Claire Ridley discovers where to stay and what to do in the city of love
Exiting the Eurostar at Gare du Nord (a great way to get from London's St Pancras International to the French Capital in just two hours and 23 minutes), I was excited to be back in one of my favourite cities. After a short journey in a chauffeur-driven Mercedes, I arrived at the five-star L'Hôtel du Collectionneur, part of The Gate Collection consisting of four luxury and lifestyle hotels. Just a short walk to the famous Arc De Triomphe and the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, this charming hotel is perfectly situated for honeymooners visiting this passionate city. The golden revolving doors welcomed me in to the stylish lobby where Art Deco-inspired interiors and glittering chandeliers relive the elegance of the 1930s.The hotel boasts 487 rooms and suites, making it the largest independent hotel in France.The spacious Executive Eiffel View room on the seventh floor was my home for the night and, as I opened the doors to my balcony (complete with a table and chairs for two), an uninterrupted view of the iconic Eiffel Tower greeted me.
Wining and dining
unch or dinner in Le Collectionneur is a must-have while staying at the hotel. Breakfast is enjoyed in this charming, spacious area, which is the newly reopened and redesigned restaurant in the hotel following a year and a half of renovations. Marble tables and velvet seats hold a capacity of 240 guests indoors and up to 150 diners outdoors across the three terraces: The Patio (featuring a vegetation wall), La Terrasse and Le Jardin. Gold, silver and bronze tableware decorate each place setting in keeping with the Art Deco theme and there's a focus on fresh products served with the menu updated each season. Highlights include crispy king prawns with homemade teriyaki sauce to start and free range chicken breast in a homemade green curry with green asparagus, candied turnip and shiitake as a main dish. The sleek bar with its Ruinart champagne display serves alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails, and also offers an extensive champagne and wine list.
- Couples can also enjoy a cocktail such as the #1729 signature gin cocktail mixed with elderflower in Le Bar that's accessed via the lobby. A nostalgic tribute to the 1930s, the plush sofas and cosy alcoves offer an intimate atmosphere.
- There's also 24-hour room service and the team can arrange special requests for couples in their room or suite.
Whilst staying at L'Hôtel du Collectionneur, spa lovers should head to The Mosaic Spa, a relaxing retreat offering an extensive treatment menu using Decléor and Carita products. Highlights include the Body Polish and the Thai Massage, and there's also treatments especially tailored for men. The spa is equipped with 10 treatment cabins, an oriental hammam, a Jacuzzi, a sauna, plus a fitness room where couples can hire a personal trainer.
- Those wishing to simply relax on their honeymoon can do so with an espresso on the terrace located in the pretty Andalusian garden.
- Guests staying in the bedrooms and suites located on the sixth and seventh floor of the hotel are offered unlimited access to the Executive Lounge, a relaxation area with a decked terrace where they can enjoy snacks and refreshments throughout the day.
- Cycling enthusiasts can hire one of the old fashioned bicycles for a ride around Paris.
Out and about
The concierge team at the hotel can arrange a private boat trip with the company Yachts de Paris take a leisurely trip down the River Seine taking in the many sights including Cathédrale Notre-Dame De Paris.(HES in pink) Shoppers will love the prestigious boutiques lining the Avenue des Champs-Elysees and, of course, no trip to Paris would be complete without the Insta-worthy snap captured outside Ladurée on this famous street. There's also Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré for its selection of designer stores.
- Art enthusiasts will love the world's largest art museum and historic monument the Louvre on Rue de Rivoli.
- Those wishing to relax and watch the world go by should do so in one of the many sidewalk cafes.
- With the centre of Paris being only a couple of miles wide, it's a great city to explore the many sights, shops, restaurants and bars on foot. There's also the famous Metro that you should experience at least once it's cheaper than a taxi and often quicker!
Prices start from 300 euros per room per night, L'Hôtel du Collectionneur, 51-57 Rue de Courcelles, 75008, Paris, France. Tel: +33 1 58 36 67 00, www.hotelducollectionneur.com
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