Des Champs Elysees runs from the Place de Concorde at the top of the Jardin Tuileries to the Arc. By the way, the Pace de Concorde is where the majority of the beheading via guillotine happened. So this world famous street runs thru a portion of the 1st ARR and the 8th Arr.. The hotels in this area are names that inspire dreams of vast wealth, The Ritz, Plaza Athenee, The Bristol, etc. So once again, I do not need to really review these hotels, although I really love the Plaza Athenee. What most of us think about is the wonderful shopping that is available on this street. Although to be honest, a few years ago, our adventurous family decided to walk from the Jardin Tuileries to the Arc de Triomphe. By the way, unless you really want to stretch your legs, this turned out to be a bit more than we expected. It is an uphill walk the whole way and several miles long. One way to fortify yourself in the morning is a hot chocolate from the famous Angelina on Rue Rivoli next to the Jardins.
Regardless, the stores are magnificent, but as we saw as we progressed along the way, many are repeated every few blocks, multiple Nike store, more than one Gap and then even multiple designer shops. So we were a bit let down. I enjoy shopping on Blvd Saint Germain much better.
The other thing to beware of is the lack of places to stop and enjoy a drink along this stretch of road. If it is a hot day, you will need to get off the main drag and explore a few blocks in either direction to find a cafe or bistro.
As you travel along Des Champs Elysee the Grand and Petit Palais are very prominent. Originally built for a World’s Fair, they are still used today for exhibits, fashion shows, even a stop on the Longines Horse Jumping.
So having offered a brief look at the 8th ARR., lets go around the Arc de Triomphe and discover the other side. the street remains the 8 lanes wide as it depends toward La Defense, the newly built business center on the opposite side of the Blvd Periphrique. (This is a very large roadway circling the city.) The name changes to Av. de la Grande Armee. Not only does the name change, but the nature of the businesses take a dramatic turn. The first several blocks are filled the showrooms selling motorcycles, motor, scooters, etc. Harley Davidson, Indian, BMW, Moto Guzzi, Triumph, Vespa, Peugeot are all lined up next to each other.
Our reason for choosing this arrondissement on our way to Los Angelos, was to visit the Louis Vuitton Foundation Museum. The museum is actually in the 16th ARR., but I felt due to the location of the Foundation, and the simple fact the Bois de Boulogne sets between the hotels, we had a more direct walk from the 17thARR…The art exhibits at this musee is continually changing. For our visit, it was a very colorful Contemporary African art display. We enjoyed this, but the building itself is the draw. Designed by Frank Gehry, it is open, extremely modern, and exciting to see.
Le 10 Bis Hotel in the 17th ARR. is very centrally located. Extremely clean and several nice Bistros close by. Rooms around $275
Le Cuisinier Lyonnaise $$-$$$ 27 Rue Saint Ferndinand PH 01 45 74 69 20, very nice meal, No al Fresco dining, but the doors open so that you feel you are outside. Enjoyed our two meals there.