One of Paris's many nicknames is 'The City of Love' as it seems to cast a magic spell over those who live and visit there. Situated on the River Seine in northern France, it has marvellous architecture, food and wine, irresistible shopping and the most romantic language.
Another of its nicknames, and possibly the most famous, is 'The City of Light', given because of its fame as a centre of education and ideas as well as its early adoption of street lighting.
Three of the most famous Parisian landmarks are the 12th century cathedral Notre Dame de Paris on the Île de la Cité, the 19th century Eiffel Tower and the Napoleonic Arc de Triomphe. The Eiffel Tower was intended to be a temporary construction for the 1889 Universal Exposition, but remained and is an enduring symbol of the city. Along with the Tour Montparnasse skyscraper and the Basilica of the Sacré Cceur on Montmarte hill, it is visible from many parts of the city.
The tower is the site of thousands of wedding proposals every year. Tom Cruise proposed to Katie Holmes atop the Eiffel Tower causing a spate of copy-cat proposals.
The Champs-Élysées is known as 'La plus belle avenue du monde' 'The most beautiful avenue in the world'. It runs for two kilometres through the 8th arrondissement from the Place de la Concorde in the east with its famous obelisk, to the Place Charles de Gaulle in the west. Originally fields and market gardens, Marie de Medici extended the garden axis of the Palais des Tuileries with an avenue of trees in 1616.
One of Paris's most popular tourist destinations, The Champs-Élysées is bordered by greenery and has buildings such as the Théâtre Marigny and the Grand Palais. To the west, it is lined with cinemas, theatres, cafés, restaurants and luxury specialty shops.
To complete the Romantic Paris experience, The Hôtel Plaza Athénée is quite the place to stay. It opened its doors at 25 Avenue Montaigne in 1911, and was immediately favoured by Parisian and international society. It has a reputation for luxury, service and glamour and in 1946 when Christian Dior turned Avenue Montaigne into a place of haute couture, the icing was on the gateau.
Recently renovated and scented with the fragrance of amber, the hotel's 145 rooms and 43 suites are a showcase France at its best. Décor is either Louis XVI, Regency or Art Deco. Windows open onto the Avenue Montaigne, lined with grand chestnut trees, the Cour Jardin, the rooftops of Montmartre or a side view of the Eiffel Tower.
Guests have a choice of six pillow types, hypo-allergenic linens are used, bathrooms have marble floors and robes and slippers embroidered with the hotel logo are supplied.
World-renowned chef Alain Ducasse is at the helm of the Hotel Plaza Athénée's five restaurants so guests are assured of exceptional cuisine with his flair and imagination.
Leading Hotels of the World has rooms at the Hotel Plaza Athenee starting at $1010 a double a night.
Emirates has flights to Paris via Dubai.
- Perth, $1919
- Melbourne, $2080
- Brisbane, $2090
- Sydney, $2095
Sale and validity dates apply from individual cities. Prices quoted are correct at June 28, 2007.
The capital city of France.
For further information
The Leading Hotels of the World
Ph: (02) 9377 8444; 1800 222 033
Ph: 1300 303 777
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