B1 Intermediate 22 Folder Collection
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The allure of Paris is clear.
Its landmarks, chic shops and enviable restaurants draw in tourists from around the world.
But has the 'City of Lights' lost some of its shine? Is it trapped by its glorious past?
Well, the city's mayor and some of its most venerable businesses are working hard to keep
the city looking forward.
New environmental policies have opened up the streets, while the city's most famous
hotels have been refurbished and modernized.
Welcome to Paris.
One of the first global cities, Paris has attracted émigrés and artists, writers and
entrepreneurs for centuries.
It remains famous for fashion and food and attracts more than
17 million tourists a year.
And when they get here, tourists dig deep, spending on average over $300 a day.
That's second only to shopping mall heaven Dubai.
But with its clogged boulevards, neoclassical architecture and occasionally obstinate service,
Paris can feel like it's penned in by its past
but nostalgic thinking is being firmly rejected, and not by some nouveau crowd
but by the old guard.
This is the Ritz Paris, arguably the world's most famous hotel.
It opened in 1898 and has been serving the world's who's who ever since.
But this symbol of high society and luxury was getting a bit tired and it closed in 2012
for a $420 million renovation, only reopening in 2016.
Welcome inside the Ritz's Imperial Suite. It's pretty rare to get in here.
It starts at $20,000 a night
but for that money you get a lot of marble, gold leaf, and antique furniture.
This is 18th century refinement, with USB plugs in the wall.
But you don't come to the Ritz just for the suites.
Perhaps as famous as the hotel itself is its bar, The Hemingway
named after the American author and keen drinker.
The story of how it got its name is full of holes but the short version is that it was
"liberated" - and that word is used very loosely - by the author from German soldiers.
He proceeded to buy 51 Dry Martinis.
So if the Ritz is keeping modernity close, but not too close, Paris's other grand old
hotel has gone the other way.
If you think the Ritz is posh, take a look at the Crillon.
This 18th century property has been transformed from a snooty hotel for the world's super-rich
into a classy, modern hotel for the world's super-rich.
Contemporary art adorns the lobbies and bars, while the staff are youthful
and dressed to the nines.
It also beats the Ritz on price. Business suites start at $1,350 and go up to a whopping
$36,000 a night for the Grand Apartment.
Every room has its own butler, because why not?
but it's the little things that
make the experience special.
A barber is on-site to make sure your beard is as sharp as your suit.
While in-house cobblers are at the ready to fix, polish and shine
and offer some vintage cognac.
The Crillon has embraced modernity and it's all the better for it.
But step outside and cars, trucks and scooters roar round Place de la Concorde.
Research by environmental lobby group Transport & Environment found living in the city
for a year is equivalent to smoking 183 cigarettes.
Paris's air quality is bad. You can taste the diesel fumes
and its mayor is determined to change that.
Cars built before 1997 are banned from entering the city center on weekdays from 8am to 8pm.
And the city has also introduced car-free days on the first Sunday of every month.
Paris wants to lead the way in reducing air pollution and other cities around Europe
are following suit.
Working to ensure this historic city doesn't rest on its laurels
but keeps its eyes on the future.
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Inside the Most Expensive Hotels in Paris

22 Folder Collection
林宜悉 published on March 8, 2020
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