The Hotel du Marc in Reims, France is one such hotel, dating back to the 19th century when it was a neoclassic private mansion known as the House of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin. And yes, its WWI-era damage has been restored, though its designers aimed to stay true to "the spirit of Veuve Clicquot"—and we don't mean by raising a glass or two of bubbly.
Fancy-schmancy. Beluga caviar, anyone?
No, we're talking an updated library filled with travel souvenirs; refurbished grand staircase with a vine-like (get it?) curve to it; mirrors, mirrors, mirrors all around; and themed rooms like the "Once upon a dream" suite, which came into being as "the fruit of numerous physiological studies conducted by medical departments specialising in chronic sleep disorders." Wow. Get esoteric much? And could this over-conceptual design help guests get a better night's sleep, or is it yet another case of feather-fluffed hype? heating and its AC.
And because you can't (re-)open a hotel these days without going at least a little bit green, Hotel du Marc has incorporated geothermal sources like an underground water table to regulate heating and its AC.
Grand, vine-like banisters and a mini hall of mirrors
While the bright and shiny new interior looks decidedly old school, as if monied guests might arrive by horse and carriage and wear bottom bustling gowns to dinner, Hotel du Marc is doing its best to keep up with the Paris Hiltons of the hotel world. And it doesn't look a damn thing like your average Hilton.
[Photos: Hotel du Marc]