If being in Paris is already a reason to party, staying at Plaza Athénée promises a high-level celebration. Member of the Dorchester Collection since 2001, the hotel has undergone a series of improvements that have made the traditional space, inaugurated in 1913, even more attractive. Today with 194 apartments, including 46 suites, it has the official French distinction of palace status, a condition reflected in the real royal treatment that its guests receive.
The new approach focuses on healthy, organic foods on a menu that celebrates fish, vegetables, and cereals. The ingredients are almost all sustainable, wild, and mainly, organic. In addition, this major reinvention did not take into account only the types of raw materials. While essentially following the strand of French cuisine, restaurants now also draw on shojin cuisine – a Japanese spiritual approach to cooking vegetables.
And the big names, which keep Plaza Athénée reinventing itself constantly, are not restricted to just one sector. Known especially as an haute couture hotel, the Dior Institute – a luxury space dedicated to beauty treatments that leads to the signature of the fashion brand – has been around for ten years. As well as Dior celebrated its 70th birthday at the hotel, it has become a new tradition in the Plaza Athénée to promote small and intimate celebrations for its most special guests who are celebrating. The mini private parties, held in the suite, are entitled to champagne, balloons, and, above all, the spectacular backdrop of Paris as a plus. Amazing!
Those who were born to be a king will never lose their royalty, even if it means to deal with the weight of the crown: to break with all that was once known and launch itself into a new era. Thus, from its own French Revolution, the Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris returned to the throne of the French capital. Everything began in 2010 when guests, friends, and the media were able to closely check the radical metamorphosis that cost two years and 800 million Euros. The extreme makeover of the palace was led by French designer Philippe Starck, who made the premises of Le Royal Monceau a sweet and creative metaphor of Paris and of life itself.
Therefore, art, hospitality, fashion, warmth and haute cuisine get together at number 37 of the distinct Avenue Hoche – of which still can be seen, just around the corner, the imposing Arc de Triomphe. But in order to stay grounded in front of so much beauty, Starck brings us subtlety back to earth when purposely introducing a bit of chaos in the hotel’s facilities: a scruffy carpet, a crooked lampshade, a slightly out of place table – all to remind us that life is not straight; it is full of small idiosyncrasies that make our human experience even more amazing. It was not for the lack of notice or attempt: French designer Phillippe Starck did everything in his power to keep us in balance with reality, but it is impossible not to return to the clouds when we taste the wonders that make Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris a five-star hotel with praise.
The Parisian fairytale starts early, at breakfast, served at La Cuisine, Chef Laurent Andre. There, the day begins in the most organic way possible, with natural juices and freshly made pastry options. Democratic in every possible way, La Cuisine follows the routine of their guests and, on weekends, allows mornings to drag on until later in a generous brunch. Another temptation in the hotel to which we must surrender ourselves is the Il Carpaccio Italian restaurant, awarded a Michelin star. Led by chef Roberto Rispoli, a native of Tuscany, the restaurant has a menu guided by the seasons, since it only admits fresh produce. To celebrate 30 years of the place, Rispoli went personally to Sicily to create the house olive oil. As if it wasn’t enough with its hearty and well-prepared dishes, Il Carpaccio has a bonus of typical Italian desserts, but with a special touch that only one chef patissier Pierre Hermé’s caliber could do. Relaxing moments deserve equal attention – and, in this case, the best option would be the tables of Le Bar Long, a more casual and friendly atmosphere, and more flexible hours as well.
To make sure you take in the most you can from this “palace,” save some time to visit the Terrace. A restaurant that, as the name suggests, is in a more open environment – the official description, it is even called “garden restaurant.” Although this is not the most formal restaurant in the hotel, it is probably the one that best describes it, since it changes with the seasons, and never fails to bloom. The tables are arranged around a glass dome, which reveals the ever-restless waters of the spa pool, located on the ground floor.
The passion for culture that runs through the veins of Paris also circulates through the halls of Le Royal Monceau, the only hotel in the world to make an Art Concierge available to guests – a professional expert in cultural trends, able to close the Pompidou for private visits for some hours. Although the golden keys of the concierges of the palace can open any door, there is no need to go too far to find the best of the cultural life of Paris. This very inn houses a gallery dedicated to modern art and a bookstore meticulously curated, bringing together the best books, magazines and tangible objects in the universe of fashion, film, and art.
