We woke early this morning for our long drive to Paris from the Pyrenees at the top of Spain, near Andorra.
We were excited yesterday to be heading to the beautiful centre of the “City of Love” where we had visited last year as part of our world trip.
Unfortunately I woke with a really nasty headache / migraine, and the further we drove, the worse it became.
It didn’t help that the main road that went through a major tunnel was closed for repairs, and we had to go more than 100 km along a winding road. But at least we got to see some snow in the Pyrenees.
Close to lunch time I had to stop the car, because I nearly blacked out with the pain in my head and neck. So we made our way driving very slowly to Paris – mainly because I needed a lot of stops.
The headache finally abated around 7:00 p.m., just in time to manoeuvre my way through the Paris traffic and to drive around the Arc De Triomphe. I was proud of my achievement, as secretly I always wanted to say I’d driven around it, and now I have.
Then before our eyes was the majestic Hôtel Napoléon where we would be spending the next few nights.
Being a Sunday night, we were able to park temporarily right out the front of the hotel and unload our massive bag, with the aid of the doorman.
He then kindly assisted in directing us to where we could park*. (See my notes at base of this article for further details.)
So far everything was going perfectly.
When we returned to the lobby after parking the car, our bags were already delivered to the room, and checking in was a breeze.
It was quite late, but there were still drinks and cocktails being served at the bar …
… or served so we were able to recline in the lobby area.
I was completely exhausted, but so pleased my headache was gone, and that we were finally in Paris, and in our beautiful two roomed Junior Suite. This is 5 star luxury, and if ever I needed to feel pampered and to stay in a place of excellent, now was the perfect time.
A lovely bottle of sparkling wine awaited us, and Explorason graciously sat me down and wished me a Happy Mother’s Day.
I looked a wreck – so tired and worn out after my dreadful day of driving, but so thankful my headache had lifted.
I sat and enjoyed this lovely chilled glass, as Explorason did a little unpacking, and set about finding the lovely plush robe and towelling slippers for me, which he found in the en-suite, accompanied by L’Occitane complimentary toiletries.
It certainly did not feel like a Mother’s Day to me at all. It was nearly 11:00 p.m. by now, and I felt like I had driven for two days, not one. The thoughtfulness of Hôtel Napoléon having chocolate treats and sparkling wine ready for us really made my night.
This first evening I was so pleased they had also set up the sofa bed for my son, so that I could close the dividing doors and have a room with privacy and peace and quiet – all to myself.
So it really was a perfect start to Paris.
Tip – had I rung the hotel in advance, there are even massages available to be booked through the reception. You can choose to have it in the privacy of your own room or suite, or the massage, gymnasium and wellness area located upstairs.
The next morning, the weather in Paris was perfect. Our suite was thankfully on the back section of the hotel looking out to a quiet courtyard. I was pleased, as this meant we had heard nothing of the Paris traffic that past night.
Explorason loved this hidden elevator (photo below) near our suite. It looked like a bookshelf, and was just a small taste of the fine detail you can experience when you select to stay at Hôtel Napoléon.
A full hot and cold buffet is available. This of course included petite pancakes and a selection of cheeses including Brie, Roquefort and Camembert to name a few. I loved the fresh fruits, and had healthy start to my day.
For others they selected a sunnier position in Bivouac near the courtyard, or a window seat looking out toward the avenue.
We had deliberately selected Hôtel Napoléon for its perfect location in Paris.
We of course had to go to Disneyland, and so it was easy to take the train to the end of the line, and anyone could do this with ease. We will write a separate article on our two days at Disneyland Paris.
There is also an scrumptious afternoon tea time available in the Bivouac Café, but we never made it back in time. Next time we hope we can stay and return to the hotel to relax between some shopping or sightseeing.
The hotel is also soon opening a terrace, which will be perfect for summer drinks or an afternoon snack.
It was also a short walk to the Eiffel Tower. I must say I am very disappointed we did not get to return to the Eiffel Tower, but this was a quick trip to Paris this time, and so we sadly mixed out. Again – maybe next time!
On my last morning we went down for our usual delicious breakfast. This time I tried a couple of local French specialties recommended by the manager. Explorason loved his buttery warm croissants.
After breakfast I was privileged to be invited to view the lovely business and meeting rooms downstairs in the Hôtel Napoléon. This is another area they will soon be expanding.
Then we moved upstairs to discover the magnificent view from the front balconies. With visuals on one side of the Eiffel Tower, and the Arc De Triomphe on the other, this was the most perfect view, and the perfect location in Paris. I can see why so many of their guests book these front suites.
We then had time to look through the large suites they offer. It was just a beautiful 5 star, luxury hotel. I especially loved the Imperial Suite, but considering each room is uniquely decorated and there are 102 rooms, there are a lot to choose from.
As we walked around I learnt a little of the history of the place. The hotel was actually a wedding gift from a Russian man who married a French lady.
Famous names who have stayed here as years have gone by include Audrey Hepburn.
So if you are looking for the perfect place to stay in Paris – can I suggest right here at Hôtel Napoléon.
We leave here to drive for yet another full day. This last part of our continental Europe journey takes us past Amsterdam in The Netherlands. We are on our way there and also to see the tulips at Keukenhof.
We can’t wait to share what we get up to there, so keep following our world journey.
This review is entirely the opinion of the writer, not the property or any business mentioned. All information supplied is accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time of publication, but may change. Please consult the hotel directly for further information, bookings, clarification etc.
Accommodation Name: Hôtel Napoléon
Location: 40 avenue de Friedland Paris 75008 France
Telephone: +33(0)1 56 68 43 21 Fax : +33(0)1 56 68 44 40
Date stayed: May, 2015
Child friendly: family suites; connecting suites, family part floors with connecting lounge room, and sofa beds are all available – contact hotel for further information
*Parking: Parking is available just across the avenue, and down a ramp to underground secure parking. It ben includes a valet service option, and calming music is played. Access after parking is with your car park card only so ensure you bring this with you. For several days parking there is a discounted rate, but make sure you request this discounted rate PRIOR to departure on the first occasion, or a full daily rate is applied. It is also for the vehicle remaining in the parking station I believe, but please also check. This is an independent parking station and is not associate with the hotel. Most parking stations in Paris are owned by the same company, so the rate is the same wherever you go. Rates can be high, so please check this prior to parking your vehicle.