The city will begin operating public transportation along the Seine River in summer 2013. The water shuttle will operate three lines between the suburbs of Paris and the city center.
The long-awaited 138-room Mandarin Oriental, Paris, debuted this summer. The upscale property features a 9,000-square-foot spa, four meeting rooms, an indoor garden and two dining outlets -- Sur Mesure par Thierry Marx, a gourmet restaurant that seats 44, and Camelia, which accommodates up to 70.
The Shangri-La Hotel, Paris, opened late last year in the 16th arrondissement. The property features 81 guest rooms designed by Yves-Pierre Rochon, approximately 9,700 square feet of meeting and event space, two restaurants and a fitness center.
Luxury goods firm LVMH is developing a 80-room hotel/mixed-use development in the former La Samaritaine department store. The property is expected to open in 2013.
The 91-room Hôtel W Paris-Opéra, Starwood Hotels & Resort's first W-brand property in France, is slated to open next year. The hotel, which will have a spa, a restaurant and a signature lounge, is adjacent to the Paris Opera and the Galeries Lafayette department stores.
The 200-room Peninsula Paris is set to open in 2013 in a former government building in the city's center.
Accor has sold the 135-room Sofitel Arc de Triomphe to a consortium of French private investors for approximately US$500 million. Accor will continue to run the hotel under a long-term management agreement. The property, which has six meeting rooms, will undergo a US$36 million renovation as part of the deal.
The famed Ritz Paris is slated to close next summer to undergo a 27-month renovation, during which the property's public areas, cooking school, 162 guest rooms and seven meeting rooms will be upgraded.
Properties include the 1,025-room Le Méridien Etoile, 966-room Concorde Lafayette, 953-room Le Méridien Montparnasse, 764-room Novotel Paris Tour Eiffel, 757-room Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel & Conference Center, 514-room InterContinental Le Grand Hotel Paris, 507-room Hilton Arc de Triomphe, 438-room Westin Paris and 245-room Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris. For a more extensive list of hotels, go to mcvenues.com.
Business tourism accounts for nearly 50 percent of all visits to Paris.
Paris' main conference and exhibition facilities are managed by the umbrella group Viparis, which includes the following roster of convention facilities.
• Paris-Nord Villepinte Convention & Exhibition Center; exhibit space, 2,605,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 39
• Porte de Versailles; exhibit space, 2,456,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 32
• Paris Le Bourget; exhibit space, 861,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, six
• Palais des Congrès de Paris; exhibit space, approximately 344,300 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 85
• CNIT La Défense; exhibit space, 102,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 35
• Espace Champerret; exhibit space, 98,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, one
• Carrousel du Louvre; exhibit space, 77,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, four
• Espace Grande Arche; exhibit space, 53,800 square feet; number of meeting rooms, four
• Palais des Congrès de Versailles; exhibit space, 34,100 square feet; number of meeting rooms, six
• Plais des Congrès d'Issy; exhibit space, approximately 32,292 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 11
Contact for all Viprais venues: (001) 33-1-40-68-22-22
A valid U.S. passport is the only entry requirement for visitors from the States.
France is six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.
Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport, 15 miles from the center of Paris. Transfer cost by taxi, US$70-$97; fares are slightly higher overnight and on holidays and Sundays. Transfer cost by Paris Airport Shuttle, US$37
Currency The euro; at press time, one euro was equal to US$1.35
A value-added tax of 5.5% plus a visitor's tax of 1.50 euros (at press time, equal to about US$2) per person, per day, is applied to hotel rooms. A 19.6% VAT is applied to merchandise.
The recently renovated Espace 56 can host up to 300 for a cocktail reception and offers magnifique 360-degree views of the city from its perch high up on the 56th floor. (011) 33-1-45 38-70-54
Paris Convention & Visitors Bureau, (011) 33-1-49-52-53-96
French Convention Bureau, Atout France/France Tourism Development Agency, (212) 745-0961