Seldom does reality exceed our expectations and when it does -- well, that’s Paris. For a city this intoxicating a stay at the Grand Hotel du Palais Royal is de rigueur. Nestled in a magnificent 18th-century building, it’s just steps away from the Louvre, rue Saint-Honoré and the Tuileries Gardens. With rooms designed by Pierre-Yves Rochon, a Carita spa and balconies that overlook the effervescent nights of Montmartre, leaving to explore Paris might be harder than you think.
If the palatial Hôtel Plaza Athénée looks familiar to you, perhaps you’ve seen it in the final season of Sex and the City where it stole the show from Carrie Bradshaw. As opulent and grandiose as you imagined it to be, its rooms are designed in Regency, Art Deco or Louis XIV style, while its amenities are all modern. The showstopper of the Golden Triangle, it’s just a quick stiletto stroll away from the Champs-Élysées and the Eiffel Tower.
Jet set to Paris where the shopkeepers have a knack for conjuring magic with stunning window displays any time of the year. But during the Christmas season, boutiques and department stores alike kick the drama and festive glam up a notch. At upscale Galeries Lafayette, in the city’s Opera District, the windows facing the street show fairytale scenes. Inside, at the store's center, beneath its famous glass dome, an animated, 60-foot-high tree hangs from the ceiling, decorated with 1.9 miles of glittering lights.
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