Romantic Paris

The favourite city of lovers the world over has become a byword for romance. Every arrondissement has its share of lovebirds meeting for a first date or a Valentine’s Day kiss, and the city is alive with sparks flying between paramours. What could be more romantic than strolling along the banks of the Seine hand in hand with your sweetheart? Paris is a city where everything is possible, and passions come to the fore.

Romantic Places for a Walk

The most inspiring views of Paris

The best viewpoints are for sharing with your loved one. The most famous is the one from the square in front of the Sacré-Cœur basilica, at the top of Montmartre hill. In eastern Paris, the hill at Belleville also offers a spectacular view. From the 56th floor of the Tour Montparnasse, the Ciel de Paris restaurant high above the capital offers amazing moments. Only the Eiffel Tower is higher – so high, in fact, that you’ll sometimes literally have your head in the clouds. Great views are also guaranteed as you travel up the glass-walled escalators at the Pompidou Centre. At the top, you can carry on enjoying the vista and watch the sun setting over the city as you sip a drink at Chez Georges, the restaurant on the top floor of the modern art museum. Note to the intrepid: the tethered hot air balloon at the Parc André Citroën takes you up into the sky to hover over the park from a height of 150 metres. The Terrass Hotel rooftop affords another viewpoint over the city from this part of Montmartre. The narrow streets winding from Place du Tertre offer spectacular views of Paris, and the little-known Butte Bergeyre in the 19th arrondissement stands right opposite the Sacré Cœur. Strolling through the Parc des Buttes Chaumont feels like walking on the city’s rooftops, as if on a tightrope. La Défense is an area with less warmth, but a fabulous view of the Arc de Triomphe in the distance. You can also see this futuristic district from the Fondation Vuitton terraces, along with the green hills around the outskirts of Paris.

  • Parvis du Sacré Cœur Paris 18th 
  • Centre Pompidou et Restaurant Georges 19 rue Beaubourg Paris 4th 
  • Tour Montparnasse et Le Ciel de Paris 33 avenue du Maine Paris 15th 
  • Tour Eiffel Paris 7th 
  • Parc André Citroën Paris 15th
  • Parc de Belleville – Paris 20th
  • Fondation Louis Vuitton Paris 16th 
  • Terrass’Hôtel Paris 18th

Legendary bridges and footbridges for sharing a lingering kiss

Bridges can also be very romantic! Maybe because the arch symbolises an alliance, or because water will carry away even the craziest promises… Tradition dictates that those in love should kiss while making a wish on the Pont Marie, nicknamed the Lovers’ Bridge. Even if you’re not in love, you still have 37 bridges and 49 pedestrian footbridges across the Seine to choose from!

The Bichat pedestrian footbridge (10th) is a great place to stand hand in hand and watch the barges perform their ballet while the locks fill on the Canal Saint-Martin. The Pont au Double (4th) that links the square in front of Notre Dame to Quai de Montebello is ideal for losing yourself in contemplation of the Seine riverbanks. The Rue de Crimée lift bridge (19th) affords a lovely view over the Bassin de la Villette Ourcq Canal. Crossing the Arsenal Marina on the Mornay footbridge (7th and 12th) with your loved one, you may even be tempted to cast off and sail away together… The BZ/12 footbridge (12th) on the Coulée Verte spans the garden known as Jardin de Reuilly: the perfect spot to stretch out for a siesta on warm days.

Secret Paris streets

People around the world are familiar with the usual pictures and clichéd images of romance in Paris, but lovebirds in search of tranquillity will find plenty of romantic spots off the beaten track. Rue des Thermopyles, a cobblestone street, is an oasis of calm and greenery in the 14th arrondissement, offering a glimpse of a bucolic side to Paris, like the Cité Florale in the 13th, where even the street names – Orchidées, Volubilis, Mimosas, Glycines, Iris, Liserons – evoke the fragrance of flowers. Rue Crémieux, a stone’s throw from the Gare de Lyon, provides a colourful excursion for people with a taste for the unusual. And then there’s the Square de Montsouris, formerly inhabited by several artists, with its houses draped in wisteria and ivy.

Let love soar to greater heights

The Montmarte hill is undoubtedly the number one high point lovers head for. The ‘I love you’ wall is inscribed with nearly one thousand declarations of love in more than 300 languages. In the daytime, couples can have their portrait painted by the artists in Place du Tertre, or their initials embroidered on an offcut at the Marché Saint-Pierre. Every year, during the harvest festival, couples can publicly pledge their commitment during the annual ‘Non-Marriage Proposals’ ceremony conducted by the Mayor. There are other high points, too, for couples looking to take their love to another level: Belleville (128.5 m), the Buttes-Chaumont (103 m), the Butte de Ménilmontant (108 m), the Butte Bergeyre (100 m), Passy (71 m) or the Butte aux Cailles (63 m).

Draw up a lovey-dovey itinerary

For an offbeat and romantic itinerary, pick up a map of the city and follow ‘inspiring’ street names. You could start at the Passage du Désir, in the 10th arrondissement, and then on to Rue de la Fidélité, only a short distance away, leading to … Rue de Paradis! Or you could walk down Rue de la Gaieté (14th) and Rue de la Félicité (17th). Newlyweds could explore Rue Monsieur (7th) and go on to Rue Mademoiselle (15th) before joining Rue Madame (6th), and perhaps continue on to the nearby Rue Princesse. To put an end to a lovers’ quarrel, what could be better than a peaceful stroll along Rue de la Paix? In love, the language of flowers is particularly eloquent, and some secret corners of Paris are evocatively named. Take a walk along the Quai aux Fleurs (4th), Rue des Rosiers (4th), then Rue des Camélias (14th), before losing yourself in the utterly charming Cité des Fleurs (17th). Optional streets: Rue des Glycines, Rue des Iris and Rue des Orchidées (13th), Rue des Primevères (11th) and Boulevard des Capucines (9th).

