Review: Park Hyatt Paris Vendome Executive Suite

Previous installments:

I’ve reviewed this hotel once before, two years ago when I had a standard guest room. So if you’re interested in the property you’ll want to read that report as well.

On this stay I booked a suite, at the ‘old rate’ of 33,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points per night, compared to a regular room at 22,000. This was done just prior to Hyatt implementing their new category 7 award level. A suite now runs 48,000 points per night.

Thanks to the rolling delay of my Chicago – Paris flight, and arriving at a bus gate, my 8:25am scheduled landing turned into an arrival at the Park Hyatt around noon.

I went to the desk to check in, and they let me know they didn’t have a room ready for it. It wasn’t check in time yet, so that was reasonable.

When I was here two years ago they invited me to have complimentary coffees while we waited. This time they just suggested having lunch in the restaurant, and that they’d come get us in 45 minutes when – they confirmed – our room would be cleaned and ready to occupy.

The hotel had taken our bags as we came in the door, and they promised those would be in our room just as soon as the room keys were ready for us.

After just shy of an hour I checked back with the front desk, they said they were ‘just making us keys’ and they sent us on our way. They had offered an escort to the room, but I assured that I could find it.

Based on availability I was upgraded from a Park Suite to a Park Executive Suite, which is a little bit larger. It faced inwards towards the courtyard and featured a bedroom, separate living room, and a full bathroom off of each.

Each bathroom had a dressing, closet and luggage area, a sink, a shower compartment with a sink inside, and a separate toilet room. The bathrooms were each probably three quarters the size of the rooms to which they were adjacent.

And indeed, the sink inside the shower has always struck me odd, but it’s also sort of neat.

The bath amenities were Blaise Mautin, and they were always refilled — with each service, twice daily. They were a different bottle and a different (less strong) scent than when I stayed two years earlier.

They sell bottles of it in the lobby, though of course guests will never lack for it.

Next to that display is a rate sheet for the hotel on the wall. I’m glad I was using points…


    (Click to enlarge.)

Maybe it’s just me, but I think the bedroom is just gorgeous. It also featured blackout shared that worked fantastically well, with two layers, controlled electronically.

The living room, while stylish, wasn’t super comfortable for sitting. Pillows might have help, or more cushioning, on the couch as well as side chairs. But that’s a minor quibble.

The hotel provides complimentary bottled water, but you need a bottle opener to open it. I wanted to lay down for a nap, and have water by my bedside, so I tried to open a bottle but the room was missing its bottle opener. I called for one, waited awhile for it to be delivered, but when nothing came I poured some water from the bathroom sink and just laid down for a bit. (Four hours later I called for a bottle opener again and it was delivered.)

I went out to dinner that night, came back rather late, and had a great sleep. I find the beds really quite comfortable.

Walking out at night is a treat, past the Place Vendôme, it’s beautifully lit up and fortunately the weather was quite mild. It was even quite attractive, covered up for a renovation while we were there.

I was excited in the morning for breakfast. Gold Passport Diamond members receive complimentary breakfast in either the hotel restaurant or via room service. The ‘full American breakfast’ (buffet plus an entree) runs 50 euros, so you can also take a 50 euro per person room service credit. Although that amount runs out quickly. (I’m confident I exceeded it by a couple of Euros once or twice during my stay, but they never charged me the overage.)

I’ve eaten breakfast in their restaurant, and it’s certainly good, but the indulgence of room service is one I took advantage of each morning in Paris this time. It’s the same food.

There’s no question that it’s pricey, and I wouldn’t ordinarily spend for breakfast what the restaurant charges. At the same time the quality of everything on offer is really fantastic. The pastries are truly top notch. The cheeses they use are as well. There’s a material difference between their breakfast buffet and what I’d get at most hotels, so in a sense the prices do make sense.

The Park Hyatt’s bircher muesli is so good that I asked the hotel for their recipie. Their reply, “yogurt, muesli, honey, brunoise de pomme, cinnamon and red berries on the top.”

Service is good. We walked outside on Friday night and were going to take a taxi to dinner. We were asked what our destination was, and the hotel asked us our room number and sent us of in their car, complimentary. It was a short trip and the car was sitting out front, and this wasn’t something we requested, so was a nice surprise and delight.

The hotel is far from ‘perfect’. There were mismatched glasses in one of the bathroom, and an obviously broken hanger that they hung a bath robe on instead of replacing it. There was no one outside the hotel to assist in hailing a cab Saturday morning, although cabs queue up just down the block in front of the next hotel so this wasn’t an inconvenience.

