Steeped in Parisian history, The Peninsula Paris – owned by Katara Hospitality and The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels Limited (HSH) – opened its doors quietly with a traditional lion dance on 1 August 2014. However last week, the hotel celebrated its grand opening in a blaze of colour, music and a guest list comprising international stars, guests from around the world and “le tout Paris”.
Guests arriving at the party were greeted with three enormous Montgolfier balloons floating above a Hollywood-style red carpet, bearing the golden word of hospitality “Welcome” in French, Arabic and Chinese – the three languages that forge The Peninsula Paris’ culture.
An enormous feat of organisation and logistics, the hotel’s team had been preparing for the event since last summer, planning the many activities scheduled to take place throughout the evening.
Speeches signalled the start of the festivities, inviting guests to discover the various areas and themes throughout the hotel, together with musical performances by some of France’s best-known musicians.
While the festivities proceeded, the back-of-house was a hive of activity in a celebration of the art of hospitality and gastronomy. The menu developed by Executive Chef Jean-Edern Hurstel featured copious quantities of caviar, blue lobster, wild salmon and line-caught European sea bass, Kobe beef, milk-fed lamb and veal carpaccio. Sumptuous dessert buffets created by award-winning Pastry Chef Julien Alvarez included literally thousands of cream puffs, verrines of seasonal fruit and dessert tarts with heady scents of tonka, chocolate, raspberry, lemon and nuts, petit-fours, chocolates and vast arrays of sweets, all set off to perfection by a chocolate fountain and over 150 litres of ice cream.
The occasion also called for fine wines, Champagnes and the very best Grands Crus selected by the hotel’s Chief Sommelier Xavier Thuizat, including 1800 bottles of Champagne and wine and 300 bottles of spirits for mixing cocktails.
The Peninsula Paris’ General Manager Nicolas Béliard, said “It was with immense pleasure that my team and I welcomed our guests for this highly anticipated evening – the result of months of work, organisation, planning and commitment by the men and women who make The Peninsula Paris a veritable family and who, today, are my greatest source of pride.”