La Belle Epoque

Frequent Flyer Destinations - - CONTENTS -

A cul­tural hub for artists and aris­to­crats ea­ger to hob­nob at the 1889 Paris world’s fair, the Grand Ho­tel Ter­mi­nus was also the en­try point for an­other sub­set of trav­el­ers: Tourists, pri­mar­ily from the U.S., Eng­land and Nor­mandy, would fre­quent the el­e­gant ho­tel due to its di­rect link to Paris’ largest rail­way sta­tion, Gare Saint Lazare.

To­day that ho­tel, now known as the Hil­ton Paris Opera, is busier than ever and more beau­ti­ful, thanks to a $50 mil­lion ren­o­va­tion com­pleted in 2015.

For my re­cent hosted stay, the flight from New York to Paris Orly West via Bri­tish Air­ways sub­sidiary OpenSkies proved to be a con­ve­nient op­tion for get­ting to and from the City of Light. While Gare

Saint Lazare re­mains one of the city’s main trans­porta­tion hubs, it’s the area that’s emerged around the prop­erty that con­tin­ues to draw tourists and busi­ness trav­el­ers alike.

Con­sid­ered the heart of Paris’ shop­ping district in the 9th ar­rondisse­ment, the Opera Garnier neigh­bor­hood is home to two of the city’s largest de­part­ment stores, Prin­temps and Ga­leries Lafayette, as well as the beau­ti­fully pre­served Palais Garnier opera house, all of which are a short stroll from the ho­tel.

A mix of mod­ern-day Paris and its belle epoque decor, the ho­tel’s sig­na­ture Le Grand Sa­lon — adorned head to toe in hand-painted fres­coes, Corinthian colon­nades and orig­i­nal balustrades — has been pristinely pre­served to evoke Paris’ golden age.

The sa­lon also hap­pens to be the per­fect place to post up and en­joy a glass of Saz­erac or Cal­va­dos (try the Cal­va­dos mule for some­thing truly spe­cial) while at­tempt­ing to find the “naughty an­gel” lurk­ing along the up­per ar­cades of the room. The sa­lon also fea­tures a blend of bar bites and Parisian croque-mon­sieurs with ham or salmon, burgers, club sand­wiches and sea­sonal quiches and sal­ads among other no­table dishes.

Le Petit Bar, or LPB for short, is a diminu­tive speakeasy-style spot that’s tucked away near the ho­tel’s front en­trance. The bar serves a bit of pri­vacy along with vin­tage-in­spired cock­tails served in mugs and teacups.

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