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Now that the fabled Hôtel de Crillon has reopened on the Place de la Concorde after a 4-year renovation, where does it rank in the pantheon of luxury hotels in Paris?

We asked our Dandelion Chandelier Paris Bureau Chief to weigh in on what the opening means for those who are planning a trip to the City of Light and curious to learn where the chic insiders from France and other cosmopolitan places are staying right now. Here’s our report.

Chic Parisians are in agreement that the top tier luxury hotels are the “palaces” of the Right Bank near the Champs-Élysées. Many of these properties were originally built as private homes for the aristocracy, and they retain the glamour and beauty of their original state. All of them have Michelin-starred restaurants helmed by celebrity chefs, which is a large part of the attraction for stylish locals. You’ll find the Parisian beau monde, the international “smart set,” and those who are (or hope to be) global fashion influencers here. These grande dames represent quiet luxury and discretion, and you cannot go wrong with any of them – choosing among this list is the very definition of a champagne problem, and should be guided mostly by what part of town you want as your home base:

–The Hôtel Ritz Place Vendôme, newly renovated and reopened last year, is beloved by people who live in Paris as well as by the international jet set, especially the fashion tribe. It has a storied history: Cole Porter composed “Begin the Beguine” there, and Coco Chanel lived there for more than 30 years. Just outside the front door, Place Vendôme is the center of haute joillarie and haute horlogerie in Paris, with the houses of Boucheron, Van Cleef & Arpels, Rolex, Patek Philippe, Chaumet, Chanel and many more arrayed across the courtyard (it’s particularly stunning at night). Rue du Faubourg St Honoré, home to the flagship Chanel store, the legendary boutique Colette, and many other designer shops, is just steps away. So is the Tuileries Garden. The Ritz’s Hemingway Bar (named after the writer, who spent quite a lot of time there) is an iconic place for a drink, and a great spot for people-watching. The only downside of the location is that it can get quite busy and noisy during the day on the square and the surrounding streets.

–The Bristol is located on a quiet stretch of Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré; the surrounding blocks are frequently closed to traffic because the hotel is so near the Presidential Palace. As a result, even a room with a street view is blissfully quiet. But what makes this property most special is its splendid garden, its lovely restaurants – including the intimate 3-Michelin-starred Epicure – and the exquisite service. Café Antonia in the lobby is a splendid place to have a lovely meal and watch the human parade passing by. If you want a hushed retreat from the cacophony of city in the evening, while still being reasonably close to luxury shopping, the Louvre and the Tuileries, this is your place.

–The Hôtel Plaza Athénée is in quite a different part of Paris, at the other end of the Champs-Élysées, but in an equally chic setting. Avenue Montaigne is home to the ateliers of many haute couture houses, making it an ideal location for shopping. The property also offers magnificent views of the Eiffel Tower. Its home to five restaurants, all overseen by multiple Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse, including the 3-Michelin-starred Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée. If you’re in Paris to shop, or to focus on fine dining, this is a great place to make your local headquarters.

–The Four Seasons George V is at this same end of the Champs-Élysées, just a short walk from the Arc de Triomphe, Louis Vuitton’s flagship store, and the elite shops of Avenue Montaigne. It’s also a pleasant 10-minute stroll away from the banks of the Seine. We confess, although it’s a very close call, this is our absolute favorite place to stay in Paris. The property is stunning. The floral arrangements in the lobby are designed by Jeff Leatham, the hotel’s Artistic Director, and their fragrance is intoxicating. The hotel’s spa, garden and service are exemplary. And you will see actual Parisians if you stay there! Our Paris Bureau Chief says that it’s “highly appreciated as local chic spot,” undoubtedly in part thanks to its 3-Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Cinq.

Right under the grande dames in terms of rank amongst sophisticated Parisians are two elegant hotels, one on each end of the Champs-Élysées:

–Le Royal Monceau-Raffles Paris, situated close to the Arc de Triomphe, was updated and re-designed by Philippe Starck a few years ago. It has a large spa, and two restaurants – Matsuhisa is modern Japanese, and Michelin-starred Il Carpaccio is regional Italian.

–The Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme is located on Rue de la Paix in a historic building near Place Vendôme and Palais Garnier, a short walk away from the Tuileries and the Louvre.

