Paris' 9me Arrondissement (or Ninth District) is eclectic, running the gamut from elegant (the Opera) to comfortably bourgeois (shopping along the Grands Boulevards) to seedy (Place Pigalle). Meeting venues in 9me Arrondissement are similarly diverse, which can make customization easier.
Special event venues in 9me Arrondissement begin with Le Palais Garnier. Frequently referred to simply as "l'Opera" or "l'Opera Garnier"—this is the principal venue of the Opera National de Paris and has all the grandeur and opulence of a latter-day Versailles. Its showpiece, the Grand Foyer, has just reopened after a refreshing of the caryatid sculptures, gilded mirrors and painted ceiling. The other event spaces are also richly appointed and include two rotundas, an intimate salon and the main auditorium with its enormous crystal chandelier (remember The Phantom of the Opera?). Visits backstage can be arranged in conjunction with another event booking.
Boulevard Haussmann is one of Paris' "Grands Boulevards." Its two most famous retail tenants are undoubtedly the landmark department stores, Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, both splendid examples of late-19th-century Belle Epoque architecture.
Galeries Lafayette has a full-service event team in place to organize incentives and social programs such as fashion shows; cheese, wine and Champagne tastings; private "gastronomy breaks" in any of its 12 restaurants and, of course, shopping.
At Printemps, one of the most architecturally significant elements is the stunning Art Nouveau glass cupola on the top floor. This is also the location of Brasserie Printemps, which has the capacity to host large dinners (500) in a historic but relaxed setting.
In late 2010, the Radisson Blu Hotel, Paris Opera (one of the hotel venues in 9me Arrondissement) completed a property-wide renovation—a marriage of the hotel's Art Deco roots with key 21st-century amenities, including an American-style executive lounge on the top floor. The upper floors offer superb views of the nearby Opera Garnier. The hotel's Lindbergh Bar, named in honor of the intrepid pilot who celebrated his transatlantic crossing there, has also been expanded.
Finally, the Musee Grevin is the perfect venue to guarantee your attendees the chance to rub shoulders with a roster of celebrity guests—movie stars, musicians, heads of state and more (Brad Pitt's the latest to move in). The catch is that they're all wax, but that will enhance rather than detract from the fun. Highlights include the Sound and Light show in the Hall of Mirrors, along with dancing and parties under the Coupole and in the Hall of Columns. The Theatre Grevin can be used for a meeting or for a star-studded cocktail party. The interior decor throughout is over the top—in a good way. As the French say, "Oh la la!"