AU-M-G! How to Do Paris with Kids
(Photo: Getty Images; Tobias Staebler)
By Jennifer Gould Keil
Paris has always been good to me — as a 15-year-old studying abroad, a college student, an expat journalist, while pregnant — but this was my very first trip with children. Mon dieu!
The concept was daunting — Kaitlin is 9 and Braden is 10. The kids study French in school and had been dreaming about seeing the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. So we did our homework to ensure that seeing the best of the City of Lights would go as smoothly as possible.
Exclusive Resorts, a family-oriented luxury vacation club, was a key part of that plan. Their accommodations — more than 300 residences in 75 destinations — may be pricey (from about $2,000 per night), but they require no security deposits and are now available to non-members for a three-night minimum. In a town of costly hotels and pricey restaurants, the fully equipped units can actually offer value to larger families keen to take some meals at home.
The trip began about one month before departure with a call from Daniel, our Exclusive Resorts concierge. He asked about my kids and their interests. I told him our absolute musts — such as the Louvre, Eiffel Tower and Centre Pompidou — and he came up with an itinerary. He also offered to stock up the kitchen with supplies. I requested lots of fruit and vegetables and some of French kids’ favorite treats. He nailed it — even down to the sticky sweet cherry syrup local children mix with their water. There were even thoughtful toys and activities laid out on their beds when we arrived.
The elegant three-bedroom apartment at La Reserve. (Courtesy: La Réserve)
We stayed in a modern, elegant three-bedroom apartment at La Reserve, a centrally located luxury hotel at 10 Place du Trocadéro, in the très chi-chi 16th arrondissement.
The apartment came with a housekeeper, laundry, a chef’s kitchen, terraces and dramatic views of the Eiffel Tower. (“Mommy, can we stay for a year?” my son asked with a straight face.)
The next morning, we slept in (bonjour, jet lag!) while the housekeeper stealthily prepared a French breakfast for us, with fresh-squeezed orange juice, croissants, hot chocolate, café crème and other delights.
Dining on cheeses and pastries at the hotel.