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July 2015

Travel News

Adine Fichot Marion

Every month, the PLUME VOYAGE Travel News team keeps you up to date with all the luxury resorts, charming hotels and the world of modern travel. Continuing on with our summer discoveries, head to Nice and the Boscolo Hotel, Archachon, the Douro valley and its first Six Senses hotel in Europe and Bodrum in Turkey… And an adventure to Dinard in Castelbrac, dinner at the Connaught courtesy of Hélène Darroze, a stroll to Forte Village in Sardinia and to the Buchanan in San Francisco, we now head for Cannes at the Noura terrace at the Carlton, to Cotton House in Barcelona and jump aboard a cruise and discover Renaissance à Aix. Now, has that given you travel inspiration?

  • Nice: the Boscolo hotel revives its glory!

    Built in 1913 by renowned architect Charles Dalmas, this hotel has rediscovered its style. Several internationally acclaimed architectures have put their heads together for this project! And the lobby gives it just that: it maintains its style whilst providing several contemporary touches, like frosted glass, giving a certain look that is decked out in white and beige. There are 112 bedrooms, plus several suites: the Presidential, the Boscolo Duplex…Each offers a subtle combination of marble, parquet and furniture draped in white linen…In the restaurant, you will find Italian chef Guiseppe Mandaroni and his famous daily menus. You can still enjoy Italian dishes in the more relaxed Genesi bar on the terrace. As for the well-being facilities, they span 500m2, with a fitness centre, sauna and Turkish baths around an exterior pool. Face and body treatments are delivered under the Algotherm label. A. F.-M.

  • Arcachon: Les Bains d’Arguin Hotel

    It reopened its doors in April: new bedrooms, new salons and a new restaurant…Located in the heart of a pine forest and just 100m from one of the most stunning beaches, this member of the Thalazur group was entirely revamped by the Moha Architecture bureau over the winter. 94 bedrooms compose this 4-star hotel (91 with balconies), including refined décor and a palette of wood, blue and taupe solidifying this designer ambiance. In the Sterne bar – named in honour of the migratory bird, the Sterne Caugek, which nests on the bank of the Arguin, the atmosphere is resolutely designer with low tables, armchairs and 70s carpets. In the restaurant, the Côté Arguin, chef Frédéric Monceyron – former chef at the Château Lagrange and Anne-Sophie Pic, favours a menu of healthy but gourmet flavours: oysters by Joël Dupuch, star of the Petits Mouchoirs, roasted pearl monkfish, lightly grilled prawns and Saint-Jacques…his aim: to become one of the best restaurants in Archachon! To get up to scratch, thalasserapy offers an original remedy: the Anti-aging excellence cure. Immerse yourself in seaweed wraps, mouldings beneath sea-water and draining treatments, and let’s not forget the face therapy offered by SkinCeuticals. 2016 will see the completion of a new 280m2 heated sea-water pool, as well as 15 extra bedrooms and 15 extra suites, plus an outdoor restaurant.
    A. F.-M.

  • Duoro Valley: a new Six Senses Hotel

    In a sumptuous 19th century wine-making estate, nestled at the top of a hill in the Duoro valley, the Six Senses hotel collection opened its first European establishment in July. Renovated entirely by New York agency Clodagh Design, the property retains its original character, now equipped with a truly contemporary design: natural materials and Feng Shui precepts in accordance with the Six Senses philosophy, which advocates the “slow life”. Take note: guests can overlook the Quinta River covering 50m2…Here they can relax, try out the joys of one of the spa’s 10 treatment rooms. Plus, you can give yourself over to the wonderful cellars, set up for trying wines from the Duoro valley. Two pools – one outdoor and one indoor – allow guests to relax after a visit to one of the neighbouring vineyards.
    A. F.-M.

  • Bodrum: Marriott Sophistication

    On 15th May, JW Marriott opened its second establishment in Turkey in the centre of the Bodrum peninsula. The structure and its refined design offers 107, including several suites and 7 villas, with a pool, all benefiting from a superb view over the Aegean Sea. In the different bars and restaurants, you can taste various different cuisines. A special mention goes to the Pool Grill, which is perfect for lunch beside the sea and which serves snacks throughout the day. The restaurant offers a more typical cuisine…as for the spa, this spans 2000m2 and boasts 24 treatment rooms, where you can find a salt cave and traditional Turkish baths. Two outdoor pools, including an infinity one that dominates the bay, an indoor pool and dance hall fulfil all your hopes and dreams. A. F.-M.

