Return to International Travel – Introduction
Review: SWISS A340-300 ORD-ZRH and Marhaba Lounge ZRH
Lodging Review: Sina Villa Medici, Florence, Italy
Our Time In Florence, Part 1
Our Time In Florence, Part 2
Lodging Review: Park Hyatt Vendome, Paris, France
Our Time In Paris, Part 1 (Louvre, Sainte-Chappelle, Arc, Eiffel Tower)
Our Time In Paris, Part 2 (Versailles)
Our Time In Paris, Part 3 (Catacombs, Musee d’Orsay)
Viking Kari and an Afternoon in Montmartre
Our Time in La Roche-Guyon and Vernon/Giverny
Our Time on the Normandy Beaches
Our Time in Les Andelys and Le Pecq
Lodging Review: Renaissance Republique, Paris, France
Review: Air France A350 CDG-ORD
I admit it. I’m influenced by travel bloggers when looking for places to stay when I travel. So many of them have raved about the Park Hyatt Vendome that I figured we had to try it out.
We made reservations for our October 2022 river cruise back in the summer of 2021. We knew we wanted to get to Paris a few days early but we weren’t sure exactly how many days in advance we’d arrive. Then I learned that Hyatt was increasing the prices in each category. So I went ahead and booked the night prior to our cruise for 30K World of Hyatt points. The prices did increase to 35K per night and once our plans were nailed down I booked three more nights at that price. So we got four nights for a total of 140K WoH points. The hotel has since been elevated to a Category 8.
Paris has an official rating system for each hotel in the country and hotels must post their rating near their main entrance. The scale is typically 1-5 stars but there are eleven hotels in Paris that exceed five-star and are rated as “palace hotels”. The Park Hyatt Vendome is one of those and is the only one in Paris that’s bookable using points. You can read more about the hotel star system here.
The hotel is located on Rue de la Paix in the 1st Arrondissement, an area that is convenient to the Tuilleries Gardens and Place de la Concorde to the south and the Palais Garnier (opera house) and the Opera metro stop to the north. It’s a bit of a longer walk to the Louvre but it’s an easy one. There are lots of shops and cafes in the area and the office of the Big Bus (the hop-on/hop-off bus) is right on the way to the Louvre.
We took a taxi from the airport which dropped us off right at the hotel’s front door. The hotel blocks off an area in front and one bellman assisted us with our bags right away while another escorted us to the front desk.
We walked through the area with the bell staff and concierge, down about three stairs (there is an elevator to handle those stairs if you’re mobility-challenged) and down this walkway.
On the right were the stairs down to the spa and fitness area. On the left is the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant which sounded delicious but was more than we wanted to spend for either breakfast or dinner. I don’t travel enough to get Hyatt’s Globalist status and mostly don’t mind but this is one time I wished I’d had it!
We were greeted warmly and everyone addressed us in perfect English, which was a relief. While I brushed up on my French ahead of time, it’s barely enough to help me get around. We were assigned a room on the second floor and were escorted to our room and we were shown how all the lighting and window controls worked. Just a few moments later our luggage was brought up and even put in the closet area for us.
While the brown carpet on the ground floor was slightly worse for wear – and let’s face it, that carpet gets a LOT more traffic than those on the guest floors – the brown carpet on our floor was a warmer shade with wavy gold lines running through it. There were a couple of benches across from the elevators and hallways running off in three directions.
Though there were three elevators for guests we only ever saw two of them in use. There was a fourth elevator, set back slightly from the others, that I assume was a service elevator. The carpet pattern continued down the guest floor hallway.
Like a lot of hotels, the Park Hyatt Vendome makes only their most basic rooms available on points, which was fine with us. I found it interesting that both the website and our reservation mention a tub in the room but we did not have one. I don’t usually take baths but after all the walking we’d done a hot soak would have felt wonderful. But that’s a small quibble.
The room was not huge but we know to expect that in Europe. The plush carpeting in both the room and the hall helped keep any noise down, not that there was much in the way of noise to start with. The twin beds were right next to one another but they were made up separately, which was our principal concern. On the hallway side was a desk with its own lamp.
On the left side was a nightstand with the phone and alarm clock. Each side had one electrical outlet.
On the wall by the bed was a control panel for the lights and the blinds.
Across from the bed was a door that connected to the next room, a wall-mounted TV and a giant mirror.
In the corner by the door was a unit with an upper cabinet with the safe over a small counter with a Keurig-type machine.
In a drawer just below the counter were the coffee and espresso cups as well as tea bags. (My note to hotels: it’s great to have a variety of teas but please make sure you always have lots of plan ol’ breakfast tea for those of us who just like the “regular” stuff!)
Below the drawer was the mini-bar.
