Hôtel Plaza Athénée Paris
This hip yet plush hangout between the Champs-Élysées and Eiffel Tower is as au courant as it was when it opened in 1911, thanks to a 2000 refurbishment courtesy of its new owner, the Sultan of Brunei. Today, the balconied freestone front is covered in signature red awnings; inside, bouquets enliven nearly every surface. The bar, with a long glowing glass counter meant to resemble an iceberg, is one of the city’s hottest scenes. At the Dior Institut spa treatments incorporate the fashion house’s products. The high-ceilinged rooms mix classic marble baths and Regency- and Louis XV-style details with modern touches like remote-controlled air-conditioning and a music library with 5,000 song choices. For a fee, the hotel also offers tours of its 35,000-bottle wine cellar, led by Alain Ducasse’s head sommelier, complete with a tasting.
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