Ever since I was young, France has always been a go-to destination for my family and I – mainly visiting the South of France and Paris. I visit Paris a few times each year and, whilst I discover new places every time, I’m pretty familiar with the city and where to stay; or so I thought! A few weeks ago now I was lucky enough to be invited to go along on a wonderful press trip to Paris and Normandy with Small Luxury Hotels Of The World; who showed us the most amazing places to dine and sleep – and just to jump ahead of myself now; it’s probably my favourite press trip to date! I’ve also posted a vlog of the trip here.
SLH is a little hub; a portfolio of 520 small, hand-picked independent hotels around the world making planning your trip a whole lot easier. It’s full of the most instagram-worthy, boutique hotels and resorts – each offering a unique personal touch with nothing less than luxury. Whether you’re looking for a beach resort, somewhere in the city, or a countryside retreat – you’ll find what you’re looking for! SLH has 12 hotels in Paris in their portfolio – and whilst only staying in one; we visited, looked round, or ate at half of them during our trip!
After an early wake up time, I jumped in a cab and met with the rest of the gang ready to board the Eurostar! I of course already knew Arabella, but quickly became all buddy buddy with Ben and Carlie – as well as the lovely Abi from SLH! By the way, they are all total babes and you absolutely must follow them!
Within a matter of hours we arrived at Gare Du Nord and entered a bright and sunny Paris! Our first stop of the trip was our home for the evening; Le Pavillon De La Reine.
The classic, white, 17th-century ivy draped hotel was such a welcoming sight, I couldn’t wait to see my room! I say room; it was more like an apartment. It had a living room, a stunning black marble bathroom, a bedroom and a walk in wardrobe – dreamy! I had such a lovely view overlooking the courtyard; as well as a classic Parisian street from the bedroom. It’s such a cosy and homely place to stay in the heart of the Marais district. Hotel Pavillon De La Reine can be found hidden behind a discreet entrance, a little place of calm away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
After checking in, we took a little stroll of the local area – Place des Vosges, and had a quick lunch before indulging on rose-shaped ice creams! Note to self: photograph quickly, it will melt!
On return from our little excursion, we got ready for the evening and headed out to our next Parisian destination for pre-dinner drinks; Hotel L’Hotel. Now, when I say Small Luxury Hotels – this is an extra Small Luxury Hotel – with only 20 rooms it’s one of the smallest! That doesn’t mean it’s anything less than luxury, though. We had a quick look around and visited one of the rooms; we all decided it was the ‘Princess’ room – how much do you wanna stay here?! Complete with pink drapes and a balcony – perfection! Plus, they have a gorgeous little spa area downstairs!
Next stop – dinner at Hotel De Vendome; located on the corner of Place Vendome – home to that Chanel door – we quickly took advantage of golden hour and snapped some photos before heading upstairs to dinner. I absolutely adored the interiors here; perfect for anyone who loves fashion. Houndstooth chairs with pink cushions, style books on the shelves, stunning artwork everywhere – I loved it. Oh and of course; the absolutely amazing 7(?!) course dinner – wow!
After a wonderful first day; we all went back to Le Pavillon De La Reine for a much needed nights sleep – ready for the adventures of the next day!
The breakfast in bed did not disappoint – I do love a good hotel breakkie! All fuelled up, we took a little walk to the first stop of the day; Hotel Du Petit Moulin – which only has 17 rooms! It screams glamour and theatricality and is located in the fashionable Parisian District of Marais. With the interiors designed by renowned designer Christian Lacroix, it’s definitely one of the most unique hotels I’ve ever visited – and, it’s a former 17th century bakery with it’s original features still in tact!
Speaking of bakeries – the next stop on the agenda was a baking class at La Cuisine Paris. It was so much fun making our own pastries, but my goodness does it take a lot of rolling, kneading, and aggression! Next time I eat a croissant I’ll appreciate just how long the process takes! It was such a fab experience learning the techniques – and of course, devouring our creations afterwards!
We then headed over to the most ideally located hotel; Grand Hotel Du Palais Royal – with the Royal Garden one side and the Louvre the other, it boasts one of the most prestigious addresses in Paris. The little black and white striped platforms you’ll have seen if you follow literally any blogger on instagram? Yep, they’re here! We all had a little photo taking session before taking a tour of the hotel! I absolutely adored the bright and elegant interiors, with every room having a stunning Parisian view – overlooking stunning architecture, or even the Eiffel Tower! After our look around, we went down to the restaurant and had an absolutely dreamy lunch – the people of Paris know how to do lunch!
Once finished; it was time to depart Paris for a few days so we jumped in our Albion Voyages taxi (so much love for our driver, Regis!) and embarked on our three hour journey to the French countryside to explore Normandy. Just imagine us eating pastries, playing heads up and singing to Ed Sheeran all the way there! Keep your eyes peeled for part two; see you at the Chateau!