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Paris may just be one of the most romantic cities in the world, and not just because of the typical Eiffel Tower proposals and whispers of French wafting on the breeze over the Seine. This chic city is filled with secret spots for lovers to tryst, and there are so many intimate places to see and special things to do. We asked TPG contributor Lori Zaino to enlighten us on how to have a romantic getaway to Paris that goes further than the typical touristy spots.
Oh, to be in love in Paris! It’s one of the best spots to have a romantic getaway – a heady mixture of trendy and modern juxtaposed with charming and vintage. Read on to see some of the best hidden, sweet and sexy spots perfect for you and your partner to spend an indulgent romantic weekend.
The most obvious thoughts when organizing your special trip is where to stay. There are so many romantic hotels in Paris, and here are a few of my favorites.
The first boutique hotel that comes to mind is the One in Five. With 24 rooms and suites, this love nest somehow manages to achieve a sleek and modern design while still keeping their rooms warm and cozy. It’s located in the Latin Quarter, a great place wander about finding small restaurants, coffee shops and bars. The name of the hotel “One in Five” refers to the stimulation of the five senses. Some of the beds are suspended in air with starry lighting above, and the bar downstairs doesn’t mix drinks, they mix “love elixirs.” Room rates start at 999 euros ($1,385) in May. Nobody said romance was cheap!
Another unique (and more affordable!) boutique hotel is the aptly named Hotel Original, offering 38 unique rooms. It somehow manages to be quaint yet sexy at the same time. It’s location near the Marais between the Place des Vosges and the bustling Place de la Bastille. The hotel was designed by Parisian master Stella Cadente and her inspiration for the rooms was Alice and Wonderland. Each one has a whimsical touch such as a bathtub in the middle of the room that’s sure to guarantee an interesting sojourn. Room rates start at 189 euros ($262) in May.
For a romantic hotel that won’t break your budget, try the Hotel Amour. This sexy, curious hotel will amp up the romance with its unique rooms decorated with vintage antiques and racy photographs. The courtyard restaurant is quirky and quaint. The Hotel Amour is loaded with character and, well, amour! Its bohemian location near Moulin Rouge adds to the whole vibe of the place. Room rates in May start at 225 euros per night ($312).
Prince de Galles is part of the Starwood Luxury Collection. While many larger chain hotels can seem impersonal, this one has more of a boutique, sensual vibe to it, and you can use your points there which is a plus. The property which was built in 1928 is just steps away from Champs Elysees, therefore walkable to many of the main tourist attractions. This hotel is very “Parisian” and has a very French feel to it, so if you are looking for something traditional but still modern, this would be your pick. TPG stayed here over Thanksgiving and gives it the TPG stamp of approval! Room rates start at 495 euros per night ($685), 30,000 Starpoints, or 15,000 points + $275 for Cash & Points in May.
Finally, the Saint James Hotel, which is really more of a country-style château/mansion not far from the Arc de Triomphe, takes you worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the busy city into a magical dreamland that was once a boarding school! Bambi Sloan, the designer for this Relais & Chateaux property, has created 195 sophisticated and stylish rooms, which combined with its secluded location in its own small park in the 16th Arrondissement, has just the right amount of romance. It’s also a private members club as well. For a little something extra, try the honeymoon package, which includes champagne and an instant room upgrade, or experience a treatment at their Gemology spa, which uses minerals and oligo-elements from gems in their products. Room rates start at 576 euros ($798) a night in May.
Restaurants And Cocktails:
There are so many intimate, romantic restaurants and bars to try in Paris, it’s hard to narrow down the field. Wandering through Montmartre, Le Marais or the Latin Quarter, you are bound to find some of your own special spots. But for now, here are some mine!
For a drink, coffee, lunch or dinner try the lovely Bo Zinc Cafe in the 16th Arrondissement. The duck confit may be the best in Paris (and cheapest), and its cute sofa chairs and airy windows by day and sultry evening candlelight make it a gorgeous experience at any time of day or night. Bo Zinc is a hidden gem, and it’s frequented mainly by locals, so brush up on your French before heading there.
If you are in the mood for a creative dinner, head to Sur un Abre Perche, which is a restaurant where some of the tables and chairs are actually swings suspended in mid air. Make sure to request one of these special tables when you make a reservation.
For a typical French bistro, try Frenchie in the 2nd Arrondissement. This restaurant is quirky and intimate, and also features a wine bar across the street if you can’t score a reservation in the tiny bistro (which can be nearly impossible!). Another sultry spot for wine and tapas is Au Passage in the 11th Arrondissement. The tapas style of sharing small plates is a nice way to spend the evening – especially over fresh seasonal produce, local meats and French cheeses you won’t find anywhere else.
What’s more romantic than a sexy glass of wine or champagne in a Parisian alcove? Visit the 7th Bar at the Terrass Hotel to soak up stunning panoramic views of Paris. This outdoor terrace is open from early April to the end of September, (weather permitting) with Ibiza style outdoor sofas and white parasols to protect you from wind and sun.
Visit the opulent Le Dokhan’s Champagne Bar, which boasts being the very first champagne-dedicated bar in Paris. Waiters will help you narrow down your choice from over 70 varieties of champagne on the ever-changing menu.
Head over to the trendy Marais district for a unique and underground bar scene. Have a nightcap at the seductive speakeasy Little Red Door, which has plush armchairs at the bar where you can settle in. Enter, of course, through a little red door Alice in Wonderland-style.
Something the locals love to do in Paris to relax and enjoy a romantic date is a picnic in the Jardin du Luxembourg. Stop first to buy some fresh cheese and meats at the Rue Montorgueil street market up in the 2nd Arrondissement, and pick up some delicate French pastries to go at one of the oldest pastry shops in Paris, Stohrer. Once you’ve got your eats, take a leisurely stroll for about 30 minutes across the river over to the gardens and picnic the day away.
The Rodin Museum is actually a museum, chapel, hotel, gardens and cafe all featuring sculptures by Rodin. The gardens are huge, spanning over seven acres and romantic for a stroll. If there weather isn’t great, the inside of the museum is a special spot too, and you can ponder the meaning of love while viewing one of the artist’s most famous works, “The Kiss.”
Take a walk through the The Canal Saint-Martin neighborhood, situated between Gare du Nord and Republique in northeastern Paris, in the 10th Arrondissement. Cute boutiques and cafes line the canal, which was the setting for scenes in Amelie, and you can cross over the vintage iron footbridges. On Sundays, the area is reserved for pedestrians and cyclists, so rent a bike and ride long to see this quaint area of town.
O Chateau is a wine bar where you can go and get a tipple, but they also offer some great wine tours throughout Paris and other regions of France as well as champagne boat cruises along the river Seine.
Finally, if all you want is to head back to your romantic hotel, make sure to stop at Pierre Hermes first and get some to go macarons to go, as they are some of the best in the city!
These are just some ideas to have a special and intimate visit to Paris. Please feel free to share any ideas you have in the comments section.