Spotlight on the Intercontinental Paris Le Grand: full review
I’m game for Paris in the springtime or any time of year. And what made this quick visit even better was my stay at the Intercontinental Paris Le Grand. This beautiful, upscale IHG property is smack dab in central Paris. Famously known for housing the celebrated Café de la Paix, designed by the French architect Alfred Armand just like the hotel. And for the cherry on top, it’s presently undergoing an extensive renovation that has already upped its wow factor. A stay at this 157 year old Paris landmark will not disappoint.
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First of all, this stay was a benefit of my much loved Chase IHG Rewards Club Select MasterCard. This card touts the Anniversary Free Night annual benefit. In the past, it was redeemable at any IHG property anywhere. Unfortunately, this esteemed benefit has been devalued as of this year for this card. Presently, the Anniversary Free Night is good at properties that cost 40,000 IHG Reward Club points/night and under. In addition, this benefit has been similarly capped with the new IHG Premier MasterCard. For this reason, and a few others, I have not upgraded to the Premier card. Since the Intercontinental Paris Le Grand costs 70,000 points/night, the devalued Anniversary Free Night could not be used to stay here.
Thankfully, I was able to use an Anniversary Free Night issued before the devaluation to book my stay at the Intercontinental Paris Le Grand for free. Intercontinental is IHG’s premier brand, so this is a great value for redeeming an Anniversary Free Night that has not been devalued. And with summer ending and low season beginning, no doubt seat sales to Paris may start popping up with carriers like Norwegian Air.
Getting to the Intercontinental Paris Le Grand
Especially if you’re a first-time visitor to Paris, you will love how easy it is to get to this IHG property. For starters, it’s right in central Paris. Secondly, it’s literally across the street from where the Roissy Bus drops off from Charles de Gaulle airport. All I had to do was hop on the bus at the airport and hop off at the Paris-Opera, right in front of the hotel. The Roissy Bus picks up at either Terminal 1, 2 or 3 at Charles de Gaulle. It costs 12 euro one way and takes a little less than an hour travel time to Paris-Opera. Easy-peasy!
Without a doubt, the location of this famous 5 star hotel is hard to beat. It is quite literally right across from the Paris Opera House in the 9th arrondissement. If you’re using GPS, the Intercontinental Paris Le Grand’s exact address is 2 Rue Scribe, 75009 Paris, France. Being as it is in central Paris, this area is chock full of dining and shopping options. For instance, the Galeries Lafayette flagship store on Boulevard Haussmann is only a 5 minute walk away. Galeries Lafayette is a famous French shopping mall that houses all kinds of stores and eateries for a range of budgets. In addition, they have a free rooftop terrace where you can soak in the Paris skyline.
As well, a small Franprix, a popular Paris supermarket, is directly across the street if you get the munchies or you’ve forgotten anything. A Monoprix, another Paris supermarket, is about a 5 minute walk away. Then, for those taking public transportation, the Opera metro station is also, right across the street. From here you can connect to metro lines 3, 7 and 8 as well as the RER A train. It’s worth mentioning, the RER A is the train that goes to Paris Disneyland. Lastly, Gare du Nord where you can catch trains to Brussels, Amsterdam, etc. is only a short 10-15 minute Uber or scooter ride away. Or only 15-20 minutes away by train or subway, depending on the time of day. And using my favourite mode of transportation when I’m in Paris, be there in 30 minutes walking.
♥ Pro-tip: As an added bonus, one of my absolute favorite places to go in Paris when I visit is a little store called Aroma Zone. They specialize in essential oils, vegetable oils, plant-based powders, and all kinds of natural ingredients. Fortunately, one of their stores is only a 10 minute walk from the Intercontinental Paris Le Grand. This IHG property location could not get any better!
To my great delight, everyone I came across during my short stay at the Intercontinental Paris Le Grand was extremely friendly and down-to-earth. Honestly, for such an upscale location this was a welcome surprise. The front desk agent quickly acknowledged my Platinum Elite status, which is also a benefit of my Chase IHG Rewards Club MasterCard. I was kindly informed that I had been upgraded from a classic room to a Junior Suite. Additionally, she walked me through all the amenities I would enjoy during my stay as a Platinum Elite member.
Platinum Elite benefits at the Intercontinental Paris Le Grand were as follows for my stay:
- complimentary room upgrade upon availability
- complimentary late check-out at 2pm upon availability
- 600 IHG Rewards points or a free drink at the bar (keep in mind cocktails at the bar are 24 euro)
- complimentary internet access
- complimentary digital newspaper
- 50% Bonus IHG Points applied to points earned during the stay
Intercontinental Paris Le Grand Room
As I walked to my room through the hotel’s hallways and public spaces, the traditional French Napoleon III style definitely came through. Though, the renovation is modernizing this Intercontinental while still retaining its classic appeal.