In the corner of the room by the mirror was a chair with a stool and a small table with two bottles of water and two glasses. We really liked the compact size of the bottles and I carried mine with us throughout much of the trip.
Our window had a courtyard view. Under the dome is the buffet from the restaurant downstairs.
Shortly after we arrived our welcome amenity was brought to the room. I don’t know if everyone gets this or if it was because I’m a (lowly) Discoverist but the macarons were wonderful and bottles of flavored water came with it.
Then there was the bathroom and what a bathroom it was. I don’t think it was quite as large as the rest of the room but it wasn’t off by much. There was no door or curtain over the shower entrance but that was OK because it was so deep that even when using the rainfall showerhead the water didn’t splash out (as long as you were careful). Two gripes about the shower: there was no place to hang up a used wash cloth. Housekeeping came by twice a day so it’s not like we ran out of wash cloths. I try to reuse when I can but I really had no choice but to put it on the floor of the shower. Also, it’s never easy to shave your legs if you don’t have a place to prop up your foot. In a number of hotels with shower stalls I’ve seen a small shelf in one corner for this purpose but that was missing here. Note to the hotel: should you install one of these it should have an accompanying higher shelf to set the razor and shave gel on!
The toilet included a bidet feature. You can see the control panel on the wall next to it. One note about the blackout curtains: they’re an all-or-nothing thing. The blackout curtain switch controls the curtains in the bedroom area and the bathroom at the same time. It would be nice if you could, for instance, just put on the blackout curtains in the bathroom but still have daylight in the room. This meant you had to be very careful when standing up from the toilet as if you took even a half-step forward you’d be visible through the window beside the closet!
There was only one sink but ample counter space for all our personal effects. The counter actually extended left behind the wall you see here. Below the sink was a set of shelves on the left where the extra hand towels were kept. Directly under the sink was a door that simply masked the plumbing. There were no shelves there but I do question the need for a mirrored door placed directly across from the toilet…
To the left of the toilet area was a closet area with a number of coat hangers, both regular and padded, a high shelf, and a luggage stand with drawers. Two bathrobes were provided as well; you can just see the sleeve of one on the right side of the photo below. A digital scale was on the floor in front of the window and a ladder-style towel rack was on the left side. The towels were huge and soft. Note the thermostat on the right side: that’s for the heated floor!
The top two drawers contained slippers, a shoe horn and a shoe brush on the left side and laundry bags on the other. By the end of our stay we needed to do laundry but there is a laundromat an easy walk from the hotel, right next to a grocery store. Obviously that’s much cheaper than using the hotel laundry!
Bath toiletries were by Blaise Mautin. I was fine with the shampoo and body wash but I found the conditioner to be a bit thin. And my hair is short and pretty fine so someone with thicker and/or longer hair may want to bring their own.
In this little box by the sink was the hand lotion, some mouthwash, a shower cap, etc.
As mentioned above the hotel has a Michelin-starred restaurant called Pur’. Here’s the difference in my dining pattern vs. this restaurant’s: it doesn’t open until 7:45 PM, a time at which when I’m at home I’m determining if I can stay awake for one more TV show before I fall asleep.
Cafe Jeanne opens is open from 7 AM to midnight and is the where the breakfast buffet can be found. It’s also the bar area later in the day. Chalet du Park is a lunch and dinner place that’s only just opened in mid-November 2022.
Spa and Fitness
The spa and fitness area is located one level below the ground floor. You can take the stairs down from the main lobby or ride down in the elevator. I went down one evening after dinner and so did not even try to get into the spa area. There is a full service hair salon here should you need it.
The fitness center is open 24/7 for guests though you can buy a membership as an external guest but you can only use the facilities from 7 AM to 10 PM daily. The cost of the membership is unreal: 1600€ for a 6-month membership and 2500€ for a 12-month membership. These memberships do include access to the hot tub, hammam and sauna, but still, for 200-260€ per month I’d want personal training and massages included too. I assume you’re paying for the exclusivity of the Park Hyatt name.
There is a very small business center behind the front desk. There’s one Apple computer and one Windows computer so you can choose the one that’s best for you. I used it to print out our tickets to the Louvre and Versailles.
In the end
What a lovely hotel. Staff was fantastic, location was quite handy to a number of tourist sites and it’s a quiet neighborhood at night. I could never afford to stay here with cash prices but using points can make dreams come alive. Incidentally, I did not earn most of the points by staying at Hyatt or spending on my World of Hyatt credit card. Most of the points were earned using one of my cards that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points. URs can be transferred to World of Hyatt at a 1:1 rate. The Chase Freedom and Freedom Flex cards each have rotating quarterly categories that earn 5x points per dollar, making it an easy way to rack up points quickly.