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LUXURY HOTELS: Peninsula Paris, France
WITHOUT DOUBT this is the hotel opening of the year. Oh the anticipation, the excitement in the office over this one. In our book Peninsula is arguably the best city hotel group on the planet, so does their tenth creation live up to the pedigree? The answer seems to be a resounding 'Yes'. The city of Light has its new shining star.
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Here are ten things you just have to know about Peninsula Paris.
- The Peninsula signature Rolls Royce are joined by a fleet of BMWs and Mini Coopers - great for nipping down those Parisian back streets.
 - The hotel already has celeb cred. In 1922, in its previous incarnation as Hotel Majestic it was the venue for a legendary dinner party for guests including Marcel Proust, Pablo Picasso and James Joyce - now that's one we'd like to have been invited to.
- The fabulous penthouse suite has its own rooftop garden and, at 25,000 euros a night, is the most expensive suite in Paris!
- A staggering $1 billion was spent to make remake this historic Beaux-Arts building into the most luxurious, stylish and beautiful hotel of them all...
- TLTB favourite thing in the hotel? A chandelier installation in the lobby made of 800 sparkling hand-blown 'leaves' of glass. Stunning.
- Parisian serenade. George Gershwin spent three weeks at the hotel in 1928 composing An American in Paris.
- History meets Peninsula's trademark technology. Expect free phone calls anywhere in the world and a central tablet from which you can do everything from closing curtains and dimming lights to ordering breakfast. 3D, surround sound, fibre optic - you name it, they've got it.
- Small but important fact - our editor loves the nail polish dryers in the dressing rooms. It's the little things... 
- The lobby staircase was created by Schwartz & Meurer, who constructed the Eiffel Tower.
- L'Oiseau Blanc restaurant's rooftop terrace was created by Fonderie GHM, responsible for the famous Art Nouveau-style Paris Metro entrances.

OK, here's five more (the hotel is so amazing we couldn't stop) ...
- The guest rooms are some of the largest in Paris (roof top garret? Forget it). Space and style is what counts here.
- The project involved 40,000 pieces of gold leaf, all hand crafted, and over 1,000 individual pieces of wood were removed, restored and replaced.
- 20 stonemasons worked on the façade. Each flower cascade took 3 weeks of work.
- The artwork includes a vast reflecting mirror from Jakober and Vu and work from sculpture Xavier Corbero
- Several floors were excavated underneath the hotel to make room for an impressive spa with fitness centre and swimming pool

Peninsula is one of a number of Asian hotel groups that are shaking up the once-staid Paris hotel scene; Mandarin Oriental, Shangri-La and the Raffles Royal Monceau have all opened their stylish doors in recent years bring new levels of services and style.
A clutch of grand Parisian hotels are also refurbishing, so luxury competition is fierce. Dorchester Collection's Plaza Athenee had its soft re-opening on August 1 and officially flings doors wide on August 23. The powerful Hotel Crillon and the Ritz Paris are both currently closed for refurbishment but when they re-open - watch out - Parisian fur will fly.
All good news for luxury-lovers since, when the Ritz and Crillon hotels re-open next year, Paris will have increased its number of five star beds by over 50 per cent..
Luxury hotels link: www.peninsula.com/

Laurence D'Annon 4/8/14
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