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Paris travel guide: How to travel like a fashion editor
A poppy pink suite at Les Jardins de la Villa.
1. Where to stay in Paris
Fashion Week demands an oasis. When you return to your hotel room at night, enthralled but exhausted from a busy day zipping around the city, the last thing you want to do is navigate a packed hallway, overhearing “OMFG. The pink fur? Obsessed.” The ideal Fashion Week hotel is like the aloof cool girl in high school—chic, quiet and with access to great booze. I found all of this and more at Les Jardins de la Villa, a jewel-box boutique hotel tucked away on a side street north of the Arc de Triomphe. Other hotels are grander, sure, but I know that I wouldn’t have felt as comfortable commandeering the Ritz’s gym to change from my plane outfit into a black dress because I arrived hours before check-in— but minutes before the Ann Demeulemeester show. (An extra-kind porter brought me a beautiful restorative cappuccino flanked by a chocolate biscuit.) By the first night, I’d taken over my room like a wartime general, with fashion detritus—invites and high heels—strewn over the magenta velvet couch, and was enjoying the rare confidence of one who has a perfect Wi-Fi connection in Europe.
Each morning, I awoke early to map out my metro connections and fill up on
organic strawberries and fresh, flaky croissants in the hotel’s book-lined restaurant. At night, I collapsed into the soaker tub, visions of Lanvin’s film-noir heroines blurring into the pearlescent bubbles. Before checking out, I snapped pics of the two-metre-tall black “stiletto” chaise longue in the lobby—a literal fashion totem in an environment infused with style.
Fashionable Paris hot spots on the next page…
The Jardins de la Villa’s cozy, chic breakfast nook.
2. You should go:
On my next visit, I hope to indulge in the Villa’s other amenities: the honesty bar, the leafy garden patio and the
full-service gym (in that order!). The hotel has also partnered with Printemps, the luxe department store, to offer a special package that includes a two-night stay, champagne, macarons and a personal-shopping experience (
jardinsdelavilla.com). Metro stop: Porte Maillot, on the #1 line, which offers a straight shot to the Jardin des Tuileries, the site of fashion shows such as Viktor & Rolf and Issey Miyake.
The restaurant at Hôtel Costes, where the only thing more beautiful than the courtyard is the clientele. Metro stop: Tuileries.
Septime La Cave, a cozy wood-panelled wine bar with a welcoming vibe and a great by-the-glass menu, starting at $4. Metro stop: Charonne.
The Broken Arm, a Marais concept store determined to give Colette a run for its euros. Metro stop: Temple.
Palais de Tokyo, ground zero for avant-garde exhibitions. Bonus: Monsieur Bleu, the brand-new bistro offering views of the Eiffel Tower. Metro stop: Iéna.
Air France, the last word in fashionable French travel, which celebrates its 80th anniversary this year. Its stylish history includes ultra-chic flight-attendant uniforms designed by Carven, Balenciaga and, currently, Christian Lacroix.