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LUXURY HOTELS: LE MEURICE, PARIS, FRANCE 
Style: Definitely one of the City of Light's uber-chic addresses with a clientele to match.
Scene: Nestled under the archways of the rue de Rivoli, the hotel is immediately opposite the gorgeous Jardins de Tuileries, and just a teensy stroll to the Place Vendome, the Opera, and the Louvre. More than heaven allows.
Seen in the Lobby: Enviably-clad, crisply-groomed, multinational business and leisure guests and a subtle smattering of the beau monde.
 
ONE OF the prestigious Dorchester Collection's premier properties, Le Meurice is known as the Hotel of Kings. And when you peruse its history and guest list, it is clear why it is also referred to as a palace hotel. (Being owned by the Brunei Investment Agency helps).
For over two centuries it has hosted a retinue of royals. Some made it home - such as ousted King of Spain, AlphonseXIII. Queen Victoria visited, The Prince of Wales (later Edward V11), the Grand Duchess of Russia, King George VI along with a procession of power brokers, politicians, painters and movie stars. The hotel's salons also hosted the haute couture collections of Coco Chanel and her glitterati patrons.
While the hotel is an aristocrat to its bootstraps, it is no fusty museum piece. It is an inspired mix of classic elegance coupled with wit and humour, a hotel very much loved and lived-in. It is an enviable mix of faultless taste and wit that we put down to French art de vivre. 

hotel meurice paris  luxury travel bible
hotel meurice paris  luxury travel bible
le meurice alain ducasse restaurant
le meurice from jardin de tuillerie
le meurice lobby luxury travel bible
le meurice suite bathroom
le meurice suite luxury travel bible

But who was Meurice? The present hotel was established on this site in 1835, but its origins date back to 1771, when the eponymous Meurice - an enterprising postmaster in Calais, welcomed British travellers after their Dover crossing and put them up in his coaching inn. He then took them to Paris where he soon opened a second coaching inn, the predecessor of the current hotel. It quickly became a favourite for the English gentry who gave it the nickname 'City of London'.
But my favourite guest was Spanish surrealist artist and eccentric, Salvador Dali. He resided here every December for 30 years. (Another great Spanish artist - Picasso, celebrated his wedding dinner here following his marriage to ballerina Olga Khokhlova).
Some of Dali's more bizarre antics at the hotel were riding his motorcycle over the 18th century rug in his living room, and walking his two pet ocelots in the hotel lobby. He even brought a herd of goats into his suite and fired blanks at them.
Today, his presence is still in evidence as designer Philippe Starck has channelled Dali's creative muse by brilliantly integrating the artist's designs with his own. You will see them realised in Dali's Leda, Swan, Winged chairs, the Muletas lamp - fashioned after a bullfighter's cape and other witty and wonderful flourishes which enhance the décor of the hotel's Restaurant Le Dali - a great spot for serious style-watching at lunch time, and lovely for arvo tea. My favourite spot though, is the cosy, clubby, Bar 228, which serves divine cocktails and fabulous live jazz every evening.
Le Meurice has 160 rooms and suites - each a unique oasis with every contemporary convenience and bathrooms of Arabessacato grey and white marble. Throughout the hotel, sumptuous fabrics and exquisite passementerie have been sourced from the famous silk weavers of France and Italy under the exacting direction of Charles Jouffre. Superbe!
 
Check in: 228 rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris a 5-minute walk from the Place de la Concorde and Champs-Elysées.
Ultimate Luxury:  The Belle Etoile Royal Suite and terrace with its spectacular panorama of Paris after an exquisite Valmont cosmetic indulgence at the hotel's spa.
Most Indulgent Moment: Dining at le Meurice Alain Ducasse, the Michelin three-star restaurant in the hotel's grand Salon de la Paix.
Insider Secrets: during a major refurbishment in 1905, the workers adopted a stray greyhound. A second kept it company. Today, the hotel's emblem is the two greyhounds which appear in the mosaic at the entrance and on the bell captains' hats.
The Little Things: For little princelings - the most exquisite black and gold high chair so they can oversee proceedings in the 17 th century grand siecle - style dining room.
Junior Luxies: Tailor-made tours, painting workshops at the Art Deco Museum; visits to Jardin de Ácclimatation and Andre-Citroen park; sailing their mini Meurice boats on the fountains in the Jardins de Tuileries and more.
Dent in the platinum:
Luxury  Hotels Link: www.lemeurice.com  www.dorchestercollection.com
  Maggy Oehlbeck 8/9/14
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