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October 2015

Travel News

Adine Fichot Marion

After Marrakech to discover the lavish Mandarin, Fontainebleau and the Residence du Parc, Mougins with the Paloma cuisine, let’s escape to Rouen at the Gustave Flaubert hotel, to Val Thorens in December at the Pashmina, and all these with stamped Keith Haring luggages. Each 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. Is this giving you travel cravings?

  • Rouen: a literary hotel

    Located in the heart of Rouen, just a few steps away from the Place du Vieux Marché, the Gustave Flaubert hotel is intended as a tribute to the writer in the city where he was born and where he spent most of his life. By imagining this 4 stars hotel, whose decor was designed by architect Aude Bruguière, assisted by Aleth Prime, its designers intended to share with guests their passion for the artist and his work. The ground floor is dedicated to Normandy with Madame Bovary, A Simple Heart and Bouvard and Pécuchet. It is then Paris, the set of Sentimental Education, and the ancient Carthage of Salammbô. One floor details the rest of Flaubert’s works such as The Temptation of St. Antoine, another mentions Flaubert’s friends … The rooms are named after a work, a place, a close friend or a Flaubert’s character: Emma Bovary for room 9, Salammbô for room 201, Guy de Maupassant for room 302, Jules and Edmond de Goncourt for room 307 … Displayed at the hotel entrance, the first editions of the writer, many of which are wonderfully illustrated, the writer’s works are a valuable set, from the most famous works to the rarest titles. The hotel has a library of over 500 books, some are available in paperback for visitors and in many languages. A. F.-M.

  • Val Thorens: Pashmina hotel

    And hop ! Another 5 stars hotel on the top of the 3 Vallées resort. Its motto is “luxury is space”. And space, there is here through the 42 rooms and suites from 36 to 70 m2 and the 8 “Cosy Home » translate by super suites from 1 to 3 bedrooms, from 60 to 155 m2 in which there is an american kitchen, a cozy living room to feel at home and live at your own pace… The Pashmina also offers 2 triplex cabin apartments (3 bedrooms) in a real mountain cabin connected to the hotel, enjoying a private entrance and an exceptional view. Two restaurants and a fabulous spa of 400 m2 with hammam, sauna, pool and jacuzzi, by L’Occitane are to be added to the credit of this very successful place. On top of that? the “Igloo-Pod”, a heated and equipped geodesic dome, opened to the sky, where you can sleep under the stars, but comfortably! And of course the hotel has direct access to the slopes. Fourth five-stars hotel of Val Thorens, the Pashmina complets the high-end positioning of the ski resort. A. F.-M.

  • A train for health

    The SNCF Train Exhibition “Food, Fun & Health” will tour France from November 25th to December 13th across 16 cities. From Paris Nord to Clermont-Ferrand via Lyon, Lille … to end in Paris Nord on December 13th, it will aim to celebrate the exceptional French culinary heritage, to understand the basics of a balanced diet for better health and value jobs in the food industry sector. This event is accompanied by the Michelin Guide, and guided by the French Society of Cardiology. Big names will join the operation: Jean-Philippe Derenne, professor of medicine, Eric Frechon, three-starred chef of the Epicure restaurant at the Bristol in Paris, Adeline Grattard, starred chef of the “Yam Tcha » restaurant with Chiwah Chan, its master of Teas for the alliances Gastronomy and Teas, Marie-Sophie L., Raw founder chef of «l’instant cru » who devotes raw food as an art, Thierry Marx, two-starred Mandarin Oriental chef in Paris. He offers a cuisine with an avant-garde spirit, Babette Rozières « borderless” chef. She created the exhibition of Overseas gastronomy, Frederic Saldmann, cardiologist and nutritionist, also author of books and finally Guy Savoy, the three-starred chef of the Guy Savoy restaurant. The program includes lectures, workshops and exhibitions to promote local participants and find the pleasure of a healthy diet. One can also go to the waterfront market with a wide selection of local products, and participate in cooking classes hosted by chefs. A. F.-M.

