Bucket List Destinations: Escape to Paris in the New Year

Eiffel Tower. Image: courtesy of Marriott Bonvoy.

With a new year approaching, we are inclined to look ahead, make plans, and think about our bucket list goals. The most popular resolutions always include: working out, getting organized, and taking that big trip. It is said that travel helps shape the way we view the world and ourselves. Now, travelers seek reconnection, relaxation, and to travel with a renewed sense of purpose of escape.

With resolutions to travel on our minds, Marriott Bonvoy is aiming to provide travelers with more opportunities for moments of self-discovery and meaningful connections. Marriott Bonvoy’s global “Power of Travel” campaign asks “Where Can We Take You?” and offers hotel and destination options for all kinds of travel. With its network of 30 industry-leading brands, there are endless destinations to explore, experiences to discover, and people to meet. So with that in mind, consider exploring Paris, the first city list on many travel bucket lists, in the new year.

Of course, while planning your trip from the United States to France (or anywhere else in the world, for that matter), stay up to date with advisories. The Department of State has issued COVID-19 Traveler Information and advises all U.S. citizens to read the country-specific Travel Advisories and U.S. Embassy COVID pages for updates on the impact of COVID-19 worldwide.

Once you’ve decided on when you want to head off to the City of Lights, we suggest that you book a stay at the Prince de Galles, a luxury hotel in Paris. The art deco property, situated in what’s known as the Golden Triangle, has welcomed guests to the heart of France since its opening in 1929. Upon arrival, you’ll notice the attention to detail and design with luxurious gold and marble touches in the common areas and the rooms alike. Located on Avenue George V, just a few steps from the iconic Champs-Elysées, the sophisticated maison de luxe places you near luxury boutiques, the tranquil beauty of the Seine, and is only a 10-15 minute walk to the Arc de Triomphe. 

During your stay, be sure to connect with the concierge to make reservations at 19.20, the hotel’s cocktail and culinary memoir bar; the menu is a curation of food and cocktails that honor Paris. Whether it’s doing your favorite workout in the hotel’s gym or by booking an appointment for a treatment at the onsite Wellness Suite, make time for self-care. 

Paris is a city that offers endless cultural experiences, and you will never run out of things to see and do. Of course, you’ll want to explore the most popular destinations but make sure to see if advance scheduling is required, allow for time for queuing, and leave some room for spontaneity. 

Discover the impact of Black American icons in Paris with a walking tour. Entrée to Black Paris co-founder Monique Y. Wells and her team lead tours share the contributions of Black Americans and people of African descent in the City of Light. The “Black History in and around the Luxembourg Garden” tour brings you to noteworthy points that highlight the work and times of Richard Wright, Chester Himes, Alexandre Dumas, and Josephine Baker. Outside the Luxembourg Garden you will find one of the first jazz clubs in France started by a Black man; the cafe where great thinkers met to discuss ideas and their latest works, and a theatre that featured famous Black playwrights. The tour ends inside the gardens, with a close look at a contemporary sculpture that commemorates the abolition of slavery in the French colonies.

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After the tour, take a short walk to the Pantheon to see the final resting place of France’s most honored citizens. Both the celebrated Black French author Alexandre Dumas and the French-Caribbean literary writer and intellectual Aimé Césaire are entombed there and there is a dedication to the Haitian revolutionary Touissant L’Overture. Most recently, Josephine Baker became the first Black woman to enter the Pantheon of outstanding historical figures. Baker, the Harlem-born French entertainer, French Resistance agent, and civil rights activist, is now immortalized alongside nearly 80 other notable figures from the worlds of politics, science, and the arts. 

Fashion fans will want to see Thierry Mugler’s Couturissime exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. Mugler’s designs have been worn by models, musicians, and celebrities including Iman, Rihanna, Beyoncé, and Cardi B. The fashion designer’s retrospective features pieces from ready-to-wear, haute cCouture, and theatrical costumes. 

Enjoy the Eiffel Tower at night, especially when it sparkles as part of a nightly hourly light show. Then head to dinner at the nearby restaurant La Fontaine de Mars, a popular Parisian bistro famously visited by the Obamas. No matter where you begin or end your exploration in Paris, you’ll be sure to have an adventure to remember. 

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