After shopping at La Samaritaine department store, head to the best rooftop bar in Paris where you’ll get superb skyline views. But wait. It’s NOT in La Samaritaine (and doesn’t even have a rooftop bar). But it is in the same complex (and run by the same owners). Le Tout-Paris rooftop bar is at the Cheval Blanc hotel and if you’re willing to splurge a little, consider having a drink there. A the end of the post I talk about another rooftop bar that I do not recommend…..just in case you were considering this popular spot.
1. Le Tout-Paris Rooftop Bar, Cheval Blanc Hotel
On the 7th floor of the Cheval Blanc hotel is the brasserie and bar, Le Tout-Paris. The bar area continues outside onto the terrace and whether you are inside or outside, this rooftop bar provides fantastic skyline views of Paris. From here you can see the Eiffel Tower, Pont Neuf, Notre Dame Cathedral, Tour Montparnasse, and even Eglise Saint-Sulpice in the distance. Basically, you have a panoramic view of the entire left bank of Paris.
If you are not a guest of the hotel, you might not be able to have a drink on the terrace, but you can have one in the bar, which is just as lovely and if the weather is good, the terrace doors are open, so it’s like you’re outside anyway.
I sat at the marble, horseshoe-shaped bar on a high bar stool and had some glasses of rosé wine that were accompanied by cashews and green olives. The wine came to 30€, but it was worth the indulgence and views. It’s not like I do this every day.
While this is a very high-end hotel, restaurant, and bar, the minute I walked through the front doors of the hotel, I was warmly greeted. The service at the bar was friendly and the bartender left me on my own to enjoy my wine and view. Afterward, I went out to the outside terrace to take more photographs and a waiter was kind enough to take some photos of me.
2. Why Is This Rooftop Bar Named Le Tout-Paris?
The translation for Le Tout-Paris is “everyone in Paris”. It is a term originally used during the Belle Époque and refers to the social elite at the time in Paris. This was the time period when La Samaritaine was constructed. Members of high society, who attended cultural events and fashionable places were the “it” crowd, much like today’s celebrities who attend Paris Fashion Week or the Cannes Film Festival.
It is a fitting name for the rooftop bar in Cheval Blanc. The atmosphere at Le Tout-Paris is definitely chic and it aims to attract everyone who’s anyone! (And that includes you and me!). This is a rooftop bar that’s worth a visit.
3. Cheval Blanc And Its Connection To La Samaritaine
Ernest Cognacq and his wife, Marie-Louise Jaÿ opened their shop, La Samaritaine, in 1870 and in time it expanded to more stores in the same vicinity. They then hired art nouveau architects Frantz Jourdain and Henri Sauvageto redesign the original store, called Magasin 1. It was completed in 1910. The art nouveau style was all the rage, especially from the late 1800s to the early 1900s during the Belle Époque period.
Unfortunately, La Samaritaine became run down and due to security and safety issues had to be closed in 2005. In the subsequent 16 years, work to renovate the art nouveau building had been an on-again, off-again project and sat uninhabited for many years. The LVMH Moët-Hennessy Louis Vuitton Group became the new owners after many years and spent €750 million. On June 23, 2021, the historic department store finally re-opened to the public.
As you can see from the photos, the enormous glass roof covers an immense area that includes a multi-level staircase overlooking the centre of the store. The atrium on the top level has a mural of gold-hued peacocks along each wall. Very talented craftsmen took over 3 years to restore the heritage structures which are actually listed on the “Supplementary Inventory of Historic Monuments”. Work had to be done on the enameled tiles, mosaics, ceramics, skylights, cast-iron railings, and stucco moldings.
Three months later, on September 7, 2021, LVMH opened the “Cheval Blanc Paris” hotel, in the complex that houses the La Samaritaine’s “stores” (magasins). While one might have assumed there is a rooftop bar on top of La Samaritaine, Le Tout-Paris rooftop bar is actually on top of Cheval Blanc which faces Quai du Louvre.
4. No Rooftop Views From La Samaritaine
La Samaritaine does have bars and restaurants on the 5th floor, but guests are really not afforded skyline views of Paris. There is a glass rooftop, letting in natural light, but the views from the restaurant Voyage, for example, are of the interior of La Samaritaine, not the exterior. In fact, in one section of the restaurant, a video recording shows what the view “might” be like if you were outside. It is installed on a large screen against one of the walls, creating a “virtual” experience of sorts.
For the real thing, head to Hotel Cheval Blanc, a five-star first-class hotel where accommodations start at 1550 € (that’s about $2000). Cheval Blanc is a group of luxury properties under the LVMH Moët-Hennessy Louis Vuitton Group with locations in St. Tropez, St. Barth in the Caribbean, Randheli in the Maldives, Courchevel in the French Alps, and now Paris.
Le Tout-Paris at Cheval Blanc-8 Quai du Louvre, 75001
5. One Other Rooftop Bar: Georges-Pompidou Centre
The rooftop terrace and restaurant at the Pompidou Centre is called Georges. It is often featured in movies because the interior is modern and is ultra-chic. The outside terrace is popular; however, the views are partly obstructed by the steel frames. I really don’t think you get good views. In fact, I think there are better views as you walk through the Pompidou Centre to Georges.
While the wines are less expensive (1 glass of Sauvignon blanc was 12 €) than at Cheval Blanc’s Le Tout-Paris rooftop bar, you don’t get good views. You might get better views inside the restaurant. It is a nice place to hang out after having visited the museum, but if you’re looking for impeccable, unobstructed views of the Paris skyline, don’t do it at Georges. If you’re just looking for nice panoramic photos from the Pompidou Centre, take photos outside of Georges, on the walkway at the top of the museum.
Georges: 6e étage du Centre Georges Pompidou Place Georges Pompidou, 75004
Is there a rooftop bar in Paris that has magnificent views you’d like to recommend?
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Janhavi DalaviAugust 17, 2022 at 7:45 am
The panoramic view of the city really makes a visit to the Le Tout-Paris Rooftop Bar at Cheval Blanc worth. Sipping my favorite wine and chewing cashews and green olives would be a delight here.