  • Samsonite celebrates Keith Haring

    The famous Samsonite luggage brand adorns the iconic creations of the artist Keith Haring on one of its collections. Result: cheerful and colorful travel accessories, and above all noticeable at first glance on the airports carpets or in trains: practical! A pioneer of street art in the early 80s, Haring’s work is instantly recognizable thanks to its thick lines, alive and colorful characters. Great traveler himself, Haring painted over 50 murals in cities as diverse as Tokyo, New York, Sydney, Barcelona and San Francisco. The collection includes all the travel essentials, adorned with his works. From travel tags for bags to strap which quickly wraps around the handle of the bag and is provided with a transparent window with protective flap through the 3-combinations travel lock and the indispensable “nomadic” pillow to travel in comfort and style. Essential foldable bags, light and resistant, adorned with the Haring signature pattern on a blue background: backpack, shopping bag or travel bag. A. F.-M.

  • Mougins: Paloma a Michelin star

    Located in the entrance of the old village of Mougins, the Paloma restaurant received a Michelin star in 2014, during the year of its opening. Housed in a villa from the 60s enjoying a view on the sea as well as on the mountains, Paloma offers you an elegant and refined place to eat … and is a 100% success! We can taste the creative cuisine of Chef Nicolas Decherchi, ex from the Villa des Lys at the Hotel Majestic in Cannes, 1 star, the Louis XV in Monaco, 3 stars, La Chèvre d’Or in Eze, 2 stars … and pastries by Yohan Jara who learned his trade at Potel and Chabot, Pierre Hermé, worked at the Château d’Esclimont and then with Jean-Georges Klein at his three stars restaurant, the Arnsbourg …. We especially appreciate the breaded egg shell with morel powder, accompanied by asparagus spaghetti and morel mousse, foie gras spheres with wild strawberry, accompanied by Selim pepper meringue and brioche crackers, sweetbread accompanied by a morel mousse and liquoriced sabayon with a cassis nougatine, vanilla-whipped … Let’s add to all these good points, a lounge area, a cigar’s room and a beautiful terrace dressed in white veils … last trump: the lunch menu displays a suitable price for the top-quality of the institution (45 E). A. F.-M.

  • Poitiers: let’s meet at the Futuroscope

    The Futuroscope broke a summer record, with 100 000 extra visitors compared to last summer, a total of 600,000 persons crossing the gates in 2015. It is reaping the benefits of a bold strategy and the implementation of constantly renewed attractions. For proof the Lapins Crétins attraction, « The Travel-through-time machine », was awarded best attraction in the world this year in Los Angeles, nothing less! Add 3 new products launched in 2015: “The Arena, Fun X-periences » , new games to give participants the maximum of thrills, between sport and entertainment including a “free fall » slide of 13 meters high … “The Mysteries of the Kube” in a house transformed into a great theater, this original creation showcases comedians, dancers and acrobats, “Future Expo”: an area featuring objects for understanding future technological innovations that will soon change our lifestyle … Finally, note that a host of hotels close to the Park welcome visitors. A nice family getaway for the holidays or a fall weekend! A. F.-M.

  • Marseille: the rebirth of the Petit Nice

    On the Kennedy Corniche, with the Mediterranean horizon, the Château d’If, the islands of Frioul and fishing boats along the coast, the Petit Nice, the hotel of the Michelin three-starred chef, Gérald Passedat, is having a makeover. Succeeding his father and his grandfather, already starred chefs of the Petit Nice, Gérald Passedat in true lover of the Mediterranean, is devoting his cuisine to it! He offers a variety of Mediterranean fishes escorting products from the Provençal countryside. As for the 16 rooms, to imagine their new architecture, Gérald Passedat has chosen two artists and friends: the architect Rudy Ricciotti and the painter Gérard Traquandi. A bed facing the Mediterranean, that’s how we can summarize the main idea of the place. Whether the room or the bathroom is across the horizon. The textures and colors reminiscent of the surrounding landscape: the floor in marble stone evokes the creeks, the sand-colored plaster walls contrast with the heated wood furniture, carpet tones and natural jute curtains with a blue-gray tone sift the space. The whole place is released, opened up, with no obstacles for the view. A. F.-M.

