|Introducing The Peninsula Paris.|
Tuesday, 1st July 2014
Source : The Peninsula Hotels
To be unveiled on 1 August 2014, The Peninsula Hotels makes its grand entrance into Europe with The Peninsula Paris, setting spectacular new standards in design, luxury and comfort;
The century-old classic building has been meticulously restored and modernised to create the latest example of Peninsula excellence.
Exquisitely restored spaces are complemented by contemporary art installations, furnishings and technology. Dazzling rooftop spaces and private terrace gardens offer 360° views and glamorous extras that make The Peninsula Paris a decidedly 21st century palace.
As with all Peninsula Hotels, location is of prime importance and Paris is no exception. Just steps away from the Arc de Triomphe and Avenue des Champs Elysées at 19 Avenue Kléber in the heart of the elegant 16th arrondissement, The Peninsula sits close to some of the world’s most famous monuments, museums and luxury shopping districts.
As one of the world’s oldest hospitality brands with a heritage dating back to 1866, The Peninsula Hotels seamlessly blends tradition and innovation, and unique Peninsula signatures - including the traditional Peninsula Afternoon Tea served in The Lobby, the pageboys, the Chinese door lion statues and the distinctive Rolls-Royce fleet, all underpinned by the supreme quality service for which The Peninsula Hotels is known - will be recreated in Paris.
With its spectacular terraces, gardens and skyline views, The Peninsula offers the finest accommodation, dining and service, standing majestically at the very heart of the city in a quintessentially Parisian location.
The property is a late 19th century classic French-style building, which first opened in 1908 as one of Paris’ most famous “grands hotels”, and enjoyed 30 years hosting the rich and famous, the titled and tycoons, together with leading lights in the world of the arts, literature and music during the “Belle Epoque” and “Années Folles”, when Paris was at the height of its creativity and glamour.
Following the wartime occupation of Paris, the hotel was then converted into UNESCO’s headquarters in 1946, and in 1958 became the conference centre for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and used to host high profile events until 2009.
Historical highlights include George Gershwin composing “An American in Paris” while staying at the hotel in 1928, while the Paris Peace Accords, negotiated by Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho, which brought the Vietnam War to a close, were signed in 1973 in the hotel.
Restoration and Renovation
With interiors designed by The Peninsula Hotels’ in-house team and Henry Leung of Hong Kong-based Chhada Siembieda Leung and the architectural restoration spearheaded by Richard Martinet of Affine architecture & interior design, the building has been meticulously restored by teams of French master craftsmen, utilising traditional techniques in use for hundreds of years.
With the aim of preserving the heritage, authenticity and the spirit of the building, together with the expansive volumes of the original rooms and public areas, original elements long gone or badly damaged were recreated following extensive research, and the décor dating back to 1908 reinstated in all its glory. Marble, stucco, mosaics, roof and wall tiles, wood carvings, stone work, gold leafing, paintings and a myriad of other elements have been lovingly preserved and painstakingly restored by some of France’s most revered family firms, dating back generations and more used to working on heritage projects such as the Louvre and the Palace of Versailles.
The façade alone employed the talents of 20 skilled stonemasons from historic monument specialist Degaine to restore the 10,000 sq m area with its elaborate carved stone flowers, bows and ribbons. Repairs were carried out where possible, carving missing portions by hand using stone dust paste, or where the bas-reliefs were severely damaged, the entire section was replaced by a new stone and handcarved from scratch, using only photos for reference. Each flower cascade took a stonemason three weeks of work, with 12 hours for a small bow.
Meanwhile wood restoration experts Atelier Fancelli - a small family company of just 12 employees, stretching back three generations - individually numbered and removed each original wood panel in the Lobby and Le Bar Kléber - 370 and 130 sections respectively. These were then sanded down, repaired, restored and replaced.
Specialist gilder and restorer Ateliers Gohard - another tri-generation family company with just 20 employees - handled repairs, gold leafing and hand painting. Previous commissions in Paris have included the dome of Les Invalides and the Palace of Versailles, while in the US their work includes the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington and the flame of the Statue of Liberty.
Though architects were forbidden to alter the heritage building’s exterior, the interior has been reconfigured and discreetly modernised to create a contemporary hotel that will be powered by the same proprietary room technology found at The Peninsula’s nine properties across Asia and the United States.
Part of the modernisation of the heritage building was the excavation of three basement levels to provide a number of unique facilities to ensure the hotel remains at the cutting edge, including a spa, a 20 m swimming pool, fitness centre and private car park for 57 cars.
A Grand Entrance
The Lobby is at the heart of every Peninsula hotel and at The Peninsula Paris, the Avenue Kléber entrance leads to the traditional grand Peninsula Lobby with its meticulously restored soaring curved ceilings, magnificent drapery, marble floors and contemporary furnishings, and which offers all-day dining and the celebrated Peninsula Afternoon Tea. Meanwhile the hotel’s main entrance on Avenue des Portugais is designed for arrival by car, with direct access to the hotel’s own underground car park. A bespoke hand-blown Lasvit chandelier featuring a cascade of 800 crystal “leaves” - a modern take on the plane trees lining Avenue Kléber - creates a luxurious sense of arrival in this second lobby area.
