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May 2015

Travel News

Adine Fichot Marion

Every month, the PLUME VOYAGE Travel News Flash team keeps you up to date with all the luxury resorts, charming hotels and the world of modern travel. To finish in may, here are three truly French “gems”: Côté Sable in Cap Ferret, the Kilina in Porto Vecchio and Hôtel de Paris in Saint Tropez. And you cannot forget make a gourmet stop at The Gallery in London as reinvented by India Mahdavi! Discovering a boutique hotel in Mauritius, the Bastide de Moustiers and the superb Parc Hotel in Obernai…Check out a legendary hotel in Brussels, the Bulgari in Milan, the Palais Paysan in Marrakech and a super design hotel by Mövenpick in Bangkok. Discovering also too, a boutique hotel on the island of Mauritius, the superb Hotel du Parc in Obernai, the gardens of Inès in Marrkech, we have also taken you on spectacular trips in a vintage car, embarked upon a cruise through Canada, and of course stopped off in New York at the five star Baccarat. This week, you’re off to Qatar, the legendary Marbella Club, to the Lodges Sainte Victoire and the astonishing Pearl in Marrakech… Does that give you travel inspiration?

  • Top chef at Kilina in Porto Vecchio

    Situated 6km from Porto Vecchio, in the heart of 5 hectares planted with cork oaks and century old pines, the enviable location of this hotel puts it just 1,5km from superb beaches Cala Rossa and St Cyprien. It also aspires to be a peaceful haven for family holidays as well as a spot for a gourmet meal and a refuge for couples! Whether you’re looking for a chance to veg out or a sporty holiday, this hotel appeals to both fans of the sea and the mountains. The Kilina comprises of different buildings: the reception, living rooms and restaurant with a terrace, edged by a vast swimming pool. Bedrooms range from 17 to 34m2, all at garden level, which are scattered throughout the shady park. The cherry on top: celebrity chef Christian Etchebest and his team are in charge of everything to do with food. He offers up simple, generous seasonal menu bursting with fresh products: marinated tuna, avocado, olive oil sauce, vegetable and mozzarella mille-feuille, charcuterie platters, lime gambas and a daily risotto…a hidden gem! A. F.-M.

  • London: a new look for The Gallery

    The Sketch Mourad Mazouz – or Momo – is (almost) as well known as the British Museum! In the heart of Mayfair, this astonishing space, which is situated in what used to be the Dior headquarters, boasts different bars and restaurants, including Pierre Gagnaire’s The Lecture Room and The Gallery – which is our main focus today! The buzzing Momo, whose laudably and constantly reinvents itself, has entrusted the décor to India Mahdavi. The room has been decked out in pale pink from head to toe: velvet seats, walls, the ceiling…239 black and white drawings by David Shrigley adorning the walls bring a hint of cheekiness. A very girly décor – and yet not at all soppy. The extraordinary floor, which is made up of 99 different marbles, set out like a herringbone board has, thankfully, been left untouched. Here, you can enjoy trussed up dishes under the leadership of Pierre Gagnaire: fillet of beef, chicken fricassee, pasta and risotto, breaded veal, snails and foie gras! The best bit: the extensive wine menu at (almost) affordable prices and the perfectly executed sound-proofing: even when the room packed, you can hear clearly! A rarity. A. F.-M.

  • Cap Ferret: top brunch at Côté Sable

    Since opening, Côté Sable has been one of Cap Ferret’s top spots! In the city centre, the venue’s elegant construction, decked out in wood, instantly captured the spirit and inherent charm of the peninsula. This 4-star hotel consists of 15 bedrooms, measuring between 22 and 38 metres squared, boasting a variety of different vibes. Each one bears the name of a famous writer that evokes the idea of travel: Apollinaire, Duras, Hemingway, Saint-Exupéry…the décor was entrusted to Adra Bataille, wife of Pascal Bataille, property-owner and a local name, who favours good taste and elegant materials. On the terrace, where Ferret Capiens come to see and be seen in a child-friendly atmosphere, one can taste top-quality tapas whilst sipping Lillet and house cocktails. But the novelty of the season has to be brunch. New this season: brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11am until 3pm. There are several menus to choose from: Côté Oeufs/Eggs (25 E), Côté Plats: burgers, meat platters, cheese…and of course there are bagels and club sandwiches, a BLT and salmon…and Bassin oysters. Inside info: there is also a special brunch (costing 13 euros) for children.
    A. F.-M.