  • Hong Kong: Welcome to the Beefbar!

    After Mexico, Moscow and Mykonos, Beefbar continues to conquer the world and is lately getting settled in the heart of Hong Kong (late October). It is again the Monaco-based architects Humbert & Poyet that designed the site. Clean lines, quality materials, cozy and trendy atmosphere … the restaurant offers a timeless luxury that differentiates it from other meat restaurants. Warm colors are combined with refined and raw elements such as leather, white marble, copper …. The famous marble Raw Bar where carpaccios, “tartares” and tiraditos are prepared on the spot in front of customers is of course the centerpiece of the place. Not to mention the bar and the intimate terrace, perfect to relax and take refuge away from the frenzy of Hong Kong. The Chef Andrea Spagoni, implements a unique dining experience: we find an impressive list of high quality meat and from different origins: hormone-free USA Black Angus, certified Japanese Kobe beef, Australian Black Angus… sublimate the product, a revolutionary cooking technique is used and we like to accompany the different versions with potato puree. Finally, the dessert: cherry and pistachio soufflé, chocolate cake with pear and Sansho ice-cream to delight the most jaded palate! Beefbar: a gastronomic experience for discerning carnivores! A. F.-M.

  • Courchevel: rain of novelties at the Airelles !

    Member of the Leading Hotels of the World, placed in the heart of the Jardin Alpin, The Airelles, five-star luxury hotel looks like a Austro-Hungarian house from the XIXth century. The hotel has put together a host of innovations for the 2015-2016 season for the younger and the older. In details: a new jazz bar with nightly, from 18:30, a varied program, an English Tea Time from 3PM to 6PM with scones, pastries and fingers sandwich – let’s not forget Cala Di Volpe ‘s restaurant at the flagship hotel of the Costa Smeralda in Sardinia that’s settles at the Airelles. Children are entitled to a Christmas fairytale on the theme of bears, besides a 2 meters-tall cub guarding the entrance to the palace, itself decorated with thousands of lights where a real toy factory is recreated … Added to this, novelties at the Hair Spa PhilipB for the Airelles. But let’s not forget about the traditional cuisine revisited by Pierre Gagnaire that we can find at La Table du Jardin Alpin with rotisseries and oyster bar and generous buffets at Le Coin Savoyard which highlights the best regional dishes. A. F.-M.

  • Concarneau: a thalasso spa resort

    Located opposite of the Sables Blancs beach just few steps away from the walled town and the wild beauty of the Cornouaille landscape: Fouesnant, Pont Aven, Quimper … the Concarneau Thalasso Spa Marin Resort offers the best of thalasso therapy and spa. Born under the pen of the architect and designer Patrick Leyx of the Bordeaux agency Urb1n, this four stars hotel of 70 rooms connected to the spa, all with balcony, pays tribute to french Brittany landscapes by displaying the raw materials like stone, wood and slate. The property is widely opened on the ocean through its large windows. Spa treatments, under the banner of the marine cosmetics brand, Thalgo focus on the “fundamentals” of thalasso therapy. The menu offers individualized programs where the welcoming and quality are the key words: “Evasion Marine”, « Voyage des sens”, « Beauté marine by Thalgo”, “Escapade starter minceur” …. The extensive spa offers 20 treatment rooms, a multifunction pool with hydro courses, a pool of 40 m2, aerobics classes, a steam room, a sauna with view on the ocean, a fitness area and a heated outdoor pool. A. F.-M.

  • Glasgow: for the end-of-year celebrations

    From the 16th of November and for 7 weeks, the city of Glasgow is celebrating! Animations, illuminations, monumental christmas tree and a host of various events: all the ingredients for ultra colorful and cheerful holidays! George Square is transformed into a giant ice rink under a myriad of lighting chains. On Sunday, December 7th there is a huge meeting of Santa Claus: they are more than 4000 to sweep across the city and a suit is loaned free to all who wish to participate in the fun! Finally on December 31 Christmas Eve is in full swing and everyone brings in to each other’s place, shortbread, whiskey, black bread … to respect the tradition! Let’s not forget about Glasgow number one entertainment: shopping, the city is indeed one of the leading destination in Britain for this . A. F.-M.

