Mandarin Oriental Paris, one of the finest contemporary hotels in the world

Steps from Place Vendome, in the heart of Paris’s luxury shopping mecca, the Saint Honore, home to all major international luxury brands, the newly inaugurated Mandarin Oriental Hotel establishes itself as a luxury hotel in its own league.

The new Paris opening is a true statement of Edouard Ettedgui’s unique vision of contemporary hospitality, providing a deep sense of coherence, for the entire collection of Mandarin Oriental Hotels worldwide, defining the DNA of the brand: the highest standard of personalized, yet discreet service, comfortable contemporary design with a strong local flair, an exceptional SPA experience and the finest cuisine. As CEO of Mandarin Oriental Hotels, Ettedgui has overseen the spectacular openings of Prague, Barcelona, Las Vegas as well as the resort hotels of Chiang Mai (Thailand), Sanya (China) and Riviera Maya (Mexico).

Creating a romantic hotel, with a wealth of feminine touches was not only a bold move by the Mandarin Oriental, but also a sensible and strategic approach, subtly positioning the hotel as predominantly leisure one, the Mandarin Oriental Paris differentiating itself from the crowded luxury Parisian hotel market. Needless to say, women are the real decision makers when booking a hotel, whether for a family trip, a romantic escape or a ”girls shopping trip”, which have become increasingly popular. 

The feminine touches are reflected in interior design details such as: the range of colours – predominantly various shades of purple; the butterfly motifs on carpets, tiles, projected digital images on the walls of the SPA, a ”rain” of crystal butterflies above the main entrance and an oversized butterfly cage in the courtyard. Other ”ladies’ details” include: a luxurious Guerlain’s Orchidée Impériale bespoke range of facials (exclusive to Mandarin Oriental Paris), pre and post natal dedicated SPA treatments and…a hair straightner placed in the cupboard of your room.

I believe the only applicable term of comparison of the Mandarin Oriental Paris with the other top luxury hotels in Paris is related to service, the product being unique, from interior design, quality of construction to technology. It is the first hotel in Paris to be environmentally certified HQE (Haute Qualité Environnementale), thanks to the highest standard of construction and sophisticated energy saving technologies such as the in-room sensors with automatic switch off of lights and a reduction of air-conditioning once the guests leaves the room. The level of soundproofing, actually tested by the hotel, is under 40 decibels in the rooms, probably the quietest rooms in Paris, at any luxury hotel downtown.

The exceptional quality of finishes and materials used is visible throughout the entire hotel, especially in the rooms, from the beautiful marble bathroom with jade insertions to the woodworks and built in furniture. It may sound unusual but it is probably the best shower experience I have ever had and we all know how important this is. Attention to detail the Mandarin Oriental Paris, is out of this world and here are just some of examples: the high resolution digital relaxation video played on the bathroom mirror TV, with an outstanding quality of sound (click watch video);  the vertical steam iron placed in the cupboards in each room - ideal for a quick fix of a dress or suit; huge wardrobe space in the cupboards; separate vanity areas, the gentlemen side being slightly higher placed than the one for ladies.

The room is perfectly designed to ensure a perfect and blissful sleep: very quiet air-conditioning, floor to ceiling rich and luxurious curtains (complete blackout), an impeccable ”beauty sleep” mattress by Simmons with a set of eight pillows, satin cotton bed linen by British Josephine Home easy to control, touch buttons for lights and DND. Overall the feel of all the rooms and suites is very residential – almost like you would stay in your own Paris apartment…  

Similarly to all the other hotels, the Mandarin Oriental Paris perfectly blends subtle oriental inspirational elements with local touches, creating a strong connection with the local culture and lifestyle. The French influences are evident not only in the artworks of famed French artists – Man Ray and Ali Madhavi (photography), Thierry Bisch (paintings) and Nathalie Decoster (sculptures) but also in the more subtle work of the principal architect of the hotel, Jean-Michel Wilmotte and interior designer Sybille de Margerie. Other ”French details” include: Diptyque amenities (renowned French candle maker), a Mariage Frères tea pot in all rooms as well as French traditional cuisine, from the French patisseries and deserts to the sophisticated haute cuisine creations of Michelin star Chef Thierry Marx.

As I was expecting from a Mandarin Oriental, service is prompt and attentive, at the same time discreet and predictive. The team, which is so young, instill a feeling of warmness, but at the same time outgoing and energetic, such innate French service characteristics, yet again, another deeply local trace, compared with other properties in Asia where service might be more subdued and humble. It was a pleasure to discover the vibrant bar which has become in less than 3 months a true hot spot for the Paris scene, with a nice mix of local Parisians and hotel guests who could feel 

If asked how I would define the Mandarin Oriental, Paris is neither a design, nor a boutique hotel – my definition would be contemporary art deco luxury Parisian hotel

Oliver Petcu