  • Saint-Tropez: brand new Hôtel de Paris

    As one of Saint-Tropez’s legendary hotels since the 30s, Hôtel de Paris reopened its doors two years ago – having been closed for 20 years! Designer Sybille de Margerie opts for an extremely colourful look in the 52 bedrooms and 38 suites, which are decked out in orange, mauve, yellow and brown, giving a slightly 70s feel overall, accentuated by furniture from Knoll and B&B Italia…and the best bit? The transparent-floored swimming pool suspended 15m above the lobby: the first of its kind! A wonderful, all in white Clarins spa brings the ultimate glamorous touch. This year marks the inauguration of the Pationata restaurant. This new dining spot favours a fresh and delicate Provençale cuisine. We love the patio, surrounded by olive groves and citrus trees, which transforms this restaurant into a serene bubble in the heart of Saint-Tropez. Here, chef Philippe Guérin and his team offer up Mediterranean and Provençale dishes at dinner-time with market products and seasonal fruit and vegetables. Finally, there is a new Sunday brunch rendezvous for Tropeziens that is both generous and gourmet: les Toits Lounge. Across its different spaces, this true living area allows guests to admire various views over the gulf, the sea, the sky and rooftops across the town, as les Toits heightens excitement this springtime! A. F.-M.

  • Brussels: the Wiltcher’s Renaissance

    Enviably located on the most exclusive avenue in the Belgian capital, this magnificent five star hotel has changed its name several times during its lifetime. Having once been known as the Steigenberger, it has taken back the Wiltcher’s title, its original name between 1913 and 1925. Totally renovated today, besides being a prestigious five star hotel the Wilcher’s remains one of Brussel’s legendary hotels. 267 rooms – including 42 suites – benefit from every high-quality luxury and boasts an elegant beige colour scheme. The best bit: the junior suites over two floors. The royal suite covers a trifling 320m2 (!) and offers a view over Avenue Louse, the most prestigious street in the city. The hotel stands out through its surfaces and volumes, which are unique in Brussels hospitality. The warming bar, with its English hints, has quickly become the place to be in Brussels. And in the restaurant, Dutch chef Tjaco van Eijken cooks up a storm of Belgian cuisine. We love the large photographs that depict the city’s architectural details throughout the hotel. Inside info: depending on the desires of guests, the bedrooms are decked out in wood or parquet flooring. And you should definitely jump on the special weekend tariffs simply for the quality of this spot (starting from 150 euros for a double bedroom). A. F.-M.

  • The Palais Paysan, Marrakech

    Situated 20km south of Marrakech, there is nothing bumpkin about the Palais Paysan! In the middle of 4 hectares of land, this atypical hotel can be found just beyond an impressive 12m high arch. The 6 – vast – bedrooms boast absolute comfort that mixes design and tradition. All of their terraces overlook the valley and the Atlas Mountains. The food menu is adventurous and uses products from local farms and orchards. The cuisine goes with the seasons, taking particularly inspiration from Moroccan traditions. After a traditional Hammam session perfumed with essential oils, slip into the spa for a relaxing traditional oriental massage, or a reinvigorating facial treatment or a mani-pedi. The best bit? Try a horseback trek, at VTT or even a hike on foot, a cookery workshop or Arabic calligraphy…Finally, the Palais Paysan is 15 minutes from the Samanah and Royal Palm golf clubs, 20 minutes from Noria and 25 minutes of Assoufid golf. In short, you can never get bored at the Palais Paysan – never has a countryside stay ever been so chic! A. F.-M.