When the options are many and the mind asks for rest, a visit to the Spa My Blend by Clarins can be the solution to every dilemma. Also known as “white paradise,” the center and relaxation of Le Royal Monceau is home to one of the largest indoor pools in Paris, 24 meters long and 8 wide. Voted Best Hotel Spa in 2012 by Virtuoso Award, the My Blend by Clarins is guided by the uniqueness of its customers, already adapting their treatments to the profile of its users. After relaxing in a totally white environment, a burst of color waiting for guests on the screens of Le Cinéma de Lumières, with a capacity for 99 spectators. Equipped with the latest machines, the cinema of Le Royal Monceau is able to play 3D movies, which puts it in the crosshairs of the most exclusive premieres of France and beyond.
As might be expected, the 149 suites at the palace hotel are equipped with all of the comfort items you can imagine: a king size bed, pressurized shower, walk in closet, plasma television and more. All accommodations, from the simple studio room to the majestic Presidential Suite 241, summarize the whole philosophy of the inn. And each, in its own way, balances this unique blend of chaos, colors, culture, tastes, technology, and urban havens – and constantly reminds that it is not necessary to be asleep in order to dream.
Globetrotting authority Laurent Vernhes has set his feet in over ninety different countries and lived in six of them. Whether backpacking in Nepal or visiting the most sophisticated destinations and hotels in the world, his goal was (and still is) the same: To be surprised in a positive way.
“For as long as I can remember, I wanted to escape. My first stop as a young adult was the Parisian bourgeoisie and many finer things in life that come with such package. But soon enough, my obsession became to see the world as I became worried about getting trapped in Parisian self-satisfaction”
As the CEO of Tablet Hotels, an online search for exclusive hotels and booking platform, Laurent Vernhes uses his expertise to help travelers find “beauty and substance” on their own trips. After working as an expat in Asia in the 90s, he left the East to go to New York and have his own share in the Internet revolution as he co-founded Tablet Hotels. Recently, Laurent decided to become a serial entrepreneur by taking his taste and knowledge of champagne more seriously as he established his own small champagne company, Maison Vernhes. The amazing bubbly caused enough buzz among appreciators to be called as one of the best wines out there. As good as it is exclusive, the champagne can only be acquired via Laurent himself or at a single store in Brooklyn, which must have his approval to sell to an individual customer. A labor of love, a result of the entrepreneur’s personal passions, it doesn’t come as a surprise that both Maison Vernhes and Tablet Hotels have an inherent stamp of coolness and excellence. In an exclusive interview, Laurent Vernhes talks investing in soulful projects, the importance of taking risks and why his champagne brand is so, so very exclusive. From a stay at the very posh The Lanesborough Hotel, in London, to quiet holidays in Franschhoek, a visit to a zen-Buddhist temple in Koya-san and sandstorms in the desert during Burning Man, Laurent Vernhes is strongly inspired by the contrast of the places he goes to. Fortunately, he makes a living out of his passion as the co-founder and CEO of Tablet Hotels, an online luxury and boutique hotel search, and booking platform.
Vernhes was born and raised in France, where he grew up as the only child of very loving and modest hardworking parents, in the South of France and, later on, on the outskirts of the French capital. “For as long as I can remember, I wanted to escape. My first stop as a young adult was the Parisian bourgeoisie and many finer things in life that come with such a package. But soon enough, my obsession became to see the world as I became worried about getting trapped in Parisian self-satisfaction”, he confides. His diplomas – and David Bowie’s music and personality, which helped him “believe he could be anyone he wanted to be” – served as a passport for new experiences. In the 1980s, Laurent started working in Asia, developing new markets for global giants such as Michelin and The News Corporation. He lived as an expat in many different cities of the Asian continent for ten years. He has seen the world, indeed; he’s visited over ninety countries and has lived in six of them. “I’ve been shaped by the places I’ve been to, so much to the point where the concept of nationality is no longer meaningful to me personally. With only one exception: picking a team to support in the (soccer) World Cup. For example, I learned so much about business from dealing with ethnic Chinese people across Southeast Asia and in China. I admire the combination of ruthless effectiveness, elegance, and sophistication – almost no posturing”. After that period of time in Asia, he realized he wanted to have his own business while also becoming part of the global revolution that came about with the Internet, finally, settling down in Brooklyn, New York, where he still lives with his wife and three children.