  • Fontainebleau: charming destination

    Freshly opened, the Demeure du Parc is already riding on the wave of success! This old house from the seventeenth century that belonged to the Grand Marechal of Logis de Louis XIV, has been converted into a four-star boutique hotel. It is now offering 20 spacious rooms and 7 suites from 41 to 61 m2, constructed in a small building at the side of the courtyard garden. Under the pen of the Spanish architect Mohamed Adib, the decor is decidedly contemporary and airy. Rooms are dressed in white with a delicate touch of color on some walls, light wood floor and furniture with clean lines warm the whole. Special mention to the clear and glass-windowed bathrooms where home products are signed by Fragonard … We confess a preference for rooms boasting a large terrace opening onto the gardens and subsequently for the Bibliotèque suite on the ground floor with a terrace. The lobby covered by a glass roof opens onto the bar where the barman chef offers original cocktails whith local products such as Nemours poppy! The restaurant, La Table du Parc, under the leadership of chef Frédéric Vardon displays a short and heartfelt menu: high crust pie, low-temperature egg, divinely cooked beef, tender lamb … And on sunny days, you can enjoy the terrace. In short, the Demeure du Parc is the place that was missing in Fontainebleau. A. F.-M.

  • Bordeaux: luxury getaway

    It is finally possible to enter the Holy of Holies of Bordeaux, the prestigious properties of Bernard Magrez: Château Pape Clément, La Tour Carnet and Fombrauge. The original concept of Bernard Magrez Luxury Wine Experience allows you to invent customized stays throughout the year. They boast about many high quality services: Rolls Royce rides, English picnics in the park, visits of cellars, exceptional tasting and helicopter rides, nothing less! To complete the experience of “Œnotourisme” it ends with another experience, lunch at the Joël Robuchon restaurant at the Grande Maison of Bernard Magrez. Through the cuisine of the most starred chef in the world and the wine list containing all the classified vineyards of Bordeaux (259 references including 172 Grands Crus), the journey reveals the magic of the finest food and wine. A.F.-M.

  • Malta: Locanda La Gelsomina

    Housed in a former hostel for knights, this locanda occupies one of the oldest buildings in the historic district of Birgu close to the Palace of Inquisition and the Malta Marine Museum. Beautifully restored, this ultra cozy boutique hotel, which offers four suites, respects the characteristics of the Maltese traditional architecture while displaying a very Asian decor! Even the welcome products in the bathrooms are from Bali! Funny detail: you can buy the beautiful exotic displayed pieces: fromTibetan cabinets to scented saaris … sessions of Vinyasa yoga and meditation, guided by yogis are regularly organized. These retreats last between two and four days, and can be customized according to individual wishes. The retreat is open to a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 8 participants. Please note: a minimum stay of two nights is required. A. F.-M.

  • Courchevel: novelties at Cheval Blanc

    At the heart of the vast Three Valleys area, ​​the Cheval Blanc hotel mixes elegance, luxury and design. The 2015-2016 vintage of this sublime 5 stars hotel reveals 9 new rooms including 6 junior suites with a design spirit that combines marble and light wood, bronze and leather, linen and cashmere. The furniture and fabrics come in three color hues well chosen: pistachio and purple, gold and camel or red, black and gray. The lobby, itself, is covered with a new white patina cream, a swing from the Louis Vuitton “Nomadic objects” created by the Campana brothers thrones there. The restaurant, the 1947, shines with two Michelin stars, where we can find piano celebrity chef Yannick Alléno. Another gem in this place, the stamped Guerlain Spa offering this winter three new express care for immediate benefits: the Sun extreme, 30 min, a facial treatment that prepares the skin for tanning or soothes it from a day on the slopes, the Bright regard, 30 min: with a deep and dynamic modeling around the eyes, the face finds a beautiful shine, the Care escape, 30 min, a unique rejuvenating scalp care, performed with a mask selected by the Hair Room Service by John Nollet. Also note that the “hairdresser-star” just opened a salon in Cheval Blanc. Finally latest novelty: “The apérigloo” a dog sledding excursion for an aperitif, towards a traditional igloo for an aperitif with Moet & Chandon champagne! A. F.-M.

