Le Bristol


Flawless, fashion-set-approved French icon

What’s the backstory? Named after Bishop Frederick Hervey, 4th Earl of Bristol, an 18th-century traveller famed for his love of comfort, this rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré landmark opened in 1925, quickly establishing itself as a favoured haunt of the Paris culture set – Coco Chanel, Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondrian and Salvador Dali included. Becoming home to the American Embassy during World War II, the hotel returned to stylish form in the 1950s, when, thanks to its proximity to the first Pierre Cardin boutique and the world of haute couture, its bartenders would serve cocktails to fashion designers and photographers around the clock. Acquired by the Oetker Group in 1978, Le Bristol remained committed to staying open and serving its loyal clientele throughout a discreet six-year refurbishment completed in 2018.

The bedrooms: Beloved by both fashion royalty and actual royalty, the hotel’s 190 rooms and suites are arranged across the main building and Matignon wing, with categories ranging from the stately Superior to the 2,000sq ft Paris Suite. Pale pastel walls backdrop Louis XV- and Louis XVI-period furniture, silk drapes and antique mirrors, while marble bathrooms feature spacious showers and tubs and are generously stocked with bespoke toiletries. In spite of its sumptuous surrounds, the hotel prides itself on maintaining a familial, home-from-home ambience – though it’s perhaps a stretch of the imagination to envisage having the option of multi-Michelin-starred chef Eric Frechon prepare a private meal in your kitchen back home.

Talk to me about the cuisine: Arrive hungry. Le Bristol is home to three-Michelin-starred fine-diner Epicure, its elegant dining room overlooking the hotel’s flower-filled courtyard; brasserie 114 Faubourg, serving elevated bistro fare; and the less-formal Café Antonia, whose teatime pastries are the stuff of legend. The entire gastronomic offering is overseen by chef Eric Frechon, a fixture in these kitchens for more than 20 years. His seven-course tasting menu, which runs the gamut from foie gras to blue lobster, will be a highlight of any stay.

What can I find nearby? After marvelling at the views from the rooftop pool, guests will want to get out and explore the 8th arrondissement. Big-hitters including the Élysée Palace, Musée d’Orsay and Arc de Triomphe, all within easy walking distance, but to discover some lesser-known gems, it pays to speak to one of the hotel’s switched-on concierges, who’ll give you the lowdown on everything from Fashion Week afterparties to artisanal food tours. 

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