75008 Travel Guide

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Plaza Athénée Paris Is Going Head to Head With The Peninsula, Reopening August 1

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  Site Where: 25, Avenue Montaigne, Paris, France, 75008
July 17, 2014 at 8:55 AM | by | Comment (1)

August 1 will be a big day in Paris: not only is Peninsula Hotels finally opening its rather grand entry into Europe, the Plaza Athénée will start welcoming guests again after a closure of just under a year.

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5 Things to Do at Paris’s Fouquet’s Barrière When You’re Too Jet-lagged to Leave

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  Site Where: 46, avenue George V, Paris, France, 75008
July 11, 2014 at 2:21 PM | by | Comments (0)

We’ve all had those days while traveling overseas when you can’t quite get the gumption to leave your cozy hotel world and explore the greater world outside. We recently had one of those days while staying at the celeb hangout, Fouquet’s Barrière in Paris (a Luxury Hotels of the World property), and have put together a list of things to do if agoraphobia hits you too.

1) Food glorious food: Fouquet’s has five restaurants and three bars, not too shabby considering the hotel has only 81 rooms. Our favorite places to hang out were at Le Bar Marta, with its black and white 1930s Hollywood glam design and La Petite Maison de Nicole because, heck, if it’s good enough for Jay-Z and Beyoncé, it’s good enough for us. The food at La Petite Maison is best-described as gourmet southern France comfort food. That means Macaroni with Truffles and Provençal Ratatouille. If you go on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday evening you can groove with one of the resident DJs.

2) Shop at the front desk: There is no reason you can’t still shop if you don’t leave the hotel. If you’d like to buy the monogrammed robe you can certainly do that, but you’ll also find five proprietary perfumes, yo-yos, aprons, pencil sets and Panama hats. Some products are on display throughout the lobby, some in your room, and some are found at the front desk.

Three more tips below!

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Inside Suite 335 at Four Seasons George V in Paris

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  Site Where: 31, avenue George V, Paris, France, 75008
July 10, 2014 at 5:05 PM | by | Comments (3)

Last week, we gave you ideas for things you can do at Four Seasons George V if you can’t afford the pretty penny it costs to stay there, but still want a piece of that luxury pie. Now we’re going deeper inside to give you a peek at one of the coveted suites at the hotel – Suite 335.

Suite 335 is a Four Seasons Suite, the lowest rung on the suites ladder at George V. After it comes the Deluxe, Premier, Duplex, and Empire Suites, and all the way up to the Penthouse Suite. The Four Seasons Suites are not to be scoffed at, however, as runts of the litter, for they range in size from 650-750 sq ft and have the old-world elegance found throughout George V plus all of the mod-cons you need to carry on with your daily life.

Plenty of pics below!

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Hilton to Debut a New Look for the Concorde Paris Opera in September

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  Site Where: 108 Rue Saint Lazare, Paris, France, 75008
July 3, 2014 at 1:47 PM | by | Comments (0)

Already, the pending arrival of the Peninsula Paris has other luxury hotels in town shaking in their fashionable, custom-made boots.

Yet while the Concorde Paris Opera isn't quite on the same luxe level as the Shangri-La, The Mandarin Oriental or the George V, the hotel has decided to take on a rather expensive makeover, to the tune of $50 million. After which, it will also turn into a Hilton. The Hilton Paris Opera to be precise. (We covered the Concorde rebranding news here.)

First signs of the new look should debut in September with the finished product, which is being overseen by Parisian based ERTIM Architects in collaboration with Richmond International of London, to be ready by early next year. The hotel will remain open throughout the construction but in the end, all 268 rooms will be made over and a new bar will be introduced. Here are the details:

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5 Things to Do at the Four Seasons George V Without Booking a Room

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  Site Where: 31, avenue George V, Paris, France, 75008
July 3, 2014 at 11:31 AM | by | Comment (1)

Paris is crazy expensive, especially when you get into the five-star hotel world, but who doesn't want a hit of that kind of luxe?

Here's how to get your glam on at one of the most iconic hotels in all of hoteldom without having to spend the night: the Four Seasons George V in Paris where rooms start at 1,000 Euros a night. Your bank account will thank us.

