A Parisian Weekend: Part 1 – Where to Stay

Last year I visited Paris with some close friends. I wanted to share my trip with you as I researched it for about 2 months! So if you are looking for some great places to go in Paris this summer this is your guide. I am going to post every day this week with a new Paris tip, so stay tuned for the next installment.

So to start today – lets talk the hotel. Staying in Paris can be tricky, you either spend a lot of money and go big or you have to take your chances with the smaller lesser known boutique hotels. And then you need to think about where you want to be.

We decided on being close to Marais which is the perfect neighbourhood for hanging out and discovering small streets lined with restaurants, bars and stylish boutique shops.

Window View, Le General Hotel, Paris

After a lot of searching, we stayed at the Le General a boutique hotel hideaway in the 11th arrondissement. Arriving at the hotel, we found it on a small quiet side street, a short taxi journey away from the Eurostar at Gare du Nord. The hotel street is a typically stunning Parisian rue, all white stucco with beautiful windows and balconies.

Lobby, Le General Hotel, Paris
The lobby is cool with bright coloured chairs and a cute bar perfect for a cocktail whilst you wait for friends to join you for a night out. And there is a seated cafe area for breakfast the next day.

Le General Hotel, Paris

Upstairs the bedrooms are cute with stylish touches, such as a cool chair and the view from the window is fabulous over the roof tops of Paris. And you get an apple on your pillow – what more can you want!

Perfect for a couple of days away, this hotel is great value for money in what can be an expensive city. And Marais is a 10 minute walk  through windy lovely streets that carry on all the way to the Seine.

Where have you stayed recently in Paris? Do let me know your boutique hotel finds in Paris.

For bookings see Le General Hotel.

And don’t forget to come back tomorrow for A Parisian Weekend: Part 2 all about eating!

The St. Regis Bal Harbour, Miami Beach

St Regis, Bal Harbour, MiamiThe last three days at the St. Regis Bal Harbour, have felt like a week, which is always a good sign at the end of a long weekend break.

The St. Regis Bal Harbour is a quiet retreat on the northern tip of the Miami Beach barrier island. The hotel is super stylish. As you enter you walk through a mirrored entrance which is super opulent and sets the scene for the rest of the hotel.

Guest Room, St. Regis, Bal Harbour

Then the lift zooms you to your floor (no number needed as your key tells the lift). Our room was beautiful with marble floors, a massive bed and stunning views of the beach. This is the type of place you hit the bed and literally sink in to the massive plumped pillows and luxe sheets.

Swimming Pool, St. Regis, Bal Harbour

The lift also takes you downstairs to the gym (of mammoth proportions) and the two stunning outside swimming pools which have mega size and comfy sun loungers. And if you want to venture out – the beach with its azure blue sea and white sands is right there.

This is the perfect hideaway from the 24 hour lifestyle of South Beach where you can relax in style. And to make it even more perfect if you want to party South Beach style, it’s only a short cab ride away.

Top tip – head to the St. Regis Bar & Wine Vault where they have 4 different types of Bloody Mary (my kind of place!).

For more information visit St. Regis Bal Harbour.

Images courtesy of St. Regis Bal Harbour

Be Cool at the W South Beach, Miami

W South Beach Lobby/Living RoomIf it’s time to hit the pool and chill out with the best, then it’s time you made your way to the W South Beach, Miami.

This hotel is amazingly cool, boasting a lobby/living room with works by Damien Hirst and Jean-Michel Basquiat on the walls, an outpost of Mr Chow, an incredible swimming pool with beautiful cabanas and rooms designed in the W Hotels fabulously chic style. Oh and then there is also the W beach club. They call it the playground of cool and well it is.

W South Beach Pool

W South Beach Room

So get there soon for some Miami fun.

For more information visit W South Beach.

Photos courtesy of W Hotels

The Ace Hotel, New York

The Ace Hotel

Last night saw some crazy dancing in the Lobby Bar at the Ace Hotel on 29th street, New York. Seriously not cool. But the Lobby Bar itself is way cool. Go there to hang out, sip a martini and get your photo taken in the photo booth.

In the day this place transforms itself as the coolest office, when laptops and coffee drinkers galore come looking for a place to work. And if you are hungry they also have two great restaurants – The John Dory Oyster Bar and The Breslin Bar & Dining Room.

The interior design is by New York firm Roman & Williams who mixed up different eras to create an eclectic and cool space. It’s quirky modern meets a bit of history.

Generally at all times of the day, it’s a GREAT place to be. Oh and for those who end up with a headache the next day – invest in a Stumptown Coffee on site.

For more information visit the Ace Hotel.

The Crosby Street Hotel, SoHo

Crosby Street Hotel

A perfect way to spend a Sunday is sat at the bar at the Crosby Street Hotel in SoHo, New York. The bar is uber stylish and packed with people treating themselves to afternoon tea (cute cut sandwiches and delicious looking cakes) and the odd martini.

The interior design of the hotel is quirky British meets cool New York, set in the framework of the incredible SoHo building. Think lots of cast iron and big windows.

For more information visit Crosby Street Hotel.

The Andaman and V Botanical Spa, Langkawi

V Botanical Spa, The Andaman

The Andaman, is a stunning hotel situated on Datai Bay, in Langkawi. A member of the Luxury Collection Resorts, the hotel offers a tranquil place to chill out surrounded by nature.

The hotel sits between the steep hills and the beach in the middle of the rain forest. On arrival you can hear and see the forest around you from the reception area with views out to sea.

The rooms are well designed with sumptuous dark wooden floors and polished wooden furniture complemented by warm white walls and nature inspired touches. The bathroom is the size of a spa itself, with a rain shower.

The V Botanical Spa at The Andaman is award-winning and offers massages and beauty treatments high up the hill with the most magnificent view over the whole bay. Stop here for some relaxing times and enjoy treatments like an Ancient Balinese Massage, a Traditional D’Orient Organic Facial or to sample a Bathing Ceremony.

Fish, Datai Bay

For dining options head to the beach bar restaurant where in the evening you can eat a fish caught locally that day. The fisherman arrives by boat at 4pm on the beach everyday so catch him to order your fish for the evening.

The Red Snapper was best with chili and butter. Delicious!

For more information visit The Andaman.