Oh-la-la! It’s all in the detail at Plaza Athenee

Book into a luxury hotel and there are all sorts of little extras that set your hotel stay apart from the norm, whether it be a ‘pillow menu’, exceptional concierge service or even decadent toiletries (I’m still thinking fondly of the gorgeous Kiehls of New York bottles lined up in the bathroom of a hotel I stayed at recently). All the little things add up to a memorable experience. Yet these details are generally geared toward adults. Not so at the Hotel Plaza Athénée in Paris.

From the moment they arrive at the Hotel Plaza Athénée, children are welcomed in sumptuous style, just like their parents. Personalised welcome notes and fresh milk and cookies await them in their room. As do kiddie sized bathrobes and slippers (you must look the part), various gifts and activities ranging from colouring books and pencils to disposable cameras. There’s also access to Plaza Athénée pedal cars, kid-sized Chef’s uniforms for a little gastro-dressing-up and a concierge at hand to organise kids activities, movies and so forth.

Dining is such an important part of the Parisian experience and once again, the Hotel Plaza Athénée has thought of everything. The hotel’s chef has prepared a children’s menu (including children’s breakfasts) that comes illustrated so that kids can tell the pain au chocolat from the Croque-monsieur – such a simple, clever idea which allows children to order for themselves. Should you wish to dine in your room, kids are set up with pint-sized room service trolleys.

You may wish to plan the timing of your trip to the Hotel Plaza Athénée carefully. Come August, the hotel decks out two rooms to delight Barbie and Hot Wheels fans. Custom fitted with Barbie or Hot Wheels furniture and decor, the rooms are a tween-dream.

For those travelling at Christmas time, the hotel has its own ice rink (the courtyard garden is transformed during winter) – I’m quite sure it’s the most elegant ice rink you’ll ever see.

Mention must be made of the sumptuous decor in the hotel’s one-hundred-and-forty-six rooms and forty-five suites. Showcasing French style at its very best, rooms are either decorated in Louis XVI, Regency or Art Deco style. Windows open onto either the vibrant avenue Montaigne, lined with magnificent chestnut trees; or the hotel’s Cour Jardin (which becomes the ice rink in winter); or overlooking the rooftops of Montmartre (with views of the Eiffel Tower). A quick browse through the pictures of the rooms and I had decided that I’d like to stay in all of them.

Family accommodation packages, consisting of two interconnecting Superior rooms, begin at €1385 per night. The Barbie and Hot Wheels packages, which include one Barbie or Hot Wheels room and one connecting Deluxe room or suite for the parents, start from €1,700 a night and include breakfast.

Accommodation can be booked online directly through Hotel Plaza Athénée and flights to Paris can be booked online through Flight Centre.

Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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