There are plenty of opportunities for upscale travellers seeking luxury experiences in France. With quintessential corner cafés, world-class museums and art galleries, medieval riverside villages, magnificent châteaux, and delicious food and wine, there’s something for every luxury traveller to enjoy in France.
Whether you dream of staying in a five-star hotel in Paris, embarking on a high-end cruise on the Loire Valley, or dining at Michelin-starred restaurants, here’s how to travel France in luxury.
1. Stay in 5* Hotels in Paris
Paris is undoubtedly one of the world’s most beautiful cities, luring travellers who want to experience a luxurious way of living. One of the best ways to travel to Paris in luxury is to stay at a five-star hotel. The City of Lights is home to some of the world’s most luxurious five-star hotels from where you can enjoy the sophisticated city in all its glory.
For the ultimate luxury experience, stay at the Shangri-la Hotel Paris, which lies by the bank of the river Seine. It’s so close to the famous river that you can almost touch it. But the highlight of staying at Shangri-la is seeing the view of the Eiffel Tower from your hotel window. The hotel is beautiful inside out, with a façade that resembles a fancy wedding cake. It houses several salons adorned with century-old woodwork and consists of small sofas and armchairs.
The Hotel Ritz is one of the most iconic hotels in Paris and an ideal option for travellers seeking luxury. It’s a favourite among famous personalities, such as American authors F Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. Check yourself into Suite Coco Chanel, named after the popular French fashion designer and designed according to her famous signature masterpieces.
2. Try a Hosted Dining Experience
Consider joining a Hosted French Dining experience by one of the world’s leading chefs, Dominique Crenn. Food connoisseurs interested to learn about French gastronomy should not miss this chance to join this event.
As you sit comfortably at the chef’s table, discover chef Dominique Crenn’s dazzling interpretations of French food. It’s a five-day dining experience in the gorgeous countryside of Cognac, in the southwestern region of France. Connect with like-minded individuals from all corners of the globe as you witness chef Dominique Crenn’s incredible culinary creations.
Participants of Dominique Crenn’s Hosted Dining Experience will be staying at Domaine des Étangs, a five-star countryside hotel that used to be a French château. It’s the perfect setting to sample fabulous meals centred around different themes.
3. Ride in a Private Helicopter
Another luxurious activity not to miss when you visit Paris is to take a private helicopter tour and admire the City of Lights from above. Marvel at the stunning panorama of Paris as your helicopter flies around the French capital, over the river Seine and into the city’s famous landmarks, from the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre.
Private helicopter rides in Paris operate under safety conditions, with a seasoned pilot commanding every flight. Upon booking the tour, you will set out to discover the city like never before. It’s a fantastic way to soak up the city’s enchanting views and understand why it’s a city known for romance. Those who have tried the private helicopter tour in France agreed that the highlight of the activity was flying above the magnificent Palace of Versailles, where you get to admire its massive gardens and beautiful canals. Seeing the famous palace from above is not like the experience of discovering it on foot, which requires walking around its expansive grounds.
You are free to take aerial pictures if you like. Your pilot will describe the places you will be passing by, allowing you to capture images from different angles. Take note that no aeroplane is allowed to fly directly over Paris, so the only way to get an aerial view of the city is through a private helicopter tour, so take advantage of this opportunity.
4. Experience a River Cruise
River cruising is very popular in France and a must for luxury travellers. It’s a unique way to admire the country’s most iconic sights while indulging in mouth-watering cuisines paired with delectable French wine. The cruise will take you to France’s most beautiful regions in a slow-paced trip with plenty of exploration opportunities.
There is more than 3,000 km of canals crisscrossing around France. Many have been around since the 16th and 17th centuries and were used to transport coal and grains into Paris. Nowadays, these canals offer an unparalleled window into the country’s stunning countryside. Some popular areas to go river cruising in France are the Loire Valley, Seine, Burgundy, Canal du Midi, and Bordeaux. If you love culture and history, you should cruise Canal du Midi and discover its UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Active travellers can choose to explore the Loire Valley, with the opportunity to cycle around the region.
Most river cruises in France allow a maximum of 12 passengers only, allowing for a more intimate experience. Some vessels have only six cabins, which can sleep two passengers each. The canals of France offer a relaxing atmosphere, which makes for an even more romantic experience. Plus, you can expect five-star service onboard a luxury river Seine cruise from the capital, perfect for a variety of travellers.
5. Eat at Michelin Star Restaurants
France is famous for its fantastic cuisine, and one of the best ways to experience luxury dining in France is to dine at Michelin-starred restaurants. There are more than 400 of these restaurants, giving you plenty of options to indulge in delectable French foods.
Anne-Sophie Pic is a family restaurant that earned three Michelin stars. Originally established under the name Auberge du Pin in 1889, Pic is still one of France’s most famous restaurants, renowned for its unique and innovative take on the French menu. It’s now run by chef Anne-Sophie Pic who started working in the family restaurant in 1997.
Guy Savoy is another restaurant that earned three Michelin stars. It’s situated by the banks of the Seine right in the heart of Paris. Run by one of France’s most famous chefs, Guy Savoy, the restaurant sticks to classic French flavours with a more modern twist.