By William Wolf

PARIS IN WINTER  Send This Review to a Friend

They speak lyrically about Paris in the spring. My wife and I were just there in winter. The French were complaining about the cold, but it didn’t feel that bad to us, as it had been colder in New York. But spring or winter, summer or fall, Paris is still Paris, arguably the most beautiful city in the world. A key to a visitor enjoying it is to find the right location. That’s a matter of taste, of course. I’ve stayed in various parts of Paris, left bank and right bank, but this time, on the advice of friends, my wife and I chose the Hotel du Louvre at Place André Malraux.

According to our taste preference, the location turned out to be one of the best. If it is art you are interested in, the Hotel du Louvre, as its name would suggest, is right near the renowned Louvre museum, one of the great attractions of the city. One day near the hotel a group of young Asian girls who spoke neither French nor English tried to communicate with a question about directions. I didn’t understand them, but then they said two barrier-breaking words—“Mona Lisa.”--and we pointed them in the direction of the Louvre.

From our high-ceilinged, tastefully appointed and comfortable room (complete with a large bathroom containing his and her sinks, a tub and a stall shower) we could look through the windows right up the Avenue de l’Opera to the grand Paris Opera itself, an especially dazzling sight when lit up at night. One afternoon we strolled along the avenue looking at the shops and enjoying the ambience of the city. On another afternoon we walked from our hotel around the corner to the chic Rue Saint-Honoré, and followed it for many blocks, taking in the exclusive shops that line the street. We walked back to the hotel on the Rue de Rivoli opposite the then snow-covered Tuileries gardens. There is also the Carrousel du Louvre, a convenient underground shopping mall at the Louvre museum containing branches of well-known stores.

One evening, after making a reservation, we walked around the other corner from the hotel along the Rue de Richelieu and dined with family members on fine food at the well-known restaurant Pierre. The new proprietor Emmanuelle Gauthier proved to be a congenial hostess, stopping to chat with diners and helping to create a lively atmosphere.

Right across from Hotel du Louvre is the historic and renowned theater, the Comédie Française. Unfortunately, there were no performances when we were in Paris. There is also the Louvre-Palais Royal metro station, from which one can get conveniently to many parts of the city.

Life is such these days that when traveling one may have to keep contact with one’s e-mail. Hotel du Louvre has a 24-hour business center. One purchases a card for a half hour or an hour, and the card code enables computer access either for one sitting or various sittings until the time expires. The hotel also has a very handsome bar area where one can rendezvous with friends, and each morning there is a breakfast buffet in the hotel’s brasserie.

One can count on taxis being available throughout the day and evening at a rank near the hotel, and the staff manning the concierge desk is helpful, whether finding airline information, providing maps, dispensing details about Paris or fetching taxis from the rank.

These days, with the economy posing difficulties for so many, most hotels are offering special rates depending on the time of year. One can check them out by phone or on the internet. Based on our experience, we can certainly recommend your staying at the Hotel du Louvre for all the reasons cited above.

  

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