Granted, my little world in Paris is very small. Although I always visit a new museum, hot exhibit and trendy restaurants and shops, I do try to support my favorite shops, restaurants and cafés where I feel like Norm on the American sitcom Cheers where everyone knows my name.
View from our living room
Over the course of the twenty-four years I have been traveling to Paris I have always wondered what it would be like to stay in an apartment in Paris. Thanks to Go With Oh my days of wondering are over. With a large selection in their inventory, Go With Oh gave me several properties to choose from on their easy to navigate, user-friendly website. Of course, I selected one in my favorite arrondissement; the sixth just steps away from Place Saint Michel and my area for shopping and café people watching.
We've all received dozens of stupid quizzes to take online that are supposed to reveal something about us that we didn't already know. Silly, but amusing at times. Mr. Weekend In Paris was out jogging before dinner so I jumped on Facebook and took the quiz, "What City Should You Live In?" Sucker!
The très non-scientific survey asks you all kinds of irrelevant questions like what is your favorite
Gal Pal Elizabeth out front of Hotel Lenox
The Charm of Paris refined in Saint-Germain, is how Hotel Lenox is billed, and I would add very accommodating to the list the describes this quaint hotel on the edge of the 6th and 7th arrondissement in Paris. The reservations team were very helpful as I kept switching dates and adding people at the last-minute. They were very patient and emailed me immediately to confirm any changes. I like that!
Multigenerational travel to Paris is easier than most people think, as long as you follow a few simple tips. The usual trip to Paris for me, for over 20 years, has been with girl friends (my Gal Pals) and/or with Mr. Weekend In Paris. This past summer it was about time that fellow Francophile's - my mother-in-law and two sister-in-laws accompanied me as the latest Gal Pals. The rule was that each person had to pick one thing that was on their "bucket list" to accomplish. First priority, of course, went to my mother-in-law, Maryann, as the Matriarch of the group for our multigenerational travel to Paris.
The famous Moulin RougeThere's more to Montmartre than meets the eye. It is usual for most tourists (myself included) to pop out of the Métro at Abbesses and head straight up the hill to Sacre Coeur to the highest point in Paris to check out the spectacular views of the city. On a very clear day you can see for miles and appreciate just how large a city Paris has become. We took a walk with Context Travel Paris docent Marie Dessaillen on our History Walking Tour of Montmartre and were quite surprised at the many things we saw and learned in the course of just three short hours.
While I am usually a fan of shopping at independent boutiques in Paris, I do love to check out what's new and hot at the luxury fashion chains like Chanel and Dior. Luckily, shopping in Paris at Le Village Royal makes you feel as though each shop is an independent boutique. The petit village is accessed through an archway off rue Royal and leads you into the interior of a mansion block courtyard that connects to the opposite mansion block of rue Boissy-d'Anglas. Shopping in Paris at Le Village Royal at any time of year is quite a treat, but at Christmas time it is pure joy. The decorations last year where whimsical and cheery.
La Moulin de Galette - the windmill of the brown bread dates back to the 17th Century. Built in 1622, the mill originally was on another part of the hill, but later located towards the top of Montmartre. This landmark has been witness to some of the wildest history Paris has known. I learned from my lovely Context Travel docent Marie, that the Debray family owned and operated this windmill as a factory to sift flour from the local bran grown nearby. The tasty brown bread, known as galette, was served with milk at first but later was served with alcohol and parties ensued. Of particular note, the wine served was also mostly local as the nuns had vineyards (one still exists today) on the hillside of Montmartre and produced wines from them.
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="300"] Five-Star Four Seasons Paris[/caption]
When planning where to stay in Paris consider what type of traveler you are and what your budget will allow. Business travelers will find that if they stick to the five-star category they will be more than pleased with the size of the rooms and access to WiFi along with business centers and Gold Key Concierge's to help them work more efficiently in the luxury of Paris' best addresses. Room service options are great for dinner for your first jet lagged night in town or for finicky kids. Newer five stars now have workout rooms and fabulous toiletries. No need to bring your own blow dryer!
[caption id="attachment_7210" align="alignleft" width="300"] l'Occitane goodies at Hotel Montalembert, Paris[/caption]
A large part of my job as a travel writer is reviewing hotels. The quality of the bed linens is crucial to my rating, but what will make or break you in my book are the bathrooms. Part of the evaluation I do is examining the hotel toiletries and sometimes the lack there of. It is annoying, at best, to try to fit “needed” toiletry items into the TSA approved gallon-sized zip lock baggy. Mine is usually full because I hate to be caught off-guard. I am a “just in case” traveler who despises over-packing, but find it difficult to avoid. I don’t like to waste precious time shopping for forgotten essentials when visiting someplace spectacular. Wouldn’t it be super to have a definite answer, before packing, as to what amenities will be in your hotel bathroom?