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Last week we gave you a peek at the hip Seeko’o Hotel in Bordeaux and now it’s Mama Shelter’s turn. If you know other Mama Shelters, then you know that the hipness tap stayed on during the making of this little gem.
Located right in the heart of things at Place Saint Christoly, this 97-room hotel opened in October of 2013. Like all of the Mama Shelters the concept is simple: Give the people what they need and charge ‘em extra for the stuff that they might want. That, plus a Philippe Starck design concept that’s stark (or Starck! yuk-yuk) white minimalism in the rooms and wild and wacky design in the public areas.
(Plenty of pics in the photo gallery!)
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We spent some time in Bordeaux this summer and we have one question: When did Bordeaux get to be so hip? To prove this point, we give you the 45-room Seeko’o Hotel, in the up-and-coming Chartrons district.
Formerly a wine shipping area, this warehouse neighborhood had fallen into a state of decrepitude before the current mayor thought that enough was enough and government and businesses started investing in the buildings. Now you’ll find trendy shops, galleries and restaurants all along the river in these cool reno’ed warehouses.
Across the street from one of the quays is the Seeko’o Hotel – a modern vision in white – angular and austere. “Seeko’o” is the Inuit word for “iceberg” and it’s a fitting name. King Kong Architecture designed the building and clad the outside in white Corian. Standing taller than the buildings surrounding it, it doesn’t feel obtrusive but, rather, takes command of its space.
(Since pictures speak a thousand words, be sure to have a look at the pics in the photo gallery!)
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How about a hotel with an average of 3.3 acres for each of its rooms – sounds good? That’s kind of the case at Domaine de Manville, a stunning new country estate which just opened in Provence, one of the most textbook ‘French’ places in France (apart from all the British expats growing their own wine). It’s set in a sweeping, 100-acre estate – and there are just 30 rooms to enjoy the space.
And you know it’s good, because it’s been snapped up by the Small Luxury Hotels of the World group.
The estate – a former farm – rolls out in the valley below a medieval hilltop village, Les Baux, with olive trees and lavender fields around it. Rooms look quietly luxurious, with neutral colors, linen (linen!) sheets and omg-rolltop-tubs-in-the-bathrooms.
There’s also a spa and gym, restaurant with wine cellar, tea salon, a gorgeous outdoor pool and a “scenic 18-hole golf course” in the grounds. Activities will include wine tasting and truffle hunting. Heaven!
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We’ve all had those days while traveling overseas when you can’t quite get the gumption to leave your cozy hotel world and explore the greater world outside. We recently had one of those days while staying at the celeb hangout, Fouquet’s Barrière in Paris (a Luxury Hotels of the World property), and have put together a list of things to do if agoraphobia hits you too.
1) Food glorious food: Fouquet’s has five restaurants and three bars, not too shabby considering the hotel has only 81 rooms. Our favorite places to hang out were at Le Bar Marta, with its black and white 1930s Hollywood glam design and La Petite Maison de Nicole because, heck, if it’s good enough for Jay-Z and Beyoncé, it’s good enough for us. The food at La Petite Maison is best-described as gourmet southern France comfort food. That means Macaroni with Truffles and Provençal Ratatouille. If you go on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday evening you can groove with one of the resident DJs.
2) Shop at the front desk: There is no reason you can’t still shop if you don’t leave the hotel. If you’d like to buy the monogrammed robe you can certainly do that, but you’ll also find five proprietary perfumes, yo-yos, aprons, pencil sets and Panama hats. Some products are on display throughout the lobby, some in your room, and some are found at the front desk.
Three more tips below!
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Last week, we gave you ideas for things you can do at Four Seasons George V if you can’t afford the pretty penny it costs to stay there, but still want a piece of that luxury pie. Now we’re going deeper inside to give you a peek at one of the coveted suites at the hotel – Suite 335.
Suite 335 is a Four Seasons Suite, the lowest rung on the suites ladder at George V. After it comes the Deluxe, Premier, Duplex, and Empire Suites, and all the way up to the Penthouse Suite. The Four Seasons Suites are not to be scoffed at, however, as runts of the litter, for they range in size from 650-750 sq ft and have the old-world elegance found throughout George V plus all of the mod-cons you need to carry on with your daily life.
Plenty of pics below!
Clearly one of the feature spaces in the hotel is the restaurant Les Fresque, beneath its historic frescoed, vaulted ceilings
Evian, the icon of bottled natural hydration, and decades of brilliant marketing, has completed a multi-million Euro renovation of the luxury hotel neighboring their famous mineral springs. The Evian Resort Royal , built in 1909, sits on the French side of Lake Geneva, surrounded by 45 acres of parkland which it shares with the Evian Ermitage and Le Manoir du Golf, a “refuge for golfers.”