Explore the covered shopping arcades

With their high glass roofs, eclectic boutiques and old-fashioned charm, the covered arcades of Paris are full of timeless charm. They are perfect for a romantic stroll away from the noise of the city, especially on rainy days. The most opulent ones are Galerie Vivienne and Galerie Colbert, with their neo-classical decor. Jean Paul Gaultier was one of the first people to open a shop in Galerie Vivienne. The Passage des Panoramas has been nicknamed ‘the passage of the palate’ because it has plenty of places to eat: there’s a bistro, a Michelin-starred restaurant, a tea room and a wine bar. Passage Jouffroy and Passage Verdeau will delight those in search of collector’s items and great little secret places. At the far end of Passage Jouffroy, the charming Hôtel Chopin with its old-fashioned decor offers a superb view of Paris – the ideal hideaway for a romantic weekend. The Passage du Grand Cerf and the Galerie Véro-Dodat are magnets for design fans. The Passage Choiseul is a popular spot to linger, and the Passage Brady with its numerous Indian restaurants transports you to the subcontinent.

  • Galerie Vivienne, Paris 2nd,
  • Galerie Colbert Paris 2nd,
  • Passage des Panoramas Paris 2nd,
  • Passage Jouffroy Paris 9th,
  • Passage Verdeau Paris 9th,
  • Passage Choiseul Paris 2nd,
  • Passage du Grand Cerf, galerie Véro-Dodat Paris 1st,
  • Passage Brady Paris 10th
  • Hôtel Chopin 46 passage Jouffroy, Paris 9th 

Romantic visits, with or without a guide

Paris is an ideal place for gazing at fabulous sights together. An outing can be instructive with Paris As You Like It: the tour guide takes visitors around the French capital’s most emblematic monuments. Delphine Lanvin offers walks in the footsteps of famous Parisian couples, while the agency 1 Day in Paris runs ‘love tours’ of Montmartre hill, the Seine riverbanks and Paris bridges in an authentic 2CV car. Suggestive paintings, sensual sculptures, cheeky bronze statues: museums have many a work of art to make visitors blush. Bruno de Baeque, professional viewer, invites spectators to admire ‘the loveliest bottoms’ on show at the Louvre and the Orsay. In the Nouvelle Athènes district, the Musée de la Vie Romantique houses a collection of souvenirs and objects relating to the writer George Sand and the painter Ary Scheffer. Other romantic icons: the Lady and the Unicorn tapestry at the Musée de Cluny and the painting of Romeo and Juliet at the Musée Delacroix.

  • 1dayinparis.com – www.1dayinparis.com
  • Art in Paris Lanvin visites – www.lanvinvisites.com
  • parisasyoulikeit –www.paris-asyoulikeit.com
  • Musée du Louvre, rue de Rivoli, Paris 1st – www.louvre.fr
  • Musée d’Orsay 62 rue de Lille, Paris 7th – www.musee-orsay.fr
  • Musée de la Vie romantique 16 rue Chaptal Paris 9th
  • Musée de Cluny 6 place Paul Painlevé Paris 5th 
  • Musée Eugène Delacroix 6 rue de Furstenberg, Paris 6th – www.musee-delacroix.fr
  • Bruno de Baeque – www.vusouscetangle.net

Seats for two

The dim lighting in cinema auditoriums creates a romantic atmosphere for couples in love. An opportunity for French kissing or stolen kisses. At the MK2 Bibliothèque and MK2 Quai-de-Loire cinemas, couples can nestle in each other’s arms in a cosy red two-seater armchair (without arm rests). Red also, but in leather, the sofas of the Théâtre Ciné 13, in the romantic Butte Montmartre neighbourhood, have been specially designed so that couples can spend their evening entwined. After the film, at the restaurant ‘Sur un arbre perché’, couples can canoodle on a swing, and book a shiatsu massage for some joint pampering. Quebec sculptor Michel Goulet has created ten ‘Confidents’ poem-chairs for the Palais Royal garden. You can sit in these loveseats, side by side or back to back, and read their quotes that lend to amorous reverie… ‘I walk to you, I stagger to you, I die of you’ – Gaston Miron.

  • MK2 Bibliothèque 162-168 avenue de France, Paris 13e – www.mk2.com
  • MK2 Quai-de-Loire 7 quai de la Loire, Paris 19th – www.mk2.com
  • Ciné 13 1 avenue Junot, Paris 18th – www.cine13-theatre.com
  • Sur un arbre perché 1 rue du 4 septembre, Paris 2nd www.surunarbreperche.com
  • Pathé Beaugrenelle 12 rue Linois, Paris 15th http://www.cinemasgaumontpathe.com

ROMANTIC MODES OF TRANSPORT

A ride in a horse-drawn carriage

A ride in a horse-drawn carriage in Paris is a truly magical experience. Lulled by the clip-clop of horses’ hooves on the cobbles, you can enjoy a leisurely outing either in a simple carriage, or in a Cinderella-style carriage for two to four people.

  • Paris Calèches – Tel +33 (0)6 62 20 24 88 – www.pariscaleches.com
  • Les Calèches de Versailles – Tel +33 (0) 6 12 73 89 19 – calechesdeversailles.com

2CVs, tuk-tuks and Vespas

Inspired by Asian rickshaws, pedicabs and tuk-tuks are unusual ways of getting around town. Using muscle power alone, the driver of a pedicab or tricycle can travel as fast as a bus, without the crowds. The tuk-tuk is a taxi bike – and, as it’s electrically assisted, it’s less tiring for the driver. For an offbeat excursion, ‘Paris by scooter’ offer sightseeing tours of Paris or Versailles by Vespa. Either as a convertible or with a glass roof, the legendary Citroën car is the ideal form of transport to see Paris.

