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Review: the Kimpton St Honore Paris hotel – is the new European flagship worth a visit? (Part 2)

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This is part 2 of our review of IHG’s new Kimpton St Honore Paris hotel.

You can read Part 1 of my Kimpton Paris review here, which covers the hotel’s location and a full look at my suite.

The rooftop bar

Let’s move on to some genuinely cool stuff. (Kimpton Paris has a lot of cool stuff – I wouldn’t want you to think otherwise.)

The hotel has a very large rooftop bar. It is, unsurprisingly, closed in November but this would be a fantastic amenity in Summer.

This, in itself, is arguably a good enough reason to stay here during the warmer months.

Review Kimpton St Honore Paris hotel

The spa and pool

Kimpton Paris has a pool!

It’s a great idea, tucked away in the basement and exceptionally well executed. It was totally empty when I went down for a look. Again, for some people the spa and pool in itself will be a good enough reason to choose this hotel.

Review Kimpton St Honore Paris hotel

Regular readers will know that I am not a gym person, but there is a modest one:

Review Kimpton St Honore Paris hotel

The wine hour

As with all Kimpton hotels, there is a free one-hour wine reception each evening where guests can mingle as well as chat to hotel management.

It takes place in this attractive area on the first floor, which is also the best place to go if you want somewhere outside your room to do some quiet work:

Review Kimpton St Honore Paris hotel

The wine hour is from 5pm to 6pm. This is too early (too early for me, anyway) – business travellers are unlikely to be back by 5pm, tourists are still likely to be out and about and it is too early to use it for a pre-dinner aperitif.

The bar and restaurant

As you’d expect, Kimpton Paris has an attractive bar and restaurant. It uses half of the glazed central courtyard – the other half looks like it is held back for corporate events or receptions, which is a bit of a waste.

Here is a PR picture:

Review Kimpton St Honore Paris hotel

Dinner

With €85 of food and beverage credit burning a hole in my pocket, I thought I could squeeze in dinner and lunch the following day. It was not to be.

The menu has a California theme. There is nothing remotely Parisien about it, but that’s perfectly fine. Cafe de la Paix, probably the most famous ‘classic’ cafe / restaurant in town, is part of the InterContinental across the road if that’s what you are after.

The issue is pricing, which is crazy.

Appetisers are €20+. The ‘scallop aguachile’ below was €23:

Review Kimpton St Honore Paris hotel

Main courses are around the €30 mark, with some at €39 and lobster pasta at €45. The grilled fish tacos below were €29:

Review Kimpton St Honore Paris hotel

The key lime pie slice was, I think, €12, albeit it was by far the best part of the meal and perfectly made:

Review Kimpton St Honore Paris hotel

This is not, in any way, fine dining. In the evening it isn’t even a great place to sit, since the restaurant is designed to benefit from the sun streaming through the glazed roof, and the sun has gone by 5pm. Your food arrives in semi-darkness – the photos here make it look brighter than it was.

As a Kimpton Inner Circle member I am meant to get a free ‘Chef’s Taste’ course with my meal. The waiter had no idea what I was talking about so I let it go. I also felt that I was missold a side dish – the waiter implied it was included so, despite not really wanting one, I took something. It turned out it wasn’t included.

The food, when it came, wasn’t particularly warm – a problem I also faced over breakfast the next day.

The bill for one person, for three courses of average chain-restaurant food plus a glass of wine, was €93. A couple would easily hit €250 with a bottle of wine.

Breakfast

Breakfast, served in the same area, was better. However, at €42 per person for an a la carte package, you would expect it to be.

There is no buffet. Tables come with a bowl of croissants and pain au chocolat already waiting for you, and I must admit that they were the best I had anywhere in Paris over my three days.

I ordered an Eggs Benedict (lukewarm but not badly done apart from that) and a granola-topped yoghurt plate which was ok. Breakfast would have been acceptable for €30 all-in, if you stretched it out into a lazy brunch, but not €42.

