Review: Cheval Blanc Paris

Review: Cheval Blanc Paris

NAME: Cheval Blanc Paris
LOCATION: Paris, France
DATE: October 2021
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: Cheval Blanc is Paris' newest luxury hotel. The hotel features breathtaking design, gorgeous rooms, and endless amenities. However, there are still some things to iron out, including service and noise issues.
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EXTRA PERKS AVAILABLE Enjoy breakfast, upgrades, & more

Want to take advantage of Virtuoso benefits at no extra cost, including a room upgrade, free breakfast, and roundtrip airport transfers with VIP meet & greet? Contact Ford ([email protected]) for more details. He doesn’t charge booking fees, and may even be able to help if you already have a stay booked.

For our last night in Paris, we decided to stay in the city’s newest luxury hotel, the 72-room Cheval Blanc, which opened in September 2021.

This hotel is jaw-droppingly gorgeous, and has completely different decor than the Ritz and the Four Seasons George V. This might be the most beautiful city hotel I’ve ever stepped foot in, from the rooms, to the pool, to all the other public spaces. Unfortunately the hotel does still have a couple of kinks to work out — one should be an easy fix, while the other won’t be.

What is Cheval Blanc?

For those not familiar, Cheval Blanc is the boutique uber-luxury hotel group that’s owned by LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton). There are a few luxury goods company that have gotten into the hotel business, and Cheval Blanc is among the most popular of those.

Currently there are five Cheval Blanc properties (as you can see, there’s a heavy focus on France), including the following:

How to book Cheval Blanc Paris

Entry level room rates at Cheval Blanc Paris are very similar to those at the Ritz and the Four Seasons. Rates start at around 1,100 EUR to 1,300 EUR, depending on the day and time of year you’re staying. For our one night stay, we paid 1,200 EUR.

There’s one absolute best way to book Cheval Blanc Paris, and that’s through a travel advisor who is affiliated with Virtuoso. Virtuoso offers guests extra perks at luxury hotels around the world, all without it costing anything extra. Ford is more than happy to help with these requests, and can be reached at [email protected]

For booking Cheval Blanc Paris through a Virtuoso travel advisor, you receive the following additional benefits:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Full breakfast daily for two guests per bedroom
  • Complimentary roundtrip airport, train station, or hotel transfers, with VIP meet & greet and fast track immigration
  • Early check-in and late check-out, subject to availability

It’s great how some luxury Paris hotels offer roundtrip airport transfers as a Virtuoso amenity, since that’s worth way more than the typical $100 value-add amenity. Perks are much better through Virtuoso than through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts for this property, so this is definitely a property where you want to book through a Virtuoso travel advisor.

Cheval Blanc Paris location

Cheval Blanc is located in Paris 1st arrondissement, in front of the Pont-Neuf (the oldest bridge across the Seine), between Le Louvre and Le Marais. This is a pretty central location. It’s nice to have such easy access to walking along the river, and the proximity to Le Marais is also nice.

The immediate area around the hotel isn’t quite as high-end as you’d find at the other two properties we stayed at (which is either good or bad, depending on how you look at it).

Cheval Blanc is located within Paris’ historic La Samaritaine department store. The building is owned by LVMH, which explains why Cheval Blanc ended up opening here. Essentially part of the department store was converted into a hotel.

Cheval Blanc Paris exterior
Cheval Blanc Paris entrance

Cheval Blanc Paris lobby & public areas

I’m not sure that there’s anything I can say that will do justice to how gorgeous this hotel is. We were speechless the second we walked into the hotel’s lobby. Obviously we loved the public areas of the Ritz and the Four Seasons, since they’re appropriate given the history of the properties. As I mentioned in both cases, I wouldn’t actually want to live somewhere with decor like that.

Well, Cheval Blanc Paris is a different story. The decor is modern and simply exquisite, and I can’t even imagine how much money went into this property. Anyway, inside the lobby there was reception to the left (with sit-down check-in) and then the concierge to the right. The lobby also had a good bit of seating.

Cheval Blanc Paris lobby
Cheval Blanc Paris lobby
Cheval Blanc Paris lobby

Behind the lobby was a long hallway leading to the elevators, spa, and the ground floor restaurant.

Cheval Blanc Paris lobby
Cheval Blanc Paris lobby
Cheval Blanc Paris elevators
Cheval Blanc Paris stairs

Cheval Blanc Paris Deluxe Junior Suite

For our one night stay we had booked a deluxe room, and were upgraded all the way to a deluxe junior suite. For context, we paid 1,200 EUR for the former, and the latter retailed for 2,150 EUR for the night we stayed.

This was an excellent upgrade — while booking through Virtuoso offers a space available upgrade, this was an upgrade of several categories. We had let the hotel know in advance that we were celebrating Ford’s birthday, and we were also staying for one night and the hotel was sold out, and often shorter stays are good for upgrades, especially when inventory is limited.

The check-in process was quick and professional, and we were escorted up to our room. The hotel has seven floors, and we were assigned room 515, on the fifth floor.

Cheval Blanc Paris elevators

Everything about this hotel is a work of art, including the hallways. Our junior suite was located at the end of the hall and on the right.

Cheval Blanc Paris hallway
Cheval Blanc Paris deluxe junior suite exterior

The deluxe junior suite at Cheval Blanc is marketed as being 65 square meters, or around 700 square feet, so it’s large for a junior suite. Are you ready for this, because I think this might just be the most beautifully designed hotel room I’ve ever stayed in?