  • http://parisbyscooter.com
  • http://2cvparistour.fr,
  • www.parisauthentic.com;
  • http://www.4roues-sous-1parapluie.com
  • www.paris-tuktuk.fr
  • www.allo-tuktuk.com
  • www.tuktukride.com
  • www.cyclopolitain.com
  • More information on – www.parisinfo.com

Flaunt it: hire a limousine

A chauffeur-driven limousine or Hummer for an evening out is an ultra-glamorous experience. Included in the programme: champagne and views of the most beautiful Parisian streets and avenues. The latest stylish fad is to opt for a vintage car, which offers all the comfort of modern vehicles but also has that little extra cachet.

  • Icar Services – www.icarservices.com
  • Massey Limousines – www.limomassey.com
  • Gasnier Service Limousine – www.gasnier-limousine.com
  • Paris Major Limousines International – http://www.1st-limousine-services.com
  • Stars Limo – www.starlimos.fr
  • Anciennes de Prestige – www.anciennesdeprestige.fr

Splurge on a personal chauffeur

Why opt for an ordinary taxi when you can be driven around Paris in style, like some well guarded celebrity, by your own personal chauffeur? Hire a top-of-the-range van, motorcycle, or saloon car to take you to the destination of your choice. With these new personal chauffeur services, you’ll enjoy a comfortable ride and attentive service at affordable prices.

  • Laisser Passer – www.laisserpasser.fr 
  • France Luxury Cab – www.franceluxurycab.com
  • My Daily Driver – www.mydailydriver.fr
  • Chauffeurs de Maître – www.chauffeursdemaitre.com
  • Paris Tours Service – www.paris-tours-service.com
  • Premium Transport Services – www.premium-transport-services.com
  • Paris Way – www.paris-way.com
  • Easy-Van – www.easy-van.fr
  • Paris Major Limousines International – http://www.1st-limousine-services.com
  • Chabé Limousines – www.chabe-limousines.com
  • Paris Connection – www.parisconnection.fr
  • GSL Gasnier Service Limousine – www.gasnier-limousine.com

Cruising on the Seine

There’s nothing quite as romantic as inviting your beloved for a dinner cruise or sightseeing cruise along the Seine to admire the most beautiful monuments in Paris. The restaurant boats of La Marina de Paris serve refined cuisine made from fresh market produce, and the Bateaux Parisiens offer outstanding views from their all-glass dining room – not forgetting the famous Bateaux-Mouches®. For that special occasion, River Limousine or Seine Avenue offer private cruises aboard luxurious craft, designed similarly to the wooden vessels on the canals of Venice. Green River offers original little pontoon boats that can also be privately hired for a romantic getaway; and then there’s My Paris River with its floating lounges. The guinguette (open-air dance hall) spirit has reached the Seine with the Belle Vallée, a paddle-boat with an accordionist on board every Thursday for a lively musical boat trip. Cruises along the Canal Saint-Martin, passing through locks and swing bridges, will appeal to those eager to spot reminders of bygone popular and bohemian Paris. For a unique experience, the VIP Paris Yacht Hotel offers overnight accommodation in one of its cabins after a dinner cruise on the Seine. Vedettes du Pont Neuf organizes concerts on the Seine and champagne-tasting cruises, for musical moments and sparkling fun! Or you could enjoy a dreamy getaway in the Boudoir de Serendipity, a charming barge&breakfast moored at Asnières-sur-Seine just outside Paris. And thrill-seekers can try a speedboat ride on the Seine, between Pont de la Gare and eastern Paris.

  • Les Bateaux Parisiens – www.bateauxparisiens.com
  • La Marina de Paris – www.marina-de-paris.com
  • Canauxrama – www.canauxrama.com
  • Paris Canal – www.pariscanal.com
  • Green River – www.greenriver-paris.fr
  • Seine Avenue – www.seineavenue.com
  • River Limousine – www.river-limousine.com
  • VIP Paris Yacht Hotel – www.le-vip-paris.com
  • My Paris River- www.myparisriver.com
  • Le Boudoir de Serendipity – www.leboudoirdeserendipity.com
  • Paris speed – http://parisspeed.com
  • Les Vedettes du Pont Neuf – www.vedettesdupontneuf.fr
  • Les Bateaux-Mouches®, www.bateaux-mouches.fr
  • Les Vedettes de Paris, www.vedettesdeparis.fr
  • Les Yachts de Paris, www.yachtsdeparis.fr
  • Bateau Ivre Maxim’s www.maxims-de-paris.com
  • Marin d’Eau Douce www.marindeaudouce.fr

Drinks by the waterside

Dedicated landlubbers can still enjoy a drink with great river views in the heart of the capital. The über-stylish OFF Paris Seine is a floating hotel/bar on the Seine that even offers the luxury of a lap pool, for the days when you want to cool off. Aux Maquereaux is a seafood bar that opens for the summer (July to October), serving cocktails along with its views over the Île SaintLouis – an especial treat if you time your visit to catch the sunset. A lime green barge called Petit Bain moored just below the French National Library (BnF, Bibliothèque Nationale de France,) houses a floating cultural centre, where you can enjoy electro music in the concert hall and an open-air bar. Another very popular summer hotspot is Playtime, a barge between the Jardin des Plantes and the National Library combining a bar, restaurant and swimming pool with the slogan ‘Sunshine at noon, lanterns at midnight’. As for other waterside drinking spots – watch this space, because most of the outdoor summer venues will only appear once the warmer weather is on its way!

  • OFF Paris Seine 20-22 Quai d’Austerlitz, Paris 13th
  • Petit Bain 7 Port de la Gare, Paris 13th 
  • Le Playtime 34 Quai d’Austerlitz, Paris 13th

SWEET AFTERNOONS

Tea rooms and spa

On a cold winter’s day, it is nice to enjoy a drink and a delicious cake or pastry in one of the capital’s many tea rooms. Surprisingly enough, some of them have a spa, a pool or massage rooms! Open to both men and women some days of the week, these are absolute havens of peace and refinement. Oriental delights are served in the exotic setting of the Bains d’Orient. Calm reigns at the elegantly appointed hammam Les Cents Ciels, with its tea room in BoulogneBillancourt offering wonderful views of the starry sky on warm nights. Sweet treats and Oriental dishes can be sampled at the Bains du Marais, while the Spa Thémaé is all about the health benefits of tea. Or why not try a massage for two at the Ban Thaï Spa or Spa dans le Noir, which will awaken your senses as you lie there with your eyes closed. The Elfées spa offers a special deal for couples, including a private session in the hammam, a whirlpool spa, an exfoliation and a massage. On top of all that, you are also served a half-bottle of champagne and a bowl of fresh fruit. What more could you ask?

