Prince de Galles (Paris)--an outstanding surprise birthday dinner and stay

100 Recommended

Room 210, Makassar Suite
October 13, 2017 by EXPERT
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Room 210

Makassar Suite

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Makassar Suite

My husband and I, along with my mother, stayed 4 nights at the Prince de Galles hotel at the end of our European holiday. I chose the PdG and its 1* Michelin restaurant, La Scene, to celebrate my husband's 60th birthday with a surprise dinner party and birthday weekend.

Before arriving at the PdG, we previously stayed 4 nights at the St Regis Rome and 3 nights at the Hotel Imperial in Vienna. (I ended up staying only 3 of our 4 nights in Paris and my 4th night at the London Edition as a last minute change to avoid a French Air Traffic Control strike. So typical!)

We normally prefer the Vendome area of Paris, as it has our favorite shopping boutiques and many of our favorite restaurants and bars. But I thought the PdG might offer a nice change and therefore be more surprising.

The entry lobby is stunning Art Deco, my favorite design style for a hotel:

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To the left was reception and concierge:

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Down the hall to the right was the hotel bar/cafe, Bar Les Heures:

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Adjacent to the bar was the outdoor courtyard patio:

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Adjacent to the patio was the 1* restaurant, La Scene, which also hosts the hotel breakfast:

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Around the other corner from the main lobby was the main staircase and elevator:

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Area outside elevator by floor:

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The hallways were lighter and wider than I remembered from my previous stay:

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Sorry about not getting more photos, but I was a bit distracted by the surprise that first night of our arrival!


Check In

Check in was friendly and easy--but our upgraded rooms were not quite ready. (Apparently, another Plat guest stayed until 4 pm, so housekeeping was quickly trying to turn around our upgraded suite.)

Still, we were greeted by the Head Concierge (with whom I'd been working furiously as my central contact for almost a year), as well as the Guest Relations Manager. Both were fabulous and really ended up looking after us very well for the duration of our stay.

They invited us to have a snack and drinks at the bar while we waited for housekeeping to finish servicing our room. While we were eating, the GM came and introduced himself and chatted briefly with us. He was quite a character.

About an hour later, the Guest Relations Manager brought us up to our suite and my mother's adjacent room. They had upgraded my mother's room so it was next to ours--and also available faster!


Room

We had been upgraded from our booked Mosaic Suite to a Makassar Suite--the hotel's top suite category before its 2 specialty suites and apartment. My mother had been upgraded to an Art Deco Deluxe Room.

MAKASSAR SUITE

The Makassar Suite truly was extremely comfortable and brilliantly laid out. It felt more like a Paris apartment than a hotel suite, to be honest. We loved it.

Entry hallway:

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Artwork on one wall:

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And a closet and bar on the other. I almost missed the closet space, as it was so well hidden into the wall:

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Just after the entry hallway and before the living room was a doorway and hallway down to to the bathroom. The hallway also opened into the bedroom, so closing the door to the hallway closed off the bedroom and bathroom.

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The living room was spacious and inviting, and very chic:

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The beautiful cabinet in the corner of the living room offered plenty of hidden storage and electrical plugs:

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At the end of the living room was another entry doorway to the bedroom:

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View onto Avenue George V (though we rarely if ever heard any traffic noise):

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You can see the open doorway at the end of the bedroom, opening into the hallway between the bathroom and entry hallway. It really did make getting around the suite very easy.

There was plenty of cabinet space in the bedroom wardrobe!

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The bathroom was spacious and efficient at the same time:

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And our welcome gift from my amazing Ambassador and the hotel team:

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My only issue with our suite was the air conditioning--I had been promised it would cool to 19 C (66 F) and it only cooled to about 20 C (68 F). For most people, this would not be an issue at all, but I am a freak--which is why I always get this confirmed in advance. Fortunately, the hotel handled it pretty well, bringing me a fan which helped me a lot, and even going so far as to buy me a portable thermometer so I could monitor the temperature.

Seriously, I am that crazy.

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ART DECO DELUXE ROOM

My mother was graciously upgraded to an Art Deco Deluxe Room next to our suite, a category upgrade on an award for our second room. Not an expected benefit of any sort, so the upgrade was very much appreciated.

