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Paris Writer’s Retreat

Paris writer's retreat

Paris street art painting

Are you an active yogi yearning to find creative inspiration in one of the artistic capitals of the world?  Then this 8-day Paris writer’s retrea is perfect for you! Your senses will come alive as you wander through the streets and cafés of the famed Latin Quarter. You feel the haunting creative energy of poets, painters, and musicians who found inspiration along the banks of the Seine for millennia.

You will leave this experience feeling grounded, refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to take on anything that comes your way with a deep sense of calmness and a heart full of joy.  

Imagine winding along narrow cobblestone streets through a bohemian village high above the cityscape of Paris.  Your mind is calm yet buzzing with creative energy as you pass artists painting along the sidewalks next to quaint coffee shops and cafes.  

The evening light bathes the colorful houses and studios in warm amber light as you gaze up at the stunning white domed basilica perched high on the hill standing guard over the busy streets and all the inhabitants below.  You see the city unfolding beneath you and yet feel a million miles away in this quiet and slow-moving space.  

You sit down, take out your notebook and begin to write.  Feeling slightly distracted by the sweet smell of fresh bread pouring from the bakery into the street, you gaze out at the setting sun and begin to smile.   This is it!  This just feels like home!  

Your heart swells in the warm embrace of this beautiful moment overflowing with creative inspiration.  You turn back to your notebook and begin to write, the words flowing effortlessly as imagination takes control of the pen.  All at once you feel grounded in your body yet caried far away in your mind as though fantasy and reality were merging into one joyous state of being.  You have finally found fire for your voice, and it just feels so good, you never want it to end.  

You set your pen down, and with joy and contentment look over the city as the sun begins to sink below the horizon and a million twinkling lights fill the sky.  

You think to yourself, ‘I deserve this!’

Welcome to Paris!

Unlock your Creativity!

Do you long for inspiration and time to connect with your inner muse?

That sounds so perfect!

On this retreat you’ll connect with the cityscape that has inspired artists, writers, and musicians for generations.  Roaming the streets, ambling along the river, and relaxing in beautiful gardens, your mind will begin to calm, and your creative energy will begin to flow in an almost dreamlike state.  

Whether you are a writer, artist, or just looking to find a spark for your creative energy, this is an opportunity you won’t want to miss.

Are you craving a connection with other writers to share thoughts and ideas that spark the imagination?

Wow, that would be amazing!

On this retreat you’ll spend a week with like hearted people experiencing art and sharing inspiration.  Each day you will enjoy coming together in curated writing workshops and mindfulness practices that will guide you on your creative journey and leave you inspired to find new perspectives at home.  You’ll develop deep and lasting friendships as you walk in the footsteps of literary giants experiencing the landscape, cobblestone streets and beautiful architecture that lit the fire of their creative energy.

But Where Shall I Stay?

You’re going to fall in love with hotel Odeon Sanit Germain from the moment you step into the artfully decorated lobby designed by Jaques Garcia.  Right in the heart of the Latin Quarter, you’ll step outside each day into streets lined with cafés, boutiques, theaters and bookshops just steps away from Luxembourg Gardens, the Sein and Notre Dame.  

Each night you will melt into your beautifully appointed room that features either one king bed or two single beds with lux bedding, a private bathroom, and air conditioning.  What a perfect way to end another glorious day looking out over the glowing lights of Paris.

For solo travelers wishing to book the lower double occupancy rate, simply mark the box on the reservation form for a roommate match and we will do our best to match you with a same gender roommate.  

If you wish to book solo and stay in your own room, the single occupancy upcharge will apply.  

There are only two places in the world where we can live happy -at home and in Paris.

-Earnest Hemmingway

And What Shall I Do?

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Paris as you explore the quaint neighborhoods and cafes that are woven into the fabric of the literary scene.

Day 1: Arrive in Paris!

You’ll step off your flight on June 2nd in the City of Lights and right away begin to take in the inspiration! You’ll drop off your bags in your boutique Hotel Odeon St Germain in the vibrant Latin Quarter and meet your trip leaders who will assist you with checking in and getting settled. You’ll have time to acclimate yourself to the area, our creative hub for the next week, and meet your fellow writers with a casual walk around the neighborhood right in the heart of Paris’ historic literary scene! 

Your evening begins with a grounding meditation and then head off for your first mouthwatering dinner at Café de Flore.  You can sense the creative vibes as you walk in the door of this historic café that even hosts its own literary award.  Once a hotbed for existentialism, you can almost hear the banter between Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre and other famous authors who spent entire days in the cafe working through their philosophical writings.

