Hilton Paris Opera: A Belle Époque Gem on Rue Saint-Lazare
The large and inviting Hilton Paris Opera, located adjacent to the Gare Saint-Lazare in the heart of Paris, is an architectural gem, having first opened in 1889 and perfectly exemplifying the Hausmann style. It reopened in January 2015 after a $50 million refurbishment, and after spending a few nights there recently, it’s clear that the renovation seamlessly updates the hotel while highlighting its architectural glamor. Also, the hotel is a great place to rest your head for a night.
The ornate, marble-columned lobby provides guests with an opulent welcome, and just beyond is the magnificent Le Grand Salon (above), a soaring space that’s full of period detail as well as a modern, well-stocked bar. It serves classic cocktails and afternoon tea, and offers a menu of light bites, sandwiches, and a handful of entrées like burgers and risotto; it’s a stunning place to relax. The hotel’s main street-facing restaurant is a location of Le Pain Quotidien, and there’s also a small, low-key bar open only on weekdays appropriately named Le Petit Bar.
Our room was spacious and modern, done in relaxing shades of gray and yellow, with elegant lighting fixtures and a large marble bathroom. Furnishings were classic and elegant, and even though our room overlooked the bustling Rue Sainte-Lazare, street noise wasn’t much of a concern. There was plenty of closet space, as well as a nicely stocked mini-bar.
Our Executive Room allowed us access to complimentary breakfast and the Executive Lounge, both of which were wonderful perks. The breakfast room, located on the second floor, was stocked with a wide variety of offerings, including fresh bread and pastries, a wide selection of jams and preserves, cereal, eggs, breakfast meats, cured meats and cheeses, and fresh juices and fruit, making for an excellent way to start the day. The adjacent Executive Lounge also serves a smaller breakfast; in the afternoon it becomes a place to grab a soda and light bite, and in the evening there’s free-flowing wine and beer, as well as more substantial dishes. It can easily become an impromptu dinner spot, and ended up serving as a great place to collect ourselves after a long day of exploring the city.
The Hilton Paris Opera is a gem in Hilton’s crown, and it’s reasonably priced as well. It should be on anyone’s short list of hotels to stay at during your Paris vacation.