The room featured a long entryway with a dark wood pattern. At first this threw me off a bit, because it wasn’t what I was expecting from the room’s decor.

Cheval Blanc Paris deluxe junior suite entryway
Cheval Blanc Paris deluxe junior suite entryway

Indeed the rest of the room was very different. In the main part of the room and on the left was a super-comfy king size bed and a chair with an ottoman.

Cheval Blanc Paris deluxe junior suite king bed
Cheval Blanc Paris deluxe junior suite king bed

Then to the right was the living area, which featured two couches, and a comfortable desk, which had two chairs so that it could double as a dining table.

Cheval Blanc Paris deluxe junior suite living area
Cheval Blanc Paris deluxe junior suite living area
Cheval Blanc Paris deluxe junior suite desk area

The attention to detail and tech in the room was endless. For one, everything could be controlled from panels by the bed, and on top of that there was an in-room iPad which also had room controls and info about the hotel.

Cheval Blanc Paris deluxe junior suite room controls

The design elements all around the room amazed me. For example, there was a small pillow listing all the different kinds of pillows you could request.

Cheval Blanc Paris deluxe junior suite pillow choices

I loved the cute phone, as well as how the paper by the phone was shaped like the hotel.

Cheval Blanc Paris deluxe junior suite room design

The PPE kit was in a Cheval Blanc bag, and there were Louis Vuitton coffee table books in the room.

Cheval Blanc Paris deluxe junior suite room design

Because it was Ford’s birthday, they had an incredible welcome amenity waiting for us, with two cakes, four cookies, fresh apples, and a bottle of Ruinart champagne, plus the horse-shaped balloon.

Cheval Blanc Paris deluxe junior suite welcome gift

I can’t even imagine how much the hotel spent on wall treatments alone, as there were several different patterns.

Cheval Blanc Paris deluxe junior suite wall treatments

The bathroom was equally impressive. It was back by the hallway, and featured double sinks with a TV built into the mirror, a soaking tub, and a shower that could also be turned into a steam room.

Cheval Blanc Paris deluxe junior suite bathroom
Cheval Blanc Paris deluxe junior suite bathtub
Cheval Blanc Paris deluxe junior suite bathroom
Cheval Blanc Paris deluxe junior suite shower
Cheval Blanc Paris deluxe junior suite shower

In the shower, toiletries were in reusable Cheval Blanc-branded containers, with quite a selection.

Cheval Blanc Paris deluxe junior suite toiletries

What amazed me was the number of toiletries and amenities in the room beyond that. For example, check out the toiletries located underneath the sink. We’re not just talking the basics, but it was more like an airline amenity kit, with everything from lip balm, to deodorant, to a comb, to a bracelet.

Cheval Blanc Paris deluxe junior suite toiletries
Cheval Blanc Paris deluxe junior suite toiletries

On top of the toiletries in the shower, there were endless additional toiletries, each in massive 6.5 ounce containers.

Cheval Blanc Paris toiletries
Cheval Blanc Paris toiletries

There were even huge containers with creams, soap shaped like the hotel, and candles by the bathtub (with the hotel’s signature scent).

Cheval Blanc Paris toiletries
Cheval Blanc Paris toiletries
Cheval Blanc Paris candles

While I’m not usually one to raid hotel toiletries, we may or may not have taken the below home with us…

Cheval Blanc Paris goodies

Ford had booked a facial the afternoon we were there (the hotel has the world’s only Dior Spa, and he was intrigued), and there was a note about how he should take this eye cream the night before. That’s amazing attention to detail and a cute treat, but at the same time we weren’t staying the night before, so…

Cheval Blanc Paris gift

The toilet was in a separate room across the hall from the rest of the bathroom, and personally I like this kind of separation. There was also a proper bidet-style toilet here.

Cheval Blanc Paris deluxe junior suite toilet
Cheval Blanc Paris deluxe junior suite toilet

Also in the hallway was the minibar, which featured everything from candles from each Cheval Blanc property, to a Nespresso machine, to soft drinks and alcohol. Cheval Blanc offers all non-alcoholic drinks in the minibar for free. While minor, I noticed that there was no milk (or milk substitute) in the minibar, which would have been nice to have with coffee.

Cheval Blanc Paris deluxe junior suite minibar
Cheval Blanc Paris deluxe junior suite minibar
Cheval Blanc Paris deluxe junior suite minibar
Cheval Blanc Paris deluxe junior suite minibar

Also near the entrance was the massive closet, which is perhaps the nicest closet I’ve ever seen in a hotel room.

Cheval Blanc Paris deluxe junior suite closet
Cheval Blanc Paris deluxe junior suite closet

Just as an example of the attention to detail here, the in-room safe had several compartments with watch winders, and even had USB outlets.

Cheval Blanc Paris deluxe junior suite closet

There was also a pamphlet in the closet about a complimentary shoe shine service.

Cheval Blanc Paris complimentary shoe shine

This was one of the most incredible hotel rooms I’ve ever stayed in. Of course nothing in the world is perfect, and that brings me to my one issue with the rooms here — the sound insulation. Our room faced a fairly quiet pedestrian area, or so we thought.

Cheval Blanc Paris deluxe junior suite view

Well, for much of the day some street musicians set up shop on the other side of the street, and you could hear everything from inside our room. And we’re not just talking a faint noise, but rather it was loud.

