JONAS
Jonas Rask Eilersen
Grand Hôtel du Palais Royal
4 Rue de Valois, 75001 Paris, France
23rd November 2015

One of Small Luxury Hotels’ newest properties, the Grand Hôtel du Palais Royal is one of Paris’ most talked about new-ish hotels. We of course had to see for ourselves what all the fuss was about!

Location
One of the hotel's many advantages is the stupendously fabulous location; from the hotel, you literally look into the Palais Royal and Louvre. You're in the heart of the heart of Paris here.

From either of Paris' two international airports, count on a transfer time of some 45 minutes. The hotel is only ten minutes by taxi from Gare du Nord and Eurostar/Thalys services.
Who stays?
The clientèle was exactly as I'd expected: monied European weekenders (including families with well-behaved children) and *immaculately* clad Asian high society ladies.
Style and Character
You know you're in Paris here, whether you're inside or outside the hotel.

From the outside, the hotel looks like a little Parisian jewel box. Once inside, you're immediately enveloped in quiet, understated luxury which feels warm and friendly, as well as monied and exclusive. Size has something to do with it; the hotel has a small footprint, and so does not really feel "grand" in the usual sense of the word.

It's Pierre-Yves Rochon who's behind the interiors here, so don't expect anything too wild or exciting - rather, it's, quite simply, refined, hushed elegance at every turn. One thing which I noted, and loved, however, were the wonderful oil paintings in public areas and rooms; not a generic poster in sight. (Yes, I did ask if the paintings were for sale - they weren't....)
Service
Stunningly personable and practically perfect; it's clear that the staff here are the cream of the crop. Reception staff were exceptionally friendly, as were housekeeping staff (housekeeping was done to an extremely high standard, I might add).

The concierges, of which there are two, were proactive too - I forgot a scarf at a café a few kilometres away, and they even offered to go pick it up for me.

Staff in the small bar and restaurant were incredibly friendly. Bar staff could possibly have been a little more alert, but they made up for it in personality - and drinks.
Rooms and Suites
Just like the rest of the hotel, the 68 rooms and suites are ultra-refined - and, honestly, quite small. Do not expect to be wowed by any of the rooms' sheer sizes (even the top suite is merely 70 sq.m.)

Our junior suite, at some 32 sq.m., was the epitome of quiet elegance, located on the 6th floor, right under the roof, with a balcony (furnished) and view to both Louvre and Palais Royal (and yes, the Eiffel Tower in the distance).

The junior suite, in addition to a superbly comfortable king sized bed, had a small sitting area. I also adored the bathroom with separate shower and tub, floor heating and double vanity. The Atelier Cologne amenities are very, very nice. I spent a fair bit of time reading my newspaper in the tub, I might add!

The top suite here is the Panoramic Suite which should be anybody's top choice here at the Grand - if not in all of Paris!
Food and Drink
It's clear that the hotel is not the place to throw a big bash; even the bar was very quiet (despite its minuscule size) on both Friday and Saturday night - although the drinks were superb. The hotel's restaurant, Le Lulli, does not seem a destination eatery either - but I have to commend the exceptional food we had. Breakfast (which was a nice, although not particularly impressive spread) is also served in Le Lulli.
Features, Wellness, and Amenities
For a hotel of this small size, the hotel's amenities are quite impressive. There is no big fitness centre here, but the machines are adequate for a little exercise. However, I'd rather scrap the hard work and go straight for the hotel's cute hamam - or have the hotel's 90-minute signature treatment in Spa Carita.
Perceived Value
It's not cheap, but, for its competitive set which should - almost - include the palace properties of Paris, pricing is surprisingly keen.
Verdict
A superb little boutique hotel in an unbeatable location, the Grand Hôtel du Palais Royal gives the Parisian palaces a run for their money. Just be aware that the hotel is more "grand" in the sense of its quality and attention to detail than it is in terms of size and "grandeur". A surefire RASK recommendation is warranted, and I can't wait to return.