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Local Matters / Architecture & Landmarks

The long-awaited The Peninsula Paris Hotel will open on August 1st 2014

Peninsula Hotel

The Peninsula Paris Hotel will open its sumptuous doors on August 1st on Avenue Kléber in the 16th arrondissement (district). The hotel is located near the Champs-Elysées and is a stone’s throw from the Arc de Triomphe.

golden interior

This is The Peninsula Hotels’ first luxury hotel in Europe. The Hong Kong based brand opened its first hotel in Hong Kong in 1928 with the motto, “The best hotel east of Suez.” Its portfolio includes nine other hotels in Asia and the U.S.

Although this imposing building started life as a hotel, it has had various other roles during its history. The former Majestic Hotel opened in 1908 on the site of a previous palace and then saw service as a military hospital during World War I. George Gershwin wrote “An American in Paris” while staying at the hotel in 1928.The French government bought the building in 1936. The German military high command in France used it as its HQ from 1940 to 1944. It later became a Ministry of Foreign Affairs conference center in 1958. Henry Kissinger concluded the 1973 Paris Peace Accords ending the Vietnam War in the salon, which now houses the Bar Kléber.

bar

The government sold off this exclusive property in 2008. Qatar based Katara Hospitality now has an 80% stake, with the remaining 20% held by Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels Limited, Peninsula’s parent company.

The rebuilding and restoration work has taken four years to complete at a budgeted cost of €338 million. The exterior has not been altered, but the interior needed extensive remodeling to house the modern facilities. This involved lifting up the entire building while excavating three basement levels.

staircase

The hotel now boasts 200 rooms, of which 34 are suites. Five of those enjoy a private roof terrace, offering panoramic views of Paris. The hotel will also have three restaurants and a bar, a swimming pool, a spa, and a private underground car park.

The décor marries classic and contemporary styles, with marble floors, high ceilings and ornate moldings. A bespoke Lasvit chandelier with 800 crystal leaves adorns the main entrance lobby. Parisian craftsmen have restored to their former glory the original design elements, including gold leaf, wood carvings, mosaics, and stone work. Some 40,000 pieces of gold leaf alone were required.

view

The Peninsula Hotels’ in-house team and Henry Leung of Hong Kong-based Chhada Siembieda Leung designed the interiors. Richard Martinet of Affine architecture & interior design directed the architectural restoration.

If you fancy sightseeing in style, the hotel counts among its fleet of limousines a Rolls-Royce Extended Wheelbase Phantom and a 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II.

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