Cheval Blanc Paris noise issues

I would think that maybe this was an isolated incident, except on the introduction post to the trip report series, reader HC left the following comment:

We just came back from Paris yesterday and stayed at Cheval Blanc for a week. Curious to see your thoughts. We were somewhat disappointed. Very nice rooms and facilities, but extremely poor soundproofing. We had a balcony room on the 6th floor and could hear everything from the restaurants on the 7th floor especially when they start moving chairs and tables around after closing. Could even hear them vacuuming… Traffic in the area being crazy also didn’t help.

This is something to be aware of, and unfortunately this probably won’t be an easy fix for the hotel.

Cheval Blanc Paris Dior Spa

Cheval Blanc Paris’ wellness area is all on the basement level, and this includes a spa, pool, and gym.

Cheval Blanc Paris spa stairs
Cheval Blanc Paris basement level

Cheval Blanc Paris has the world’s first Dior Spa, which features six treatment rooms, and offers everything from massages to facials. You can find the Dior Spa treatment menu here.

Cheval Blanc Paris Dior Spa
Cheval Blanc Paris Dior Spa
Cheval Blanc Paris Dior Spa

Cheval Blanc Paris pool

Cheval Blanc Paris has what’s probably the most impressive indoor pool I’ve seen in my life. The hotel has a 30 meter pool, which is visually stunning. It’s open daily from 6:30AM until 10:30PM.

Cheval Blanc Paris pool

The pool has a video wall of sorts that depicts what the view would be like outside. What’s so cool is how it’s constantly changing — you can see the waves, you can see flocks of birds fly by, etc. And then with how the pool area is mirrored, you also see a reflection of everything.

Cheval Blanc Paris pool
Cheval Blanc Paris pool
Cheval Blanc Paris pool

There’s also plenty of seating around the pool, and there are also nets that can be drawn around pool beds for more privacy.

Cheval Blanc Paris pool beds
Cheval Blanc Paris pool beds

The pool area also has a hammam and sauna, which we enjoyed using.

Cheval Blanc Paris hammam & sauna
Cheval Blanc Paris hammam & sauna

Cheval Blanc Paris gym

Cheval Blanc Paris has a lovely gym with modern equipment, which can be accessed by guests 24/7. My only feedback there is that the free weights selection was somewhat limited — there were only six types of weights, with the heaviest being 17.5kg.

Cheval Blanc Paris gym
Cheval Blanc Paris gym
Cheval Blanc Paris gym
Cheval Blanc Paris gym
Cheval Blanc Paris gym
Cheval Blanc Paris gym
Cheval Blanc Paris gym
Cheval Blanc Paris gym

Cheval Blanc Paris restaurants & bars

One major aspect of a good luxury hotel in Paris is having awesome food & beverage outlets. We were coming from Four Seasons George V, which has a staggering three different Michelin-starred restaurants. So what’s the restaurant situation at Cheval Blanc? There are four outlets:

  • Plénitude is Cheval Blanc’s fine-dining restaurant, run by Chef Arnaud Donckele; it’s located on the first floor, and is open for dinner
  • Langosteria is Cheval Blanc’s most popular restaurant; it’s an Italian restaurant that is open for dinner
  • Le Tout-Paris is Cheval Blanc’s all-day dining restaurant; it’s located on the rooftop level, and is supposed to be a cross between a brasserie and a cocktail bar
  • Limbar is Cheval Blanc’s all-day cafe; it’s located on the ground floor, and during the day it has pastries, coffee, and snacks, and in the evenings it turns into a cocktail bar

I didn’t have the chance to check out Plénitude, though I did have a chance to check out the other restaurants.

Cheval Blanc Paris Langosteria

We had dinner at Langosteria, the hotel’s popular Italian restaurant. Langosteria also has two locations in Italy (in Milan and Paraggi). We made a reservation last minute, and they only had availability at the counter overlooking the kitchen, which worked great for us.

Cheval Blanc Paris Langosteria Restaurant
Cheval Blanc Paris Langosteria Restaurant

Below you can find the Langosteria dinner menu.

Cheval Blanc Paris Langosteria menu
Cheval Blanc Paris Langosteria menu
Cheval Blanc Paris Langosteria menu

To drink, Ford and I had dirty martinis.

Cheval Blanc Paris Langosteria dinner

The meal began with bread, as well as an amuse bouche with clams.

Cheval Blanc Paris Langosteria dinner
Cheval Blanc Paris Langosteria dinner

For starters, I ordered the carpaccio of red tuna with Mediterranean sauce, while Ford ordered the sashimi of Adriatic amberjack with jalapeño sauce.

Cheval Blanc Paris Langosteria dinner
Cheval Blanc Paris Langosteria dinner

For mains, I ordered the fusilloro al pomodoro, while Ford ordered the red tuna with confit of spring onions and coulis of yellow datterino tomato.

Cheval Blanc Paris Langosteria dinner
Cheval Blanc Paris Langosteria dinner

We were so full at this point and skipped dessert, but we were still offered a box of chocolates to take with us (just what we needed, especially since we had two cakes and four cookies still waiting for us in our room). 😉

Cheval Blanc Paris Langosteria dinner

The food quality and service were excellent, and I’d highly recommend this restaurant. That being said, at the end of the day this is simply a trendy Italian restaurant with good food, so the food here wasn’t quite to the level of what we experienced at the Four Seasons, which really is a restaurant powerhouse.

Cheval Blanc Paris Le Tout-Paris

Le Tout-Paris is Cheval Blanc’s other rooftop restaurant, and you can come here for everything from breakfast, to lunch, to dinner, to cocktails. You can find the lunch & dinner menu here, and you can find the cocktail list here.

