'If you don't speak a word of French, if you like English comfort, clean rooms, breakfast and maîtres d'hôtel; if in a foreign land, you want your fellow countrymen around you, your brown beer, your friend and your cognac - and your water - do not listen to any of the messengers but with your best British accent cry heartily: "Meurice!" and immediately, someone will come forward to drive you straight to the rue de Rivoli.'
William Makepeace Thackeray, circa 1850

Alain Ducasse joined the Meurice (a Dorchester collection hotel) is in charge of the culinary concept of both hotels, the Plaza-Athénée and the Meurice: 'I passed by the Meurice, saw light in the lobby, entered and offered them my services. They accepted,' he joked. 

How the Stage was Set HISTORY IN BRIEF 1817: Opening year of the original hotel. 1835: Opening of the hotel on its present site. 1907: The Meurice underwent a major renovation, morphing into the hotel we know today. HISTORY IN DETAIL 1771: In those days many of the British upper-class would travel to Paris. In Calais, the town where the British arrived after crossing the Straits of Dover, an enterprising postmaster by the name Charles-Augustin Meurice (1739-1820) decided he could make some money out of them. He started putting them up in his local coaching inn and escorting them to Paris with his coach service. In those days it was a 36 hour trip. 1817: Meurice built a second coaching inn in Paris in 1817 to welcome the weary travellers upon arrival. 1835: Le Meurice moved to its present site, overlooking the Tuileries. It soon earned the nickname ‘City of London’ because of its sizeable contingent of British guests. All the staff spoke English. 1855: Queen Victoria stayed at Le Meurice while in Paris. 1890s: Towards the end of the century, the hotel's regular clients were the elite aristocracy 1898:A limited liability company named Hôtel Meurice was formed to own and operate the hotel. 1905: Arthur Millon, who headed the hotel’s management company, and his director, a certain Mr Schwenter undertook a major 8 million franc renovation of the hotel, which gave the place s modern-day appearance and amenities such as individual private baths. 1907: King Alfonso XIII was one of the first guests to stay at the newly renovated Meurice, which quickly earned the nickname ‘Hotel of the Kings’ because of it popularity with royals. 1912: The hotel frequently put on theatre performances inside the establishment, including Cyrano de Bergerac in 1912. 1914-18: During World War I, the hotel closed for several months, and it served for a time as a hospital for wounded soldiers. 1918: Picasso and his bride Olga Koklova selected Le Meurice to host their wedding dinner 1923: With the hotel’s reputation blossoming, director Mr Schwenter received recognition for his efforts to develop French tourism when the State named him a Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur. 1920s: Stylish ads from the roaring 20s show an upper-class clientele dining and dancing in Le Meurice's rooftop garden. 1931: Schwenter became an Officier de la Légion d'Honneur. 1931: The exiled Spanish king Alfonso XIII took refuge at Le Meurice under the name of Duke of Toledo, along with all of the Spanish royal family. 1930s: The hotel played host to the shows of Coco Chanel. 1960s: Dali spent long periods of time at the hotel.
Since it first opened in the early 19th century, The Meurice has been a magnet for illustrious guests, including: From the World of Politics Queen Victoria Alfonso XIII of Spain Shah of Persia The Windsors FD Roosevelt Sir Anthony Eden From the World of Art, Culture and Literature Giorgio de Chirico Rudyard Kipling Walter Lippmann Yehudi Menuhin Placido Domingo Tchaikovsky From the World of Entertainment Liza Minnelli Orson Welles Fernandel Ginger Rogers Yul Brynner Elizabeth Taylor
In the mid-19th century, the Paris hotel developed a reputation for lavish entertainment, with dinners lasting from eight in the evening until eight the next morning. One guest recalled a luncheon where they only served hard-boiled eggs from the rarest birds, ranging from partridge eggs to swan eggs. ------ During the renovation of the hotel in 1905, workers took in a stray greyhound. It was adopted by the hotel's personnel and thus became the hotel mascot. A second greyhound was added to accompany the first, forming the emblem of Le Meurice that is still the symbol throughout the hotel today. ------ The King of Spain, Alfonso XIII, was one of the first people to book rooms at Le Meurice after the hotel was completed after the 1905-1907 building phase. He stayed regularly in Suite 106-8, bringing his own furniture. The King of Montenegro, the Prince of Wales, King George VI, French President Doumergue, the Sultan of Zanzibar, the Maharaja of Jaipur and the Grand Duchess of Russia were also regular guests of the hotel, which came to be called the Hôtel des Rois (Hotel of the Kings). ------ The Meurice has traditionally been a haven for royals in flight. King Alfonso XIII brought his family here after being ousted from the Spanish throne in 1931. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor also retreated to Le Meurice. The King of Montenegro checked in after being chased from his kingdom, and the Shah of Iran was actually dethroned during his stay at Le Meurice! ------ Salvador Dalí once said, "Every morning when I wake up I experience an exquisite joy--the joy of being Salvador Dalí--and I ask myself in rapture, 'What wonderful things this Salvador Dalí is going to accomplish today?' To achieve this exquisite joy, Dalí often called upon the staff of the Hotel Meurice, where he stayed for long periods of time during the '60s. Once, Dalí asked the staff to fetch him a flock of sheep, so that he could shoot blanks at them and whoop it up. (The staff removed them when he was done.) The hotel also gathered flies at the Tuileries for Dalí, at five francs per fly.   Animals are no problem when you have room service to clean up after them.  Dalí had the habit of painting on the walls, so the hotel often had to re-paint his suite after a stay there. (The real scandal is that in doing so they probably covered up a fortune in art.) Today if a guest requests a flock of sheep or flies, the hotel will do its best to comply. "The hotel would do its best to accommodate that request, but it definitely helps if you're a famous artist," says hotel spokesperson Nina Lora.

