The flight to Paris was on a Boeing 787-9 aircraft. This aircraft made its debut on the airline we fly in October of last year. In November it began international service. From what we have read because of its superior fuel efficiency it allows for more profitable international flights opening up new routes as well as flying longer distances. The airline offered three cabin services; business class, premium economy and economy. Total capacity is 285 seats. We believe the aircraft made its debut in 2014 with another airline.
We were fortunate to fly Business Class.
Unfortunately the flight took off about ninety minutes late. It was a full flight and they did ask if four people would give up their seats on the flight in coach as the flight was oversold. There were some issues with the catering of the flight which causes most of the delay.
The good news is that once airborne the pilot made up a good portion of the flying time and we arrived about forty minutes late.
We each got some sleep with Keith falling asleep faster then Anne Marie and sleeping a bit longer.
Our hotel accommodations included transfers between the airport and hotel and hotel and airport. As part of the service, we were met at the gate by a VIP representing the hotel who escorted us through fast-track Customs, to the luggage carrousel and with luggage in hand took us to where the driver was waiting. He was very courteous and professional and really made the arrival easy for us.
The driver was very similar. He was very professional and courteous and we made it to the hotel in only 35 minutes.
We arrived to the Shangri-la Paris Hotel. This is our first time time staying here and it was highly recommended by someone who is very seasoned traveler.
The hotel is housed in a renovated mansion that was built in 1896 for Prince Roland Bonaparte who is a great- nephew of Napoleon.
This hotel is exquisite and several of its rooms offer stunning views of the Eiffel Tower. Initially, we booked a duplex suite with a view of the Eiffel Tower. The hotel was kind enough to upgrade us to a duplex suite with a 323 square suite terrace overlooking both the city of Paris and also the Eiffel Tower. We will stay at the hotel for seven nights.
Upon arrival at the hotel we were greeted by two personnel one whom took our luggage and the other person escorted us to the reception desk. We were assisted by one of two reception personnel who went through all of the particulars with us, and once the check-in was complete escorted us to our suite. She showed us around the interior of the suite and then took us outside to the terrace overlooking the Eiffel Tower. Keith took a couple of photos and did not use the telephoto lens just to give you a feel as to how close we are to the Eiffel Tower. Our luggage arrived to the room shortly after she left and we also received a followup call from the concierge.
We went out on three walks this afternoon. First walk was for a late lunch which we had at a charming restaurant called Citrus Etoile. We could tell we picked a nice place as most of the people dining were locals. We really enjoyed the friendliness and professionalism of the entire staff from the manager to the assistant waiters. Food was great and we each had a three course lunch with each course having three choices. We both had salmon for the first course, a very tasty veal as our second course and for Keith it was cheese and salad for dessert and Anne Marie and parts of three different scoops of sorbet.
Our second walk was to continue to get fresh air and to pick up water for the room. Mission accomplished. Final mission was to go to a shop to bring back some pastry. We had a couple of places in mind but after speaking with the concierge (well three of them) we went to a pastry shop within a ten minute walk of the hotel. Between the three of them they had given us five different recommendations of items that they all like. We all laughed when they said but don't have them all at once. When we got to the shop the owner was very helpful. Not all items recommended were available as they change would they prepare each day. She was familiar with the concierges from the hotel. We ended up picking up two items to share. We have not tasted them yet so we will be sure to share our thoughts tomorrow.
We want to close with an observation. Too often it is very easy to generalize and say all French people are this or all American people are that or even within the states to say if you are from Texas or New York or Tennessee you are this or that. The reality is that we are all individuals and not robots so we all do not act in identical ways.
We have met so many nice people today and that not only includes personnel who guided us and drove us to the hotel, or the terrific members of the hotel staff or the very nice people at the restaurant. This included the woman at the pastry shop and the man on the street who could tell we might be lost who took his time to give us directions to the restaurant to even the person at the small market where we bought the water. We know not everyone we meet will be this nice but we certainly have met lots of very helpful people today who helped make our first day in Paris special.
We also learned to speak slowly because if we spoke French (Keith speaks a little) we could not possibly pick up on all that is said if it is spoken quickly so we can't expect the same thing. We learned that today when we asked for 10 additional coffee capsules for the room and probably asked the question quickly. We got a nice chuckle when we arrived back to the room and in line of ten capsules ten coffee cups and saucers were placed in the room.
Today's Thought For The Day.....
As mentioned on our welcome post, we selected Paris as part of our 40th Wedding Anniversary celebration because we consider it to be a romantic city. Examples of this are found all throughout Paris including: its elegant and cozy dining venues, superb cuisine including wonderful wine and champagne, the spoken language, its history, the architecture of its buildings and monuments, the lights at night and the ability to take nice long walks in the daylight and at night. There is so much to love about Paris. We also loved our time in Washington, DC where we met, were engaged and started our family. It was Pierre Charles L'Enfant who designed the basic plan for Washington, DC. Although some of the plans changed several key components remain and it reflects characteristics found in Paris and other cities in France.
Anne Marie & Keith