By Ellise Pierce
With rabbit-shaped cookies and strawberry water upon arrival, a plush garden rabbit named Hippolyte, and a treasure hunt that takes kids through the property in search of Hippolyte’s garden tools, 188-room Le Bristol
shows kids that Paris isn’t just museums and Michelin stars. Persnickety eaters can order a burger and fries off their own menu or ask chef Eric Frechon to whip up a grilled cheese sandwich without the crust. And while the grown-ups relax in the spa’s Turkish bath, children can play games at the kids’ club next door.
2. Style Seekers
Out and about: At nearby Tuileries Gardens, kids can rent toy sailboats or watch the city’s famous Guignol marionette shows.
Go deep: Walk through the Paris aquarium’s “shark tunnel,” a 36-yard underwater tunnel that’s filled with blacktip, zebra, gray, and nurse sharks. 65 avenue Albert de Mun; 33-1/4069-2323.
The mood is à la mode at the 244-room Four Seasons Hotel George V
, where the concierge arranges personal shoppers and ultrachic avenue Montaigne—with Chanel, Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and the concept store Montaigne Market—is just a short walk away. Shop one, shop them all; then head back to La Galerie
for tea (don’t miss pastry chef Lucien Gautier’s éclairs). Afterward, treat yourself to the hotel’s newest signature spa treatment, the Tropical Magnolia, aimed to calm and nurture—because all that shopping can wear a girl out.
Local favorite: Crimson, a tiny boutique filled with fine cashmere for men and women in sage greens, cool blues, and perfect, cloudy grays. 8 rue Marbeuf; 33-1/4720-4424.
Tie one on: An Hermès scarf, that is. Easy to wear, and it won’t put your bags over the weight limit. 42 avenue George V; 33-1/4720-4851.
From its cozy first-floor fireplace with complimentary coupes de Champagne to rooms decorated in leather and rich velvets, the 28-room Hôtel Esprit St-Germain
defines Left Bank romance from the moment you step inside. Picture a country-home-meets-city-flat vibe: sophisticated yet laid-back—perfect for couples visiting Paris for the first or 50th time.
Toast to this: Sip and snack on fine reds and beef carpaccio at Yves Camdebo rde’s Basque-inspired bar, L’Avant Comptoir, located next to his renowned bistro, Le Comptoir. 9 Carrefour de l’Odéon; 33-1/4427-0797.
Sweet thought: Pick up a box of crispy hazelnut truffles from Un Dimanche à Paris, the concept store for the cocoa addicted from Pierre Cluizel (son of the famous chocolatier Michel Cluizel). 4-6-8 Cour du Commerce Saint-André; 33-1/5681-1818. 1/5681-1818.
Check in: This spring marks the fifth anniversary of chef Yannick Alléno earning three Michelin stars for the 160-room Le Meurice
. To celebrate, he’s created a modern-cuisine menu inspired by his past, with such noteworthy dishes as “Aniel Zelie’s Chicken in a Bottle,” a riff on his grandmother’s recipe that actually features a chicken in a bottle along with foie gras and truffles. Pair that with his famous Paris terroir menu, featuring produce from the Île-de-France, and you’ve got some of the city’s most innovative dining.
5. Art & Culture Fans
Shop like a chef: Find usable souvenirs such as copper roasting pans and sauciers at E.Dehillerin. Julia Child loved this place. 18 rue Coquillière; 33-1/4236-5313.
And sip like a local: Tucked away on a quiet street off busy rue de Rivoli, Le Garde Robe’s organic wines, oysters, and charcuterie plates heaped with Ibérico ham may make you cancel dinner reservations. 41 rue de l’Arbre Sec; 33-1/4926-9060.
With Philippe Starck’s interior design, Le Royal Monceau-Raffles Paris
has emerged from a two-year renovation looking as comfy and quirky as your eccentric aunt’s parlor. Guests peruse stacks of coffee-table books and nibble on Pierre Hermé macarons in its oversize denlike lobby, pick their own flea market glassware when ordering drinks at Le Bar Long, and read framed notes and letters from Jean Cocteau in its 149 rooms. There’s also a resident “art concierge” to arrange private museum showings or help collectors track down a hard-to-find Picasso.
Originally appeared in Virtuoso Life magazine, March 2012.
Art walk: A ten-minute walk away, less-touristed Jacquemart-André Museum features works by Botticelli, Rembrandt, and other big names among its collection. 158 boulevard Haussmann; 33-1/4562-1159.