Ah, Paris. The city of light…and love…and lots and lots of hotels. How does one choose? A hotel, that is. If you’re a lover of 1920s classic glam, into vintage French décor and adore the idea of lounging in an elegant lobby sipping an aperitif before heading out for some serious Parisian shopping—say, to the well-known Galeries Lafayette—then the Millennium Hotel Paris Opera is a good choice for you.
Located on Boulevard Haussman, the hotel is next to wonderful boutique shops and only a few blocks from the city’s famous department store—one of the city’s best “grand magasins”, the Galeries Lafayette. On the other hand, if you’re a fan of the Paris Opera Ballet, the hotel is also a perfect lodging location. The opulent Opera Garnier (Palais Garnier) is only a short walk from the hotel as well. Whether you attend a performance at Palais Garnier (highly recommended), or take a tour of this breathtaking beauty of a building—completed in 1875, Palais Garnier’s marble and gold interior with its grand staircase was the setting for the Phantom of the Opera—staying at the nearby Millennium Hotel Paris Opera just feels like a good fit.
For one thing, as soon as you step inside the lobby of this hotel from the busy and noisy boulevard, the vibe and scene exudes a sense of style, grace and history. Opened in 1927, the 4-star hotel’s first famous guests included Charles Lindbergh who had just completed his solo flight across the Atlantic. In the stunning hall area just beyond the lobby, amid lots of art deco marble, wood and brass carvings, lux leather furniture is arranged between magnificent columns and set beneath a gorgeous cupola—lit through a roof of yellow and white glass. A huge crystal chandelier sparkles in its light. I loved it all.
It’s lucky I loved the hall so much—because although check -in states it starts at 2:00, apparently that doesn’t always translate to mean your room will be ready at 2:00. Mine wasn’t. I didn’t mind waiting, but if you just arrived from a long flight, you might not feel so thrilled about that. Still, the multilingual staff were super apologetic and kind—which goes a long way to making a guest at least feel a little better (although perhaps a complimentary glass of champagne would have helped more). Still, you’re in Paris for crying outloud! Somehow, for me anyway, waiting for a room in Paris is different than waiting for a room to be ready in Detroit.
Other art deco touches I also adored throughout the hotel’s eight floors (163 rooms) included hallways lined with elegant narrow tables, topped with gold-edged mirrors and antique paintings of cherubs and clouds. Even the cool vintage lift of lacquered black was accented with etched glass.
My room on the second level meant I really didn’t need the lift though–as I could walk up the beautiful curved stone grand staircase if I wanted. The room was small, but as the French have a way with small spaces– it didn’t lack for sunlight, style, comfort or efficiency (it included a desk, plus an antique upholstered chair with reading table and magazines), nor did it feel cramped. Maybe that was partly due to its high ceiling and exquisite little crystal chandelier –or the tall crank out windows that let in the light from a back courtyard. (Many rooms face the boulevard, but I actually liked that mine did not.) A comfy bed and lovely linens, t.v., in-room coffee and tea maker, robes, hairdryer, ac, and free wi-fi were all part of the package as well.
My bathroom, crisply clean and tiled in black and white, was a perfect picture of what you’d expect in a French bathroom (minus tub, only shower) too—complete with marble sink and a slim window next to it that opened to let in more of that delicious Parisian light.
Room styles range from standard to executive suites and rates run accordingly, starting around $176 and going on upwards—depending on the season and date. But do check the website as they offer numerous packages, deals and discounts. You can also compare rates at Hotels.com.
Review and photos by Donna Tabbert Long who was a guest of the hotel while visiting France to research a story.