Cheval Blanc Paris Le Tout-Paris restaurant exterior

The space itself is beautiful — there’s a gorgeous bar at one end of the room, and then all kinds of seating options throughout the restaurant, including booths.

Cheval Blanc Paris Le Tout-Paris restaurant bar area
Cheval Blanc Paris Le Tout-Paris restaurant bar area
Cheval Blanc Paris Le Tout-Paris restaurant area
Cheval Blanc Paris Le Tout-Paris restaurant area
Cheval Blanc Paris Le Tout-Paris restaurant area
Cheval Blanc Paris Le Tout-Paris restaurant area

Without a doubt the most impressive part of the restaurant is the outdoor terrace, overlooking the Seine. This is such a special space, and a real selling point for the hotel, in my opinion.

Cheval Blanc Paris Le Tout-Paris restaurant outdoor seating
Cheval Blanc Paris Le Tout-Paris restaurant view
Cheval Blanc Paris Le Tout-Paris restaurant view

We stopped here in the evening for a cocktail and a couple of snacks. While pricing generally seemed comparable between the Ritz, the Four Seasons, and Cheval Blanc, drinks here were significantly cheaper. Cocktails at the other two properties were in the range of 30-34 EUR, while here cocktails were 22-26 EUR.

Cheval Blanc Paris Le Tout-Paris drink
Cheval Blanc Paris Le Tout-Paris snacks
Cheval Blanc Paris Le Tout-Paris snacks

Cheval Blanc Paris breakfast

Our stay at Cheval Blanc Paris included breakfast because we booked through Virtuoso. There are three options for breakfast — you can have it via in-room dining, you can have a light breakfast at Limbar (which I’ll talk about below), or you can have a full breakfast at Le Tout-Paris. We decided to dine at Le Tout-Paris.

Cheval Blanc Paris’ breakfast is fully a la carte, and you can find the menu below.

Cheval Blanc Paris breakfast menu

While we could order whatever we wanted, I was surprised that there were no set menus, but rather each item had to be ordered individually. We started with some coffee and tea — I loved the presentation!

Cheval Blanc Paris breakfast

We were then offered a couple of baguettes.

Cheval Blanc Paris breakfast

We also ordered a beetroot juice to drink.

Cheval Blanc Paris breakfast

Our server explained that the hot dishes take the longest to prepare, so he recommended that we order something from the cold section first, while hot dishes are prepared. In particular, he recommended the pain au chocolat and homemade yogurt, so we followed his advice and split the two. Both were excellent.

Cheval Blanc Paris breakfast
Cheval Blanc Paris breakfast

Then for our mains, I ordered the eggs florentine, consisting of a baked egg, spinach, and cheesy bechamel. I probably wasn’t fully prepared for how cheesy it would be, but it sure was delicious.

Cheval Blanc Paris breakfast

Ford had two poached eggs with some potatoes.

Cheval Blanc Paris breakfast

Cheval Blanc Paris Limbar

Limbar is Cheval Blanc Paris’ ground floor cafe, which is open all day. It’s a nicely appointed space, with plenty of seating — I could totally see myself coming here and working for a couple of hours while enjoying a coffee.

Cheval Blanc Paris Limbar Restaurant
Cheval Blanc Paris Limbar Restaurant
Cheval Blanc Paris Limbar Restaurant
Cheval Blanc Paris Limbar Restaurant

You can find the breakfast menu here, you can find the lunch menu here, you can find the goûter menu here, and you can find the cocktail list here.

If you come to enjoy breakfast here, it’s a simple concept — you can get a coffee or tea of your choosing, and then you can select from pastries and cakes that they have on the counter. We instead opted for the breakfast at the rooftop restaurant, which was more extensive.

Cheval Blanc Paris Limbar breakfast

Cheval Blanc Paris airport transfer

Since we booked through Virtuoso, our stay included roundtrip airport transfers (though in our case we asked to be picked up at the Four Seasons, and to be dropped off at the airport). Our transfer experience was great, especially as it included an airport VIP service, where a porter helps you at the airport, including through immigration. What an awesome feature for several luxury hotels in Paris to offer.

Cheval Blanc Paris airport transfer
Cheval Blanc Paris airport transfer amenities
Cheval Blanc Paris airport transfer VIP service

Cheval Blanc Paris service

Cheval Blanc Paris only opened several weeks ago, and unfortunately that’s reflected a bit with the service. There were some highs and lows when it came to service.

On the plus side, the front office staff at Cheval Blanc are phenomenal — they’re professional, friendly, and highly competent. The same is true of the concierge, butler service, and the staff at the pool and gym.

Unfortunately at Le Tout-Paris it was a totally different story. I had read reviews online of bad service and figured people were exaggerating or it was a one-off, but my gosh, our experience supported that. When I went there for drinks, I sat there for 20 minutes before anyone acknowledged me. And to be clear, I would have gladly flagged someone down (I wasn’t being passive), but rather there was no one in sight to flag down.

The whole restaurant was packed, yet there seemed to be just one person working the whole outside area. People at tables on both sides of me were complaining as well, and I overheard the guy next to me say “I’ve been trying to pay for 30 minutes, this is ridiculous.” Compare that to service at the Four Seasons, where a glass of water would basically be refilled after every sip.

Breakfast was only moderately better when it came to service. Service was ridiculously slow, even though there was only one other person in the restaurant. For example, our yogurt and pastry arrived before our coffee and tea, and it’s not that the food arrived quickly either.

