Tag Archives: luxury

L’Hotel Paris

Luxurious stay in the heart of Saint Germain Paris…

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Rooms with Views: Hotel de Russie

Not only is Rome’s Hotel de Russie fashionable, it is a tranquil oasis in the middle of all the action of La Dolce Vita…

Rome has many hotels to choose from depending on your design wants and luxury needs.  There are opulent styled rooms and hip boutiques and of course location is key. The Hotel de Russie just off the Piazza del Popolo not only has one of the best locations, it has effortless style and grace. Very polished and design forward yet without all the coldness that can bring with it. Instead the hotel is warm and welcoming, extremely comfortable not to mention remarkably quiet considering the usual noise of Rome’s trafficked streets. And of course the big draw is the enchanting garden space right in the center courtyard. All with the rest of Rome at your feet just out side the door.

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Artistic touches throughout…

From the minute you step inside  the glamorous Hotel de Russie it all feels quite zen covered in luxurious touches. The dramatic flower displays done by in house florist Sebastian Flowers are works of art themselves. Alongside the floral art are actual artistic pieces throughout the hotel. Contemporary sculpture mixed with classic roman styled pieces show what the hotel is about, the city of Rome, a city that is ancient, modern and transcending. At one point the famed painter Pable Picasso stayed here and they even have a suite to comemorate that fact. Perhaps it gives off creative vibes? But my eye moves past all of that to the light terracotta and green colours of the courtyard calling to me… “Come sit and have a prosecco…”

IMG_9935.JPGView of the center courtyard and garden

 

But first to the room which was upgrades to a Junior Suite which gave me a little added sitting area. Calming contemporary decor in warm neutral colouring that was immediately inviting and cozy. The bed was heavenly and so comfortable, I slept like a Roman goddess to be sure. And the bathrooms were spacious, with a luxurious size bathtub to soak in, and a well lit sink area. Housekeeping kept the place immaculate and managed to always clean and pick up before my return to the room. Always a BIG plus for me. The room came with a pretty good view of the Piazza del Popolo to my right, and sweeping views of Via del Babuino below.

 

What makes all good hotels exceptional is always the service. The Concierge desk was excellent, being able to arrange tables and transport for me. I did not require tickets to many of the sights but I am sure they could have done if I had asked. Importantly their restaurant suggestions did not go off a rehearsed list of recommendations for tourists but rather were well thought out depending on the criteria given. They were knowledgeable about what was worth going to and what was new. The public spaces were impressive and service, like all Rocco Forte hotels was flawless.

The hotel boasts a restaurant, bar, and spa. The breakfast buffet can be taken in the garden during warmer months. The fashionable bar is popular among Romans as well especially the garden terrace. But I did also enjoy the indoor bar which was very stylish and the bar is also known for its exciting cocktail menu.

IMG_9936Inside the bar

I was very impressed by the Hotel de Russie and count my stay there as one of my favourites. While Rome can be an assault on all the senses, this hotel gives you a place to relax while still having all that Rome has to offer outside your door. It is easy to walk to shopping down Via de Babuino and not far from the Spanish Steps, while the charming Via Margutta is less than a minute walk from the front door. For a bit of Dolce Vita the famed Bar Canova and Piazza del Popolo is just to the right as you go out. But lets face it, if you really want to live La Dolce Vita then you need to stay at the Hotel de Russie!

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Please note I paid for my own stay at the Hotel de Russie and my review is based on that stay.

Hotel de Russie Via del Babuino, 9, 00187 Roma, Italy

 

 

Rooms with Views: Bauer Il Palazzo

Sweeping views of the Grand Canal and the best location in Venice…

Alluring Venice has always exuded opulence and extravagance. Through this golden  history it is no great surprise that it is a luxury hotel paradise. Spoilt for choice with the Gritti, the Danieli, and Cipriani… all opulent jewels sprinkled around the lagoon, however  the prime choice is where I like to stay, just a stone’s throw away from St. Mark’s Square, at The Bauer. Like its fellow luxury hotels it has flawless service, rooms with views, and grandiose accommodations, but it also has the best location in Venice. For one it floats right at the top of the Grand Canal, with the island and church of San Giorgio in the distance to the left and the opulent Santa Salute church center and slightly to the right. One could take photos from the terrace all day long as you watch the gondoliers dance right by. Then you have Saint Mark’s Square no more than a minute walk from the land side entrance of the hotel. The best of Venice is at your feet.

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 Arriving by boat and pulling up to the water dock is such a glamorous experience, and especially at the Bauer where you are welcomed in style. As you step from the water taxi onto the hotel platform everything is done for you, bags whisked away, swift check in and gilded key in hand, a member of reception shows you to your room with a view… You truly feel embraced and looked after. The spacious rooms throughout the hotel exude old world luxury and Venetian opulence. Brocade upholstery and gilded trimmings are accented by antique pieces and oil paintings, it truly feels quite grand.

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In house toiletries are a nod to something very unique and a bit special. Instead of the usual big brand soaps and shampoos the Bauer instead offers products made and found only in Venice. Venice has a long history and tradition of perfume making given its history and extensive trade routes. And the Bauer has used this idea to incorporate into giving back to Venice in the form of a reformation program at the local women’s prison, teaching inmates how to make perfume and bath products as a way of giving them a new start and trade skills. These one of a kind hand crafted apothecary products are used in the Bauer hotel. The glycerine soaps in particular are divine and go well with the splendor of the bathrooms, which come with both a shower and a splendid bathtub, the kind only very good hotels posses. A bathtub worth taking a long, extravagant, way too many bubbles, bubble bath type of tub. After a long day of walking the city, it really does make for a relaxing treat.

One could easily linger at the hotel very comfortably. The hotel restaurant is very good with a modern interpretation on a Venetian menu. Two very stylish bars, one a lounge that on many nights has  entertainment. The main bar offers both comfortable indoor service and an outdoor service on the terrace directly on the canal with spectacular views. It makes for a very picturesque aperitivo. Buffet breakfast is vast served every morning in the restaurant, while those staying in the Palazzo rooms overlooking the Grand Canal have the special distinction of being able to take their breakfast on the top floor which is a real treat.

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Yet what sets any hotel apart is the service and The Bauer offers some of the best. Venetians tend to get wary of the onslaught of endless tourists and visitors to their great city and sometimes that really shows in the service industry. While polite, Venetians can be cold letting you know they are barely tolerating you, even in the best of places. Not so at The Bauer where everyone is friendly and approachable. It is difficult with demanding guests yet you would not know it here. The concierges especially are happy to help with any requests from difficult to book tables at top restaurants, to Vaporetto timetables, and any information on all the goings on in the city itself. They are encyclopedias on all things about La Serenissima and will guide you on getting the most out of your Venice experiences.

In a city filled with extraordinary hotels, The Bauer really is a truly Venetian experience at its finest. It is luxury for discriminating travelers.

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Rooms: Large, spacious, and well appointed. Not all rooms offer views of the Grand Canal, but that is typical for most hotels in Venice. Some “water” views are of the smaller side canal, so be specific at time of booking as to what you want.

What is on the property: A fine dining restaurant, extensive breakfast buffet, two bars, one with a terrace on the Grand Canal with views.

Extras: Water taxi dock making arriving directly at the hotel possible. (Not all hotels have this option.) A private rooftop terrace service for those staying in the Palazzo rooms.

Please note, I paid for my own stay and my review is based on my personal experiences while staying at Bauer Il Palazzo

The Bauer S. Marco, 1459, 30124 Venezia, Italy