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InterContinental Hotel Paris Le Grand – Paris, France | Hotel Review

Le Grand Hotel Failed Us


InterContinental Paris Le Grand – Paris, France: Built in the style of a Napoleonic Empire Palace, the InterContinental Le Grand Paris is a stunning piece of architecture. Located near the famous Louvre Museum, Opéra Garnier, and Place Vendôme, this hotel is a romantic and strategic choice for a grand Parisian experience, but the hotel staff need to work on some serious issues to live up to true five-star luxury expectations.

First Impression/Lobby: Without a doubt, the InterContinental Hotel Paris Le Grand is a stunning hotel both inside and out. As with many things in Paris, the hotel was a masterpiece in itself. The marbled floors, plush carpets, high ceilings, and exquisite chandeliers blew my mind away and I easily figured how the hotel got the name Le Grand.

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Reception: My first issue with the hotel (in a string of many) was actually upon checking in. When we got there, the hotel was extremely busy even with four people working the front desk. We had to wait in line for over 20 minutes.

After we checked in, we were told that our room was not yet ready and that it would not be ready for another hour or so. To think, it was already after 3PM, their confirmed check-in time. We headed to the lounge to wait, and ended up waiting for about 45 minutes before the room was finally ready.

The Suite: Our suite was an Opera View Junior Suite, located on the top floor in what used to be the maid quarters. It was dark and quaint, decorated in the second empire style.

Upon entering, there was a small hallway with a door to the left, which led to a small powder room (perfect if you are entertaining guests). At the end of the hallway, on the left side was a small living room furnished with a small red sofa, dark red carpet, and antique chair. Two small doors on one wall opened up to the tiniest of balconies. Even if the doors were completely opened, the light barely seeped in; the suite remained quite dark whether it was morning or evening. While the balconies gave the room an airy feeling, they did not help with the lighting problem at all. While they did have great views of the Paris Opera House as the brochures indicated, the Opera House was under construction during our stay at the hotel, thus the views were not as spectacular as we expected.

The living room was connected to the bedroom where there was another small door leading to another tiny balcony. Like the living room, the bedroom was rather dark. The bedspread, with its dark red tapestry gave the bedroom a luxurious feeling. The opulent décor inspired by Napoleon III and his favorite colors—blue, red, and deep gold—matched the hotel interior’s sophistication.

Also connected to the bedroom was the master bathroom with a toilet, tub, stand-alone shower, and one sink. While I couldn’t really call the bathroom huge, it was a decent size for a hotel built decades ago. One issue we had was with the showerhead, which was plugged, so there was not much of a “shower” coming out of it. Also, the temperature control was extremely difficult to turn and adjust.

Room Service: We ordered our first meal at the hotel via room service and were told that it would take 20 to 30 minutes to deliver. Our food came after 45 minutes. While the service was late, our orders were correct, well-prepared and satisfying, but nothing extraordinary.

Housekeeping: Of the four nights that we were at the InterContinental Hotel Paris, housekeeping failed to do service two different times. One time, they skipped our daily service, and another time they did not do our evening turn down service.

The evening they missed the turn down service, I called the front desk to complain but the phone just rang and rang and rang. I ended up going down to the front desk and asked to speak to the manager on duty. The duty manager came from the back office and I explained to him what happened. He simply shrugged his shoulders and offered no help. This is definitely not five-star service. How disappointing!

When housekeeping did actually service our room, they did a very good job—spotless, thorough, and first-class perfect. Neglecting to clean our room that many times however is just unacceptable, especially for a renowned hotel like the Intercontinental Paris Le Grand.

Concierge: The concierge was attentive and friendly, and gave us great dinner and lunch recommendations: Paris, L’ Enoteca and Isami Japanese Restaurant, which became two of my new favorite restaurants in Paris. At a hotel like the InterContinental Paris, I would expect nothing less.

One small complaint is that they did not have enough umbrellas for their guests. One rainy afternoon, we had to walk in the misty rain because they ran out of umbrellas. This is simply inexcusable for a five-star hotel such as the InterContinental.

Restaurant: Paris Le Grand has two restaurants: Café de la Paix, serving classic French cuisine and famous for their seafood platters and steak tartar (although we didn’t get to try it), and La Verrière, a casual place for lunch. They also have a bar, Le Bar, which serves snacks and cocktails in an English pub atmosphere.

Pool/Spa/Activities: Recreational activities in the hotel include a spa which provides sea treatments for the face and body and a fully equipped fitness center.

Overall Impression Since we had just come from the InterContinental Hotel Park Lane in London and was more than impressed, we had very high expectations for the InterContinental Hotel Paris Le Grand, which is supposedly a more prestigious establishment. While it is a stunning hotel that captures the beauty of the past, the lackluster service made me wish I had never stayed here. It is a shame to see a hotel with such potential fail so miserably. Our hotel rating for the luxury InterContinental Hotel Paris Le Grand should be bombastic but because of its many shortcomings it is Between Bombastic and Not.

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