At the end of the meal we were accidentally billed for four people instead of two (and funny enough when I called over the server after receiving the check, he already stated as he came over “I accidentally charged you for four people, didn’t I?”).

Ultimately these are fairly minor things, but Paris is a hyper-competitive hotel market. Properties like the Four Seasons have flawless service, no matter how many guests there are. So these kinds of experiences no doubt put a stain on an otherwise incredible hotel.

The good news is that these issues should be easy enough for the hotel to work out. It’s not that the staff weren’t friendly, there just weren’t enough servers, and they weren’t properly trained.

For the record, we mentioned this feedback during check-out to the excellent front office manager, so hopefully it’s addressed.

Bottom line

Cheval Blanc Paris is a stunning new hotel. There’s so much to love about this hotel — it has just 72 gorgeously appointed rooms with incredible attention to detail, the amenities and surprises for guests are endless, and the pool is so cool. Most of Paris’ top luxury hotels offer old world charm, so it’s cool to visit a hotel that’s a bit more modern.

However, I have two concerns with Cheval Blanc Paris, one of which can be easily addressed, and one of which can’t. The hotel doesn’t have good sound insulation, and that has the potential to be a problem. For some people this could be a big issue (those who like to nap during the day), while for others this could be a non-issue. The easier to fix problem is the service at Le Tout-Paris. Hopefully this is just a reflection of this hotel being new and kinks being worked out, but I’m hopeful this won’t be an issue for long.

Of the three hotels in Paris we stayed at, personally I’d be most likely to return to the Four Seasons and Cheval Blanc. I love the Four Seasons for the perfect service, old world charm, and incredible dining outlets, while I love Cheval Blanc for the design (which is so much more my style than the other properties), the pool, and the endless amenities. While I was grateful to have experienced the Ritz, it’s not necessarily a property I’d need to stay at again.

What do you make of Cheval Blanc Paris? Have any other OMAAT readers stayed at this hotel, or another Cheval Blanc property?

Conversations (52)
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  1. DHL Guest

    Amazing, we must stay there for at least a week next time in Paris. One night won't be enough!

  2. Schar Gold

    Thank you Ben for these incredible trip reports, I missed them! As many others already mentioned, we love your occasional non-points luxury hotel reviews. There's is always a readership for those.

    Regarding noise insulation, would you say that was only an issue during the daytime, and something that would only bother me if i happen to spend time in my hotel room during the day? Or was it also an issue at nighttime?

  3. Carrie Guest

    My work day just disappeared as I devoured this trip review .... a gorgeously curated view of Paris.
    But might I suggest that the bracelet found at Cheval Blanc is indeed a hair tie.

  4. Mike Guest

    There is another Dior spa, also in Paris. Hotel Plaza Athenee

  5. Jamie Guest

    Wow this looks stunning but any 5 star hotel that has street noise deserves 1 star I’m afraid

  6. Devarsh Saraf Guest

    Seems to me that a hotel which cannot get a very basic component right - a peaceful room - would not be able to compete with the likes of a Ritz or a George V in the long run. They would either have to price more competitively or MASSIVELY provide more services than the other two to make up for such a fatal flaw.

  7. red_robbo Guest

    A *buckweat* pillow??? I know the French can't pronounce their H's, but are they now leaving the letter out completely when writing?
    Seriously though, a hotel of this standard should have someone proofread their English before going to print (or in this case, embroidery)!

  8. Kent Guest

    I was invited by the Cheval to stay and experience their service on their first week. The hotel itself is fine - I expected such attention to detail and found it to be on par with other ultra luxury properties around the world. This property would most compare in its pomp and ambience to the extravagant Oberoi properties.

    The service on the other hand is subpar. The staff did not seem trained adequately nor refined...

    I was invited by the Cheval to stay and experience their service on their first week. The hotel itself is fine - I expected such attention to detail and found it to be on par with other ultra luxury properties around the world. This property would most compare in its pomp and ambience to the extravagant Oberoi properties.

    The service on the other hand is subpar. The staff did not seem trained adequately nor refined to their competitors, especially when compared to equally luxurious properties across Asia. In addition, the warmth from the service landed in every area.

    The dining was average and all of the other amenities fine. The decor and art pieces were actually toned down a notch from what was displayed on the first week. Frankly. I found the hotel decor far too busy, nauseating and overstimulating, for a sophisticated stay. The pool was pretty, but inadequate for the amount of rooms. Finally, they miss the mark even on their transportation. Most hotels of this category aspire to provide transportation in something other than a conventional and sterile S-Class.

    In summary, a fine hotel. Just not great. I’m surprised to read such a favourable review on this property. There is promise that this hotel may become one of the greats, but it is far from it today. Everything mentioned here was already shared a feedback to the hotel.

  9. Nick Guest

    Agree to disagree but that the photographs suggest this might be the most hideously furnished luxury hotel I've ever seen. When you're spending that much money on a hotel room and the physical layout is the same cookie cutter design as every hotel in Vegas (personally I despise when bathtubs have the glass partition opening into the guest room).... I'm stumped. There are people who love modern European design and people who hate it, and...

    Agree to disagree but that the photographs suggest this might be the most hideously furnished luxury hotel I've ever seen. When you're spending that much money on a hotel room and the physical layout is the same cookie cutter design as every hotel in Vegas (personally I despise when bathtubs have the glass partition opening into the guest room).... I'm stumped. There are people who love modern European design and people who hate it, and the people who love it are wrong.

    Also, what's under the bed!? Is that an extra mattress pad they stowed under there?

