When: June 2017
Where: Paris, France
Length of stay: 3 nights
Room booked: Deluxe Room
Price per night: 560€
Travel companions: Wife
Status / collaboration: AMEX Platinum booking / Collaboration with hotel
At first the task of finding a hotel from Paris seemed daunting. It would be easy with a bottomless wallet, but for the rest of us, this might not be as easy as one could imagine. Our criteria were the following:
- A city center hotel, from where you can easily walk around the city without using the metro or taxis
- Price under 500€/night (went slightly over)
- Beautiful rooms that are big enough for us
- Good customer service according to reviews like the ones found on TripAdvisor.
I was having trouble finding one, but thankfully got some help from my Amex Platinum Concierge, who recommended that we stay at the Grand Hotel du Palais Royal Hotel (yes, a long name, but you’ll get the hang of it after a while). It’s a Small Luxury Hotel property located right next to the Louvre, which was perfect for us. At first I thought getting a hotel from Champs Elysee would be best, but after seeing the area I knew I was wrong. The location of our hotel was far better for us.
We used the Blacklane private transfer service from CDG airport to the hotel, which took about an hour. Once our car arrived at the front door of Grand Hotel du Palais Royal our luggage was swiftly removed from the car and taken to our room. They even ripped out the the airplane tags etc. which immediately showed attention to detail – this was a good start.
We were greeted with a smile from a very polite gentleman standing behind the reception counter. Our room was ready, even though we arrived a couple of hours before check-in time. We had also gotten a nice upgrade to a Junior Suite (upgrades are usual when making the reservation through AMEX Platinum). Immediately after spending a few minutes in the hotel lobby we noticed that the customer service was warm and inviting. It kind of felt like we were invited into a Parisian family.
We got a beautiful Junior Suite from the sixth floor facing the small street on which the hotel is located. We didn’t have any road noise nor anything else disturbing us, so a good nights sleep is pretty much guaranteed here, even though the location is very central.
Our Junior Suite consisted of a lounging area with a nice sofa and a coffee table, a serene sleeping area, two balconies and a large bathroom with a tub and a separate shower. The decor was very refined and subtle regarding colours and the choice of furniture – perfect for a relaxing holiday.
The room had a flatscreen TV, that was big enough, so that we could easily watch it from the comfortable bed. There were no pay-per-view channels, but the Grand Hotel du Palais Royal offers DVD-players and movies that they can bring up to your room. This was a great addition, because we usually like to watch a movie or two during our hotel stays. This time however we didn’t use the service.
The balconies are an extremely nice touch and I can imagine many customers wanting to drink their morning coffee outside looking over the rooftops of Paris. We don’t drink coffee, so we opted for champagne, which is even more appropriate for the Parisian atmosphere.
The bed was big and comfortable – not too hard and not too soft – so it offered the perfect setting for a good nights sleep. The large windows had curtains that made it possible to dim the whole room, so that the rays of the morning sun didn’t bother our sleep.
One of the biggest criteria in choosing a hotel is the bathroom, at least for us. I have abandoned many hotels as options after seeing their bathrooms on their website, so it really is a big thing for me. However the bathrooms in Grand Hotel du Palais Royal are beautiful, clean and well appointed.
The only real issue with the hotel room was the fact that unfortunately we found hairs in our towels and bed linen. I informed the general manager about the matter and she was really surprised, because they are extremely meticulous about the cleanliness. The manager told me that she will handle the matter personally with the hotel staff and their linen supplier so that this won’t happen again. I believed her, when she said that, because other than that the room was very clean, so I’m sure they want to keep it that way in every aspect.
I hadn’t seen the Atelier Cologne brand before, but I have to say their shower gel was one of the nicest I’ve tried in hotels. Many hotels offer things that are too masculine for unisex use, but these were perfect for both of us, because they had such a nice tropical aroma to them. I might have brought a few bottles home…
I especially like the fact that the shower is separated from the bathtub and also the toilet is behind its own door. The shower pressure was good and the water stayed where it was supposed to (I hate it when the shower sprays the whole bathroom floor wet in some hotels). It was a pleasure taking a long hot shower after my morning run, because everything worked like it’s supposed to and I didn’t feel cramped by the space.
