I just spent a week in the south of France, and before taking the Eurostar train to London, I decided to spend a few days in Paris. Two hours and 15 minutes city center to city center can’t be beat. A luxury train, it's a smooth ride as you go through fields, then 11 minutes under the English Channel, then through the green countryside of the south of England. No one should spend five hours battling airports and taking a plane, which is a lot more expensive than the train.
Years ago, I spent a lot of time in Paris, since my younger sister went to the Sorbonne University and the family visited her every month. There is so much to do and see in the city, and even in chilly December, it was crowded. The Christmas market was crowded when I wandered around, and I did buy some unique items for Christmas presents. I looked in amazement at the queue to go into Notre Dame. There must have been five hundred people in line.
I stayed at one of our favorite hotels, San Regis on Rue Jean Goujon (www.hotel-sanregis.fr).
It has a great location, is family owned, and it's a member of the Signature Travel Network of preferred hotels. This means that our clients not only get an upgrade if available, but a free breakfast and other amenities. It is in the heart of the Golden Triangle, offers discreet luxury and the warmth of the Champs-Elysees. It is a 19th century private mansion, unique, with 32 elegant rooms and 11 suites all different with their own character. How romantic to have a glass of champagne on your own balcony and look at the Eiffel Tower -- it's the perfect location for a honeymoon.
I had dinner with the owner’s charming daughter, Sarah Georges, in the lovely glass roof restaurant, which was designed as a winter garden, while we chatted about how much the clients from All Horizons Travel love staying at the hotel. They have a superb concierge who can do anything for you, such as opera or theatre tickets, exhibitions, personal shopping, a river cruise, or limousine transfers. They are working with a London hotel, St. Pancras, which I love, to put together a package, which is a great idea. A few days in London, the Eurostar train, and a few days at the San Regis in Paris. The best of both worlds.
Sarah has established a partnership with selected boutiques on the Avenue Montaigne. With an appointment, our clients benefit from a VIP welcome and the best privileges. You can get a larger array of shopping choices at the Parisian department store Le Printemps, providing our guest with special benefits and a VIP welcome. With a three-night minimum stay at the San Regis, guests will be given a VIP card including the following benefits: a dedicated guest relation team, VIP welcome, hands free shopping, multilingual personal shopper, priority tax refund, and local free delivery. The tax benefits can be substantial.
There is a lot to be said for a visit to Paris in December. I love the Christmas illuminations on the Champs-Elysees and the elegant Avenue Montaigne just steps from the Hotel San Regis. These lights start on November 20. I love wandering the neighborhoods and while having a coffee in a little bakery shop, I counted 48 different kinds of bread for sale. My husband grins and says a trip to Paris in December means I need an excuse to wear my mink coat, which doesn’t get much wear in Los Altos.
You don’t need a car in Paris. I walk, or use the Metro.