La Ferme de Saint-Siméon, Honfleur, Calvados
Set on a hill above the historic port of Honfleur in Normandy and with splendid views of the coast, this five-star hotel was once a favourite of artists attracted by the soft light from the sea and sky. In this restored 17th-century farmhouse, Impressionist paintings adorn the walls of the light-filled rooms, while the public areas have period features such as exposed beams and laminated walls. The hotel hosts painting classes, and there is also a spa and a restaurant.
Hôtel Providence, Paris
Built in 1854, this hotel has witnessed the evolution of the neighbourhood surrounding Beaubourg and the Canal Saint-Martin, which is now part of a trendy arrondissement with plenty of bars and restaurants. The hotel is a work of art in itself: each of the 18 bedrooms is individually decorated with designer fabric, bright wallpaper and vintage furniture, and the rooftop boasts a picture-perfect view of Montmartre and the Parisian skyline. The cocktail bar and restaurant also offer a chic atmosphere with cosy sofas and a fireplace.
Hôtel des Académies et Des Arts, Paris
Situated in the 6th arrondissement, minutes from the Jardin du Luxembourg, this hotel knows the value of art. For starters, this boutique property is directly in front of the Académie de la Grande Chaumiere –once associated with Paul Gauguin and the sculptor Alberto Giacometti – and is adorned with works from Montparnasse-based sculptor Sophie de Watigrant. The 20 bedrooms are individually decorated and feature Jerome Mesnager’s ‘white body’ paintings. You can also watch films of the hotel owners’ favourite artists in the video art lounge. Other facilities include the Chez Charlotte tearoom and a wellness area offering massages and beauty treatments.
Hôtel Vent D’Ouest, Le Havre, Seine-Maritime
In the heart of the Channel port of Le Havre, among Auguste Perret’s Unesco-listed post-war architecture, the four-star Hotel Vent d’Ouest lives up to its maritime connections, with many of the 35 rooms having seaside and seafaring themes. The hotel is perfectly positioned between the sea and the city centre. The port has a special place in the hearts of art-lovers as the birthplace of Impressionism, after Claude Monet painted Impression, Sunrise (1874) here. Another big attraction is the Museum of Modern Art (MuMa), which has one of the biggest collections of Impressionist art in France.
A wine-lover’s fantasy, this converted 12th-century abbey two hours north of Madrid comes with its own award-winning vineyard, cellars crammed with Grand Cru plus a top-notch Michelin-starred restaurant. There’s actually a sommelier installed in the spa – “I’ll have the Sauvignon with my deep-tissue massage please…”
Rooms are the essence of religious cool, hung with century-old Christian tableaux and zingy Miro prints, and because there are only 30 of them, the hotel never feels busy. The surrounding pine-scented terrain is ripe for hiking, biking and helicopter rides, or if your idea of a good time is stretching out by the pool. LeDomaine’s is hard to beat. ledomaine.es
The latest ‘House’ to fling open its doors, Soho House Barcelona is located in the city’s Gothic quarter and has 57 rooms, two restaurants, a Cowshed spa, cinema, and best of all, a pose-tastic rooftop pool. Featuring all the usual Soho House trimmings: vintage Chesterfields, burnished brass lighting and staff who wouldn’t look out of place on a catwalk, this seductive Spanish bolthole has all the qualities for a sizzling speedy city moon. Be the first to check it out…
Room key: One of the corner suites with a balcony overlooking the marina at Port Veil.
A mass of 15.000 sweet-scented rose bushes surround this rustic country club turned hotel. Rooms are stripped back and simple, fitted out with stripy Berber bedcovers, giant terracotta urns and antique Moroccan chests. No minibars, nothing whirrs or blinks. Everything, from the mud-based pisé walls to the polished concrete floors, is inspired by the ancient Berbers. Dining is a highlight. Plates, tablecloths, glasses, even the bread and the olive oil, is hand-made on the premises: Beldi has its own recycled glass factory, pottery and embroidery atelier plus a hefty veggie garden. Arrange a private candlelit dinner in the greenhouse (jazz pianist optional) or dinner a deux among the roses. Nothing quite compares.
Honeymoon high: Beldi’s sister hotel Kasbah Beldi is surrounded by 15 hectares of grapefruit trees on the banks of Lake Takerkoust (45 minutes away). Head over for a picnic with wondrous views of the Atlas Mountains.
Room key: Number 38 is larger than most and comes with a private terrace and outdoor bathtub.