  10. DP81 Guest

    Just curious - what do you tip when the hotel provides the airport transfer and who do you tip to? Does the driver take you all the way through immigration or is that a different person that you also have to tip?

    1. Schar Gold

      omg you and your american tipping craziness....leave that tipping mentality in 'Merica next time you leave!

  11. Brian Guest

    Thanks for reviewing some grand Parisian hotels, Ben.

    1. Steve Gold

      3 world class reviews thanks for this series Lucky! Paris has never been high on my list after my first albeit quick visit but now its close to if not the top of my list.

      You did an excellent job really highlighting the differences and what makes each unique allowing the reader to gravitate towards one of these hotels in particular. I have messaged my travel advisor to plan a 2 night stay at the....

  12. Russ Gold

    Ben, this is an excellent post and I can hear your enthusiasm just by reading it. Very glad this trip went great, very good reads and of course best wishes for good health to your Mother.

  13. S Gold

    Sound issues are a deal-breaker. To be paying 1200 Euros a night and have that is not acceptable. Service issues can probably be improved, but the sound issues will be hard to fix unless there's a pretty big renovation. Seems like a huge oversight and failure for a luxury hotel in Paris.

    Really enjoyed these three reviews.

  14. Brian Guest

    Frankly it looks like any one of a gadzillion gaudy Chinese hotels that can be had for 5% of the price, albeit with edible food.

    1. Mike Guest

      That’s also what I thought. Obviously taste is a personal thing, but to me the decor had absolutely no appeal.
      Also - I love Paris, and will give the hotel credit that maybe their coffee is better than the (low) standard, but 12 euros for a cappuccino!! Seriously people.

    2. Giovanna Guest

      As an Italian my jaw just fell down when I read the price for a cappuccino even if it's a luxury hotel.

    3. Tracy Guest

      No, if it were decorated to (Mainland) Chinese standards, there would be more and shinier surfaces and metal decorative elements. You still have more to learn

    4. John Guest

      I thought the same thing. The hotel interior could be in any major city in Asia. La Samaritaine is such an important Art Noveau building, I’m sorry LVHM didn’t spend all that money making the inside of the hotel match the outside.

  15. baUWS New Member

    Ben, thanks for allowing me a brief fantasy escape to Cheval Blanc Paris! I loved your engaging review of this amazing hotel. However, being sensitive to noise, that issue would likely be a deal breaker for me like some others. I did love the variety of pillow offerings and was wondering which one you and Ford chose!

  16. Abby G Guest

    We were there the October 16-19 room 511 (massive suite). Similar issues you experienced but I would go back in a heartbeat.

  17. Steven M Guest

    Pheomenal review that left no stone unturned — with an incredible number of photos!

    Well done!

    p.s. that pool

    p.p.s. but the soundproofing, yikes

  18. dee Guest

    Wow looks like a great place to stay.... great write-up and pictures.

  19. Alison Guest

    Thanks for the great reviews and letting us "share" your wonderful trip. Paris is probably my favorite city in the world and now I really, really want to go back (alas, my budget doesn't include paying for rooms at over $1,000/night). That rooftop bar/restaurant looks amazing. Can you visit without being a guest? And by the way, for a charming, less expensive boutique hotel, I love the Hotel Relais St Germaine, owned by the chef...

    Thanks for the great reviews and letting us "share" your wonderful trip. Paris is probably my favorite city in the world and now I really, really want to go back (alas, my budget doesn't include paying for rooms at over $1,000/night). That rooftop bar/restaurant looks amazing. Can you visit without being a guest? And by the way, for a charming, less expensive boutique hotel, I love the Hotel Relais St Germaine, owned by the chef Yves Cambdeborde. Food was wonderful. location fabulous and the rooms charming.

  20. William Guest

    I love that on the breakfast menu, “le pain au chocolat” is translated as “The Pain au Chocolat” - is this some quirk of French I don’t remember?

  21. Leigh Guest

    Wow. Sorry tp read about the noise and service issues, but everything else...just wow. I'd probably have to bring an extra bag with me to take the toiletries home:):)

    I was reading the dinner menu section while eating a lowly sandwich. I've never enjoyed a sandwich less!

  22. NFSF New Member

    If you liked the rooms in Cheval Blanc, you'd like the Peninsula.

  23. pstm91 Platinum

    Knowing that this is Cheval Blanc, I am not worried about any service issues. That is definitely due to it being so new and they are still working everything out. We've had a few people stay there already for work and each time it seems to get a bit better. The sound issues are great to know - thank you for an awesome report.

    Next you have to do places like Le Bristol, the...

    Knowing that this is Cheval Blanc, I am not worried about any service issues. That is definitely due to it being so new and they are still working everything out. We've had a few people stay there already for work and each time it seems to get a bit better. The sound issues are great to know - thank you for an awesome report.

    Next you have to do places like Le Bristol, the new Airelles Grand Controle (Versailles), etc! I know you get a lot of complaints for non-points properties, but I love them and they are a great change of pace.

  24. HC Guest

    Glad to see your review and thanks for quoting me lol. Your review is consistent with my experience.

    The rooms are absolutely beautiful. They do look bland in pictures but the layers of texture and variety of materials made them feel super luxurious and warm in person. The toiletries and details (eg the straws with logos in the minibar) are also exceptional. I believe the Dior creams are placed in every room. We received...

    Glad to see your review and thanks for quoting me lol. Your review is consistent with my experience.