Relatively new on the scene in Paris are a trio of properties from Asian hoteliers that are largely frequented by luxury travelers and business people from Asia. These travelers are familiar with the brands and love the service level; however the local French find them “un-French.” The Paris Bureau Chief reports that “no one I know who is French stays at these.” I love staying at properties in Asia owned and operated by these three, but it’s hard to make the case for staying with them in Paris when there are so many other options:

–The Peninsula Paris is on Avenue Kléber, in a quiet, not particularly interesting or charming neighborhood not far from the Arc de Triomphe. I stayed there once for several days, and while it was perfectly safe and pleasant, I found it pretty icy in terms of décor and interaction with the staff, and fully agree with the thought that something about it doesn’t feel authentically Parisian.

–The Mandarin Oriental Paris is on rue Saint-Honoré, close to Place Vendôme. The Paris Bureau Chief describes it as “sterile and modern, and you could really be anywhere, with no authentic touches of Paris.”

–The Shangri-La Hotel Paris is near Avenue Montaigne and Avenue George V, with views of the Eiffel Tower and the Seine. The in-crowd turns up its collective nose at the hotel’s décor: one described it as having been furnished with “in a European-chinoiserie style that seems neither one nor the other.”

Finally, we know that some luxury travelers prefer smaller boutique hotels that are less globalized, with more individual personality. And it’s also really fun to stay on the Left Bank sometimes. Our Paris Bureau Chief and his pals recommend the following “buzz hotels” if that fits your spec for an ideal place to stay:

–Hotel Costes on Rue Saint-Honoré is the epicenter of cool – it attracts a soigné crowd of French and international visitors from the realms of fashion, journalism, and finance, as well as hip and savvy millennials. The designer who did this hotel also did the NoMad in New York, so if you like that aesthetic, you’re in luck: there’s a great deal of burgundy velvet, burnt gold trim, and brocade tassels. A stuffy corporate type passing through the bar described it as looking like a “Spanish bordello.” Which might be a positive, depending on what you’re looking for.

–La Reserve Paris on Avenue Gabriel describes itself as offering “a different vision of luxury,” and it seems to be a very compelling one. Local insiders rave about this boutique hotel, saying it’s swanky and chic and delivers the same level of quality and service as the better-known “palace” hotels. It’s set in a former mansion overlooking the Grand Palais, the Eiffel Tower, the Pantheon and the Concorde obelisk. Based on the passionate reviews we heard from our friends, next time we visit Paris, we’re staying there.

–L’Hotel on Rue Des Beaux-Arts is the smallest five star hotel in Paris – it’s where Oscar Wilde lived and died. With only 20 rooms, it’s intimate and cozy, and its St Germain-des-Prés location gives it an authentic bohemian vibe. Recently re-modelled by designer Jacques Garcia (who also did the NoMad in New York), the hotel is also home to one-Michelin-starred Le Restaurant.

–The Montalembert on Rue Montalembert was the first 5-star boutique hotel on the Left Bank, and it underwent a “gentle renovation” last year. Located in St Germain-des-Prés, it’s only steps away from the Musee d’Orsay and the Louvre, and is also close to design stores, art galleries, antique shops, famous cafés (like Café de Flore and Deux Magots) and the luxury department store Le Bon Marché.

–As a note for the future, the Lutetia Paris – located on the Left Bank on Boulevard Raspail, directly across the street from Le Bon Marché – is undergoing an extensive renovation and should re-opening late this year. Our Paris Bureau Chief says that if it’s as good as promised, it’ll be a great “buzz hotel” at which to stay in the New Year.

Candidly, it’s too soon to tell where the renovated Crillon will settle in this hierarchy. The locals have not rushed en masse to see it since the reopening, which tells you something. In the past, the hotel’s reputation has been strictly “for tourists only,” so the hotel’s Rosewood management team will be swimming upstream at the beginning to entice the jet set to stop in. But who knows? Paris may work its magic on us all – the Crillon’s location is spectacular, and might just prove irresistible. Watch this space for further updates. Bon voyage!

Pamela Thomas-Graham

Pamela Thomas-Graham is the Founder & CEO of Dandelion Chandelier. She serves on the boards of several tech companies, and was previously a senior executive in finance, media and fashion, and a partner at McKinsey & Co.