Hotel Review: W Paris – Opera

May 26, 2014

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Earlier this week I had a night in Paris before continuing on to Cannes to enjoy a week in the lovely south of France. As a Starwood Preferred Guest 75+ Night Platinum elite member, I chose to stay in a Starwood property, the W Paris – Opéra, a renovated Beaux-Arts hotel in Paris’ 9th arrondissement that faces the city’s famous Palais Garnier opera house.

The wrought-iron staircase at the W Paris-Opera is a nod to the
The wrought-iron staircase at the W Paris-Opera is part of the original architecture of this renovated Beaux Arts building

I booked one night in a Wonderful Room (395 Euros per night, or $539 US), and chose to use one of 10 annual Suite night awards (a perk offered to any Platinum member with 50 nights or more) to upgrade to the highest available suite. I made my booking only four days prior to my arrival, and unfortunately, the hotel wasn’t able to honor my request for a Your24 check-in at 10am; an early/late check-in/out perk, but I was luckily still able to check in early on the day of arrival.

The grand entrance of the W Paris-Opera is even tall enough for me
The grand entrance of the W Paris-Opera is even tall enough for me

After my Delta BusinessElite flight from EWR to CDG, I arrived at the W a little before 11am. I took a quick look at my Starwood Preferred Guest app and was happy to see that I’d been upgraded all the way to a Wow Suite, five levels above a Wonderful Room. However, the front desk let me know that the suite’s guests wouldn’t be leaving until 3:30pm, so I wouldn’t be able to access the room until late afternoon. At that moment I was exhausted from my transatlantic flight, and my biggest priority was simply to rest, so I asked if I could be downgraded in exchange for an earlier check-in time. On the spot, I was booked into a Fabulous Suite (still four levels above Wonderful) and was thankfully able to get into the room right away.

My light, bright, airy and junior-sized Fabulous Suite
My light, bright, airy and junior-sized Fabulous Suite

The Fabulous Suite would be considered large by European standards, but it was essentially a junior suite with a combined living area and bedroom. Behind the bed was a long hallway that led to the closet and included a vanity seat and mirror.

Behind the bed in my suite ran a long hallway with a vanity area
The long hallway to the closet included a vanity area

The furniture was chic and funky and seemed very new, even though the hotel is now two years old.

The furniture in my Fabulous Suite was both funky and chic
The furniture in my Fabulous Suite was both funky and chic

The bathroom was pretty large, with full-sized Bliss products – rather than most W property’s typical trial size.

My bathroom and its full-sized Bliss products
My bathroom and its full-sized Bliss products

To show off my Fabulous Suite in its entirety – including my balcony and my city and Opéra view, I shot the following video:

As my Platinum welcome amenity, I chose the Continental breakfast, a perk which I was able to use with a friend who joined me the next day. We were really impressed with the large buffet of both hot and cold items sprawling across the W’s one restaurant, Coquette. Helmed by chef Julien Gasperi, Coquette serves a modern spin on classic French cuisine and is accented with shiny metallics and bright murals that evoke different styles of French painting, from Matisse’s Fauvism to street art. 

The breakfast buffet was really impressive
The breakfast buffet was really impressive

There were fresh-baked croissants and baguettes, cheese and deli meats, potato dishes and eggs, fresh juices and much more. While some hotels put out a half-hearted continental breakfast out of what feels like pure obligation, the W Paris – Opéra definitely goes above and beyond.

Seriously, W Paris-Opera - way to go on your Continental breakfast
Seriously, W Paris-Opera – way to go on your Continental breakfast

Rather than a typical hustle-and-bustle W, this 91-room property felt more like a small boutique hotel. Unlike many other W hotels, they don’t have a pool or Bliss Spa; however, they would have been happy to make me a spa appointment at The Westin Paris (a 12-minute walk away), and had my time not been so limited, I might have taken them up on their offer. I didn’t mind the lack of a pool, but as it was a truly gorgeous day in Paris, I couldn’t help thinking that it would have been awesome if they had a rooftop terrace.

I charged the Wonderful Room’s nightly rate of 395 Euros ($539 US) to my Chase Sapphire Preferred instead of my Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, which sadly charges foreign transaction fees (See Rates & Fees). I value Starpoints at about 2.5 cents each, so for me, so with my Sapphire Preferred 2.14x and 4 SPG points per dollar spent, that’s like getting 15 percent back on my hotel spending.

The W Paris-Opera has some very modern details and a distinctly small, boutiquey feel
The W Paris-Opera has some very modern details and a small, boutiquey feel

Had I used points to book my pre-upgrade Wonderful Room, I would have parted ways with 30,000 Starpoints. This seemed pretty steep, considering the fact that you can get rooms at the property for the off-peak starting rate of 345 Euros a night ($471 US) or peak starting rate of 600 Euros a night ($819 US). Utilizing Starwood’s 5th night free benefit could make sense at the W Paris-Opéra, but at 20,000 Starpoints a night and offering nightly rates that are comparable to the W, The Westin Paris (just a short distance away in Place Vendôme) may be a better option. I’ve never been to the property, but it routinely gets great Tripadvisor reviews.

However, I have stayed at the newly renovated Prince de Galles (a Starwood Luxury Collection property), and I’d have preferred to stay there again. It’s a larger, more iconic hotel set next to the Four Seasons, and features a more mature design that still manages to feel chic and modern.

Overall, my stay at the W Paris – Opera was a good one and I’m happy they could accommodate me on such short notice. It’s definitely a boutiquey property, which is great for people who like a hotel with a more intimate vibe, but less ideal if you’re a fan of amenities like a spa, a pool and multiple dining options.

For rates and fees of the Starwood Preferred Guest Card, please click here.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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