Paris is one of the world’s most popular cities and with its incredible tourist attractions and culinary delights, it’s not hard to see why. I used to live here so when Hotel Westminster invited me to return to review their new Signature Suite, I was delighted. The hotel has an illustrious past with its connection to the Duke of Westminster who was a regular guest. His coat of arms is above the door – Virtus non Stemma means Worth Not Birth in Latin, or Courage not Pedigree. Located on the Rue de la Paix, one of Paris’s best addresses and these days it’s part of the Warwick International Hotels Collection. They have over 55 luxury hotels and resorts spread across 5 continents.
Entering the imposing Haussmannian building we were immediately greeted by the friendly staff at reception. Baron Haussmann was responsible for the renovation of large swathes of Paris and attractive stone buildings such as these were the end result.
The ground floor is filled with antique furniture and floral displays. One of the staff members accompanied us to our suite where they checked us in, so much more relaxing!
Whilst Paris hotel rooms tend to be on the small side, Hotel Westminster’s ones are much more spacious as a whole. The 28 Signature Rooms and Suites have recently been renovated, with a second phase of renovation planned for the remaining rooms as well as the lobby. The result is certainly pleasing with a subtle yet stylish colour scheme and a cosy ambiance.
They’ve retained some of the most charming traditional features like the marble fireplace, gold mirrors and antique clocks. In 1900, a certain Jean Bruchon purchased this building and discovered a collection of antique clocks. He continued to add to the collection from then onwards.
However there’s no shortage of mod cons with a Samsung flat screen TV in both the bedroom and the lounge, a Nespresso coffee machine plus complimentary high speed WiFi.
Both Paul and I liked the walk-in wardrobe which had ample space for two people to store their clothes. A nice touch at the Hotel Westminster is that you can leave your shoes in the basket and they will be given a complimentary clean for you overnight. There are very few places that still offer this kind of service and the hotel has some extremely loyal customers including overseas royals who regularly return.
The light and airy bathroom has marble walls and a separate power shower. Stocked with Bulgari toiletries, there were also fluffy bathrobes and slippers for lounging around in.
Our suite had a view over the quiet courtyard.
We also viewed one of the more traditional rooms which I found charming, in its traditional style. There are 102 rooms and suites in all.
Perhaps my favourite part of the hotel is its stunning wood-panelled Duke’s bar. With clubby green leather armchairs, it has oodles of old-school style.
The cocktails are second to none – we enjoyed a welcome Signature Cocktail, rustled up by Head Barman Gérard, that really hit the spot after our train journey.
It was served with some sweet treats that tasted as good as they looked.
It’s no surprise that the cuisine is so good, as Hotel Westminster has a Michelin starred restaurant, Le Céladon. It was closed during our stay as it was a holiday but I’d definitely like to try Head Chef Christophe Moissand’s menu of seasonal produce. At weekends, there’s a more casual style of dining with very reasonable prices, and the restaurant becomes Le Petit Céladon.
Breakfast at the Hotel Westminster is another pleasure. Paul went for a proper cooked breakfast and as he pointed out, in some Parisian hotels, all you get is pastries and coffee. I chose a healthy option of boiled eggs, smoked salmon and cucumber.
The spacious lobby was a handy spot for meeting friends before heading out on the town.
And we also took a peek at the spa and fitness area, which is very well equipped, with a treatment room, large hammam and sauna. There’s also a gym overlooking the rooftops of Paris.
There are several events spaces in the hotel, which are as characterful as the rest of the building – this room has Napoleon III style columns and ornate chandeliers, yet it’s fully modular with very modern equipment.
The hotel is situated in one of the most upmarket areas of Paris close to the Palais Garnier Opera House, and it’s also incredibly central.
A few minutes walk from the Galeries Lafayette and Le Printemps, it’s the perfect base for shopping and sightseeing.
The iconic Place de Vendome is at the end of the street and the Palais Royal with its beautiful gardens is a short walk away. It’s also not far from the Passages, just one of my favourite Paris hidden gems.
If you’re planning a trip to Paris, the Hotel Westminster is such a convenient base, with so much charm and history that you’re sure to love it! Have you ever been to Paris and if so, what’s your favourite place there?
Hotel Westminster, 13, Rue de la Paix, 75002 Paris, France