Flying across the ocean to explore Europe is exciting and exhausting all at the same time. Finding a place to rest as soon as you land is key. When you are traveling to Paris with kids, a stay at the Le Meridien Etoile may be your best bet as you recover from that dreaded jet lag and rest up so you can get the most out of your stay in the city. This hotel’s location, family amenities and access to all of the things to do in Paris with kids, makes it an easy choice when you decide to book a trip to the City of Light.
Le Meridien Etoile history gets an upgrade
Back in 1972 Air France decided it needed its own hotel line to provide customers with a “home away from home.” The Le Meridien Etoile was naturally their first hotel, as Air France flew passengers across the Atlantic to experience the city. Within two years the Le Meridien brand had opened 10 more hotels in Europe and Africa. It now has more than 100 resorts and hotels across the globe, providing lodging for travelers, no matter who flies you to your destination. The Le Meridien Etoile opened with 1000 rooms, but like many hotels, has desperately needed an upgrade in recent years. In September 2016, the hotel officially unveiled a massive renovation, but we were lucky enough to get a sneak peek in July while in Paris with kids.
• Read our exclusive review of the Le Meridien New Orleans •
Families take center stage with a historic LEGO Partnership
In late 2015, Le Meridien made a historic announcement—they were partnering with the LEGO brand to bring a little family fun to their hotels. Recognizing that more families were traveling abroad together, Le Meridien launched the new Le Meridien Family program. Kids would not only get a new LEGO or Duplo set, but parents would get a Le Meridien Discovery Guide, making it easy to find family-friendly activities across the city. Many Le Meridien hotels and resorts are also getting kids’ clubs, which every parent knows is a great thing so you can sneak off for some alone time together while on vacation.
Warm welcome for kids at the Le Meridien Etoile
As soon as you enter the Le Meridien Etoile with kids the team will welcome you. The staff knows kids don’t like to wait, so they rush out with a LEGO or Duplo set for your children (dependent on age) and a Paris Le Meridien Discovery Guide. After a seven-hour flight, my boys were revived with the arrival of new toys in their lives, while my husband and I showered blessing on the staff who were able to get our family suite ready for us when we arrived in the morning. The Tour de France had wrapped up the day before, making this an incredible fete, as many of the teams were staying at the Le Meridien Etoile.
Our family suite was two connecting rooms, which meant the boys could sleep on the sofa bed in one room and have their own bathroom, while my husband and I collapsed on the soft bed in our separate room with the door ajar so we could hear any shenanigans going on between the boys. As the boys unwound, my husband took a nap, while I hit the town looking for food and to grab coffee with an expat friend.
Having two separate rooms was key for us as we were only staying one night and needed to power through our jet lag quickly. We had a week of activities ahead; we didn’t have time to be tired. If the boys had wanted to watch cartoons to unwind after the flight they slept through and we were in single hotel room, their dad would not have been able to sleep. My boys are not quiet gigglers when it comes to funny television shows. The fact that all of their favorite cartoons were in French made it doubly entertaining.
- Larger families, or families looking for a bit more space with a family suite can book a second room at a discounted rate. Make sure you ask the staff to give you connecting rooms.
It’s all about location at the Le Meridien Etoile with kids
Location is an obvious deciding factor when booking a hotel for your family. The Le Meridien Etoile is just around the corner from the Avenue de le Grande Armee, which runs straight up to the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Elysees. The RER (regional rail) and metro stations are just a short walk around the corner and multiple rental car agencies are located nearby. Although the Le Meridien Etoile provides room service and is home to the renown Jazz Club Etoile with a children’s menu and coloring sets, there are plenty of restaurants in the neighborhood for your family to try, no matter what your palate craves that day.
Things to do in Paris with Kids
Naturally you are not in Paris just to stay in the hotel. The Le Meridien Discovery guide gave us loads of ideas to spend our time, whether we wanted to wander through a park, or get high above Paris in the world’s largest balloon at Paris Air Balloon. When in doubt, you can always ask the concierge for recommendations (don’t forget to ask for metro directions!) or read our handy guide of Things to do in Paris with Kids.