Intercontinental Paris Le Grand – Paris, France

It's day six (for me) of the A-Z blog challenge! This month I'll be sharing all about my Christmas/New Year travels in NYC and Europe – providing insight into the places I went, reviewing the hotels I stayed at, and telling my story. Today's letter is I for the EIffel Tower and the Intercontinental Paris Le Grand in Paris! (I'm skipping days G and H since I'm not blogging on the weekends. See my Index here for an idea of what's to come.) Feel free to follow along as I make my way through the alphabet this month! :)

Destination: Paris, France
Date: December 2015
Hotel: Intercontinental Paris Le Grand
Brand: IHG
Elite Status: spire elite
# of travelers: 2
nights: 1

Hotel: Making the Decision

As I did with all of the other hotel nights we researched for this trip, my first priority was to take advantage of my status at hotel chains and use points for free nights. I was also hoping to stumble across a Christmas tree or two along the way. ;)

Flyertalk readers and travel bloggers seemed to be largely advocating for the Park Hyatt Vendôme and other Hyatt hotels within the area. Upon closer look, despite my having the correct number of hotel points to book a superb night at this location, the hotel itself did not have any availability. :(

So I moved on.

Actually many of the Hyatts had the same problem. They were all fully booked for the days I would be in Paris.

About that time is when I discovered that not only did I have enough points for a stay at the Intercontinental Le Grand, but I would be left with extra. And during the 2014 Christmas season, they had a macaron Christmas tree! (Yes, you heard me right!)

So, Intercontinental it was.


Getting There

As it turns out, walking (or swimming) to Paris from NYC would take a really long time, so we opted to fly. Another Delta flight, another dollar (or three) gone.

Side note: I recommend taking a nighttime flight to Europe and sleeping as best you can during the 6 hour (from NYC) or 8 hour (from Atlanta) flight. Then, once you arrive in the morning, stay up all day until locals begin going to bed. THEN, and only then, you can rest. Trust me. – It will help with jetlag. I promise!

From the airport, Justin and I hopped into a cab to head to our hotel and unload our luggage.

Another side note: cab drivers like being paid in cash and will get irritated if you ask to pay with credit card. They will, however, in some cases, take American dollars, but keep in mind that that is an easy way to get ripped off. Ask your cab driver before you leave the airport if 1) s/he speaks English, and 2) if s/he takes credit cards, so that there are no surprises at the end of the ride.

Cheaper options: metro and bus.

You do not (and physically cannot) walk to the hotel. The CDG is located on the outskirts of Paris, so don't even try. And don't make the same mistake as me thinking the whole of Europe is smaller than it is. Even though it is not as big as the United States, it is not a small continent.

Checking In

Check-in for the Intercontinental begins later in the afternoon, but my husband and I were able to check in early during the day (around noon) after we spent two hours going through airport security. Immediately our goal was lunch, and the front desk seemed to have no reason to keep us held hostage. They informed us that our "welcome gift" would be placed in our room shortly, gave us a very welcoming smile, and told us to enjoy our stay.

Room, View, & Amenities

We rushed our carry-on luggage up to our room to change and prep for going out. The weather was chillier than what we had experienced in NYC, but not too cold. Mostly I just wanted to change into a dress. We would be exploring Paris after all!

When we arrived in our room, I couldn't help but smile. Not only was it gorgeously decorated, but we had access to a balcony where we could take in the fresh air and feel truly Parisian as we looked out at all of the slanted building roofs around us. I truly felt like I was part of a Disney movie. (Aristocats maybe? Or Ratatouille!).

Of course, if a balcony view is not your cup of tea… you could enjoy watching television, working at the computer desk, or calling someone (for room service, maybe?).

The bathroom was huge! We had access to a separate shower and tub, a variety of personal hygiene products including soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, cotton balls and a sewing kit. And of course, they had a hair dryer, and plugs/converters for American appliances and electronics (like hair straighteners and phone chargers)! Woot!

Not an Eiffel Tower view, but certainly not bad!

Elite Status

Anyway, Justin and I couldn't be cooped up for long. After all, "adventure awaits!" (Isn't that what Ellie says in the movie Up?) After the porter placed our luggage at the head of the room in a small "closet" area (no doors) without light (which makes it exciting to pick out clothing for the day), we ventured out to Printemps and Galeries Lafayette where I got a "Welcome to Europe" text and my first view (for this trip) of the Eiffel Tower! :)

When we finally returned to our room shortly before sunset, we were surprised to see a gorgeous basket of fruit waiting for us along with some delicious-looking fruit juices.

And just like that, the Intercontinental Paris Le Grand made my life. :)

Seriously, nothing could be better than having a balcony view of Paris and delicious fruits and drinks at your disposal. Yes, this was the life.

Oh Paris!

Location, Concierge

On day 2 in Paris, the Intercontinental Paris Le Grand Hotel had made a reservation for me at a local beauty salon. When we got up early to ask for directions, the women at the desk were more than helpful printing out a map for us and telling us what to look for. Of course, as I am, I took the encounter a step further asking where one might find Bûche de Noël. At first they looked at my husband and I kind of funny. I could see in their faces, they were wondering: what the hell is that? And then clarity seeped over one. "You mean Bûche de Noël" she said with a smile and a wink. I returned the smile in wonder thinking about how I couldn't hear the difference in her pronunciation and my own. *shrugs* And so she informed me I would most likely find one in the gourmet section of Galeries Lafayette, which is exactly where we went after my hair appointment. I was really appreciative of all the help the concierge staff gave us and ever-so-grateful that they didn't make me feel too badly about my French mispronunciation.

What I learned from this experience is that while this Intercontinental isn't in the smack dab center of Paris, it is easy enough to get to wherever you are going. Both shopping and the Eiffel Tower are only a short walk away; other tourist attractions may require you to take the Metro which is also located fairly close by.

Overall Review
★★★★ (above average)

This was definitely a fantastic welcoming hotel for the great city of Paris. Along with perks I received as a status holder, I also enjoyed wonderful customer service from both the front desk and the concierge staff. When we left the hotel one day after arrival (as we were doing on this trip), I was almost sad to be leaving. I wondered if the other hotels we would be staying at in Paris would be nearly as satisfying, or how you could one-up a balcony and fruit basket…

Your Turn

What has been your best hotel experience? Was it the customer service that made your stay? Or the perks? If you were guaranteed to be treated as well, even without IHG status, would you consider staying at this hotel in the future?



  1. Sounds like a lovely hotel, and the view would be spectacular. I think you're very brave wearing a dress in Paris in December, it's freezing lol

  2. Oh, I'd so love to go to Paris. That sounds like a wonderful hotel, too.

    Liz A. from
    Laws of Gravity

  3. That's an awesome hotel experience, so happy for you!
    I am an IHG Gold member, and it drives me crazy when I have to ASK for "my" bottle of water upon check-in.


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