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Prince de Galles Paris Introduction
I get a lot of questions about Paris, as it seems to be a destination many people aspire to visit. And what’s not to love? Between the culture, history, food, and architecture, it truly is an amazing city. However, like the rest of Western Europe, Paris is incredibly expensive, including accommodations. Whenever trip planning for hotels, I usually start by searching American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts to get a baseline for prices. When I did this for Paris, I noticed most 5-star hotels were pricing in the $1,500-$2,000 range per night, which was absolutely never going to happen. My next step is to always look at point redemption options, and found a bit of a mixed bag of either dated properties or locations that weren’t really ideal for this trip. There was however one property fitting all of my needs – The Prince de Galles Paris, a Luxury Collection Hotel.
The Prince de Galles is in a great location on Avenue George V, just next door to the ultra-lux Four Seasons Hotel. Almost everything you would want to see or do is within walking distance, with easy access to transit for anything further out. Prices weren’t cheap, starting around $700 Euro for a non-refundable rate around my travel dates, so I looked to a points redemption instead. Being a category 7 SPG property, free-night stays range from 30,000-35,000 points per night, which is a heck of a lot of points. Instead, I opted for a cash + points option, which came in at a reasonable $275 + 15,000 points per night. Still not an insignificant purchase, but when in Paris, right?
Prince de Galles Paris – Art Deco Room
My Turkish Airlines flight arrived shortly after 12:30 and I was in a taxi towards the city about 15 minutes after stepping off the plane. A lot of people complain that Charles de Gaulle is a painful airport, but all of my experiences there have been fairly seamless. I made my way through the crowds of hawkers and found the official taxi line outside of terminal 1. Taxi prices from the airport are fixed at 50 Euro, with the ride taking about 45 minutes. I arrived to the hotel just before 2pm and was immediately greeted by the friendly door staff who took my bags and directed me inside. The lobby of this hotel is small but beautiful, with plenty of marble and fresh flowers. The property recently underwent a complete refurbishment, and it really shows.
The hotel is art deco style, which is evident from the moment you arrive at the curb. Avenue George V is a very beautiful street, and the sidewalks are immaculate (unlike other parts of Paris). It doesn’t take long to realize this is a very affluent area based on the cars outside and the people walking around.
The front desk staff were friendly and professional and apologized that check-in would take a little bit longer than normal due to a system outage. Even still, the entire process took about 5-minutes with a staff member escorting me to my room once complete (keys were not being programmed as a result of the outage). My room, 625, was located on the 6th floor facing the courtyard. I booked the basic ‘Art Deco’ category room, and don’t believe I received any sort of upgrade based on my SPG Gold status, which I read is the norm at this property (even for some Platinums). The room was small, but very functional, and everything felt luxurious. The doorway opened up into a short hallway with a relatively large mosaic bathroom on the right. The washroom featured a soaking tub and separate shower, beautiful mosaic finishes, and Christian Lacroix amenities.
I loved all the art in the room, with a piece above the bathtub and a huge portrait in the hallway. I don’t generally look twice at hotel ‘art’ but everything in this room felt unique and really fit the overall design.
Continuing down the hall was the main room, which featured a large king bed (took up much of the space) opposite a work desk and wall-mounted television. There was a small sitting area next to the french doors which opened up to a small terrace overlooking the courtyard.
The bed was incredibly soft and plush, and featured high quality linens and pillows. I slept for a solid 10 hours in this bed uninterrupted, and woke up feeling the most rested I had felt since beginning the trip.
There was a small welcome amenity consisting of cake, flowers, and bottled mineral water on my arrival, which I thought was a nice touch. I always appreciate fresh flowers in hotel rooms, which seems to be rare even at luxury properties.
While the room was fantastic, nobody really goes to Paris to experience a hotel, and the location of this property couldn’t have been better. While somewhat removed from the busy Avenue des Champs-Élysées, the hotel is still walking distance to most of the best dining, shopping, and attractions in Paris. I only had about 6 hours to enjoy the city on my short stopover, but managed to experience a Parisian cafe, visit the top of the Arc de Triomphe (about 300 stairs up – well worth it for the view) and of course, take in the light show at the Eiffel tower.
Perhaps best of all, while everything was walking distance from the hotel, Avenue George V was an incredibly quiet street, which made for a nice retreat after an evening of sightseeing.
Prince de Galles Paris Bottom Line
I think this must be one of the best point redemption options for anyone visiting Paris as a tourist. Many of the other hotels are located in either busy areas, a little bit outside the best location, or dated and small. The Prince de Galles strikes the perfect balance between being a centrally located luxury hotel and being readily bookable using points. While free-night stays are expensive at 35,000 SPG points per night, there is a lot of value to be had with paid rates often exceeding $1,000 per night throughout the year. Alternatively, you could redeem 15,000 points and pay $275 per night for a cash+points redemption, which is what I ultimately ended up doing.
I actually couldn’t find a single fault with this property on my short stay. The staff were friendly and engaging without being overbearing, the rooms were small but functional and felt extremely luxurious, and the cash+points option was fair, especially considering the cost for comparable luxury hotels in the surrounding area. Most importantly though, the location could not be beat, with easy access to some of the best shopping, dining, and popular tourist attractions.
I was a bit hesitant to come to Paris, assuming it was a bit overrated and overpriced, but actually fell in love with what turned out to be a very charming city. I was lucky to have a french speaking friend there during my visit, which admittedly made things a lot easier, but I didn’t find anyone was rude towards my non-existant French. Just the opposite actually, most people I interacted with were friendly and welcoming, and I can’t wait to return for a longer stay to experience more of what the city has to offer!
Have you been to Paris before using points? Tell us about your stay in the comment section below!