Rebi, I'm assuming you're wanting specific advice about the area you will
be in. We generally stay in an apartment when we're in Paris, but I've
had several friends stay at the Lutetia. It is a very nice hotel and yes,
there are lots of tourists there. American Airlines use it on some of
their vacation plans. Plus, it's in one our very favorites parts of the
Left Bank. As you walk out the door of the hotel and turn right on the
Rue de Sevres, one of the first places you'll see a small branch of Maison
du Chocolate - probably the best chocolate in the Paris. I was fortunate
enough to meet Robt Linx - the owner and maestro of chocolate -about 20
years ago before he was discovered. Expensive but worth it.
Across the street in the old Escada space, Furla has opened a great store.
I don't know if you went to Furla when you were in Florence, but it's
one of the best leather stores for purses, etc and incredibly good prices.
Behind Furla just walk the several blocks such as rue des St.Peres, Grenelle,
Dragon, Rennes, etc. - all the best left bank designers are right there.
This entire area is just full of energy and creativity.
If you come out the door of your hotel, and cross Blvd. Raspail turn left
down rue de Sevres, you'll see a small park and Bon Marche - the only
large dept store on the Left Bank. It's very nice, especially at Christmas
with some of the best window displays, Bon Marche recently opened a wonderful
new food dept. Another block up, behind the main store on the street level.
Just the North of Bon Marche is the Paris location for Conran's - very
modern London based retail operation.
Back to your hotel's front door - maybe turn left this time - and left
again on rue Cherche Midi - one of my favorite streets. Everyone says
Paris never changing, but over the last 20 years rue Cherche Midi had
changed so much. Poilane's is in this block - the most famous bakery in
Paris - just get in line - there always is one. Many years ago, there
was a picture taken of all the people standing in line in front of Poilane's
and the Russians published it showing their people that even in Paris,
people have to stand in line for their daily bread. Buy one of everything
- just point to the item and they will get it for you. Don't forget the
small walnut loaves, the little delicious apple tarts or the butter cookies.
If it's not too busy and you want to try, ask if you can go downstairs
to see the old oven - I spent an hour down there one day watching them
make bread. Next door is Bottega Veneta - sadly about 10 years ago, they
moved in an the sweetest little olive oil man retired. Robt. Clergie (my
wife can spell this one, not me) is across the street - wonderful women's
That's just the one block radius around your hotel, let me know if you
want to know what's in the two or three block radius.
Enjoy the Lutetia, it's one of the most magnificent examples of Art Noveau
styling (for hotels) in Paris.