Imagine wrapping Paris up in lovely ribbons and giving it away as a Christmas gift. As presents go, that would be pretty unbeatable.
Sadly, it’s not possible to pack the City of Lights (and Love, let’s not forget the Love) into a shiny parcel. But the good news is that you can still give Paris to someone special for Christmas with today’s Big Deal.
Whether you think they’d enjoy the glittering Champs Elysee, the bohemian Latin Quarter or romantic Montmartre, Paris can be whatever they want it to be and more.
It’s a city of a thousand gifts, all waiting to be unwrapped.
City of wonders
This Big Deal offers the option of one, two or three nights in Paris from October to March, in the four-star Villa Luxembourg hotel.
The price is per person and the offer is based on two people sharing a standard double or twin room. Flights are not included.
The four-star Villa Luxembourg is situated in the Montparnasse district, in the city’s atmospheric Left Bank area.
Montparnasse is known for its great restaurants and bars, which is maybe why Picasso used to hang out there. As you might guess by the name, the hotel is only a short walk from the lovely Luxembourg Gardens, plus is within easy reach of Montparnasse Tower with its panoramic city views.
Villa Luxembourg offers bright, airy, soundproofed guestrooms with air-conditioning, wifi and minibars. After you’ve enjoyed the hotel breakfast you can begin exploring Paris by heading to Vavin metro station, just a two-minute distance away.
Here’s where we tell you not to miss the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame Cathedral, Sacre-Coeur church or the art treasures of the Louvre. And of course, you should cram in as many of these sights as you can.
But the wonderful thing about Paris is that you can also have a special day just strolling around. Take a wander down a winding street and except to stumble upon a hidden museum, a 200-year-old shopping arcade or a store window with a rainbow display of macarons.
For a whistlestop experience of the city’s architecture, be sure to take a sightseeing boat trip down the Seine. Another waterside attraction is the trendy Canal St. Martin area, which is great for bars and people-watching.
If you can, make time to see the jaw-dropping impressionist art collection at the Musee d’Orsay, which includes works by Van Gogh, Monet and Renoir. After you’ve done exploring, you can relax in a corner cafe with a glass of wine or an espresso.
While in Paris, you might as well embrace a bit of history. Head to a show at the legendary Moulin Rouge (birthplace of the can-can), or visit Shakespeare & Co English bookstore to browse the same shelves as Hemingway. And for the height of Parisian chic, you can sample a pastry at one of the oldest tea shops in Europe, the uber elegant Mariage Freres.
Quirkier Paris attractions include The Doll Museum, the Museum of Letters and the fascinating Sunday flea market, Les Puces.
Paris has various districts and neighbourhoods that are well worth exploring. At the city’s heart is the Champs Elysses area where you’ll find the Louvre, the Place de la Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe, plus plenty of shopping. The 7th arrondissement is home to the Eiffel Tower, the French parliament building and the Musee d’Orsay.
The artsy, student filled Latin Quarter is the oldest district in Paris. Because it’s home to the legendary Sorbonne university, it’s buzzing with students, plus has all the tucked away cafes, bars, bookstores and art shops you could wish for.
Montmarte is famous for being the site of Sacre-Coeur church and is also a great spot for cocktail bars, cabaret spots and clubs. If you’re a cinema buff, you can even visit The Two Windmills cafe where Amelie was filmed.
When it comes to dining, aim to stay away from the touristy areas and enjoy a meal in an off-the-beaten track neighbourhood restaurant or brasserie instead.
The Villa Luxembourg hotel has had plenty of positive reviews on TripAdvisor. We’ve edited the comments below for length:
‘A wonderful hotel, a very good welcoming and service. Situated in the middle of Paris near all commodities and transportations, not far from Eiffel Tower and Champs Elysee with an amazing view of Montparnasse Tower from my room window, I recommend.’
‘I stayed in the hotel for 3 nights and had a great time. The staff were very friendly and helpful. Villa Luxembourg is very well located and everything is available.’
‘The staff are friendly and helpful. Rooms are clean, quiet, comfortable and charming. Close to several subway stops. Fantastic pastry shop around the corner and many cafes along the boulevard. We would definitely stay here again!’
Parcel up Paris
A trip to Paris is the best possible way to add some sparkle to that period between Christmas and Easter. So if you know someone who’d enjoy shopping in boutiques, strolling down boulevards and sampling extra special dining, a Paris city break is the gift for them.
With stylish four-star hotel accommodation in a popular area, today’s Big Deal gives you the chance to soak up the city’s magic until March.
That means this could double up as a Valentine’s Day present too (just a thought).