The Ambassador Hotel, which was a Radisson Blu during my stay but is now the Paris Marriott Opera Ambassador Hotel, is in the Paris Opera District in the 9th Arrondissement. The hotel is a grand 1920's Art Deco building on boulevard Haussmann. The hotel has been a gathering spot for nobility and the elite since its opening almost a century ago.
The hotel was made famous when Charles Lindbergh had his welcome reception here following the first solo flight across the Atlantic. Today, the hotel’s bar is named in his honor. The hotel is in an ideal location, just minutes from the Paris Opera Gárnier and it’s just a couple of blocks to great shopping at Galeries Lafayette and Printemps.
I arrived in Paris via Charles de Gaulle Airport, which is about 14 miles from the hotel. Rather than take an expensive taxi ride into the city, I boarded the RoissyBus that runs from the airport into the Paris Opera stop every 15 minutes for €10. It took about 60 minutes (instead of the 45 minutes it takes via taxi). The hotel is about a 10-minute walk from the bus stop.
Walking into the lobby, you immediately realize you’re someplace special. It is classic, elegant, yet still comfortable. There are mixtures of velvet, dark woods, and beautiful leather chairs. The doorman met me with great aplomb and ushered me to the check-in counter. The room was ready even though it was a a couple hours earlier than regular check-in time, and a polite young bellman whisked my bag away. The entire process had taken less than five minutes and I walked over to the Bar Lindberg with a local map (carefully marked by the concierge with a couple of not-to-miss spots) and ordered coffee before heading upstairs.
Bar Lindbergh is the spot where Lindbergh gathered with the world’s elite to celebrate his solo flight, and I still felt that history. Although I could have ordered something to eat – they had a tasty selection of small plates – I opted for a simple cup of coffee and felt myself relaxing. Paris at last!
After finishing my coffee, I made my way upstairs to my room. I was in a Deluxe Room and from my window I could see the Eiffel Tower in the distance. The room had a distinct Art Deco feel with subtle colors on the floor, carpet and drapes, but splashes of burgundy accents.
The linens were soft and the mattress perfect. The ensuite bathroom includes a shower and bath, nice fluffy towels and lux bath products. The room also had a flat-screen TV, mini bar and – something not always found in Europe – individual climate control. I was thrilled to discover there was free WiFi, so I was able to go online and check email without running up any international roaming charges. (Note, I do not know if the WiFi is still free now that the hotel is operating as a Marriott. You will need to ask upon arrival. The internet is available, however, and worked very well.)
I slept really well that night, despite the fact that Paris never gets quiet, even in the wee hours of the morning. The bed was super comfortable and the hotel itself was quiet. While it might not be on the Champs Elyseés, I enjoyed the location because it was so convenient without being as noisy as a hotel on the famed avenue.
Services and Amenities
After settling into my room, I changed clothes and went wandering to check out the rest of the classic hotel. It is impeccable. Nothing was ever out of place. I ventured up to the hotel's top floor, home of the hotel's executive lounge, where there are business class rooms, suites and lounge with free snacks, beverages, computer, free breakfast buffet and fabulous city views.
The Ambassador has one restaurant – 16 Haussmann – that serves traditional French cuisine in an elegant, refined setting. It is open for breakfast daily, lunch weekdays, and dinner every evening except Sunday. I didn’t have dinner there, but I enjoyed the hotel's expansive breakfast buffet (€29 or $37) there. It featured a variety of breakfast options, from traditional British offerings to American items and even a few Scandinavian options. A lighter continental breakfast is available for €17 (about $22). When the restaurant is closed, Bar Lindbergh serves casual meals, beer, wines and cocktails until 1 a.m. daily.
My stay at Ambassador Hotel was delightful. I was able to walk to some of the best shopping and, when I wanted to stray a little farther, I was just steps from the Metro stations. The staff was friendly, efficient and professional. The concierge was great about suggesting places to eat and what I should see during my stay. Even though room rates start at upwards of €280 (about $360) per night in the off-season, you’ll have a first-class staff in the heart of Paris.
- 289 Rooms including 8 suites
- Separate tub/shower
- Nice lighting with outlets next to the bed
- AM/FM clock radio
- Free WiFi
- Flat screen TV
- Desk/workstation in room
- Luxurious bed linens
- Full-size hairdryer
- Mini bar
- In-room safe
- Business Center
- 24-hour fitness center
- Room service
- Restaurant – 16 Haussmann, serving French cuisine, and Bar Lindbergh
16 boulevard Haussmann
75009 Paris, France
+33 (0) 1 44 83 40 40