  • L’Echappée Spa 64 rue de la Folie Méricourt, Paris 11th
  • Bains du Marais 31-33 rue des Blancs Manteaux, Paris 4th
  • Themae 20-22, rue Croix des Petits Champs, Paris 1st
  • Les Bains d’Orient 7 place de la Bataille Stalingrad, Paris 10th
  • Ban Thaï Spa Odéon 20 rue Dauphine, Paris 6th 
  • Spa dans le Noir 65 rue Montmartre, Paris 2nd
  • Elfées Spa 22 boulevard de la Tour-Maubourg, Paris 7th
  • Spa Cinq Mondes 6 square de l’Opéra-Louis Jouvet, Paris 9th
  • Zen Thaï Spa 12 rue du Pic de Barrette, Paris 15th

DRINKS FOR TWO

Sparkling Paris: Champagne time!

‘Champagne helps wonder,’ the French writer George Sand once wrote. To seal your love for one another or just to enjoy a romantic moment, nothing can replace the magic of champagne. The oldest bar in Paris devoted to this festive drink is Le Dokhan’s near Trocadéro. Woodpanelling, mirrors and candles make this a classy place. At the Hôtel Sezz near Passy, La Grande Dame is devoted to Veuve Clicquot champagne. The champagne bar on the third floor of the Eiffel Tower is an ideal place for a ‘heady’ toast to happiness, and so is the terrace of the Tour Montparnasse. Dilettantes in Saint-Germain-des-Prés has 130 different champagnes, and a bar and a cellar for tastings. Les Bulles de Paris is a hotel where suites are named after the great Champagne Maisons. Get a taste of this sparkling world by trying out some of the fine cuvées on offer. On the Montmartre hillside you will find champagne bar and fine deli La Dégustation, a wonderful place for wine-lovers to stop off and sample the offerings of an extensive menu alongside the capital’s connoisseurs.

  • Le Dokhan’s 117 rue Lauriston, Paris 16th
  • La Grande Dame 6 avenue Frémiet, Paris 16th 
  • Tour Eiffel Paris 7th 
  • Dilettantes 22 rue de Savoie Paris 6th 
  • Hôtel Les Bulles de Paris 32 rue des Écoles, Paris 5th 
  • La Dégustation 93 rue Lepic, Paris 18th

Flirting on a pretty terrace

Flower-bedecked terraces and tiny tables set out on charming little streets are so inviting on a warm summer’s evening. What could be more pleasant than indulging in a little light flirtation with your beloved under the glow of streetlamps as the city’s noise grows muted at nightfall …

Restaurants with a view and hotel rooftops

In Paris, there is no shortage of restaurants with a view. The Eiffel Tower is obviously one of the top ones. At a height of 125 metres, the refined menu at the Jules Verne created by Alain Ducasse provides a gastronomic overview of the city. The Tour d’Argent, overlooking the Seine and Notre-Dame Cathedral, needs no introduction. Designed by Philippe Starck, the bar of the Kong on the 5th floor of a Haussmannian building offers a superb view of the Pont Neuf and the Seine. Wonderful vistas of Paris can also be had from the terrace of the Maison Blanche, the roof of the Hôtel Raphaël, the rooftop restaurant Les Ombres at the Musée du Quai Branly, the Georges at the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Zyriad by Noura on the 9th floor of the Institut du Monde Arabe, and the Benkay, a gem of Japanese cooking, on the 4th floor of the Hôtel Novotel Paris Tour Eiffel. Over towards Oberkampf, the roof terrace Le Perchoir, on the 7th floor, has a restaurant tucked away on the 6th floor, while Ciel de Paris on the 56th floor of the Tour Montparnasse lords it over the city. The Bar La Vue at Porte Maillot offers a vista comparable to the view from a New York rooftop, as does the bar at the Hôtel Melia in La Défense.

  • Le Kong 1 rue du Pont – Neuf, Paris 1st – Tel +33 (0)1 40 39 09 00 – www.kong.fr
  • Le Georges 19 rue Beaubourg, Paris 4th – Tel +33 (0)1 44 78 47 99 – www.beaumarly.com
  • La Tour d’Argent 15 quai de la Tournelle, Paris 5th – Tel +33 (0)1 43 54 23 31 – www.latourdargent.com
  • Le Zyriab by Noura 1 rue des Fossés-Saint-Bernard, Paris 5th – Tel +33 (0)1 55 42 55 42 – www.noura.com
  • Le Jules Verne Tour Eiffel Paris 7th – Tel +33 (0)1 45 55 61 44 – www.lejulesverne-paris.com
  • Les Ombres musée du Quai – Branly 27 quai Branly, Paris 7th – Tel +33 (0)1 47 53 68 00 – www.lesombres-restaurant.com
  • La Maison Blanche 15 avenue Montaigne, Paris 8th – Tel +33 (0)1 47 23 55 99 – www.maison blanche.fr
  • Le Ciel de Paris 33 avenue du Maine, Paris 15th – Tel +33 (0)1 40 64 77 64 – www.cieldeparis.com
  • Les Jardins Plein Ciel – hôtel Raphaël 17 avenue Kléber, Paris 16th – Tel +33 (0)1 53 64 32 30
  • Benkay 61 quai de Grenelle Hôtel Novotel, Paris 15th – Tel +33 (0)1 40 58 21 26 – www.restaurant-benkay.com
  • Le Perchoir 14 rue Crespin du Gast, Paris 11th – Tel +33 (0)1 48 06 18 48 www.leperchoir.fr
  • Bar La Vue 3 place du Général Koenig, Paris 17th – Tel+33(0)1 40 68 51 31 www.barlavue.com
  • Skyline Paris Lounge & Bar Hôtel Melia-2 Esplanade du Général de Gaulle-La DéfenseTel+33(0)1 75 57 99 00
  • Terrass Hôtel 12-14 rue Joseph de Maistre, Paris 18th – M° Abbesses
  • Lounge Bar View Novotel Paris 257 rue de Vaugirard, Paris 15th – M°Vaugirard-Tel.+33(0)1 40 45 12 90
  • Wanderlust 32 Quai d’Austerlitz, Paris 13th – M°Gare d’Austerlitz www.wanderlustparis.com
  • Hôtel Raphaël 17 avenue Kléber, Paris 16th – M°Kléber-Tel+33(0)1 53 64 32 00
  • Mama Shelter Paris 109 rue de Bagnolet, Paris 20th — M°Alexandre Dumas-Tel+33(0)1 43 48 48 48
  • Hôtel Molitor 8 avenue de la Porte Molitor, Paris 16th – M°Porte d’Auteuil-Tel+33(0)1 56 07 08 50 www.mltr.fr
  • Hôtel Warwick 5 rue de Berri, Paris 8th – M°George V- Tel+33(0)1 45 63 14 11 43
  • Up on the roof 4 rue Danton, Paris 6th – M°Odéon-Tel+33(0)1 81 69 00 60

