by Lisa Grimali | August 01, 2005

Hotel Concorde Saint-Lazare

Magnifique meeting spot:
The newly renovated
Hotel Concorde Saint-Lazare

Don’t cry for Paris. Although the International Olympic Committee did not select the City of Light to serve as host of the 2012 Summer Games (London won that honor while edging out a field of rivals that also included Madrid, Moscow and New York City), the French capital barely skipped a beat while removing the giant “2012” signs that adorned a number of prominent places around the city.
    Indeed, meeting planners might prove the ultimate winners of the competition, as Paris’ rich panoply of meeting and incentive venues has been expanded and updated during the past year’s contest to win the Games.

The Parisian hotel scene has been greatly enlivened with the debut of several charming boutique entries. Among them are the Hotel Daniel, a 26-room property just off the Champs Elysées. The hotel’s décor is a romantic nod to the 18th century, along with a large dose of chinoiserie.
    The Hotel des Sers, also nestled quite comfortably in the tony environs near the Champs Elysées, has 52 guest rooms attractively outfitted with touches such as rosewood furniture and vibrant Missoni fabrics.
    The ultramod 27-room Hotel Sezz, designed by trendmeister Christopher Pillet, has the added chic of housing the très swanky Grande Dame bar, a joint venture with the renowned champagne producer Veuve Clicquot.
    Another recent entry on the boutique lodging scene is the Radisson SAS Hotel Boulogne, offering 170 rooms (more than half of them suites) and five meeting rooms, and which celebrated its grand opening last month.
    Meanwhile, the Hotel Royal Monceau, now under management of the Mandarin Oriental Group, completed extensive renovations of its public spaces, restaurants, bar, six meeting rooms and spa late last year. A second phase of revamping currently is under way; guest rooms are being refurbished and downsized in number from 203 to 180 (including
56 suites).
    Le Méridien Etoile, one of the largest meeting properties in all of Paris with a hefty total of 1,025 guest rooms, has completed a renovation of its 25 meeting rooms.
    Not far from the Opera Garnier, the Hotel Concorde Saint-Lazare recently completed renovations to all 266 guest rooms and added Wi-Fi access to its public areas and 12 function/meeting rooms. The property also is conveniently near two beloved landmark department stores the Galleries Lafayette and Printemps.

In the extensive realm of convention and exhibition facilities, Paris Le Bourget has added a gleaming new hall that offers 270,000 square feet of well-appointed exhibit space. Not to be outdone, the venue’s older halls have undergone renovations.
    In other news, the Carrousel du Louvre Conference Center, tucked directly underneath the Louvre Museum and a part of the sprawling  Paris Expo (the city’s main convention facility), has implemented a new low-season rental rate exclusively for the benefit of nonprofit meetings of 500 to 2,300 attendees.

What better place than Paris for attendees to learn the fine (and delicious) art of French cooking? At the L’Atelier des Chefs, a new facility that offers group programs, participants prep the ingredients and cook various courses under the watchful eye of patient and talented resident chefs. Attendees can sip a tall café or white wine while preparing dishes in the modern, high-tech facility; afterward, they get to feast on their creations.