Thanks to a nonstop flight between Cincinnati and Paris, I am fortunate enough to step foot in the city at least once per year. Every time, I am swept off my feet. Paris is, as they say, “always a good idea.” In recent years, though, some have been frightened by the increased of terrorist attacks (or attempted attacks) in Paris and nearby cities.
As a result of these unwelcome events, however, the city has become more welcome than ever: security is at an all-time high, the classic “Parisien snobbishness” has toned down in favor of truly welcoming visitors, and – best of all – some of the top hotels in the world have truly rolled out the red carpet with perks ranging from guaranteed upgrades, free (full, 3* Michelin) breakfast daily, roundtrip private airport transfers, and more.
See below for my scoop from my most recent visit to Paris, where I stayed at Le Meurice in August, 2017:
Where did you go?
Paris – for 2 nights – on the tail end of my Danube river cruise with my daughter.
I’ve been to Paris many times …and have been on many a fascinating tour. However, with just one day at the tail end of a jam-packed trip, we opted for more of a “local day”, with just an appointment at the top of the Eiffel Tower anchoring our stay. Being able to live spontaneously was so freeing: it resulted in making a new friend at the playground in the Tuileries, getting a haircut, and two nights of room service in our fancy suite while looking out at the Tour Eiffel.
I’m always surprised when people say they don’t want to go to Paris, because they’ve already been. There is always something to see and enjoy in Paris – even if it’s just a great hotel and a fantastic dinner. GO.
Room service the first night in our room. I had a half bottle of Chablis (when your favorite wine is the standard minibar drink, you know you’re at the right place), and the freshest, fanciest, Alain Ducasse inspired food I think I will ever have in the comfort of my own room. Add in a twinkling Eiffel Tower and a daughter who thinks you hung the moon (even if for one night only), and there’s no way to beat it.
If you don’t want to go on a private trip up the Eiffel Tower, you still must buy skip the line tickets in advance to the summit (because you’ll kick yourself at the second landing if you don’t). Contact me for details.
Know Before You Go:
Paris has a hotel for every shape and size. Left Bank, Right Bank, 5*, boutique yet quaint. Personally, I find the value of paying more for a magical hotel (Le Meurice, Le Bristol, La Reserve, and more) worth it. You’ll get into sold out restaurants, be treated like you are royalty, and will feel the magic of the city. If budget won’t allow the top hotels, there are alternative options that are just fine – just be clear with us on what you’d like, so we can be sure you are happy with your final choice.
Leave room – more than you need! – in your suitcase. It’s impossible NOT to leave Paris with more than you arrived. If you need to expand even further, we recommend picking up a Longchamp bag (if your travel companions complain about the cost, insist you’re “shopping local” !), which you can easily fold up and bring along on future trips as your goodie bag.