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Paris is crazy expensive, especially when you get into the five-star hotel world, but who doesn't want a hit of that kind of luxe?
Here's how to get your glam on at one of the most iconic hotels in all of hoteldom without having to spend the night: the Four Seasons George V in Paris where rooms start at 1,000 Euros a night. Your bank account will thank us.
1. Cocktails at Le Bar: Fresh off a renovation, Le Bar is the cheapest, er, easiest way to take in the ambiance of the George V. We recommend the George Fizz champagne cocktail for 28 EUR ($38) because hello, it's champagne. Mixed with fresh strawberries, raspberries and orange juice, as well as guava juice, we thought it had more than enough vitamins and phyto-nutrients to cancel out the alcohol.
Today all eyes are on the opening of the 67th edition of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival on the French Riviera. And where better to stay than right across the road at the five-star Cannes Majestic Barrière Hotel whose rooms have an unobstructed view of the red carpeted stairs so many have dreamed of ascending?
That’s what we thought too, until we actually stayed at the hotel and witnessed how its low standards are making an utter mockery of the luxury hotel industry.
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It’s only fitting that an American hotel brand carrying a French name would branch out further into la douce France, and so it is: Renaissance Hotels has opened its fifth hotel in the country, going beyond Paris and setting up shop in the deep south, in Aix-en-Provence.
With a history dating as far back as 123 BC, when it was founded by a Roman consul, Aix is not only a beautiful city, but a perfect base for exploring the lavender fields and villages of the Provence. A high-speed TGV train takes you from Paris to Aix in around 3 hours, or you can fly into the southern port city of Marseille. Heading east from Aix will take you towards St. Tropez, the Esterel Massif, and of course, the Côte d’Azur.
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Six Senses Bhutan
If you are familiar with Six Senses hotels, you're probably thinking "spa" and locations like Thailand and Vietnam. While the focus on spa and wellness isn't going anywhere, you’ll likely find Six Senses closer to home in the future, with planned openings in places like the Caribbean island of St. Lucia and the French Alps near Mont Blanc.
Six Senses is also pulling an Aman, if we can say there is such a thing, in the remote kingdom of Bhutan in 2016. Its resort here will be split across five lodges in Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey, Bumthang and Paro, allowing you to travel through Bhutan much like Aman Resorts’ Amankora. Did we mention that there is Taiwan, China, Bali, and Tunisia too?
While we may be a little over hearing how the European attitude to alcohol is so much more refined than that of Americans, we have to admit we couldn't see this new "Dishonesty Hour" service by Paris' Pavillon de la Reine translating so well across the pond. Free liquor can go far wronger than a mere wine hour.
The recently inaugurated Dishonesty Hour at the Honesty Bars at the Pavillon de la Reine and its two sister hotels -- the literary-themed Le Pavillon des Lettres and Christian Lacroix-designed Hôtel du Petit Moulin in Paris -- runs every Wednesday from 5 to 6 p.m. Typically, guests are invited to help themselves to the bar, write down what they make and receive the bill later, but at Dishonesty Hour guests can shake, stir and pour their own drinks to their heart's content, completely free of charge.
A mere hour it may be, but we still think this demands an awful amount of restraint.
Photo: Pavillon de la Reine]
Today we're drooling over a Sweet Suite—the kind of top-tier, five-star, too-expensive digs that most of us will never be able to afford. But that won't stop us from fantasizing! From newly-renovated suites to panoramic penthouses overlooking cities, we'll cover all the biggies in this ongoing series. Got a suite we should know about? Send us an email!
We love when local artists get to sink their teeth properly into decorating individual hotel rooms (see: Matthew Bird's recent masterpiece at Melbourne's Hilton on the Park.) And that's exactly what French sculptor Guillaume Piechaud got to do last month inside room 711 at the Hotel Lutetia, also known as the Eiffel Suite.
Working with stainless steel, Piechaud crafted some pretty unique pieces, such as a cobra coffee table, a shark stool, a spider desk. The gleaming sculptures are dispersed throughout the suite like regular pieces of furniture, but there really isn't much that's regular about them at all.
Upstairs in the bedroom, which is outfitted with stark white walls and plush grey carpeting, the artist designed a "conversation" seat and a "comma" night stand. We've never slept between two punctuation marks, but then again, the opportunity's never come up, either!