  • Cannes: the Zyriab terrace at the Carlton

    La Croisette, one of the most coveted places in the world adopts the Carlton Terrace as the new place to be. Noura, the Lebanese restaurant has installed a temporary terrace here where you can enjoy its traditional dishes. The décor is by JD Déco, expert agency in arrangement and event planning, which has produced pop-up spaces for more than ten years on the Côte d’Azur. The musical dimension is entrusted to Stephane Guenni’s group Airplay, which joins forces this summer with songwriter and DJ Kate Yvorra, star of the hottest parties on the Côte d’Azur. As a definite reference to the location, they electrify the coolest places around the world. The Noura Terrace at the Carlton in Cannes will be open from 12pm until 2am in the morning and can be rented privately. An oriental lounge and a shisha bar accompany the pop-up gourmet restaurant. For those who cannot be in Cannes can console themselves by taking a tour of the Zyriab terrace by Noura. Location on the top floor of the World Arab Institute, it boasts one of the most beautiful views of the capital, showing 360° of the most beautiful monuments in Paris. A. F.-M.

  • Barcelona: The Cotton House, a 19th century gem

    Autography Collection, the exclusive handful of independent hotels owned by the Marriott group has just welcomed a new boutique-hotel to its collection: the Cotton House is located, as it name might indicate (!), in the former headquarters of a cotton manufacturers. This superb structure, dating back to the end of the 19th century, has undergone intense renovations to become a sophisticated hotel. Designer Lazaro Rosa-Violan succeeds in preserving the historic characteristics of the building all incorporating a contemporary touch. Boasting 83 luxury bedrooms, including 7 suites, guests are welcomed into a hall decorated with magnificent mirrors. As for the lobby, this comprises of a sumptuous octagonal room with a large staircase. A library, restaurant and cocktail bar complete what the place has to offer…the best bit has to be the tree-lined terrace stretching 300m2 with a pool that overlooks the whole of Barcelona.
    A. F.-M.

  • Aix en Provence: the first Renaissance Hotel in Provence

    5-stars go to this hotel located a stone’s throw from the city’s famous main boulevard, the Cours Mirabeau, not far from the Grand Théâtre de Provence, the Pavillon Noir in the heart of the new Forum, an area brimming with activity. An ideal base from which to discover the city, its exterior architecture is extremely modern: a variation of glimpses of ochre to Roussillon checks, glass facades and materials tinted with mineral grey. Dreamed up by Marseille architects Claude Sabin Nadjari and Rémy Saada, the hotel perfectly matches its environment. The interior is sombre and sophisticated, branded by young Parisian designer Julie Fuillet, who was inspired by Aixois symbols and its surroundings. In the 133 bedrooms and suites, she opts for light wood and grey palette surfaces reminiscent of Saint-Victoire. A lovely glimpse of Aix-en-Provence appears with resin bedheads as a reflection of an open box of calissons! She worked in tandem with artistic director Isabelle Viatte to create a unique concept, as the hotel marries the universes of hospitality and art. Thanks to contemporary works of art and furniture by Christian Ghion, the hotel offers an artistic experience in a luxurious and elegant environment. Over to the Provençale inspired gardens, which are a genuine green haven in the heart of the city. Its 1000m2 of land exude the flavours of Provence: olive groves, lavender and cypress. Add all this to a multitude of other benefits: two restaurants, including one gastro, and a spa by Ymalia, an entirely organic French brand. A. F.-M.

