Monday, June 27, 2011

Cinema Spotlight: Le Bristol Paris

While the proverbial City of Lights is obviously front and center in Woody Allen's romantic comedy Midnight in Paris, the scenes of Le Bristol Paris were the ones that caught my eye.

Wilson and McAdams contemplate their differences on a toile covered bed
Director Woody Allen with the film's stars at the Cannes Film Festival

Located near the Presidential Elysee Palace on Rue du Fauborg Saint Honore', the hotel has played host to the likes of Angelina Jolie, George Clooney, Charlie Chaplin and Marilyn Monroe as well as sharing the screen with Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams. Carla Bruni (who also just happens to be the First Lady of France and a co-star in the film) holds court there regularly at the Bristol's brasserie 114 Fauborg. And in a case of " if these walls could talk," songstress Josephine Baker celebrated her career in 1975 with Mick Jagger, Princess Grace and Sofia Loren at the Bristol.

The stately exteriors of Le Bristol Paris above and below

From an interior design perspective, the well appointed rooms are spectacular thanks to a thirty million dollar renovation supervised by the owner, Mrs. Rudolph Oetker. Furnishings and draperies are decorated with the hotel's signature Toile du Jouy and color and patterns abound. The rooms are 18th century elegance (with a contemporary cutting edge) and filled with Gobelin tapestries and old master paintings. If you are lucky enough to stay in the penthouse suite like pop star Prince, expect to fall in love with the elegant yellow Empire sitting room.

History is preserved as well as the revered landmark has a restaurant that dates back to 1829 and the glass and wrought iron elevator was designed by a Jewish architect hiding out from the Nazis during World War Two. The five star hotel touts the city's largest bathrooms and the penthouse pool features a sweeping panoramic view of Paris. "Fashion High Tea" also offers haute couture showings from the latest collections. Let's face it, at eighty years young, the place is still fabulous.

High Tea

And for those of us who are animal lovers, a most unlikely ambassador in the form of a  Birmen kitten named Fa Raon has a commanding presence in the lobby.

And if you can't afford the room's luxury style rates, you can always buy a robe (as worn by McAdams in the film) at the hotel gift shop.

The gardens of Versailles also have their cinematic moment in the spotlight (actually the famed palace and environs have been featured in 165 films to date). A must see anytime you are in France.

Michael Sheen also co-stars as seen here in the gardens of Versailles

First Lady Carla Bruni plays a tour guide in the film

Photo Credits: Sony Pictures, Le Bristol Paris


  1. Very nicely done, pleasing to contemplate. So many happy stories at the Bristol.

  2. Loved the movie and the interiors...

  3. A reader just wrote they met the kitten in the lobby. Every hotel should have a cat or dog as concierge!