Guestrooms and Suites
Rising six storeys above Avenue Kléber, The Peninsula houses 200 luxurious rooms, including 34 sumptuous suites, with five featuring their own private rooftop gardens with spectacular views over Paris.
Designed with the modern luxury traveller in mind, The Peninsula Paris guestrooms are among the largest in the city and the most technologically advanced in the world. In addition to the bedroom area, living room and bathroom, each room offers a self-contained dressing room and walk-in closet, including a seated dressing table, the signature Peninsula valet box for discreet pick-up and delivery of laundry, dry-cleaning and polished shoes, a large electronic safe, a luggage rack for two suitcases, internet radio, weather display panel and a nail dryer.
In soft grey and cream hues, accented with high-gloss lacquered architectural features and designed to perfection with distinct Parisian influences, signature Peninsula functionality and grand ceilings, all rooms and suites are embellished with meticulously curated artworks, elegant furniture, stunning lighting, marble bathrooms and the ultimate in proprietary technology which sets new standards of guest personalisation.
Fully customised interactive digital bedside and desk tablets are preset in one of 11 languages, and full control of all in-room functions is just a touch away, enabling access to restaurant menus, hotel services and TV channels, in addition to LED touch-screen wall panels which feature valet call, weather details, thermostat, language and privacy options. Rooms are designed so that every control is located precisely where it is required without guests having to think or search.
The Peninsula Paris offers 34 luxuriously appointed suites, including three uniquely designed theme suites - The Historic Suite, resplendent with period decoration, and the ultimate in grand accommodation, The Katara Suite and The Peninsula Suite. Amongst the most unique accommodation in Paris, five suites also command spectacular 360° views from their own private roof gardens.
A unique collection of specially curated contemporary artworks from Hong Kong-based Sabrina Fung Fine Art includes two major installations by internationally celebrated artists Ben Jakober and Xavier Corberó - widely acclaimed as Spain’s foremost living sculptor.
Restaurants and Bars
The Peninsula Paris boasts a collection of six dining venues offering a combination of the very best of France and The Peninsula - The Lobby, LiLi Chinese restaurant, La Terrasse Kléber, L’Oiseau Blanc rooftop restaurant, bar and terrace, Le Bar and Le Lounge Kléber - a bar and a cigar lounge respectively - together with a range of meeting rooms, unique theme and terrace venues and a ballroom.
Luxuriously appointed at the heart of the hotel, the signature classic and elegant Lobby - a feature of every Peninsula hotel around the world - serves breakfast, lunch, the famed Peninsula Afternoon Tea, dinner and light snacks, and is a true celebration of sophistication.
Paying tribute to The Peninsula Hotels’ Asian heritage is LiLi, the hotel’s Chinese restaurant, serving signature Peninsula Cantonese cuisine, including the celebrated dim sum and seafood dishes. Taking as its design theme the combination of Chinese and Western opera, the elegant LiLi brings a new level of Chinese gastronomy to Paris.
As arguably Paris’ largest outdoor hotel dining terrace, La Terrasse Kléber is unique. An extension of The Lobby on the north terrace and LiLi on the south, and with steps leading directly from Avenue Kléber, the garden-like cafe serves breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and light snacks. Diners can also enjoy Cantonese fare al fresco on the terrace for a unique Chinese dining experience.
On the sixth floor sits L’Oiseau Blanc, the hotel’s crowning glory rooftop restaurant, bar, and terrace showcasing the very best of French cuisine and a bespoke wine and cocktail selection, against a picturesque backdrop of Parisian rooftops and some of the city’s most iconic monuments. Taking as its theme the heritage of French aviation, the restaurant celebrates the L’Oiseau Blanc bi-plane which made one of the earliest attempts at a trans-Atlantic crossing.
Original 1908 oak panelling takes pride of place in Le Bar Kléber, with full-length picture windows on to La Terrasse Kléber, while the intimate cigar-smokers’ Lounge Kléber - seating eight only - offers a selection of exclusive cigars and drinks.
An Occasion to Remember
The Peninsula houses a selection of the most elegant banquet and function rooms in Paris, including a traditional Parisian-style ballroom-salon with a pre-function area for up to 100 people, and three rooms for smaller meetings and events. Featuring grand high ceilings, contemporary décor, state-of-the-art technology and meticulous attention to detail, these glamorous venues are guaranteed to impress.
The Peninsula Spa and Fitness Centre
Part of the modernisation of the heritage building was the excavation of three basement levels to provide a number of unique facilities. One of these aimed at catering to guests’ health and fitness needs is The Peninsula Spa, which occupies 1,800 sq m. Offering six private treatment rooms and two VIP couples’ suites with Biologique Recherche and ESPA products and treatments, a stunning indoor heated 20 m swimming pool with underwater mood LED lighting and a separate whirlpool, together with a state-of-the-art Fitness Centre and other facilities, The Spa offers the ultimate in luxury and relaxation.
The Peninsula Paris offers a full limousine service for airport transfers, sightseeing and trips around Paris. Continuing The Peninsula Hotels’ long partnership since 1970 with Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, a Rolls-Royce EWB Phantom and a meticulously restored 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II will take pride of place, together with two customised Peninsula Edition MINI Cooper Clubman vehicles – all liveried in the signature Peninsula green – and a fleet of 10 BMW 7 Series limousines.
The hotel will also offer its own on-site car park for 57 cars.