Last Thursday, Tricks of the Trade was in Paris on a mission to find the perfect Parisian bolthole for our clients.
We had been invited by the Mandarin Oriental Paris to come down and review their property and decided to use this as an opportunity to showcase the perks of Preferred Partner bookings at hotels such as this one. Mandarin Oriental are one of the luxury brands at which Xexec clients receive a range of added complimentary benefits that can enhance and indeed offset the cost of your stay.
At Mandarin Oriental properties Xexec clients will receive the following:
- Continental breakfast for two
- Complimentary Internet
- Welcome Amenity
- VIP Status
- $50 F&B or Spa credit with suite bookings (once per stay)
- Upgrade to the next room category upon check-in, subject to availability
In terms of location, from a shopping perspective it literally could not be better placed. The hotel is situated on Rue Saint-Honoré and is perfectly positioned for those seeking (or being accompanied by someone seeking) a large dose of retail therapy. Place de la Concorde and the Place Vendôme are also both less than a 10 minute walk away.
We pulled up at the hotel shortly after 3 pm and were immediately assisted with our luggage through to the lobby area.
First up let me start by saying that this hotel is all about the little details. There are 138 intricate crystal butterflies strung above the check-in desks to represent the 138 rooms and suites that the property is comprised of.
We were invited to sit down and offered a glass of champagne while a copy of our passports was made. Someone came over shortly after to escort us up to our room where the rest of the check-in formalities were completed.
We had booked a Deluxe Room which is one category above the base level Superior rooms.
Xexec clients are eligible to receive an upgrade upon arrival subject to availability and we were informed that we had been upgraded to a Junior Suite which is in fact a ‘double’ upgrade.
Our suite was essentially ‘partitioned’ into three sections to try and create a number of different areas. There was a guest bathroom immediately to your left upon entering the suite. To the right of that was a desk with two chairs. I appreciated the desk had conveniently placed outlets for those wishing to use a laptop at the desk (more on that later).
The ‘second area’ contained a two-seater sofa which faced a wall mounted TV that had a reasonable selection of channels. There was also a minibar, Nespresso coffee machine, kettle and a selection of other snacks.
You then went on through the door and into the bedroom. The bedroom was a good size with reasonable cupboard space.
The bathroom felt luxurious and featured Diptyque toiletries. There was a toilet, double sinks, a large walk-in shower with a rainforest shower head and a separate bathtub which, as seems to be the popular trend in high-end hotels these days, had a TV screen mounted on the wall opposite. Unfortunately, this refused to even turn on during our stay, despite the best efforts of one of the maintenance team.
Breakfast is served daily in the Camélia restaurant. I was very impressed with both the quality and quantity of the food. While it may not be on par with some of the gargantuan spreads you will encounter in most luxury hotels in Asia, I was nonetheless pleased with the overall offering.
Xexec clients receive complimentary breakfast included in their room rate and as you can see from the menu below (click to enlarge), this can quickly become a very valuable perk indeed with the cheapest breakfast option starting at 47 Euro per person – if you were paying that is.
The Camélia restaurant has seating for 60 people and I did worry it could get claustrophobic when full. I was reassured by the staff that given the significant proportion of business travellers who don’t linger over breakfast, this isn’t usually an issue.
There is a ‘secondary’ semi-private seating area (bottom left picture) round to the right upon entering the restaurant which is where we chose to have our breakfast.
I’ll let the pictures of the food speak for themselves but I will make special mention of a gluten-free section – featuring cake, bread and cereals – which is an often overlooked area even at luxury hotels.
What is noteworthy about this hotel is that like the very best hotels in Paris it has created a dilemma for visiting guests. Many people traditionally associate their Paris hotel as simply a base for partaking of the best fine dining that Paris has to offer.
At the Mandarin Oriental Paris, guests can choose between the two Michelin-starred Sur Mesure restaurant, the aforementioned Camélia which, aside from breakfast, offers all-day French dining. There is also Bar 8 featuring a bar that is actually a single giant slab of marble. Given it weighs 8 tonnes it was one of the first things put into the hotel when it was being built, and much of the hotel was then constructed around it!
One of the most enjoyable aspects of the hotel is the garden area which is open year round. It was an unexpected pleasure to find a serene leafy corner to enjoy a drink and some food in what is essentially a city hotel on a busy shopping street.
The one thing that was noticeably lacking at the hotel was a business centre. I would have assumed this is a fairly rudimentary feature at most hotels of any repute and I was disappointed not to find one here. They were happy to send a (laptop) computer to my room but this proved to be rather fiddly to set up.
The hotel boasts a large spa featuring Guerlain products as well as a fitness centre which is open 24 hours – something I am always grateful for as my working hours at hotels are often fairly haphazard.
‘Throwaway’ headphones for use in the gym were also a nice touch, negating that moment of frustration when you realise you didn’t think to pack your earphones!
All in all I walked away very impressed with what I had seen at the Mandarin Oriental Paris.
Aside from the issues I encountered with the lack of business centre and the broken TV in the bathroom, I found the hotel to be sleek and modern with an excellent range of dining options and a superb location for shopping. When combined with the Preferred Partner benefits this hotel is a very attractive option in what is a competitive market.
To book this hotel or indeed any other Mandarin Oriental hotel and start enjoying these complimentary benefits, you can contact the Xexec Travel Team on +44208 201 6483 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.