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Your Ultimate Guide to Paris

What's not to love about summer in Paris? We teamed up with Rachel Zoe to bring you the highlights, from a floating cocktail lounge to a striking new contemporary museum.

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Photo by Guillaume Grasset



La Maison Champs Élysées

Despite sitting in the heart of one of Paris’s most trammeled districts, this designer pied-à-terre feels worlds away. Belgian fashion house Maison Martin Margiela transformed the 19th-century Haussmann townhouse into a surrealist escape: inside, a stark-white lobby with tinted mirrors connects to an all-black cigar bar, while 17 of the 57 rooms take on a life of their own—honeycomb-shaped chairs, tromp l’oeil wallpaper, and slip-covered sofas are, together, a playful, modern take on Parisian chic. The gothique Curiosity Case Suite, a standout, features carbon-black walls and floors and eccentric accents like oversized mushroom sculptures and a lamp shaded by an outstretched bird wing.

Hotel Plaza Athénée

It doesn’t get more iconic than this century-old Parisian palace in the fashionable 8th arrondissement, unmistakable thanks to the façade's vivid red awnings that shade window boxes overflowing with scarlet geraniums. Inside, it’s opulence at its most refined: the rooms' Louis XVI style melts into Art Deco the higher the floor, there’s heart-stopping views of the Eiffel Tower, and Alain Ducasse’s flagship restaurant, which underwent a recent makeover— futuristic stainless steel banquettes now mirror the ceiling’s dangling crystals—has earned back its third Michelin star.

Hotel Raphael

This 1925 family-run gem is everything you might expect from an old-world mansion that’s been passed down through generations—there’s hand-painted tiles, an impressive collection of original art (including a Turner), gigantic wardrobes in each of the 83 rooms, and global artifacts collected through the years. The restaurant on the rooftop garden terrace is a splurge, but completely worth it for those romantic Eiffel Tower and Champs-Elysées views.

Les Bains

How often do the names Marcel Proust and Mick Jagger go hand in hand? Rarely, except when discussing this 19th-century Bohemian bathhouse turned legendary 1970s nightclub, which reopened in 2015 as Paris’ most glamorous new hotel. In addition to a new restaurant and bar that are the backdrop to nearly every fashion week party, the boutique property has 39 decadent rooms, kitted out with everything from retro-styled velvet sofas to private hammams by designer Tristan Auer.

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Paris is synonymous with cool-girl style. Get the look with graphic accessories and add textural elements along with black & white pieces to give your white silk mini dress a little edge.

For a day out exploring the sights, opt for a flat slide detailed in black lace, a structured satchel and cuff to finish. Then move your looking into evening with crystal embellished heels and glamorous deco inspired earrings.

Rachel Zoe Liridona Paisley Mini Dress

Pretty paisley print meets a fringed necktie and cuffed sleeve in this gypset number that easily transitions from day to night.

Rachel Zoe Belcaro Lace Slides

Black, backless slip-ons effortlessly polish off any outfit.

Rachel Zoe Kacee Wide Statement Cuff

Mixing black and white howlite and 14k gold plating, this statement cuff adds a sublte sexiness to even basic blouses and trousers.

Rachel Zoe Tee Stone-Embellished Sandals

T-strap suede heels are a go-to for a night spent dancing through the City of Lights.

Rachel Zoe Kacee Ear Climber Earrings

We like our earrings daring, and these howlite beauties add instant edge to any ensemble.

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Photos courtesy of Albin Durand / Belleville Brûlerie - Paris



La Bourse et La Vie

The idea of dining on cFrench bistro cuisine in Paris at a restaurant helmed by an American might feel wrong if not for the fact that the Chicago-born, Lyon-trained chef Daniel Rose gets traditional Parisian fare so right. Between the dedication to local ingredients, curated French wine list, and quintessentially Parisian décor (looking at you, zinc bar and 19th-century moldings), it’s no wonder that this intimate spot is one of the city’s hottest reservations.

Ya Lamaï

Long gone are the days of spending Parisian jaunts dining solely on coq au vin and steak tartare at classic bistros and brasseries. Join designer-clad creatives and fashion types at this buzzy little cantine in the 11th for fresh, down-home Thai cuisine. Open for both lunch and dinner, the space includes a small grocery for imported Thai groceries.

La Fontaine de Belleville

No trip to Paris would be complete without at least a few hours spent sitting in a colorful rattan chair and sipping an espresso or three in front of a café, but, until very recently, you’d have to resign yourself to mediocre coffee. No longer: local roasters Belleville Brûlerie just transformed the classic 10th-arrondissement café known as La Fontaine de Belleville into, well, a slightly spiffed up version of its old self, but with artisan coffee, craft beers and cocktails, and top-notch food.

RELATED: An American Chef in Paris

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Photos by heju



Musée de l’Homme

Paris may be known for its grand art museums, but one of its most highly anticipated recent museum (re-)openings has, in fact, very little to do with art. While Picasso famously got inspiration from this once-infamous ethnographic museum, the acclaimed, new incarnation of the Museum of Mankind, in the Palais de Chaillot, takes a more anthropological focus, asking visitors to examine the past and future of human evolution.

Fondation Louis Vuitton

Paris isn’t known for opening its arms to new, avant-garde architecture, but if anyone can get away with it, it’s Frank Gehry. A soaring structure of curving glass sheets rising out of a lake in the Bois de Boulogne, the American architect’s new addition to the city’s landscape houses the acclaimed Fondation Louis Vuitton, a contemporary art museum and cultural center whose permanent collection includes custom installations by Ellsworth Kelly and Olafur Eliasson.

Klin d’oeil

The brainchild of two stylish Parisian sisters, this breezy little design store in the 11th arrondissement is the kind of place where it’s tempting to just take everything home. Showcasing a curated collection of independent Parisian designers and artists, the boutique doubles as an art gallery and event space, and regularly hosts workshops with artisans. Every few months, Klin d’oeil holds a weekend art fair at the Marais’ 19th-century market hall, the Carreau du Temple.

RELATED: 13 New Museums to See Now

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Photos by Paul Bowyer



Night Flight at Hotel Bachaumont

The hotel bar scene has fallen off since Hemingway and Fitzgerald hung out at the Ritz, but thanks to a few of the city’s cocktail kings, things are looking up. Part of the team behind the iconic Experimental Cocktail Club and Grand Pigalle Hotel has transformed this former Beaux-Arts hotel near Les Halles into an Art Deco bolthole with an Antoine de Saint-Exupéry-inspired watering hole where chic Parisians mingle over craft cocktails and live music or DJ sets until the wee hours.

Hôtel Off Paris Seine

Paris’ hottest club is... in the river? To be precise, Off Paris Seine isn’t a club – it’s a sleekly modern hotel designed by style gurus Maurizio Galante and Tal Lancman, with a poolside cocktail-and-tapas bar whose sultry tunes and panoramic views of the city’s skyline have already made it hipster Paris’ favorite watering hole. It is, however definitely in the river: the floating hotel’s catamaran is moored by the Quai d’Austerlitz.

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