Saturday, May 21, 2011

Hotel Le Bristol, Paris, France

When I started my diary I thought that I could publish 1-2 hotels per month. Unfortunately, a health problem forced me to neglect this blog for more than 4 months. I also had to postpone the trips that I had already scheduled in order to shoot more hotels for my upcoming books with US Luxury Hotels and Luxury Spa Hotels. I won't be able to travel until the end of July, so I will have plenty of time for homework, writing and editing photos.

Hôtel Le Bristol is one of the best luxury hotels in Paris, renowned for its exquisite French garden. This fabulous hotel is ideally located on the rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré, famous for its fashion district and art galleries. It’s only steps away from the Champs-Elysées, Place de la Concorde, Louvre and Orsay museums.
It was originally constructed in 1758 by the keeper of King Louis XV's buildings. Today, it is a superb palace with gardens, antique furniture, objects of art and old master paintings.The Bristol is creamy Art Deco on the outside and decadent 18th century inside. The hotel is filled with soft colours, refined woodwork, sumptuous fabrics and fine antique furniture. An outstanding collection of Gobelins and Lille tapestries and old master paintings, many of which were acquired from an auction of reserve works staged by the Louvre Museum before the Second World War make it a real gallery with old-school charm.
The Presidential Suites consist of Louis XVI wood-paneled blue or champagne colored living rooms and walls replicated from those of a Swedish Château. The penthouse, which has been played host to everyone from Marilyn Monroe to Prince, favorite among style leaders, is yellow with an Empire style sitting room. The spacious rooms and suites are further enhanced by 18th century furniture and original paintings, combined with ultra modern comfort. On January 2010 the 36 of them hat overlooking the garden of the hotel underwent a complete renovation that was personally orchestrated by the owner, Mrs Oetker. The terraces that adjoin some of the rooms and suites overlook the garden or other views of the most amazing sights of Paris.
The Gastronomic Restaurant of the Hôtel Le Bristol was recently awarded three Michelin stars, offers to guests Eric Frechon’s exceptional and innovative food, an unforgettable dining experience in one of our two elegant surroundings: the “Winter Restaurant” features the warmth of oak woodwork, while the “Summer Restaurant” with view of the beautiful French garden, when the window boxes of geraniums are in bloom and the large garden is redolent with the smell of magnolia. The brand-new restaurant “114 Faubourg” has open in 2010, offers grilled, steamed or spit-roasted dishes of meat or fish.
Ann Semonin spa provides a global approach of beauty through aroma-therapy and personalized treatments. The pool is one of the few in Paris and is enclosed in a teak and glass solarium. The wood decking and a seaside mural make the pool resemble the deck of a 19th-centry yacht.

Hotel Le Bristol, Paris 112 rue du Faubourg Saint Honore, 75008 Paris, France.

Some of the photographs and the text are part of my book European Style Hotels.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Hotel Adlon Kempinski, Berlin, Germany

The Hotel Adlon Kempinski is a luxury landmark hotel adjacent to the historic Brandenburg Gate in the heart of Berlin. Its history goes back 100 years to when entrepreneur Lorenz Adlon set about building the best luxury hotel in the world for his emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm II. When it was completed in 1907, the Adlon's heating system, plumbing and air-conditioning were so state-of-the-art that the German royal family actually moved in, making the luxury hotel the very hub of German society.
In the Roaring Twenties, Lorenz Adlon's son Louis courted intellectuals, heads of state and movie stars and the luxury hotel became a magnet for the likes of Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Albert Einstein and Charlie Chaplin. Although it survived both World Wars unscathed because it was declared neutral territory, it burnt down three days after the end of the Second World War.
Situated in East Berlin right on the edge of No Man's Land, the historic hotel was left in ruins for over forty years. In 1997 the luxury hotel eventually re-opened and welcomed its guests as a Kempinski property with an extra floor, state-of-the-art facilities and some of the largest bedrooms in Berlin. Influenced by a perfect blend of the bygone era, Adlon Kempinski gives the sense of an atmosphere inspired by an illustrious past and a dynamic modernity. The hotel exudes a sophistication and elegance that's hard to ignore. The lobby is a gilded, domed space with low-slung tables round the famous elephant fountain; it is a great place for tea and champagne cocktails as a piano player tinkles the ivories from the Bel Stage above. After a recent refurbishment in 2007 the whole of this area of the luxury hotel has high-speed, wireless internet. The “Gourmet Restaurant Lorenz Adlon”, is a Michelin awarded restaurant. Other tempting delights wait in the “Gabrielle Restaurant”, the “Restaurant Quarré , the “uma Restaurant”, the “Shochu Bar” and the "FELIX ClubRestaurant". All 304 rooms and 78 suites at the luxury hotel are spacious and decorated in a grand, classic style that echoes the Hotel Adlon's long history. Many of the rooms have a view on three, stylish inner courtyards, but corner rooms with views of the Brandenburg Gate are by far the most impressive. The suites have open fires and are furnished with more lavish antiques and Molton Brown toiletries, bath salts and bath oils in the marble bathrooms. The luxurious 800-square-metre Adlon Day Spa offers a full range of treatments as well as a swimming pool, whirlpool, sauna, solarium and gym.

Hotel Adlon Kempinski, Berlin  Unter den Linden 77, 10117 Berlin, Germany.

Some of the photographs and the text are part of my book European Style Hotel

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ashford Castle, Ireland

Ashford Castle, dating back to the 13th-century, is set on the northern shore of Lough Corrib, Ireland’s second largest lake, in the picturesque village of Cong. It is a sumptuous countryside retreat. Once owned by the Guinness family, it became a hotel in 1939 and has since hosted movers and shakers all over the world over. With 350 acres surrounded by water, gardens, and forests, it is a setting that hasn't changed for hundreds of years. The luxury hotel is a visual feast with the charm and dignity of its original architecture; it astonishes visitors at every turn. It was the location for the producers and stars during the making of the epic film The Quiet Man. It has also played host to president and Mrs. Reagan and recently the Hollywood star Pierce Brosnan, alias 007, chose Ashford as the venue for his personal wedding.
Time stands still; Ashford Castle has been around for 700 years and still offers luxury personal service to visitors from all over the world. Ashford's magnificently decorated interior speaks of centuries of care and outstanding craftsmanship. The great hall is lavishly decorated with wonderful oak panelling. Objects d’art, masterpiece paintings, exquisite antiquities and fine antique furnishings adorn the many nooks and crannies, and the leisurely drawing room and refined Prince of Wales Cocktail Bar. Each of Ashford Castle's 83 rooms and suites is traditional in style, with antique furniture, original oil paintings scattered throughout, marble fittings, and sumptuous fabrics. All are individually decorated, but each has all mod cons, like flat screen televisions and internet connection.
A seven-course meal at the elegant surroundings of the George V Restaurant is a great experience of the top in classical food, with a variety of seasonal, tasteful dishes. The Connaught Room, built in the 17th Century, offers a gourmet experience. As befits a five-star country manor, facilities here are extensive. Falconry, fishing and clay pigeon shooting are just some of the outdoor pursuits on offer, as well as horseback riding and an on-site (9-hole) golf course. Ashford also houses a fitness centre, spa tub, sauna, steam room and indoor pool.

 Ashford Castle  Cong, County Mayo, Ireland.

Some of the photographs and the text are part of my book European Style Hotel