Hilton Paris Opera A Heritage Hotel
I love staying in hotels that have history and heritage. On my recent trip to Paris, the Hilton Paris Opera was an ideal choice for my short sojourn to the “City of Lights”. It is located in the heart of the city right next to the Saint-Lazare Metro and Gare Saint-Lazare regional train station. Opera Garnier, famous departmental stores Le Printemps and Galeries Lafayette are 10 minutes’ walk and the Louvre Museum, Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysees and other major attractions are within easy reach.
A Landmark Historic Hotel
The typical Haussmannian building of Hilton Paris Opera on Rue Saint-Lazare belies a hidden historic gem within its precinct. Stepping into the bijou lobby is like stepping back in time to the grand era of elegance and glamour. It is a vision of grandeur with shiny marble columns, works of art and ornate ceiling with dazzling crystal chandeliers. A short flight of marble stairs leads to the Le Grand Salon, the pièce de résistance of the hotel. The commodious atrium with skylight is a historical masterpiece beautifully restored to its former glory. It serves as the happening social hub and watering hole for guests and Parisians for casual dining and drinks. The lavish décor with fabulous crystal chandeliers dangling from lofty ceiling and walls with hand-painted frescoes and ornate panelling harks back to the Belle Époque era, the period of flamboyant beautiful designs, fashion and style in the 19th century.
It was built in 1889 for the Universal Exposition in Paris at the same time as the Eiffel Tower. Designed by the architect Juste Lisch, the hotel was built to accommodate wealthy visitors to the Exposition arriving at the Gare Saint- Lazare. It was originally called Grand Hotel Terminus due to its close proximity to the station, which was connected by a footbridge to the hotel. It went through various transformations with change of owners and in 2015 it became the flagship hotel for Hilton in Paris.
A major facelift and makeover by the London-based Richmond Hospitality Design firm in collaboration with the French Heritage authorities transformed the hotel to its former glory. The renovation stayed true to its original historic features but the stylish 268 bedrooms have been modernised with the comfort of its guests in mind.
The bedrooms are categorised as Superior, Deluxe, Executive and Suite. They are decorated in neutral earth tone with a hint of grey to induce a soothing and restful ambience for a good night sleep. There are photographic murals of elegant old Paris adorning the walls behind the headboards to add that touch of old world nostalgia. The bathrooms have heated marble floor and I particularly love the bathroom mirror that is framed by lights, a dream mirror for any lady to apply her make-up. Most hotels I have stayed have irritatingly dim bathroom light. Surprisingly there are no bathtubs in the rooms except in some suites but they have lovely big rainforest showerheads that are so in vogue in hotels now. The comfortable bed and silky soft linens afforded me very sound sleep.
All hotels, whether they are luxury or humble is nothing without great service and dedicated staff. Here at the Hilton Paris Opera, the service is par excellent from the bellboy to the receptionists and restaurant staff but the trump card lies with the concierge desk. Every duty concierge I encountered is knowledgeable, helpful and delivers service with warmth and friendliness. It is an excellent hotel for business or leisure. There is an Executive Lounge offering snacks and drinks during the day and dedicated business support for guests staying in the Executive rooms.
Hilton Paris Opera, 108 Rue Saint-Lazare, 75008 Paris
Distance from Orly and Roissy Charles de Gaulle 45 minutes and 10 minutes taxi ride from Gare du Nord the Eurostar terminus
Room rates from 289 Euros.
Part of Hilton Honors programme that offers members points and special deals. Membership is free.
Images courtesy of Hilton Paris Opera (except for the exterior image).