  • The new InterContinental Estoril

    Located on the Portugese Riviera near Estoril and 27km from Lisbon, the InterContinental brands number one hotel has 59 bedrooms and 2 suites, each with spectacular ocean views. The best feature : the 70m2 suite with a huge balcony all thanks to João Paciência, who is responsible for the architecture of the resort aided by Ricardo Boffill and Jean Nouvel. After enjoying a cocktail at the Atlantico lounge, which also looks out onto the sapphire-emerald waters of the Atlantic, we head to gourmet restaurant Lota.do. The restaurant, extended by a terrace of white sofas with blue cushions, is decorated with wood coloured tones and azulejos (glazed tiles), to emphasize the Portugese identity, and offers superb seafood dishes. The hotel also has an outdoor pool, large peaceful gardens, a well-ness centre and a Ritual Spa, Club InterContinental. Estoril is also home to one of Europe’s largest casinos which served as the inspiration for Ian Flemings novel ‘Casino Royale’ as well as having golf courses and beautiful sandy beaches. A. F.-M.

  • Jiva Hill Resort : the new Valmont Spa

    On Geneva’s doorstep lies Jiva Hill, an address which insiders like to keep to themselves! A real oasis of luxury, amongst a backdrop of nature, the resort is nestled at the heart of a 98 acres’ private estate facing the Mont-Blanc. It combines the Relais & Châteaux know-how with exceptional restaurants, high level sports facilities and a Valmont stamped Spa. The 27 bedrooms and 6 suites with refined and pure interior, designed Jean-Philippe Nuel, are equipped with large bay windows creating the sense of being amongst nature. At the Shamwari restaurant, chef Emmanuel Ollivier treats guests to an exotic cuisine. We were bowled over by the diversity and wealth of sports facilities which range from the artificial lake dedicated to water sports to the 9 and 18 hole golf courses as well as the jogging trail and the state of the art gym. The last asset of the resort is the Spa which is designed in the same colours as swiss brand Valmont. Its expertise takes the form of four signature facial treatments centred around the major problem areas : the indispensible Vitalité des Glacies, the Eclat des Glaces, the Hauts Sommets de la Fermeté which remodels the contours of the face and finally Source des Bisses which re-plumps wrinkles from the inside. All of this available in 60 or 90 minute sessions…
    A. F.-M.

  • Air Mauritius : Hurry its not too late!

    In support of Mauritius tourist office’s wider communication plan the national airline company and special partner of the island has put into place an exceptional offer with economy class tickets starting at 838€ all included. Valid on all tickets for flights departing from Paris that are purchased before the 4th of October corresponding to travel between the 2nd of November and the 13th of December (last return 20th of December) or between the 11th of January and the 10th of April 2016 (last return 17th of April). Outbound flights are equally available from 19 provincial towns with 17 direct flights per week. Mauritius is only one nights sleep away! Good to know : free excursions to the Rodriguez Islands are offered and excursions to the Reunion Islands, Madagascar, Kenya and South Africa are also available…for only a few extra euros.
    A. F.-M.

  • London : Thank you Jean-Jacques!

    Finally, we welcome a restaurant which, recently opened on the 18th of July, has proven a huge hit with both Londoners and happy Frenchies alike. Why? the reasons are fourfold. Firstly, the restaurant which spans two floors is in the trendy district of Soho. Situated right in the heart of the city, it has a warm interior where red mixes with ciment tiles, damask wallpaper, raw wood floor boards for a feel that is both bistro-esque and sophisticated. The icing on the cake is the 15-cover terrace on the first floor. Naturally, the food is also delicious. We were seduced by the simple yet exquisitely fresh shrimp cocktail, the incredibly creamy burrata and meats both cooked to perfection and generously served. What else? oh yes the very resonable prices which in London deserves to be stressed ! A. F.-M.

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