Alex Billington offers three perfect ways to experience Paris, on your next vacation.

Shopping: Collette ( ) is pure, hip, sleek and most happening Parisians will tell you it’s the coolest store in Paris; Open now for eleven years and located at 213 Rue St Honore, Paris 75001, Collette’s modern three level store boasts some of the best collections of designer clothing, make-up, gadgets you didn’t know you needed, a bar, a café,  a magazine stand and even their own music compilations which are played all over the city in all the right places. Those in the know in fashion rate the store highly and you can easily pass an afternoon there in shopping bliss maxing out the credit card.

Pampering: Hair stylist Louis Bester ( is just a short stroll from the Collette store so make yourself an appointment with one of the best independent hairdressers in Paris. Louis, a mischievous and charismatic native South African has based himself in Paris for many years. He works from his lovely studio home in the 1st arrondissement where you can get personal service in a relaxed environment.  Louis is the first choice for Parisians who know where to find him, from models and actors to those just wanting one of the great new looks he’s known for.  Contact him on  +33 612730983  or and book ahead as he’s a popular boy!

Cocktail hour: You’ve shopped at Collette, got yourself a sleek new haircut or colour from Mister Bester and now, of course, you’re headed for a champagne cocktail to show it all off Paris-style at Murano Urban Resort (, 13 Boulevard du Temple, Paris 75003. Murano is a space age four star designer boutique hotel consisting of 52 rooms and suites, a bar, restaurant, three swimming pools (two of which are private), a spa and privileges and luxury service at every level. The bar at Murano Urban Resort is rated in World’s Best Bars and is currently THE place to hang out in Paris. Oh, and avoid riding in the hot pink fur-lined lifts if you’ve sampled too many of the 100 vodkas on offer – but if you do make it to one of the suites, remember you can only get in by having your fingerprint scanned. Beam me up Murano!