  • Cruise: float on the Mediterranean aboard Crystal

    There are plenty of good reasons to sign up for a cruise that allows you to discover the treasures of the Adriatic and the Ionian Sea aboard the Celestyal Crystal. Firstly, the weather stays lovely into the Autumn in these parts – plus, the prices of these two itineraries are comfortable! Celestyal Cruises is the leading company in the Oriental Med. This October, stop off in the Adriatic and Ionian Seas with two itineraries lasting 8 or 7 days starting at 752€ per person! On board the Celestyal Crystal, an elegant passenger ship that is both warm and comforrtable, the cruise departs from Venice and onto the pearl of the Adriatic, Dubrovnik, before heading South: stopping in Kotor in Montenegro, Saranda in Albania Corfu and the citadel of Patras in Greece and Bari, the Italian village with 40 churches in the Pouilles region. Cruise 7 days/6 nights departs: 24th October. The second version also starts in Venice, allowing passengers to check out Dubrovnik, Saranda, Corfu and Patras before returning to Lavrion, Athens’ second port. There are, of course, various activities and animations on board. Good news: the prices include full boarding – excluding transport and transfers – plus three excursions and unlimited drinks.
    A. F.-M.

  • Beychevelle: sleep in a castle

    During the 16th century, ships that passed the château belonging to the Duke of Epernon, the owner of the area, were expected to lower their sails as a sign of allegiance: thus, over time, Baisse-Voile has become Beychevelle. A little story that you have to know – otherwise you run the risk of appearing uncultured upon arrival! Today, after three years of renovations led by interior designer Jacqueline Rau-Noyer, this Grands Millésimes of France property – nicknamed the “Versailles of Médoc” – boasts 11 bedrooms, 2 suites, a dining room and lounge areas…Known as “The Table de Beychevelle” with beautiful old furniture in the bedrooms and materials by Frey, Canovas and Lelièvre has all the elements of a family home! In the salon, for instance, you can admire traditional furniture, family portraits, tapestries and large fireplace. Breakfast is prescribed: at lunch and dinner there is no set menu. All you have to do is meet with the chef of the bespoke menu. General manager and oenologist Philippe Blanc opts for a food and wine pairing. True sophistication! A.F.-M.

  • San Francisco: Buchanan inaugurated

    The Buchanan hotel opened its doors on 23rd June. This new hotel of the Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants group is perfectly situated in a lively area with boutiques, fancy restaurants, cinemas and jazz clubs. Designer Nicole Hollis mixed local influences with urban culture. She favours classic materials such as white linen, natural leathers, chic lighting and diverse furnishings, giving the Buchanan a unique style. In the 131 bedrooms, many of which boast balconies, there is a chic bohemian and urban vibe that is enhanced by a hint of Japanese inspiration. Once again, Nicole Hollis suggested the platform beds, bedheads and furnishings. Bathrooms are decked out in matt black quartz. In the lounge, there is a whisky cellar atmosphere with carbonised barrel lids and light installations created from whisky bottles…The Buchanan also offers a fitness centre, as well as bikes that are available to guests and Wine Hour gives you the chance to taste wine or sake – a quick insight into the cultural heritage of the place – between 5 and 6 every evening. A.F.-M.

  • Arcachon: the opening of the Grand Atlantic Hotel

    On the 1st of July, the latest addition to the city’s hotel scene opened its doors in the picturesque Saint Ferdinand fishing district, just 300m from the port. A member of the Hotels and Preferences collection, this 4-star hotel offers 57 bedrooms with décor reminiscent of the maritime world that aligns modernity and comfort. Our favourites? Those rooms located on the upper floors, which stretch over 31m2 and boasts balconies overlooking the Winter City Port. Throughout the hotel, enormous multi-coloured frescos reflect certain places and features of the Basin: oyster-farming villages, ports, fishing boats…the Grand Atlantic Hotel also benefits from a sun lounge with a wonderful 180° panoramic view over the changing landscape of the Archachon Basin. A concierge service is also at your disposal, responding to guests’ requests – and let’s not forget the gym, sauna and jacuzzi. A.F.-M.

