After a long renovation at the hands of Philippe Starck, Le Royal Monceau hotel is reopening. The property occupies a coveted spot near the Arc de Triomphe and offers 149 rooms, two restaurants, two lounges and a luxe 15,000-square-foot spa. Each room is decorated as a homage to art and culture. Some have art books and writing desks, but each is equipped with an acoustic guitar. And as extra icing on the already sweet cake, world-renowned pâtissier Pierre Hermé will be creating the hotel’s desserts. Rooms start at 730 euros per night. Reservations are now being accepted for stays beginning October 1, 2010. Take note that the pool, spa and fitness center are slated for a January 1, 2011, opening.
Le Pavillon des Lettres, the sister hotel to the Pavillon de la Reine, has opened in the 8th Arrondissement. The hotel boasts a literary theme: each of the 26 rooms is dedicated to a letter of the alphabet and represents the soul of a literary great. Amenities include air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi and an iPad in every room! Rooms start at 300 euros.
New Museums and Exhibitions
The Grand Palais will play host to Claude Monet’s first major exhibition in more than 30 years. Reportedly, more than 200 paintings will be on display from September 22, 2010, through January 23, 2011. The show will span his long career, and will include his early landscapes in Normandy and the Paris region from the 1870s as well as the famous collections of gardens and ponds in Giverny. Visit the Grand Palais for more information.
The 25th edition of the Biennale des Antiquaires will be held from September 15 to 22, 2010. More than 80 exhibitors and 7 leading jewelers will present the finest examples of antiques, art, jewelry, paintings and furniture in the perfect setting of the Grand Palais. This year’s show will feature 25 up-and-coming dealers new to the biennale, each exhibiting an item of his or her choice.
Each September la rentrée—the nation’s return en masse from two months of vacation—brings the chance to explore both public and private buildings in Paris. On September 18 and 19, Les Journées Européennes du Patrimoine will allow you to behold the glamour of predominantly 17th- and 18th-century Parisian interiors. This year’s theme illustrates the memory of men and women whose image, life or work shaped France’s history. Parisian sites on the list include the Hôtel de Ville, Archives de Paris, Hôtel d’Albret and Hôtel de Lamoignon.
The rentrée littéraire, a concept unique to France, began in mid-August and runs through November. It is the most important period in the publishing year: between 600 and 800 new books hit store shelves simultaneously. This year there are about 700 novels and 200 essays being featured. The end of the literary rentrée is marked by the announcement of the authors who have won France’s top literary awards, such as the Prix Goncourt, Prix Femina and the Prix Renaudot.
Fashion designer Agnès B. recently launched a très cool new website that not only shows off her clothing but also the other interests that shape her universe—art, music and cinema. It’s a unique online concept store with loads of cultural content and plenty of ways to keep up with her world. The site features b. side magazine, showcasing Paris events, tips on the latest trends, new books and movies—even new music on the b. radio airwaves. And you can still shop the full collection of clothing and accessories.
Mylène, a Belgian concept store, opened its first Paris boutique on rue Notre Dame des Champs in the 6th Arrondissement. The midprice brand, which has been around for 45 years, specializes in well-being for the entire family and offers high-quality products both for the body and the home, at an excellent value. They also offer a loyalty program—for every 150 euros you spend, you’ll receive 15 euros. Workshops and seminars on facials and the latest trends will be forthcoming.
New for Jet-setters
All rested up from your summer away from Paris? You’ll want to get right back into the Paris party scene. With the new iPhone app called Paris Guestlist, you can do just that. Paris Guestlist lets you find the best soirées at the most exclusive spots, from nightclubs and discotheques to lounges and art galleries. You will also find private parties, spring and summer picnics and outdoor festivals, black-tie galas and balls, private sales, fashion shows and sample sales. The app, which is available on the iPhone, iPad and iPod, is also integrated with Facebook so you can tell all your friends where you’re partying!
The Eiffel Tower just launched a ticketing service on its website, which will help you avoid waiting in those long lines. Tickets can be purchased in French, English or Spanish for individuals as well as groups. You can print your ticket and bring it along or go paperless by downloading the bar code of your e-ticket on your mobile phone. The tower is also joining the iPad craze by offering visitors the chance to rent one programmed with the official guide to the Eiffel Tower. For 7 euros per hour, you can discover exceptional views of Paris, and of the tower’s champagne bar, restaurants and shops, and learn interesting tidbits about Paris’s most iconic monument.
Air France coaches has created a new single Line 1, which combines Line 1 and 1* and links Orly airport to place de l’Etoile, with stops at Porte d’Orléans, Gare Montparnasse and Les Invalides. The shuttles will be available to all airlines at Orly and will run daily from 6:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., at 30-minute intervals. All coaches serving the new line will have baggage handlers for passengers’ luggage. There will also be access for disabled travelers.
New (Yummy) French Reads
Rentrée is about renewal, and renewing your love for French food should be no exception. The new cookbook Around My French Table is author Dorie Greenspan’s collection of more than 300 simple and delicious French recipes. The book is packed with fun stories, memories, tips on French culinary customs, mouthwatering photos and Greenspan’s version of classics like onion soup and roast chicken, plus her secret to chocolate mousse.
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