The second half of my visit to Paris, I stayed in the historic Hotel Raphael in the 16th Arrondissement close to Champs-Élysées, Tour Eiffel, and Central Paris. Spoiler alert: this half of the trip was too much amazing for one blog post, so I'll be splitting it into multiple posts over the coming days. If you've read early posts, you'll know that my good friend (and a pretty dang good photographer) from San Francisco, Isabel, joined me in Paris to continue on as my travel buddy during the remainder of my time in Europe. Isabel and I stayed at Hotel Raphael in the 16th so we could be close to the annual Holiday Village which is set up up along the streets Champs-Élysées every Christmas and I've been desperately wanting to see since learning about it a few years ago.
Because I travel so much for work and to attend conferences, I usually find myself staying in hotels with a much more modern design aesthetic - my stay at Hotel Raphael was actually the first time I've stayed in a five star luxury hotel with such an amazing, rich history, and now I'm kinda stuck on the idea of doing this more - it was that awesome. Hotel Raphael is nearly 100 years old, but in immaculate condition and still has most of the original furniture. Stepping into the lobby is like stepping back in time. If you Google photos of the hotel, you'll learn that Hotel Raphael has a long history of housing Hollywood's stars during their travels in Paris including: Audrey Hepburn, Steve McQueen, Walt Disney, Cary Grant. I'm a major cinephile, so of course I loved this. Going back to what I said earlier; there is something so amazing about staying at a hotel with such an amazing history. During my time at Hotel Raphael I'd look around and imagine what it looked like when my favorite movie stars of the 20's and 30's stayed there - it was pretty magical and I can't wait to go back next time I'm in Paris.
Another first for me, from my room I could see the Tour Eiffel, though I've stayed in Paris many times, I've never had a room with a view of the tower like this. Though it may sound cheesy, I highly recommend that you book a room with this view on your next trip to Paris if given the chance - it's a once in a lifetime thing and it's just something that everyone needs to experience. Another thing I wanted to mention is that the photos of me in the white dress are once again shot by the amazing Erika of @AlleeDesRoses. Erika took these pictures shortly before Isabel and I went out for a night of parties in Paris. In the photos I'm wearing Halston again - I clearly have an addiction.
NOTES: A few of you asked, so I wanted to briefly mention where I get my travel planning inspiration. Here are some blogs I ADORE and that I use as a daily source of photographic inspiration as well as a planning resource for my trips to Paris: Haleigh Walsworth of Making Magique, Carin Olsson of Paris in Four Months, Erika of Allee Des Roses.