Day 2: Paris and Versailles

Wake up to your first full day in Paris! With the sun glittering on the city streets, you’ll have time to grab a yummy breakfast at the hotel or step out for a quick coffee and croissant before we meet for our first writing session. Roll up to the first writing workshop with a pen and notebook for a generative writing class that will have you working right away. We’ll explore how travel and the world around us can act as a writing prompt, and each check in with our individual writing intentions for the week.  All writers welcome, new and experienced, and all writing workshops will meet you where you are. You’ll leave this first workshop with a handful of writing prompts to work on all week, on your own time. 

Following your writing workshop, you’ll spend time exploring the Boulevard St Germain and perhaps grab lunch at the Café Les Deux Magots.  This is across from Café de Flore and the literary rivalry between the two is legendary to this day.  Café Les Duex Magots was the first to begin hosting its own literary award in 1933 and regularly played host to Hemmingway, Joyce, and Camus. 

After lunch you will travel to Versailles where you will find yourself standing in awe as you are surrounded by the famous Château with its magnificent gardens and fountains.  You’ll have dinner in Versailles before enjoying the evening wandering through the fountains and groves to the sound of Baroque music.  It’s an experience that will engage all your senses and carry you away in the moment.

Day 3: Latin Quarter-Luxembourg Garden-Catacombs

You wake up rested and buzzing with new ideas! You’ll begin your day with a yoga class to get our blood flowing and then enjoy breakfast at our hotel.  A short walk to Luxembourg gardens begins your second writing workshop where you’ll generate work in this breathtaking outdoor classroom. You’ll explore how mindful movement can help put you in touch with your creative intuition. After time spent on the mat, watch the words flow on the paper.

You’ll have the option to enjoy lunch at the Café Tournon if you like.  This was part of the famous literary scene as well, serving as a hub where American writers like James Baldwin, Richard Wright and William Gardner Smith would meet to exchange ideas and report news from home. After lunch, you’ll head over to the Pantheon to immerse ourselves in history and architecture, pondering some of the writing exercises you explored in the morning as you take in the sights. How do history and the present moment help us feel more creatively alive?

Take time to relax and enjoy this beautiful section of Paris before you continue to make your way toward Montparnasse where you may choose to have dinner at La Closerie des Lilas. Famously featured in Hemmingway’s memoir A Movable Feast, Lilas was a favorite of Samuel Beckett, Man Ray, Oscar Wilde, and Jean-Paul Sartre as well as American writers Fitzgerald, Hemingway and Henry Miller. As the story goes, it was here where Fitzgerald first gave his manuscript of The Great Gatsby to Hemingway to read.

After dinner you’ll find macabre inspiration on your private tour of the Catacombs where the bones of millions are neatly stacked and stored away to create room in the City! The tunnels are filled with quotes about life and death from those who came to explore the cool and damp labyrinth.  Returning to your hotel you’ll relax and fall asleep amid the Parisian lights with memories and new ideas meandering in your head.

Day 4: Montmartre

After a gentle morning practice to stretch out from walking, you’ll enjoy another healthy breakfast at the Odeon before heading out for a beautiful day in Paris.  Today your pilgrimage continues with a stop by the venerable bookstore Shakespeare and Company, which has hosted the Paris literary elite since opening its doors in 1951. 

After time to browse and soak in the history of this amazing place, you will journey to Montmartre for your third writing workshop where we will read the works of others who wrote in Paris and use their words as inspiration for our own.

Strolling through the narrow cobblestone streets, you marvel at the quaint bohemian village, which served as home, inspiration and workspace for Picasso, Renoir, Van Gogh, Degas and many others.  Enjoy the many artists who continue to find inspiration and paint along the café lined streets of this wonderful place. In the afternoon you will visit the Musée de la Vie Romantique, one of three literary museums in Paris.  You sense the reveling ghosts of the past in this house once owned by Dutch painter Ary Sheffer who hosted Friday evening salons for his friends and neighbors including George Sand, Frederic Chopin, Delacroix and Rossini.  

Wandering through the famous square, you’ll sit down to another mouthwatering dinner at Le Moulin de la Galettewhich, an old windmill featured in a Renoir painting.  It is said that Van Gogh often spent days painting in the hidden courtyard behind the restaurant. 

After dinner, walk over to the enormous white domed Basilica Le Sacre Coeur where you are filled with awe watching the glorious sunset overlooking the streets of Paris.  All at once understanding why this butte sitting high above Paris sparked the imagination of so many great artists and writers. 

You’ll return for the night feeling relaxed and inspired.

