The first three questions I’m always asked about Paris are (1) Why Paris? (2) Where do Debbie and you stay? (2) What are your favorite restaurants?
Given that our reasons for being in Europe are different than those for many people, the question is somewhat complex. We are there to gather intelligence on many subjects, the least of which is certainly not the condition of the European Union and the euro. Beyond a general host of business reasons, the fact that we are in Europe for a couple of weeks twice a year gives us opportunity to deal with the where to stay and where to eat questions quite directly.
At the outset, you should know that Paris is a large city (2.2 million). Paris is divided into 20 arrondissements, neighborhoods, if you will, each with its own unique character. If you are familiar with downtown Boston from lets say The Taj on Arlington Street to Mass. Ave., you can get a feeling for the size of one Paris arrondissement. As such the number of hotels and restaurants in Paris is truly staggering. If you are a first timer to Paris, I would make it easy on yourself and concentrate on the restaurants in the arrondissement in which you are staying or those close by. You will be selecting from hundreds. When you begin to research you’ll find that many of the sources you come across concentrate on what are considered reasonable prices. Reasonable prices are words frequently not compatible with certain arrondissements in Paris. This is especially the case in the grandest arrondissement in all of Paris—the 8th. Paris is expensive, end of discussion. And good does not come cheap. So be wary of all the ‘best deals in Paris” sort of guides. Here again my rule applies for those wishing to stay in what most Parisians feel are the arrondissements of choice.
Giving my prelude, where should you focus your quest on where to stay in Paris? In this multi-part Spring 2013 series, I will supply you with considerable information. With my complete series printed out, along with the plethora of links I’ll be providing, you will head off to Paris like a pro.
Let’s begin the quest at the top with my great list of 72 Luxury Hotels in Paris. This unmatched list will keep you more than busy until I post the second in this series of What I Learned in Paris Spring 2013 posts.