My first stop involved two nights in London. I decided to splurge and stay at the Renaissance St. Pancreas again. This time, I just chose the smallest Chambers Suite, which was actually selling at a relatively reasonable price and still came with access to the very nice Chambers Club (Executive Lounge). The room was small but still very nice.
The hotel was right atop a major junction for several Metro lines, so it made it easy to get around Paris. Additionally, it was withing walking distance of many parts of central Paris. While generally enjoyed my time in Paris, there were a few things that made for a less-than-optimal stay. First off, my initial premise for the trip to Paris was to see the Eiffel Tower with fireworks shooting off of it on New Year's Eve. Unfortunately, I didn't do my research. If I had, I would have discovered that they rarely shoot fireworks from the Eiffel Tower on New Year's Eve (They shoot them off the Arc de Triomphe, but that is not the same). Secondly, I don't think my hotel was quite ready to be open for business. I was not getting any heat in my room. When I went down to the front desk to inquire, they said it was a problem with several rooms in the hotel. They were out of space heaters, so they brought extra blankets. By the next night, they had acquired more space heaters and delivered one to my room. Finally, I ended up coming down with something late in the day on New year's Eve, so I opted not to go out at all.
I still had a nice enough time in Paris, I dined at a very nice restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel called Sur Mesure.
For the full write-up, click here.
I also visited the Louis Vuitton Foundation Museum designed by Frank Ghery. It was an easy Metro ride out to the western end of Paris at the edge of the Bois du Boulogne. The building is fascinating in itself, but it also had some interesting exhibitions. I got there just before opening and stood in line for a ticket, but you can also buy tickets online, which speeds up entrance to the building.
So, with that dinner, as well as my regular visits to the Chikalicious Dessert Bar, and my United p.s. flight home, my long Winter Holiday trip came to an end.