Travel Tips

Paris Guide: Luxury Travel, Hotels & Shopping – Suzy Gershman’s Latest Postcard

Locations in this article:  Paris, France

Eiffel Tower, Paris - Dear Peter,
I am sad to pack up and leave this stunning Hotel InterContinental Marceau, with my Philippe Starck ceiling and Mia Zia and Kenzo décor in vibrant colors with extravagant stripes and embroidery.

We’re about to make our last hotel change and final schlep across Paris.

By changing hotels, I get a feel for how each one really works—this is so different from just peeking into the lobby. So Garnier Opera, and Le Grand Hotel, here I come!


Luxury Hotel George V - Purple OrchidsThere’s much news on the Champs Elysees and in the streets leading away, where hotels are fighting a war of the clever.

Ever since the Four Seasons re-did the George V, this neighborhood has been a hotbed of creativity—from Hotel de Sers to this newest star from InterConti.

Philippe Starck might just be the next Jacques Garcia in terms of hotel décor and the new decade. He’s gone from being a “bad boy” to using his inventive mind to produce, truly produce, a memorable experience.

The retail scene is not as creative. The Swedish chain H&M has fought for more than two years to open a store here and is finally victorious—construction is underway at 90 Champs Elysees.

There are other vacant sites and the battle for that space continues. Apple has wanted to open for years and lost out to Nike and other big brands. Apple wants a certain kind of window from the street into their store and permits have not been forthcoming.

City Hall is afraid the street will become too commercial or will lose its French feel with too many chains and multiples. Even Starbucks, in the Arcade Champs Elysees, is here … but not seen; you must walk into the arcade for your mocha latte.

Don’t miss our Off the Brochure Travel Guide to Paris, written by a native Parisienne. Or try our Ask the Locals City Guide: Paris, France.


The major pastry chefs of Paris have been dueling for flavors and novelties for many years. I had always kinda voted in the direction of Laduree.

Pierre Herme MacaroonsNow, king of the almond paste Pierre Herme, has opened a series of Macaroon Bars, including one inside Le Drugstore on the Champs Elysees.

Not only are his creations beautiful to look at and as light as fairy dust, but most of them are hip and hot variations and flavors you may have never considered. I went crazy for the strawberry and balsamic vinegar; today I will try olive oil and vanilla. The salted caramel butter was gorgeous, but is a traditional flavor. Part of the fun here is to taste the unusual combinations.

It is legal to bring macaroons into the U.S. and they make a wonderful gift, but they get stale quickly and the lack of air circulation within an airplane doesn’t help them to age. Be sure to present your gift within three days of purchase.

Much more on macaroons in Paris here: Culinary Travel Journal: A Single Woman Finds Love in Paris Cooking Schools.


Centre Pompidou-Metz, FranceAbout two years ago, a new TGV line to the eastern portions of France opened up. This was coordinated to allow easy access (you can do a day trip from Paris; journey is one hour and 20 minutes) to the new Centre Pompidou-Metz which opened May 1. For fans of contemporary art, this is the day trip to make right now—forget about Versailles or Fontainebleau.

Pompidou-Metz is not as large, or as dramatic an architectural statement as the Centre Pompidou here in Paris, but the museum is still very interesting visually. To my eye, it looks like a fancy mushroom or train station pavilion or even a Christmas tree ornament perched on a modern factory. The space has three galleries, all of which open out over the city, so there are views inward and outward.

Don’t miss Suzy’s previous postcards from Paris:

Exhibit from Puces du Design - 20th Century Design & FashionMORE CONTEMPORARY SHOPPING

For those not able to get to Metz but still interested in contemporary design and décor, the annual Puce du Design will be held in Paris May 27-30 on the Quai de la Loire, Paris 19e (metro: Jaures).

This is where mid-century arts are sold, flea-market style.

Contemporary Kisses,

By Suzy Gershman for Visit Suzy on the Web at, and follow her adventures from Paris to Paso Robles at Stay tuned for part two of Suzy’s tales of shopping and hotel-hopping in Paris.

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