Blu Le Dokhan opens on Trocadero in Paris

Now, you have a new reason to go to Paris this year. The Radisson Blu Le Dokhan’s Hotel has just opened. This new spot is an easy walk from the Champs Elysees, Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower. I remember the area well – there’s decent subway access out to Place Vendome and the rest of the city.

The Radisson Blue Le Dokhan’s Hotel occupies what used to be a private residence, a building that dates back to the 18th century. From the outside, you can enjoy a restored Haussmann exterior; the inside was designed by Frederic Mechiche. The real attention-grabber, though, is an elevator made from a vintage Louis Vuitton wardrobe trunk.

Grab a glass of champagne (from an extensive menu) at Le Dokhan Bar, where you can enjoy live music well into the night. Room service is available around the clock, and internet access is free. Hey, this matters to me. Nothing’s more irritating than having to shell out $10 a day once you’ve already paid for the damned room.

Look, there’s no shortage of hotels in Paris. Anyone who’s been there knows this, and even if you haven’t, it’s not hard to figure it out. But, I’m a big fan of boutique hotels, and this 45-room location seems like a great addition to a crowded city.

Got what it takes to wear the yellow jersey?

Every cyclist dreams of pedaling through l’Arc de Triomphe and claiming endless glory. Short of that, there is nothing wrong with viewing the action first hand. Great Explorations has put together two trips for the coming year that deliver the latter (to ride it yourself, you have to earn it).

The first itinerary offers great views of at least three stages of the race, including the mountain stage finish at Le Grand Bornand, the individual time trial at Annecy and finish at Mt. Ventoux. The second itinerary takes you to Paris, where you can view the finish at along the Champs Elysees from balconies overlooking the course.

Both trips feature small groups with expert guides and carefully selected local restaurants. Best of all, you can ride the Mt. Ventoux stage ahead of the pros. We’ve all dreamed of this. Now, you can test your time against the pros! Start training immediately (after you book your trip, of course).