The Champs-Élysées is the most famous street in Europe and certainly one of the most famous in the world. A few blocks from the Arc de Triomphe just off the famous drag is the Hôtel Fouquet’s Barriere, a long-standing hotel with its famous Fouquet’s Restaurant right next door. After having breakfast at the cafe that has held the revelry of Orson Welles, Maurice Chevalier and many other celebrities, head off to the Musée du Louvre for a lunch date with the Mona Lisa or Venus de Milo. The other great Parisian museum is the Musée d’Orsay, home of much late 19th- and early 20th-century works. For an evening out, dress up for the Opera Garnier. This was the opera house that inspired Gaston Leroux to write the Phantom of the Opera. Nowadays, you’re most likely to see the ballet perform. Rooms begin at $876 per night and suites begin at $1,445 per night. Admission for the Louvre is $13.50 and d’Orsay is $12. Opera tickets begin at $13.50.
In a constantly rebuilding city, The Stafford London hotel enjoys its upper-class St. James’s location and its quiet escape for guests into an Edwardian age. The hotel’s origin as a private home in the 19th century can make it more spacious than other establishments, while 21st-century amenities keep you fully connected. A great way to spend a day in London is at The British Museum. After you’ve discovered the Rosetta Stone, get to Palm Court for the traditional afternoon tea. The lounge of the Park Lane Hotel in Mayfair is renowned for offering a variety of teas served with scones, pastries and sandwiches. Or instead, head to Dukes Bar. Known as a famous hangout for author Ian Fleming, the bar is perhaps the most respected purveyor of martinis in all of Europe. Rooms at The Stafford begin at $450. Afternoon tea is $51-$63.50. The museum is free.
New York City
On Madison Avenue on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, doormen in bowler hats greet you as you arrive at The Carlyle. Get a room that overlooks the street and watch the Mad Men go by, or just enjoy the views of Central Park. The English manor style of the hotel still manages to keep a New York ambience, and the Café Carlyle is one of the best cabarets in the city. But if you decide to go to a Broadway show, find a Gray’s Papaya stand for a quick – and classic – New York-style hot dog for lunch first. Then, after the show, head to Sardi’s. Both are Big Apple institutions, but Sardi’s is in the theater district and has been a Broadway hot spot for almost a century. Dinner reservations are recommended. Reservations for The Carlyle begin at $720 per person per night. A dog and drink for two is less than $10.