  • Bangkok: a Mövenpick design

    Nestled in the dynamic Sukhumvit district, the latest addition to the Mövenpick family boasts a mix of good taste and Thai influences. As the brand’s first hotel in Bangkok, this five-star hotel comprises of 297 bedrooms. Its strong points? A 20m rooftop swimming pool, a bar, the Rainforest Rooftop bar where you can taste cocktails and tapas whilst drinking in the view of Bangkok’s magnificent skyline and a courtyard that houses an impressive and refreshing waterfall over two floors. It is these sorts of spaces that create a peaceful haven in an urban hotel. In the restaurant, discover Mövenpick’s renowned gastronomic expertise, with a wide variety of cuisine that combines traditional Thai platters with European and international dishes. A special mention goes to the breakfast spread.
    A. F.-M.

  • Milan: a super sophisticated Bulgari

    Its exhibitions alone are always a good enough reason to head for Milan! And now is the perfect moment to check out the Bulgari hotel. In the heart of the city, on a small road between Via Montenapoleone, Via della Spiga, la Scala and l’Académie de Brera, the hotel is nestled in an 18th century Milanese building. Behind the slightly austere façade are hidden courts and divine green areas. Is it as if the Bulgari garden, which spans 4000m2 is an extension of the Botanical Gardens. The 58 bedrooms, 11 of which are suites, are all deked out in elegant materials such as teak and oak, which makes for a warming atmosphere. Each benefits from immense windows that overlook the garden or the courtyard: tranquillity in guaranteed in the heart of the city hubbub! In the bar, an enormous oval counter in black resin dominates the sophisticatedly decorated room. Here you can try the famous Bulgari cocktail. Chef Roberto Di Pinto originally reinvents Italian traditions. And the final flourish: the ultra luxurious spa that favours ancient philosophies when it comes to treatment and modern architecture. And a special mention goes to the spectacular swimming pool.
    A. F.-M.

  • A stopover at the island of Kempinski

    Situated on the Pearl, an island off the coast of Doha, the Marsa Malaz Kempinski, opened several months ago, mixing European architecture with typical elements of Arab construction. This genuine palace comprises of 281 bedrooms, amongst which there are 69 suites, 2 Presidential suites and 2 Royal suites, the most modest of which measures a mere 75m2, with the largest reaching 650m2! All are equipped with a balcony or a terrace offering a magnificent view over the Arabic Gulf and also benefit from a butler service. Each of the 7 restaurants boasts their own speciality: from El Faro where you can enjoy tapas dishes to Nozomi, which offers the best Japanese cuisine. Rooftop bar Illusion is the place to be. Finally, a Clarins spa, which consists of 23 treatment rooms over 3000m2, a private beach and pools complete the offerings of this sophisticated, luxurious resort. A. F-M.

  • The Pearl: a new experience in Marrakech

    Designed by Jacques Garcia, The Pearl benefits from its perfect location in 1 Hivernage. This cluster of circular buildings are encased by an openwork metal sheath/case…A member of Small Luxury hotels, it offers a total of 71 bedrooms, including 27 suites. The largest: measuring between 37m2 and 100m2, these are decked out in warmly coloured velvet and silk: deep purple, dazzling red, soft brown, with a balcony overlooking Mamounia, Koutoubia and Atlas…the designer has created here a skilled mix of his own abundant style, coloured by essential elements of Moroccan decor: sculpted wood, zelliges, moucharabiehs…the highlight of the place: the rooftop and its circular swimming pool. The hotel has multiple restaurants, including the famous Namakaze, which sits on the roof terrace. Its superb view over the red city and its refined Asian cuisine tempts the whole of Marrakech! Here, the concept of Saké and Sashimi take on a whole new level. Chefs Senzai Renee and Elquin have devised a menu inspired by Japanese delicacies, from the most traditional to the most inventive barbeque and tempura dishes. As for the 2000m spa, this highlights Morocco’s prestigious brands, such as Maroc, Valmont & Aromatherapy Associates and boasts a covered pool, three jacuzzis, three steam baths, three saunas, nine treatments rooms and a VIP suite! A. F-M.

