Tag: Hotels


Arrondissements of Paris 13-16

18
October

As promised here is part four of our series on the arrondissements of Paris. I’ll give you a bit of information on arrondissements 13-16 in this post. If you missed the previous post you can find information on arrondissements 1-12 below.

13th Arrondissement- Gobelins

The 13th arrondissement is home to Paris’ Chinatown, which is located in the southeast area of the arrondissement. This area is locally called la petite Asie. Here you will find “Les frères Tang” on avenue de Choisy. The Tang brothers have the biggest Chinese grocery in Paris, occupying several multi-story barrack-like buildings tucked into the Olympic housing project. This arrondissement is also home to the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. This National Library holds collections of historic documents of French and International origin including 5,000 Greek manuscripts. Visitors can buy a day pass to explore the library.

Tang Freres

Tang Frères

14th Arrondissement- Observatoire

The 14th arrondissement is where you will find most of the Montparnasse district. Montparnasse became famous at the beginning of the 20th century as Paris’ artistic circles migrated to this district. A few of the artists who gathered in Montparnasse were Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Ernest Miller Hemingway, Diego Rivera, and Salvador Dalí. Today, it is best known for its skyscraper, the Tour Montparnasse. You will find a shopping area and observation deck on the 56th floor with some of the best views of Paris. In this arrondissement you will also find The Catacombs of Paris, an underground ossuary that holds the remains of about 6 million people and fills a renovated section of caverns and tunnels. http://www.carrieres.explographies.com/indexus.htm

The Catacombs of Paris or Catacombes de Paris

The Catacombs of Paris

15th Arrondissement- Vaugirard

The 15th arrondissement is the largest arrondissement of central Paris. The area remains heavily residential. This area isn’t home to a great deal of tourist attractions. A couple areas of interest are Tapovan Paris . This ayurvedic centre offers both treatment and professional training in various ayurvedic-healing arts such as, yoga, reiki, ayurvedic massage, and reflexology. Or if you are looking for family fun you can check out Europe’s largest water park “Aqua Boulevard” http://www.aquaboulevard.fr/aquaboulevard.html#/parcAquatique

Aquaboulevard Paris

Aquaboulevard

16th Arrondissement- Passy

The 16th arrondissement includes several museums between the Place du Trocadero and the Place d’Iéna. The Palais de Chaillot, also named Trocadero, houses many interesting museums, and a walk from here to the Eiffel tower across the Seine river is one of the best sightseeing walking tours in Paris. This arrondissement is home to a large number of diplomatic embassies and is also the location of the famous Avenue Foch, the widest street in Paris and home to many of the City’s wealthy foreign residents. This arrondissement has long been known as one of French high society’s favorite places of residence, comparable to New York’s Upper East Side or London’s Kensington. This arrondissement along with the 8th, 7th, and 6th arrondissements are collectively referred to as Paris Ouest.

The Trocadéro, site of the Palais de Chaillot

The Trocadéro, site of the Palais de Chaillot

I will have the final part of the series on arrondissements 17-20 posted soon. Thanks again for reading the blog! IF you have specific questions please feel free to comment and I will do my best to answer them. You can also share this post or any on our site by using the share buttons below.


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Arrondissements of Paris 5-8

29
September

As promised here is part two of our series on the arrondissements of Paris. I’ll give you a bit of information on arrondissements 5-8 in this post. If you missed the previous post you can find the info here
http://letsjetset.com/2011/09/27/arrondissements-of-paris

Map of Paris arrondissements

Map of Paris arrondissements

5th Arrondissement- Pantheon

The 5th arrondissement is the location of the Latin Quarter- a district dominated by jazz clubs, bookshops, universities and prestigious high schools giving this arrondissement a significant student presence. It is also one of the liveliest arrondissements in the city. The 5th arrondissement is also one of the oldest districts of the city, dating back to ancient times. Traces of the area’s past survive in such sites as the Arènes de Lutèce- a Roman amphitheatre, the Pantheon, and the Thermes de Cluny- an ancient Gallo-Roman ruin lying in the heart of the district, which is believed to have been constructed around the beginning of the 3rd century. It is the traditional center of what was called “bohemian Paris”. An interesting bit of information is that it formed the setting for Puccini’s opera, La Boheme.