The entry hallway was exactly the same as in our suite with a bar and closet.

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The bathroom (sorry for the flash):

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It looked a lot larger than what I was expecting. Our manager friend did inform us this was one of the largest Art Deco Deluxe Rooms in the hotel.

My mother loved her room.


Service

Service was extremely good, though not perfect.

I obviously put a lot of pressure on the hotel due to the surprise dinner party. The hotel handled extremely well all of the advance planning through the Head Concierge. The hotel also was very helpful in sorting the guests into the bar area and making sure we were handled.

Our delay in getting our rooms was a bit disappointing, but then I also would have been disappointed had I not been upgraded to that beautiful Makassar Suite. That both our suite and my mother's room were not available was more disappointing. But the hotel picked up our tab for the late snack/lunch and drinks, so I felt like it was handled well.

The surprise went off without a hitch. I am so thankful to the entire hotel team for making it such a special weekend for us. The bar staff were a little slow to start, but they came through eventually for us, both before our surprise dinner and the next night when all of us met again at the hotel bar for drinks and dinner.

There are two areas where the hotel has issues: breakfast and the private Versailled excursion tour guide they suggested to us.

Breakfast service was a low point for us on our first morning. There were issues with getting seated. There were issues with cold pancakes being served to my husband. There were issues with our bill--twice. That was unacceptable to me. I informed the GM, who was there and helping out (not a great sign, actually) that the hotel would be taking care of the breakfast after all the misses. He didn't argue. Fortunately, though breakfast was always slow and never had great service, it never had such poor service again. Breakfast is certainly the weakest element of the hotel service.

The hotel concierge team also had helped us plan a private VIP excursion to Versailles for 9 of us. This particular excursion was the weakest element of our stay, as there were some serious issues with our guide. He was a very good guide in terms of personality and knowledge, but an obviously poor planner--forcing us to wait for ticket purchases a few times. and ultimately even requiring me to buy an extra set of tickets for us to get into Versailles. It was a shitshow, but I didn't want to ruin everyone else's visit. I didn't learn until later that he also made a few of our female friends uncomfortable with his flirting. Oh, Paris.

Aside from the unfortunate Versailles debacle and the poor breakfast service that one morning, we really did have a great service experience at the hotel.

The special second welcome amenity on our second night (so not to ruin the surprise) was also a nice touch from my Ambassador and the hotel team):

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Dining

Dining was outstanding.

SUPRISE BIRTHDAY DINNER AT LA SCENE

Before we even moved from the bar to the dinner on the night of the surprise, the restaurant manager came out to serve our pre-appetizers to us while still at the bar--so nice of him! By the way, the price for the supposedly 5 course dinner was only 165 euros--a bargain by Paris standards. And the wine pairings were only 65 euros and quite wonderful.

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Once we moved to our table in the La Scene restaurant, it quickly got serious!

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Did it seem to you like they added a few extra courses in there? It did for us, too. Thanks!

DINING AT BAR LES HEURES

Our second night, most of our friends joined us for a more casual dinner with drinks at the bar of the hotel. The food was really good! I forgot to get photos (probably because I was drinking so much).

We also ordered room service dinner on our first night to ourselves. It was quite delicious and simple!

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BREAKFAST BUFFET:

I forgot to get photos of the buffet, but it was more limited than any I'd ever seen at a Luxury Collection or St Regis hotel--ever. Not the highlight of the hotel, to be sure. The omelettes weren't so great, but the fried eggs, bacon, and waffles were to die for:

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Location

The location is fine. I just find the area too touristy for my tastes.

As I said before, I much prefer the Vendome area--and that thought did not change after this stay. It was more convenient to walk to the Eiffel Tower, and we did manage to walk all the way to the Vendome to shop a bit and check out the newly renovated Crillon and Ritz hotels. We managed to walk over to the Peninsula, as well. But we definitely prefer to be in the Vendome!


Overall

We really loved the Prince de Galles. While the area isn't my favorite, the hotel really came through for us with excellent service in most areas, great dining and drinks, and a beautiful suite and upgraded room for my mother. They treared us very well, and my husband and our friends enjoyed a wonderful couple of nights.

Thanks again, PdG!


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