1. Cocktails at Le Bar: Fresh off a renovation, Le Bar is the cheapest, er, easiest way to take in the ambiance of the George V. We recommend the George Fizz champagne cocktail for 28 EUR ($38) because hello, it's champagne. Mixed with fresh strawberries, raspberries and orange juice, as well as guava juice, we thought it had more than enough vitamins and phyto-nutrients to cancel out the alcohol.

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A Magical Mystery Tour of Buddha-Bar Hotel Paris

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  Site Where: 4 rue d'Anjou, Paris, France, 75008
June 25, 2014 at 2:17 PM | by | Comments (0)

Now that the word is out regarding the sale of the Mondrian Soho to the Buddha-Bar Hotel Collection owner, Gerard Guez, we thought you might like to have a peek at the fairly-new Buddha-Bar Hotel Paris (opened as a Preferred Boutique Hotel in June 2013) to get an idea of what all the brouhaha is about regarding these properties in Paris, Prague and Budapest.

The 56-room Buddha-Bar Hotel Paris is located right in the fashion heart of the 8th arrondissement (and is often used in fashion shoots), just off Faubourg Saint-Honoré but, when you enter, you feel as if you’re not in Kansas (or Paris) anymore. All looks standard-issue Paris on the outside of the 1734 building, but step inside to face the 120 red-glass lanterns hanging at the entrance, and you imagine that you’ve been thrown into the movie classic, “Shanghai Express.”

With just a hint of opium-den design, the hotel and its rooms are full of mahogany wood, red or black lacquered doors and tabletops, golden brown or yellow walls and carpets, and grey or red sofas and chairs. Greeting you in the lobby, besides the Buddha-like black cat, is the Chinese Dragon woven into the carpet – a motif you’ll find throughout the hotel – as the official protector of travelers to this, and other, foreign lands.

Have a look at the photo gallery!

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What You Should Be Sipping On This Summer at Hotel Fouquet's Barrière

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  Site Where: 46 avenue George , Paris, France, 75008
June 5, 2014 at 4:02 PM | by | Comments (0)

Summer in Paris. Sounds delightful, doesn’t it? Well if your travels take you there, make a pit stop at the outdoor terrace at Le Lucien Bar at Fouquet's Barrière and order the Bombay Fouquet’s cocktail.

And here's why: For the (rather expensive) price of 27 EUR ($36) for a cocktail you're also getting a taste of the true Parisian luxury lifestyle without going the distance and spending the (very expensive) price of 690 Euros ($940) for a room. And there's no time limit. We sipped on that cocktail and munched on the addictive cashews with fresh truffles for a good two hours before we decided to get up and go about our day.

But back to the fancy pants drink itself. Concocted by head bartender Stéphane Ginouvès, voted France’s Best Barman in 2011, the cocktail consists of Bombay Sapphire gin, Martini Bianco, fresh lemon juice, raspberry puree, passion fruit juice and for that French “je ne sais quoi” kick: fresh basil. It was juicy and refreshing, rosy-hued and frothy, and just screamed summer.

Recipe below!

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Harry Benson's Photos of The Beatles to (Briefly) Return to The George V Hotel in Paris

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  Site Where: 31 Avenue George V, Paris, France, 75008
June 3, 2014 at 9:09 AM | by | Comments (0)

We've long known that the Four Seasons, George V Hotel in Paris has hosted many distinguished celebrities over the years (and some reality stars too) but did you know about their Beatles connection?

It turns out, The Beatles made the George V their home base when they were in Paris in 1964. A piano was actually installed in one of the suites and this is where John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote, "I Feel Fine." (This story we knew, the hotel we did not.) That moment was captured by photographer Harry Benson.

Benson also encouraged the lads to have a pillow fight in the room and his pictures of the Fab Four in 1964 are now iconic shots of the boys in their Beatlemania days. Another fun fact? The negatives of these photos were developed in the hotel's bathtub.

Now, the George V is planning to host a brief exhibit of Benson's Beatles photos in their lobby and in front of Le Bar from June 15-June 30. The exhibit will be run by hotel's in-house artistic director, Jeff Leatham.

