|European Extravaganza 2019|
Bienvenue a Paris!
It’s a return to Paris for me after 3 years, where I last visited during my graduation trip.
Having taken the Eurostar with tickets bought from Klook, we landed in the heart of Paris in Gare Du Nord. We rented an Airbnb and stayed a few nights on the edge of 17th arrondissement (the French word for avenue), north-west of Paris. One thing you will note is how petite the apartments in Paris are. This made my stays at the spacious Hilton hotels in Paris much more enjoyable, as I will illustrate later.
Still, the 17th arrondissement was a charming place, and had a chic French-Italian restaurant, Mamma Primi, recommended to me by my friend Hugo. It was also a convenient walking distance to the 8th and 18th arrondissements; home to tourist attractions such as the Palais Garnier and Sacre Coeur respectively.
I moved to the Hilton Paris La Defense with my dad to do a review while my family stayed in the Airbnb, where we will then move to the Hilton Paris Opera in the 8th arrondissement for another review. The Hilton Paris La Defense is actually located in the suburb of Puteaux, which is outside of central Paris and also a business district of the greater Paris region. Thankfully, metro lines and the Paris regional trains, the RERs, still ran to Puteaux which made it convenient.
However, what was unfortunate was that Paris was in the midst of daily riots with regard to pension reform protests. As a result, public transportation lines were severely delayed or cancelled. As you can see below, I had to wait 33 minutes for the RER when it was already so late at night.
When we did arrive, the Hilton Paris La Defense was conveniently located just outside of the RER stop. You would take the lift up to the street level and you would see the hotel entrance.
It looked very ordinary, but when you first headed in, the bright colours and modern design of the building was illuminating. There was a lift that would take you to the hotel lobby.
The staff were surprised to see guests arriving so late, presumably because La Defense is mostly a business area. They quickly welcomed me and handed out welcome amenities, consisting of chocolate truffles, 2 glass bottles of Evian water and 2 complimentary drinks at the bar. The Hilton Paris La Defense did not have an executive lounge.
I was upgraded to a King Relaxation Room, the biggest room of all guest rooms. The layout of the King Relaxation room was delightful; the study table was placed behind the bed, which offered plenty of space in front and on the side of the bed. The study table and bed had charging cables located next to them; making it extremely convenient.
Here are the welcome amenities. Chocolates were from Leonidas, a Belgian luxury chocolate company.
This made the room feel much bigger, I’ll definitely consider this design for my future home 🙂
The bathroom was equally as large. There was a separate bath tub and shower area. Special touches like a vanity mirror was usefulI liked how well lit the toilet was as well.
We headed down to the restaurant, the Tangerine Bar, to enjoy the evening cocktails. It was a very private and cosy place. Considering that it was close to 11pm, there were very few guests and we were swiftly attended to by Carlos. Carlos was very friendly and served us some warm peanuts and olives while taking our orders.
You had plenty of options as you would see below; I went for a Manhattan cocktail while my dad opted for a glass of white wine; the Pouilly Fume AOC.
I woke up slightly earlier to work out in the gym before breakfast. I also took the opportunity to explore the hotel.
The Hilton Paris La Defense was actually inside of a convention centre; the Centre of New Industries and Technologies (CNIT) Convention Centre, where regular exhibitions and events are held throughout the year. This made Hilton Paris La Defense well positioned as a business hotel.
Just opposite the hotel, there was a huge shopping mall: the Westfield Les 4 Temps, similar to what the Hilton London Kensington had.
In fact, while on the 5th floor of the Hilton Paris La Defense, you could see part of the mall.
On the same floor, you also see the entrance to the Gym.
The gym was very well equipped and maintained. The ceiling was rather low, which was a surprise considering most Europeans were about 6 feet tall.
After taking a shower, my dad and I headed down for breakfast. I was looking forward to see what breakfast would offer. I was peckish after a morning workout!
Breakfast was served at the Côté Parvis, a separate establishment housed under the Hilton Paris La Defense.
At the entrance, you could note a small table consisting of hot drinks on offer. This arrangement is actually for guests to have takeaway drinks should they be in a rush or if they are in a mood for a hot drink to go in the Paris winter. Very thoughtful!
We were led to our table by Julie, who recommended us some Pomegranate juice, a speciality of the Côté Parvis.
I then went to pick up some food items. The options on offer were different from what I had in London. For breakfast, you saw numerous French specialities; French pastries, cheese, and honeycomb!
You had the basic hot food items (e.g bacon, hash browns) and a separate drinks section, with a plethora of fresh fruit juices on offer. There was a cold salad and desserts section as well!
Here’s what I assembled! I found the free-flow honey to be an excellent option for breakfast; try dripping honey over bacon next time. You won’t regret it!
Did I also mention that I found out my new favourite tea brand? Its Dammann Frères, and they have a rich history of being founded in Paris more than 300 years ago. The tea was impeccable, move over TWG…
I would describe my stay at the Hilton Paris La Defense to be functional. Although arguably located outside of central Paris, you had a Westfield just opposite the hotel whose variety of shops could rival the famous shopping street Champs-Élysées.
While lacking an executive lounge, Hilton Diamond elite members were treated to complimentary glasses of alcohol and fantastic breakfast options at the start of the day. I also greatly appreciated the large room that I was upgraded to; it made the stay much more cosy
The price point of the Hilton Paris La Defense was also considerably cheaper by 30-40%, which made it value for money. I will highly recommend it to any Hilton member, if you want a convenient and chic place outside of bustling central Paris.
Next, I’ll be bringing my family to one of the properties I’ve been most looking forward to, the Hilton Paris Opera, the flagship hotel for Hilton in Paris. See you there!