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There are several new or refurbished grand hotels in Paris, but the Left Bank hotels that the French like to call hôtels de charme are preferable for their proximity to the Luxembourg Gardens and nearby cafés. Sometimes "charm" translates into minuscule, so make sure you ask for a deluxe room.

Hôtel Le Ste.-Beuve Interiors here are crisp and comfortable courtesy of David Hicks, but the real attraction is the location. Ask for room No. 22 on the top floor. DOUBLES FROM $143. 9 RUE STE.-BEUVE, SIXTH ARR.; 33-1/45-48-20-07; www.paris-hotel-charme.com

Hôtel Verneuil Though the hotel is tiny, you would be hard-pressed to find a better deal in central Paris, just steps from Café Flore. There's minimal com-puter access and few modern amenities, but the service is great: Joseph the night watch-man will serve you coffee and juice on the morning of an early departure. DOUBLES FROM $159. 8 RUE DE VERNEUIL, SEVENTH ARR.; 33-1/42-60-82-14; www.hotelverneuil.com

Hôtel Montalembert They call it the Ritz of the Left Bank, and with reason: rooms are pricey (though bigger than most), service is very good, and every room has wireless Internet access. The restaurant is the lunch place for Paris's book-publishing world. In warm weather, opt for drinks or dinner on the terrace. DOUBLES FROM $330. 3 RUE DE MONTALEMBERT, SEVENTH ARR.; 33-1/45-49-68-68; www.montalembert.com

L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon Go early and try your luck at the door. LUNCH OR DINNER FOR TWO $114. 5 RUE DE MONTALEMBERT, SEVENTH ARR.; 33-1/42-22-56-56

Aux Lyonnais DINNER FOR TWO $64. 32 RUE ST.-MARC, SECOND ARR.; 33-1/42-96-65-04

R'Aliment DINNER FOR TWO $107. 57 RUE CHARLOT, EIGHTH ARR.; 33-1/48-04-88-28

Lavinia A sleek three-story wine-shop carrying thousands of wines, including vintages dating back to 1900. The restaurant serves salads and wines by the glass. LUNCH FOR TWO $80. 3-5 BLVD. DE LA MADELEINE, FIRST ARR.; 33-1/42-97-20-27

La Suite Best for drinks. DINNER FOR TWO $182. 40 AVE. GEORGE V, EIGHTH ARR.; 33-1/53-57-49-49

Surface to Air 46 RUE DE L'ARBRE SEC, FIRST ARR.; 33-1/49-27-04-54; www.surface2air.com
Yves Saint Laurent 6 PLACE ST.-SULPICE (WOMEN'S), SIXTH ARR.; 33-1/43-29-43-00
12 PLACE ST.-SULPICE (MEN'S), SIXTH ARR.; 33-1/43-26-84-40


Du Pareil au Même For inexpensive preppy Parisian kids' clothes and shoes. The boys' striped cotton pajamas are a perennial favorite at $14 a pair. 14 RUE ST.-PLACIDE, SIXTH ARR.; 33-1/45-44-04-40; www.dupareilaumeme.com

Oona L'Ourse Where the children in the Luxembourg Gardens get their Shetland sweaters and English Start Rite shoes. 72 RUE MADAME, SIXTH ARR.; 33-1/42-84-11-94

Honoré The new Agnès B. of Paris. Hand-knit sweaters from Normandy and homemade teas by Com' Avan. 38 RUE MADAME, SIXTH ARR.; 33-1/45-48-96-86

Le Rideau de Paris Florence Maeght (of Fondation Maeght in the south of France) sells quilts and curtains in reproduction 18th-century prints from Lyons. Custom-order anything. 32 RUE DU BAC, SEVENTH ARR.; 33-1/42-61-18-56; www.le-boutis.com

Simrane Indian cotton printed napkins, tablecloths, and accessories. 23 OR 25 RUE BONAPARTE, SIXTH ARR.; 33-1/43-54-90-73 OR 33-1/46-33-98-71

Maria Luisa Fashion stylists flock to Maria Luisa Poumaillou for shopping guidance and sharply tailored pieces by, among others, Jean Paul Gaultier, Ann Demeulemeester, and Helmut Lang. 2 RUE CAMBON, FIRST ARR.; 33-1/47-03-48-08

Jamin Puech One-of-a-kind handbags at this Brazilian designer's original shop. 43 RUE MADAME, SIXTH ARR.; 33-1/45-48-14-85

Le Pont Traverse Rare and used books. 62 RUE DE VAUGIRARD, SIXTH ARR.; 33-1/45-48-06-48

Hervé Chapelier Brightly colored nylon bags of all sizes in which to carry everything home. 1 BIS RUE DU VIEUX-COLOMBIER, SIXTH ARR.; 33-1/44-07-06-50

Ladurée The service is often sketchy, but it's worth the wait for the famous macaroons in 18 flavors. Also one of the last places in Paris to serve real Arabica coffee. 21 RUE BONAPARTE, SIXTH ARR.; 33-1/44-07-64-87

Huilerie Artisanale J. Leblanc et Fils A petite shop stocked with delicious hand-pressed oils made from olives, pignoli, and pistachios. 6 RUE JACOB, SIXTH ARR.; 33-1/46-34-61-55

Café Croix Rouge For open-faced sandwiches on toasted Poilâne bread. PLACE DE LA CROIX ROUGE, SIXTH ARR.

Aux Fins Gourmet Bistro classics like steak frites and cassoulet. 213 BLVD. ST.-GERMAIN, SEVENTH ARR.; 33-1/42-22-06-57

Balenciaga Nicolas Ghesquière's recently renovated flagship has tailored pantsuits and knitwear; don't miss the amazing selection of handbags in the accessories boutique. 10 AVE. GEORGE V, EIGHTH ARR.; 33-1/47-20-21-11

Éditions des Parfums Frédéric Malle This is the place for unique fragrances by the masters of the trade. 37 RUE DE GRENELLE, SEVENTH ARR.; 33-1/42-22-77-22

Parfumerie Générale Victoire de Taillac's shop is packed with hard-to-find imported organic beauty products. 6 RUE ROBERT-ESTIENNE, EIGHTH ARR.; 33-1/43-59-10-62

Christophe Robin Models swear by the haircare products from one of the great colorists. 7 RUE MONT-THABOR, FIRST ARR.; 33-1/42-60-99-15

Iris The trendiest designer shoes: Marc Jacobs peek-toe pumps, Michel Perry bondage boots, and gladiator sandals by Pierre Hardy. 28 RUE DE GRENELLE, SEVENTH ARR.; 33-1/42-22-89-81

Bonton The creators of Bonpoint have given birth to this loftlike emporium specializing in vegetable-dyed cotton separates for newborns to 12-year-olds, and to the cute kids' barbershop next door. 82 RUE DE GRENELLE, SEVENTH ARR.; 33-1/44-39-09-20

Iunx Olivia Giacobetti stirs up the French fragrance scene with delicious scents, such as mint, linen, wheat, and honey. 48-50 RUE DE L'UNIVERSITÉ, SEVENTH ARR.; 33-1/45-44-50-14

Loulou de la Falaise The boutique of Yves Saint Laurent's former muse is filled with vibrant leather-trimmed handbags and equally bold baubles. 7 RUE DE BOURGOGNE, SEVENTH ARR.; 33-1/45-51-42-22; www.loulou-de-la-falaise.com


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