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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.

The allure of Paris is clear.

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Inside the Most Expensive Hotels in Paris

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/03/07
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