Worth the hype? A first-timer’s stay at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme
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Like a trip to the Maldives, a stay at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme is akin to a status symbol.
You haven’t truly “made it” until you’ve used your World of Hyatt points to spend a few nights at one of the poshest — and most expensive — hotels in Paris.
I’d never stayed at the hotel before, so when it came time to book hotels for a recent trip to Paris, I had to see if this Park Hyatt lived up to the hype. After all, it’s always gotten solid reviews here at TPG and from others. But was that just because of its cool lobby and high redemption value? I made it my mission to find out on a two-night stay.
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Before I arrived, I had seen photos of luxurious rooms, amazing dishes at the hotel’s multiple restaurants and artwork decking the walls of the lobby on other websites. These photos and stories from other travel journalists made the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme seem like the hotel of a lifetime. Needless to say, I went into the hotel with very high expectations
But did it live up to the hype? Here, I’ll take you through my visit from start to finish, discussing everything from the room to the lobby to the dining experience.
Let’s get this out of the way: the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme isn’t cheap. A one-night weekend stay at the hotel is a whopping $916.76 after VAT this October. Unfortunately, rates don’t vary much from this price point, and it’s rare to find any deal at the property. This high price undoubtedly adds to the allure of the property.
At the same time, you can use 30,000 World of Hyatt points per night to cover your stay. This is no small amount of points, but it gives you a very solid 3.05 cents per point in value. TPG values World of Hyatt points at 1.7 cents per point, so this is an excellent redemption value. This is how I booked my stay.
This makes it easy to see why the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme is popular among points-and-miles enthusiasts. You won’t feel bad about redeeming your miles at this property when you’re getting 3+ cents per point in value. But that still begs the question — is it worth all those points?
If you decide to book and need to stock up on World of Hyatt points, consider applying for a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. The card earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points that you can instantly transfer 1:1 to World of Hyatt. Plus, you’ll earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
One of the biggest benefits of staying at the Park Hyatt is its location. You’re right down the street from Place Vendôme and near the Louvre, Eiffel Tower and pretty much every other major tourist attraction in the city. Like the Le Roch Hotel and Spa, this makes the location perfect for first-time travelers that want to soak up the city’s most significant cultural sights.
You’re also close to several Paris Metro stations and the RoissyBus to Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG). The Opera and Palais Royal-Musee du Louvre Metro stops give you quick access to the rest of the city if you want to explore other neighborhoods and see things like Centre Pompidou and the Sacré-Cœur.
The hotel is on a somewhat busy street that’s lined with designer shops. But if you dart into some of the nearby side streets, you’ll find various cafes, bistros and boutiques. Again, this is a great way to get the French experience without moving about the city too much.
I arrived at the hotel around noon, three hours before the stated 3 p.m. check-in time. I was immediately greeted by the concierge staff when I walked into the hotel. They were very friendly and pointed me in the direction of the check-in counter. One of the first things that struck me when entering was just how fancy everything was. Truthfully, I felt a little out of place with my jeans and casual button-up shirt, but no one mentioned it.
The lobby is very elegantly designed. There’s a ton of beautiful artwork displayed. Notably, you’ll see canvases from American artist Ed Paschke placed about the lobby. These are stunning to look at and really make you feel like you’re staying in an art museum. Further, statues from French artist Roseline Granet line the walls of the lobby and guest rooms. This is an interesting touch and provides a nice touch of continuity as you move through the hotel. At the same time, they are a little bit creepy.
The rest of the lobby is filled with a restaurant and a bar, which I’ll come back to later. There isn’t a ton of open seating or places to work, but the bartender was fine with me working on my laptop in the bar area during the day. I would have liked to see some more public seating, though.
When I arrived at the check-in counter, I was greeted by a friendly front-desk agent who welcomed me to the hotel, checked my passport and pulled up my reservation. The check-in process was smooth, and I was able to go to my room a few hours before the posted check-in time. The agent escorted me to the elevator, and I made my way to my room.
The hallway leading to my room was dim and filled with more Roseline Granet statues. While nice, the hallway wasn’t anything special, per se.
I found my room quickly and was greeted by a sealed door.
Despite being booked as a Hyatt Guest of Honor — essentially giving me Hyatt Globalist benefits for my stay — my room wasn’t upgraded. I was, however, given a nice standard terrace room with a view of the restaurant. Obviously, I would’ve preferred a city view, but it was nice to have some natural light.
The rest of the room was nice, but truthfully, it wasn’t anything that special. There was an oversized chair in the center of the room beside a small table. On the table were a couple bottles of mineral water and a PPE kit. This kit contained a mask, sanitizing wipe and a small bottle of hand sanitizer. This was a nice touch and is something I think should be standard during the coronavirus pandemic.
To the right of the table was a king-sized bed surrounded by two nightstands. The bed was comfortable and had extremely fluffy pillows. I was able to sleep through the night perfectly, and turn-down service was provided every night.
On each side of the bed was a nightstand with outlets and controls for the lights. I liked having access to all of the lights in one place and not having to get up from bed to turn off the lights. There was also an alarm clock with wireless charging. There were Roseline Granet statues on either side of the bed, true to form for this hotel.
To the left of the bed was a large desk placed in front of a mirror which made the room feel a bit dated. The desk had a glossy black top that soaked up fingerprints quickly and was scratched from years of use. I’d like to see these refinished with a matte top in the future to avoid this — frankly, smudges and scratches take away from the hotel’s premium feel.
You’ll also find outlets, USB ports and an ethernet jack on the desk, which is great for remote workers like myself. There’s also a stationary pad and a gold pen on the desk.
Finally, the TV was placed on a swivel mount at the end of the desk. You’ll get a fine view from bed, but the TV took up quite a bit of desk space.
