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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.
Hotel Rebrandings / Hotel News / Hyatt Hotels / Andaz Hotels / Paris Hotels / France Hotels / Cannes Film Festival Hotels / Concorde Hotels / → All Tags
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.
Learning Vacations / Hotel Packages / Europe Hotels / France Hotels / Italy Hotels / Portugal Hotels / → All Tags
Now that the summer rush is over, there are some great airfare deals to Europe right now. And with fall bounty in full swing, it's a good time for a culinary vacation. These cooking classes teach knife skills and the nuances of some of the world's greatest cuisines. They can be anywhere from intimate classes in a villa's kitchen to private rooms at small cooking schools taught by Michelin-star chefs.
Complete immersion is the fastest way to learn, so your course includes shopping in the markets, and wine tasting tours (of course!).
Here are some classes we found to inspire your inner chef.
Things are moving along at a steady clip for Autograph Collection, Marriott's winning assemblage of top-tier, independently-owned hotels around the world—a collection that's grown at a rate of approximately one hotel per month since 2010.
The brand's newest members include three European hotels—Fontecruz Lisboa (pictured), Hotel De Bourgtheroulde and Hotel L'Hermitage Gantois—the first of which is noteworthy for being Autograph's first hotel in Portugal. Though the second two are by no means insignificant: set in Rouen, France, the De Bourgtheroulde is a 15th century stone mansion, while L'Hermitage was originally built in the 1400s.
Hotel Weddings / Hotel Castles / Loire Valley Hotels / Bed and Breakfasts / France Hotels / → All Tags
Wedding season is now in full effect and it's become clear why destination weddings are so popular--because all the worry and arrangements are done by the wedding planner. All you have to do is pack your dress and your beloved.
Quite possibly one of the most romantic ways to get married is to do it at a French chateau like Chateau de Challain’s whose turreted and gleaming white stone facade was inspired by the dreams of Albert de la Rochefoucauld and his countess Ida. Interpreted by famed Parisian architect Louis Visconti, this Neo-Gothic fairytale castle's eloquent design practically begs a bride and groom to say "I Do."
When you stay in a spa hotel owned by your favorite brand of toiletries – their only hotel in the world, no less – you kind of hope they are going to lavish you with bathroom supplies, as Soho House properties do with their unlimited inroom Cowshed products.
However, as we said on Tuesday, at Le Couvent des Minimes, which is owned by French brand L’Occitane, this is the paltry selection we got – plus an even tinier squirt of handcream as part of the turndown service.
However, all wasn’t lost on the toiletry front as it turns out the hotel has its own brand of beauty stuff – an entire line, from shower gel to shampoo to body scrub to lip balm.
The products are nowhere to be seen in the rooms themselves, but they’re for sale in the spa. Prices ranged from comparable to L’Occitane to a little more expensive. They all had a very L’Occitane feel – in fact some of the ingredients combinations were almost the same – but are done up to look a little more exclusive.
There are many toiletry brands we lust after when we stay in hotels, but if we had to pick the one we get most excited to see, it’d be L’Occitane. So when we found out that L’Occitane has its own hotel – with a spa! – in beautiful Provence! – we booked a night straightaway. Le Couvent des Minimes is In a 16th-century convent, nestling in the hillside below medieval village Mane. It sounded perfect. We booked a superior room (the lowest category) on the spot.
Check in was easy and the welcome was nice – we were given a tour of the hotel ground floor (restaurant, breakfast area, bar) before being accompanied to our room. The only black mark – when we asked to arrange a tour of the L’Occitane Factory, half an hour down the road in Manosque, the lady was clueless. She didn’t know what time the tours were, what language they were in, or whether they’d have any space the next day (as it was closed Sunday, when we arrived). Slightly odd, considering this is the official L’Occitane hotel. Surely we couldn’t be the only ones inquiring about factory tours?