Come December, Paris travelers will be asking themselves, “Do you Shangri-La?” In a prime location in the elegant 16th Arrondissement, the popular luxury hotel brand Shangri-La will open its doors in the historic home of one of Napoleon’s grandnephews, built in 1896. The property, which is perched on a hilltop and surrounded by a secluded garden, boasts 81 luxury rooms and suites that will offer stunning views of the Eiffel Tower, the Invalides and other monuments in the city. The restoration is credited to the prominent architect Richard Martinet, and the Empire-style decor is courtesy of Pierre-Yves Rochon. Amenities include spacious marble bathrooms with deep soaking tubs, large walk-in showers with heated floors and 24-hour room service. In addition to a bar, the hotel offers two restaurants, one with fine French cuisine and the other serving authentic Cantonese. Guests will also find a spacious wellness area, which includes a 16-meter pool and a fitness center with personal trainers. Room rates start at 750 euros.
New Museums and Exhibitions
The Carrousel du Louvre is playing host to the 14th annual photography show known as “Paris Photo.” From November 18 to 21, 2010, more than 100 international galleries and publishers will showcase photography of both well-known and up-and-coming talent. This edition of Paris Photo coincides with “Mois de la Photo,” a monthlong photography event. Together the two events make Paris a photography capital of the world during the month of November.
The American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat’s dreams of having a show in Paris have come true years after his death. Marking his 50th birthday is an exhibition at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, which will run through January 30, 2011. The show features 150 pieces produced by Basquiat, a graffiti artist who became a star on the New York art scene. In addition to Basquiat’s own paintings are pieces he collaborated on with Andy Warhol, as well as some unexpected artistic objects, like a painted refrigerator and even a football helmet sprouting a thin moss of human hair.
It seems fitting that the Louvre is hosting a special exhibition called “Le Louvre au temps des Lumières,” a show dedicated to the Louvre during the Enlightenment. A series of paintings and drawings from the years 1750 through 1792 offers a glimpse into the rich history of one of the most prestigious cultural sites in Paris. The exhibition is located in the Sully wing and runs through February 7, 2011.
Foodies will be excited by a special outdoor food market sponsored by the Chamber of Agriculture. On the weekend of November 20–21, Les Marchés des Producteurs de Pays will be on the boulevard de Reuilly in the 12th Arrondissement. Farmers and participants can only sell food they make from scratch, which means the offerings will be both high-quality and authentic.
Also happening that weekend is “Artists’ Studios Open House Days” (November 19–21). Artists and craftsmen in Montmartre are opening their doors to give art lovers a peek into their studios. Ateliers at several locations between Anvers and Abbesses will allow visitors an insider’s look at contemporary art. Visit the orientation office at 8, rue de Milton, in Montmartre, for a map of participating studios.
American Apparel has opened a large store in a prime location in the Défense area of Paris. This American brand, known for its affordable, fashionable basics, decided to showcase its new chic feminine collection in a space with white walls and oak floors. Along with the women’s line, you’ll find collections for men, kids and babies as well.
With several stores already in Paris, Hermès will be opening its next boutique on the right bank in the St.-Germain district. The new location, on the rue de Sèvres, will occupy the space of the old swimming pool in the Lutetia Hotel, which is celebrating its centenary this year. Not only will the store include all of the traditional luxe Hermès lines of leather wear, ready-to-wear, watches and jewelry, and the home collection, it will also offer a bookstore, tea lounge and flower shop. The store is slated for a 2011 opening.
Hot French Reads
The author Vicki Archer, whom you may remember from her fabulously photographed first book, My French Life, is back with a second book about her beloved France, which is being released this month. French Essence: Ambience, Beauty, and Style in Provence is a tome designed to spark inspiration in both the heart and mind. The book has gorgeous photographs of lush gardens, timeless interiors, beautiful village lanes and ornate details. The author also shares some favorite mouthwatering foodie haunts and charming shops. Archer’s words and scenes, along with Carla Coulson’s photography, will delight and inspire those who cherish the French way of life. It would happily find a home on any Francophile’s coffee table.
New for Jet-Setters
Like clockwork, on the third Thursday of every November the highly anticipated harvest of Beaujolais Nouveau is released. This year on November 18 not only can it be tasted in wine bars and cafés all over France, but people in the United States can join the fanfare as well! Georges Duboeuf, one of the largest Beaujolais producers, is hosting celebratory events in U.S. cities like Chicago, Boston, Savannah, Orlando, San Diego and New York. In New York, actress Molly Sims, along with Franck Duboeuf, will uncork a bottle at the party at the District 36 club. Visit www.duboeufnouveau.com to find the parties, and follow arrival events on Twitter @GeorgesDuboeuf and on the Georges Duboeuf Facebook fan page.
Editor’s note: Hate to look like a tourist lugging a heavy guidebook around Paris? Download some of our walking tours today. You’ll be able to carry several printed pages rather than a big bulky book.
Tags: American Apparel, art, Artists’ Studios Open House Days, Basquiat, Beaujolais Nouveau, Carla Coulson, culture, fashion, France, Georges Duboeuf, Hermès, hotels, Les Marchés des Producteurs de Pays, Louvre, Museé d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, museums, Paris, Paris Photo, Robin Locker, Shangri-La Hotel, Shopping, travel, Vicki Archer