And (very) lucky for us, Harry Benson himself has answered a few of our questions about his time at the hotel with The Beatles. (Excuse us, while we scream like a teenage girl again and again and again.)

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Jay-Z and Beyonce May Have Ditched Le Meurice for Fouquet’s Barrière in Paris

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  Site Where: 46, avenue George V, Paris, France, 75008
May 7, 2014 at 8:59 AM | by | Comments (0)

With all the brouhaha regarding the Government of Brunei’s archaic and decidedly evil new law approving stoning to death as proper punishment for being gay or having an affair, some celebs have either quietly or openly decided to boycott Dorchester Collection Hotels, which are owned by the Sultan of Brunei.

During our recent stay at Hotel Fouquet’s Barrière in Paris we were interested to hear that the last celebs to stay at the hotel were none other than Jay-Z and Beyoncé, formerly fans of The Dorchester Collection’s Le Meurice Hotel.

In fact, the couple is such fans of the food at the hotel’s restaurant, La Petite Maison de Nicole, we hear they have it delivered to wherever they are in the city.

Fouquet’s Barrière’s past is directly tied to the music and film industry. In 1898 Fouquet’s restaurant opened at the corner of the Champs-Elysées and Avenue George V (where it still is today). When the very first theaters opened in Paris in the 1930s, Fouquet’s was close by and became the go-to place for socializing for both the dealmakers and stars of the shows. Here contracts were signed, cast parties were held and films were premiered.

More below!

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Funky Friday: No Diamond Pendant is Too Big for La Maison Champs Elysees

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  Site Where: 8 Rue Jean Goujon, Paris, France, 75008
March 21, 2014 at 4:37 PM | by | Comments (0)

Welcome to Funky Friday, a new segment we’re trying out which features one photo that we think singularly expresses a hotel’s inner psyche. We look for, and often find, a lot of wacky, wild and wondrous designs that seem to have one thing in common: a Type A personality. So why not have a bit of fun as we all wrap up our week by taking a quick look at some hotels that quite frankly, want our attention.

Have you noticed that when a fashion designer takes on the role of hotel designer, you really don’t know exactly what you’re gonna get? Once the initial hotel of a fashion house opens, we can then look for signature details or some visibly explainable transition from, say, a three-piece suit to a three-room suite.

Judging from the first hotel fully decorated by Belgian designer Martin Margiela, La Maison Champs Elysees Paris, we’re guessing that there won't be another quite like this one. Not even by Margiela himself.

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Before and After: Sofitel Arc de Triomphe Gets the Putman Treatment

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  Site Where: 14 rue Beaujon, Paris, France, 75008
February 6, 2014 at 10:34 AM | by | Comments (0)

We love hotel renovations nearly just as much as we love new hotels. But what we really love about hotel renovations is seeing the transformation that happens when an old, tired and lackluster room gets a modern makeover and transforms into new, spiffed-up, stylish guest room. Or put more simply, we love comparing the Before and After.

In a time where seemingly every high-profile Paris hotel has something going on, Sofitel Arc de Triomphe decided to jump on the bandwagon and go for an all-out overhaul: rooms, public spaces, the lot. Studio Putman was brought in to move from the rather intense cornflower yellow and heavy blue to something more modern and light – check out the result below.

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Concorde Loses Half Of Its Hotels In A Year, What's Next?

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  Site Where: 108, rue Saint-Lazare, Paris, France, 75008
December 23, 2013 at 9:02 AM | by | Comment (1)

Hotel rebrandings happen – they are a fact of life in the industry, whether a result of lawsuits or some other drama, or just a desired change in direction or repositioning. The difference for guests can be substantial if major renovation is involved, and sometimes it is simply a case of one name on the door coming down and another going up.

We’re not entirely sure though what to call it when a hotel group loses half of its portfolio in the span of a single year, which seems to be the case for Concorde Hotels. Earlier this year, Hyatt swooped in and took over the management of four of its hotels (two in Paris, two on the French Riviera), newcomer The Set will be closing the Lutetia soon for yet another full-on French palace hotel renovation, and now Hilton is taking over Concorde Paris Opéra and Sofitel the Concorde Berlin. Seven hotels in twelve months is quite the stampede for the door marked “exit,” is all we’re saying.

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