  • An exclusive address in Marbella

    A legendary ideal spot, the Marbella Club Hotel was originally a private residence of Prince Hohenlohe, which he transformed in 1954 into a hotel for his friends…seeing as these were all members of royal families or renowned artists, the place swiftly gained an international reputation. Over time, the hotel has continued to improve and expand. Today, this member of the Leading Hotels of the World offers 47 bedrooms, 73 suites, 14 villas and one enormous villa, on the water’s edge, baptised Villa del Mar, spanning 6200m2! All of this sprawls across the middle of a magnificent flowering park. While the Marbella Club Hotel is definitely a top-of-the-range resort, it knows how to maintain its confidential side. Here, the word elegance is not one to be thrown around. Those who love to laze around gather on the superb (private) beach or around one of the two pools. We confess our weak spot for the newly renovated Beach Club, just a stone’s throw from the beach, where guests can grab a table and make the most of the sumptuous lunchtime buffet: a farandole of the most refined dishes: crayfish, fillet of beef, sophisticated salads…here, kids never get bored: they head for the kid’s club, with a surface area of 5000m2. The brand new spa, installed in a villa next to the Beach Club comprises of 12 treatment rooms and a saltwater pool. After a golf game on the luscious private 18-hole course, dine by candlelight at the Grill. Lastly, please note that Marbella benefits from an exceptional amount of sunshine! A. F-M.

  • Lodges Saint Victoire: a romantic getaway

    One of our favourite Châteaux Hotels and Collection, this establishment celebrates its inauguration into the 2015 guide. Located between Luberon and Côte d’Azur at the foot of Mount Saint-Victoire from which it takes its name, this 4-star comprises of 35 bedrooms and suites in a very current, contemporary style. The décor combines designer furniture, baroque lighting and large wooden slate floors…Michelin-starred chef Mathias Dandine brings his specialities to the Saint Estève restaurant: green asparagus truffles with aioli mousse, pot-roasted blue lobster, a morel and fevette fricassee and strawberry-vanilla croqu’feuille…a banquet to be enjoyed whilst checking out the view of Saint-Victoire. A magnificent Cinq Mondes spa and pool make a stay at the Lodges Saint Victoire a genuine paradise. A.F.-M.

  • New York: a 5-star stamp for Baccarat

    Proudly located opposite Moma, this glass and steel tower houses the first hotel by the Baccarat brand. French designers Gilles and Boissier were chosen to carry out this Starwood group project. The hotel comprises of 61 apartments and 114 bedrooms, all in discrete luxury. This starts from the entrance hall: a permanently burning flame that reminds us fire is the original base of crystal. Further on, the Harcourt Wall boasts an impressive prowess, staging 1530 Harcourt glasses, all of which are stratified and coated like in a wine cellar! Beneath a sloping roof enormous chandeliers, presented alongside very elegant black and white tiles whilst sporting Baccarat red, apparently light up the full length of the magnificent bar! The dining hall is decked out in discrete shades of beige. As for the salon, its pleated silk walls derived in a champagne colour. This spot combines unfailing creativity and timeless elegance. A pool and spa complete the offerings of this hotel, which the whole of New York is already buzzing about!

  • The Gardens of the Inès Marrakech: a peaceful haven

    Having arrived in Marrackech ten years ago to open a branch of his legendary saint-tropezien Table du Marché, today symbolic chef Christophe Leroy, who is know for his meticulous organisation of fabulous parties, also manages catering at the Palmeraie Palace resort. But Christophe doesn’t stop there: he has just opened his own establishment les Jardins d’Inès. Located at the heart of a magnificent blossoming park in the palm groves just a stone’s throw from the red city’s centre, this hotel consists of 26 two or three bedroom suites and has undergone a serious facelift. In the principle building, which houses the restaurant and bar, has been entirely renovated and now boasts a vast veranda, library and bar, its floors decked out in cement tiles and taupe walls. All this creates an ultra modern look! This is reflected in the sun loungers that are spread in front of the pool throughout the grounds. The smaller structures that house the large suites are scattered throughout an Eden-like garden interspersed with rivers of zingy mosaics. In terms of food, this is the place to find Christophe’s signature dishes including the basil tomato tart, beef carpaccio like in Venice and Croque Monsieur with truffles…And Sunday brunch is the place to be in the red city.