Day 5: Arc de Triomphe-Luxor Obelisk-Louvre

Wake up to another beautiful, Parisian day! Your body feels more relaxed from the meditation, yoga and adventuring, and your mind and spirit feel bright with new ideas. After a yummy breakfast, you’ll head out for a day exploring the more iconic sites of Paris.  Today you’ll experience some of the classic sites and famous art on the right bank. First, you’ll travel to the Arc De Triomphe and begin to meander your way back toward the Louvre.  

You will stop near the famous Bassin Octagonal in Jardin des Tuileries for your fourth writing workshop. Today, in the shadow of the Luxor Obelisk, you’ll learn craft tools to help shape and structure your writing into work to share with others. Just like a yoga practice where you experience ritual and ease, you can apply these elements to your writing.

After your workshop, you continue to explore the Jardin des Tuileries passing famous sculptures and gorgeous fountains, stopping in one of the cafes along the way for lunch. 

Following lunch you’ll arrive at the Louvre, one of the world’s most iconic museums and a highlight of your trip to Paris for sure.  Marveling at the beautiful architecture as you enter the museum filled with classics like the Mona Lisa. You’ll spend the afternoon relaxing and exploring the famous art and architecture before having dinner at one of the nearby cafes.  

Stroll along the river enjoying the evening as you cross the beautiful bridges that have become synonymous with Paris in film and television over the years.  It’s as though you’ve been here before, watching clandestine exchanges between spies and lovers beneath the street lamps above the Seine.  

Boarding a boat you’ll experience Paris from a new perspective riding down the river to the Latin Quarter and back to the hotel for some time to relax. Or perhaps schedule one on one time with Sarah to go over your writing if you would like.

Day 6: Musée d’Orsay-Promenade Glissant-Eiffel Tower

Feel a full heart and calm mind with your morning meditation and a light breakfast before heading out for Jardin des Tuileries! On this morning your fifth writing workshop will begin in the park across the Passerelle Léopold-Sédar-Senghor from the Thomas Jefferson Statue.  You will have an opportunity to share work for feedback and will practice giving feedback to others. We will help each other with love and purpose in our work and you’ll learn how to self-edit, too. You’ll end your workshop with breathwork for writers. 

Following your breathwork practice, you will cross the famed iron bridge and enjoy the amazing art collection at the Musée d’Orsay.  Housed in a stunning Beaux-Arts railway station from the early 1900’s you’ll gaze in wonder at this museum boasting one of the largest French art collections in the world.  Leaving the museum you’ll stroll along promenade Glissant next to the Seine as you make your way toward the Eifffel Tower.

After seeing this iconic landmark throughout the week from many different vantage points, your heart swells as you finally experience it up close.  Surrounded by beautiful gardens the Eiffel Tower stands like a guardian over the Seine.

You’ll spend the afternoon exploring the Maison du Bazac, the second of Paris’ three literary museums, and the beautiful parks, shops and cafes in the area before having a fabulous dinner overlooking the tower.  

You will return by boat to the hotel for the evening to relax and enjoy some free time or one on one time with Sarah.

Day 7: Pére-Lachaise-Maison du Hugo-Bourquiniste

You begin the day with a beautiful yoga session with a focus on joy! After breakfast you’ll journey to Cimitiere Pére-Lachaise where many of the most famous artists, writers and musicians in the world are laid to rest, including Delacroix, Ocsar Wilde, Gertrude Stein, and Jim Morrison.  Amid the palpable finality of this peaceful place, you slide sideways into your final writing workshop. In this class, you’ll have another chance to offer and receive feedback, exploring how writers can help each other in community. You’ll end class with freewriting on exploring the senses and a meditation for writers before exploring the area which is both the largest park and largest cemetery in Paris.

Leaving the park, you’ll begin to make your way back toward the Latin Quarter stopping at Maison du Victor Hugo which has been turned into the last of the three literary museums of Paris, exploring the collection  before another amazing meal near Bastille.  After exploring the Bastille you’ll head back toward the Latin Quarter stopping along the way at the Bourquiniste, the famous and historic row of used book sellers along the Siene.  

You’ll have plenty of time to walk along the river and explore before our final stop by Notre Dame on the way back to the hotel.  Notre Dame remains closed and under construction, but you will enjoy witnessing the progress of this historic event in the history of the famous cathedral.  

You’ll return to the hotel to freshen up before heading out for your final group dinner at Café Le Procope.  After a week dining in the footsteps of literary giants, it’s only fitting to end our time in Paris at the oldest coffee shop in the world.   Built in 1686 it has hosted great historic figures like Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, Marie Antionette, and Napoléon Bonaparte.  You’ll dine with the spirits of the past in this hub of the Paris literary scene, frequented by authors and philosophers Victor Hugo, Balzac, Voltaire, Rousseau, George Sands and La Fontaine. 