Sip a cocktail with your significant other

Few pleasures in life are as sensual as sipping a cocktail skillfully mixed by a savvy bartender while gazing into your loved one’s eyes. Exotic cocktails, one-off concoctions: raise a toast to your sweetheart in one of the French capital’s cosy cocktail bars. There is a growing trend for speakeasies or ‘bars clandestins’, well-kept secrets with a snug atmosphere, away from the crowds and the gaze of onlookers.

The charm of a guinguette atmosphere

In the heart of the Buttes Chaumont park, the guinguette-style cafe Rosa Bonheur, housed in a listed building, is a very popular spot for dancing on fine summer evenings along with people from the local area. A short distance from the Pont Alexandre III, the fixed barge named ‘Rosa Bonheur sur Seine’ is a great place to relax. Even more unusual, the Chalet des Îles, on the banks of a lake in the Bois de Boulogne, offers a bucolic setting in summer and a cosy setting in winter with its lovely fireplace. There is also the additional charm of having to get to this secret haven by boat. Not far away, visitors can venture onto the Ile de la Jatte in Neuilly-surSeine for dinner at the very traditional Guingette de Neuilly, or the restaurant ‘Les Pieds dans l’eau’, which has an enormous terrace overlooking the Seine.

Meals for two by the fireside

Dim lighting, candles and a cosy fire crackling in the fireplace… these welcoming restaurants are perfect places for gazing into each other’s eyes as you sample dishes as exquisite as the moment you’re spending together.

  • Le Coupe Chou 11 rue de Lanneau, Paris 5th
  • Le Quincampe 78 rue Quincampoix, Paris 3rd
  • Les Chouettes 32 rue de Picardie, Paris 3rd
  • La Cave de l’Insolite 30 rue de la Folie Méricourt, Paris 11th
  • Le Flamboire 54 rue Blanche, Paris 9th
  • Le Hibou 16 Carrefour de l’Odéon, Paris 6th
  • Robert et Louise 64 rue Vieille du Temple, Paris 3rd
  • L’Atelier Maître Albert 1 rue Maître Albert, Paris 5th

An evening at a cabaret show

French cancan and lead dancer: all the ingredients are present to transport you to the Paris of the belle époque and the Roaring Twenties. The Paradis Latin presents the amazing Paradis à la Folie, a sparkling revue with high-spirited cancan. At the Crazy Horse, the show Désirs, by Philippe Decouflé and Ali Mahdavi, hots up cool evenings! Since April 2015, the Lido de Paris has been showcasing a brand-new revue staged by Franco Dragone, bringing fresh excitement to the French capital: a fairytale extravaganza of dance and lighting.

  • Bal du Moulin Rouge 82 boulevard de Clichy, Paris 18th
  • Crazy Horse 12 avenue George-V, Paris 8th
  • Lido de Paris 116 bis avenue des Champs-Élysées, Paris 8th
  • Paradis Latin 28 rue du Cardinal-Lemoine, Paris 5th

A last tango in Paris

What could be more romantic than dancing cheek to cheek? There are several places in Paris you can go to tango, salsa, waltz, etc. At La Bellevilloise, you can have lessons to learn the tango, the swing or even the lindy hop, from the 1920s. At La Casa del Tango, people dance as they did in the most romantic times of the past, and in a very Parisian spirit. And for beginners, some places like the Théâtre de Verre offer classes a few hours before the dances organized at weekends, as well as flamenco and modern dance lessons. On Sundays, don’t miss the 100 per cent Dominican Republic atmosphere and bachata dancing lessons on the Nix Nox barge.