  • An ultra chic rally

    If you are in love with your car collection, golf and beautiful hotels, then this adventure is tailor-made for you! Cyril Neveu, organiser of the Morocco Classic Car Rally establishes an extraordinary between Megève and Saint-Tropez, which winds through the Cols de Madeleine, Lautaret and Champs…across the Mercantour National park…but seeing as happiness never comes alone, lodgings are set up in prestigious houses: Mont d’Arbois, Alta Peyra in Saint Véran and even the Messardière in Saint Tropez. And the cherry on top: the journey is interspersed with golf courses: Gassin, Beauvallon. Events take place between 26 and 31st May, so hurry if you want to sign up! A.F.-M.

  • New: a cruise on the Saint Laurent

    Here is a new – rather atypical – cruise devised by Rivages du Monde: which takes you along the Saint-Laurent river from Quebec to Niagara Falls. 10 departments are scheduled between May and October 2015, so you still have time to sign up to one! The voyage starts in Montreal, before moving through the Thousand Islands holiday spot, with magnificent villas bordering the waters edge. On arrival in Kingston, at the source of Lake Ontario, visit the city and world heritage site Fort Henry, following by a wine tasting at the Huff Estate Winery. Then it’s onto Toronto and a chance to visit Canada’s capital city. The cruise continues on towards Port Weller, not far from Niagara Falls…and finally, arrive in Quebec and take a stroll through the old city and its signature sites: Frontenac Castle, Parliament, the Place d’Armes and the Basilica. A chance to discover the pure and wild beauty of these landscapes, all along the Saint Lauren river and Lake Ontario aboard the M/V Saint Laurent Prestige, which was entirely renovated this winter and consisting of 110 mostly exterior cabins across 4 decks. A.F.-M.

  • An authentic Florentine villa: the Villa Cora

    Enviably located in the hills of Florence in parkland abundant in 100 different types of roses, dominating the Boboli gardens, this villa was an aristocratic mansion in the 19th century. In those days, it was considered to be the most beautiful home in the Tuscan capital, playing host to prestigious guests from the empress Eugenie to musician Claude Debussy…Transformed into a hotel in the 60s, it underwent a total facelift in 2010 and is now a member of Relais&Châteaux. This 5-star hotel proposes 46 bedrooms and suites: 30 suites are found in the main villa where each floor has adopted a different style. Take the second floor, dedicated to Empress Eugenie, which is adorned with roses – her favourite flower! In the Villino Eugenia there are 14 bedrooms, decorated in a classic 19th century style, as is the spa, which is linked to the main house by a tunnel. The Follie guesthouse boasts 2 bedrooms, which can be rented out privately. All the bathrooms are decked out in Carrare marble, including welcome products by Annick Goutal. In the spa, which comprises of 3 treatments rooms and one double, guests can make the most of face products with products from the Sarah Chapman label. For the body, you simply must indulge in one of the four signature treatments with products from the Santa Maria Novella pharmacy, founded in Florence in 1612. In terms of eating, treat yourself to a menu devised by chef Alessandro Liberatore, who has worked at Il Salviatino and Cestello hotels in Florence, before sharpening his skills at Michelin-starred restaurants such as the magnificent Pellicano in Porto Ercole. Finally, take note that, aside from the marvels of Florence, the hotel is just half-an-hour from Mall, the fabulous shopping outlet where you will come across all the major players in Italian fashion, from Tod’s to Prada…and many others! Shopaholics must not miss this! A.F.-M.

