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Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme

As Victor Hugo once said, "To breathe the air of Paris preserves the soul." While some may question the veracity of that statement, after a stay at the Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme, it's hard not to feel refreshed and relaxed.

The former home of the Marquis de Bercy, the year-old Vendôme is now one of the city's premier hotels. Situated in the exclusive second arrondissement, the Vendôme is a few doors down from Alfred Dunhill and across the street from Tiffany & Co. and other luxury retailers. The hotel's nineteenth-century Hausmanian faÁade hides a modern interior, but designer Ed Tuttle, with his use of open spaces, French limestone and Grecian-style columns, has successfully merged the old and new worlds. The end result is light and warmth, and the friendly and multilingual staff only adds to that feeling.

The hotel's 188 rooms, 29 of which are suites, have high ceilings and neutral tones that instantly evoke a feeling of comfort. Each room is equipped with a satellite TV, high-speed phone and Internet connections, a Bang & Olufsen sound system and a climate control console. The sleeping area features a king-sized bed with Egyptian cotton sheets and custom-designed furniture. The en suite bathrooms are roomy and luxurious and feature a separate shower and bathtub with matte bronze fixtures, as well as a private commode and heated floors.

The Vendôme offers three dining and drinking choices. The Park features a seasonal menu of grilled delights. The Salons are open throughout the day and offers light repasts, of which Champagne brunch is a must. The Bar serves a variety of signature cocktails as well as top-shelf liquors. Paris is a smoker's paradise and choosing a Cuban cigar from The Bar's menu is a great way to end an evening spent reaping the culinary rewards of Paris. Choices include the Bolivar Royal Corona, Punch Royal Selection No. 11 and H. Upmann Sir Winston.

Most Parisian landmarks are within short walking or driving distance. The Tuileries gardens and the famous Boulevard de Champs Elysees are just steps away.

Room prices start at $527, and suite prices at $761. Visit www.paris.park.hyatt.com/parph/index.shtml for more information.