    The rooms are absolutely beautiful. They do look bland in pictures but the layers of texture and variety of materials made them feel super luxurious and warm in person. The toiletries and details (eg the straws with logos in the minibar) are also exceptional. I believe the Dior creams are placed in every room. We received the face cream our first night and a bottle of serum on the third or fourth night.

    On dining, there’s also Plenitude which is the true gastronomic restaurant in the hotel. We had dinner there and were impressed. It’s performing at a solid two star level and desserts approached three star level, which was even more impressive considering they opened just a month ago. They’re already charging three star prices though. The chef (Arnaud Donckele) is also the culinary consultant for AF La Premiere. I also have to say the pain au chocolat at Le Tout Paris was exceptional. One of the best I’ve ever had.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ HC -- Thanks for the further info about your stay!

  25. Bob Guest

    Hah! La Samaritaine !!!

    I was a customer of La Samaritaine, when the department store was independant.
    Nothing like Harrod's, but the buildings were always so interesting but from another time.

    "the sound insulation"
    That must be the big issue because this part of the building is probably listed.
    You have to know that La Samaritaine is like the Eiffel Tower: it is just steal, no brick or stone at all.

    Up...

    Hah! La Samaritaine !!!

    I was a customer of La Samaritaine, when the department store was independant.
    Nothing like Harrod's, but the buildings were always so interesting but from another time.

    "the sound insulation"
    That must be the big issue because this part of the building is probably listed.
    You have to know that La Samaritaine is like the Eiffel Tower: it is just steal, no brick or stone at all.

    Up to 2004, when La Samaritaine was independant, the floors were in this part fo the buiding, just glasses !
    Because when this part was created by the architect Jourdain, the idea at that time was to let light ge inside the building.
    When LVMH bought La Samaritaine (LVMH also owns Le Bon Marché), after one century of existence, suddenly the préfecture said the glasses floors are a danger in case of fire because of the meldown of the floor.
    With all the administrative caveats, that put La Samaritaine closed for more than 15 years, which has never happened before.
    When independant, La Samaritaine will never been able to handle that, but la préfecture may have think LVMH could pay.

    You cannot do what you want in that kind of building.
    L'architecte en chef des Monuments Historiques (a civil servant) had to manage the refurbishment of the building. And LVMH could not do all it wanted although LVMH was keen to follow some constraints.

    Gosh ! I had the dream I could live at La Samaritaine when shopping of the four floor and seeing the Seine river.
    You done it !!!!

    On the fifth floor was Le Toupary... when La Samaritaine was independant. Another restaurant, not teh level of now Le Tout-Paris. Nice that Cheval Blanc kept the same name.
    The floor of the current restaurant were offices non available to customers at the time of independant La Samaritaine.

    And the terrass on the top was free access, and one of the not so well know best place for a point of view of Paris for free from above.

    Thanks very much for the report, Ben.
    And thanks to Ford for the idea of this hotel hopping.

  26. Bob Guest

    Ben, another 10/10 review! Your concise analysis and spectacular, “real life” photos make you the best in the business. Bravo!

    The decor seems beautiful but generic—are you at 45 Park Lane in London or the Bvlgari in Milan? Chic but in no way Parisian. The noise issue is 100% on the architect—I believe this is his first important hotel project. This is a major issue. It will result in this not being the Parisian...

    Ben, another 10/10 review! Your concise analysis and spectacular, “real life” photos make you the best in the business. Bravo!

    The decor seems beautiful but generic—are you at 45 Park Lane in London or the Bvlgari in Milan? Chic but in no way Parisian. The noise issue is 100% on the architect—I believe this is his first important hotel project. This is a major issue. It will result in this not being the Parisian home hotel for frequent Paris travelers—a one stay only Palace.

    It seems JK Place Paris on the Left Bank or La Reserve are better boutique hotel options. I think I’ll pass on CB Paris.

    1. NFSF New Member

      Kind of unfair to 45 PL no? Their Art Deco style is certainly not generic

    2. Bob Guest

      Facade at 45 Park Lane and lobby are (as they prominently advertise) Art Deco. I was referring to the general appearance of the suites themselves at 45 PL reminding me of Ben’s CB photos.
      Just an opinion. I appreciate your point.

  27. Up Up & Away Gold

    Looking for a special place to stay for an upcoming trip to Paris, I was excited when I started reading your review (excellent, as always). I stopped the moment you mentioned the noise and insulation problems.

    Do you think the hotel, having such a major flaw (which you noted may not be fixable), will get away with this in the long run?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Up Up & Away -- Great question. I suspect the hotel will get away with this, given how few rooms there are, and the name recognition that it enjoys. Furthermore, the hotel has a lot of positive aspects that will make many people forgiving, I think.

  28. JetSetGo Guest

    I’m guessing when you were there, Plentitude restaurant has yet to be opened at the hotel? It’s opened by a chef with three Michelin Star credential so I’m sure food will be comparable to Le Cinq.

    It’s disappointing to hear that you can hear street noise. Reminded me of my stay at Casa Gangotena in Quito. Except in Paris, there are plenty of luxury hotel options. Quito, not so much. I guess I’m shortening...

    I’m guessing when you were there, Plentitude restaurant has yet to be opened at the hotel? It’s opened by a chef with three Michelin Star credential so I’m sure food will be comparable to Le Cinq.

