A week at the Ritz or the Crillon might be your ultimate Parisian goal, but if you can’t yet justify even an overnight stay at a five-star hotel, you can at least live the dream for a few hours by treating yourself to some time in their beautiful terrace bars or courtyards, some of which come complete with stunning views that make the elevated prices all the more reasonable.
The iconic hotel’s rooftop terrace, which features both a bar and restaurant, is the hanging garden of your dreams, with a vista that sweeps over much of Paris, taking in the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe. It’s open during the summer months, from midday to 11pm, so you can pop up for a drink after you’ve trekked the Champs-Élysées. Alternatively, book a table and enjoy a memorable meal in the shining or setting sun.
Hôtel de Crillon
The legendary hotel has made over the terraces of two of its iconic suites into summer bars. Suite Marie Antoinette, which once hosted the queen for piano lessons, now hosts a Billecart Salmon champagne bar (3-9pm) overlooking the Place de la Concorde (where, somewhat chillingly, the ill-fated Marie Antoinette would later lose her life). And up on the sixth floor, the terrace of Suite Bernstein is now Bonsoir Paris, a pop-up guingette-style bar (5-11pm) serving up colourful cocktails and tartines along with stunning Parisian views. Click here for the booking links.
Hôtel Plaza Athénée
The Plaza Athénée is one of the most glamorous of all Parisian hotels, for so many reasons … The grandiose, geranium-dotted façade, the location on the couture-studded Avenue Montaigne, the beloved ivy-draped inner courtyard … and this courtyard now serves Goûter — afternoon treats — between 2:30 and 7pm. Call +33 (0)1 53 67 66 02 to make a booking.
This summer sees the popular Le Bar du Bristol set up a terrace in the gorgeous rear garden. It’s open every day from 5:30 to 9pm, with a menu of exotic cocktails and tapas dishes. The perfect way to end a day of shopping (or just window-shopping!) on the chichi Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.
Bar Vendôme is a gorgeously cosy kind of bar, but it spills out into a light-filled conservatory where, on balmy days and nights, the retractable glass roof opens up for a delightful garden terrace effect. Between 6 and 10pm, sip your classic cocktail while a jazz pianist tinkles away.