The Best of the Best

Every year, Travel and Leisure Magazine rates worldwide hotels, resorts, cruise lines, river boats, and airlines. They rate properties by city, country, and islands and by service, design, renovations, and more. It is very interesting what they select and which ones I know. Especially interesting is “What’s New“, because the travel industry is always changing. As soon as I think I know a destination very well something new comes along. For example, St. Lucia has a new resort: Hotel Chocolat. Built on a chocolate plantation with chocolate infused dishes, cacao gazpacho, yellow fin tuna with chocolate pesto, slow cooked lamb with chiles and coco all served with postcard views of the iconic Petit Piton. I guess I need to return!

Can you name this hotel? As described in the magazine under “Best Renovation“:

Oh, Paris: your palace hotels are turning up the dial, each one upping the other with refinement. Can you name this Grande dame? A delicate $130 million renovation retained the 19th century paintings and gilded ceilings dating back to 1925, while infusing the space with a lighter, welcoming sensibility. Floor to ceiling windows give an airy feel to the new La Prairie spa, and the Epicure, Michelin three star restaurant… parquet floors, petite balconies and Louis XVI style furnishings… an original wrought iron elevator which leads to the Panoramic Suite (you may recognize from the Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris)… a perfect suite or the City of Lights.

It is the Le Bristol, 112 Rue du Faubourg, St. Honore, Eighth Arr:

Did you go to their web site? A grande dame if there ever was one. But my favorite little hotel in Paris, where I often stay, will never be on this list because it is a three star secret gem tucked away behind the Louvre. Relais du Louvre. 19 Rue des Pretres – Saint Germain, First Arr. It offers affordable single rooms to a very nice family suite. Jessica Parker used this hotel for wardrobe scene changes in Sex in the City. The little café on the corner used in the show has since changed hands but remains charming.

New or old, city or rustic, modern or classical, it is always fun to read who is who today!

About alwaysharriet

With thirty years experience in corporate and leisure travel consulting, Harriet Ahouse has traveled extensively throughout the Caribbean and worldwide. An avid scuba diver, she understands the requirements of travelers both on land and in the water. On the European scene she has offered traditional and personalized travel itineraries throughout the continent--Italy, France, and England are some of her favorites. As a Virtuoso Agent, she also has extensive resources to enhance her expertise in designing individual destination travel itineraries--and honeymoons--worldwide!
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