  • La Bellevilloise 19-21 rue Boyer, Paris 20th 
  • Théâtre de Verre 17, rue de la Chapelle, Paris 18th 
  • La Casa del Tango 11 allée Darius-Milhaud, Paris 19th
  • École des Danses latines tropicales 40 rue de Cîteaux, Paris 12th
  • Dancenter Paris 6 impasse de Lévis, Paris 17th
  • Centre de Danse du Marais 41 rue du Temple, Paris 4th
  • Nix Nox 6 quai de la gare, Paris 13th

LOVING NIGHTS

Love hotels

The aptly named Hôtel Amour, in the South Pigalle district, has 20 guest rooms decorated on the theme of love, as well as a pretty leafy terrace. And now it has a big brother, the Hôtel Grand Amour, just opened on the Rue de la Fidélité (which translates as ‘Street of Faithfulness’). Montmartre Mon amour is a 4-star hotel devoted to the eternal, sincere, passionate love affairs of couples like Edith Piaf and Marcel Cerdan or Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud. The Hôtel Les Plumes, with the characteristic atmosphere of a 19th-century boarding house, has named some of its guest rooms after famous lovers of the time, including George (Sand), Alfred (de Musset), Juliette (Récamier) and Victor Hugo. At the Jules & Jim, named after Truffaut’s film, the guest rooms overlook Parisian rooftops or paved courtyards and have an arty atmosphere with huge portrait photos. At the Hôtel Sezz, with its designer interiors, a discreet drawer holds a ‘sexy mini bar’. The hotel Vice Versa by designer Chantal Thomass also plays on sensuality, on the theme of the seven deadly sins. Then there is the Grey Hôtel, with 33 cosy, elegant rooms. Elegance is also the hallmark of the Hôtel Bachaumont, which has a secret cocktail bar. New boutique hotel the 5-star Roch Hôtel & Spa features interiors designed by decorator Sarah Lavoine. A short walk away from Opéra, it offers a soft, plush atmosphere that’s just perfect for a love tryst. Also tucked away from the Grands Boulevards is the Adèle & Jules hotel, a haven of chic with beautifully elegant decor. Or step outside time by checking in at the Square Louvois hotel and relax under the vaulted ceiling of its well-being area, in a gorgeous swimming pool with hydromassage bench.

  • Hôtel Amour 8 rue de Navarin, Paris 9th – Tel +33 (0)1 48 78 31 80 – www.hotelamourparis.fr
  • Le Grey Hôtel 12 rue de Parme, Paris 9th – Tel +33(0)1 55 31 93 93 www.legrey-hotel.com
  • Hôtel Montmartre Mon Amour 7 rue Paul Albert, Paris 18th – Tel +33 (0)1 46 06 03 03 www.hotelmontmartremonamour.com
  • Les Plumes Hôtel 10 rue Lamartine Paris 9th – Tel + 33 (0)1 55 07 88 00 – www.lesplumeshotel.com
  • Le Jules & Jim 11 Rue des Gravilliers, Paris 3rd – Tel +33 (0)1 44 54 13 13 – www.hoteljulesetjim.com
  • Hôtel Sezz 6 Avenue Fremiet, Paris 16th – Tel + 33 (0) 1 56 75 26 26 – www.paris.hotelsezz.com
  • Vice Versa Hotel 213 rue de la Croix Nivert, Paris 15th – Tel + 33 (0) 1 55 76 55 55 www.viceversahotel.com
  • Les Bains 7 rue du Bourg l’Abbé, Paris 3rd-M°Etienne Marcel-Tel+33(0)1 42 77 07 07 www.lesbains-paris.com
  • Le Grand Pigalle Hôtel 29 rue Victor Masse, Paris 9th- M°Pigalle
  • Le Cinq Codet 5 rue Louis Codet, Paris 7th- M°Ecole Militaire www.le5codet.com 
  • Maison Souquet 10 rue de Bruxelles, Paris 9th- M°Blanche www.maisonsouquet.com Hôtel Bachaumont 18 rue Bauchaumont, Paris 2nd- M° Sentier-Tel+33(0)1 81 66 47 50
  • La Belle Juliette 92 rue du Cherche-Midi, Paris 6th- M°Vaneau
  • M Gallery Boutet 22-24 rue Faidherbe, Paris 11th – M°Faidherbe-Chaligny
  • Le Roch Hôtel & Spa 28 rue Saint-Roch, Paris 1st-M°Pyramides www.leroch-hotel.com
  • NEW! Hôtel Square Louvois 12 rue de Louvois, Paris 2nd-M°Sentier www.hotel-louvois-paris.com
  • NEW! Hôtel Adèle & Jules 2 Cité Rougemont, Paris 9th- M°Grands Boulevards www.hoteladelejules.fr
  • NEW! Champs Elysées Friedland by Happy Culture 177 rue du Faubourg St Honoré, Paris 8th Champs Elysées http://www.hotel-paris-friedland.com/
  • Hôtel de Buci 22 rue de Buci, Paris 6th St Germain des Prés, www.buci-hotel.com
  • Les Dames du Panthéon 19 place du Panthéon, Paris 5th – M° Cardinal Lemoine www.hotellesdamesdupantheon.com
  • Hôtel Odéon St Germain 13 rue Saint Sulpice, Paris 6th – M°Odéon http://hotelparisodeonsaintgermain.com/fr/
  • Hôtel St Paul Rive Gauche 43 rue Monsieur le Prince, Paris 6th – M°Saint Paul, http://hotelsaintpaulparis.com/
  • Villa Madame 44 rue Madame, Paris 6th – M°Rennes, www.hotelvillamadameparis.com
  • Ascot Opera 2 rue Monsigny, Paris 2nd – M°Quatre-Septembre, www.ascotparishotel.com
  • Hôtel du levant 18 rue de la Harpe, Paris 5th – M°St Michel, www.hoteldulevant.com
  • Hôtel Palm Astotel 30 rue de Maubeuge, Paris 9th – M°Cadet, www.astotel.com
  • Lumen Paris Louvre 15 rue des Pyramides, Paris 1st – M°Pyramides, www.hotellumenparis.com
  • Caron de Beaumarchais 12 rue Vieille du Temple, Paris 4th – M°Hôtel de Ville, www.carondebeaumarchais.com
  • Hôtel de France Invalides 102 boulevard la Tour Maubourg, Paris 7th – M°La Tour Maubourg, www.hoteldefrance.com
  • Hôtel de Londres Eiffel 1 rue Augereau, Paris 7th – M°Ecole Militaire, www.hotel-parislondres-eiffel.com
  • Hôtel Marais Hôme 38 boulevard du Temple, Paris 11th – M°Oberkampf, www.hotel-maraishome.fr
  • Hôtel Scarlett 1 rue Jouye-Rouve, Paris 20th – M°Pyrénées, www.hotelscarlett.com
  • Pavillon Monceau 43 rue Jouffroy d’Abbans, Paris 17th – M°Wagram, www.pavillonmonceau.com

