French fashion

Paris hotel suites get even more expensive as Americans flock to Europe

Le Bristol, a three-minute walk from the presidential residence at the Élysée Palace, has raised all of its room rates after a summer season that broke records in terms of occupancy and average room rates, says Catherine Hodoul-Baudry , commercial and marketing director of the hotel. She expects the upscale hotel to have its best year yet.

The best Imperial Suite in the Bristol went up to €30,000 a night during the week of August 29, according to Hodoul-Baudry, an increase of 20%. Prices for the hotel’s entry-level rooms also rose by €300, to €2,290, following a jump in demand since May.

It is common in the hotel industry to charge rates that vary from official rates, depending on demand, discounts given by tour operators, loyalty, as well as the length of a guest’s stay.

The 3,475-square-foot three-room suite overlooks its formal garden and has a dining room that seats up to 12 people, according to the hotel description. It tends to be favored by official delegations due to its size, the director explains.

“There is no price resistance” from our customers, says Hodoul-Baudry. “Paris benefits from strong demand, so we took advantage of it after years of suffering”, from confinement but also from attacks and demonstrations. Rising input costs for staff salaries, food and energy also prompted the Bristol to raise rates, she adds.

Hodoul-Baudry thinks a Netflix series might have helped too. “Emily in Paris, while full of clichés, probably made Americans want to come back, thanks to her beautiful depiction” of the city. The show, which premiered two years ago in the fall of the Covid-19 lockdowns, has also drawn interest from those now ubiquitous, immersive Van Gogh exhibits. Americans are particularly fond of the Parisian suite at the Bristol , which has gone up in price from €1,000 to €12,000 a night, she says. The sequel temporarily presents a masterpiece by Marc Chagall, Les Marés au coq.

The best luxury hotels in Paris have had to do without Chinese tourists, still stuck at home, and Russians since late February following the country’s invasion of Ukraine and subsequent sanctions.

The Plaza Athénée, another palace that goes far beyond five-star status, also had a record summer helped by the euro-dollar parity, according to François Delahaye, the general manager. Americans now make up 45% of its customers, up from about a quarter before the pandemic. “They also stay longer,” he adds. Russians made up 9% of the hotel’s clientele before the war.

“Money is not an issue” for customers, Delahaye says, adding that others arrive by private jet to avoid possible disruption from commercial airlines. , which is aimed at companies and individuals, rather than at Paris-Charles de Gaulle.

The two managers say September and October are on track to be great months for luxury hotels, with Paris Fashion Week kicking off September 26 and Paris+ by Art Basel, formerly known as the Fiac show. , from October 20. This event usually attracts contemporary art collectors from around the world. But Delahaye and Hodoul-Baudry both remain cautious in forecasting trends for next year amid economic and financial uncertainties.

Newcomer Cheval Blanc has also done better than expected as the luxury hotel opened a year ago next to the Samaritaine shopping center, with rooms starting at €1,250.

He hopes to obtain the status of palace, which would bring to 13 the number of hotels of this type in the French capital. Atout France, the agency responsible for promoting the country as a tourist destination abroad, awards this title. Cheval Blanc is charging €55,000 per night for a stay in its 10,780 square foot apartment, which includes its own private elevator and swimming pool, according to a person familiar with the matter. A spokeswoman declined to comment.

“Our first year exceeded our expectations,” said Olivier Lefebvre, managing director of the luxury hotel brand LVMH. He declined to give figures, because the owner of Louis Vuitton does not detail the figures by brand. “To date, if we did not have these prophets of doom, I would tell you that we will have a totally exceptional year 2022”, he launches cautiously, referring to gloomy economic forecasts.

But so far this year, customers have aimed “to have fun. Grandparents invite parents and grandchildren, we notice many multigenerational trips, people think that they could soon die and they did not make the trip they wanted to do, ”says Hodoul-Baudry. 2022.

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Hazel J. Edmonds

The author Hazel J. Edmonds