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Many visitors to Paris are surprised to discover a district of unashamed modernity situated right on the edge of the historic city. Reaction to the high-rise development around La Défense from locals and tourists alike was mixed at first, but it has gradually won over the doubters with its blend of cutting-edge retail and state-of-the-art business facilities.
The area is named after the bronze statue, La Défense de Paris, commemorating the 1870 Franco-Prussian war, which still occupies pride of place on the wide pedestrian esplanade that runs through the heart of the new development. The classical statue by Louis-Ernest Barrias stands out in sharp contrast against its ultramodern surroundings.
La Défense is home to many international corporations and numerous hotels have sprung up to cater specifically for the needs of the business community. What they lack in old-fashioned charm they more than make up for in terms of facilities and value for money, and with journey times of around 30 minutes by Metro to the centre of Paris, the district offers a cost-effective and convenient alternative to the more traditional accommodation hotspots.
The Grande Arche is one of La Défense’s most famous landmarks. This futuristic structure was designed to mirror the Arc de Triomphe and is easily visible from the historic arch’s viewing platform several miles away. The viewing platform on the Grande Arche has been closed to the public since 2011, so sadly there is currently no opportunity to repeat the experience in the opposite direction. Nevertheless, the arch is a magnificent sight, especially at night when its impressive glass and marble façade is illuminated.
Many Parisians were persuaded to overcome their ambivalence to La Défense by the opening of the vast Les Quatre Temps, the largest shopping centre in continental Europe. The indoor retail space is packed with popular brands of fashion, homeware, electronics and accessories, as well as a wide variety of restaurants, a food court and a cinema. The outdoor dining area, Le Dome, offers several alternatives for a refreshing al fresco break.
La Défense is on the western outskirts of Paris and is served by major bus and Metro lines as well as train services. Parking is plentiful in this well-planned district.
Situated in the entertainment district, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Les 4 Temps, Grande Arche, and CNIT Convention Center. Palais des Congres de Paris is 2.9 mi (4.6 km) away.
Fully renovated 5-star glass hotel set in the Paris business district of La Défense, facing the CNIT conference center and less than 10 minutes walk from Les Quatre Temps shopping center and cinema.
Situated in the business district, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Grande Arche, Arc de Triomphe, and Palais des Congres de Paris. Parc Monceau and Palais de Chaillot are also within 3 mi (5 km).
This contemporary hotel is located 1.8 miles (3 kilometers) from the center of Paris, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Champs-Elysées.
Located in the heart of Courbevoie, this luxury residence is within 3 mi (5 km) of Grande Arche, Arc de Triomphe, and Palais des Congres de Paris. Palais de Chaillot and Parc Monceau are also within 3 mi (5 km).
Situated in the business district, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Grande Arche, Arc de Triomphe, and Palais des Congres de Paris. Palais de Chaillot and Parc Monceau are also within 3 mi (5 km).
Situated in the business district, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Grande Arche, Arc de Triomphe, and Palais des Congres de Paris. Bois de Boulogne is 2.8 mi (4.5 km) away.
Located in the heart of Puteaux, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Grande Arche and CNIT Convention Center. Palais des Congres de Paris is 2.6 mi (4.2 km) away.