my fourth full day in paris, it was my mother’s birthday, so we had to go
shopping in the opera district
to spend two hours in the monki to stop by
galeries lafayette to see their stunningly beautiful noel tree centerpiece. “i’ve spent four days here
and still haven’t seen the eiffel tower yet!”, she told me, as we were riding the escalator
to the terrace on the top floor level. “well….. look, there it
we didn’t have pre-sale tickets for the eiffel tower that afternoon (hot tip: buy your eiffel tower
tickets as far in advance as you can! not a couple weeks, even in the
off-season) but i was so pleased
that the line was so short and we zipped up to the second level (that’s high
enough for me nowadays, thank you) in much less time than i was anticipating
and got to see the views in both the daylight and after dark… my favorite
time to see any views, really, as you can still make out all of those familiar
buildings and places in the light, but you get to see the city sparkle as
this calls for macarons and champagne… on
the eiffel tower! very fit for a milestone birthday, indeed. another happy
moment: when the whole restaurant (at cafe constant on nearby rue dominique)
sang happy birthday to my mom as the waiters brought out an apple tart slice
with ice cream and a candle. so much love!
“He who contemplates the depths
of Paris is seized with vertigo.
Nothing is more fantastic. Nothing is more tragic.
Nothing is more sublime.”
― Victor Hugo
people ask me what we did in paris, sometimes it’s hard to answer because we
didn’t do most of the “normal” things are set foot in a museum the whole
time. the biggest thing: we ate and walked around a whole lot; exactly what i
like doing in a wonderful city. i insisted that we walk from the louvre
pyramid to as close to the arc de triomphe as we could… a favorite paris walk
as it covers the tuileries, place de la concorde, and the (love it or hate it)
champs elysees (last chance shopping!) we even attended a dinner party through vizeat, such a cool service for eating a home-cooked
meal with locals and travelers. so many oysters! unforgettable.
we started thinking about going to paris for this week, my mother, who is an
airbnb host, discovered that the annual airbnb open convention was happening on
this term! although not actually the reason we went to paris, it definitely
sealed the deal that we had to go. i am an avid airbnb guest
(sometimes i feel like they should give me a medal for how many bookings i’ve
got with them at any one time!) and i love festivals and conventions, so
naturally i was happy to go along.
we awoke dark and early on thursday morning
(man, i can never catch a break on thursdays- the day when i am always awake at
6:00am to attend my language classes) and took the metro up to parc de la
villette, a nice park and one of the biggest (if not the biggest) exhibition
centers in paris. immediately stepping off the metro, we were greeted by
airbnb’ers handing us goodie bags and greeting us. this was going to be a good
i cannot believe that hosts from 110 countries attended this year– i even sat next to
a woman who was hosting in greenland! (big ups to van for her recent greenland
posts that allowed me to sound totally cool and knowledgeable when i said, “oh, so you live in nuuk
then?”) the energy and excitement from all of the attendees
was inspiring and listening to the stories of the founders. i attended many a
workshop, most interesting was the “ten hospitality truths”, from
chip conley (veteran hotelier, author, and current head of global hospitality
and strategy for airbnb.
oh, and just in case you wanted to know the
ten truths? i think they can apply to more than hosting guests, but also life
and general and even blogging!
ten truths of
1. looking good: accuracy + availability: tell potential guests the truth about your
listing. all of your photos need a descriptive caption! in the first paragraph,
list the 3 things most people love about your home and 2 things some don’t
2. the date: communication + commitment
fast and friendly: the faster you respond, the more business you get! (but also
be warm and friendly)
3. first impressions: cleanliness, amenities, and welcome. customized touches to make a guest’s stay
unforgettable (ask them what their favorite kind of flower is, and leave a
bouquet of that type in their room, for example). think about utilizing all
five senses (for example, smell: how does the room smell? or touch: soft
blankets; a comfortable chair)
4. a friend indeed: support. did you know 87% of
hotel guests with a minor problem will never report it to the front desk?
always check in your guests within the first 12-24 hours of check-in to make
sure things are okay.
5. i left my heart in… the review.
people often remember the host more than the space. take a photo with your
guests to remember them. consider if the personality of your space, your home, and you is coming
through to the guest.
and my favorite quote,
hospitality at heart, is about
being human. –chip conley
after this, going anywhere besides paris seems
a bit lackluster if i’m speaking frankly. it ruins other places for you, that one. surprisingly, i
have not stopped studying french since i returned! holding out hope to return
to france again, i suppose.
more very royal paris-related post coming at you soon! have a nice week, friends… et
à bientôt. part one of our autumn
week in paris is here.
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you liked the ten truths, you might like don’t make these airbnb