Dominique Borri

Managed by: Part of The Dorchester Collection
124/36 Rooms
Private entrance and sitting area Writing desk Seasonal arrival amenities In-room safe Private bar with refrigerator Daily selection of local and international newspapers En suite marble bathroom with separate shower and bath Hairdryer Custom bath products by Penhaligon's and other personal accessories Twice daily maid service, including evening turndown Deluxe bathrobes and slippers Shoehorn and clothes brush Personal scales 100% cotton oversized bath towels Non-allergenic pillows Duvets available High-speed Internet access Multi-line telephones, including one in the bathroom, all with voicemail Private phone and fax numbers assigned Modem port DVD player, hi-fi stereo, laptop computers and fax machines available in all bedrooms on request LCD and plasma screens with 120 international channels and video on demand TV Internet connection with cordless keyboard
Restaurant Le Meurice, 1 Michelin star, with Chef Yannick Alléno. ------ Jardin d'Hiver - more casual than Le Meurice, under a century-old Art Nouveau glass roof. ------ Bar Fontainebleau - with the best in Cognacs, Armagnacs and, of course, champagne cocktails.
Try the delectable champage cocktails served up by the unmistakably Italian William Oliveri at Bar Fontainebleau. Over the course of an illustrious career, William has created drinks for Salvador Dali among others, and prides himself on serving the very best Bellini in Paris.
Opened in 2001, Spa Caudalie is a 278-square-metre spa featuring the rejuvenating and purifying effects of Caudalie treatments. There is also a separate 80-square-metre Fitness Centre.
Le Meurice offers three salons on the ground floor of the hotel, including the ceremonial Salon Pompadour. These rooms can accommodate receptions from 20 to 450 people, for breakfasts, luncheons, meetings, fashion shows, cocktails, and dinner parties.
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Our Select Member Hotel

Country: France
City: Paris
Opening date: 1835

Note from the Host

General Manager Franka Holtmann
Hotel Manager: Dominique Borri


228 rue de Rivoli
75001 France, Paris

Tel: +33 1-44 58 10 10
Fax: +33 1-44 58 10 29 220256

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