Who doesn’t love a place that’s full of surprises?
My first surprise was being upgraded – always a good one if you ask me. So, I’m to spend the night in a Junior Suite. I can definitely live with that!
Inside, I’m surprised again – there’s the size of the room for starters – but mostly the size of the bathroom – all gleaming white, mother of pearl mosaic tiles and mirrors. I pledge to make time for a dip in the freestanding contemporary ‘egg style bathtub and use the lovely Diptique products that are dotted around the place. What’s not to love?
The suite is well laid out with a small ‘living room’ with plush furnishings and the usual Nespresso machine, but also a lovely tea cupboard with pretty Mariage Freres silver and white ceramic tea pot on display. Beyond the separation wall awaits the bedroom with its giant all white bed and the largest pillows I’ve ever seen. Is there such a thing as too big? If you think so, nevermind – just ring room service and pick something else from the pillow menu!
I’m loving the fluffy slippers with the fan logo. Yep, safe to say, I’m a fan!
And the biggest surprise? A massive burgundy leather trunk which doubles up as a bar cabinet complete with oversized crowning ice bowl, and secret draws where champagne glasses and all sorts hide. What shall I have? Roederer or Veuve Cliquot rose champagne? Decisions, decisions… Actually, in reality after a late arrival it means it’s 11pm and time for bed. The worse part of this surprise? I’ve just had dinner and therefore can’t possibly make the most of the tray of scrumptious looking delicate canapés: foie gras with raspberries, caviar and all sorts of treats. This is one surprise I should have been warned about….
And, there was nothing for it – the tray would not fit into the minibar so there was no way to save it for later. Epic foodie fail.
Having slept like a baby (the kind that sleeps through, not the kind that wakes every 3 hours) without having heard so much as a squeak from the lovely courtyard restaurant or seen a peep of sunshine – thanks to the efficient double glazing and heavy drapes, I was excited to go and sample breakfast. Usually a solo breakfast isn’t very appealing but when you’re at the MO, company isn’t really required.
The buffet breakfast at Camelia is perfection. Brioches, cakes and patisseries aplenty, heaps of fruit and plenty of yoghurt, nuts and seeds for the healthy side, not to mention the smoothies and the ‘detox’ of the day drink shot alongside the fresh orange juice. Add a delicious latte, and poached eggs with bacon and you’re all set.
In the interest of research I also popped by the pod-like spa. A white cocoon of sorts, the spa space is both elegantly designed yet futuristic with classic touches like the Guerlain make up bar where you can ‘fix’ yourself up after your treatment. Quite the welcome pause after your relaxing session, it’s ideal to put your face back on before you face the world – as it were.
The skilful Karen treats me to an 80-minute Oriental Essence Spa treatment, perfect for me as I seem to specialise in neck and shoulder tension. Working on all the body ‘stress areas’ she kneeds away the aches and pains – with lovely aromatic oils – a little ginger, frankincense and something else I can’t put my finger on. After the massage there’s a little panacotta snack with jasmine gelee – which is welcome and unusually tasty, and pleasantly different form the usual ‘bird food’ spa snacks.
My only gripe is with the music choice, the classical piano tinkling actually puts me on edge (childhood overdose) so I opt for silence, which makes a nice change too.
Sometimes all you need is the sound of silence, in a five star spa, after an amazing breakfast and the best night’s sleep you can get in central Paris…
Rooms from €871 per room per night. To book visit mandarinoriental.com