On my way out of the hotel I looked over the folio. I hadn’t charged very much to the room, since breakfasts each day had already been taken off. There was a light lunch when we first arrived, and a dessert one evening taken from room service (for my wife, I was full from dinner).

I also had a US$100 food and beverage credit from the Hyatt elves on Twitter but that wasn’t reflected on the folio. The hotel didn’t know anything about it. I pulled up the tweet on my phone, took a screen shot, and emailed it to the manager on duty who promised to look into it. He had the credit applied back to me by the time my flight home landed back in the States.

This is a very good hotel, a pleasant oasis in a bustling city, and far nicer than most properties. I found everyone on staff to be helpful, friendly, and eager. And contrary to expectation at a French five star, everyone was quite approachable as well.

I enjoy staying at this property when I’m in Paris. It’s walking distance to three metro stops, and some good dining, but is also in a more quiet neighborhood so serves as an escape. I’m not sure at the 30,000 point price point for a standard room whether it will be as easy a ‘default’ choice for me in the future, compared to 22,000 points in the past. And I can’t imagine I’ll see a suite again now that it’s 48,000 points. But I don’t quibble at all over the value per point even at these higher prices.


About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Nice Report!
    I love the location, I’m usually at the Westin down the block. Also that was a lovely suite!

    I heard that when you book a suite on points, you get one of those junior suites in the former attic, which kept me from returning (I was once there shortly after it opened; lovely but small room),.

  2. Are you guys paid by Hyatt? I don’t get the rave reviews for this hotel. I was very underwhelmed and it is preposterously overpriced.

  3. I’ve stayed here every year for the past eight years (3 nights end of September) and I find the hotel has slipped (breakfast sourcing not as good, always something wrong with the room, etc.,). It’s definitely not worth the 30K points.

    Two steps down in luxury, but in a better location and with some more Paris feel/charm is the Hotel du Louve which is a great redemption at cash & points or, sometimes at around 150 euros.

    On the points only side, the Intercontinental Le Grand has Louis XIV charm and a classic air about it and is a great grab at 50K IHG points…

  4. I think part of the difference between the bloggers who rave about this hotel, and the commenters who are underwhelmed, is that the bloggers are all Diamond members with huge points balances.

    Gary booked a Suite, then got upgraded to a Park Executive Suite. Reviews I’ve read where non-elites stayed in a regular (aka “very small”)room are much less glowing. Sitting in a large Suite, eating a $50 Euro complementary breakfast, certainly adds to the experience.

  5. I’ve stayed 3 nights here in the past in a standard room. I think it’s a great hotel, but I do think it’s overrated. It’s a very nice hotel, service was good (a bit too overbearing for my taste, but I digress…), and staff was very friendly. While most regard this as the best hotel in Paris, I do not share this sentiment.

  6. Well, being a blogger certainly didn’t help him get a bottle opener.

    Think of Gary’s review as another data point when it comes to travel reviews…if you think that he gets special treatment beyond already being a Diamond and someone that travels a great deal and is probably better at dealing with hotels than most of us, factor that into your decision.

  7. @mark – i have too many bad stays for that to happen, my understanding is that even if a chain wanted to they don’t really have a great way to work it with individual properties. a chain could call a given hotel specifically, person-to-person, but that doesn’t happen much. i find that the hotel loyalty people i talk to don’t generally have any idea of my upcoming or even past trips other than what i’ve written on the blog.

  8. @LR – I don’t know anyone that’s claimed it’s the best hotel in Paris! Although it’s certainly one of the best you can use a reasonable number of points for.

  9. I agree w/ Robert Hanson. Diamond really helps…it’s nice when traveling to have one of your meals taken care of.

    I was at the PH Vendome as a non-Diamond in a junior suite w/low ceilings, and it was an awful stay.

  10. “And contrary to expectation at a French five star, everyone was quite approachable as well.”

    What the???? I’ve always found the French people VERY approachable and full of warm kindness. I’ve made the effort to learn to speak French, not expect things to be Americanized in THEIR country, and not to be so derogatory about mundane things.

    Seriously, you sound like the biggest snob towards Paris. It is obvious that you’ve never taken the time to properly research French culture and history.

    Seriously, cab???? Take the freaking metro! Who takes cabs in Paris?? Geesh! And why are you spending so much time in the hotel; it’s Paris- go outside!!!