Upon entering the Junior Suite was a small entryway containing a short cabinet. It held the mini bar/fridge, glasses, kettle and coffee and tea supplies were kept.
Continuing past the entryway, a small sitting area was immediately to the left, flanked by a window that overlooked the hotel atrium courtyard. Although there was no balcony, the window could be opened. A nice touch was a gift box of Goulibeur French shortbread cookies and welcome note left on the coffee table for me.
Some of the fully refurbished rooms and suites at the Intercontinental Paris Le Grand were unveiled as of this summer, and photos are up on their website. Personally, I loved the royal blue and yellow ochre that adorned my suite when I stayed there this past February. Nevertheless, the wooden furniture in the room was definitely showing its age.
On the small desk were complimentary bottles of Evian water. As well, a couple of outlets were conveniently located here, for which you need an adaptor. However, that may change in the renovated rooms, which are getting new amenities and technology. A safe, iron and ironing board were in the two closets on either side of the television.
Last but not least, the bathroom was sublime. It opened off of the sitting area and also had a window overlooking the atrium courtyard. Slippers and bathrobes were provided. And a nice vanity sitting area was next to the window, as well as a bathroom scale. That was a first for me.
Toiletries in the Junior Suite were by Anne Semonin Paris. Shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and lotion were set up next to the sink and another shower gel and shampoo were in the shower.
Along with a bathtub, the bathroom contained a shower with a dual shower head. One was stationary and the other handheld.
Eats and drinks
In addition to being surrounded by restaurants, there are several options to eat right at the Intercontinental Paris Le Grand. For starters, there’s the famous Café de la Paix, which has been around as long as the hotel since 1862. It boasts an indoor terrace as well as an outdoor summer terrace that opens in warmer weather and has its own Terrace Menu. Also, underneath a large atrium in an indoor courtyard is a beautiful dining space called La Verrière. They have a lunch and dinner menu as well as coffee and desserts.
You can also enjoy a wide variety of fabulously crafted cocktails, beer and wine under the atrium or next door in Le Bar. I absolutely fell in love with this cozy red bar. It took me back to the Red Bar in London at the JW Marriott Grosvenor House. But I think I loved this one more! Dimly lit and richly decorated, this is a great place to unwind and chill after a long day walking in the City of Light. To add even more to the relaxed atmosphere, a pianist also plays Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 7pm to midnight here. You can also order from the lunch and dinner menu in Le Bar.
Extras at the Intercontinental Paris Le Grand
This 5 star Paris hotel wouldn’t be 5 star without a spa. The hotel spa called I-Spa offers a range of services and treatments. Its hours are 9am to 8pm daily. Also, access to the small hotel fitness centre open 24 hours a day is through the spa.
Finally, the Intercontinental Paris Le Grand also has a Club Lounge, which is apparently wonderful. Hours at the Club Lounge are from 730am to 10pm every day. If you did not book a room with Club Lounge access, you can add it to your room for a supplementary charge of 150 euro. Access comes with breakfast, a lunch buffet, afternoon tea, dinner and all day drinks including hot drinks and alcohol.
In my experience, I’ve been greatly impressed by IHG Club Lounges, and from what I’ve read this one is exceptional. Although I did not take advantage of this Club Lounge, I also wasn’t offered the option upon check-in. I actually didn’t realize the Intercontinental Paris Le Grand had a Club Lounge until doing further research for this article. That being said, if you are travelling with family or friends and staying a couple of nights this may really be worth it. Especially considering the hotel’s central location and how easy it is to get back to by public transportation for meals.
In a word, I cannot say enough good things about this fabulous IHG property. The service provided by the hotel staff was exceptional during my stay. And although the renovations were going, I was never disturbed by them. Undoubtedly, these upgrades will add even more charm to the Intercontinental Paris Le Grand. Ultimately, if you are wondering where to stay in Paris, the location and luxury of this property is hard to beat. However, that comes with a hefty price tag. If you have IHG points to burn or an Anniversary Free Night that hasn’t been devalued, this is a great property to use them at. I for one cannot wait for the renovations to be completed and to revisit this delightful Paris hotel.
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Hi! I’m Rebecca. KwaFare is where I write for the everyday traveler who loves to explore the world in stylish affordability. I’m passionate about spreading smarter travel. Subscribe to my newsletter for valuable tips and reviews.