“There are only five in the world. The Disney clock represents the special time you share with us and the fleur-de-lys represents royalty,” Cristina told me as she caressed a Victorian-inspired gold locket pinned to the lapel of her suit.
Cristina was one of five “royal greeters” who worked in the lobby of Disneyland Paris’ recently reopened five-star hotel in neat top hats and tails. Since 1992, this beloved hotel with a cotton candy pink Victorian-style facade and mansard roof has been the address for visitors who want to wake up practically in the theme park. It closed in 2021 for a much-needed makeover.
Disney royalty – mainly princesses – is the new theme, with a high level of five-star luxury. The hotel’s general manager, Majbritt Iaconis, previously worked at the Plaza Athénée, Ritz and Mandarin Oriental hotels in Paris.
Decorative features like chandeliers – not to mention the 18 themed suites and sophisticated Castle Club rooms with private check-in, personal concierge and elevator that takes guests directly to the Disneyland Park entrance – feel like an ambitious nod to the Palace hotels in the French capital (a category better than five stars). There’s even a sleek Clarins spa offering indulgent treatments for adults and children.
Playful interaction with Disney princesses is a huge appeal of the redesigned hotel and an intrinsic part of its new USP: immersive storytelling. Albert and Camille of the Royal Troupe – two new characters created especially for the hotel – are also on hand to greet arrivals in the lobby with song, dance and theater in the company of a Disney princess.
Belle invites guests to play the Beast and before you know it, you’ll be singing A whole new world in karaoke with Princess Jasmine – consider yourself warned.
Sixteen ‘story keepers’ are each trained by Laurent Cayuela, an official show writer at Disneyland Paris since 2001. From the Central Rotunda lounge, with its royal blue, 25-foot-high domed ceiling, hand-painted with 632 fleurs-de-lys, I must have seen a dozen princesses walking laps around the elegant, castle-like galleries on the upper floors.
Then of course there is the dining. Mickey and Minnie parade around the Royal Banquet restaurant, with particularly sumptuous seafood and desserts; Disney princesses are the belles of the ball at fine-dining La Table de Lumière, inspired by the mirrored ballroom of the Palace of Versailles. Dining at these restaurants isn’t cheap: the Royal Banquet costs €100 per person (€50 for children aged three to 11); at La Table de Lumière it will cost you €120/60 to be their guest.
It’s hard to drag yourself away from the spectacular lobby, which is decorated like a castle library with a fireplace, shelves of faux leather-bound books and a crystal chandelier that rains down 20 feet from the ceiling in 12,000 hypnotic drops of sparkling glass beads, prisms, octagons and twinkling stars.
Ahead of its long-awaited reopening, Disneyland Paris has called on many of the more than 200 French and European companies it has called upon to share their views. savoir-faireand the craftsmanship and attention to detail are excellent.
The £2,600 chandelier was blown by a master glassblower in the Czech Republic. The fabrics for 27,777 suits worn by the hotel’s 800 staff were woven by third-generation jacquard specialist Dutel in the French silk-weaving capital of Lyon. Every evening at 6 p.m., the spicy floral scent that greets you upon arrival in the lobby changes into a warmer, velvety night scent of roses and musky sandalwood.
The Royal Collection Boutique, which, unlike other Disney hotel stores, is only open to hotel guests, sells both fragrances, along with a Sleeping Beauty Castle model from Parisian glass manufacturer Miguel Arribas, knitted from two million glass loops and yours for €150,000 (£128,000).
The themed suites – 16 Signature, plus a Princely and Royal variant – were designed by Sylvie Massara, the creative talent behind the park’s series of themed hotels since 1996, including Disney Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel.
The canopy above the bed in my Deluxe room – which twinkles and changes color at the touch of a bedside switch – felt rather tame compared to Princess Aurora’s large suit of armor and dress, which alternates between pink and blue. moves again. the Sleeping Beauty Signature Suite, or the snow-white wing and unparalleled park views in the Frozen-themed Royal Suite (there is also a Frozen-themed Signature Suite). While entry-level Superior rooms start at a relatively affordable £250, a night in the Royal Suite, which can accommodate two adults and an infant, costs £9,375 for the next available date in February (including park tickets).
The morning after my stay, thanks to the hotel’s location near the park gates, I had battled evil on Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain and saved the world from an intergalactic threat with the Avengers several times by 10am. Later I was able to easily retire to the hotel for lunch and then for afternoon tea and a recovery dip in the pool.
That evening, as I walked past the boutique on my way to an aperitif cocktail at the Fleur de Lys bar, I noticed a trail of gold glitter leading to the Royal Tailor Salon. A mini Cinderella appeared, enchanted by her own magical transformation. “Disney adults” will love this hotel – and even the most skeptical people will struggle not to be enchanted – but for kids it’s a whole other level of magic.
The Disneyland Hotel offers Superior rooms from £250.