There was a bar area near the door with a Nespresso machine. Coffee pods, tea and cups were located in a drawer below and were refilled daily without issue. Underneath that was an incredibly expensive minibar that I didn’t use during my stay. It was stocked with alcoholic beverages, sodas and snacks. The hotel safe was located above the coffee bar.
The bathroom was located right across from the bed and was massive compared to the rest of the room. On the right-hand side of the bathroom was a dressing area with dressers, mirrors and an open closet. I stored my bags here throughout the stay. It was nice to have them out of the way for the duration of my visit, especially since the rest of the room was relatively small.
There was a walk-in shower and bath area at the center of the room. A glass door kept water from the shower from spilling out into the rest of the bathroom. The shower area had a rainfall shower head with excellent water pressure. Oddly though, there was also a sink area inside the shower. The bathtub next to the shower was spacious and stocked with individual toiletries.
Truthfully, the whole shower area is functional but has an exceptionally awkward design. I don’t totally understand why there was a sink inside the shower. It made the shower area feel cramped and seems redundant given there was a sink right across from the shower anyway.
Across from the shower was a large vanity with a single sink. I found it more than adequate for my needs, and there was plenty of storage. I also really appreciated the box filled with toiletries. There was an extra toothbrush, mouthwash and tons of other nice-to-have items in the box. In other words: if you forget anything on your trip, there’s a good chance you’ll find it here.
Finally, the water closet was directly to the right of the vanity. It was pretty typical for a French hotel — small but adequate.
Overall, the room was nice but nothing special. On the one hand, the bed was great, the shower was functionally amazing and the included toiletries were excellent. But the outdated finishes, scratched desk and awkwardly designed bathroom wasn’t my taste. That’s not to say the room was bad, but it’s not my style.
Related: Guide to World of Hyatt elite status
The Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme has an on-site spa and fitness center. I couldn’t take photos in the fitness center area and didn’t have access to the spa, but I trust that both were nice. Regardless, the spa looked like an incredible place to relax, but treatments are pricey. It may be worth checking out if you want a place to truly relax on your trip.
Food and beverage
The Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme has a slew of on-site dining options. La Terrasse and La Cheminée are the mainstays and where I dined during my stay. They’re connected and have nearly identical menus, but the former is an outdoor dining area in the hotel’s courtyard. Le Bar, as you might have guessed, is the hotel lobby bar. Finally, there’s Pur’ — an on-site Michelin star restaurant — and The Chef’s Table and Sens, which offer a fine-dining experience.
Globalist members can eat complimentary breakfast at La Terrasse and La Cheminée in the morning. I recommend eating breakfast outside at La Terrasse if the weather’s nice. There’s nothing better than starting your day in Paris with a fresh meal and a cappuccino in the fresh Paris air.
Globalists get a complimentary “American” breakfast every morning, including juice, coffee, fruit, yogurt, a breadbasket and your choice of meat, fish and eggs. My favorite part was the bread — as you’d expect, it’s all freshly baked. The juice was delicious too, but the coffee was a little bit burnt. I wouldn’t spend 50 euros on the breakfast, but it was by far the best complimentary breakfast I’ve had so far.
Service during breakfast was prompt, but it gets hectic later in the morning. Try and get there early, so you’re not waiting too long for your food to come out. Regardless, the staff was highly attentive. Whenever my coffee or juice was empty, a refill appeared almost instantly. The team made every effort to make me happy and well-fed.
What wasn’t so impressive, however, was dinner. I stopped by La Cheminée for dinner one night and was seated immediately on the terrace. I ordered a glass of rose, which was excellent, albeit a bit pricey at 14 euros.
For dinner, I ordered a 40-day aged sirloin steak cooked medium-rare. It was served with Padrón peppers and a tasty sauce. At the same time, the steak was very overcooked and lacked flavor. I was unimpressed with the steak — especially since it cost 49 euros. I’m sure dinner at a local bistro would have tasted better for a significantly lower price.
I finished my meal with a Belgian beer and a complimentary chocolate snack. I was very underwhelmed by the dining experience, which was disappointing given how much I enjoyed the breakfast.
The next evening I stopped by Le Bar for a glass of wine after a long walk around the city. The bar atmosphere was wonderful, and — like breakfast — the service was excellent. Again, I was seated quickly and brought out a plate of olives. The wine was good, and it was a perfect way to end another night in Paris.
Overall, dining is a mixed bag at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme. The service is excellent, and the complimentary Globalist breakfast was delicious. At the same time, I wouldn’t have paid 50 euros for it. Unfortunately, the steak I had for dinner was not great and nowhere near what I would have expected from a hotel with a Michelin star restaurant just up the stairs.
The service at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme was excellent. I felt well taken care of from the moment I walked into the building. Housekeeping consistently came every day and left water bottles when they knocked during a Zoom call. At breakfast, the staff was nothing but helpful and did everything they could to make my experience great.
While I enjoyed my stay at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme, I’m not sure it’s the Paris hotel for me. On one hand, it’s a great World of Hyatt redemption. The hotel still feels like something special with art lining the hallways, lobby and rooms. The breakfast was great and the rooms have an aura of old-school Paris class.
But at the same time, the rooms need a refresh. The worn desk and awkward bathroom layout make the rooms feel dated and not up to snuff for a five-star hotel in 2021. Ideally, I’d like to see the rooms renovated and arranged in a more functional way with updated finishes.
With that in mind, however, it might be the perfect Paris hotel for you. Whether or not the hotel lives up to the hype completely depends on your style. If you like old-school charm, you might love the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme. But as someone that likes a more modern hotel, I’ll stay elsewhere on my next trip to Paris.
Featured photo by Andrew Kunesh/The Points Guy
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