The Peninsula Paris is a luxury hotel situated on Avenue Kleber in the 16th district of Paris, a few steps from the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysées. The hotel is part of the group The Peninsula Hotels, which are owned by Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels. The Peninsula Paris is the 10th Peninsula branded property. It opened on August 1st, 2014 after 4 years of complete restoration.
History of the Building
19 Avenue Kléber has always been an iconic address in Paris. Firstly named Rue du Roi de Rome in a tribute for Napoleon III’s nephew, avenue Kleber was imagined, like many other districts in Paris, by Baron Haussmann to make “men and air” circulate easily. After the Arc de Triomphe was delivered in 1836, the aim was to make of this monument a visible one at the heart of wide avenues. In 1864, a rich Russian oligarch named Basilewski had a dream of building a “little Versailles” of his own, and asked architect Clément Parent to create it for him on 19 Avenue du Roi de Rome. Basilewski did not occupy his palace for long, as it was sold in 1868 to Queen Isabelle II of Spain, who lived there for the next 36 years.
Queen Isabelle II was exiled from Spain at the time of the 1st Spanish Republic. During her residence in the building, the address was very much talked about. She renamed it to Palais de Castille, to pay a tribute to the Spanish Crown. After the queen’s death, both the US government and an entrepreneur named Leonard Tauber were interested in taking over the address. Finally, Leonard Tauber’s project to demolish the building in order to create a luxury hotel won over the creation of a US embassy.
Leonard Tauber thus demolished the Palais de Castille and built a state of the art hotel, under the direction of architect Sibien. He hired the most skilled craftsmen to fulfill his attention to details obsession. The Hotel Majestic opened in 1908 and soon became a landmark in Paris, and again the most talked about building in the high society. This “Series 1 hotel” featured 400 apartments and rooms, all equipped with the best facilities available at the time.
Then World War One occurred and along with it the requisitions of buildings meant to house temporary hospitals. The requisition did not last more than five months, but the occupancy as a refuge for the injured resulted in serious damages for the hotel which, after restoration, opened for business again in 1916. American composer George Gershwin wrote “An American in Paris” symphonic poem during his stay at the hotel.
The hotel was then sold to the French government in 1936, and then became the UNESCO Head Office from 1946 to 1958. The hotel was not really set to house offices. Indeed, secretaries used to share spacious rooms and store their files in the wardrobes. Middle-grade professionals were put in disused bathrooms, where the only place to keep their papers was the bathtub. UNESCO then moved to its present headquarters on the Place de Fontenoy.
In 1958, 19 Avenue Kléber was home to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, serving mainly as their International Conference Center. During this period, the building saw the signature of the Paris Peace Accords of 1973 intended to establish peace in Vietnam and an end to the Vietnam War, signed by Henry Kissinger. The Paris Accords of 1991, putting an end to the Cambodge and Khmer Rouge civil war, were also signed in this building.
This was the last historical episode before the building finally became The Peninsula Paris hotel. The French government sold the building to an investment fund from Qatar, which started working on the restoration in 2010.
The Peninsula Paris hotel is located on Avenue Kléber, one of the avenues split by the Place de l’Etoile, where sits the Arc de Triomphe. Significant landmarks near the hotel include the Champs Elysées (450 meters), the Trocadéro (1km), the Eiffel Tower (1.7 km), and the Grand Palais (2km).
The closest taxi station is situated on the Place de l’Étoile.
The hotel will feature 200 rooms, including 86 Suites.
- Bedding: Queen, King or super king size beds
- Occupancy: Up to 4 persons – depends on the category
- Technology: Fully-customized interactive digital bedside and desk tablets
- LED touch screen wall panels
- Desk in each room with Wi-Fi printer and scanner
- Valet box
- Dressing room
- Wireless telephone with VOIP technology for complimentary long-distance calls
- Complimentary high speed wired and wireless internet access
- Complimentary video on demand
- Complimentary Coffee, tea-making facilities
- Business service access on the mezzanine floor
- Daily amenity in room
- Daily shoe polish service
The property is a six-storey building including a rooftop terrace overlooking the most famous parisian monuments and offering three underground levels, including a private parking.
The main aim of the complete restoration was to keep the soul of the palace and of some iconic pieces such as the Vert Campan marble columns, the fireplaces in the suites, the Mosaic of the Rotunda, the volumetry of the Lobby.
The hotel is home to three restaurants: “L’oiseau Blanc”, situated on the roof, sharing this space with the gardens and terraces of the 5 rooftop suites, LiLi cantonese restaurant, designed to reflect French and Chinese Opera, and Le Lobby, all day dining situated in the magnificent ancient ballroom.
The Peninsula Paris also features an 1800 sqm spa, boasting private treatment rooms, a fitness center and a pool of 22 meters.
Restaurants & Bars
Le Lobby: All-day dining, Classic and elegant restaurant.
Kléber Terrace: All-day dining in the outdoor terrace.
Kléber Bar: Bar offering a selection of malt whiskies, Cognacs and cocktails.
LiLi: Gourmet, Cantonese restaurant featuring 2 private dining rooms and a chef’s table.
L’Oiseau Blanc : Bar, Restaurant and rooftop Terrace. Modern contemporary French cuisine.
Lounge Kléber: Lounge space offering a range of cigars, cocktails and drinks.
- 24-hour room service
- ADSL / Wireless LAN
- Beauty Treatments
- Coffee/tea making facilities
- Flat-screen TV
- Historic building
- Indoor Swimming Pool
- Minibar in all rooms
- Steam Bath
- TV in all rooms
- Telephone in all rooms
- WiFi free
- iPod / iPad / iPhone docking station