Paris goes modern with the Melia

A premium room at the Melia Paris La Defense, just west of the city.
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Melia Hotels International is sporting a new address in Paris' financial district, La Defense.

La Defense sits to the west of the city, rising high above the traditional, white stone architecture with modern skyscrapers and sleek designs. Though not officially part of Paris proper, La Defense is less than a 10-minute Metro ride from some of the city's most iconic destinations.

The Melia Paris La Defense sits near the Esplanade de La Defense Metro stop along the No. 1 line, which takes tourists directly to the major points of interest, such as the Champs-Elysees, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and the Tuileries Garden. The hotel is a short hop to anywhere travelers would want to be and offers rooms starting at $200 a night.

The hotel itself is an all-glass, sail-shaped building that overlooks the city. Most rooms have expansive windows where guests can observe the city's skyline, with the Eiffel Tower visible in the distance. The 369 rooms, including 29 suites, are spread across 18 floors.

Travelers who desire a higher level of service can book one of the Level guestrooms on the top five floors, offering access to a private lounge that serves breakfast, snacks and evening cocktails as well as offering private check-in and concierge services. Level rooms start at about $268 a night; on the top end, a Level Presidential Suite is priced at about $814 a night.

Dining options include the Skyline Bar & Lounge on the 19th floor, serving cocktails, tapas and a long list of Champagnes. In the evening the bar was packed with both guests and locals who work in the area.

On the first floor, Le Miroir restaurant has views of the modern art installations directly outside the hotel. Le Miroir serves breakfast, lunch and dinner from a menu focusing on Spanish cuisine with an international twist. For more casual dining, there's the Place Lobby Bar and Lounge. This restaurant has a bakery, fromagerie and charcuterie as well as takeout options.

Other hotel amenities include a 24-hour fitness center, business lounge and free WiFi.

More on modernity

The Melia Paris La Defense is part of Paris' modern edge, and travelers staying there might be interested in exploring more of Paris' contemporary scene. One such destination is the Fondation Louis Vuitton, one of the latest contemporary art museums to open in the city. Designed by Frank Gehry, the space offers a wide array of cultural experiences, including the museum's permanent collection as well as commissions, temporary exhibitions and multidisciplinary events.

The museum can be seen from the guestrooms of the Melia Paris La Defense, looking east toward the city. The structure is a series of geometric curves and lines, and the 12 glass sails play with the light and reflections of water from the basin where the building stands. It has indoor and outdoor displays connected through a series of terraces, giving both an artistic and architectural experience.

For more information on the Melia Paris La Defense, see www.melia.com.

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