Royal Garden Champs Elysées
Royal Garden Champs Elysées has recently undergone a makeover of its 72 rooms, suites and apartments. The hotel, which holds a prime location near the Champs Elysées and the Arc de Triomphe, has been transformed into an elegant and modern space decorated in the French style. Upgrades include parquet floors and fitted carpets. Two floors of the hotel now give priority to luxury business clientele and offer four spacious meeting rooms for conferences and special events. Four-star amenities include a piano bar, 24-hour room service, laundry and dry cleaning, and direct access to the underground car park. Rooms are equipped with double-glazed windows, air-conditioning, satellite TV and WiFi connection. Rates begin at 175 euros.
Hôtel du Petit Moulin
Though the hotel itself isn’t new, the Hôtel du Petit Moulin recently announced that it has joined Romantik, a German hotels group. The four-star hotel, in the historic Marais neighborhood and housed in an old bakery, was completely renovated a few years back by flamboyant designer Christian Lacroix. Each of the 17 rooms is decorated with a unique theme, and each offers its own special ambience that will allow you to experience the Haut Marais. Nice touches like a boulangerie sign and a 17th-century staircase were kept to help retain an old Paris atmosphere. Room amenities include flat-screen TV, WiFi connection, in-room safe, minibar and air-conditioning. Rates begin at 190 euros, and rooms can now be booked directly through the Romantik Hotels website.
New Museums and Exhibitions
Pinacothèque de Paris
The Pinacothèque de Paris has opened a new extension in a building at the corner of the rue Vignon and the rue de Sèze. This new space will hold the museum’s permanent collection and will offer the public an opportunity to view works by artists from all periods, like Tintoretto, Picasso, Rembrandt, Boucher and others. The museum’s opening will kick off with a special theme titled “The Birth of a Museum” and will feature two exhibitions: the Romanov collection and the collection of the Esterházy princes, both of which will run through May 29, 2011.
Musée du Montparnasse
The Musée du Montparnasse, in the 15th Arrondissement, is playing host to the works of surrealist André Masson through April 3, 2011. “A Nomad in Paris” will take you on a tour to discover the painter’s vision of the city. This intimate exhibition will feature more than 60 works, including oils, drawings, collages, documents and photographs that illustrate his love affair with the city he called home.
A major exhibition on French Vietman War photographer Henri Huet’s work is being held at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie. The show, which runs through April 10, 2011, marks the 40th anniversary of Huet’s death. The collection of more than 70 photographs tells the story of the horrors of war but also the compassion, humanity, bravery and courage shared by soldiers. Accompanying the photos will be Huet’s photographic equipment, letters and personal items, which include a gold medallion—the only trace of him found in the Laos helicopter crash that ultimately claimed his life.
Salon International de l’Agriculture
This month, foodies in Paris are in for a tasty treat! One of the largest and finest food trade shows, the Salon International de l’Agriculture, is coming to the Porte de Versailles. The event, which runs from February 19 to 27, will feature more than a thousand exhibitors from 22 countries, many of which will be offering samples of foie gras, wine, cheese, sausage, oysters and more. Also on display will be more than 3,500 farm animals, including cows, pigs and chickens; a pony village; and an aquarium, making the show both fun and educational for kids.
Valentine’s Treat at the Chocolate Museum
Traveling to Paris with your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day? We can’t think of a sweeter way to celebrate than with a visit to the Chocolate Museum. And from now through February 20, couples who share a kiss at the reception desk will get one free admission! That’s a savings of 9 euros, so smooch away.
Napapijri has opened its first shop on the left bank. The high-end Italian sportswear brand has made the St.-Germain neighborhood the home of its second boutique in Paris. Wooden furnishings, plush leather chairs and black-and-white photographs pop against a gray-toned background, presenting a warm and cozy atmosphere in which to shop the entire collection of men’s, women’s and children’s clothing and accessories. In keeping with the brand’s theme of discovery, you’ll also find a collection of books on design, photography and travel.
Les Ateliers de la Maille
Les Ateliers de la Maille has opened its fourth boutique on the elegant rue Cambon. The French brand is known for its men’s and women’s natural-fiber knitwear collections of cashmere, silk and bamboo. The boutique’s light wood flooring serves as the perfect backdrop for its colorful new cashmere collection of jumpers, dresses, coats and coordinating hats, gloves and scarves.
Those shopping for a parapluie in Paris will be delighted to find a new boutique in the 12th Arrondissement. Michel Heurtault, who has dedicated his life to the umbrella trade, has opened Parasolerie Heurtault in the Viaduc des Arts. His boutique offers a wide range of high-end umbrellas, including both vintage and new handmade options in various coverings, such as linen, cotton and silk. “Green” biodegradable options, repair service and a large collection of umbrellas for rent are also available.
Hot New Clubs
A classy and chic club popped up in Paris at the end of last year. The hip new bar called Le Pompon took up residence in a renovated synagogue in the trendy 10th Arrondissement. The multilevel space is a combination bar-and-music venue, offering a nice mix of DJs spinning tunes and live performances, with plenty of room for dancing. And in true French fashion, you’ll also find a secret smoking room.
New for Jet-Setters
Celebrate Mardi Gras in Nice
The French Riviera is a popular destination for sun, sand and surf, but did you know that you can also find one of the largest carnivals in the world there? That’s right: from February 18 through March 8, the city of Nice is hosting its own version of Mardi Gras! This year’s theme is “King of the Mediterranean,” and the carnival will feature 20 days of events including a parade with giant papier-mâché figures, elaborate costumes and over-the-top floats, as well as street art, an ecological “fun” garden for kids, fireworks displays and more. Check the event’s website for more details and a schedule of events.
Editor’s note: Are you a Girls’ Guide member yet? Learn about all the benefits you’ll receive if you join.