Pack your compass. As if to spurn the burgeoning crop of luxury palaces and slick boutique hotels crowding the Champs-Élysées area, a new wave of hip, independent-minded high-concept hotels is homesteading Paris’s more remote, less visited neighborhoods. Simply trying to find them is half the fun.
Owned partly by the proprietors of the nightclub Le Baron, the Hotel Amour hides in an untouristed, undistinguished lane near Pigalle, Paris’s red-light district. Like Le Baron, the place has become a darling of the international fashion and rock ‘n’ roll set.
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“Ça fait longtemps!” is what French friends say to each other when they meet up for the first time in years. With the recent reopening of two major Parisian museums after long renovations — and the debut of a third after years of expectations — the phrase could practically be Paris’s motto these days. But the wait has been well worth it.
After a five-year expansion project, the Beaux Arts-style Petit Palais reopened its doors in 2005. Like a miniature Louvre (without the Louvre’s crowds), the museum houses a diverse collection, spanning ancient Grecian urns, medieval panel paintings, Rembrandt’s “Self-Portrait in Oriental Attire,” Louis XV-era furniture, French Impressionism, the symbolist works of Odilon Redon and Art Nouveau ceramics.
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