Bonjour! I just returned from Paris and stayed at a very special hotel … the Paris Le-Grand – InterContinental. Here are 8 reasons to stay here.
It was built in 1862 in a Napoleonic palace style. Even more important to me is the fact that it’s the hotel my mom and I stayed in on our first trip to Paris in 1998. She loved it back then and she would love it even more now since it was refurbished in 2003 but kept its original features.
If you don’t have time to go to the Louvre and Musee D’Orsay you won’t feel guilty because the hallways and restaurants of the Le Grand are filled with incredible paintings.
The hotel is located in the 9th arrondissement, which is in the center of Paris. It’s directly across the street from the Opéra Garnier and two blocks from Galeries Lafayette. You can easily walk to Place de Vendome, the Louvre, Champs-Elysees and even the Eiffel Tower. I did it every day!
4. Café de la Paix
Café de la Paix opened June 30, 1862, to serve the Grand-Hôtel de la Paix. Legend has it that if one sits at the café, one is bound to run into a friend, as the bar is so well-known and popular.
The hotel has 470 rooms and 82 of them have views of the Opera House.
As expected at a five-star hotel the service was exceptional. On arrival, bellmen descended upon the car, delivered my bags to the room within minutes and the clerks in the club room remember your name and what you ate/drank the day before.
There are 23 meeting rooms and the largest is the Salon Opera, which can hold up to 800 (reception style). When you walk in you will realize why it’s a registered French Historic Monument. The best way to view it is lying down on the floor in the center of the room, just as Sharon Stone did a few years ago at an event.
Philippe Lesigne is a long-time employee of the hotel, the chief concierge and a true walking encyclopedia of Paris. Here are some of his tips for exploring the area.
GOOD TO KNOW:
-I was a hosted guest. That’s a good thing because rack rates displayed on a large flat screen TV at reception go for 760 euro ($982) for classic room and 1,400 euro ($1,809) for a Junior suite (which is what I had).
-The drive from CDG airport takes 30-minutes without traffic and the hotel can arrange a shiny new Mercedes that has four small bottles of Evian, newspapers, magazines, and a heated seat.
-Wi-Fi is expensive 8.50 euro ($11) an hour or 24 euro ($31) for 24 hours or 60 euro ($77.55) for 72 hours. You can use Skype as credit but it’s not a great deal — $10 credit will give you just 56 minutes. The best is to have a Boingo account since you can use it.
-You do need a European plug adaptor
-The bathroom is stocked with L’Occitane toiletries
-The bathroom has long, soft towels, that hang near the top of shower door and right next to the bathtub so no scrambling to find one.
-The shower head is high and to make the water really hot you need to push-in the safety valve.
-At times I could hear/feel the rumbling of the Metro – it sounded like a movie theater’s surround sound
-Monoprix (France’s Target) is just a few blocks away so you can by food, clothes, supplies for relatively cheap.