  • The Parc Obernai: brand-new cuisine

    We welcome in the 4th generation of the founding family at the helm of the Parc Hotel, a legendary establishment in Alsace located in Obernai. Founded over 60 years ago, this former family home/household, which has turned into a four-star hotel over the years, knows exactly how to preserve its unique architect, rich with timber, oriel bay windows and the region’s typical sloping roofs. The hotel comprises of 62 bedrooms and suites, all decorated in either a traditionally Alsatian style or along more modern lines. Maxime Wucher took over in 2010 after an international career. Today, he is joined by his sister Marie who takes charge in the patisserie, having worked with Christophe Michalak at the Plaza Athénée and has recently been recognised as pastry chef of the year by the 2015 Pudlo Guide. Her companion Cyril Bonnard oversees the kitchen, having trained at Meurice alongside Yannick Alleno and at Pierre Gagnaire, before jetting off to Las Vegas and Joël Robuchon. Aged 33, 28 and 21 respectively, this young trio inspires freshness in the world of hospitality and Alsatian gastronomy! In the restaurant, which takes on an elegant and very contemporary look, relish a dinner of goose foie gras with a citrus marmalade terrine, toasted kugelhopf, fregola-sarda white asparagus, steamed Pollock with green asparagus in Arbois wine, and finally panna cotta with strawberry meringues and marshmallow poppies…For lunch, head for the Stub, where local dishes remain the stars of the hotel. As for Waydelich’s bar, which has also undergone some changes, the lounge offers an entirely red atmosphere. In celebration of the arrival of sunny days, the hotel has devised a beautifully named “Coup de Foudre” offer, which includes one night in a double room, “Live Cuisine” buffet breakfast, acess to the Asiane spa and a taster menu dinner of 5 dishes served with particular wines, organised by this brilliant duo. A.F.-M.

  • La Bastide de Moustiers: by Alain Ducasse

    Having fallen in love with the Moustiers-Saint-Marie whilst on a motorcycle trip, Alain Ducasse decided to buy a property here, where he could spend his weekends and welcome all of Provence’s aficionados. In 1994, he bought the place from a pottery master, transforming it into a delightful lodging: thus, La Bastide de Moustiers was born. Nestled in the midst of a five-hectare park planted with lavender and olive groves, this building is as charming as a family home. Each of the 13 bedrooms takes a name evocative of the region: Lavender, Almond, Pumpkin, White, Olive, Hollyhock, Bee…and the master of the house has bargain-hunted furniture and objects from the region’s antique dealers, implementing a provincial style. The chefs at La Bastide de Moustiers mostly trained with the staff of the “Louis XV” restaurant in Monaco. Here, the restaurant offers a grandmotherly cuisine, placing emphasis on raw produce. So, as the seasons come and go, guests delight in the Beauregard lamb, cheese from Banon, Riez truffles and melon from Cavaillon…and of course vegetables, salad, herbs and fruits from the vegetable garden, with everything cooked in olive oil. As a fitting celebration for the Bastide’s 20th spring, Michelin-starred chef Christophe Martin has created an anniversary tasting menu, mirroring generous local cuisine that honours the region’s best produce and reflects the spirit of the hotel: friendliness and generosity. Here is a chance to taste Provence’s green and white asparagus, spelt flour from Sault cooked with purple artichokes, fillet of salted cod, fire-cooked Riez lamb, local fava beans, Châteaurenard parsnips and spring onions, a garden salad mix and lastly, fresh Haut-Var strawberries and goat’s milk sorbet…Pick up your cutlery!

  • Mauritius: an alternative hotel!

    A member of Relais&Châteaux, 20° South is Mauritius’s first boutique hotel. Nestled in the heart of a coconut plantation on the water’s edge, its location is enviable, in a tranquil spot that is just minutes from the shops of Grand Baie. Even the crossing is a delight: aboard the hotel’s ferry shuttle: a traditional fishing pirogue. The hotel blends five-star luxury with household charms, with little libraries dotted here and there, which guests keenly explore! There are 36 bedrooms including 6 suites, each different to the last and boasting a mix of modern décor and antiques and Flamant furniture in light and bright shades: white, taupe and beige…Once you have exhausted the charms of the beach, you can always book in for a treatment at the spa, a game of American billiards, a cycle ride or even a sailing trip: the hotel’s Hobie Cat, Laser is at every guests’ disposal. But the highlight must be the intimate gourmet cruise: with no more than eight passengers, spend three hours aboard the Lady Lisbeth, a 17m teak boat built in Mauritius in 1929, which was completely restored in 2007. A timeless digression!

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