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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.
Hotel Openings / Renaissance Hotels / Marriott Hotels / France Hotels / Provence Hotels / → All Tags
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.
Hotel News / Six Senses / St. Lucia Hotels / France Hotels / Bhutan Hotels / China Hotels / Taiwan Hotels / → All Tags
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!
Celebrity Scoop / Justin Bieber / Paris Hotels / France Hotels / Mandarin Oriental Hotels / → All Tags
Depending on which story you choose to believe, Justin Bieber is in mischievous mode again, this time in the City of Lights. Luckily this isn't about him lighting up suspicious-looking cigarettes, thank heavens.
According to the Daily Mail, Biebs checked into the ridiculously famous (and expensive) Le Meurice hotel on Sunday and then left today for another hotel--the Mandarin Oriental. Some say the majestic Le Meurice aka "The Hotel of Kings", which has hosted the likes of Angelina Jolie, Madonna, Salvadore Dali and members of Britain's and other country's royal families, asked the young man to leave after his presence and rabid fans caused a chaotic scene, making other guests uncomfortable. Bieber apparently encouraged his Beliebers to hold vigil outside the hotel and the noise became too much for Le Meurice's management to bear.
'Not true', says a rep from the hotel, stating Bieber left of his own volition and that the hotel 'doesn't kick people out.' But then there's the Parisian blogger, TV and radio personality who confirms the story, saying Bieber was booted for his 'tude, which, no offense, we'd think would be pretty hard to get nabbed for in Paris.
Aaaah, St. Tropez: a little village on the French Riviera that gets overrun by seemingly every rich potentate and aspiring celebutante come summertime. If your yacht is in the shop, or you prefer to stay on dry land anyway, you’ll have a new hotel to choose from this year, with the opening of the Hotel de Paris Saint Tropez, hopefully later this month.
Walking distance from the harbor and the Citadelle (where the above view can be had), Hotel de Paris goes back to the 1930s as one of the first St Tropez hotels and the place to be seen in the 60s and 70s. So what can we expect in its modern reincarnation?
Chinese New Year Hotels / Dorchester Collection Hotels / Omni Hotels / San Francisco Hotels / Paris Hotels / France Hotels / London Hotels / UK Hotels / → All Tags
If you can’t make it to Shanghai or Hong Kong for Chinese New Year on February 10, all is not lost. From an authentic “Year of the Snake” Cantonese culinary experience in London to an authentic Chinese Carnival in Paris to VIP access at San Francisco’s Chinese New Year Parade, hotels around the world are celebrating Chinese New Year in style.
The Dorchester Hotel in London is celebrating with a special “Year of the Snake” menu at the China Tang restaurant. If Snake Soup with Fish Maw is on your list of most favorite things to eat, then this is the place for you. The restaurant is reputed to have some of the best and most authentic Cantonese food outside of China, so you can bet that Peking Duck and Shanghai Smoked Fish are also on the menu. When you’re finally stuffed to the gills (we couldn’t resist!), then head over to the China Tang Bar for a classic digestif or a contemporary Asian one such as the yummy-sounding Xiao Mi Mi with Bombay Sapphire Gin, fresh ginger root, a slice of orange, fresh lemon juice, cinnamon and orange syrup, and strawberry liqueur.
The Chinese New Year Package is only available on Sunday, February 10 and starts at £1,260 ($1,973) in a Junior Suite.
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Just as we were slowly rolling into the weekend last Friday, Hyatt dropped a little bomb on us with the news that no less than four iconic French hotels will be brought into the Hyatt family, doubling the group’s presence in the world’s most popular tourist destination.
The four hotels are film-festival favorite Hotel Martinez in Cannes, the Palais de la Mediterranée in Nice, and the Hotel du Louvre and Concorde La Fayette in Paris. Read on for more details on exactly what’s going to happen from April this year onwards (including Andaz à la française).
Boozy B and Bs / France Hotels / Hotel Wines / Gourmet Hotels / B and Bs / Vineyard Hotels / Wine-Tasting Hotels / → All Tags
Forget taking day-long bus tours of the chateaux with hordes of tourists. Instead, it’s easy and relatively inexpensive (about $60 each way) to hop aboard France’s high-speed TGV trains and make the 75-minute journey from Gare Montparnasse in Paris to the city of Tours, which is famous for its, well, towers.
The Suites Beranger is housed in an 1860 mansion that has been beautifully restored by the married couple who own it and act as hosts. It fronts one of Tours’ main roads--a 10-minute walk from the train station, or two minutes in a taxi.
Celebrity Chefs / Hotel Restaurants / Raffles Hotels / Paris Hotels / France Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Philippe Starck / → All Tags
Well, the illustrious Japanese chef Nobu Matsuhisa and his team of master sushi-makers have decided to winter in Paris, and what a home they’ve chosen: Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris located in the tony 8th arrondissement. The 149-room luxe hotel re-opened in October 2010 after a complete design reno orchestrated by Philippe Starck.
If you too, are wintering in Paris, now would be the time to check out why Nobu is famous around this great big globe of ours. His restaurants can be found in 16 cities, from Vegas to Hong Kong.
Each evening for the next two months, lucky diners at Raffles' La Cuisine restaurant will be able to try some of his inventive dishes that combine Japanese with South American influences. You can choose to eat à la carte or you can grab the chance to experience ‘Omakase’ -- the traditional Chef’s Choice tasting menu. Seven dishes are served for the whole table, including black cod with miso and yuzu, tuna sashimi salad, and a whisky cappuccino dessert, for €150 ($192) per person.