I had been saving the Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme for a special occasion and I suppose my honeymoon was as good as any to finally spend a few nights there…
There are Park Hyatt hotels and then there are Park Hyatt hotels: storied hotels in a league of their own. Alongside the Park Hyatt Tokyo is the Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme, a premier Paris property and a much-heralded landmark hotel that seems to enjoy universal praise in the world of chain hotels.
So it may come as a surprise to read that my stay, while great overall, fell short in a number of key areas.
My wife and I travelled from Stuttgart to Paris by TGV train, arriving in Paris East station about 5pm in the afternoon. From there, it was only five stops on the M7 train to Opera station, just a short walk from the Park Hyatt on Rue de La Paix.
A member of the concierge team warmly greeted us outside the hotel, taking our baggage and directing us inside to the front desk. There was one agent on duty named Audrey, who checked us in. I was a bit taken aback when her first statement even before a salutatory greeting was, “I need your passport”, but she was very nice, warmly welcomed us after receiving our passports, and made small talk while she took care of the formalities. When she found we were celebrating our honeymoon, she excused herself for a moment and came back cheerfully announcing we had been upgraded to a deluxe room.
My Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum status should have resulted in a room upgrade anyway, but perhaps because I was using points for this stay and the hotel was running on the full side, I was skipped over (I did not become Diamond till the following year). I booked under the old rate of 22,500 points (price is now 30,000 points per night), which is a significantly better deal than the 800-1000EUR/night daily rate. Audrey escorted upstairs and demonstrated the features of the room, including the coffee machine and automatic blinds.
A knock on the door soon followed and a bottle of champagne and a note from the duty manager was delivered. Nice touch.
Park Hyatt Paris Deluxe Room
The room was beautiful – I absolutely loved the beaux art style and décor of the room. Gold accents, high ceilings and windows, and tasteful soft tones made for an ideal venue to spend the first few days of our marriage.
Along with the coffee was a box of butter biscuits that were tremendous.
Park Hyatt Paris Disappointments
Poor Internet Speeds
I mentioned that there were a number of shortcomings during my stay and most of those occurred within the room. First, and most importantly, both the wired and wireless internet speeds were terrible. The honeymoon may seem like and odd time to worry about internet, but both my wife and I had work that we had to complete and spent the majority of each day in our room. The poor internet speeds severely compromised our productivity. I suppose we could have moved to another room that might have had a faster internet speed, but the problem was not a constant lagging; rather it was spurts of decent speeds with longer periods of tepid speed.
Finer hotels are increasingly offering complimentary internet for guests and a second, higher speed option for a fee. Internet is the single most important amenity to me at any hotel, and I would have gladly paid for a fast and stable internet connection, though it seems to me for the price of the room a more stable and quicker connection should have been simply available.
We were asked at check-in what kind of newspapers we wanted delivered each morning and I chose the New York Times and my wife chose Die Zeit, I received a call from the front desk a few hours after check-in saying that Die Zeit was not available but offering a number of other German newspapers instead…I chose the Süddeutsche Zeitung. The following morning, neither paper was delivered. The next morning, only the New York Times was delivered but later on in the afternoon a note was placed under the door—
On our final morning, no papers were delivered.
Insufficient Electrical Outlets in Guest Room
Another reasonable complaint—a lack of electrical outlets in the room. The desk had a well with two outlets but I could not plug in my laptop while simultaneously using an adaptor. There were two other outlets – one behind the lounge chair and one in the closet. I cannot speculate how hard it would be to add additional outlets to these rooms, but I would have really appreciated additional universal outlets on the wall below the desk and beside each bed.
Do Not Disturb Sign + Limited Maid Hours
Last complaint (there are a couple more, such as an oddly high number of flies in the room and lack of refills on the coffee without request) I will mention was a response from the maid I received one night. She knocked on the door about 8pm wanting to turn down the room but my wife and I were occupied with something and I asked if she could return in an hour. She shook her head and said she was going home soon. I asked if she could just bring us two bottles of water and she agreed.
While it is perfectly fine that this maid would go home after her shift, surely she could have offered to send one of her colleagues over in an hour at a hotel of this caliber. More importantly, though, we had the “do not disturb sign” turned on–we did not even request a turn down service!
I hope I haven’t scared you away or sound like a spoiled brat. These were notable service lapses, particularly the internet and lack of plugs in the room, but I truly was pleased overall with my stay. Now let me share some of the positive highlights.
Park Hyatt Paris Dining
Breakfast was a delight every morning. Gary Leff called it the best eggs he has ever had and I don’t know that I would go that far, but the breakfast buffet was thoroughly enjoyed and the ingredients were all of the highest quality. Breakfast is 44EUR each and for 6EUR extra you can upgrade to the “American breakfast” that also offers a single egg dish and two hot sides.
While Hyatt Diamond members can enjoy as much as they want for free (including a separate smoothie menu), I was a bit surprised to find that French Toast, pancakes, or waffles incurred an additional 14EUR cost. Those items were not needed though because there was more than enough wonderful food included: superb bircher museli (best I have ever had), fresh fruits, great breads and cereals, and a different warm quiche each morning.
Breakfast is served in Les Orchids, a beautiful dining room with a glass ceiling that also serves lunch and dinner.
The hotel also has an outdoor terrace, La Terrace, open for lunch and dinner, a bar, and Pur, the Michelin-starred fine dining restaurant. Afternoon tea and light meals are also available in La Cheminée in the lobby area.
Other than breakfast each morning, the only other meal we opted to take at the hotel was room service the first night. The 24-hour room service menu is comprehensive and the food was great – I had salmon (42EUR) and my wife had a large salad (for 34EUR option, you can create your own salad, choosing up to four ingredients). Tax and service fee is included on the menu.
The four pots of homemade ice cream were served with dinner and unfortunately melted by the time we had finished, but even liquid ice cream is tasty.
Park Hyatt Paris Fitness Center
The gym was small, but adequate for a comprehensive workout and the staff was great. My wife and I used the facilities each day and on the second, third, and last day the staff remembered us and greeted us by name.
Park Hyatt Paris Concierge
Concierge was courteous and knowledgeable – one night we wanted Lebanese and were offered two options with no googling or consultation – a fancy restaurant on the Champs Elysse or a neighborhood takeaway.
I think it is fair to say that the hotel did not exceed my expectations, but nevertheless, next time I journey to Paris with my wife I will not think twice about returning to this property. The central location, superb staff, great breakfast, and comfortable room made this a great place to spend the first few days of our honeymoon. If the hotel can address (or perhaps already has) the items I noted above, particularly internet speeds, a great hotel would become remarkable.