Check-out

Any IHG Luxury & Lifestyle booking via Emyr comes with a guaranteed 2pm check-out which is handy if you are returning by afternoon Eurostar. It is a pleasant 30 minute walk to Gare du Nord.

I’d already had an issue with the front desk earlier in the day when my room key stopped working at noon. Whilst this is a common issue if you stay late, if you sell a package guaranteeing a 2pm check-out, you should set up the room keys for 2pm.

I was expecting trouble at check-out over getting the free breakfast and the €85 of food and beverage credit applied. To my pleasant surprise it was all done without any prompting.

The receptionist then pulled out the credit card machine …. and typed in the original amount, before the €85 had been deducted. He didn’t notice, and it was only by chance that I spotted it on the card receipt.

This was when the fun started. He had no idea how to refund €85. He tried to call a manager but no-one appeared. He tried again and finally someone arrived. The manager also had no idea how to refund a payment. I offered to take €85 in cash but this was rejected.

I was told that I had no choice but to leave, and that the hotel would work out what to do and refund my money in a few days. It hasn’t appeared yet.

Conclusion

Kimpton Paris is a beautiful hotel on which a huge amount of money has been spent to create something that could be very special.

I can imagine how a stay in the Summer, including a visit to the rooftop bar and a dip afterwards in the basement pool, could be lovely.

At the moment, however, it needs some hotel basics knocking into it. Desks without plugs, missing waste bins, cold bedrooms, war-like rations of milk and overpriced food served in dark surroundings are not what you’d expect for €1,200 per night in a suite, or even the €440 cost of a standard room.

The good news, of course, is that these factors can be fixed. Kimpton Amsterdam had a rocky start and has settled down well, and I am hopeful that the same will happen here.

It is also fair to say that, on a one-night stay booked via Emyr, it is good value for a couple. Adjust for the cost of two free breakfasts (€84) and €85 of food and drink credit and you would have spent roughly the same as I paid the day before at the unglamorous Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile.

It is literally 30 seconds walk across the road from Kimpton St Honore Paris to InterContinental Le Grand. You could swap hotels after one night and pick up another set of IHG Luxury & Lifestyle benefits for your 2nd night …..

The Kimpton St Honore Paris website is here.

If you booking for cash, I strongly recommend getting a quote from Emyr at Bon Vivant via this page of HfP. He can get you all of the extra benefits I outlined above, even on a one-night stay. You pay at check-out as usual and your stay earns IHG Rewards points.


IHG One Rewards update – December 2022:

Get bonus points: You will earn bonus IHG One Rewards points on stays between 13th October 2022 and 31st December 2022. You can choose between 2,000 points for every two nights or 10,000 points for every four nights (not cumulative). Read this article for full details. You can register here.

New to IHG One Rewards?  Read our overview of IHG One Rewards here and our article on points expiry rules here. Our article on ‘What are IHG One Rewards points worth?’ is here.

Buy points: If you need additional IHG One Rewards points, you can buy them here.

You will receive a 100% bonus if you buy IHG One Rewards points by 29th December 2022.

Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from IHG and the other major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.

Comments (38)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Alan Todd says:

    Have been waiting for this all week, didn’t disappoint! Very similar feelings – hard product generally very good, service a bit all over the place and restaurant prices just a tad short of criminal. Staying on points I was willing to overlook the issues Rob mentioned, but totally get how they become more of a problem when paying cash.

  • The Savage Squirrel says:

    I must be getting surprisingly unsavage these days; didn’t feel the prices were THAT bad in the context of a hotel restaurant (always more expensive than standalones) in prime central Paris.

    • ken says:

      The 85 Euro credit is great, but its a blessing and a curse.
      You are in Paris with a few 1 star Michelin restaurants within a 10 minute walk.
      Might as well use the credit on drinks rather than waste it on an ordinary meal, you will instantly forget.
      250 Euros and you are most of the way towards a tasting menu plus wine at a memorable restaurant.

  • Als says:

    Your experience in a Paris hotel matches mine. I got my refund for incorrect charges after dealing with the hotel’s parent brand customer service in my home country. Paris hotels are the best advertisement for using AirBnb in Paris.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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