Located at 25 Avenue Montaigne, 08. Champs-Elysees Paris in the centre of Haute Couture is the five star rated Dorchester Collection chic Hôtel Plaza Athénée. It's superbly located and nearby Alma Marceau Metro Station making it an ideal base for exploring all this beautiful city has to offer including superb vistas of the Eiffel Tower which is only a 15 minute stroll away. The hotel has a long and illustrious history going back to 1913 and has frequently served royalty, politicians and many world renowned celebrities. The hotel offers style, glamour, al fresco dining in its enchanting courtyard, spa, sauna, wellness centre, golf course, ice rink, currency exchange and recently refurbished bedroom and suites.
With 154 rooms and 54 suites designed and decorated in gorgeous Louis XVI style many with outstanding views are typical of Parisian style and opulence. Guests can choose from rooms and suites featuring stunning Italian marble bathrooms with luxurious fittings, complimentary high speed internet access, pillow menu for ultimate comfort, antique furniture, plasma screen TV with a choice of 200 on demand movies, personalized minibar, cosy sitting areas, separate dressing rooms, works of art, in room IPad with room service capability, scented toiletries and private safe. The accommodation includes six Presidential Suites designed in French Regency design with a lounge and grand bedrooms oozing charm. Eiffel Suites with stylish Art Deco décor, king – size beds and sumptuous master bedrooms and a voluminous Royal Suite with striking antiques, French Regency furniture, lavish sitting room, four bedrooms, kitchen, dining room, balconies with unrivalled views.
Dining is also a memorable occasion at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée with a selection of five unforgettable restaurants and a stylish bar, each with its own unique atmosphere to suit all budgets and moods. Very popular is the recently refurbished Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée serving the finest French haute Cuisine a culmination of 25 years of culinary dedication combined with the very best of attentive service and a huge selection of world class wines selected for each course by the restaurants Head Sommelier. The 1936 Le Relais Plaza restaurant designed throughout in Art Deco style is the place to be seen and one of the premium establishments to enjoy the finest of grills cooked to perfection. Other choices include the seasonal La Cour Jardin open for al fresco dining during the summer months, La Terrasse Montaigne for tasty snacks and cocktails and Le Bar du Plaza Athénée for evening entertainment and unrivalled Parisian Coctktails.
For those who have over indulged and feel a little guilty why not hit the hotels Fitness centre? where you can work off the excesses with the help of personal training and customized fitness regimes and afterwards relax in the sauna and steam room. For those who feel like additional pampering is required there is the “Dior Institut” for the ultimate beauty experience. Highly proficient and qualified therapists offer guests the very finest of Dior products and treatments specifically designed for each individual client with consultations, back massage, in-depth skin examination, micro-abrasion techniques, shaping exercises, perfume and makeup.
The hotel is also ideal for business meetings and those most special of occasions with five spacious function rooms each equipped with the latest gadgetry and technology. You can choose between the regal atmospheric ballroom , the Le Salon Organza overlooking the inside courtyard or connected event rooms bathed with natural light, whatever you’re choice the experienced hotel staff will make it an unforgettable event. You might want to check out the these things to do in Paris or our Paris overview.
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Paris is located on the banks of the River Seine in the north of the country and has been an important settlement for more than two thousand years. With more than 12 million residents it is one of the most densely populated cities in all of France and has the reputation of being one of Europe’s most romantic and beautiful cities. Since the 12th century Paris had become one of the largest centres for the arts and learning in all of Europe.
This deep and rich cultural heritage is seen all around when visiting Paris with more familiar iconic landmarks than most other cities in the world. It is known by a variety of names dubbed the “Capital of Fashion” and the “City of Light” and remains influential in the arts, fashion and culture, design and food. It is the base for many of the World’s most famous fashion and cosmetic brands such as Christian Dior, Guerlain, Chanel, Clarins, etc.
It’s easy to see why Paris is one of the top tourist destinations in the world with over 45 million tourists visiting annually, not only does it have some of the world’s most famous landmarks it also is a Shoppers delight with luxurious boutiques full of designer labels, incredible department stores, Antique shops, Art Nouveau and the famous Porte de Vanes flea market open on weekends. It’s worth noting although Paris is a shoppers paradise many of the shops and stores close on a Sunday so plan ahead to avoid disappointment. Night time entertainment is wide and varied and ranges from fabulous opulent Opera, cancan at the famous Moulin Rouge and wild and sleazy crowd parties around the Bastille and techno parties on the River Seine, whatever you want you will find it in Paris. Eating out is a rite of passage in Paris with amazingly luxurious restaurants serving Michelin Star meals, “Bistronomiques” combining gastronomy with bistro prices to small river side cafés serving more traditional French food.
So much to see and so much to do, so when in the best time to visit? Each season has its own pros and cons and it depends on what you want to achieve during your visit and of course your budget. Springtime is a busy time of year with many tourists visiting Paris to experience the city with its blossoming flower displays. The streets, museums and stores are not yet heaving with the summer crowds and it’s still possible to get some cheap low-season rates but to avoid disappointment it’s wise to book accommodation early. Summertime can be hot and humid with throngs of tourists replacing the Parisians who vacate the city for their summer holidays. There are many open-air events and festivals during this time alongside great bargains in the summer sales, expect long waits at all the major attractions, public transport is often overcrowded and at times a little uncomfortable, at this time there is the usual increase in Air fares and hotel rates. During the low seasons of Autumn and Winter Air fares and accommodation rates begin to decline and most of the attractions that remain open are free from the huge crowds of the summer, The weather can often be dull, gloomy and on the chilly side encouraging most visitors to seek refuge in many of the galleries, museums and institutions which are open to the public all day and night for free during annual events such as the “White Nights”. Winter festivities and holidays bring a magical touch to the streets of Paris with the Champs-Elysées lit up with thousands of fairy lights and decorations whilst other parts of the city are short of Christmas cheer. There are many enchanting Christmas markets with homemade goods for sale and bargains to be made as well as the designer boutiques and department stores full of expensive named merchandise. Take a peek at 5 cool things to do in Paris or you might like this luxurious Parisian hotel?