Occupying a former banking HQ a stone’s throw from Vienna’s oldest cafes and boutiques, this statuesque hotel is one of the grandest in the city. Soaring marble columns in the former cashiers hall spell real wow factor, and rooms are perfectly polished with parquet floors, gilded bathrooms and views of the baroque buildings lining Am Hof square. At teatime, the hotel’s Art Deco cafe comes to life with some of the prettiest patisserie in the city (raspberry eclairs and pistachio-nougat gateaux), and after 6pm, oysters and Champagne are rolled out.
After exploring Vienna’s boulevards, museums and art galleries, the spa beckons. And what a spa. With a wink to its former incarnation, what was once the bank’s vault is now a glittering swimming pool lined with real gold tiles.
Honeymoon high: Riding a fiaker (horse-drawn carriage) through the streets of Vienna.
In a city known for romance, there’s no shortage of seductive hotels but the Royal Monceau, walking distance from the Champs Elysees, is a cut above. First opened in 1928, it’s since been spruced up by Philippe Starck and become the go-to for well-heeled Europeans. Home to Matsuhisa Paris and Il Carpaccio, two of the city’s top restaurants – and with pastry legend Pierre Hermé installed in the kitchen – this is one place you’ll need to loosen your belt.
For design aficionados, it’s hard to fault the quirky opulence and sheer vibrant wonder of the place. Boudoir-like suites come with fawn leather sofas, ceiling-to-floor mirrored walls and trademark Starck lighting.
Elsewhere, you’ll find an impressive modern art collection, private cinema and cocoon-like Clarins spa. For those with a spirit of adventure, the Royal Monceau is the most exciting address in Paris.
Room key: The pink and grey Presidential Suite (designed by Philippe Starck).
Want to steer clear of other honeymooners? Hole up in this rustic private villa and you won’t have to deal with anyone else – except that is for your private chef, oh, and the maid (who comes daily). With a huge pool all to yourselves, terraced gardens, a sprinkling of palm trees and a hot tub, this bijou villa close to the Sicilian city of Syracuse has “do not disturb” written all over it.
Honeymoon high: Climbing Mount Etna for a sunset aperitif.
A palatial 19th-century hotel filled with mod-cons, this historic landmark was where Joyce met Proust and where Gershwin composed ‘An American in Paris’. Carefully restored over the course of four years by craftsmen (some of whom worked on repairs to Versailles), The Peninsula is one of the city’s finest examples of architecture.
Inside, its Belle Epoque good looks mix with plenty of light and space, and the lobby filled with hundreds of crystal leaves is breathtaking. Diners flock to L’Oiseau Blanc located on the roof as much for its menu as its smashing views – from the Sacre-Coeur to the Eiffel Tower – and this year (2017) sees the introduction of ‘the most exclusive table in Paris’ – a table for two accessible via a private staircase. Frankly, the whole place is a recipe for indecent behaviour.
Honeymoon high: Touring the city in the hotel’s 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II.
Room key: The Katara Suite has the feel of an elegant Parisian apartment.
Overflowing with drama and Edwardian elegance. The Savoy is where royals, heads of state and visiting A-listers lay their heads (Frank Sinatra. Christian Dior and Katharine Hepburn among them). Think lashings of gold leaf, perfectly plumped velvet cushions and swathes of canary-yellow silk. Take a moonlit stroll along the Embankment before turning in for Pickering Place cocktails at the hotel’s gentrified American Bar – where Elton John is known to swing by and belt out a tune from time to time.
Room key: One-bedroom River View Suite.
Don’t say “à bientôt” to Paris just yet. There are still places to see, things to do and experiences to be indulged in! From up close and personal discoveries of vibrant Montmartre to strolling around in parks and gardens and enjoying meals at unusual locations to feeling filmy with a movie trail in Paris!
Known as the “Artists Village”, Montmartre invites you to discover its Bohemian vibe. On a casual stroll along the busy Place du Tertre, don’t be surprised if you come across an artist deeply involved in a sketch or a musician rendering a soulful symphony. Its major highlight is the majestic Basilica de Sacre Coeur that offers a panoramic view of Parisian rooftops. Paris’ only vineyard lies nestled in Clos Montmartre and offers 27 varieties of wine to taste and to take back!
Art aficionados find many reasons to visit the Musee Jacquemart Andre, home of art collector Edouard Andre and his wife Nelly. Their exquisite mansion houses a formidable collection of detached frescoes, rare works of art and elegant furniture and tapestry. A tour around their private apartments, their elegant winter garden and the first floor devoted to the Renaissance period make for an enriching cultural experience!