The Pantheon Paris

Inside the Pantheon

6th Arrondissement– Luxembourg

This central arrondissement includes the historic districts of Saint-Germain-des-Prés and Luxembourg. Luxembourg is home to the French Senate and Jardin du Luxembourg, which is the second largest public park in Paris. The 6th arrondissement along with the 7th, 8th, and 16th comprise “Paris Ouest” (West Paris). Paris Ouest is often used in reference to the wealthiest and most prestigious residential areas of France; however, the 6th arrondissement has a much more bohemian and intellectual reputation than the others. In this area you will find many great cafes, art galleries, and boutiques.

Jardin du luxembourg

Jardin du luxembourg

7th Arrondissement– Palais-Bourbon

The 7th arrondissement is home to several of Paris’ major tourist attractions, such as the Eiffel Tower and the final resting place of Napoleon – L’Hôtel national des Invalides http://www.invalides.org/pages/anglais/visite_a.html”. There are also several world famous museums such as the Musée d’Orsay and Musée Rodin one of Paris’ most peaceful and romantic museums. The Musée Rodin is located in the 18th century mansion and private gardens where the artist August Rodin lived and worked. http://www.musee-rodin.fr

The 7th arrondissement is also part of “Paris Oest”. This arrondissement has been home to the French upper class since the 17th century, when it became the new residence of the French highest nobility. This arrondissement is also home to many foreign diplomatic embassies.

Quick Tip: You can rent an iPad at the Eiffel Tower for 7 Euro an hour, which is pre-loaded with a visitor’s guide, maps, photos, and behind-the-scenes historical information on how the structure was built. There is also a separate App, “La Tour Eiffel”, that can be downloaded onto your own iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad device via iTunes for free.

The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower

8th Arrondissement– Élysée

The 8th arrondissement is home to many Parisian monuments. Some of these include the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs-Élysées – one of the most expensive strips of real estate in the world, and the Élysée Palace– home to the President of France. One site worth mentioning is the Luxor Obelisk a 75-foot high Egyptian obelisk standing at the center of the Place de la Concorde. This 3,300-year-old obelisk once marked the entrance to the Luxor Temple.

The 8th arrondissement is also known as a bustling center of commerce including famous fashion houses such as Valentino, Christian Dior & Chanel to name a few. You will also find elegant hotels and upscale restaurants. If you are looking for well-priced, authentic French cuisine steer clear of the restaurants on Champs- Élysée. These restaurants tend to target tourist and are usually more expensive than the places you will find on the winding side streets off of the Champs-Élysée.

Arc de triomphe

Arc de triomphe

As always, if you have any questions or need some help booking your trip please feel free to leave a comment and we will do our best to answer. Also, if you like our blog please “like” or Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/LetsJetSetcom/265673736784258


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Arrondissements of Paris 1-4

27
September

Wow, who knew there were so many different areas to choose from in Paris? When I started to plan our trip, I had no idea that finding the right neighborhood would be such a project. Paris is divided into 20 administrative districts, more commonly referred to as “arrondissements”. Each of these areas has it’s own unique feel.

Since there are so many arrondissements, I will write a series of 5 separate posts describing each arrondissement. I’ll try to give you a bit of information on each arrondissement, which I hope will make choosing an area easier for you. The arrondissements are arranged in a clockwise spiral with 1 being the center of Paris.

Paris arrondissements maps

Paris arrondissements

1st Arrondissement – Louvre

Once the stomping grounds of France’s kings and emperors, the 1st arrondissement is the “royal heart of Paris”. Today, you will find the Louvre Museum, Jardin des Tuileries, and the Palais Royal. Museums and monuments occupy much of this area, so you will not find many budget hotels to choose from. However if you prefer 5 star hotels, you are in luck. Some of the options here are the Hotel Ritz, Hotel de Vendôme, & Hotel du Louvre.

The Louvre

The Louvre Museum

2nd Arrondissement – Bourse

The 2nd arrondissement is one of the financial centers of Europe, being home to the Bourse (Stock exchange). Since sometime in the early renaissance this area has also been home to Paris’ red-light district and “Les Galeries”- covered upscale shopping centers that date back to the 19th Century. One in particular that is nice to see is Galerie Vivienne, which has a glass cover above. The 2nd is the smallest arrondissement in Paris with about 0.383 sq. miles.

les galeries Paris

Galerie Vivienne

3rd Arrondissement – Temple

This area includes the Northern quieter part of le Marais. Many artists and celebrities stay here to enjoy both the residential quietness but also the chic shopping aspect of the 3rd arrondissement. As a result of this, the number of luxury brands and fashion boutiques opened in this district has increased over the past few years. The 3rd arrondissement is also home to the oldest surviving private house in Paris, built in 1407 along the rue de Montmorency.
51 rue Montmorency in the 3rd district of Paris

4th Arrondissement – Hôtel-de-Ville

Situated on the Right Bank of the River Seine, the 4th arrondissement is a large piece of what used to be medieval Paris. At night, the area has the most active bar scene most travelers will have ever seen. This includes the lower Marais district which is sometimes known as gay Paris; although, there are no shortage of bars catering to straight crowds. The 4th arrondissement is known for its little streets, cafés, and shops but is sometimes regarded as expensive and congested. This area is desirable for those insisting on old buildings and multi-cultural exposure. Here you will find Notre Dame de Paris & Hôtel de Ville, Paris’ city hall. Many feel that this is one of the loveliest buildings in Paris.

