From floating star restaurants to ultra-luxury hotel openings.
13 February 2020
As the much-cited "city of love", one would think Paris is now sinking between clichés and kitsch. The number of tourists who visit the French capital year after year increases and increases. But this does not mean at all that one has to squeeze with the masses through the small alleys known from numerous movies. Because the city has secretly, quietly reinvented itself. So there are small, unusual quarters that have much more charm to offer than the old familiar arrondissements.
If you want to experience Paris like a local, you should check in on the Rive Gauche, i.e. the left side of the Seine. Here, Le Bon Marché is not only one of the best department stores in the world, but also a variety of gourmet temples and lots of great bars. Especially around the newly opened Hôtel Lutetia, there is hardly a restaurant that is not predominantly frequented by Parisians. For all those for whom a Paris trip is not complete without a visit to Place Vendôme and the fabulous Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, there are a few new insider tips in the Marais district: Rue des Archives is considered particularly charming. The best place to start your shopping spree is at the BHV Marais department store, past great boutiques, new concept stores and chic chocolateries and cafés. In the evening, head to the bars on the famous Place des Vosges, where some of the world's most famous artists have lived.
After an extensive shopping tour, it's time to indulge in the city's diverse culture. Always impressive is the Musée du Louvre. No matter how often you visit this museum, the imposing halls paired with the most famous works of art in history never fail to impress. Equally worth visiting is the Musée d'Orsay, a former train station that serves as an impressive backdrop for works by famous French painters such as Claude Monet and changing exhibitions. It's definitely worth asking the hotel concierge about current exhibitions. From the Louis Vuitton Foundation to Hermes pop-up events, there's always something going on in Paris. The new luxury hotels are at least as worth seeing - from chic boutique hotels to international classics - a new opening is added here every month. In addition to the most exclusive new hotel opening, the Hôtel Particulier Villeroy, we take you to the banks of the Seine. There, probably the most romantic restaurant in Europe awaits you with a boat trip of a special kind: star chef Alain Ducasse spoils gourmets in his floating restaurant, the "Ducasse sur Seine", with state-of-the-art haute cuisine and a boat trip with a unique Paris feeling. Somewhat less spectacular but at least as leisurely, end the day in one of the city's many gourmet restaurants with a glass of Bordeaux while enjoying the best of French cuisine. If you want to top it off, sip a glass of champagne on the top floor of the Eiffel Tower - with a magnificent view of Paris at night. A weekend in Paris couldn't be more glamorous - even off the beaten track.
BEST OF HOTELS
palace hotel with exceptional cuisine
Probably the cosiest of all Parisian Palace hotels, this Oetker Group property is located just steps from the Élysée Palas. For that special Paris experience, book into one of the junior suites on the 7th floor of the hotel. While Suite 739 is where the movie "Midnight in Paris" was filmed, it's Suite 738 that offers views of all the city's sights. The real highlight of the property, however, is the service. Location, style and hospitality - Le Bristol convinces as an outstanding overall package.
Double room from € 850 / night oetkercollection.com
Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme
UNOBTRUSIVE LUXURY IN A PRIME LOCATION
For those who love restraint, the Hyatt Group offers a truly unique oasis in the middle of the big city. One of the Highlights are the bathrooms with Asian elements, which offer a walk-in shower with vanity and a Japanese-inspired bathtub. For breakfast, guests meet under the glass dome in the Sense restaurant. In the evening, you'll find yourself in the Michelin-starred gourmet restaurant. The La Mer spa is a great place to relax after a busy day on the streets of Paris.
Double room from € 830 / night | hyatt.com
Hôtel Particulier Villeroy
NEW STAR IN THE LUXURY SKY
In one of the founding houses of Villeroy & Boch, not far from Avenue George V and Avenue Montaigne, new standards have been set since this year. With only 11 rooms and suites and a highly experienced team of butlers, the first hotel in "The Collection" aims to redefine the epitome of a Parisian palace. The interior is as timeless as it is luxurious and only the most expensive fabrics and materials have been used. Star chef Sébastien Sanjou takes care of the culinary well-being.
Double room from € 1060 / night Hotelvilleroy.com
FASHION HOTSPOT ON THE RIVE GAUCHE
The Hôtel Lutetia takes its guests back to the golden age of the city. Its proximity to Le Bon Marché department store makes it a common hotspot for Paris' upper class. After an afternoon at the Musée d'Orsay, the Akasha Spa, decorated in sleek white marble with gold accents, invites you to relax. James Joyce and Serge Gainsbourg were regular guests at the Lutetia, as was Josephine Baker, after whom the hotel bar is named. The highlight of the hotel: the rooms and suites on the top floors with breathtaking views of the Eiffel Tower.
Double room from € 615 / night | hotellutetia.com
BEST OF PARIS
In addition to the best hotel recommendations, we reveal our favourite restaurants and bars for a perfect trip to the French metropolis.Plus: two special insider tips in the Marais district!
1. archives 18-20
A new, cool alternative to the Colette concept store for the style-conscious man: in addition to men's fashion, you can also find international magazines, cosmetic products, interior design and everyday gadgets.
2. restaurant Loulou
A fixed point on every lunch agenda is the "LouLou" directly at the Musée du Louvre. In good weather, the beautiful garden invites you to take an extended lunch break. From here you have a wonderful view of the Louvre - without the crowds.
3. restaurant Girafe
Cocktail art on three floors - this restaurant of the group "Paris Society" is no longer an insider tip, but always worth a visit. The view of the Eiffel Tower is just as unique as the special interior design, which was inspired by Gustave Eiffel's masterpiece.
4. serpent à plume
A bar secret tip at Place des Vosges with excellent cocktails and good vibes. If you can't get enough of the atmosphere, the best thing to do is browse in the adjoining concept store.
5th Ducasse sur Seine
Alain Ducasse's floating star restaurant - probably the most romantic way to dine in Paris. In the electronic boat you can enjoy haute cuisine and the most beautiful sights of the city.
Picture credits: Iwan Baan/Fondation Loius Vuitton; Shutterstock; Le Bristol; Park Hyatt Paris; Hôtel Particulier Villeroy; Hotel Lutetia; pmonetta; Girafe; Loulou Paris; Elodie Chapuis; Serpent à Plume; Unsplash (Alexander Kagan)