There are so many reasons that require international perspective as your investment horizon expands. And needless to say, it can be difficult to gain perspective by sitting home. Debbie and I have found after repeated trips that the world comes to Paris! More than any other international base we would wish to consider, Paris stands out. We have spent untold hours visiting with travelers and business people from around the world. Simply, Paris five star hotels draw people of interest. The intelligence we glean regarding the international landscape is but part of the equation. We also benefit greatly by what we hear from foreigners about America. On our last trip, we heard a great deal that we would have been just as happy not to have. The administration in Washington is universally held in the lowest esteem. The words confidence and trust surface regularly.
OK then, there’s a big benefit from the perspective you gain from associating with a wide group of international travelers. Where best to base yourself to achieve as wide an array of goals possible on your visit to Paris? If you are scheduling meetings in Paris, you’ll want to base yourself at one of Paris’ five star palace hotels on the right bank. As I have explained in the past, Debbie and I are not as big fans of the right bank as we are of the left. Were it not for our continued desire to stay at the Hotel Bristol and to try the hotels Daniel and Raphael, a right bank stay would not happen for us. Your situation, however, may make a right bank palace hotel the prudent if pricey move. As you probably are aware, a five star palace hotel stay comes with a ghastly price tag. You are going to take a financial hit of serious proportions. Somehow Mr. Bernanke seems to have convinced naïve American investors that he has inflation under control. Mr. Bernanke fools himself to imagine such folly. When you pull out your mini dollars for conversion into Euros and then price out your Paris five star stay, you will receive a sharp awakening.
So with the understanding that a right bank palace hotel is an indulgence and with so many of them closed for renovations, what do I advise? Clearly my first choice is the Hotel Le Bristol. This city landmark is old Paris and not the least bit trendy. The public spaces are decorated in refined woodwork and luxurious fabrics and rooms are beautiful, classic Parisian. The staff and the two-Michelin-star restaurant are world class. Views of Paris are stunning from the hotel’s rooftop swimming pool. Make Hotel Le Bristol your first choice.
The Shangri-La is located in the 16th arrondissement, where you’ll find wonderful views of the Eiffel Tower, just across the Seine in the 7th. The mansion was built for the great nephew of Napoleon and has been restored to its opulent best. We had several lovely meals at La Bauhinia, the brasserie set under a stunning glass dome. Authentic Cantonese food can be found at the highly recommended Shang Palace. The Shangri-La’s ground floor bar has a warm, clubby atmosphere. The Jardins du Trocadero, with its magnificent views of the ET, is a short walk from the hotel, as is one of our favorite bistros on the right bank, Le Stella.
The legendary Fouquet’s Brasserie at the corner of the Champs-Elysees is adjacent to the Hotel Fouquet’s Barrier, located on Avenue George V. We found the staff at the hotel to be young and most helpful. But after informing the front desk (twice) that the smell of cigarette smoke was wafting into our room, we were told they would check on it. It wasn’t until we were checking out (early) that we were told that we were on a smoking floor. But it was also the staff at Fouquet’s that suggested we wait 15 minutes for the hotel’s recommended taxi service, rather than randomly grabbing one of the many cabs dropping guests off. A great idea. (That was before we had downloaded the Uber app.) In the end, we found the hotel to be a little too retro for our taste. Le Diane, the hotel’s Michelin starred restaurant, however, was excellent, as was the service—certainly worthy of another evening.
A view of Hotel le Bristol from Pure Luxury TV: