Almost nothing makes a Parisien or Parisienne happier than whiling away a couple of sunny summer hours on a strategically located café terrace with great people-watching. That’s why this season’s sexiest place to perch will doubtless be the gorgeous glass-canopied veranda of the new 200-room Peninsula Paris hotel when it opens on August 1.
But wait — isn’t Paris empty in August? Well, oui et non. For a couple of years now, the new snobbery has been to love the city big time when everyone else is at the beach or in the country. After all, it’s so much better to go to the Côte d’Azur, Greece, Italy, or almost anywhere else after the crowds have come home, and as everyone knows, the weather in the Med is usually pretty gorgeous in September just at the same time that low-season rates kick in.
Besides, Paris in August can actually be sort of a good time as long as you know where to go and where to avoid — tourist-choked Saint-Germain-des-Prés, for example. To be sure, the Café de Flore is still wonderful, but in August you’re much more likely to be chatting with your newly discovered neighbors from New York than you are to be seething about Sartre with a Gitane-smoking Sorbonne professor, because almost no one actually lives in Saint-Germain-des-Prés anymore.
This — if you're up for a splurge — is where the Peninsula Paris comes in. Years in the making, the Hong Kong-based hotel chain will be cutting the ribbon on its Paris address after its major east Asian rivals — Mandarin Oriental and Shangri-La — but in this case last is certainly not least. Far from it, in fact, since this new address will be pulling out all of the stops, from a fleet of Rolls-Royce limos to a 20,000 square foot ESPA spa with gym and a pool with underwater mood lighting. The bone-deep makeover of the former Hotel Majestic, where George Gershwin wrote “An American in Paris” and Henry Kissinger signed the treaty that ended the Vietnam War, is actually a stunning act of historical preservation, since the original poplar paneling has been renovated and a team of 20 has renewed its ormolu. But what’s most interesting about this new address is that it may tip the scales of chic away from the Left Bank in a directional “who knew?” moment once and for all. Maybe the tree-lined avenues of the formerly dissed 8th and 16th Arrondissements will finally get the love they deserve, but one way or another, who isn’t gunning for a late-night al fresco supper of Sichuan style abalone and scallop salad, pan-fried bean curd stuffed with minced shrimp and pork in chicken broth, and sweet-and-sour pork in Pat Chun vinegar from the Peninsula’s new Chinese restaurant LiLi with a great bottle of rose on a balmy August night?
19 Avenue Kléber, 16th Arrondissement, Tel. (33) 01-58-12-28-88.
Most Viewed Stories
This Conspiracy Theory Will Change How You Feel About the Bachelor Villain
The Ultimate Guide to Preparing for the Women’s March
15 Protest Sign Ideas for the Women’s March on Washington
The Sheer Perfection of Donald Trump’s Golden Shower
Things to Keep You Warm and Dry at a Protest
Pakistani Pop Star Stops Concert When He Spots Sexual Harassment
Sexual Assault in the Amazon
Ask Polly: Should I Quit Grad School?
Your Guide to NYC Inauguration Weekend Protests
TMZ Reports Trump Will Actually Have Really Cool Inauguration Performers
From Our Partners
powered by PubExchange
Latest News from The CutA Year and a Half After Mattress Performance, Emma Sulkowicz Wants to Heal You
The doctor is in and the artist is present.Feeling Anxious on Inauguration Day? These Art Museums Are Offering Refuge
Ah, the restorative properties of art.Men Won’t Apply for Job Postings That Use ‘Feminine’ Phrases
They won’t apply if the posting says “sympathetic” or “families.”Answering a Question We Did Not Have, Donald Trump Says He’s ‘Not a Fan’ of Tom Ford
And claims the designer was never asked to dress Melania.Bernie Sanders Reviews the Balenciaga Men’s Collection
He thinks it’s terrific!Ben Affleck Finally Weighs In on Sad Affleck Meme
A look back at one of 2016’s best and most depressing memes.Dozens of Democratic Lawmakers Can’t Come to Trump’s Inauguration Because They’re, Cough, Sick
At least 58 are boycotting.Your Guide to Peeing During the Women’s March on Washington
Because you’ve definitely thought about this.TMZ Reports Trump Will Actually Have Really Cool Inauguration Performers
But organizers, worried about blowback for the artists, won’t name them.22 Animals and Objects That Should Be Asked, ‘What Highlighter Are You Wearing?’
Is it the Pat McGrath?
Put these on your vision board.American Apparel Made Play Clothes for a Generation of Millennials
Remembering the chain at its best.Please Enjoy These Adorable Old Photos of Barack, Malia, and Sasha Playing in the Snow
Ah, memories.Gloria Steinem Will Totally Give You a Ride to the Women’s March on Washington
Ride-sharing is your friend.Teen Who Was Abducted As a Baby Says She Will ‘Always Love’ Her Alleged Kidnapper
Alexis Manigo sat down with Good Morning America.Here’s a Handy Map of Places Where You Can Warm Up and Meet Up at the Women’s March
Print it out and keep it handy.Ask Polly: Should I Quit Grad School?
Not just yet.Sexual Assault in the Amazon
As the ayahuasca tourism industry grows, so do accounts of abuse.Bella Hadid Is Reportedly ‘Hurt’ by the Weeknd Dating Selena Gomez
But there was never a betrayal.Karl Lagerfeld Is Rumored to Be Among the Designers Dressing Melania Trump for the Inauguration
If so, he would join Ralph Lauren as the most high-profile designers dressing the incoming First Lady.