Relax, rejuvenate and take a green break in the capital! Take a leisurely ramble in the Bois de Boulogne that offers its visitors opportunities to cycle or boat ride or enjoy a picnic the Parisian way! Stop by at the Fondation Louis Vuitton that is close by for a cultural encounter. Marvel at the landscaped gardens at Les Jardins desTuileries that lead you to the Louvre from the Place de la Concorde. The Parc des Buttes Chaumont has all the trappings of a romantic venue. Cliffs, grottos, waterfalls and a lake make for an outing perfect for 2!
Take on a specially created movie trail with a guide showing you around venues, monuments and districts made famous in movies. Recreate your own Da Vinci Code trail or follow Andy’s pursuits across Paris in the Devil Wears Prada or walk in the footsteps of Jesse and Celine’s refreshingly different love story across Paris in Before Sunset. Don’t forget to say bonjour to Montmartre made famous in the French comedy Amelie!
Night-birds find Paris a happy hunting ground. An eclectic collection of bars, clubs, unusual party venues and endless entertainment options provide enough reasons to enjoy a “Made in Paris” party experience!
Left Bank: On your night crawl, include the Left Bank that offers you many trendy bars and restaurants. Head to its Bar du Marché that is famous with both locals and visitors. For open air partying, Les Docks is your best bet. This avant-garde construction is home to nightclubs, restaurants and also offers great views of the Seine.
In and Around the Champs Elysees: If the classy Champs Elysees is where you want to party, we suggest Pershing Hall, the classic Buddha Bar and the famous club Chez Regine.
Strasbourg St Denis: This Parisian neighbourhood offers you a selection of trendy bars and bistros. Spend many a spirited evening at clubs like L’lnconnu and the Workshop or grab a bite and a drink at the chic Noma which currently finds favour with the locals.
Marais and Haut Marais: This trendy district offers you an eclectic selection of venues. Choose from distinctive brasseries such as Le Progres, Cafe Charlot and Cafe Rouge famous with celebrities from the fashion world and the media.
Discover the illuminated side of Paris’ iconic monuments on a sightseeing tour across the city each evening either on a bus, a 2 CV car or even on a Segway.
Take in a cabaret for an encounter with the French Can Can at the Lido or even the Paradis Latin.
Spend a night out on a barge and choose from enjoying a drink, an open-air concert or staying out all night long! Take your pick from any of the barges moored by the Notre-Dame or the Canal d’Ourcq or of course the banks of the Seine.
Enjoy a musical evening at a jazz cafe in the famously touristic neighbourhoods of St Germain des Pres or the vibrant Latin Quarter.
Enjoy the famous Parisian Nuit Blanche (White Night) art festival that takes place normally in October and enjoy arty encounters with national and international artists all night long!
Put on your dancing shoes and dance the night away at venues such as the Bellevoise, L’lnternational, the Rosa Bonheur or L’Alimentation Generale.
Bring your appetite along on your Parisian escapade. From discoveries of food markets to cooking classes with expert chefs to savouring French food at brasseries, bistros or even Parisian homes, a lot waits to be devoured on this “Made in Paris” culinary special!
Toast to Parisian monuments either aboard a leisurely dinner cruise on the Seine or onboard the gourmet bus – Bustronome that takes you on a discovery of Paris. Devour the sumptous sights of iconic monuments as you tuck into a delicious spread well complemented with delectable wines! Bon Appetit!
Unravel the secrets of French cuisine at a cooking class or with a celebrated chef. Sign up for a course that catches your fancy at any of Paris’s coveted institutions such as Le Cordon Bleu, L’Ecole de Cuisine Alain Ducasse, La maison Lenotre and others. The Foodist offers you cooking courses and enhances the experience with stories that narrate the history of French cuisine making for an interesting session!
Sign up for a foodie trail that takes you across delectable Paris. Meeting the French offers you a variety of options ranging from guided gourmet tours with chefs in Les Halles/Montorgeuil, Montmartre, St Germain de Pres and other Parisian districts, a delicious chocolate walk on Paris’ Right Bank, courses from baking and breaking bread with a baker, to learning the art of making macarons and other French specialities. For an authentic experience, take on one of their Dinner with French Hosts experiences that has you savouring authentic French cuisine at a Parisian home.
If dessert is what you look forward to, then Paris tempts you with some “must-visit” addresses that are sure to please your palate. Include a stop at Pierre Herme or Laduree for the best in colourful and flavourful macarons. For an encounter with the best in eclairs, make many a pit-stop at L’Atelier d’Eclair or L’Eclair de genie dedicated to eclairs.
An authentic experience awaits at the legendary tea-room Angelina’s.