    And for goodness sakes, get the F out of the hotel and eat breakfast amongst the French people. This is the world capital of food! There is nothing like grabbing a baguette and delicious cheese, and then sitting in Luxembourg gardens watching the sunrise. Your hotel breakfast will never compare to such a thing!

    To newbies- there is more to Paris than PHV. Want real first class service? Stay at Plaza Athenee or Hotel Bristol. Or just wait for the Crillon to reopen.

    Honestly Gary, you are exactly the stereotypical tourist that annoys the rest of us in Paris!

  11. @icicle I thought you weren’t reading any more? I’m glad you still are because — contrary to your assumptions — if you stick around for the followup sections you’ll see plenty of discussion of the foods all around Paris.

    And if you read closely in this review one of the links I much like about this hotel is its easy walk to three different metro stops.

    The way you’ve reacted to this review, I think, reveals more about you and what you expect or think you’ll get from me than about what I’ve actually written and certainly about the trip itself.

    This post was ABOUT THE HOTEL so of course it’s going to focus on the hotel. But as I explained in the first section of this trip, you’re going to see discussion of macarons, of finding some great restaurants (non-tourist traps) near some of the great sites of Paris, and also one of the neatest things about Paris which is the specialization of its shops, walking separately into bakery/cheese shop/meat shop/chocolatier.

    What in the world makes you think that this trip wasn’t about that?

  12. “The way you’ve reacted to this review, I think, reveals more about you and what you expect or think you’ll get from me than about what I’ve actually written and certainly about the trip itself.”

    Your right, it does. I have a double major degree in French and history, and had the pleasure of living in France. It is always in my heart. Paris is not an abstract object to me; it is a fluid, alive magic so personal to my spirit.

    I’m amused at your attempt to chatise me.

    I expect people that blog about Paris to actually know about Paris. To do research. Speak French. Know the history. Understand the nuances of the culture. I expect people to not eat at the hotel.

    I expect people to stay someplace other than the PHV. To understand that true luxury is beyond this hotel. If one is going to blog about luxury, get it right! Or stay Left Bank.

    I expect people to walk in the most perfect city in the world. I expect people to not just experience macarons, but to know the history of how they came to be. I expect people to be kind towards the French workers in cafes, hotels, shops, etc. Do you even know the correct etiquette of shopping at the individual boulangeries, charcuteries, etc?

    I expect people to take day trips from Paris to other wonderful spots: Grenoble. Amboise (where Leonardo Da Vinci is buried). Reims. Angers. Blois. Rouen. Ah, Rouen, where I lived for 8 months, how I miss it. Do you know that a Rouen meal is what made Julia Child decide to become a chef?

    I expect people to wander thru Bois de Vincennes, perhaps even row a boat in the lake. I expect people to experience Le Caveau de la Huchette. I expect people to watch the Paris Masters at Bercy in Oct/Nov. I expect people to wander thru the Sorbonne to the Panthéon and pay respect to Victor Hugo. I expect people to catch a concert at La Sainte-Chapelle. All things which I have done.

    I base my thoughts on your trip based upon what you photograph and write. I’m not impressed. When it comes to France posts, I find that I can’t keep quiet if the post is misleading.

    So yes, it does say more about me than about what you’ve written. It says that I expect better from an “expert” blogger. It says that I am passionate about Paris and less about what a hotel bathroom looks like. The fact that you seem rather indifferent about Paris herself but seem to go just to enjoy the PHV kinda offends me. It says that you don’t understand France at all. How rather sad.

  13. @icicle You DO have a lot of ‘expectations’…!

    “I expect people that blog about Paris to actually know about Paris.”

    “I expect people to not eat at the hotel.”

    “I expect people to stay someplace other than the PHV. ”

    “I expect people to not just experience macarons, but to know the history of how they came to be.”

    “I expect people to be kind towards the French workers in cafes, hotels, shops, etc. ”

    “I expect people to take day trips from Paris to other wonderful spots”

    “I expect people to wander thru Bois de Vincennes”

    “I expect people to experience Le Caveau de la Huchette.”

    “I expect people to watch the Paris Masters at Bercy in Oct/Nov.”

    “I expect people to wander thru the Sorbonne to the Panthéon and pay respect to Victor Hugo.”

    “I expect people to catch a concert at La Sainte-Chapelle.”

    Goodness you’re full of judgment.