Hotel room numbers to note

On a discreet street close to the Jardin du Luxembourg is One by the Five, an annexe of the Five Hotel: an exceptional suite with a bedroom where the bed does not touch the floor … for a night of weightlessness. At the Seven Hotel in the heart of the Latin Quarter, the Sublime suite with its round suspended bed and picture-perfect decor is a cosy and sublime cocoon. Another option: the suite Lovez Vous, with its terrace equipped with a Jacuzzi for two. There is also a Jacuzzi in the Dream Catcher suite at the Hôtel Legend, and on the terraces of the two suites on the roof of the Hôtel Félicien, decorated by Ted Lapidus. At the Hôtel du PetitMoulin, tucked away in the Marais, Room 303 has a ceiling mirror above the bed. At the Hôtel Angely, with its chic boudoir decor, the Diamond Lovers is a small love nest with sparkling decor perched on the top floor. At the Hôtel Paradis, the suite of the same name, tucked away under the rooftops, offers a view of Sacré Cœur. If you like the idea of a romantic swim together, just the two of you, L’Hôtel in Rue des Beaux-Arts enables clients, on request, to privately hire its lower ground floor swimming pool surmounted by a vault. The Hidden Hôtel, a stone’s throw from the Arc de Triomphe, has one extraordinary suite with a yoga wall. Using the harnesses on the wall, couples can do a workout with the (optional) advice of a yoga teacher. For a stunningly romantic view of the Eiffel Tower, head for the Hôtel La Comtesse – housed in a lovely Haussmannian building – and ask for Room 502, which offers the perfect vantage point.

  • One by the Five 3 rue Flatters, Paris 5th – Tel +33 (0)1 43 31 52 31 – www.thefivehotel.com
  • The Seven Hotel 20 rue Bertholet, Paris 5th – Tel +33 (0)1 43 31 47 52 – www.sevenhotelparis.com
  • Hôtel du Petit Moulin 29-31 rue du Poitou, Paris 3rd – Tel +33 (0)1 42 74 10 10 –
  • Hôtel Legend 151 bis, rue de Rennes, Paris 6th – Tel + 33 (0)1 45 48 97 38 www.legendhotelparis.com
  • Hôtel Félicien 21 rue Félicien David, Paris 16th – Tel + 33 (0)1 55 74 00 00 – www.hotelfelicienparis.com
  • Hôtel Angely 22 rue du Grand Prieuré Paris 11th – Tel + 33 (0)1 4 8 07 55 25 www.angelyhotelparis.com
  • Hôtel Paradis 41 rue des Petites Ecuries Paris 10th – Tel + 33 (0)1 45 23 08 22 www.hotelparadisparis.com
  • L’Hôtel 13 rue des Beaux-Arts, Paris 6th – Tel +33 (0)1 44 41 99 00 – www.l-hotel.com
  • Hidden Hotel 28 rue de l’Arc de Triomphe Paris 17th- Tel : +33 (0)1 40 55 03 57 www.hiddenhotel.com
  • Hôtel La Comtesse 29 avenue de Tourville, Paris 7th-Tel+33(0)1 45 51 29 29 http://comtessehotel.com

A palatial stay

Reserved for very special occasions, palace hotels are the essence of luxury. Some are legendary, like Le Meurice and the Four Seasons George V. Others offer more contemporary decor, like the Royal Monceau Raffles and the Mandarin Oriental. The opening of the first French address by the Peninsula group, on the premises of the former Hôtel Majestic near the Arc de Triomphe, took luxury to new heights. On Chaillot hill, the Asian luxury hotel brand Shangri-La is housed in the Palais d’Iéna, the former residence of Prince Roland Bonaparte. Its guest rooms offer wonderful views of the Eiffel Tower.

  • Le Four Seasons George V 31 avenue George V, Paris 8th – Tel: +33 (0)1 49 52 70 00 – www.fourseasons.com
  • Le Meurice 228 rue de Rivoli, Paris 1st – Tel +33 (0)1 44 58 10 10 – www.lemeurice.com
  • Le Bristol 112 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Paris 8th – Tel +33 (0)1 53 43 43 00 – www.lebristolparis.com
  • Le Royal Monceau Raffles 37 avenue Hoche Paris 8th – Tel + 33 (0)1 42 99 88 00 www.leroyalmonceau.com
  • Le Mandarin Oriental 251 rue Saint-Honoré, Paris 1st – Tel + 33 (0)1 70 98 78 88 www.mandarinoriental.fr
  • Shangri-La Hotel 10 avenue d’Iéna, Paris 16th – Tel +33 (0)1 53 67 19 98 – www.shangri-la.com
  • The Peninsula Paris 19 avenue Kléber, Paris 16th- Tel +33(0)1 58 12 28 88 – paris.peninsula.com
  • Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme 5 rue de la Paix, Paris 2nd – Tel +33 (0) 1 58 71 12 34 – paris.vendome.hyatt.com
  • Le Plaza Athénée 25 avenue Montaigne paris 8th – Tel +33 (0) 1 53 67 66 65 – https://www.dorchestercollection.com/fr/paris/hotel-plaza-athenee
  • Hôtel La Réserve 42 avenue Gabriel, Paris 8th-M°Franklin Roosevelt-Tel+33(0)1 58 36 60 60 www.lareserve-paris.com

Hotel spas

The spas at the French capital’s plushest hotels are veritable cocoons, where experts know all the secrets of well-being. The top beauty brands provide a customized welcome and propose a range of upscale treatments: an opportunity to sample a life of luxury and sensual delight. Le Spa by Payot at the Hôtel Sezz is a stone enclave where treatments are given by professionals following the Payot method. Shiseido’s U Spa at the Fouquet’s Barrière is a 750 m2 expanse devoted to well-being where you can reconnect with your Qi: your vital energy. The My Blend by Clarins spa at the Royal Monceau-Raffles, a 1,500 m2 paradise with all-white decor, has the largest pool of any luxury hotel in Paris. The Bristol by La Prairie spa has eight treatment rooms and a hairdresser’s, and opens onto a lovely indoor garden. Near to Place de la Madeleine, the Burgundy also has a beautiful swimming pool, as well as a hammam and treatment rooms. At La Réserve Hotel the spa specialises in anti-ageing treatments. The spas at the latest on-trend hotels in the capital all have tie-ups with luxury cosmetics brands, and outdo each other in terms of beautiful decor and sheer comfort.