One of the top attractions in Paris has to the Eiffel Tower named after its creator Gustave Eiffel. The tower is one of the worlds most visited structures, it was constructed out of 12,000 iron pieces, weighing over 7000 tonnes and held together by 2.5 million rivets. It was built for the 1889 World Exhibition and is an impressive 324 metres high giving the visitor unrivalled vistas of Paris and its surrounding area. There are three levels which can be accessed by the public, the first two levels each with their own restaurants can be accessed by 300 steps each if feeling like a challenge but for most visitors they take the lifts located in the north, west and east pillars. The third and highest level can only be reached by lift; stairs are present but rarely open to the public. If time is a constraint during your visit then it’s best to buy tickets well in advance online to avoid the huge queues which are often present during the summer season.
In the early days Parisians were not sure the tower fitted in with the general architecture of Paris but today Parisians could not imagine the city without the ever present tower which has become a symbol of the “City of Light”. Each evening in Paris the tower lights up in a dazzling display which can be enjoyed from almost everywhere in the city. Since its construction over 200 million visitors have been drawn to this iconic structure and it’s easy to see why when standing at the foot of this imposing Tower, a definite “must see and do“ on any tour of the city.
Located top of the Montmartre Hill this majestic Basilica is a major tourist attraction towering over the city from its prominent position. Construction began in 1876 in a downtown part of Paris in a former small village and farming community which quickly became the home of many artists and craftsmen who have been ever present since those early days. The leading architect Paul Abadie died before its completion in 1884 and was succeeded by the equally talented architect Lucien Magne who added the world’s largest Savoyarde Clock in the 83 metre tall clock tower. It is a wonderful place to visit and the panoramic vistas over Paris and its surroundings are magnificent, after visiting the Basilica a stroll around the surrounding area is highly recommended. Today it is full of artists and craftsmen selling their goods, for a great holiday memento stop at one of the many artistes and have your silhouette drawn, mounted and framed while you wait. Interesting fact about the Sacré-Coeur Basilica, the stones used in its construction the Château-Landon stones react with rain water to produce calcite which bleaches the stone keeping it white.
The Louvre Museum
Formerly a royal palace the Louvre is undoubtedly one of the most outstanding museums in the world with over 8 million visitors flocking through the doors to see some of the most important works of art in the world. The collection has been housed in the enormous Louvre Palace in the very heart of Paris since the 16th century when King Francis I began his private collection, the renowned “Mona Lisa” being one of his outstanding purchases. The collection steadily grew over the centuries to over one million works of art with 35,000 on display in three large wings: Richelieu, Sully and Denon the most crowed of the wings containing the “Mona Lisa” the Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece. The collection contains fantastic exhibits of Greek, Roman, Etruscan, Near Eastern and Egyptian antiquities, Sculptures including the “Venus of Milo”, Islamic Art, Paintings, Drawings and prints.
The museum itself is a piece of art, entering through the once controversial “Louvre Glass Pyramid” the main entrance to the museum, constructed in 1989 by American architect I.M.Pei it allows copious amount of sunlight into the underground level. Surrounding the glass pyramid entrance are the fabulous “Carrousel Gardens” amongst some of the most superb in the world.
One of the finest examples of Gothic architecture to be found anywhere in the world Notre Dame located on Ile de la Cite attracts millions of visitors and worshippers every year. Construction began in 1163 under the reign of Louis VII but was not completed until 1345 due to continual modifications and enlargements. The final Cathedral was truly monumental in size, 48 metres wide, 130 metres long, and 69 metres high, “The South Tower” contains the famous Emmanuel Bell weighing in at an incredible 13 tons. The Cathedral became the archetype for future cathedrals that were built in France in the following centuries. During the Revolution much of the interior including sculptures and gargoyles were demolished or removed. During the 19th century a 20 year restoration program began to restore it to its former glory and these days there are plenty of attractions for visitors to see.
The stained glass windows are beautiful examples and many of them date back to the time of the original construction, the three “Rose Windows” are the finest example of original surviving glass which gleam like precious stones over the South and North Transept and West door .The most notable feature of the West front of the Cathedral are two 69 metre towers connected by the Grand gallery containing the fabled gargoyles added during the restoration of the 19th century. In the “Kings Gallery” there are statues of 28 Kings of Israel and Judah which replaced those decapitated during the Revolution. The three West Portals of Notre Dame contain fabulous examples of the artistic skill of the early gothic craftsman with scenes depicting the “Last Judgment”, “Virgin Mary” and scenes from the life of “The Virgin Mary’s Mother”.
Notre Dame is open daily from 8am to 6.45pm Monday to Friday and &.15pm on weekends and entry is free during these times.
Arc de Triomphe
Located at the end of the Champs- Elysées at the junction of 12 prominent avenues is the arch an imposing structure rising to 50 metres in height, it was commissioned in 1806 by napoleon to commemorate his many victories but it was not completed until after his demise in 1836. The Arc de Triomphe contains many reliefs mainly commemorating Napoleon’s successful battles with 30 shields containing the names on top of the arch. Below the arch is the “Grave of the Unknown Soldiers” dedicated to the numerous who paid the ultimate price for freedom during the First World War. There is no elevator in the arch so be prepared to climb the 234 steps up to the viewing platform with fabulous panoramic views of the Champs- Elysées, La Defense and Sacré-Coeur.
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