Our Guide to Paris
At Butterfield & Robinson, we pride ourselves on scouting out the best places in the world to walk, bike and immerse ourselves in local culture, no matter how far flung. Along the way, our journey often takes us through some of the world’s most famous and culturally rich cities. Never ones to squander an opportunity, we’ve asked our seasoned (and extremely well-travelled) trip planners to apply their expert eyes to some of the world’s best playgrounds, and compiled a B&R-inspired list of things to do in Paris that you won’t find anywhere else—starting with our favourite places to stay and dine.
Paris Hotels: Where to Rest Your Head
Most renowned as the former home of Oscar Wilde, this boutique hotel’s artistic ennui has also attracted the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Salvador Dali, among many others. Armed with excellent cuisine in the form of its impressive Le Restaurant and featuring a hamman pool, in the 21st century L’Hotel remains the embodiment of Paris chic.
Featuring unique and eclectic designs from interior decorator India Madhavi, this chic boutique hotel sports two restaurants, including Brasserie Thoumieux, and features 15 rooms, each with a modern art-deco design.
Just around the corner from the fashion designers on Avenue Montaigne and Avenue George V, the Shangri-La prides itself on royal service and old-world elegance. It’s also home to two Michelin-ranked restaurants, the one-star Cantonese restaurant Shang Palace and the two-star French gastronomic offerings of L’Abeille.
Paris Restaurants: Where to Eat
Not to be missed—much like the hotel that houses it. Featuring the cuisine of chef Jean-François Piège and a decor befitting the art-deco Thoumieux.
Restaurant Le Meurice
This two-star palace raised eyebrows when Yannick Alleno became its new, very young chef in 2003. Modernizing the menu while keeping perfection in sight, Alleno has made Le Meurice a gastronomic “must” for all Paris foodies. The room alone will make you feel like royalty.
Restaurant Guy Savoy
Calling it the best of modern French cuisine might lead one to overlook the outstanding service or the sleek sophistication found at Guy Savoy. The relaxed atmosphere makes you feel like you are dining at home—or perhaps at James Bond’s home.
One of our favourite local haunts. It may look like a pizzeria, but this way out-of-the-way Thai restaurant serves deliciously authentic and modestly priced delicacies to those who reserve.
Paris Attractions: What to See + Do
Only have a half-day to squeeze in a little culture? Head to the 8th arrondissement.
This former residence turned museum houses a collector’s dream of art and decoration that spans both time and continents.
Opéra National de Paris, Palais Garnier
The incarnation of Napolean’s imagination and French opulence, the opera is truly a palace. The Chagal-painted ceiling is a must-see.
Start the morning off at the Musée Jacquemart André, then walk to the Opéra National taking the boulevard Haussman and then circling around to the front of the Opera by way of the rue Scribe. Along the way, you’ll pass by two Parisian department stores, Le Printemps and Les Galeries Lafayette, offering a staggering array of goods. The perfect lunch spot is Angl’Opera, located at 39 avenue Opera (phone: +33(0)126.96.36.199.25) for inventive, modern fare.
Have a full day to fill? After lunch, go forth…
Constructed as a palace in the 13th century, this former prison played an integral role in the French Revolution and was most famously Marie-Antoinette’s final home before she met the guillotine.
2 boulevard du Palais, 75001, Paris
Le Parc André Citroën, Aéroparis
This park is not only an ode to modern landscape architecture, it is also home to a giant balloon, “Aéroparis,” that climbs to an altitude of 150 metres, offering a unique view of the Tour Eiffel and the city.
From the Opéra you can take the metro (7 line, direction: Marie d’Ivry/Villejuif) to the Châtelet stop and then walk across the Pont au Change to the Conciergerie. Before heading to the next site you may want to check out Nôtre Dame, also located on the Ile de la Cité, before hopping back on the metro at the Cité stop, taking the 4 line (direction: Porte d’Orléans) to the Odéon stop and then transferring to the 10 line (direction: Boulogne) until the Javel / André Citroën stop. The park is indicated from the metro.