Paris, also known as “The City of Light”, is one of the top tourist cities in the world, with over 30 million visitors every year. Having been a Paris shuttle driver for many years, it’s safe to say that I’ve got to know the city very well! I’ve written previously about visiting Paris on a shoestring budget – though the city is typically an expensive place to go, you can travel on relatively little if you plan carefully and know where to stay. But what if money is no object? Where do you go in Paris if you’ve got money to spend, and only the best will do? Fine restaurants, stunning hotels and fabulous spas are just the tip of the iceberg…
Restaurant – Pierre Gagnaire
French cuisine is justly world renowned, and Paris is liberally peppered with truly outstanding cafes, restaurants and patisseries; the larger and famous places in the main streets and the smaller, quieter eateries tucked away down the side streets. Asking a Parisian which restaurant is the best in the city is likely to ignite a fiery debate; everyone has a different opinion, but one name you’ll hear more often than the others is the Pierre Gagnaire Restaurant. Run by the legendary chef who has given his name to the establishment, this 3 Michelin Star restaurant offers up a feast of unusual flavours in truly stunning surroundings. The a la carte menu clocks in at a cool EUR300, but this is recognised as perhaps the finest restaurant in Paris…and one of the best in the world!
The Hotel – The Four Seasons George V
Whenever I pick up a customer for a Paris airport transfer and they are headed to the Four Seasons Hotel, I know they are in for a treat. Room prices can reach an eye-watering EUR1500 a night, but if you want to stay at the best hotel in town, this is the place for you – stunning décor, superb facilities and great service are the hallmarks of the Four Seasons chain, and this particular one has a premium location just off the Champs-Elysees. If you are looking for the most luxurious base imaginable for your holiday in Paris, you can’t beat a stay at the Four Seasons.
The Spa – The Ritz Health Club
The Four Seasons hotel is also home to one of the city’s finest spas, but judging from the reports of my Paris shuttle passengers, the spa over at the Ritz might just edge it out if you are looking for the finest pampering the city has to offer. Designed in a Greco-Roman style, the facilities are everything you’d expect from the Ritz – my passengers bring back reports of a spectacular array of treatments and high-tech facilities that need to be seen to be believed. Each of the top spas in Paris has its adherents, but I’ve heard the Ritz praised more highly than any of the rest.
There’s more to a holiday in this city than fine dining, grand hotels and luxurious spas, but take it from a Paris shuttle driver – these three places really do offer the last word in luxury, and are a great place to get started, so long as you can afford them!