Paris Pour les Famillis...of All Ages
Updated: Jan 2, 2021
Paris is many things--the City of Love, a fashion mecca, the original home of cafe culture. One thing that the city is not - easy to navigate from the Charles de Gaulle Airport--especially when you are jetlagged. That is why I highly recommend that my clients let me set them up with a driver who will be waiting at baggage claim to escort them directly to a waiting car. Taking the hassle out of navigating the airport and transportation can really start your vacation off on the right foot, especially with kids in tow. If your flight involves multiple stops I am even able to set up a greeter in your connection city, who can help you make your way through the airport, navigate customs and expedite you to your gate, train or transfer.
Now onto the magic of Paris...
Where to Stay
Do you ever step into someplace and get a feeling that you’re experiencing something really special? That is the best way I can describe walking into the Hotel du Louvre. Formerly the Grand Hotel du Louvre, the hotel has been a staple in Paris since the 1800s and two years ago was closed and completely renovated.
From its commanding presence next to the Louvre to its sweeping staircase that greets you when you walk through the door, Hotel du Louvre let’s you know you’ve arrived. Inside, the 164 room hotel combines a timeless chic decor that uniquely balances the intricacies of crown molding with the simplicity of a light gray palette. Rooms are a nice size and well appointed, with the highlight being the views!
Located in the middle of the hustle and bustle of local Parisian life, the Hotel du Louvre is sandwiched between some of Paris’s finest--the Louvre, the Palais Royal, the Comedie Francaise and the Opera Garnier! There are also three metro stops close by for easy access around the city. It really doesn’t get more ideal in terms of location.
The hotel’s Brasserie du Louvre is a gorgeous spot to experience an authentic French meal. Operated by world-renowned chef Paul Boscuse, the restaurant is frequented even by locals for its sophisticated atmosphere and cuisine. If fine dining is not on your agenda, you can still enjoy the food and atmosphere at Brasserie du Louvre at the hotel’s daily morning breakfast (included in your stay when booked with me!). Also in the hotel is the L’Officine du Louvre. With its jungle-like feel and botany-inspired cocktails and food, it’s the perfect place to unwind after a day in the city.
The hotel offers many perks to guests including complimentary small group tours of the Louvre in addition to city walking tours. For an authentic Parisian experience, the staff will pack a traditional Parisian picnic--complete with a picnic basket--for you to enjoy in one of the city’s many green spaces. Finally, should guests arrive early or depart late, the hotel features a Cabin Prive level with four locker rooms, showers, gym, a sitting room and the ability to store luggage. They’ve truly thought of everything!
Book with me to enjoy the following Hyatt Prive amenities: Room upgrade based on availability--this information is available within 24 hours of booking, $100 resort credit and breakfast for two daily.
Experience Paris Beyond the Basics
No number of days or weeks can cover everything Paris has to offer. From famous monuments and churches to art and architecture, the city is full of endless possibilities to explore. What I offer my clients is access to unique experiences that go beyond the standard tourist sites.
Around the City
In a city as large as Paris it can be challenging to get your bearings, especially if it is your first visit. Taking a city tour by Citron, a vintage French car, is not only a great way to get the lay of the land, but a fun experience as well. The cars offer glass roofs, with the option to put the top down in the warmer months, giving you views of Paris from top to bottom. Each drive is about two hours and there is even an option to ride in a sidecar.
For an excellent way to get your older kids and young teenagers excited to see the city, the three hour Breaking the DiVinci Code Tour is a fantastic option. Clues lead you all over the Left Bank, taking you to more off-the-beaten-path places like the Pantheon, Luxembourg Gardens and Saint-Sulpice. My children were engaged the entire time and excited to figure out where the next clue led. When we reached the end, not only had we learned about an area of the city we had yet to explore, but my kids were given an authentic wooden puzzle to commemorate the experience.
If you love to shop, and even if you don’t, the Galeries Lafayette is a true Parisian experience. The massive department store offers everything from couture to children's toys and attracts more than 37 million visitors each year. It is a can’t miss over the holidays--decorated from top to bottom with the most outrageous decorations including a massive themed Christmas tree and endless light displays. Children of all ages will enjoy sipping on a famous Cafe Angelina hot chocolate. A real treat, the hot chocolate is made from melted chocolate bars and topped with mascarpone and whipped cream! The Galeries Lafayette is a great alternative to the original Angelina location, which always has long lines. Shopping lovers can enjoy complimentary concierge VIP access through me. The service will greet you upon arrival with a glass of champagne, store your bags and upon reaching a certain spending level will provide a Longchamp bag, as well as, free transportation back to your hotel. I’m also able to provide access to fashion shows, cooking classes and more.
Take a half day trip to Versailles where in addition to the standard tours, I can arrange guided tours, complete with a bike ride and picnic in the gardens. Other unique experiences I can offer include a tour of Louis XIV mistresses' apartments--which are not open to the public. In fact they are so off the grid, the guide has to use a skeleton key to open the door and radio down to security to turn off the alarm so you can enter. The tour lasts about one hour and includes access to Louis XIV’s personal library and theatre.
History buffs should consider spending a day or even a night in Normandy. Walk the D-Day beaches, visit the impressive Mont Saint Michel Abbey and take a moment to reflect at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial. Truly a moving experience.
Food & Drink
Delicieux is the only way to describe the Sweets Tasting Tour through the 16th Arrondissement. Led by an American-born, European-raised local, the tour takes you to lesser-known spots, giving you the history of some famous French desserts, and more importantly letting you taste them! Try a macaron from Pierre Hermes, taste the famous chocolate divinity--from markets to bakeries, you’ll enjoy plenty of treats along the way.
France is well known for its baguette, but did you know this staple is actually cited as part of the French constitution? Dating back to the French Revolution when residents' hunger and anger caused them to revolt against the monarchy, the French have ensured that “no one will go without bread” by regulating bakers' vacations and forbidding them from abandoning the capital. Since that time, bakers have risen at 3 a.m. each day to start the baking process. Take a behind the scenes tour of bakeries (don’t worry, you don’t have to get up at 3 a.m.) and watch the bakers prep and bake.
Spend the day visiting Champagne houses including Dom Pérignon, Moët & Chandon and Perrier-Jouët, just outside of Paris. A private car will pick you up and take you to your scheduled tastings, with a stop for lunch, before returning to the city.
Enjoy dinner at one of the many restaurants with views of the Eiffel Tower at night. The five minute light show that runs every hour, on the hour, is simply magical.
Arts & Culture
Develop your own scent at a perfume making workshop at Molinard Parfumes. Established in 1849, the famous parfumerie will lead you through the process, showing you how to pair scents. Great for mothers and daughters or groups of women looking to create memories and their own scent to take home.
Take an after-hours tour of the Palais Garnier. Built in the late 1800s, the traditional opera house was the center of controversy after Chagall revealed his controversial dome in 1964. Bright, modern and rudimentary against the otherwise stately building, the dome led to a public outcry and is the focus of this one hour tour.