Hôtel 7 Eiffel
Hotel 7 Eiffel is perfectly situated between Les Invalides and the Eiffel Tower in Paris’s 7th Arrondissement. The 32 guest rooms are decorated in subtly hued luxe textiles with modern furnishings and diffused lighting from Italian designers. Amenities include large dressing closets, MP3 docks, individually controlled air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi and even a laptop computer available to borrow. Guests can enjoy cake prepared by chic patisserie Hugo & Victor in the lounge bar between 4 and 6 p.m. Relax on the lovely rooftop terrace, where breakfast can be enjoyed over views of the Paris skyline. Rates begin at 270 euros.
Le Meliá Colbert Boutique Hotel
Located in the lively Latin Quarter, Le Meliá Colbert has recently renovated its rooms. The hotel itself, which is housed within a magnificent 19th-century building, is steps away from Notre Dame and the Seine. The hotel’s 39 rooms now reflect a bright minimalist atmosphere with a neutral palette of taupes, creams, grays, black and white, set against wood furniture. Hotel guests can take advantage of Wi-Fi in the lobby, laundry and dry-cleaning and the hotel’s bar. If you’re looking for something extra special, book the Grand Suite, which offers stunning views of Notre Dame. Rates from 175 euros.
The January Sales
The soldes are here! The soldes are here! This year the winter sales run from January 12 to February 15, 2011. Clothing, accessories and home furnishings will be on sale at boutiques and department stores all over the city. Shopaholics should grab a free copy of the helpful Paris Shopping Book at any of the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau‘s welcome stations or at participating retailers and hotels. Or you can download a copy online. The book is chock-full of info, including suggested shopping itineraries geared toward your personal style—creative, trendy, ethnic or bobo-chic.
Get the free soldes iPhone app, produced by Digi-Guide for the Paris tourist bureau.
New in the 9th: John Lobb
Custom shoemaker John Lobb opened his Paris workshop on rue de Mogador in the 9th. The high-end bespoke service includes custom foot measurements and the choice of leather, style, finish, toe shape, sole and the kind of minute detailing that makes each pair unique and perfectly suited to your feet. The entire process involves about 40–50 hours of work and can take up to two months. First-timers’ shoes will be custom-made from a hand-carved wooden last.
New for Jet-Setters
Though Paris has its fair share of lovely summits with stunning views, nothing can quite compare to Paris from the sky. If you have ever dreamed of a helicopter tour of the city, you’re in luck! French Adventures offers private heli-tours of Paris, Versailles and other parts of France, including Normandy, Bordeaux, Loire Valley and Provence. We’re partial to the Sunset Tour of Paris, accompanied by champagne, and the Best Castles of Paris tour, which takes you over Versailles, Fontainebleau, Chantilly and Vaux le Vicomte.
New Museums and Exhibitions
Musée du Luxembourg Reopening
The long-awaited reopening of the Musée du Luxembourg is set for February 9, 2011. After being closed for more than a year and undergoing a renovation by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, the museum will inaugurate a new reception area and renewed public services. The opening will be marked by France’s first exhibition dedicated to the German Renaissance painter Lucas Cranach. The show, which runs through May 23, 2011, will feature many of the artist’s portraits and female figures.
Musée des Arts Décoratifs: “The Ideal History of Contemporary Fashion Vol. II”
Fashionistas looking to relive contemporary fashion’s recent past shouldn’t miss this show at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. This second installment of the exhibition, which runs through May 8, 2011, showcases designers including Helmut Lang, John Galliano and Vivienne Westwood from 1990 through 2000.
Musée Maillol: “The Treasures of the Médicis”
The Musée Maillol plays host to a special exhibition dedicated to one of the most powerful families in history: the Médicis. On view through February 13, 2011, the show includes more than 150 works and objects covering antiques, paintings, poetry, music, jewelry, furnishings and decorative arts. Some of the grander pieces include an ancient bronze horse’s head, a 17th-century ivory sundial, portraits of the French queens Catherine and Marie and even a delicate gold filigree cradle—a wedding gift to one of the Médicis women.
Grand Marché d’Art Contemporain
Art enthusiasts will flock to Bercy Village for the annual art fair Grand Marché d’Art Contemporain, which takes place from January 27 to 30, 2011. More than 150 artists from France and abroad, including painters, sculptors and photographers, will display their best artwork at La Halle Freyssinet in the 13th. Many Bercy restaurants and food stalls will stay open during the event to offer art admirers a chance to sample their cuisine.
Hot Paris Reads
The Little Black Book of Paris
The 2011 edition of The Little Black Book of Paris is on bookshelves now. This popular guidebook is sleek, portable and boasts a user-friendly color-coding system. Because of its spiral binding, the book folds flat, which is a welcome feature in a travel guide. It contains full-color maps and illustrations and points you to landmarks, mid- to high-end foodie haunts, chic shops and after-dark hotspots. Doesn’t every Francophile gal need a little black book of Paris?
Soldes Special: Cyclobulle
To coincide with the semiannual soldes, Cyclobulle is offering free rides to the Eiffel Tower in its signature electric-powered covered tricycles. From January 12 to 15, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., you can discover the lights of Paris on a tour through the streets as you visit the Concorde, Opéra and the Champs Elysées. Just meet up at the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau reception area at 25, rue des Pyramides, in the 1st.
Paris Fashion Week
Designers, models, celebs, stylists and journalists are descending on the city for Paris Fashion Week (January 24 to 27, 2011). The invitation-only events include fashion shows at venues all over the city showcasing the Women’s haute couture spring/summer 2011 collections from designers such as Chanel, Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Valentino and Elie Saab. Though you may not be on the guest list, parking yourself at a nearby café during the shows guarantees you an amazing people- and paparazzi-watching experience.
Editor’s note: Try the Girls’ Guide concierge service if you want to have everything taken care of for you while you are in Paris, for surprisingly reasonable rates.