I was lucky enough to be invited on a wonderful trip to Paris last weekend with Starwood Hotels and Resorts.
We all met at St Pancras International before hopping on the Eurostar for our journey to beautiful Paris. After a very speedy 2.5hr train journey, we arrived in the sunny city. We were greeted by our DMC for the weekend, Metropolis and were whisked onto the bus to take us to our first hotel of the stay, Le Meridien Etoile.
The hotel has just re-opened after undergoing a full refurbishment and it looks incredible. We were lucky enough to get invited to the opening party that evening so after a quick 45 minutes turn around we went downstairs where there were drinks and canapés galore being served in the new hotel lobby and bar areas. There were various different food stations, serving typical Parisian food with a Starwood twist, my personal favourite being the miniature Croque Monsieur! After a bit of a dance in the hotel Jazz Bar, schmoozing with French celebrities and a few too many cocktails I retired to my beautiful room and very comfortable bed.
The next morning I enjoyed breakfast on the terrace of the club lounge and then did a site visit of the hotel meeting space. This is a great hotel for any type of meeting with various meeting spaces of varying sizes from a boardroom meeting for 20 on a solid marble table up to a large meeting for 800 guests. With a total of 25 meeting rooms, there are plenty of options for conferences. The hotel is also strategically located opposite the Paris Congress Centre which offers an abundance of rooms. The hotel has a total of 1025 room and suites and is therefore fully equipped for large conferences.
After a bus tour from the hotel taking in the sites of the Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Élysées and the Eiffel Tower we arrive at the Luxury Collection Prince de Galles hotel where we enjoyed a delicious lunch in the Patio area of the hotel, a large open air space. This hotel is mainly geared towards smaller groups as it has 159 bedrooms and 1 meeting space for up to 50 guests for dinner.
Following the tour of the hotel, we were then greeted by some very handsome men (from the Retro Tour Company) with motorbikes and side cars. This is when we all turned into giggling school girls as we were extremely excited about the tour of Paris we were about to take. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the memo about having to wear trousers for the day (because the motorbikes were a surprise) and because of the warm weather I decided to wear a dress, I soon clocked on that this was a very good decision as I could only sit in the side car for the entire tour which was fine by me. Once we’d all put our helmets and sunglasses on we were ready to go and certainly looked the part.
The tour took us to the Champs-Élysées, around the Arc de Triomphe (I’m glad I wasn’t driving, I don’t think there are any rules, people just drive around changing lanes expecting others to get out of the way), past the Moulin Rouge and up to Montmartre to the stunning Sacré-Coeur and views of the whole of Paris.
We were then dropped off at our new hotel for the night, Westin Paris Vendôme. A stunning property in an ideal location opposite the Tuileries Gardens and a short walk from the Louvre Museum and the Champs-Élysées. Our rooms were gorgeous with incredible views of the gardens and the Eiffel Tower. After a couple of hours settling in and getting ready for the evening, we all put our glad rags on for dinner at W Paris Opéra which was a 10-minute walk from the Westin. We did a site visit of the hotel on arrival which had some great spaces, another hotel which is ideal for smaller groups of around 25 guests. They have a total of 3 small Studios which can hold about 8 guests in boardroom style, 2 of which can open up to make one larger room. Following a delicious meal and a few glasses of wine, it was time to head back to my room and have a deep night’s sleep in my incredibly comfy bed.
The next morning we had time for a quick site visit of the hotel which was great to see before heading back to the Gare du Nord for our train back to London. Their 13 meeting rooms are amongst the most beautiful in Paris, including three function rooms featuring impressive second empire-style frescos. Totalling 2000 square meters (21,500 square feet), the meeting spaces welcome up to 2000 guests and can accommodate prestigious events of all kinds.
A huge thank you to everyone who helped put the trip together and the other ladies from other companies who were on the trip with me. Special thanks go to Rebecca and Nadine from Starwood who were excellent hosts and a joy to spend the weekend with.
Thank you Paris, you were beautiful!
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