  • Avignon: a special place

    Ten years ago, Corinne Guyon purchased this particular 1200m2 16th-century hotel. Eight years of renovations were necessary to transform this magical place – christened the Maison de Fogasses – into a true gem. In the centre of Avignon, a stone’s throw from the Palais des Papes and blessed with a shaded garden and a pool opening next spring, this place offers 5 enormous and very different suites, which are more like private apartments ranging from 60 to 120m2. The owner, a former Parisian fashionista, decorated the place herself, opting for pieces of furniture that give each room its own particular style. Mixing different genres, the place still has an artistic feel. And here you can see such exhibitions: painters, photographs and sculptors, such as during the Voltaire themed festival with eponymous armchairs, customised by local artisans and artists…the restaurant is managed by Jean Claude Altmayer, who has worked at the Mirande and Côte Saint Jacques, who has numerous surprises up his sleeve. He uses fresh, local products, purchased daily from the Avignon market. And for the festival (until 26th July), he has created a special Voltaire meny…in short, at the Maison de Fogasses might, feel like the guest of honour in a friend’s home. A.F.-M.

  • Hong Kong : happy birthday Chesa

    It is no longer the Peninsula, the mythical hotel in Hong Kong… the palace offers a numerous range of restaurants, amongst them we agree to pay special attention this year to Chesa who celebrates its 60th birthday in august! This Swiss restaurant is one of the oldest gastronomic places in the city. Its decorations resemble and could even be mistaken for an alpine chalet. You can treat yourself to fondu and raclette, but also classical Swiss dishes, such as veal a la zuirchoise, homemade sausages with rosti and many others…To celebrate the occasion, a special menu has been created. The cherry on the cake: the Chesa invites its client to participate in a game, which evokes an ancient tradition of the Appenzell region, in the north- east of the country. In this way, every day from the 29th august to the 28th September, the guests of the restaurant can enjoy the “Talerschwingen Challenge”, a game which consists of spinning a coin in a swiss bowl for as long as possible! The 5 participants who last the longest will be announced on the facebook page of the Peninsular Hong Kong each week. After four weeks, the champion of the “Talerschwingen Challenge” will will 2 return tickets to Switzerland. A. F.-M.

  • Séoul: the Dior café by Pierre Hermé

    We don’t stop here! After the opening in 2014 of the two boutiques Macaroons and Chocolates in the South Korean capital, Pierre Hermé joins Dior and offers diners and fashionistas the opportunity to now take the time to enjoy his creations. He has just launched a new « écrin à gourmandises » in the heart of the elegant Cheongdam-dong, in the Gangam gu quarter. Perched on the terrace of the new house of Dior lies a innovative building of 6 floors conceived by the French architect Christian de Portzamparc, the Dior Café by Peirre Herme invites the visitors to travel through the world of pastry: macaroons, chocolate bon bons, sundaes, pastries but also tea, hot chocolate, cocktails…There are so many seasonal creations to enjoy. A. F.-M.

  • Sardinia: the new Forte Village

    Situated about 40km from Cagalari, in the heart of a superb 50 hectares pine forest along a beautiful sandy beach, Forte Village Resort offers whopping 8 hotels all 4 and 5 stars, which include one of the Leading Hotels of the World and also 6 villas. As a result there is a huge variety of accommodation! The 21 restaurants offer a relaxed style of cooking, local and gourmet. We can count 4 stars, amongst the restaurants is that of Gordon Ramsay, the British chef who holds 12 Michelin stars! In terms of activities available, aside from the water sports that are practiced in the 10 pools or on the beach, ranked by Forbes magazine as one of the 25 sexiest beaches in the world, you can play golf, dance, visit the theatre, take cooking classes, and English classes etc. The novelty? The children’s Wonderland, an authentic city built for children on the beach where they can safely experience many adventures. Ideal for parents who can enjoy a little space! Finally don’t forget the Aquaforte spa: the only well being center in the world to have six seawater pools at varying temperatures and salt concentrations, an ideal place to have a makeover and get back in shape! A. F.-M.

  • New York: a real shock!

    For the 2015 season, the Trump Soho, is the only 5 star hotel in Soho and the concept-store Urban Zen styled by Donna Karan joined together to offer a unique shopping/ well being package in the heart of Soho. Donna Karan designed this program thinking particularly of the clients who have reserved the penthouse suites situated in the top floors. They benefit from a private transport and access to Urban Zen in the heart of the West Village for a personalised shopping experience. Urban Zen collaborated with architects who make visitors aware about the importance of cultural preservation. We also find clothing collections of Donna Karan, which carries its signature minimalistic look and are made with durable materials which as silk and linen. For an additional cost: 1000 dollars anyway ! The clients will also have access to mediation lessons and a yoga class in the loft of urban Zen. Finally, to recover from this shopping session at Urban Zen, The Spa at Trump offers a reinvigorating hour-long therapeutic massage. A. F.-M.

