One of the best things about being a blogger is I have a job with travel perks. My blog is an insider’s guide to Paris, which includes posts about culture, food and restaurants, hotels, shopping, art, history, and other interesting things to do.
I am courted by publicists, business owners, restaurants, museums and galleries, and receive invitations all the time to openings, fashion shows, previews of museum exhibits, and food events.
Here are some of the most recent perks I’ve received and really enjoyed…
1. Five-star hotel tour and lunch: One of the top hotels in Paris recently underwent an extensive renovation from top to bottom to the tune of 200 million dollars. The publicist invited me for a private tour and lunch at the hotel. She took me on the grand tour, showing me a half-dozen of their grandest suites and rooms, including the presidential suite, a 2,600-square-foot apartment with a 1,000-square-foot terrace with a bird’s-eye view of the Eiffel Tower. I met the chef from the haute cuisine restaurant and got a behind-the-scenes look at the kitchen. Afterwards, she prepared a custom and superb complimentary five-course lunch for me that was out of this world.
2. Pastry presentation with champagne reception: I’m a sweet freak and living in Paris has been a dream with some of the most amazing pastries and chocolates I’ve ever eaten. Last month I was in seventh heaven when I was invited to a presentation by 24 of the best pastry chefs in France of their Christmas cakes and Buche de Noels for the 2014 season. We were allowed to taste as many as we liked and I had a hard time choosing just four or five so I wouldn’t go into a sugar coma. The presentation was followed by a Champagne and hors d’oeuvres reception at a five star hotel.
3. Two-night palace stay: I recently expanded the focus of my blog to include my travels outside of Paris. I went to Lisbon last year for five days and received one of my favorite perks. Before I left, I contacted a number of hotels to see if they offered a special journalist’s rate. I was thrilled when a five-star hotel offered a complimentary room for two nights. The information on their website was a little vague, but the basic info said it was a converted 15th-century palace. The owner Maria warmly greeted me and showed me to my room: a two-bedroom, 1,100-square-foot suite (larger than my Paris apartment!) with a full kitchen, tastefully decorated with antiques and a window seat overlooking a garden. I could touch the orange trees from my window. Maria then gave me an extensive tour and history of the palace, including some of the other suites, which were all individually decorated. I was invited to a home-cooked breakfast with Maria and her husband the next morning in their apartment and spent two hours getting to know them. They took such a liking to me, they invited me to stay an extra night without charge. Unfortunately I had to go home, but I now have an open invitation to come back anytime.
And those are just a few of the more recent perks I’ve enjoyed from writing my blog. What can I say? It’s a hard life, but I’m just fortunate enough to be living it. In fact, as I write this article, I’m sitting on a sumptuous purple suede couch in a gorgeous loft suite in a boutique hotel in the Negev desert in Israel for half price.
For my tips and advice on how to score your own luxury trips, go here.
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