“When it comes to connecting people, I believe taste transcends everything – nationality, gender, race, religion, money, age”
Since the year 2000, Tablet Hotels works by the idea of helping travelers find beauty and substance in their travel experiences and also with the underlying mission to support small independent creators and hoteliers. Amidst the information and advertising cacophony, Tablet is not only sophisticated but soulful as well. There’s something more personal about it that lacks in other websites alike. The next step for the company is to launch a new tool, one that enables users to connect through shared tastes across cultures and traditional social demographic categories. “When it comes to connecting people, I believe taste transcends everything – nationality, gender, race, religion, money, age…”, Vernhes observes, insightfully. This French man is never tired of discovering new things, new destinations, new ideas – “I’m resetting my dreams”. At this point, he jumped into a new foray: creating a small champagne company called Maison Vernhes. “Since before drinking age, which is loosely defined in France, I have dreamt of champagne being present in my life ‘at will’ because I associated it with happiness. Much later, when I started thinking that wine would be an interesting way to reconnect with my family heritage, champagne felt like a happy place to start”.
With an excellence and exclusivity stamp, Maison Vernhes’ bubbly generated a lot of buzz among Manhattan’s connoisseurs and foodies. According to Laurent, what separates good from formidable champagne is the quality and smoothness of the euphoria it creates – besides terroir, taking good care of the vines and grapes as they grow, proper climate, winemaking technique, and experience, Bien sûr. “I seek balance and complexity with as little manipulation as possible in the process of making it”, he says of the blend, which presents elements of different grapes, besides pinot noir. The product can only be acquired via Laurent himself or in a single store located in Brooklyn, by his approval. The entrepreneur tells us why. “The production is very limited and demand for it outgrew supply almost instantly. So, if you’re in that situation, how do you choose whom you sell to? Rather than raising the price, which is the legitimate capitalist approach, it seems more interesting to sell only to people who truly enjoy it”, he explains. “It’s also better for building the brand when your clients are your brand ambassadors”.
It is a smart and moderate way to handle the economy and marketing challenges that small companies often face. Just like Tablet Hotels, Maison Vernhes is the result of an entrepreneurial approach to a personal passion. “I do not think one should aim for universal appeal because it puts you on a path to the lowest common denominator. I am looking for a soul and being true to myself. The deeper you dig, the more chances that you will touch others”. Which is the same as saying that the more personal a creation is, the more universal its appeal becomes. And that is a trump card many other independent creators and producers know how to play in their favor. Laurent is the kind of person who is far more interested in the journey than the destination itself. When he travels, usually an impulsive last minute decision, the first thing he does when arriving somewhere is to wander around. No rush, no plans, destination point. If his academic excellence led him to a nomadic life, his nomadic existence led him to acquire knowledge through experience, whether bad or good experience, like his trip to the Marquesas Islands, especially Fatu Hiva and Nuku Hiva, which he points as some of the most magical places on Earth.
Despite being too busy reinventing Tablet Hotels and heading a small champagne company, the entrepreneur makes time to be with his family and plan his next trip – “It is what keeps me inspired and energized”. He wants to continue taking chances and innovative actions, but without ever taking himself too seriously. ”If you do so, you’ll find it harder to get over your failures, which means you’re less likely to take the risks necessary to change your world. It is fundamental to take risks unless you accept to live in a world defined by others”.
Mid-Beach nunca mais será a mesma desde que a vizinhança ganhou o hotel Miami Beach Edition, com ares de centro cultural, já que, além de moradia temporária a visitantes, o empreendimento de Ian Schrager concentra casa noturna, boliche, pista de patinação no gelo, cinema ao ar livre e muito mais.
O aclamado hotelier Ian Schrager é o nome por trás do novo Miami Beach Edition. Quase 20 anos atrás, Schrager dava novos ares à região mais badalada da Flórida com a inauguração do hoje icônico Hotel Delano. O espírito inovador e o estilo moderno do empresário marcam também essa sua nova aposta, que abriu as portas em dezembro de 2014 e veio para solidificar de vez o status cool que já rondava a região de Mid-Beach. A bandeira Edition é a mais exclusiva da rede Marriott e tem outras três unidades em Londres, Istambul e Nova York, além de muitas outras previstas para os próximos anos ao redor do mundo. Assim como suas propriedades-irmãs, o Miami Beach Edition transpira elegância e design elaborado. Já no lobby, seu estilo único se mostra por meio do chão de mármore branco em contraste com as enormes colunas douradas. Esses elementos já estavam presentes no edifício original, que abrigava o Hotel Seville desde 1955, e estão entre os detalhes que não puderam ser alterados para preservar o caráter histórico da construção. Imposição que acabou por criar uma mistura harmoniosa dos estilos vintage e moderno e que deu ao hotel um charme único. O décor clean dá o tom aos quartos, onde as cores claras e a madeira predominam, no melhor estilo beach chic. São 294 quartos, dos quais cerca de 20 bangalôs privativos – com quarto, sala de jantar, sala de estar e terraço. Nos bangalôs de dois andares, os hóspedes podem ainda desfrutar de um deck no andar de cima com piscina e vista deslumbrante para o mar. O intuito de Schrager era criar um hotel para uma geração que quer viver bem e aproveitar a vida ao máximo, seja no trabalho ou nas férias. Explica-se aí a preocupação com o conforto e com os mínimos detalhes, presentes em todas as áreas do hotel.