After dinner you will have a leisurely walk around the neighborhood perhaps stopping to enjoy the Luxembourg Gardens one last time in the light of evening as you head back to your hotel. 

Day 8: Au revoir á Paris

Our final day together will begin with gratitude, in the form of a group yoga and meditation practice! Celebrate all the creativity, adventure, friendships, good food and good yoga we’ve shared over the week. You’ll meet for your last gathering as writers, to close our creative circle and set intentions to be sure the writing work we explored continues post-retreat.

You will say goodbye to Paris and head to the airport to begin our journey home or on to Nice!

To study in Paris is to be born in Paris!

― Victor Hugo

Wait!…Show Me The Food!

Your senses come alive with the beauty and aroma of each mouthwatering meal in the city where cuisine is considered a form of art.  Whether dining in a quaint café, snacking on macaroons, or enjoying coffee and a croissant overlooking the park, France is a food lovers dream!  

Each morning you will enjoy breakfast at the Odeon and then the rest of the day is yours to choose as we pass pastry shops and cafes along the way.  It’s easy to be a vegetarian in most places but difficult to be a vegan so we have planned only two group meals, allowing everyone maximum flexibility to choose what works for you.  

Our opening dinner will be at Café de Flore where we can accommodate most dietary restrictions and we will enjoy our closing dinner at the famed Café Procope which was founded in 1686 and considered to be the oldest continuously operating coffee house in the world.  But in between you will be surrounded by wonderful cafes serving to mouthwatering French pastries, breads, and signature dishes.  We have left most of the meals open so you can experience french cuisine in your own way.

We will make every effort to accommodate dietary restrictions so please let us know in the booking form when you sign up.

What’s Included With My Investment?

What’s Included:

  • Transportation for all scheduled activities
  • 7 nights hotel in Hôtel Odéon Saint Germain
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 2 dinner meals with non-alcoholic beverages
  • Transportation to activities in the itinerary 
  • Entry fees and guide services (where applicable) for activities in the itinerary
  • Excursion to Versailles
  • Private Catacomb tour
  • Daily Yoga/meditation practices
  • Daily creative writing workshops
  • The most amazing city experience ever!
  • Lifelong friendships

The greatest gift of life is friendship, and I have received it.

-Hubert H Humphrey

What’s Not Included

  • Airfare to/from Paris
  • Transportation to/from CDG (will coordinate based on your flight times)
  • Any items of a personal nature including souvenirs, personal care items, snacks etc.
  • Lunch on all of the days
  • Dinner on days 2-6
  • Spa Services
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Tips

Take Me To Your Leader!

Sarah Herrington

Sarah is a writer, writing teacher and yoga teacher. She began writing as a kid, practicing yoga as a teen, and loves how much both practices support the other. 

Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Yoga Journal, Oprah Magazine, Poets & Writers magazine and she’s the author of four books on yoga. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from New York University.

Along the way she fell in love with sharing yoga and has been teaching for fifteen years. She has trained in Vinyasa, Restorative and Kids Yoga and runs her own kids yoga teacher training, OM Schooled, based on years of teaching yoga in public schools. She spent years working for the Master of Arts in Yoga Studies program at Loyola Marymount University in LA where she still teaches in their Yoga, Mindfulness and Social Change program.

During the pandemic Sarah began leading Mindful Writing Workshops so others could enjoy the connection between language, contemplation and learn how to share their voice with the world through publishing. She believes in the power of breath, the joy of a poem and the magic of creative community. She’s so excited to be part of the Red Diamond community, sharing and being with other creative yogis on adventures!

Kevin Montgomery

I spent most of my career as a corporate executive. Practicing yoga was a powerful tool to maintain physical balance and mental clarity in a world of constant travel and short deadlines. Then one day life took an amazing turn when I got the opportunity to step out and lead this amazing community called Red Diamond Yoga.

I truly enjoy teaching, training, and mentoring, but above all I love to see the personal growth that occurs organically when we make time and create space for it. Our Yoga Adventures are designed to provide an opportunity to press the pause button on our daily commitments and find inspiration.

We journey with purpose, utilizing our yoga and meditation practices to be fully present and engaged in the cultures and communities we experience so that we come away relaxed and filled up with the energy of the place. I am so excited for this retreat where we have curated an amazing journey to ignite creativity in a place that has inspired artists for centuries. I can’t imagine a more perfect place to explore writing or a more perfect format to find our creative muse. I look forward to the sense of community we always find on retreat with wonderful people who will become friends for life!

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