12 Places That Have Popped Up Since Your Last Trip to Paris
Check out great new hangouts, exciting renovations and long-awaited reopenings in the City of Lights.
Photo By: Feel Good Studio
Photo By: Lavomatic
Photo By: Jean Marc Martin/Monnaie de Paris
Photo By: Hotel Parister
Photo By: Museum of Decorative Arts
Photo By: Pierre Monetta/Spoon2
Photo By: U Arena
Photo By: Eric Cuvillier/Hotel de Crillon, a Rosewood Hotel
Photo By: Le Grand Musee du Parfum, Paris
Photo By: Hoxton Paris
Photo By: Shigeru Ban Architects
Photo By: Les Grands Verres
Maison Louis Vuitton Vendome
Over 160 years ago, designer Louis Vuitton launched his legendary brand at Place Vendome. This October, after four years of renovations, the flagship store, Maison Louis Vuitton, reopened. A spectacular golden sunburst was added to the facade of the 18th-century building (designed, incidentally, by the same architect who built the Palace of Versailles). Inside, the store showcases works of contemporary art alongside Louis Vuitton clothes, handbags and other accessories, so a shopping trip also feels like a visit to a fashionable museum.
While historic Parisian landmarks have been getting facelifts and makeovers, other trendy hot spots have opened. When you're on Rue Boulanger, look for the door of what appears to be an ordinary laundromat and climb the staircase behind the washing machines to the third floor. Et voila—you'll find yourself in Lavomatic, a quirky urban bar. Order a handcrafted cocktail or nibbles from the small bites menu, and relax on a pouf that looks like one of Andy Warhol’s pop-art Brillo boxes. Later, take a turn on a kid-style swing, or head downstairs to check on your laundry—because, yes, you can wash your clothes while you party.
Monnaie de Paris
You could say Monnaie de Paris, founded 1,150 years ago as the royal mint of France, has undergone a "metal-morphosis." Its museum, 11 Conti, recently reopened, and for the first time ever, visitors can watch artisan craftsmen and women transform gold, platinum and other materials into coins, medals, art, jewelry and more. There are also fascinating heritage collections of medals, sculptures, tools and coins to explore. Don’t miss four new showcases: an exhibit of Roman coins from the 3rd century AC; coins dating to the reign of King Louis XV; ingots, silver bars and other Asian war bounty from 1886; and treasures recovered from a Dutch ship that sank in 1724.
Stay fit when you're in the City of Light. Hotel Parister is a hip new place to lodge in the 9th arrondissement. Follow an instructor to the rooftop for a sunrise workout, or join a small group for a class in yoga, boxing, core training or mindfulness; wellness sessions are offered daily. Prefer a solo workout? Rent a bike (there’s no charge) or walk to one of the nearby bars, restaurants and shops. Later, swim laps in the hotel's 65-foot-long pool, which is illuminated by natural light. The wood-paneled guest rooms have touches of retro '70s decor, with minimalist furnishings that boast simple, clean lines.
Museum of Decorative Arts
Catch the Christian Dior exhibit at Les Arts Decoratifs, the Museum of Decorative Arts, before it closes in January 2018. This Paris museum houses one of the world's largest collections of decorative arts, with more than 530,000 items dating from the Middle Ages to contemporary times. The Dior exhibit alone is worth a visit; it's the first one from the House of Dior that's been open to the public in 30 years. You’ll see approximately 300 gowns created by Yves Saint Laurent, John Galliano, and other acclaimed Dior directors, as well as fashion sketches, jewelry, perfume bottles, hats, shoes and more.
Think of newly opened Spoon2 as a culinary adventure, since it was inspired by Chef Alain Ducasse’s around-the-world travels. Located in the Palais Brongniart at the Place de la Bourse, this restaurant/bar offers Asian, Latin and North American foods and flavors, many with spicy twists. Feast on jumbo shrimp Thai red curry, Mexican chili sin carne or Zahtar lamb served Maghreb-style with yogurt and coriander. For dessert, indulge in mango brulee with avocado and coriander hash or U.K. bread and butter pudding. Yum.
U Arena, Paris
Can’t get no satisfaction? Too bad you didn't have tickets to the Rolling Stones performance at U Arena, a multi-use stadium that opened in October 2017. The arena stands, which can hold up to 40,000 patrons, are arranged like the letter "U" and give the stadium its name. While the space is the official venue for Racing 92 Rugby, it can also host other sports events, shows and concerts. Bring your devices; U Arena has a Wi-Fi system that can handle up to 15,000 simultaneous connections. Sometimes you do get what you want.
Hotel de Crillon
After more than three years of renovations, luxurious Hotel de Crillon, a Rosewood Hotel, reopened earlier this year. Once a private mansion, it has welcomed celebrities, royals and other elite guests since 1909. While designers and architects kept the property’s stunning historic elements, such as its landmark facade, amethyst chandeliers and gold and crystal Baccarat decanters, its rooms, suites and public spaces were given elegant, French-chic makeovers. New amenities include a heated swimming pool, cigar lounge and wine cellar.
Le Grand Musee du Parfum
Indulge your nose at the new Grand Musee du Parfum in Paris. French perfumes are famous, of course, and this museum helps visitors understand how they’re imagined, created and enjoyed. Take the three-part tour to hear the histories and stories behind the perfumes, immerse yourself in the fragrances and learn how they're formulated. An exhibit of bottles, "Perfume Legends," is on display through Jan. 28, 2018. You may recognize some of the iconic bottles, like Yves Saint Laurent’s Opium.
Airbnb fans, this one’s for you. Guests are commenting that the recently opened Paris Hoxton is an affordable alternative to host-owned rental properties. The Hoxton occupies one part of an 18th-century building in the 2nd arrondissement. The rest of the building houses a speakeasy bar and restaurant, a courtyard and underground rooms, known as Les Voutes, designed for meetings and private parties. Inside the hotel, 300-year-old grand staircases lead to contemporary-style rooms. Book your preference by room category: Shoebox, Cosy (sic), Roomy or Biggy.
Seguin Island’s long-awaited Cite Musicale, also called La Seine Musicale, recently opened to the public. Built on the site of an old Renault car factory, this music city is both a contemporary arts center and a venue for concerts, festivals, art exhibitions and more. The auditorium, which doesn't use amplifiers, is dedicated to classical music and seats up to 1,100. A larger space accommodates conventions and business events. Designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban and French architect Jean de Gastines, the structure looks like a wooden hull, from some perspectives, and appears to float on the Seine River.
Les Grands Verres
One of the newest culinary hotspots in Paris, Les Grands Verres, features a 42-foot-long bar made of compacted earth; it's designed to encourage patrons to mingle, talk and interact. This cutting-edge bar/restaurant is located in Palais de Tokyo, in the city’s 16th arrondissement. Its Neo-Mediterranean menu includes dishes like mussels in Indian spices and grilled cuttlefish with apricot puree. Burn off the calories after your meal with a stroll through Palais de Tokyo, where exhibits of modern and contemporary art are open until midnight almost every day.