Why We Checked in Twice to Mandarin Oriental, Paris
See why this twenty-first century palace is our top choice for a luxury hotel in Paris
I called Mandarin Oriental, Paris from the floor of Charles de Gaulle airport. Long story short, our flight had just been cancelled and it wasn’t clear whether we’d depart the following day or even the next.
With spirits low after a frustrating day, I figured that heading back to city center comforts would be the best thing to do. I let my daughter decide which Paris luxury hotel I’d call for a last-minute room.
I knew she’d choose the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Paris.
We’d already joyously caved up there for a few days prior. The chic hotel blends things we love about Paris with Eastern touches that remind us of our former home in Hong Kong, where Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is based. We’ve been fans for a very long time.
With a new room arranged, I told them we’d be there within an hour. My shoulders dropped immediately after stepping into the sleek lobby for check-in a second time. The welcome glass of Roederer champagne helped, too.
While the airline did offer us an airport hotel room, going rogue for peace of mind and one last elegant Parisian hurrah was worth every penny.
Table of Contents
A Perfect Paris Luxury Hotel Location
I’m picky about where to stay in Paris. While there’s the Metro, taxis and even Uber now, I like to have things I love within walking distance. And there are places that I always walk to.
Mandarin Oriental, Paris is located in a historic Art Deco building on rue Saint-Honoré, one of my favorite shopping streets in all of Paris in heart of the glorious first arrondissement. This lovely area is less hectic, often shaded from the summer sun, and home to a high density of stores I love including Goyard, Toraya (Japanese wagashi) and Colette. It’s a few minutes by foot to la Madeleine (where Laduree, Fauchon and Hediard are), Place Vendôme and even the Louvre.
Arrival time from the Paris airports always depends on traffic. I would say it took about 30 minutes from Charles de Gaulle and likewise from Paris Orly but plan for 45 minutes to an hour.
Stunning Rooms at Mandarin Oriental, Paris
We received a suite upgrade the first time we checked in which I would encourage you to book if space is desired. I tend to seek out suites like this when traveling with my husband (who had gone home a week earlier) as he wakes up much earlier than we do.
The suite had all of the comforts of home and then some. Every detail was thought through from the diptyque bath amenities to gourmet tea and Nespresso coffee. Plenty of bottled water, plush robes, ample storage, plug converters, dishware, spectacular art, a Japanese toilet and things that I’d expect in a Paris luxury hotel were all present.
I particularly liked the contemporary neutral furnishings that are tastefully accented by purple. The white bathroom was quite stunning. The suite overlooked the garden with actual planted trees and an enormous green wall where Camélia restaurant and Bar 8’s terrace seating are both located. I really wanted to eat in the birdcage but it was occupied.
My daughter loves the other-worldly MOments of Delight video that plays on the house channel in a loop and showcases properties around the world (as a result she is now determined to stay at Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo). She played it for hours during our stay as is typical whenever we check into a MO.
The second time around, we caved up in a Mandarin Room. It was not as spacious as our suite, but was plenty of room for the two of us and quite large for a Paris hotel room. My daughter literally collapsed with joy on to the bed. I shared her sentiments.
Dining at Mandarin Oriental, Paris
We did a good job of eating our way through the hotel throughout two separate short stays. You’ll hear me reference quite a bit of Asian food because it’s something we look forward to at Mandarin Oriental hotels across the globe. But the truth is that plenty of local fare, glorious champagnes, kid-friendly favorites and more grace the menus.
On the day of our first check-in, our flight from Nice landed in Paris on a Sunday, which is a pretty quiet day in the city as most stores are closed. We’d been burning the candle at both ends so I promised my daughter we’d cave up in the hotel for the day. But it was lunch time so we went downstairs to Camélia, the all-day French restaurant.
We could not believe our luck as Sunday brunch was in full swing. After traveling in Europe for three weeks, it had been a long time since we’d seen sushi, dumplings, certain fruit and more in such a carefully-curated and beautiful international buffet. Of course, salads, cheese, charcuterie and French favorites represented, too.
This was just the starter course. Sunday brunch guests also choose from a list of entrees and champagne was flowing (for me).
Our unexpected lunch lasted about 2.5 hours as we decompressed amid so many things we love. A company called iceRoll created the popular style of made-to-order rolled ice cream as one of the many dessert choices. It was so fun to watch.
Back to the room we went to digest and rest. The latter is something we hadn’t really done much of in the prior weeks.
But if there’s one thing (other than dance to MODelight) that my daughter always does at a Mandarin Oriental hotel, it’s order nasi goreng from room service. Dim sum for breakfast and dinner was also a good call.
My husband started the nasi goreng tradition while in residence at Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong for a month before we officially moved to Hong Kong. It’s a delicious Indonesian fried rice dish that we can’t get in San Diego, has become our family comfort food and is often on Mandarin Oriental hotel menus.
When we were sitting on that cold, inhospitable airport floor deciding what to do, I knew my daughters was mentally placing another nasi goreng order.
Should you want a croque-monsier, gorgeous tarts, cod with provencal vegetables and more, it’s entirely possible. The in-room dining team graciously accommodated our needs for multiple smoothies, extra won tons for her soup and then some. I’d only asked for a glass of wine but staff left the bottle after hearing about our cancelled flight… just in case.
Regrettably, I did not have a chance to try Sur Mesure par Theirry Marx who is one of France’s most celebrated chefs. I think my daughter will be of an age to enjoy the multi-course dinner experience next time.
A small Mandarin Oriental Cake shop at the entrance of Camélia and is a perfect stop for late afternoon treats and a quick to-go pastry in the morning.
My rule of thumb is to always try multiple things from a Mandarin Oriental Cake Shop. I promise that you will not want to pass up these macarons and the Le Saint-Honoré puff pastry with vanilla cream.
Yes, the flowers were gorgeous in our room and throughout the hotel in a very simple and zen style.
Passing through the colorful orchids and underneath the crystal butterflies in the hotel entrance, feels like entering an oasis. And, that’s exactly what you’re doing.
Good to Know
Mandarin Oriental, Paris also has a twin lane indoor pool, fitness center and one of the largest spas in Paris. Treatments are designed to address your entire well-being by balancing yin and yang in private treatment suites.
If you want the opulent, traditional Parisian decor that other Paris luxury hotels have, this is not your place. Mandarin Oriental, Paris is more like a twenty-first-century palace and does an excellent job of representing the modern-day fashion capital of the world. And when I say palace, it’s because Mandarin Oriental, Paris was granted an official “Palace Distinction” by Atout France, the French Agency for Tourism Development, only three years after its opening. It’s an honor reserved for the city’s best luxury hotels who fulfill certain stringent criteria and embody French standards of excellence.
It’s not a small hotel at 138 rooms and suites, but Mandarin Oriental, Paris feels very private and not intimidating. I consider this a draw for those who require five-star luxury but like to fly under the radar. This is actually why I actually feel much more relaxed in residence here than I have in some other hotels around the city.
Service is attentive and personable. I didn’t experience a single issue.
Mandarin Oriental, Paris is a hotel that I can book for you with agent-exclusive amenities that will enhance and add value to your stay. Please send me your dates and I’ll tell you what’s on offer.
We will stay here again. At the moment, it’s our preferred Paris luxury hotel.
Have you stayed at Mandarin Oriental, Paris?
Mandarin Oriental, Paris
251 rue Saint-Honoré
+33 (0)1 70 98 78 88
*We received a media room rate for our first stay but checked in the second time as regular guests. Our family was loyal to Mandarin Oriental long before I started travel writing.