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We’d all love to visit Paris on a 5-star budget, stay in a luxury hotel, and have an expert staff on hand to coordinate everything from restaurant reservations to private tours of the Louvre. While that may be a bit of a rêve for most of us, you can get tips on the latest happenings (luxe and not-so-luxe) from the city’s concierges-bloggeurs.
Le Discret by Hotel Lutetia
Hotel Lutetia, in Saint-Germain-des-Pres, is a relative newcomer to the blogosphere, starting its online tip sheet last February. Le Discret (the Discreet Person) posts helpful tidbits on what to see and do during your Paris stay, as well as where to eat and shop. Top tip: the Fromagerie Barthélémy in the 7th Arrondissement, a cheese shop with over 250 types of cheese that is frequented by notable Parisians like Charlotte Gainsbourg and Catherine Deneuve.
A few of ShermansTravel.com’s editors and writers have visited the City of Light recently, and since then we’ve been hard at work updating our Paris Travel Guide. Among our top finds are a slew of new and newly renovated hotels that put a fresh sheen on this timeless city:
- Shangri-La Paris debuted last December, the first European outpost of the Hong Kong-based luxury brand.
- Le Pavillon des Lettres, opened in November, devotes each of its 26 rooms to a letter of the alphabet and corresponding author – think H for Hugo and V for Voltaire.
- At Hotel Le Bristol, stay tuned for a new spa and a permanent home for the hotel’s three-Michelin-starred gastronomic restaurant.
Check out our Paris Hotels guide for the full scoop and even more new hotels!
Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates and travel deals on flights to Paris.
As one of six so-called “palace” hotels in Paris – which go beyond even the elite 5-star standard – Hotel Le Bristol (www.lebristolparis.com) exudes opulence from its very core. From its beginnings as a glamorous 18th-century residence to its opening as a hotel in 1925 to today, the Le Bristol offers an exemplary level of service that one would expect from such a prestigious (and pricey) establishment.
Not content to rest on its laurels, Le Bristol pumps in 5 million euros each year for renovations. The hotel opened a new wing in 2009 with 26 rooms and suites plus a new brasserie restaurant, 114 Faubourg (more on that later). Next up, Le Bristol will double the size of its French-style spa as well as create a permanent home off the central courtyard garden for its 3-Michelin-starred Gastronomic Restaurant, which formerly rotated between two locations for summer and winter; the restaurant will be complete by July 2011.
Shopping in the city is hard work – who wants to carry all those bags? Avoid arm fatigue with Hotel Le Bristol’s (www.lebristolparis.com) fleet of two Smart cars, available as 3-hour rentals for just 10 euros. Though they only seat two passengers, the cute little autos pack plenty of trunk space for an afternoon shopping spree (unless of course you’re on the hunt for an antique armoire at the Paris flea markets). Plus, parking is a cinch. The Smart cars will be especially useful during the next soldes, the biannual sales; the summer soldes typically begin on the third Wednesday of June and last for six weeks. Guests can reserve a car through Le Bristol’s concierge desk.
Le Bristol is well-positioned for no-holds-barred shopping, with all the high-end stores (like Chanel and Hermès) that line the hotel’s Rue du Faubourg St. Honoré. For hip boutiques, head over to the Marais in the 4th Arrondissement. Two of our recent favorites for scoring pieces that would make any Parisian fashionista jealous are Maje (multiple locations, www.maje-paris.fr) and Beija (123 Rue Vieille du Temple, www.beija.fr).
For general trip-planning information, see our Paris Travel Guide.
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