    As for breakfast, there’s a fantastic breakfast at the Park Hyatt. I can stay at a nicer hotel with points than I could reasonably pay for with cash. I make no apologies for leveraging the points at my disposal to be able to visit Paris and do so comfortably. And I make no apologies for availing myself of the complimentary breakfast, either, though I certainly ate all of my other meals outside of the hotel..!

    Nor will I apologize that in this long weekend trip — hardly my first, and certainly won’t be my last time in Paris — I didn’t spend it in a manner you would consider a perfect tourist.

    “I base my thoughts on your trip based upon what you photograph and write. I’m not impressed”

    I do not seek to impress you!

    As for walking ‘in the most perfect city in the world, I enjoy walking around Paris, but you and I will disagree as to its status. I think there are many many things wrong with the Paris experience for Parisians. Now, I have tremendous respect for the people of Paris. Contrary to popular belief they’re some of the most industrious people in the world. They’re some of the most frugal, though there’s certainly luxury and excess in the city. They live in small spaces. There’s so little left, with all the regulation of their work that limits their productivity and all the taxes that takes away what they do earn. There’s so much wrong with the politics. And in spite of it they make a wonderful existence, in simple things.

    But we’ll never agree on the proper place of Paris in the world, and that’s fine. The difference is that you seem to think your approach is the only approach, your view of Paris the only ‘correct’ one. And thus my blog will never touch you or enrich you or do anything but enrage you. You’ve let me know that many times in the past.

    And yet you’re welcome to read, or not, I will go about enjoying very much my trip there although the major Western European capitals don’t hold the place for me that so many other parts of the world do.

    I am not an expert on the history and culture of France, though I try to be reasonably informed, and my French colleagues would tell you I think that I do not offend them with my lack of knowledge when we talk about their home.

    There are some that would consider me to be an expert on miles and points, and I’m sharing on my personal blog the journey my journey as I travel and make use of those. And I don’t blog because I’m an expert in France, and I don’t travel there because I’m an expert, instead I go to learn and experience. But I don’t do it in the way you may be prescribing, it isn’t the only way, and I share the experience and the finds.

    I leave open the comments here because I love it when my readers who have their own experiences to share offer contrary views, suggestions, and their own experiences! I love when folks share in the comments, rather than merely condescend.

    My posts seem to simply make you angry, though, and if that’s the case and you find expressing that anger here in the comments to be some sort of relief than I suppose I’m happy to be able to provide that outlet to you. Bon courage !

  14. Not everyone visiting Paris will have a double major in French and history. I am an ordinary tourist with a short amount of time. Unlike someone who have lived in the city, you can expect very tourists to see and feel the city as you do. I am sorry that’s just not possible.

  15. @ Gary – Perfect response.

    @ icicle – This is not a blog about Paris; this is a blog about travel. If the author travels to Tokyo, Sao Paolo, Moscow, Beijing, and Cairo – do you expect him to learn all of the native languages in each of these cities and to visit every historical site and town in the region? It sounds like you had a great opportunity to study in France, and I’m glad you enjoyed your experience to the fullest. I studied in Japan and have learned a great deal more about the culture and language than 99% of Americans, but I don’t expect every American who visits Japan to have a command of the language or have an understanding of the cultural nuances and complicated etiquette.

  16. I stayed from the 25th – 31st. Then went to London, Hyatt andaz in London and Marriott grosvenor square. Did you go to opera de Paris?

  17. Nice post. icicle is wrong. A tourist isn’t a bad thing. My wife and I are going to Paris the first part of February so Gary your posts have great timing for me. I’m not staying at the same hotel but it’s a nice review and interesting. Why not enjoy the hotel if it’s a good place.
    Then again maybe I shouldn’t go to France at all since I don’t speak French and don’t have a degree it 18th century French literature or whatever. I’m no Clark Griswold but I get so tired of the “experts” that think that the only way to enjoy a place is to be an undercover local and not a tourist. I’m sure icicle will be upset that we tacked on a day at Disneyland Paris at the end of our trip as well 🙂
    Gary keep up the good work.

  18. @ Testicle…sorry @icicle

    Who give a damn about your triple or quadruple degree in whatever you studied. THIS IS TRIP REPORT not a damn French literature. You are basically just a jealous brat that couldn’t afford a night let alone a cup of tea at the place. If you couldn’t bear it…DONT bloody log on to this blog for god’s sake!!!

  19. This hotel is so terrible I was charged EUR100 in FRONT DESK because they recognized 16 years old as an “adult”.

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