If you dream of Paris in all its classic splendor and want to live that dream, then staying at the Westin Paris is the place to begin. Since the hotel was built in 1879, it has remained the signature hotel for visitors to the center of Paris, with a perfect location encompassing an entire block across from the Tuileries Gardens on the Rue de Rivoli.
From the moment you pass between the magnificent brass candelabras at the entry to the hotel on the Rue de Castiglione, you enter into another world that combines the elegance of yesteryear with the innovations and amenities travelers have come to associate with Westin Hotels today.
The lobby and reception area exude an air of Second Empire France. The whole hotel, in fact, strives to keep the feeling of the epoch alive in all ways possible, using color palettes and materials that evoke the period.
The public areas of the hotel are richly appointed and sumptuously decorated. Along the corridors, the interior wall is completely made of glass and reveals the central courtyard, an exclusive open-air haven that includes a beautiful fountain and La Terasse Fleurie, a garden restaurant open from May to September. The back section of the courtyard is covered by a spectacular glass roof, constructed in 1878 as well, and faithfully restored in 1997.
The hotel was designed to be the most exclusive property of its kind at the time it was built and was regarded as a national treasure of the Second Empire. With 438 guest rooms and suites, the corridors can be something of a maze, and the variety of room choices daunting, but in the end what you have is a unique experience of another era.
One thing to keep in mind is that ceiling height depends on your floor, as does the possibility of having a balcony. The historic buildings of Paris have descending ceiling heights as you go upwards. So the first floor may have 12 or 15 foot ceilings, whereas the top floor was usually the servants' quarters and so had the sloped ceilings and turret windows so popular in movies about artists in Paris. If you want the feeling of lofty ceilings, you can request a lower floor, always keeping in mind the higher ceiling often means a higher price.
I stayed in a junior suite on the top floor of the Westin Paris facing the Rue de Rivoli, and I cannot imagine any place I would rather stay in the whole city. The view was spectacular. The comforts of the room and bath were extraordinary. The charm was ravishing. And the fifth floor is one that has small balconies.
However, I am not bothered by noises of traffic or crowds. If I were traveling with a companion who did not sleep well, a suite with fully separated sleeping and sitting rooms and one not facing the busy thoroughfare would be a better choice in that case.
The hotel has only been a Westin Hotel since November first, is still in the process of installing the amenities that are signature to the brand. The Heavenly Bed, a trademark of the chain, will not be fully in place until January of 2006, though the mattresses are all already in place, guaranteeing a wonderful night's rest. The Heavenly Bath, another Westin hallmark, is also in the process of being installed. If you are one of the legion of Westin loyalists who are devotees of these amenities, make sure to ask about them on reserving your room.
The Westin Paris has 78 suites, more than any other hotel in Paris. The Westin Paris also offers a Club Floor, with 94 rooms and suites.
As usual, the Club Floor has its own sitting room with reception area and staff, a dining room and lounge with internet, papers and magazines, and television from around the world. The salons are both spectacular and historic, having witnessed events from the birthday celebrations of Victor Hugo to the haute-couture fashion shows of Yves Saint Laurent.
Regarding internet access, the rooms are equipped with high-speed data ports, though at an extra charge. Americans used to free wi-fi at motels cannot expect the same here. For 24 hours of unlimited access, the cost is 25 euros. There is also wi-fi in the lobby area only.
The Tuileries Bar at the Westin Paris is particularly cozy. The decor in rich red, gold, and black, is comfortable and intimate. The food is delicious, the desserts sublime. Lunch here, cocooned in the warmth of its ambiance, passes unhurried and unworried by the exigencies of time.
After lunch, you have only to step outside, and you are a few steps away from whatever your heart desires. The best shopping in Paris is right around the corner. The Louvre, the Opera, the Champs Elysees are all within walking distance. And every time you return to the hotel, you feel more and more as if the good life is yours, here and now, at the Westin Paris.
The Westin Paris
3 rue de Castiglione
75001 Paris - France
Tel: +33 (0)1 44 77 11 11
Some special offers for the season from the Westin Paris include:
* Enjoy our OPENING RATE starting from EUR 249 per night & per person in a Classic double room.Plus, if you are a Starwood Preferred Guest®, earn TRIPLE STARPOINTS® for any reservation made and consumed before December 31st 2005.
* Some people say that nothing comes for FREE, some people say the best things in life are FREE, but at the Westin Paris we say 3 is FREE. It's so simple, book 2 nights arriving Thursday, Friday or Saturday and will throw in a third night absolutely FREE!
* Make your CHRISTMAS SHOPPING in PARIS! The new Westin Paris is surrounded by a myriad of fashion boutiques.
Until December 27th 2005, our Christmas shopping package includes accommodation in a Classic double room, Buffet Breakfast in our restaurant, a Paris guidebook and a 10% discount at the Galerie Lafayette Department Store.
* Treat yourself to a CHRISTMAS BREAK in PARIS! Enjoy accommodation in a double room. Buffet Breakfast, a lunch or dinner for two in our restaurant, a chocolate box in your room and Paris guidebook. (Offer valid until December 27th 2005. A minimum of two night stay is required. A 60 euro supplement per person applies upon check-in for the Christmas Eve dinner on December 24th and the Christmas day lunch on December 25th 2005.)
* From December 26th 2005 to January 4th 2006, CELEBRATE NEW YEAR's EVE in style at the Westin Paris. Experience a Deluxe room or a suite, Buffet Breakfast in our restaurant, a Limo pick up at the airport, a bottle of champagne upon arrival and a Paris guidebook. (A minimum of three night stay is required. )