First Visit-PARIS- Help-ROMANCE

Jan 14th, 2009, 06:35 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 58
First Visit-PARIS- Help-ROMANCE

I bought plane tickets to PARIS for Valentines Weekend and it is our first trip to PARIS or anywhere in Europe so I need HELP !!- Is it still possible to get a reservation at the restaurant in the Eiffel Tower? We generally like staying in bed/breakfasts or something like that so we can interact with some of the people- RECOMMENDATIONS For a place to stay ??? Would like to not rent a car but be able to get around by walking or bus or whatever... Shop hours? Recommended places to see- I am into fashion, shopping and everything scenic as I do a lot of photography-
Any particular travel book recommended over the others??? there are so many-- and we don't speak French - THANKS !!!
aprilmay is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 07:39 PM
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Among the most romantic rooms I have stayed in in Paris (there haven't been that many in my price range) is the top floor "honeymoon" at the Hotel du Palais Bourbon. Very sweet family run place, but do beg for a top floor room. this is in the 7th.

Also in the 7th, and I might not try it in summer heat, is the St Thomas Aquin. Very nicely located on the border of 6 and 7.

I don't think it is too late to reserve a Jules Verne if you don't have to eat there on Valentine's day itself. They may be booked for that Saturday. Even if they are, there are a lot of other romantic restaurants.

When do you get in? We leave on Valentine's day.

I plan on romance, too. I NEED some.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 08:48 PM
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Thank you for your input !! We arrive on Feb 11 and leave on the 17th- so maybe Friday at the Eiffel Tower-
aprilmay is offline  
Jan 15th, 2009, 12:40 AM
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Reservations at "the" restaurant at the Eiffel Tower (there are three restaurants) are made on-line @ The Jules Verne appears to have tables available for Feb. 14. You download and fax form, authorizing an immediate credit card charge of 1/2 against the fixed price of 380 euros per person. If you want drinks, it's 540 euros. Per person.

You do not want to rent a car. Paris is compact with a good metro/bus system and driving is inconvenient.

You need a good travel book. Quickly. Fodor's, DK, Frommer's, Michelin guides are all good. If you do not speak french, you would be well advised to stay at a hotel with an english-speaking staff.

Have a great trip.
hmmm is offline  
Jan 15th, 2009, 05:32 AM
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Hi A,

For a resto with a good view for your splurge dinner, also see

It has the advantage of being able to see the ET.

Also check out

You can go to the museum before dinner, and watch the ET twinkle during dinner.

A less expensive, but very grand resto is

We always stay at the Hotel Bonaparte, 61 Rue Bonaparte in the 6th. From 134E dbl w/bkfst. It is just around the corner from Place St. Sulpice, near 3 metro stops and 4 bus routes. Has AC and an elevator.

You will also be close to a large number of boutiques.

The staff speaks English well, and is very helpful.

Tel 33 1 43 26 97 37
FAX 33 1 46 33 57 67
[email protected]

For more info, enter "Hotel Bonaparte" in the "search this forum" box.

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Jan 15th, 2009, 07:00 AM
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elburr is offline  
Jan 15th, 2009, 08:20 AM
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Gulp! I can't access the Jules Vernes portion of the Eiffel Tower website right now, but 540 Euro - per person?! Wow, if they charged more would it be even more romantic?

I would check out Ira's restaurant suggestions, and you may also want to check out L'Orangerie (the restaurant, not the museum) on Ile St. Louis: very romantic, and the new chef has received excellent reviews. We went twice on our honeymoon, and it continues to get great reviews.

If you haven't been to Paris before and don't speak French, I know this is heresy to many Fodorites, but the Rick Steves book (get the most recent edition) simply has more practical advice than any other book. Don't necessarily follow his specific advice in lockstep, but overall he provides a comfort level that I think is great for first time visitors.

laughingd2 is offline  
Jan 15th, 2009, 08:38 AM
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If you're eating in the Eiffel Tower, you can'r see it---it seems very overpriced.

So many of us who love Paris have made alot of great restaurant reccommendations. Read the posts and pick one.

I have many favorites.."Train Bleu"(as mentioned above) is one of them.

