carousels in the City.

The most important decision? To decide where we would stay in Paris. Do we stay in a lovely, intimate boutique hotel on the left bank or do we stay in a  bigger luxury  hotel on the right bank?  We actually decided to do both. I was extensive in my research and after reading many reviews on the top luxury hotels, I gravitated to Hotel Le Meurice.

“ In the heart of Paris ,opposite the Tuileries Gardens and Louvre Museum, lies Dorchester Collection’s Le Meurice, the first Parisian palace hotel, which has presided over Rue de Rivoli since 1835. Since then Le Meurice has continued to create a sense of the grandeur and splendour of Versailles, of Kings and Queens, Patrons and Artists, enthusiasts and adventures and  has been perfecting l’art de vivre for 190 years. At Le Meurice, the past and present meet with both wit and glamour, the style of the Grand Siecle encounters Philippe Starck’s signature surrealist’s style. The private space embodies the quintessence of luxury. Le Meurice is home to the creations of Yannick Alleno, the three star Michelin starred Chef. Just steps from Place Vendome and Rue Saint-Honore, where luxury boutiques and young designers abound. Le Meurice is a source of inspiration for those who love culture, emotion and sensorial exuberance of the French capital, while France has made the art of living the foremost expression of its culture.  Le Meurice has transformed the luxury hotel experience into a fine art.”

Our time in Paris was in one word – Magical. We spent our days exploring the breath-taking city and our afternoon’s cafe hopping. Le Meurice was pure perfection to come back to at the end of a fabulous adventure in Paris. The first time we walked into Le Meurice, our jaws dropped by the beauty and elegance of the lobby. The staff were immediately accommodating and Pr Manager Marie -Aude Laurent was superb with greeting us and arranging a treasure hunt for our son Jaden while she took us on a tour of  the hotel. Entering our room for the first time, one cannot help but gasp at how luxurious the decor is. Front and center is a huge king’s size bed, (which was one of the most comfortable beds I have ever slept in) the gold colors in the room that played off the ornate chandelier lighting, were all quite impeccable. The bathroom, wall to wall marble gave it the over the top decadence one should find in a five star luxury hotel in Paris. Jaden was delighted to find an adorable teddy bear and slippers on his bed. Joe and I appreciated the VIP service, a bottle of champagne, the yummiest macaroons and chocolate chip cookies

Marie-Aude was the loveliest host  taking Joe and I around the hotel ,giving us a brief history of Le Meurice as well as some cool stories about its past guests.. One of the most notable guests of Hotel Le Meurice was the Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali. Marie- Aude told us that Salvador Dali took up residence once a month for more than thirty years until his death in 1989. His exploits were legendary.  One story that gave Joe and I a giggle was the occasion when Dali once demanded a herd of goats be brought to his room, when upon their arrival Dali took out a pistol and shot them. Luckily for the goats the gun was filled with blank bullets. I was enthralled by the stories of the hotel’s salon’s hosting extravagant celebrations for the high society in the 1930′s. Most notable of these was Coco Chanel’s glittering receptions, as well as Guy Laroche’s staging  fabulous fashion shows in the Le Meurice’s salons. One floating rumor we heard was that Beyonce and Jay Z’s daughter Blue Ivy was conceived at Le Meurice. We were intrigued and really enjoyed Marie- Aude’s tour of the magnificent hotel. We reunited with Jaden who was giddy with exciting news of his treasure hunt and his fabulous finds.

Later that afternoon, Joe and I headed to the hotel’s Bar 228, the most gorgeous bar, where British club feel meets French style luxury. Joe and I sat there and watched the bartender prepare for us the most luxurious cocktails. Joe had the ” Meurice Millennium (Cointreau, liqueur de rose, rose champagne) and I had the Gala & Dali (Vodka, Kirsch, strawberry coulis).

The concierge at the Le Meurice was very helpful  giving us wonderful suggestions of where to eat in the areas we wanted to explore. The hotel is such an ideal location, literally in the cultural heart of Paris. Joseph and I took Jaden to the Louvre ( the World’s largest Museum) which was right next door. Two weeks later, our son is still talking about the ” highlight”  of  his Paris vacation, seeing the Mona Lisa in the Louvre.  On our last day at the Le Meurice , Jaden and I walked next door to the fabulous Angelina’s for macaroons,  an historic restaurant on the Rue de Rivoli, I have heard that Coco Chanel used to drop by for tea, since it was just down the street from her shop on Rue Cambon.

When we plan a holiday, Joe and I always look for a hotel that is sexy, stylish, luxurious and kid friendly. Hotel Le Meurice embodied all of our criteria . It will always be an important part of our beautiful Parisian adventure.

Hotel Le Meurice

228 Rue de Rivoli  75001 Paris, France
01 44 58 10 10

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Melissa May 2, 2012 at 6:38 PM

Naima – I stayed there with my parents several times and you really took me back to being one spoiled girl :) ….those macaroons are to die for!!!! Thanks for bringing Paris to life again!
xoox

Naima Sanowar May 2, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Melissa- It was our first time in Paris, Hotel Le Meurice will always be a big part of our magical time spent there. I am so glad you enjoyed my post on it :)

Kirstin May 3, 2012 at 2:25 AM

Naima, I seriously need to start saving so I can stay at this wonderful hotel! Wow!

Naima Sanowar May 3, 2012 at 9:18 AM

Kirstin , Le Meurice is a wonderful hotel indeed. Perfect combination of style, elegance and the topper was… so kid friendly with all the activities they plan for children.

Jannie May 10, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Thanks for sharing Naima. What an amazing experience for you and your family. And such a gorgeous hotel (Le Meurice). It reminds me of the Plaza Hotel.

Naima Sanowar May 10, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Jannie it is a bit like the Plaza, adding in the most gorgeous art work. :)

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