To call the four-year renovation of the historic Hôtel de Crillon, a Rosewood Hotel, a “facelift” would not do justice to either the timeless symmetry of the eighteenth century façade, or to the feats of engineering that took place inside. The three elegant hotel buildings that face the Place de la Concorde in Paris need no visual updating, and the interior surgery was far from cosmetic, involving the excavation of an entirely new basement and the installation of air conditioning throughout.
The former home of the Duke de Crillon, the mansion sits in the heart of Paris, steps from the Champs-Élysées, and was turned into a hotel in 1909 with high-tech features for the era, including electricity, hot and cold running water, and an elevator. In 2013 the hotel closed down for renovations by a design team lead by architect Richard Martinet and contributions from legendary fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld.
The renovation lowered the number of guest rooms from 147 to 124, 43 of which are suites, many honoring illustrious people with a connection to the hotel. The Leonard Bernstein suite is named for the composer who was a frequent guest and whose suite of choice still has a large terrace overlooking the square. The Marie-Antoinette suite has a bittersweet connection to the French queen; she took piano lessons in the building when it was a private home, but she was beheaded in its shadow in the Place de la Concorde.
As well as refreshing the guest rooms, the renovation included an overhaul of the hotel’s 3,670 square feet of meeting and function venues. The spaces have a unique mix of indoor salons and outdoor terraces as well as a courtyard, which has been landscaped into a hidden garden in the middle of the city. The 1,001-square-foot Salon des Aigles can be combined with two other historic salons to accommodate up to 220 guests, and opens onto the private 1,109-square-foot Orangerie Terrace which overlooks the courtyard garden.
The 541-square-foot Wilson boardroom is named for the U.S. president who stayed at the hotel during the Paris peace talks in 1919. Wilson held meetings with the British prime minister there while drafting the agreement that formed the League of Nations. His namesake room has modern décor and is available for presentations or private lunches of up to 12, catered by the hotel’s Michelin-starred chef Christopher Hache. Hache oversees a new signature restaurant, L’Ecrin, which joins the iconic Les Ambassadeurs; a new bar, Jardin D’Hiver, which has its own patisserie; and the new Brasserie d’Aumont, which offers indoor and courtyard dining.
The hotel’s legendary wine collection can be viewed and sampled during corporate functions in the 398-square-foot cellar.
An extensive basement excavation made possible the installation of an indoor swimming pool with skylights that let in natural light from the courtyard above. Other luxurious additions to the property include a spa and a men’s grooming salon, and the existing fitness room and hair salon have been updated.
Hôtel de Crillon reopened for business at the beginning of July.