The Grand Hotel du Palais Royal has a restaurant called Le Lulli and also a Lounge Bar. After arriving at the hotel we needed to get something to eat, so we decided to try the food at the bar. I chose a truffle risotto as the first food I ate in Paris… and it was spectacularly good! I was seriously shutting my eyes and enjoying every morsel of risotto I put in my mouth. So also the culinary side of our trip had a good start.
We tried the hotel’s room service one evening and got our orders very quickly – in just around 15 – 20 minutes, which was a big plus. However the food wasn’t up to par to the one we had at the bar. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t special either. Or maybe it was just the fact that their hamburgers aren’t as good as the heavenly risotto that I actually ate a second time during our three day trip.
Breakfast is one of the things that help me decide, if we should return to a hotel or not, so how was it at Grand Hotel du Palais Royal? It’s obvious that a smaller scale hotel won’t offer as many options during breakfast as the larger chain hotels do, but usually it’s quality over quantity – as is the case with this Parisian hotel. The buffet offers enough options for everyone including the usual foods you can find almost everywhere. There are no eggs available straight from the buffet, but you can order them from the waiters, which is a far better option. Normal scrambled eggs are included in the breakfast’s price, but for a fee it’s possible to order Eggs Benedict and other specialities.
All of the products on offer were good, but the croissants and baguettes were especially delicious, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, which is what one might expect in Paris. Also the crepes were a nice touch that fit the breakfast perfectly – and my mouth even better.
We usually only eat breakfast at the buffet, because it’s just easier to choose whatever we want. However this time we tried proper room service breakfast for the first time and might have changed the way we view hotel breakfasts altogether. Now we want to test this service out in every hotel we go to.
What could be better than eating an amazing breakfast in bed (it actually tasted even better in the room) wearing only a bathrobe and looking over the rooftops of Paris?
We had all of the things we wanted. Green tea, pineapple juice, bacon, omelettes, crepes, baguettes, croissants, cereals, fruits and berries. I gotta say that we were full and extremely happy after this.
Yes, it costs a little extra, but I recommend trying out the room service breakfast, because it is the ultimate way to enjoy the relaxation a hotel room can offer.
Choosing a good hotel can do wonders for the entire trip, but choosing a great hotel like the Grand Hotel du Palais Royal, can make it worth the trip in itself. If you don’t count the couple of small things that need a bit of improvement, our hotel experience was just perfect. The staff all around the hotel was extremely friendly and helpful with everything we needed from room service to giving out running route instructions and figuring out what stores are open during a national holiday.
A hotel might tick all of the boxes when it comes to the actual property, but if the heart and soul aren’t in their correct place (the staff), the experience will be stale. However if I had to choose one thing the Grand Hotel du Palais Royal excelled at the most, it would be the selection of their staff. The small details like walking us to a car holding an umbrella over our heads in the rain, even though it was only a 3 meter walk, shows their dedication to their profession and to the customers. If you choose to stay here, you won’t be disappointed.
Watching the sun dip behind the Parisian rooftops, while sipping champagne on your own balcony is one of life’s great luxuries you can enjoy while staying at the Grand Hotel du Palais Royal. And if the Palais Royal right next to the hotel was good enough for French royalty, I can imagine the neighbourhood is good enough for anyone. So maybe it’s time for you to feel like royalty too and book a ticket to Paris right now and stay at the Grand Hotel du Palais Royal to live out your Parisian dream.
So what do you think of this hotel? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below. If you want to keep up to date on my newest travels, please go and follow the blog on Facebook and Instagram.
Also I want to thank my wife / photographer Tiia for most of the pictures seen here. You can follow her on Instagram here: @blackpluswhiteisgrey