Notre dame

Notre Dame de Paris

A couple sites that I have used to book rooms in Paris are venere.com www.venere.com” (thanks to Brenda B for this suggestions) and www.hotelscombined.com” which has a similar feel to kayak.com.

As always, if you have any specific questions about any area, please feel free to post a comment, and I will do my best to answer it.

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A few days in Vegas…

29
August
A quick trip to Vegas can get real expensive real quick. On our recent trip we decided to see if we could enjoy the city without breaking the bank. I thought this might be difficult since we were planning to stay there for several days and it’s easy to spend a lot of money there.


On this trip we decided to fly, since we were flying mid week and returning on Saturday. Flights on Friday or Sunday tend to be the most expensive, so if you are trying to save some money it is best to avoid those days.


For our hotel I used priceline to bid on a room. I know this may sound risky since you don’t know what you are actually getting until you pay, but if you pick a higher star rating you really can’t go wrong. If you want to get an example of what priceline considers a 3, 4 or 5 star hotel just browse their regular hotel page at http://travelc.priceline.com/hotels/ once you have decided what star level you are interested in you can select the area or areas you would like to stay in. I suggest narrowing it down to one or two areas and increasing as needed if your bid is not accepted. Priceline will show you the median retail price for the star rating and area you selected, I suggest starting your bid at 40% of the median price. Remember that taxes and fees are not included in the price you are bidding so make sure you do not bid more than you want to pay. If you bid is not accepted priceline will want you to increase the bid by at least $20 or $25, there is a way around this. Close the window and go back to the site to bid again.


On this stay we booked a room at Vdara. The hotel is a 5 star resort with no casino, so no smoke filled common areas. The room was spacious with a great view. We requested a high floor upon check in. One thing to remember is that many of the 4 or 5 star hotels will charge you a non-refundable resort fee when you check in. Resort fees range from $15-$20 plus applicable tax. The fee usually covers wireless Internet, use of pools, etc.


Vdara

Vdara Bedroom

If you plan to see a show while in Vegas there are lots of websites that offer discounted tickets or seating upgrades to shows that haven’t quite sold out. Some sites I’ve used have been http://www.vegastickets.com/ and http://www.tix4tonight.com/. Tix 4 tonight has a few booths set up around Vegas that sell tickets for the same night.


Last but certainly not least…dining. I was able to find some great deals for dining on http://www.restaurant.com/ they currently have most of the restaurants at Mandalay Bay and THEhotel. There are also some at the Palms and various other locations. We chose Mix at THEhotel. The atmosphere was great, with a sleek white dining area and unbeatable strip view from the 64th floor.  Ask the hostess to be seated on the Southern strip side for the best view. If the weather is nice you can also request to be seated outside on the terrace for an even better view. The food was amazing and the service was great! The restaurant has received a couple Michelin stars and the AAA Four Diamond Award two years in a row. After dinner we went over to the bar for a glass of champagne on the balcony (drinks average about $16 each but the view makes it worth it). Another place we loved is “Pizzeria” hidden on the third floor of the Cosmopolitan hotel. You can get a huge slice from $3.50 – $5 or a whole pie for around $25. The place is a bit hard to find, located down a long hallway with no signage in front.


I suggest signing up for every slot club card you can get. You can get several comps or reduced priced items. Also check your phone for deals on Yelp or Foursquare. We got a couple buy one get one free drink tickets for checking in at Ballys Casino.
Another deal we got grabbed before our trip was an hour massage at La Riva Spa. https://livingsocial.com/redeem_invite/29021279-adamag?ref=lnk offers vary on livingsocial but you can log in and check what they are currently offering in your city or a city you plan on visiting soon. Make sure you reserve in advance though, we were lucky enough to have them squeeze in our appointments during our stay.


I hope this will help you plan your next trip to Vegas or give you some inspiration to plan your next trip. As always feel free to post any comments or travel related questions you may have!


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