Encaixa- se também nesse conceito a área chamadade Basement, onde estão reunidas diversas opções de entretenimento, para hóspedes e não hóspedes. Fica ali a balada Basement Miami, pequena e intimista, onde DJs renomadosagitam a noite. Logo ao lado encontram- se o boliche e a pista de patinação no gelo, ambos na mesma atmosfera de badalação, com efeitos de luz e música a noite inteira. Um espaço concebido para a diversão e que promete ser mais um dos muitos hotspots da noite em Miami. Ainda no clima de descontração, outra das inovações do hotel é o chamado Sandbox. No chão de areia estão dispostos sofás e almofadas, além de redes penduradas nas palmeiras e um telão, que proporciona intimistas sessões de cinema ao ar livre. Puro charme. Em se tratando de Miami Beach, a piscina não poderia ser deixada de lado. Elas são duas: enormes, cercadas por espreguiçadeiras e com um bom bar na proximidade, para que os hóspedes revezem entre o sol e a água, sempre com um bom coquetel em mãos. O hotel esbanja ainda 6.500 metros quadrados de praia bem à sua frente – um dos maiores beachfronts de Miami – e um spa com nove salas de tratamento e um Hamman. No quesito gastronomia, o Edition está bem servido com dois restaurantes comandados pelo renomado chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
Dentre eles, o Matador Room tem pratos inspirados na culinária espanhola, com toques da gastronomia caribenha e sul-americana. Já no Market at Edition a proposta é mais semelhante à de um café, com sanduíches, smoothies, sucos e uma vasta seleção de vinhos. Além deles, há ainda o Tropicale, com menu leve e fresco servido ao ar livre, e os bares que oferecem coquetéis refrescantes. Gostou tanto do Edition que quer fazer dele sua casa de veraneio? Sem problemas. O hotel dispõe de 26 residências privativas, disponíveis para compra. Os apartamentos variam entre 85 e 430 metros quadrados, e muitos deles possuem piscinas privativas e cozinha ao ar livre. Tudo seguindo o mesmo conceito de lifestyle, descontração e conforto que marca o hotel. Os apartamentos foram também idealizados por Schrager e realizados em parceria com o arquiteto John Pawson. Os proprietários podem desfrutar de todos os espaços e serviços do hotel, além de terem sua própria área de lazer privativa.
Respect to the land, culture, and traditions- these are the foundations that drive the family group Torre de Canyamel. Under the command of the descendants of the Font del Olors clan, the organization owns properties from cattle ranching to hotels and restaurants in the region of Mallorca, Spain. The hotels of the group stand out for their identity since they do not belong to a large network but rather to a family with deep roots in the region. This characteristic can be found both in the care for the ingredients used in their kitchens and in the selection of the meats used in the dishes from the farms of the group, as well as in the concern with the preservation of the local culture, present in all their enterprises.
However, each hotel has its unique features, which make them different from the others. Can Simoneta boast restored buildings of about 140 years and a splendid view of the north coast of the Island. Being high up on a hillside, it offers a horizon of multiple landscapes and access to the private beach via a beautiful staircase. A very special place where you can see the touch of history and even have a feeling of getting to another era. FontSanta is in the southern part of Mallorca and offers a more rural landscape. As a Spa hotel, it seeks to bring tranquility and relaxation, providing moments of reflection and self-care. Silence is present in various environments, decorated with sculptures, drawings, and paintings by contemporary artists. The works seem to dialogue with the place and adorn every corner of the main house, which has been the residence of the family for three generations. It is essential to spend hours relaxing in thermal baths. Finishing the experience in Mallorca, Pleta de Mar, the newest hotel in the Torre de Canyamel group, is just 200 meters from Can Simoneta. Luxurious and modern, we can say this is the most exuberant of the three experiences. In an immense terrain, it unites the tranquility of the field with the dazzling look of the ocean. It has a golf course and a cellar to give envy to the most demanding winemakers. All this deserves a visit to this little corner of Spain.
