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The Plaza Athénée Hotel is one of the luxury hotels in Paris to have raised its prices amid increased tourism to the city, helped by a strong US dollar. Photo: Getty Images

Paris luxury hotels raise room prices significantly, as American tourists return to the French capital en masse

  • Hotels like Le Bristol and The Plaza Athénée have upped rates by as much as 20 per cent, as a strong US dollar brings American tourists flooding back to Paris
  • Hoteliers say they are taking advantage of demand after years of Covid hardship, and that Netflix’s Emily in Paris may have helped reignite interest in the city

One of Paris’ most expensive hotel suites just got even pricier. A night in the top suite at Le Bristol, one of the city’s famed luxury hotels, has risen by €5,000 (US$4,900) as American tourists, travelling with their strong dollars, have returned en masse to the French capital.

A three-minute walk from the presidential Élysée Palace residence, Le Bristol increased all its room rates following a summer season that broke records in terms of occupancy and average rates, says Catherine Hodoul-Baudry, the hotel’s commercial and marketing director. She expects the high-end hotel to have its best year ever.

Le Bristol’s top suite, the Imperial Suite, went up by 20 per cent, to €30,000 a night during the week of August 29, says Hodoul-Baudry. The price for the hotel’s entry-level rooms has also increased – by €300, to €2,290 – following a jump in demand since May.

It’s common in the hotel industry to charge varying rates, depending on demand, discounts provided by tour operators, loyalty, as well as the duration of a customer’s stay.

Tourists stand in front of the Sacre Coeur Basilica in Paris. The French capital has experienced a recent surge in visitors, especially from the US. Photo: AFP

Le Bristol’s 3,475 sq ft (32o square metre), three-room Imperial Suite overlooks its French-style garden, and boasts a dining area that can accommodate as many as 12 guests, according to the hotel’s description. It tends to be favoured by official delegations because of its size, the director says.

“There’s no price resistance [from customers]. Paris is benefiting from strong demand, so we took advantage of it after years of suffering,” Hodoul-Baudry says, referring to losses related to Covid-19 lockdowns, terror attacks and protests.

The rise in input costs for staff wages, food and energy has also prompted Le Bristol to increase its rates.

Hotel Le Bristol is located in the heart of Paris’ fashion and arts district. Photo: Shutterstock

Hodoul-Baudry thinks a Netflix series may have helped, too. “Emily in Paris, while full of clichés, probably gave Americans the desire to return, thanks to its beautiful portrayal [of the city].”


The show, which premiered two years ago during the autumn of Covid-19 lockdowns in the US, also ignited interest in those now-ubiquitous immersive Van Gogh exhibits.

Americans are particularly fond of Le Bristol’s Paris Suite, the rate for which has risen by €1,000, to €12,000 a night, Hodoul-Baudry says. The suite is temporarily displaying Les Mariés au coq (1975), a masterpiece by Russian-French artist Marc Chagall.

Paris’ top luxury hotels are having to make do without Chinese tourists, still stuck at home, and without Russians since the end of February, following the country’s invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing sanctions.

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The Plaza Athénée, another exclusive hotel, which is a cut above five-star status, also had a record summer, helped by the euro-dollar parity, according to Francois Delahaye, the general manager.

Americans now represent 45 per cent of its customers, up from about a quarter in pre-pandemic times. “They’re also staying longer,” Delahaye adds. Russians accounted for 9 per cent of the hotel’s clientele before the war.


“Money isn’t an issue” for clients, Delahaye says, adding that more are coming via private jet to avoid potential commercial airline disruptions. Staff have noticed this, he says, since they’ve been booking more limousine pickups at Le Bourget Airport, which caters to business and private clients, rather than at Paris’ main airport, Charles de Gaulle.

Both managers say September and October are on track to be excellent months for luxury hotels, with Paris Fashion Week kicking off on September 26 and Paris+ par Art Basel, formerly known as the Fiac show, starting on October 20. This event typically attracts contemporary art collectors from around the world. But Delahaye and Hodoul-Baudry both remain cautious in predicting trends for 2023 amid the economic and financial uncertainties.

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A newcomer to Paris’ luxury hotel scene, Cheval Blanc has also done better than expected since opening a year ago next to the Samaritaine shopping centre, with rooms now starting at €1,250 a night.


The hotel is hoping to join the ranks of Le Bristol and The Plaza Athénée as a palace hotel – a status reserved for only the finest hotels in France. If it succeeds, it will bring the number of such hotels in the French capital to 13. Atout France, the agency charged with promoting the country as a tourism destination abroad, awards this title.

Cheval Blanc charges €55,000 a night for a stay in its 10,780 sq ft apartment, which includes a private lift and swimming pool, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Cheval Blanc is housed within a striking art deco building. Photo: Cheval Blanc Paris

“Our first year went beyond our hopes,” says Olivier Lefebvre, chief executive officer of the LVMH luxury hotel brand, which Cheval Blanc is under. He declined to provide numbers, as the Louis Vuitton owner doesn’t break down figures by brand.


“As of today, if we didn’t have these prophets of doom, I’d tell you that we’ll have a totally exceptional 2022,” he says cautiously, referring to gloomy economic forecasts.

But Hodoul-Baudry says that so far this year, customers have aimed “to enjoy themselves. Grandparents are inviting parents and grandchildren, we’re noticing many multigenerational trips, people are thinking they could die soon and they haven’t made the trip they wanted to make … It’s been all about revenge travel [in 2022].”