There are so many botiques on the left bank & I'lle St. Louis. And of course the designers on the right bank. Shop on!

As far as photography, look at TRSW on this site. His Paris photos are amazing, among others.

We go to Paris often and don't speak French, so don't let that bother you. Just remember to say "Bonjour" and everyone will be friendly (well not maybe everyone, but most).

There are so many of us who love Paris, I hope you will join in our chats when you return.
TPAYT is offline  
Jan 15th, 2009, 08:42 AM
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That's TRSW photography
TPAYT is offline  
Jan 15th, 2009, 09:33 AM
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I eat out a lot in NYC -- like 5 times a week -- but what I wouldn't give for another meal at Mon Vieil Ami ( It's not even too pricey -- I think it ended up around $70 per person for a 3-person group that shared a bunch of dishes. We were seated near Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa). Anyway, musings from NYC, as I've been dreaming about it.

Another incredible spot was Ribouldingue ( -- an delicious menu even if you're not an offal conoisseur. So intimate and charming.

Have an excellent trip!
Erica_D is offline  
Jan 15th, 2009, 10:15 AM
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We enjoyed staying at the Relais Bosquet in the 7th. Walk to the Eiffel Tower from there. Metro a block away. Restaurants in the area. The hotel is like a bed and breakfast. Small hotel,but very helpful staff. We stayed there on our first time. I will always remember looking out the window and seeing the moon with the Eiffel Tower in the background.
I would never consider having a car in Paris.
We did have lunch in the Eiffel Tower. Yes, it is expensive even at lunch,but it is a unique experience.
maryanne1 is offline  
Jan 15th, 2009, 10:56 AM
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The Jules Verne is apparently an Alain Ducasse operation now. The menu prices I quoted were those of a "special" Valentine's day dinner menu. You could probably get two nights at the Hotel Crillon for the price of that one dinner plus tax and gratuities. Seems as though the room might offer more romance.

We dined at L'Orangerie years ago. Was very good then and atmosphere was terrific.

There are many, many very fine restaurants in Pais that offer great dining for less than 540 euros per person. Bon appetit.
hmmm is offline  
Jan 15th, 2009, 11:28 AM
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Look for books on Amazon or elsewhere that say things like: "48 Hours in Paris."

If you've never been in Paris or Europe before and you are only going to be there for a long weekend, and you do a lot of photography and like to shop, you should really give yourself over to seeing the town, and worry about restaurants secondarily. Paying a huge "Valentine's Day" premium for an already expensive French meal is silly -- if you are thinking about romance. Paris got a reputation for romance because of operas, movies and novels about people who didn't have a time to their name but it didn't matter because they were in love, snuggling in each other's arms, in the most gorgeous nighttime city in the world. Lucky you being there when the days are so short.

Find French food is an important part of understanding Paris. I would pick ONE highly recommended restaurant --- whether it has a view or not -- and go for lunch or dinner at some point OTHER THAN Valentine's Day.

Dress warm. Bring comfortable waterproof boots. Have fun.
zeppole is offline  
Jan 15th, 2009, 11:52 AM
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In October my husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary in Paris. We had the most amazing trip! I am sorry I never got my act together to do a trip report.

We stayed at the Hotel Lancaster, 7 rue de Berri just off the Champs-Elysee. I really can't say enough about the hotel. Small and very elegant full of original artwork, beautiful furniture and antiques and gorgeous fabrics. We were upgraded to a suite with two bathrooms and greeted with Champagne and fruit upon arrival. Tres romantique!

Here are the restaurants we went to. When booking restaurants I looked for good food, ambiance, Zagat rating and Michelin rating. We didn't care so much about the view. In my opinion these restaurants were extraordinary.

La table du Lancaster (in our hotel- one star)- Elegant, cozy and romantic overlooking a small Asian garden. Excellent food and wine.

La Rotisserie du Beaujolais- A recommendation from a fodorite with the suggestion to walk to the Seine River cruise nearby. Less expensive sister restaurant to La Tour d'Argent. You are offered the same duck that is served at La Tour d'Argent. Loved it!

