4. Eiffel Tower
It was a whirlwind trip to Paris. We were able to squeeze in 2 trips to the Eiffel Tower, lunch and macaroons as well as some walking around Paris. Our flight delay really threw a wrench in that first day as we never really got in the groove to get anything accomplished. My guess is given a full first day we could have visited the Arc de Triomphe and/or spent some time walking Champs Elysees.
When you include travel time, 3 days isn’t enough to see a lot of Paris. Ideally, I would add another day to the trip if I were planning it again. I do like squeezing in short trips like this throughout the year to explore the world. I wouldn’t say I regret spending 100,000 miles a ticket to take this trip because I don’t regret the trip. But, I would feel better about the value we got if we tacked on another day. Of course, now that United charges 115,000 to complete this trip and 140,000 if you want to ticket on a partner airline like Lufthansa, the math changes for me.
I don’t think I would redeem 140,000 miles unless I was going to Europe for a minimum of 5 days. And, the driving reason to do so would be availability. I think Lufthansa runs a very efficient airline but I can’t say I’m blown away by the service or the food and I really wasn’t wowed by the new business class seat. Paying a 25,000 mile premium to fly them makes more sense for me when that’s the only way I can make the trip (United has no availability at 115,000 on their own planes).
The main difference between United and Lufthansa IMO is the service. I think the new United seats are relatively close in overall quality and the food is more a personal preference.
We thoroughly enjoyed Park Hyatt Place Vendome. I don’t think I would pay the prevailing rate to stay there, but I did enjoy redeeming points. The Park Hyatt Place Vendome did change categories in the Hyatt program, moving up to the new category 7. That makes it 30,000 points a night, a steep get for many folks. But, the cheapest rate I saw when perusing some random dates was over 700 Euro, with many days around 1000 Euro a night. Eep!
The property was impeccable, the staff very responsive, and I was thrilled that they negotiated a small upcharge to move to a suite.
As a Diamond member, we were thrilled with the breakfast benefit. The buffet was great and all 3 of us had our fill of great choices. Mommy Points “points” out that you can also order room service at this property as part of the Diamond benefit. I bet our little girl would have enjoyed breakfast in bed as much as Little C! And, as Summer quietly points out in the post, she was even more appreciative of the Park Hyatt when she had to move to another hotel later in her stay. There are plenty of nice hotels in Paris, and plenty of expensive hotels. Park Hyatt ranks highly in both categories.
When you figure that we redeemed miles for the airline tickets and points for the hotel room, this was a fairly cheap 3-day trip. It’s another great reason for me to keep collecting miles and points.
Buying tickets ahead of time for the Eiffel Tower was a critical part of our trip and almost turned into an epic fail, so don’t forget that when you’re planning your trip.
I enjoy walking around most cities I’ve traveled to over the years. There are so many different cultures to enjoy, and walking around without much of a plan can be a great way to get a sense of the city. This was true for us in the brief time we had to walk around, and I can understand why some folks find Paris so magical. Walking around Trocadero at night gave me a sense of being in the city but not being in a sea of tourists (well, maybe when the Tower lit up).
I can’t say that Paris blew me off my feet, but she convinced me I want to come back and see more. I’d choose a trip back to Italy before I would loop back to the City of Light but I do know I’ll see more of Paris. There’s more the city has to offer me and I’ll look forward to peeling back the layers in the future.
For now, I’ve got a quick giveaway. I’ve always been a Fodor’s guy. The internet is a significant part of our lives, but I still like reading a physical newspaper and I read a hard copy of Sports Illustrated every week. For me, part of the fun of planning a vacation is flipping through a Fodor’s book and building the trip in my head over and over again. So, I’ve got our copy of Fodor’s Paris to give away to someone who’s planning a trip to Paris.
Additionally, we bought a copy of “Paris with Kids”, a really good book from Fodor’s with over 50 different suggestions for how to show Paris to your kids.
Just leave a comment if you’re interested in either or both and I’ll randomly select a couple winners this Friday, May 23rd.
Thanks for following along our whirlwind trip. I’m happy to answer any questions.