Happy Bastille Day (its the 221st anniversary of the storming of the Bastille in case any of you forgot)! It’s only fitting to have a post on Paris on this special day (also my daughter’s birthday – happy birthday, Vanessa!).
I first heard about Hotel Tremoille through Tablet Hotels and suggested it to a friend looking for a hotel that was child-friendly, had spacious (and, by the way, could they be connecting?) rooms and was centrally located. As many of you who have traveled to Paris with kids know, this is no easy feat if you don’t want to deal with wallet-breaking rates at The Ritz, George V or Le Crillon. You either have to rent an apartment (see my recent post on Paris apartment rentals) for the week and pray for the best or hope for a special deal at Le Bristol (a wonderful hotel, especially with the recent renovation!).
La Tremoille may not be as well known (especially among New Yorkers who have their own personal favorites) as many other hotels in Paris but it had a cool site and great guest reviews going for it to catch my eye. Plus, lets face it, any hotel that leaves Ladurée macaroons on your bed nightly (if you need more of a fix, Ladurée is right around the corner) has got to be pretty classy. This stylish but quiet hotel also happens to be centrally located in the coveted 8th arrondissement behind Avenue George V and Champs-Élysées and a stone’s throw from Avenue Montaigne (the area is aptly named “the Golden Triangle”) and the Seine. For serious high-end shoppers, it could not be more ideal.
Originally built as a private residence 1873, then reconstructed after a fire in the late 1920s, the 93-room boutique hotel was totally renovated in 2001 (and re-opened in 2002) by Richard Martinet, who also oversaw the renovation of the George V. The modern interiors (each room is decorated in different schemes), created by architects Stephane Satorra and David Duron, beautifully complements the historical 19th century building.
(Fun fact: La Tremoille is named after a Renaissance knight Louis II Sire of la Tremoille!)
I was excited to get feedback on the hotel from a family with two young girls ages 7 and 9, who recently stayed there this June. This is what they have to say about La Tremoille and other recommended family activities to do in Paris:
“We truly loved our stay at La Tremoille. The location could not have been better for us as it was close to the Eiffel Tower, Musée D’Orsay and all the great shopping streets nearby. Almost everything was within walking distance. Yet the hotel was on a quiet street which we really liked.
We had 2 connecting superior deluxe rooms(about 450 square feet each) – one with a king bed, the other with double queen size beds. Each room was decorated differently in a contemporary style with down duvet bedding, nice spacious bathrooms (a rarity in Paris!) and a hallway separating the two rooms. Our rooms – 215/216 – were decorated in deep purples. I would recommend these rooms for families highly – it was sheer perfection for four people. Our daily room rate was 415 Euros per room including tax,continental breakfast (they will send breakfast up to your room, no charge) and a private car transfer to the airport. They also presented us with a wonderful welcome basket.
Other guests that were staying at the hotel seemed stylish and cool but low-key.
We did not get the chance to use the spa but it looked quite luxurious if a bit small. The hotel also has a private steam room and sauna for guest usage.
We did mostly touristy things with the kids, splitting the day between sketching at the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, and Georges Pompidou, going to the Parks (Don’t miss La Tuileries) and shopping, of course. “
Versailles. Get a private guide, especially if you are with kids, to get an interesting perspective and cut the long lines. Our guide, which was set up by the hotel, was extremely rude so we wouldn’t recommend this particular one.
The Jardin Luxembourg, our favorite of the parks, for its wonderful playgrounds.
The open stall market on St. Germain (Saturdays only).
The department store, Le Bon Marché in St. Germain (24, rue de Sevres, in St. Germain des Près) is a MUST. We went back here with the kids twice. The basement floor is entirely dedicated to kids (with the exception of the swimsuit department). There are all sorts of great toys and children are encouraged to be interactive. There is even a waiting room that is designed for kids to color on the chalkboard and walls (and more importantly, for the adults to rest while kids run around).
The top floor has the most incredible selection of yarns, wools, buttons, crafting tools, ribbons and more. If your child is even remotely artistically including or enjoys sewing/making things, this floor is nirvana. It is also convenient because that is where detaxe is located to get your VAT refunds processed!
The amazing toy store (very European, old-fashioned – nothing plastic here) next to Place de la Madeleine (and near Fauchon), Au Nain Bleu.
For eating: We loved all the restaurants below. They were not necessarily ones I would go to if we were just adults (with the exception of Diep), but they were very family friendly and we enjoyed them just as much as the kids.
The Chinese restaurant, Diep, around the corner from the hotel, was the best chinese food I ever had.
Also worth a trip is L’entrecôte. The kids loved this cafe for steak frites and desserts. A location opened last year in NYC on 52nd and Lexington – nothing but steak frites (and a little salad)!
Chez André, literally across the street from L’entrecôte on Rue Marbeuf is a kid-friendly bistro with delicious food.
Cafe Constant on Rue Saint Dominique is also wonderful for classic bistro cuisine that is popular with the locals.
Last but not least, Laduree, the quintessential tea salon, is a must-visit. This was a special treat for the girls for tea, pastries and macaroons. There are a few locations in Paris but the original tea room is on Rue Royale. The dramatic setting and atmosphere alone is worth the trip.
SKIP: The long lines at the Eiffel Tower – a huge letdown and big waste of time. If you can find a way to cut the lines with a private guide, do it!
Some of the taxi drivers were over-the-top rude (I actually cursed one out in my best french!). Here’s a tip that a nice taxi driver told me: by law, taxi drivers have to take you if you are a party of four – if you are four adults, they are allowed to add a surcharge over two people. But if you have children, they are not allowed to add the surcharge which is why some of them are rude or hesitant to pick you up.
OTHER ROOMS TO GET AT LA TREMOILLE: According to BonjourParis, Room 405 has original moldings, a fireplace and wonderful views of Paris rooftops. Room 508 has a wrap-around balcony with a little table for two and a view of the top of the Eiffel Tower