Ah, Paris! The city of romance, brimming with history, class, fashion, culture and sophistication. Paris, “The City of Light,” beckons walks along the Seine; sitting in a café sipping an espresso watching lovers strolling hand in hand; locals with bags brimming with market delights; fashionistas walking in their Chanel outfits and Manolo Blahnik shoes du jour. It’s all so overwhelmingly glorious.
Paris rhymes with luxury and continues to be one of the most popular destinations among elite travelers and it’s easy to see why. Paris is a seductress holding out her hand with the finest wines, decadent cuisine, boutiques and the titillation of venues like the quintessential Moulin Rouge.
We have gathered together some of the wonderful things this city has to offer to make your decision to visit easier. Please read on for some insight into one of the loveliest and most exciting cities on the planet and why Paris must be experienced.
If you are looking for the most superb designer outfit, head to the Triangle d’Or – every woman’s shopping dream. This Paris mecca for shops is formed by Avenue Montaigne, Avenue George V and Rue Francois 1er in the 8th arrondissement across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower. This encompasses the world-renowned Champs Elysées with its massive flagship Louis Vuitton store. Avenue Montaigne is lined with all the big names: Dior, Chloé, Céline, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo and Valentino, just to name a few. A gorgeous Hermès store with its original carved wooden storefront can be found on Avenue George V. Other shopping areas of note include:
- Rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré and Rue Saint Honoré (it is split into two parts). Here you will find shops like Dior, Givenchy and Hermès. The original Chanel boutique is just off the main thoroughfare on Rue Cambon;
- Boulevard Haussmann is home to some of the grandest, most elegant department stores that opened after the industrial revolution. Galeries Lafayette takes the award for best interior for its mesmerizing gilded central foyer, topped with a jaw-dropping stained glass dome;
- Sèvres Babylone and Saint Germain des Près is filled with many small luxury shops without the crowds. Begin at Saint Germain des Près to have a coffee at one of the famous literary cafés. End your day perusing through le Bon Marché department store, then stop for some tasty treats at its gastronomic equivalent, the Grande Épicerie.
The Best of the Best Dining Experiences
Every culinary aficionado knows Paris is the “it” place for some of the finest cuisine in the world. There are so many Michelin-starred restaurants here, it is hard to keep track. Arguably, three of the finest that carry three Michelin stars are:
- Alléno Paris au Pavillon Ledoyen is one of the oldest restaurants in Paris. In 2017, it celebrated its 225th anniversary. Yannick Alléno took over the reins of Pavillon Ledoyen in 2014 and began extensive renovations on the interior, making it the showpiece it is today. Alléno is part of a closed circle of the greatest chefs in the world. His visionary approach to culinary art lays the foundations for truly modern cuisine offered at the restaurant;
- Arpège is where Chef Alain Passard's vegetable-driven menu focuses on fresh produce harvested from his own organic garden. He opened Arpège in 1986 and received three Michelin stars a decade later. Like most French chefs, Passard started cooking at a young age. We suggest booking the Terre & Mer tasting menu;
- Restaurant Guy Savoy, named after the chef who owns the restaurant, is the place not only for lovers of fine food, but of the arts and fashion. The relaxed, yet elegant dining room is decorated in dark African wood, beige leather and modern art. Savoy’s cuisine is a mix of true luxury and ultimate simplicity with signature dishes like artichoke and black truffle soup. Guy Savoy also has three Michelin stars.
A Fantastic Side Trip
If you want to skip out of the city for a while, consider spending a bit of time in gorgeous St. Jean Cap Ferrat. Soak up the sunshine on this beautiful peninsula renowned for its exclusive beach clubs, luxury mega yachts and exquisite fine dining establishments. There is always something to see and do in this stunning French Riviera town and while you’re there, the ideal place to relax is Villa O with commanding panoramas of the bay and stunning Cobalt blue hues of the Mediterranean. With room for 10 guests, there is plenty of space for entertaining some old friends and new ones you may have met in Paris. The gardens are as varied as they are magical, navigating through whimsical paths, secluded nooks, day beds, and lavish water features. An excellent rooftop pool presents an outstanding nocturnal venue.
Arouse Your Imagination
Paris has a special place among the global artistic and cultural hubs. The city is overflowing with astonishing works of art and of course it is home of the world’s most recognizable smirk – that belonging to Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Of course, you have to explore the Louvre’s massive collection, but you should also consider taking in other museums. There are venues for visual art in every form here, so grab your camera or phone camera and let your imagination loose. Here are three museums, besides the Louvre, that may prove to be a feast for your senses:
- Musée D'Orsay is an absolute must. It is so wonderful to study art that leaves an impression and you can certainly find your fill at Musée D'Orsay. The collection is housed in a former train station which makes the venue even more alluring. Here, you will find some of the heavy hitters of the art world – Renoir, Monet, van Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec. There is also a vast array of 19th century sculpture and decorative pieces from the Art Nouveau era;
- Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais was originally constructed for the 1900 Exposition Universelle and is the consummate definition of “grand.” It is well-known for putting on major exhibitions on the likes of Marc Chagall, Irving Penn and Paul Gaugin, among others. The building's exterior is incredible with its Beaux-Arts style and steel-framed glass roof;
- Musée Marmottan-Monet was once a hunting pavilion that now lays claim to the largest Monet collection in the world. It houses 165 of the Impressionist artist's works, plus sketchbooks, palettes and photos. Other gems in its collection include works by Renoir, Manet, Gauguin, Caillebotte and Berthe Morisot, 15th century primitives and a Sèvres clock.
The city comes alive when you submerge yourself in the buzz of Le Marais, the historic district replete with architectural character also known as SoMa (South Marais). It is one of the areas of Paris most loved by locals and visitors alike. The 4th arrondissement is full of trendy boutiques, galleries, museums and gay bars. Karl Lagerfeld, Gucci and John Galliano have shops here. You will feel more French with every step you take navigating the slender lanes and thoroughfares. This district has many private 17th century mansions, some of which have been designated as monuments. For luxury travelers who are foodies, you will find something to excite your palate, including traditional boulangeries swimming in decadent sweet treats. In fact some of the big-name pastry chefs have opened up shops here, from Yann Couvreur and Pierre Hermé to Christophe Michalak. Le Marais is a world unto itself and it is most definitely itinerary-worthy.
Remarkably, for a city razed in the French Revolution, Paris retains its esteemed glory, holding you in persistent awe of its grandeur and complexities. As a luxury traveler, LVH can fashion the perfect itinerary for you and your family for an exclusive vacation in “The City of Light.” The list is endless: shopping, dining, day trips, cultural events, shows – we are limited only by your imagination. We invite you to reach out to one of our experienced client relations team members who will begin planning the most amazing time for you in Paris. Not only will you be staying in the most luxurious accommodations with full services and around-the-clock support, but the precious memories you will make are truly priceless!