By Travel + Leisure
April 30, 2015
Harald Gottschalk

Walking down Avenue Montaigne in Paris’ 8th arrondissement, it’s easy to spot the Hotel Plaza Athénée, whose scarlet geraniums cascade from balconies in a way that is inevitably iconic. The hotel is an archetype for Paris’ 20th-century luxury, having been spotted on the boulevard for 100 years. The life of the hotel is the topic of a beautiful new coffee table book aptly named Hotel Plaza Athénée Paris.

The author, François Simon, covers every aspect of the Athénée from its crucial partnership with the Theatre des Champs-Elysees during the avenue’s stylish evolution to the recent renovations of the hotel’s Eiffel Tower Suites and the Alain Ducasse restaurant.

The book also gives accounts of some of the hotel’s most memorable moments, including Michael Jackson’s eccentric room requests (he required two "adult size" chocolate Eiffel Towers), and that time Harrison Ford tossed clothes out the window. One thing that’s stayed consistent: Plaza Athénée Paris’ flawless Parisian style, which are on full-view via the book’s illustrations and archival images—many of which show off the hotel’s most VIP visitors, including The Rolling Stones and the stylish Sarah Jessica Parker. (By the way, the very last episode of Sex and the City takes place at the Plaza Athénée.)

More photos from the book, available for pre-ordering at Assouline’s website, are below:

Harald Gottschalk

Frederic Ducout

Harald Gottschalk

Courtesy of Assouline