Part of the Oetker Collection group since 1994, the Chateau St. Martin was the fortress of the Knights Templar in the 12th century and then was in ruins until 1900, when it was acquired by a Polish earl. But it was in 1954 that he found his true calling when, after being bought by the French industrialist Fernand Genève, it was transformed into a hotel. Impeccable of the Oetker Collection group, coupled with the hotel’s mountain climate with lower temperatures and pleasant surroundings, they bring a cozy aura, typical of the countryside. Its decoration lives up to the place that is, and it brings all the welcome and the softness of the peasant atmosphere together with the typical French elegance. Small details, pieces of furniture, and furniture that blend contemporary style with Provencal complete the ambiance.
All this atmosphere inevitably sends us to the pleasures of high gastronomy. Headed by chef Jean-Luc Lefrançois, the award-winning Chateau St. Martin’s restaurant uses some excellent local ingredients such as the olive oils that are produced in the vicinity of the property. And if the gastronomic spectacle happens at the table, the look is not far behind.
The view of Le Saint-Martin brings excitement, especially at sunset, of a thousand and one colors – an unforgettable experience. In addition to the restaurants, as a sister hotel to Le Bristol in Paris, the Chateau has a bar very similar to the Parisian. In terms of service, the Chateau St. Martin deserves praise. An extremely efficient team of employees maintains uninterrupted communication and makes every effort to understand and meet all guests’ needs. Therefore, when you wake up and leave the room, all the attention will be offered so that you are constantly graced with great experiences.
Tips By Claur
Style & Concept: With a Provencal style, the hotel breathes the local history and atmosphere since It has been a hotel since 1954 and has been part of the Oetker Collection since 1994.
On the map: The location in the region of Vence offers the opportunity to visit this small town, with good museums, historical aspects, and an 11th-century church.
Rooms: All rooms are very comfortable and extremely welcoming, and offer views of the Cote d’Azur.
Pool / Gym: The place has a fitness center, two tennis courts, and an infinity pool for enjoying the view.
Restaurant / Bar: Under the command of chef Jean-Luc Lefrançois, the starred main restaurant, Le Saint-Marin still has a panoramic terrace.
Amenities: The La Praire Spa is a must visit – not optional but essential.
Synonym of comfort and elegance, La Reserve Ramatuelle means less ostentation and more good taste. ‘Hors Concours’ in the appearance of the hospitality, the right destination to join treatment and rest to a breathtaking scenario.
Getting to La Reserve de Ramatuelle brings the feeling of entering a beautiful beach house, or of course, a summer residence on the Côte d’Azur. But what is important is that the impact is not that of a sumptuous hotel, which impresses with ostentatious luxury. Suffice to say that the commune of Ramatuelle can be compared to the Hamptons, the affluent Long Island territory that attracts New Yorkers to refresh themselves on their beaches in the summer. Carrying this parallel to France, one has a better dimension of the discreet elegance inherent in the place, which despite being a magnificent neighbor of Saint Tropez, keeps a quieter and more reserved environment.
Designed by the architect Jean Michel Wilmotte, La Reserve Ramatuelle was built from the revitalization of a building from the 1970s. The original facade of shells, plaster, and brick reflects the Mediterranean setting and has been completely preserved in the new layout. On the other hand, the decoration of the interior was entrusted to the designer Rémi Tessier, who brings to his work the idea that luxury should be felt and not forcedly displayed, which is exactly what you can see in La Reserve hotels, either in Ramatuelle or in the units of Geneva and Paris.
Tips By Claur
Style & Concept: Despite the proximity of St. Tropez, tranquility reigns here.
On the map: It’s worth getting to know the surroundings, like the small and charming cities of Gassin and Grimaud.
Rooms: All 28 rooms have balconies and are very sunny. In addition to these, 14 villas offer an even more private option.
Design: Its design resembles a modern ship, delicately positioned above the sea.
Pool / Gym: All villas have their own pools, some of which also have a pool house.
Restaurant / Bar: Its main restaurant, La Voile, has a Michelin star.
Amenities: Organic food from the hotel’s private garden, plus a la carte breakfast and housekeeper.
This proposal to live the luxury means nothing more than the extreme attention to detail and to both the ambiance and the quality of the guest service. It is the hospitality preached, above all, by Michel Reybier, founder of the hotel. Simple and discreet, just like the most elegant figures, monsieur Reybier developed various other businesses. All of them carry in common the excellence assured by the name of his brand. One of them, the Cos d’Estournel winery, produces wines in an artisan way, seeking each bottle to be a piece of art.
So much attention and care can make you unwilling to leave the hotel, but still worth a visit to Gassin – only a 20-minute drive will get you to a very charming place. As well as Saint Tropez, which is always worth a visit, the town has great restaurants, such as La Verdoyante and Le Pescadou, both great options for those who are already used to eating at La Voile, Reserve restaurant is run by Chef Eric Canino.