Travel Tips

Top Paris Shopping & Luxury Travel – Postcard from Suzy Gershman, Pt. 2

Locations in this article:  Paris, France

Suzy Gershman Paris Shopping Guide: Suzy at Igloo in Paris, FranceDear Peter,
I’ve found so much new stuff in Paris that I just had to keep writing. Some may have danced all night; I write.

By changing hotels, I am in a whole different part of Paris and now see a different kind of energy – and many new stores and shopping choices.


I picked the InterContinental Grand Hotel even though it was renovated about eight years ago because I had not stayed here yet. I mean, when I lived in Paris, who needed a hotel room?  I know it takes a heap of moolah and dedication to work with a landmark property like this, so I was curious to see what InterConti would come up with.

Previously: Suzy’s Paris Guide, Pt. 1 – Luxury Travel, Hotels & Shopping

Garnier Opera - Transportation Center of ParisFirst off, you must see the view from my room. I could reach across the sky and touch the giant gold angels atop the Garnier Opera. The hotel takes up a full city block and is grand in all sense of the world. It’s very Belle Epoque without being Jacques Garcia.

The Club Lounge also overlooks the Garnier Opera, so you lounge in red velvet plush and munch foie gras while sipping Champagne and watching the giant screen TV. As it grew dark last night, the sky turned Van Gogh and the golden of the angel was reflected out my window and off into the night.

Opera is truly the shopping and transportation center of Paris, so I can take a bus or metro everywhere. There’s even the ROISSYBUS across the street—a direct shot straight to CDG for just under ten euros. I’d splurge on the hotel and take the bus for savings. Of course, I now have four pieces of luggage. Uh-oh.

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The spokes around the Opera lead to major retail, including Galeries Lafayette, Au Printemps and a raft of stores that everyone knows. But there’s been an influx of newcomers that have added dramatic energy to the area.

Uniqlo, the Japanese version of The Gap, has a large store with moderately priced clothes for teens and tweens. The entrance stairs are all digital message screens, so you can get dizzy just walking in the door. You won’t be bored.

Igloo & African-inspired Paris printsDirectly behind is a store called Igloo which is an odd combo of home style and gift items, with some bath products and a really cute souvenir department. It’s a step up from Pier 1, but asthmatics may need to steer clear of the room scents. This is high-concept style that’s bright, a little bit kitsch and often in French, so even the non-souvenirs make good souvenirs. I’d call this a must-do for anyone shopping in the area.

I did brave the onslaught at Galeries Lafayette just to see my old stomping grounds (I worked here for two years)—I was stunned by the hordes. What recession? The store has spent a lot of energy to get into the century. I noted that they sell vinyl along with CDs and DVDs, they carry the hot luggage brand of the decade (Lipault), constructed to weigh about 3 pounds per suitcase, and their devotion to big brands is extraordinary.

I even got a free spritz of the new Hermès fragrance, Voyage, which comes in its own flip travel case, something like my little video camera. At Lafayette Maison, across the street, they were having a sale on bed linen, so I bought Kenzo-wannabe pieces to complete my new look. A duvet cover for €13 is indeed the last bargain in France.

To read more of Suzy’s postcards and find out about some unique experiences, visit our Shopping & Travel section. 

African Prints - Paris ShoppingFABRIC TRENDS

I came to Paris to buy African textiles for my new home in Paso Robles, California, but the Marche St. Pierre, the traditional fabric markets atop Montmartre, did not have what I wanted. I found something more Philippe Starck-meets-Kenzo, since I have been heavily influenced by the décor at the InterContinental Marceau, but still would like to go to the Château Rouge station on the metro, which is indeed a journey into Africa within Paris.

Fashion trends for clothing and home style here are showing a lot of African-inspired prints (not zebras or leopards, but batiks of blazing colors) and I too am craving hot and bright to mix with my traditional Provençal prints. I saw a sundress at C&A, a cheapie brand store near Galeries Lafayette, that was a wild dancing jig of turquoise and greens and browns in the African style. I am certain that by summer, everyone will be going native.

Hot & Steaming Kisses,

By Suzy Gershman for Visit Suzy on the Web at, and follow her adventures from Paris to Paso Robles at Don’t miss the first part of Suzy’s tales of shopping and hotel-hopping in Paris.

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