Good For: Couples, solos, families and business travelers whose
Luxury Paris GuideThe Paris City Guide
Good For: Couples, groups of friends, families and even the solo explorer. This is one of those destinations that caters to every type of traveler, and while it takes some funds to do it up in style, also offers a wide array of restaurants and activities for every budget. It should be no surprise however that the Galavante guide is on the high-end, but always looking to maximize your time and value.
- Staying at a grand French hotel, where you have your pick of the best names, from the Georges V, to the Bristol, to the Mandarin Oriental. You will pay up for it, but in Paris, luxury really does mean luxury, with the best service, room appointments and food that money can buy. Where you stay will make a big difference in your experience of Paris, whether you’re a first time visitor or a hundredth time visitor, like many of our travelers are. Spending an afternoon at the Café de Flore people watching in the St. Germaine. People watching, by the way, is considered a cultural activity in Paris.
- Shopping, and doing some major damage, along the Rue du St. Honore. Even if you live in a large city, the designers seem to stock the best of everything within these stores, so Chloe in Paris is even better than we dare say, in New York. As for Lanvin, forget about it. It’s the absolutely best selection of haute couture that you will find in the world by the famed design house.
- Going French bistro hopping, as food alone is a reason to come to Paris. Over the years, there has been a proliferation of mediocre food in Paris, but stick to our restaurants for the most quintessential, mind-blowing simple French meals.
- Attending an opera at the Garnier Opera House, which paraphrasing Richard Gere in Pretty Woman, if you don’t love opera by the time the performance is complete, you will at least have a deep appreciation for it. The Garnier itself is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world.
- Immersing yourself in the most beautiful museums in the world, from the grand scale Musee d’Orsay and Louvre, which never get old, to the Rodin Museum and the exquisite L’Orangerie.
What to Know: The French get a somewhat deserved bad rap for their intolerance of tourists, and to circumvent this, use your common sense. Leave the fanny, back, and pretty much anything that ends with pack at home. This is a place where appearances matter, so while jeans paired with the latest IRO are perfectly fine along with your Converse-inspired Pradas, leave the acid-washed, yoga pants and other less fashionable choices out of your packing list. While a good hotel will have a good concierge to make your reservations, stick to our insider guides for where to eat.
Stay: Top Hotel Recommendations
Hotel: Mandarin Oriental, Paris
Location: 251 Rue Saint Honoré – Place Vendôme
The vibe: Like the chocolate mousse at Chez Janou, the Mandarin Paris is straightforward and surprise-free, yet one of Paris’s richest treats. From the lavish bathrooms to the huge – for Paris – bedrooms, the hotel offers consummate luxury. Scour the world for Diptyque bath products, and you won’t find them anywhere but here. The same goes for Mandarin’s trademark brand of modern, Oriental-informed indulgence.
Hotel: Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme
Location: 5 Rue de la Paix- Vendôme
The vibe: Local fashion people come here for a balance of modern flair and classic Paris romance. In the chic, skylit atrium a daily breakfast is served, with beautiful French favorites from pain au chocolat to slices of Brebis, while olive-shaded La Terrasse puts a fresh spin on sangria and Moscow mules. And in the same vein, that pervasive fashion angle gets its own minimalist update: Businessmen and –women without time to hit the boutiques can arrange in-suite shopping with an expert styling team.
Hotel: Hôtel Plaza Athenée Paris
Location: 25 Avenue Montaigne, Champs-Elysées
The vibe: Louis XIV would have felt right at home in this legendary retreat on the so-calledplus belle avenue del monde. From antique chairs to that iconic ivy-coated courtyard, it’s unabashedly over the top. And thanks to this city’s associations with over the top (including that famously extravagant monarch), it will remind you exactly where you are. Some hotels could be anywhere. But when you’re here, you’re in Paris.
Price: EUR 695
Hotel: Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris
Location: 31, avenue George V– Champs-Elysées
The vibe: It’s symbolic that at any given moment, the flowers in the main lobby here are more than the average person’s hotel budget. Indeed, the Four Seasons is as comfortable and beautiful as five-star hotels come. Bedrooms are airy, baths are gorgeous and service is impeccable – and frescoes dance above the indoor pool deck. The recent endorsement of Kim and Kanye, who put up their wedding party here, corroborates what guests have said for years: This is the best that money can buy.
Price: EUR 925
Hotel: Hotel Keppler Paris
Location: 10-12 Rue Kepler– Champs-Elysées
The vibe: The most affordable of our Paris selections, Hotel Keppler illustrates that good things come in small packages—or at least they can. The hotel is small on space but big on style, and not in an overcompensating way. The boutiquey décor is so posh that the diminitive space just packs a stronger, more concentrated punch. And at these prices, that’s saying a lot.
Price: EUR 233.10
Seine/Pont des Beaux Arts
(Photos courtesy the Mandarin Oriental, Paris, the Hôtel Plaza Athenée Paris, and the Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris.)