If you are one of those who can spend many happy hours gleefully succumbing to the myriad pleasures of retail therapy, then all roads lead to the Galeries Lafayette for you! Conveniently located in the heart of Paris, on the Boulevard Haussmann in the Opera area, many indulgent experiences are guaranteed for fashionistas and shopaholics alike.
Shopping is serious business and nobody knows this better than the Galeries Lafayette. Their main store, the Lafayette Coupole, promises an elegant wonderland spanning 7 floors replete with a regal Byzantine dome. If contemporary fashion is more your style, then keep an eye out for:
Aalto’s artistic masterpieces inspired by local culture.
Christelle Koche’s collection that tastefully blends couture and street wear.
Balsac’s literature inspired troika who showcase chic and exclusive prints, sweaters and retro dresses.
Closed’s tribute to all things denim.
Soeur’s authentic collection of classic and functional fashion.
Marc Jacob’s Shutter Bag that serves as a handy accomplice for your cameras while you go on a photography spree over Paris.
If makeup, makeovers and accessories are what enhances your style quotient then the Galeries Lafayette doesn’t disappoint.
Its newly revamped Beauty Department brings together an exhaustive collection of classic and contemporary brands. Choose from classic M.A.C to the artistic product range of the very French Nars to the Korean label Too Cool for School that accentuates the “girly” look.
The Lafayette Gourmet proposes a delicious array of gourmet food, tasting bars and delectable eats for the discerning foodie. For truffle lovers, a stop at La Maison de la Truffe is a must. Appease your palate with truffle laden risottos, hamburgers, hot dogs, cheeses or the Black Truffle Madeleine.
Take back truffle infused products to whip up gourmet delicacies back home! Why not also take home some original Maille mustard available in different flavours or some delicious confectionery? Head over to the renowned Bordeauxthèque that houses the best wines from Bordeaux or the Wine Library that houses the finest wine and spirits from different regions of France.
An encounter with art awaits at the Galeries des Galeries – an exclusive space dedicated to showcasing talented contemporary young artists. If you happen to visit the Galeries Lafayette before 21st January, include a visit to the Galeries des Galeries which is currently hosting the creations of talented German artist Hans-Peter Feldman. Having exhibited in London, New York, Madrid and Bristol, this talented artist’s most iconic creations will be under the spotlight at the Galeries Lafayette.
Christmas festivities take on a different meaning at the Galeries Lafayette. Highlighting the environmental issue of shrinking polar fields, the Galeries Lafayette Christmas celebrations will be centered around a story of a family of fictional polar bears that have found a cosy home at this chic department store. The arctic experience starts with an artistic window display that recounts the journey of the polar bears with an underlying message of protecting the rapidly diminishing polar caps.
A first of its kind paper Christmas tree created by Lorenzo Papace finds its place of prominence beneath the elegant dome. The arctic rendezvous continues with many in-store activities based on this theme. Fashionistas are sure to enjoy a specially created collection of arctic handbags created by Galeries Lafayette. An inspiring range of apparel, accessories, toys and other products ensure that the Arctic experience continues long after your return from the Galeries Lafayette!
Purchases made over EURO 175 on the same day are eligible for a 12 % tax refund. The Galeries Lafayette makes it simple for you. Head over to their tourist tax refund (detaxe) office in the basement of the main building with your passport and sales receipts. Depending on the method of reimbursement chosen, a Tax Refund Form will be issued for you. When exiting the European Union, make sure the form is endorsed by the EU Customs and present the form and your purchases before luggage check in at either the airport, train station or border point and claim your refund.
If you are a globetrotter who enjoys going on holidays with your coterie of girlfriends, then we give you many reasons to plan a “Made in Paris” experience! We present many “non-touristy” hedonistic temptations that infuse vibrancy on this pure unadulterated fun escapade with the ladies.
Paris invites you to up, close and personal encounters with local life and culture. Take on themed discovery tours of famous Parisian districts such as Saint Germain de Prés and the Latin Quarter both of which are famous for its collection of cafes and bars. Enjoy a coffee or more at the legendary Cafe des Flore or Les Deux Magots – favourite haunts of the literary circle of days of yore in St Germain des Pres or enjoy French Can Can at the Paradis Latin cabaret located in the Latin Quarter!
The lure of perfume takes you to the Fragonard Museum. Housed in a charming townhouse, marvel at an exquisite collection of perfume objects and learn more about the fine art of perfume-making. Do enquire about their 90 minute perfume making atelier which lets you create your own personalised fragrance!
For those enamoured by all things crystal, plan a visit to the exquisite Baccarat Museum. Designed by Philippe Stark, this opulent museum takes you on a discovery of signature crystal pieces preserved over the years. Do not miss the “talking” Baccarat vases or the gorgeous crystal chandelier sunk in an aquarium of water.
