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Earlier this week I had a night in Paris before continuing on to Cannes to enjoy a week in the lovely south of France. As a Starwood Preferred Guest 75+ Night Platinum elite member, I chose to stay in a Starwood property, the W Paris – Opéra, a renovated Beaux-Arts hotel in Paris’ 9th arrondissement that faces the city’s famous Palais Garnier opera house.
I booked one night in a Wonderful Room (395 Euros per night, or $539 US), and chose to use one of 10 annual Suite night awards (a perk offered to any Platinum member with 50 nights or more) to upgrade to the highest available suite. I made my booking only four days prior to my arrival, and unfortunately, the hotel wasn’t able to honor my request for a Your24 check-in at 10am; an early/late check-in/out perk, but I was luckily still able to check in early on the day of arrival.
After my Delta BusinessElite flight from EWR to CDG, I arrived at the W a little before 11am. I took a quick look at my Starwood Preferred Guest app and was happy to see that I’d been upgraded all the way to a Wow Suite, five levels above a Wonderful Room. However, the front desk let me know that the suite’s guests wouldn’t be leaving until 3:30pm, so I wouldn’t be able to access the room until late afternoon. At that moment I was exhausted from my transatlantic flight, and my biggest priority was simply to rest, so I asked if I could be downgraded in exchange for an earlier check-in time. On the spot, I was booked into a Fabulous Suite (still four levels above Wonderful) and was thankfully able to get into the room right away.
The Fabulous Suite would be considered large by European standards, but it was essentially a junior suite with a combined living area and bedroom. Behind the bed was a long hallway that led to the closet and included a vanity seat and mirror.
The furniture was chic and funky and seemed very new, even though the hotel is now two years old.
The bathroom was pretty large, with full-sized Bliss products – rather than most W property’s typical trial size.
To show off my Fabulous Suite in its entirety – including my balcony and my city and Opéra view, I shot the following video:
There were fresh-baked croissants and baguettes, cheese and deli meats, potato dishes and eggs, fresh juices and much more. While some hotels put out a half-hearted continental breakfast out of what feels like pure obligation, the W Paris – Opéra definitely goes above and beyond.
Rather than a typical hustle-and-bustle W, this 91-room property felt more like a small boutique hotel. Unlike many other W hotels, they don’t have a pool or Bliss Spa; however, they would have been happy to make me a spa appointment at The Westin Paris (a 12-minute walk away), and had my time not been so limited, I might have taken them up on their offer. I didn’t mind the lack of a pool, but as it was a truly gorgeous day in Paris, I couldn’t help thinking that it would have been awesome if they had a rooftop terrace.
I charged the Wonderful Room’s nightly rate of 395 Euros ($539 US) to my Chase Sapphire Preferred instead of my SPG Amex, which sadly charges foreign transaction fees. I value Starpoints at about 2.5 cents each, so for me, so with my Sapphire Preferred 2.14x and 4 SPG points per dollar spent, that’s like getting 15 percent back on my hotel spending.
Had I used points to book my pre-upgrade Wonderful Room, I would have parted ways with 30,000 Starpoints. This seemed pretty steep, considering the fact that you can get rooms at the property for the off-peak starting rate of 345 Euros a night ($471 US) or peak starting rate of 600 Euros a night ($819 US). Utilizing Starwood’s 5th night free benefit could make sense at the W Paris-Opéra, but at 20,000 Starpoints a night and offering nightly rates that are comparable to the W, The Westin Paris (just a short distance away in Place Vendôme) may be a better option. I’ve never been to the property, but it routinely gets great Tripadvisor reviews.
However, I have stayed at the newly renovated Prince de Galles (a Starwood Luxury Collection property), and I’d have preferred to stay there again. It’s a larger, more iconic hotel set next to the Four Seasons, and features a more mature design that still manages to feel chic and modern.
Overall, my stay at the W Paris – Opera was a good one and I’m happy they could accommodate me on such short notice. It’s definitely a boutiquey property, which is great for people who like a hotel with a more intimate vibe, but less ideal if you’re a fan of amenities like a spa, a pool and multiple dining options.
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards