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September 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. And after having started the month of september with a bang at Mama Shelter in Los Angeles, in Courchevel for new chalets, aboard the Star Flyer in Cuba, discovering the newly renovated chateau de Berne and inaugurating the Villa Lalique in Alsace, its now off to Nice to test out La Villa Bougainville, to a luxury tented camp in India, to the Ritz in Madrid for an escapade and finally to Mauritius to (re)discover the Touessrock under the Shangri-La banner! Hows that for some travel inspiration?

  • Nice: Villa Bougainville

    Located a stones throw away from Nice train station lies La Villa Bougainville. Recently opened this summer, the hotel evokes a calm yet exotic ambiance creating the perfect ‘escape’. This new boutique hotel in the Rivieras capital city reveals a decor which, as its name suggests, pays tribute to the expeditions led by botany enthusiast and explorer, Louis Antoine de Bougainville. Behind the belle epoque facade, a distinctive feature of the surrounding music district, we discover the lobby’s turquoise and aquamarine walls and botanical prints. Interior designers Virginie Coste and Arnaud Butin put emphasis on an exotic and plant related atmosphere with botanical items and collections featuring throughout the hotel’s communal spaces. The 46 bedrooms are painted in either a rust or turquoise colour with tropical foliage motif wallpaper whilst the retro bathrooms all feature a large italian style shower. As for the furniture, wicker and tropical wood veneered furniture is used to accentuate the island charm feeling. A.F.-M.

  • Madrid : the Ritz and its offers.

    Located at the heart of Madrid’s “Triangle d’Or”, in a belle epoque Palace just a stones throw away from the Prado and the Thyssen museum, The Ritz Madrid hotel (part of the Mandarin Oriental group) evokes the epitome of elegance and the luxury of the city. As a symbolic site and the gathering place for spanish high society this area is a hub of lively bars and restaurants with the leafy outdoor terrace a particularly sought after spot for sunday brunch, after a walk in the neighbouring Retiro parc. Four thematic offers are proposed by the hotel until the 30th of December: For art lovers, the ‘Art Experience’ includes accomadation, traditional afternoon tea and tickets to the Thyssen-Bornemisza, Reina Sofía and Prado museums…For a complete exploration of the city, the ‘Madrid Experience’ includes a 4 night stay, a VIP tour of the Santiago Bernabéu stadium and a 3 hour guided visit to discover Habsburg’s Madrid…For a family holiday the ‘Family Experience’ offers a 2 night stay for 2 aduts and one child under 12, a 50% discount on all bookings of a second bedroom and three tickets for the Micropolix amusement park, the Faunia zoo or the Warner Bros parc…For a romantic couples retreat, the ‘Romantic Experience’ offers a two night stay and a three course dinner at the Hotels Goya restaurant complete with wine pairing. Rates vary depending on the choice of category of accomadation. A.F.-M.

  • Rajasthan: a luxury tented camp

    Part of the prestigious Aman hotel group, the exclusive Aman-I-Khás tented camp is set up every year from October to May and is located just a few steps from the Ranthambore national park in the Rajasthan region to the north of Jaïpur. At the heart of the former hunting ground belonging to the Maharaja of Jaipur lies a diverse fauna that extends the banks of the lakes and the jungle. It is one of the best places in India to observe wild tigers in their natural habitat, as well as leopards, crocodiles, hyenas, wild cats, sloths and many species of birds. Taking its name from the words “peace” (“Aman” in sanskrit) and “privileged” (“Khas” in Hindi and Urdu), the Aman-I-Khas has 10 luxury tents, each 108m2 and is based on the style of Mughal dynasty travel camps with a tented restaurant, a tented Spa, a Bawadi (traditional pool), an outdoor terrace with a fireplace, as well as a herb and vegetable garden to accompany meals. The “camping” element, although luxurious, still remains. To make the most of your holiday, the Arman-I-Khas has devised a special formula for stays of 4 nights or more, during which guests can enjoy a full-board option which includes an amazing dinner in the forest, a guided visit of Ranthambore Fort, two more guided tours and one Arman Raj Spa treatment per person. A.F.-M.

  • Ile Maurice : welcome to the Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok

    An extensive six-month renovation was required to bring back the sparkle to the legendary Le Touessrok hotel now firmly part of the prestigious Shangri-La group. Located on the eastern coast of Mauritius, along the splendid Trou d’Eau Douce bay, the Le Touessrok Shangri-La resort has 200 rooms and suites as well as 3 sublime villas all with breath-taking views of the indian ocean. It also has a spectacular white sand beach, a private island with 3,5km of beach, a beach club and more. The renovation which has kept “the bohemian chic” feel of the hotel now has a more contemporary design reflecting Mauritius’ different cultures as well as the Shangri-La’s asian heritage. We love the use of natural and organic materials as well as the “glamour-chic” touches which add to the resorts cozy atmosphere. We also love the newly created restaurants and bars such as: the Republik Beach Club & Grill which offers a mediterranean cuisine, barbecued as well as a la plancha specialties and a beach lounge area. Sega, a rum bar with a musical atmosphere playing regge, segge, jazz and blues and finally, Safran, the chic restaurant with an indian inspired menu. In addition to these assets we add two beautiful pools, numerous land and sea activities, a T-Club for children aged 4 to 11 and the Active T-Club for teens aged 12-17. Golf enthusiasts will also enjoy the 18 hole golf course on Ile aux Cerfs, just a few minutes boat ride away. A.F.-M.

  • Lonely Planet : the whole world

    From A for Afghanistan to Z for Zimbabwe, and from the classics (Brazil, Italie, Thailande) to those off the tourist track (Tchad, Tuvalu, Georgia etc.) Lonely Planet unites the countries of the whole world in one guidebook containing no less than 222 destinations. For each of them, the book identifies the most beautiful places and most amazing experiences, all illustrated by 770 photos and 228 maps. In all, the guidebook offers 1600 of our planets must-sees and must-dos. These range from scuba diving in Papa New Guinea to dog sledding in Greenland, and include night in New Oreleans and the exploration of the great wall of China and Cartagena in Colombia…’The World’ lists the best things to do on the planet exposing beautiful scenery, the most stunning monuments and the most interesting cities. It is the only travel guide that covers every country in the world. Ideal when planning a trip or just when dreaming of one….

  • Alsace : the rebirth of the René Lalique villa

    Built by René Lalique in 1920, to house his family next to his factory in Wingen-sur-Moder, this villa is experiencing a rebirth. On the initiative of Silvio Denz, CEO of Lalique, it becomes the prestigious setting of a new elegant hotel and gourmet restaurant. René Lalique’s creative genius is evoked in every detail of the six suites which are each unique in style and carry the name of one of the glass makers iconic creations, with the exception of the Zeila suite which owes its name to one of his grand-daughter, Marie-Claude Lalique’s creations. The villa’s fineness is taken to new heights with furniture from Lalique’s own collection and custom designed for the villa, from the crystal taps in the bathrooms to the glass walled restaurant which allows visitors to enjoy the grounds and the 20 000 bottle wine cellar. At the Piano, surrounded by a brigade of around 15 people we spot chef Jean-Geoges Klein. The restaurant represents a new challenge for the former head of the three michlin star restaurant L’Arnsbourg in Lorraine. Together with his team he has perfected various new menus : Création, Végétal and Signature. His cuisine, rich in colour and contrasts and as visually appealing as it is delicious is a “seasonal cuisine”. Do not let all this excitement stop you from visiting the nearby Lalique museum where, through numerous creations and over 230 perfume bottles, we see the true renewal that Rene Lalique brought to the jewellery craft. whilst an exceptional cinematic film takes visitors on a tour of the Universal Exhibition in Paris of 1900…

  • Toulouse: a new 5 star hotel

    The Cour des Consuls Hotel & Spa which was inaugurated on the 14th of September is a member of the M Gallery By Sofitel collection where each hotel is inspired by a story which guests are invited to become part of. The hotel is housed in two historic 18th century family mansions with neoclassical red brick and adorned with the families’ coat of arms. Loacated a few minutes walk from la Garonne, La Cour des Consuls is both a five star hotel and a beautifully preserved historic site. Inside, the contemporary decor, period style and bold elegance shape this inimitable style. It is the first five star hotel in Toulouse to offer a gourmet restaurant and spa. In the restauarant Le Cénacle the menu signed by starred chef Jérôme Ryon, adds to the harmony of food and wine with bottles from the south west and Languedoc regions. The spa, by local brand Graine de Pastel, offers 4 treatment rooms bathed in daylight.

  • Val d’Isère : le Yule, a 5 star hotel on the slopes

    Chop chop! Now’s the time to book your christmas vacation! We recently caught wind of a new hotel opening this december at the foot of the slopes in Val d’Isère called Le Yule. Ski in – ski out, is the main asset of this design hotel located at the slopes edge. The five star hotel is comprised of 41 wood panelled rooms, the majority of which include exceptional views of the slopes. The large graphic tiled bathrooms are a welcomed extra and we love the sun splattered brasserie balcony. We also appreciate the cozy evening ambiance created by the fireplace. In addition, the hotel also includes a lounge bar, a pool, a well-ness centre (with 3 treatment rooms, a steam room and 2 saunas), and because the word ski and bad barnet just dont go together there is even a hair salon! Without forgetting the shop, games room and the cherry on top of the cake : a cinema.

  • Château de Berne : a revival

    At the heart of a 500 hectare estate in the provencal countryside, surrounded by olive trees and vines lies the Château de Berne, a member of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux group. The Château has recently undergone a complete renovation which lasted several months under the leadership of Alexandre Lafourcade, a firm of experts specialised in the restoration of old stone. Reopened last july, its 27 rooms have been decorated in a “country chic” style and boasts breathtaking and calming views over the vinyards, the ancient cellar and the Château. In addition to the 3 new rooms and a family suite the hotel also unveils an 800m2 spa, elegantly decorated and perfectly set among the vines and olive trees with an indoor pool, spa and steam room and treatments stamped Cinq Mondes. The estate’s tables have also been completely redesigned with the Bouscarelle brasserie offering a breathtaking new terrace. Food lovers will equally be charmed by L’Orangerie’s new ‘chefs table’ set-up: an exclusive and intimate dinner hidden behind the scenes of the gourmet restaurant presenting a new Discovery menu. Also new : the cooking school headed by Chef Jérémy Czaplicki in a traditional kitchen decor where he reveals his mediterranean recipes using seasonal provencal flavours. The Château gardens have also undergone an important transformation, inspired by the mediteranean, they have been redesigned to include a vegetable garden and a small farm. A. F.-M.

  • Star Clippers : a cigar cruise !

    This wonderful and unique cruise ship company, which navigates by sail, is offering a remarkable discovery of Cuba through its cruise specifically designed for cigar lovers! From the 21st of January to the 1st of Febuary 2016, its off to Havana to start with a 3 night taster in this enchanting cuban city which include, a visit to a legendary cigar factory and the historical centre of San Cristobal de la Habana whose history is intimately linked to that of tobacco. Next, its all aboard the Star Flyer, a magnificent clipper, for an unforgettable journey…with stopovers, for the most part, all planned around the cigar. These include visits to mythical factories and the best tobacco plantations in the world with tastings and the opportunity to meet real puros experts. But it doesnt stop there, discover the islands natural beauty through its crystal clear waters, beautiful coral reefs, charming towns, plantations, cigar workshops, without forgetting a stopover in the Cayman islands… A. F.-M.

  • One&Only Reethi Rah celebrates 10 years

    Set on one of the largest Maldivian islands in North Male’ Atoll, this luxury villa resort will be celebrating its 10th anniversary over the next 10 months, with a program full of suprises. This special celebration package will include spa and culinary offerings; innovative new fitness activities; the expansion of the NEO boutiques; the revamping of the Beach Villas and the addition of a new pool at ClubOne. “One&Only Reethi Rah has become one of the world’s most exclusive escapes, and we are looking forward to commemorating our anniversary over the next 10 months with an array of incredible celebrations,” commented Mark DeCocinis, President Operating Officer of One&Only resorts. Food lovers will also be treated during One&Only Reethi Rah’s tenth anniversary celebrations with visits by globally recognised Michelin-star chefs and enjoy exclusive wine dinners with leading winemakers. A. F.-M.

  • Frank’s Birthday Bash at the Fontainebleau!

    The Fontainebleau Miami Beach is celebrating what would be the 100th birthday of Frank Sinatra with a unique 100 day program of events. The iconic singer was a frequent performer at the hotel’s La Ronde club and often spent holidays here. Fontainebleau was equally the site where he shot films; A Hole in the Head, Tony Rome and Lady in Cement. The 100 day countdown to Sinatra’s 100th birthday began in the hotel on the 2nd of september and features an exhibition of never-before seen photographs curated by the Sinatra family and 1966 Americas. The collection includes rare and personal images of Frank as well as a selection from top photographer, Terry O’Neill. Each night, the Fontainebleau bar invites guests to taste a glass of Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select whiskey whilst the restaurants feature some of the singers favourite meals. Guests who wish to “Live Like Frank” can opt for the 1915 dollar package, in commemoration of his birth year. The package includes a two-night stay in a junior suite, a vintage canvas bag, a luxury art book, a bottle of his namesake select Jack Daniels whiskey, breakfast for two, tandem 50-minute “Fly Me to the Moon” massages at the Lapis Spa, a $250 dinner credit to use in one of the four restaurants and a CD of the singer’s greatest hits. A. F.-M.

  • Mont-Louis sur Loire : Festival de la Tomate

    A few years ago now, the very charasmatic Louis-Albert de Broglie, creator of the Prince Jardinier and owner of Deyrolle, founded the Conservatoire de la Tomate in his Bourdaisiere Chateau. This Conservatoire currently houses the finest collection of tomatoes in the world with over 650 different varieties : black, yellow, orange, mottled and some even courgette, pear, chilli and prune shaped tomatoes. This 12th and 13th of september his Festival de la Tomate et des Saveurs will be the opportunity to discover and taste a number of “arrangements” at the tomato bar in the form of “dishes of the day” including : stews, pies, gazpacho, crumbles and jams. The Chateau, which is ideally loacted between Tours and Amboise, is also a ‘Châteaux et Hôtels Collection’ hotel with 25 rooms and 4 apartments all recently restored and decorated by Prince Louis Albert de Broglie. The 55 hectare parc offers extrodinary gardens containing, besides the famous ‘Conservatoire’, a Dahilicolor, pool, tennis court and jogging route. The perfect destination for a weekend! A.F-M.

  • Los Angeles : Welcome to Mama Shelter!

    Established 7 years ago by the Triango family (co-founders of Club Med) Mama is nowadays run by Serge and his 2 sons Benjamin and Jeremie. The latest Mama Shelter, designed by Thierry Gaugin was inaugurated this summer and includes 6 floors that overlook the wonderful freakes and neon lights of Hollywood Blvd. The 70 rooms have King Size beds and are havens of peace. In keeping with the Mama philosophy, each comes with a 27 inch iMac, which, with the click of a button offers TV, a video camera, Internet and classic movies including the Criterion Collection. We love the restaurant with its wooden tables, its tangy chairs and white brick walls which is the ideal spot for brunch. The icing top of the cake has to be its rooftop with 360 degree views of all of Los Angeles, from the legendary Hollywood sign in Downtown to South Bay and Westside. A.F.-M.

  • Courchevel and its 3 new chalets

    The young hotel group Evok owned by Pierre Bastid is one that does not stop growing. Bubbling with projects, Pierre inaugurated the magnificent Royal Palace restaurant in Paris along with chef Philip Chronopoulous in June and next december will see the inauguration of three luxurious chalets. Known as the Hameau de la Voliere the chalets are a stones throw away from the centre of Courchevel in the Chenus area. Each chalet covers an area of 100m2 spread over 5 floors with lift and accomadates 12 people. It is covered in old wood and stone and was decorated by Christophe Tollemer. The Chalets have 6 bedrooms, numerous living rooms, a billiard room, a cinema, a spa, a garage, 15 m pool, Jacuzzi and a balcony. In addition, the slopes start straight from the ski room, naturally! The chalet also comes with a driver, butler, chef and cleaners under the watchful eye of Anthony, the chalet manager. A.F.-M.

  • A new chef at the Domaine de Manville.

    At the foot of Baux de Provence, in a 100 hectare park, lies the Domaine de Manville, a former barn turned five-star hotel which celebrates its first birthday this year. The 30 rooms and suites are decorated with natural materials and include stone walls, wooden cladding and woven Bulrush and opens onto an inside courtyard with plane trees and a large swimming pool. The estate also includes nine 220m2 ‘design’ houses, a spa with 5 Clinica Pitanguy cabines and a golf course. The restaurant has recently acquired a new chef : Matthew Dupuis-Bamal. This man originating from Nantes worked alongside Michel Roux at the Waterside Inn (a 3 star in england), aswell as the Maison Troisgros, the Four Seasons Hotel and the George V. His talent has been cultivated thanks to his numerous trips around the world which saw him discover many new flavours. Here he offers an original and personal menu which is very much in harmony with the local produce, all the while adding his own flair and savoir-faire. one not to be missed! A.F.-M.

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