What do you do on your millionth visit to a city? There’s an endless supply of travel guides offering tips for first and second visits, but when you’ve worked and lived in a city, it can be difficult to find new things to discover on each successive trip. I love Paris, but when my Eurostar train pulls into Gare du Nord and I arrive at Hotel Le Bristol, I’m not sure if I’m going to find anything new this time. But then I discover 8 secret courtyards in Paris that make me fall even more in love with the City of Light.
Paris Fashion Week starts today. I was in the city over the weekend, and big preparations were underway. But fashion isn’t the only kind of art in Paris, and my trip to the City of Light focused as much on other kinds of art as it did on the upcoming catwalk shows. In fact, my time there was artistic all around.
If you were single and Valentine’s Day was right around the corner, what would you do? If you were me, you would travel to the most romantic city in the world. Not because you’re a glutton for punishment, but because there’s no better place to find love than in the city that inspires it most: Paris.
I love Paris. I could spend the rest of my life there. I would never tire of the beautiful architecture, delicious food, and world-class art. But while seeing Monet’s water lilies on canvases in the Musee d’Orsay and Musee Marmottan is one thing, seeing them in person on a Giverny day trip from Paris is another.
Paris’ Right Bank is synonymous with the establishment. From the Elysee Palace to the elegant shops on Rue du Faubourg St Honore, it represents all things traditional. In a city with as much history and culture as Paris, tradition can often mean great things.
Paris is a competitive city. The fierce rivalry between Paris’ Left Bank and Right Bank dates back a long way. The former is known for its artistic, bohemian ways. The latter, being more upscale, is a bastion of the establishment.
With all of the spa treatments, Louvre tours, and personal shopping appointments we enjoyed on our press trip to Paris’ Hotel Le Bristol, my fellow travelers and I worked up quite an appetite. Lucky for us, the hotel had no shortage of high-end cuisine on offer. Even luckier, the staff was incredibly generous in inviting us to experience all of the various culinary options.
My press trip to Hotel Le Bristol in Paris continued to impress. The after-hours tour of the Louvre was amazing, and I couldn’t wait to see what other unique experiences the hotel could offer its guests. I didn’t have to wait long. The following day we were scheduled to meet with a personal shopper who would take us all over the Right Bank. Lacking any talent in the shopping department, I was excited to have an insider’s help in finding the best boutiques in Paris.
As my press trip to Hotel Le Bristol continued, I didn’t think there could be anything more impressive outside of the hotel than inside. How could they top the gorgeous suites, the excellent cuisine, and the relaxing spa treatments? By giving us access to things we couldn’t get on our own, that’s how. This came in several forms, the first of which was a private after-hours tour of the Louvre. Normally reserved for the hotel’s VIP guests, we were the first press group to experience this luxury firsthand.
A week ago I received an email inviting me on a press trip to Paris. Given my love for the city, it I didn’t hesitate to accept. But even if the trip hadn’t been to Paris, I would have jumped at the chance to go. Why? It was a press trip to Hotel Le Bristol, one of Paris’ top five-star hotels, and one of the only European family-owned hotels of its caliber in the city. With a three Michelin starred restaurant, an amazing spa, and gorgeous decor, I couldn’t wait to experience the hotel first-hand.