Earlier this month, i spent some wonderful time in W hotel in Paris for a romantic getaway with my fiancé. I also used this special time (as usual!) to shoot my ready-to-wear collection with my beloved photographer Erika in the most memorable settings.
We chose W hotel this time because it was our first time being able to finally try it since its opening on February 2012. The least I can say is that this 91-room establishment in the heart of Opéra Garnier has the ability to amaze you. It is located within sights of the fancy stores of Le Printemps and Galeries Lafayette, Apple Store, and 5 minutes away from Musée du Louvre. The Opera de Paris is within full view of the hotel entrance.
I was first impressed with the concierge team: though the reception desk is extremely small, when you step into the 1870S Haussmann-era building, the contrasting disco ambiance will make your heart beat to the music, and your heart melt to the beauty of the handsome young men escorting you to the counter. The reception area is decorated with metallic sculptures such as “Whatever”, “Whenever”, in keeping with the futuristic theme- turned trade mark- of the W hotel concept.
Luckily enough, we booked a superior room, but the SPG (Starwood Prefered Guest) service offered to upgrade us to the Marvellous Suite, at no charge. This meant we had slightly more space and a breathtaking view on the Opéra Garnier, and a 20 meter-balcony! I must admit the space was very limited for a “suite”, but you have to bear in mind that W hotel was basically a bank headquarter before it was renovated into a prime spot hotel, so I assume that they kept the partitions of the numerous offices and the same architecture before they styled them into rooms….
As expected from any W hotel, the suite was modern and well-designed, with everything a tech-savvy traveler needs: power adapters, an iPod docking station, a 40-inch TV and a charging station with plugs for 11 devices. As well as fast wi-fi for 19 euros. In addition to this, the hotel also supplies some funny “love-enhancers” for couples, such as a rain-river shower, mood lighting features, and an almost-nude artwork on the pillow.
The minibar was a landmine of treasures: a shaker for cocktails, Bellini and Cosmopolitan samples, a hangover remedy (all the more important as they have a trendy lounge bar in the hotel!) and an inhaler which dispenses chocolate-flavored air!
As for the bathroom, there can be such thing as Très Chic: the toiletries, made by Bliss, include a foaming face scrub, a moisturizing body butter and eye makeup remover wipes. A must-have. The quantity of product is bigger than in any other hotel.
If you book a suite with a view, the balcony is definitely the gate to Parisian Grandeur: the beauty of Parisian architecture will immediately take your breath away! The direct view is the golden rooftop of Opéra Garnier, which provides a solid base for a romantic experience in Paris.
The breakfast room has a modern architecture too, with an arty twist: the colourful paintings of French artist Fafi adorn the walls of the restaurant and make it a trendy, lively place. The yellow and purple dominant hues give a good energy to the lounge bar too. The great amount of mirrors, glass windows and light in the room makes it a good place to enjoy day time as well.
However, the breakfast is a small affair. Even though the selection of local products is outstanding (best Compté cheese, smoked salmon and French baguette), the quantity is very limited and the inability to provide a larger variety of products makes the breakfast experience frustrating after 2 days. On top of that, the eggs are not included in the menu and any omelette is counted as an extra. Which resulted in the bill being 73 euros every morning for 2 people. I must admit that the gentlemen were particularly caring every morning, anticipating my needs and remembering that I only drink soy milk…!
If you ever try the bar, extraordinary cocktails such as hazelnut-chocolate flavoured vodka can be served and turn the W concept into a Vegas-like place rather than a traditional Parisian one. And the waiters will put you in the right mood for partying if you enjoy the place late in the evening.
The gym room is cozy, luminous with bright windows, and opened 24 hours a day. Unfortunately, it is too small, so I recommend avoiding to stay in W hotel if you expect to lose weight in Paris and start on an extreme workout makeover.
As for the service stairs, they must be the most traditional part of the interior design, with the typical Haussmann-touch: an old elevator “out of use”, red walls contrasting with the futuristic grey color of the hotel, and stairs carved in forged steel, recalling the time when concierges were dominant figures in any hotel, and I had such a good time shooting my collection in this area of the hotel!
The W Hotel in Paris will appeal to all the trend-conscious globe-trotters. The most positive points are the location: it enables you to head out for shopping adventures in the trendiest stores near-by and drop out your items in the rooms within 5 minutes, exploring museums (Le Louvre and Musée D’Orsay), Tuileries gardens and La Seine. Moreover, the overall ambiance of the hotel is made for party lovers. Being a Starwood hotel member is also a great advantage as it allows you to be upgraded to a bigger room and to offset the cost of the hotel with points.
The less attractive points are the price of the hotel in high-season (the most expensive Starwood hotel in Paris after Hotel Prince De Galles), and the tiny rooms. I would avoid booking the most basic rooms, all the more as you will have no view. The W hotel rooms are much bigger in other large cities such as Guanghzou and San Francisco, but the modern atmosphere of W Paris and the warm welcome of the hotel team makes it a hotspot.
PHOTO CREDIT: Erika from Allée des Roses
DRESSES from my collection SKS Paris
W Paris – Opéra, 4, rue Meyerbeer; Ninth Arrondissement; (33-1) 77-48-94-94; wparisopera.fr