    It’s disappointing to hear that you can hear street noise. Reminded me of my stay at Casa Gangotena in Quito. Except in Paris, there are plenty of luxury hotel options. Quito, not so much. I guess I’m shortening my stay at Cheval Blanc then. Quietude is very important at a hotel stay. Surprised Cheval Blanc has not figured that out yet given this is not their first hotel property. Their property at the Maldives is to die for. The lip balm you may or may not have taken is my fav. I may or may not have taken a few during my visit at Cheval Blanc Randheli. ;)

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ JetSetGo -- Somehow I didn't even realize that restaurant existed, but I've updated the post now to reflect that. I explored as many of the hotel's restaurants as possible, but missed that one. I think I didn't realize about it because it's listed at the very bottom of the hotel's dining page, and somehow I didn't make it that far down.

  29. Clem Platinum

    Interesting review. Always been curious about Cheval Blanc properties so glad you took one for the team ;).
    I'm surprised at the room pictures. And maybe, like you said, they don't translate well how it looks in real life but the room decor looked rather boring and generic to me (except the beautiful hallway)? The couches in the living room area look really out of place for instance, at least in picture.

    Love...

    Interesting review. Always been curious about Cheval Blanc properties so glad you took one for the team ;).
    I'm surprised at the room pictures. And maybe, like you said, they don't translate well how it looks in real life but the room decor looked rather boring and generic to me (except the beautiful hallway)? The couches in the living room area look really out of place for instance, at least in picture.

    Love the thoughtfulness around the toiletries though, that's pretty awesome and would have totally raided that as well!

    Like others said the soundproofing is a deal breaker for me, I would have been so upset. And the service in the restaurants is unacceptable given the price tag. But if they sell out... I guess it doesn't matter for their bottom line.
    Thanks again for another great review!

    1. Glenn Guest

      Agree with the couches. Everything else also looks nice but as expected for a 5 star hotel. Toiletries though… best I’ve ever seen

  30. John Guest

    Great review Ben as always! Also I think you might have meant square meters for the room size.

  31. Richard_ New Member

    A quiet room is essential for us. That knocks the Cheval Blanc off our list

  32. Claus Guest

    Great review! Interestingly, from the pictures, the style and decor doesn’t look particularly impressive to me. Kind of like the average Grand/Park Hyatt in Asia, and with rather low ceilings… But maybe it is hard to appreciate the quality of the materials based on the pictures.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Claus -- Yeah, I really think the pictures don't do justice to the layers, textures, and materials, as HC notes as well.

  33. Pete Gold

    Thanks Ben for satisfying my hotel porn fantasies for a while…unless I can turn my Hyatt points into dollars, I will stick with the Park Hyatt for now.

    Do you know if you could use the Citi 4th night free feature at these places? No extras but the free night would help the pocketbook.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Pete -- That's a great question, unfortunately I'm not sure nowadays. It all comes down to what hotels show through Citi ThankYou, and what ends up showing can be pretty random at times.

    2. Eskimo Guest

      If you need to consider your pocketbook, maybe this isn't the place for you.

      Like most people who are not the 1%, Stick to the points game and just have fantasies. Don't be a wannabes.

  34. St James Guest

    It's not every day you see krug in a hotel minibar. But did you manage to resist it?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ St James -- Hah, I saved my champagne desires for the next time I'm flying a great first class product. A bit better of a value. ;)

  35. Stephen Morrissey Guest

    Great review Ben. Love your pictures and detailed experience.

    Thank you.

    However I think you meant 65 square meters as opposed to feet in describing your room.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Stephen Morrissey -- Thanks! And indeed, I meant 65 square meters. Updated the post to reflect that.

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Bob Guest

Hah! La Samaritaine !!! I was a customer of La Samaritaine, when the department store was independant. Nothing like Harrod's, but the buildings were always so interesting but from another time. "the sound insulation" That must be the big issue because this part of the building is probably listed. You have to know that La Samaritaine is like the Eiffel Tower: it is just steal, no brick or stone at all. Up to 2004, when La Samaritaine was independant, the floors were in this part fo the buiding, just glasses ! Because when this part was created by the architect Jourdain, the idea at that time was to let light ge inside the building. When LVMH bought La Samaritaine (LVMH also owns Le Bon Marché), after one century of existence, suddenly the préfecture said the glasses floors are a danger in case of fire because of the meldown of the floor. With all the administrative caveats, that put La Samaritaine closed for more than 15 years, which has never happened before. When independant, La Samaritaine will never been able to handle that, but la préfecture may have think LVMH could pay. You cannot do what you want in that kind of building. L'architecte en chef des Monuments Historiques (a civil servant) had to manage the refurbishment of the building. And LVMH could not do all it wanted although LVMH was keen to follow some constraints. Gosh ! I had the dream I could live at La Samaritaine when shopping of the four floor and seeing the Seine river. You done it !!!! On the fifth floor was Le Toupary... when La Samaritaine was independant. Another restaurant, not teh level of now Le Tout-Paris. Nice that Cheval Blanc kept the same name. The floor of the current restaurant were offices non available to customers at the time of independant La Samaritaine. And the terrass on the top was free access, and one of the not so well know best place for a point of view of Paris for free from above. Thanks very much for the report, Ben. And thanks to Ford for the idea of this hotel hopping.

4
Brian Guest

Thanks for reviewing some grand Parisian hotels, Ben.

2
Schar Gold

Thank you Ben for these incredible trip reports, I missed them! As many others already mentioned, we love your occasional non-points luxury hotel reviews. There's is always a readership for those. Regarding noise insulation, would you say that was only an issue during the daytime, and something that would only bother me if i happen to spend time in my hotel room during the day? Or was it also an issue at nighttime?

1
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