If shows and theatre are more your scene, then do catch a viewing of “How To Become A Parisian in One Hour” a one-man show that will surely keep you and your gang of girls in splits.
Enjoy an authentic experience at The Theatre in Paris that brings you the best of French plays with English subtitles!
With Disneyland® Paris turning spectacularly sparkly to celebrate its 25th Anniversary, there has never been a better time to visit.
From world-class entertainment and attractions to encounters with famous Disney Characters, just one trip here will give you a lifetime of magical memories. And it’s all tantalizingly close to Paris – (around 35 minutes by train) – perfect for a day trip. Yet should you feel like magnifying the magic, a night in a Disney® Hotel is the dream ticket.
Five magical lands wait to be explored. Captivating shows, fabulous attractions, a dazzling parade and famous Disney Characters will keep everyone’s senses reeling, day and night. It really is a dream come true for the whole family.
Pop behind the silver screen and discover the hidden magic of the movies. This amazing experience lifts the curtain for curious minds to discover fascinating attractions, star-studded shows and unforgettable encounters with famous Disney Characters. No movie-loving family can resist this adventure.
The French capital is famous for pleasing the pickiest of palates. Disneyland® Paris is no different, with over 50 restaurants serving everything from big burgers to vegetarian delights, table service to all-you-can-eat buffets. And with great food on the go, a day exploring the Disney® Parks is super Disneylicious.
No matter the budget, a choice of seven themed Disney® Hotels are fit for Sleeping Beauty herself, making a night at Disneyland® Paris the sweetest dream of them all.
Squeeze as much of the magic as possible into your stay by reducing the waiting time with a FASTPASS®. It gives you a specific meeting time to enjoy some of the most popular attractions via a dedicated entrance with more time to savour the rest of the magic in store.
Gaze in awe at the Sleeping Beauty Castle as Mickey leads you through a dazzling Disney Illuminations extravaganza. Magnificent fireworks, incredible light projections and stunning special effects bring classic Disney tales and new stories to life, including Star Wars, Frozen and Pirates of the Caribbean.
March your little showstoppers to Disneyland® Park for Disney Stars on Parade. Jump for joy as Mickey and friends glide by on fabulous new floats, including a fire-breathing dragon, that tell Disney stories like never before.
Launch yourself into Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain* for an epic takeover of a classic space attraction. Enlist in the Rebel Alliance and blast your way through a swarm of Imperial TIE fighters before battling with a menacing Star Destroyer.
* Opening date: Spring 2017.
Prepare for even more excitement in that galaxy far, far away, when Star Tours: The Adventures Continue comes to Discovery land. With more than 70 different mission combinations, you’ll travel to the exotic worlds of Jakku, Hoth, Tatooine, the Death Star and so many more! Join Star Wars Characters on this thrilling 3D attraction where every destination will offer unique surprises.
Make sure to dress in your party best because oodles of Disney Characters and Princesses are out and about and they’re looking to celebrate our 25th Anniversary with you. These are magical moments you won’t want to miss, so have your camera and your biggest smile ready!
Family-friendly Paris has many surprises in store for you. Take a detour from all things touristy and create your own “Made in Paris” holiday with the family in the City of Lights. Take on unique discoveries of the city, introduce the kids to iconic monuments the fun way, or acquaint them with the sweeter side of Paris!
Unique ways of discovering Paris invite you to chart your own trail across the city. Take on adventurous explorations of monuments through Segway rides. For an up, close and personal discovery of Paris, take a vintage 2 CV ride that has you driving past monuments with a friendly chauffeur who acquaints you with the city’s history and regales you with amusing anecdotes!
Fancy saying bonjour to Shah Rukh Khan, Angelina Jolie, George Clooney and other star-studded celebrities at one venue? The Grevin Wax Museum is your best bet! Yesteryear’s legends and contemporary icons all find their own place under the Grevin spotlight. Children are sure to amuse themselves on the Discovery Tour which adds a fun angle to discovering the art of creating wax models!
Take your children on a discovery of chocolate! A delicious encounter awaits you at the Choco-Story, a gourmet chocolate museum. Discover chocolate’s ancient heritage and learn more about modern methods used to make chocolate. Take on tours and games designed especially for children with a gift for winners. Add a sweet “high” to your visit with mouth-watering chocolate tastings!
Make a museum outing fun for your children. Have the kids happily discovering the many treasures of the Louvre including a visit to the emblematic Mona Lisa! Embark on specially created trails for children. Pop in at La Petite Galerie that houses digital equipment for an interactive interaction to the arts for families.