  • Sezz Spa Sezz by Payot Paris 6 avenue Frémiet, Paris 16th – Tel +33(0)1 56 75 26 26 http://paris.hotelsezz.com
  • U Spa Barrière Shiseido Hôtel Fouquet’s Barrière 46 avenue George V, Paris 8th – Tel +33 (0)1 40 69 60 70 www.lucienbarriere.com
  • Spa My Blend by Clarins Royal Monceau-Raffles 37 avenue Hoche, Paris 8th – Tel +33(0)1 42 99 88 00 www.leroyalmonceau.com
  • Spa Le Bristol by la Prairie 112, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Paris 8th – Tel +33(0)1 53 43 41 67 www.lebristolparis.com
  • Spa Le Burgundy by Sothys 6-8 rue Duphot, Paris 1st – Tel +33(0)1 42 60 34 12 www.leburgundy.fr
  • Le Molitor Spa by Clarins 8 avenue de la Porte Molitor, Paris 16th-M°Porte d’AuteuilTel+33(0)1 56 07 08 80 www.mltr.fr/
  • Le Spa Carita du Shangri-La Hotel 10 avenue d’Iéna, Paris 16th-M°Iéna-Tel+33(0)1 53 67 19 98 http://www.shangri-la.com/paris/shangrila/
  • Le spa du Mandarin Oriental 251 rue Saint-Honoré, Paris 1st-M°Madeleine-Tel+33(0)1 70 98 78 88
  • Buddhattitude Spa 4 rue d’Anjou, Paris 8th-M°Madelaine-Tel+33(0)1 83 96 88 88 www.buddhabar.com
  • Spa Mosaïc Hôtel du Collectionneur 51-57 rue de Courcelles, Paris 8th-M°-Courcelles Tel+33(0)1 58 36 67 00 http://hotelducollectionneur.com

‘Day Use’: stolen moments

There’s an illicit thrill to checking into a hotel in broad daylight – even for perfectly legitimate couples. The website www.dayuse-hotels.com lists stylish rooms to rent for daytime use in Paris – lots of trendy and charming boutique hotels, including the classic Hôtel Amour with its ‘noon-3pm’ formula. The Love Hôtel, in Rue Saint Denis, the first establishment of its kind in France, is hidden away on the upper floors of a sex shop. As in Japan, each of the bedrooms has a very personalized environment: Venetian gondola, Oriental palace, infernal suite, each to their own fantasy. And just like in Japan, you pay by the hour.

  • www.dayuse.fr
  • Love Hôtel 88 rue St Denis, Paris 1st – www.lovehotelaparis.fr
  • www.soroom-hotel.com
  • www.pozin.fr
  • Louvre Richelieu www.louvre-richelieu.com
  • Super Hotel www.superhotelparis.fr
  • Interhôtel Parisiana www.hotelparisiana.com/
  • Best Western Sydney Opera www.paris-hotel-sydney.com/fr/

ROMANTIC GIFTS

A unique perfume

For many people, smell and perfume play a distinctive part in games of seduction. A unique perfume for a unique person – and that’s where made-to-measure fragrances come in, devised by perfumer-composers. This olfactory experience will lead you to the design of a special cru (vintage). Give your loved one the pleasure of going on a shared quest for that rare perfume which expresses their personality perfectly. A fragrance whose lingering trail will be imbued with your love.

  • L’Artisan Parfumeur 32 rue du Bourg-Tibourg, Paris 4th 
  • Le Studio des parfums 23 rue du Bourg-Tibourg, Paris 4th 
  • Cinquième Sens 18 rue de Monttessuy, Paris 7th 
  • Parfum sur mesure 52 rue de l’Université, Paris 7th
  • Jovoy 4 rue de Castiglione, Paris 1st
  • Diptyque 330-332 rue Saint-Honoré, Paris 1st
  • Liquides, bar à parfums 9 rue de Normandie Paris 3rd
  • Frédéric Malle 37 rue de Grenelle, Paris 7th
  • Francis Kurdjian 5 rue d’Alger, Paris 1st
  • Serge Lutens 142 Galerie de Valois, Paris 1st
  • Annick Goutal 3 bis rue des Rosiers, Paris 4th
  • Parfums Caron 153 boulevard Saint-Germain, Paris 6th
  • Atelier Cologne 8 rue Saint-Florentin, Paris 1st
  • La Manufacture Parfums www.lamanufactureparfums.com
  • Jean Patou 9 rue Saint-Florentin, Paris 8th
  • Candora 1 rue du pont Louis-Philippe, Paris 4th 

A Harcourt portrait

A professional photograph to immortalize the features of your loved one: what gift could be more appreciated? Created in 1934, the Studio Harcourt soon became an essential place to go to for high society. Numerous celebrities such as Marlene Dietrich, Salvador Dalí, Jean Cocteau and Marcel Cerdan had their photographs taken here. To capture a piece of eternity, visit the studio near the Champs-Élysées with your loved one. The Studio Harcourt Photo Luxe cabin, at MK2 Bibliothèque cinema and at many shopping centres, cinemas and hotels, takes instant photos in the same way as the famous studio.

  • Studio Harcourt 6 rue Lota, Paris 16th – Tel +33 (0)1 42 56 67 67 – www.studio-harcourt.eu

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