Touring ParisParis - The City of Lights
In honor of Bastille Day, galavante for a weekend to Paris. Paris is a city of the bests, including neighborhoods, restaurants, museums and shopping. For a city so widely visited, Paris is surprisingly not played out. There is many a way to roll in Paris, whether you are there for your first time or your thirtieth. Either way, Paris is a continuing love affair and one that requires periodic trysts.
You can call your home at many a Grand Dames in Paris, including the luxe Georges V and Plaza Athenee. A candidate for your hard-earned Starwood points with an unbeatable location is The Westin near the Jardin des Tuilleries. If you’re looking for quietly luxurious boutique hotels check into the Hotel Costes or The Park Hyatt but for boutique values, The Millennium can’t be beat and has gorgeous suites. Then again, if you’ve a penchant for living like a local, rent a Paris apartment with Chez Vous. For your weekend Galavante, you can hit the tourist circuit of the Tour Eiffel, Louvre, and Musee D’Orsay, or just wander aimlessly for a weekend exploring the Marais and St. Germain, getting equal pleasure from your experiences. On Sundays when most everything is closed, the Marais has many open shops and restaurants, including the Marriage Frères — a gorgeous tea shop which will quickly make your list of favorites.
Paris is a city where you can, and will, want to walk everywhere, experiencing the sites, sounds and beautiful Frenchies running around the city. Like Madonna, Paris reinvents herself particularly on the restaurant scene and continues to engage, surprise and excite. There are long-time quintessential Paris bistros and restaurants like Benoit, Chez Denise and the high-end La Tour D’Argent for their quenelles. Chez Janou, Le Comptoir and gastronomic Frenchie are also standout bistro options. Fine dining is unlimited in Paris where you can spend hedge fund sums on guys like Alain Ducasse, Joel Robuchon and Guy Savoy. Newer on the scene is the Hidden Kitchen, a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience and one of the most sought-after tickets in town. At the Hidden Kitchen, you will dine in the private home of a couple; he is the chef, and she is the sommelier. Even jaded restaurant aficionados are blown away by this culinary experience. For late night debauchery, you will have your old favorites like Castel, the private nightclub of the Paris elite, where making a late dinner reservation guarantees your entrée into the festivities, or go to iconic Le Baron, which is the place to be seen in Paris. Pershing Hall is a more low-key, yet still high-on-glamour, option for loungey drinks.
From morning until evening, coffee breaks have never been so interesting, with stops at the iconic Café de Flore and La Duree — a personal Galavante favorite — all while spending a blissful day wandering the St. Germain and picking up some culture at the Rodin Museum. The Rodin may even inspire you to acquire your own art, of which there are many options in the St. Germain including the Galerie Severin Maly, which has both classic artists and special exhibits. You can end the afternoon along the Seine on the Pont des Beaux Arts. If your timing is lucky, there will be a DJ spinning tunes while you enjoy a bottle of wine, cheese and the perfect Parisian sunset. It becomes quite clear that you will not conquer Paris in a weekend. We’ve compiled the list of Galavante favorites for those who are in Paris for the first time, and those who have experienced it all. These recommendations are so good you’ll find yourself partaking in both lists, no matter where you are in your relationship with Paris. Either way, you’re in it for the long haul; Paris is a life-long, sometimes torrid and sometimes just comfortable, love affair.