  • Dinard: 5-stars on the Emerald Coast

    5-star boutique hotel, The Castelbrac opened at the end of June. Benefitting from its exceptional location, on a hillside, above the Clair de Lune promenade, overlooking the bay and directly opposite Saint-Malo, its 25 bedrooms and its communal areas offer a breath-taking view! The elegant décor was entrusted to designer Sandra Benhamou and interior designer Léonie Alma-Maison who highlights the place’s beautiful heritage. Effectively, the Castelbrac had various different lives before becoming a hotel: it was, in turn, a luxurious villa for English lovers of Brittany, maritime museum and public aquarium. And you can spot these hints of its past life throughout: the doorway leading into the bar is that of the former aquarium where it has been established, the restaurant bears the name of the Commandant Charcot vessel: the Pourquoi Pas and stylised fish motif are posted here and there: on the walls and mirrors…Numerous bedrooms boast a terrace or balcony. In the restaurant, Dinard-native chef Julien Hennote – formerly at the Mas Candille and the Royal in Deauville – concocts clean and succulent dishes base around top local products: spider steak, lobster, crab…and our knees go weak for his spectacular seaweed brioche. A rooftop for sun-downers, double treatment room by Themae and a narrow swimming pool come to complete the offer of this memorable spot. A.F.-M.

  • Tourraine: Domaine des Hauts de Loire - a star is born!

    Relatively discrete, this 4-star member of the Relais&Chateaux group, was named (quite simply!) best hotel in France by Condé Nast Traveller last October. On the wine trail amongst the Chateaux of the Loire region, this elegant establishment was originally set up as a hunting lodge in 1860. In an idyllic park abundant with magnificent trees, filled with flowers enthrone a body of water and two buildings: the main and second structures represent typically Solognote architecture with its timber posts and joists housing 31 bedrooms. An ultimate peace haven, both are completely different and sport decoration that mixes beautiful fabrics, old furniture and protruding beams…This address, as whispered by insiders, has justly been awarded two stars by the Michelin Guide for its restaurant. Managed by Chef Rémy Giraud, the menu changes several times a year according to the season and region. It dishes comprise of sophisticated flavours: crunchy eel salad, fine beef en croute, duck foie gras and crayfish…plus a delectable raspberry cassis dessert. Still to come: a spa, a cooking school and bistro restaurant – just a few more reasons to come and discover the Hauts de Loire! A.F.-M.

  • Marbella: Cassa La Concha – a secret refuge

    Situated half-way between Puerto Banus and the old village of Marbella, this boutique-hotel offers a range of different suites and cottages. Originally built as a house during the 1970s, it has been revisited with sophistication and originality by Frenchwoman Marie Hélène Burot, nicknamed Milena. Having fallen in love with this abandonned but lovely house, it took her six months to refurbish it and each year she has added something new: a terrace, a tree…This is a perfect refuge for lovers of tranquillity, who also yearn to make the most of Marbella’s party atmosphere! Here, you can enjoy a family-friendly ambiance and even cook with seasonal products alongside Milena, creating enormous salads and seafood. The Garden of Eden, designed by the owner herself, is planted with mango trees, grenadiers, lavender, jasmine, bougainvilliers…stretching over 5000m2 and enthroned with a gigantic birdcage. A wonderful swimming pool allows guests to refresh themselves and indulge in a tapas experience in town! A.F.-M.

  • London: an original menu at the Connaught

    To celebrate five very successful years working with the magnificent Connaught, double-starred chef Hélène Darroze, who declares « the products are the real stars » has come up with an amusing way to compile her menu. Effectively, it is a classic game of solitaire in which each bowl is inscribed with the name of a product. So you only have to pick a certain number in order to establish a bespoke menu…so chic! And here coquille Saint Jacques come from Scotland and are considered amongst the best in the world, fish from Saint-Jean-de-Luz, poultry from the South-West. And finally take note that last April Hélène Darroze won the Veuve Clicquot 2015 prize and has been declared “the best female chef in the world”. What else do you need?

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