Dominique Bouchet- (One Star) Amazing food!! Service was exceptional and the chef came from the kitchen to greet each table. Beautiful dining room, cozy and intimate with an open kitchen.

Goumard- (One Star) Elegant seafood restaurant, lighting fixtures and inlay work by Lalique. Don't miss the bathrooms- they are "listed".

Josephine-Chez Dumonet- Wonderful, old bistro full of locals.

La Tour d'Argent- (One Star) Our last night and we felt very pampered at one of the oldest restaurants in Paris. Entering on the first floor we were greeted by a gentleman in white tie and tails, offered Champagne in a salon and then whisked up an elevator to the top floor where the restaurant is. We were seated at a window table overlooking the Seine and the Notre-Dame Cathedral. Absolutely breathtaking. Probably one of the most memorable dinners we've ever had.

Hope this helps and that you have an amazing trip.
Bon Voyage!!
309pbg is offline  
Jan 15th, 2009, 01:32 PM
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Hi april/may;

I would agree with the last post, regarding the Tour d'Argent. My husband and I rented an apartment in May 2007 for two weeks. He said that one day for my birthday we would do something special. So, he had already made reservations and surprised me. Wonderful, no, beyond spectacular. If you decide, on this restaurant, go on line and find their website. You can make reservations on line.

You say you are into photography, if you send me an email to [email protected], I will give you my URL to I have photo albums posted for France, Italy and others. They are all works in progress. You wil go mad photography-wise in Paris.
Shopping,omg, Galleries Lafeytte and Printemps are their largest department stores. Galleries has one whole building, 6 stories of nothing but women's everythings.

Walking and the Metro are the only way we have ever used.

Guide Books, I use DK Paris. The one I bought in 2001, for our first trip, still goes with us. Don't try to pack too much in to your short time.

As to speaking French; trust me, learn at least a few words. Please, thank you, how much does it cost, Do you speak English?? Where is the bathroom? For us, it was "We would like two glasses of red wine please? The only other thing I would advise; be very polite, please and thank you go a long way.

We are now planning our third trip for September for 6 weeks. So, you can see, we love Paris!!!!
tucsontraveler is offline  
Jan 16th, 2009, 12:30 AM
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I can also endorse the Tour d'Argent. The view over the islands is unequalled, and the cuisine and ambience are spectacular. The restaurant lost its second star following the death of its long-time proprietor Claude Terrail a couple years ago, but it remains one of the best restaurants in Paris. It also is one of the most expensive.
hmmm is offline  
Jan 16th, 2009, 07:38 AM
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I´ve got a great tip for you in experiencing Paris for the first time!!!

Other members have posted great suggestions for staying in hotels.

The beauty in experiencing this city is being able to view it from different perspectives. A ¨must¨ is taking part in the several boat tours that can be found throughout the city. You can´t get more romantic than that, I would highly recommend taking one at night.

The reflections of the city´s lights on the water is worth the trip all by itself.

The link below provides more information on Paris boat tours aswell as visiting their official website:

I hope this helps and that everything goes according to plan!

Carlos (All-Paris-Apartments)
OHCarlos is offline  
Jan 16th, 2009, 09:21 AM
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I like Rotisserie de Beaujolais. LA Guirlande de Julie was, I believe, another sister restaurant, but I see it is no longer on the TdA web site.

From New York Times:

The iconic restaurant Taillevent has one of the best wine cellars in the world, and every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. it offers a free tasting. Visit the and click on “Les Caves Taillevent,” then “Nos Prestations” and then “Les Dégustations” for information (in French only) on the schedule and theme of the tasting.

For accomodations, I'd be tempted to say 'pick a place near the Seine'. For example, there are several nice ones on Ile St Louis that would place you one block from the Seine. Walking along the Seine would fit into my list of romantic ideas.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Jan 16th, 2009, 03:12 PM
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Thank you all for the EXCELLENT suggestions!! I am really looking forward to this- have my camera gear ready to go- now I am sifting thru the choices of lodging-as I think the idea of staying near the Seine River is wonderful- small b&b or an apartment...

Any thoughts on this?
aprilmay is offline  
Jan 16th, 2009, 04:15 PM
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Mahya2 is offline  

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