Those who love to be at sea on a
luxury cruise ship will enjoy the ambiance of
this new and dramatic hotel. The structure is elliptical like an ocean liner and
even the brochure says, "Welcome Aboard." Since they are meant for short
stays, airport accommodations are mostly very ordinary. The Hotel Charles de Gaulle,
with its strong architecture and user-friendly interior, decorated predominantly
in a cheerful shade of blue, breaks the mold. This delightful and comfortable place
in which to overnight or rest for several hours c
ompares favorably with other well-designed
and well-serviced European hôtelleries. "Because the location is
exceptional," said designer, Andrée Putman, "I used unexpected details
to create amiable surroundings."
|Hotel Charles de Gaulle, Roissy, Charles de Gaulle Airport,
Paris (credit: Edwin Fancher)
Windows are double-pained and completely sound-proof. You experience the airport
by watching the take-offs and landings through the glass and by entering and exiting
the hotel from the terminal. The ultra-sleek bathrooms have separate tubs and shower
Mirrors built into the counters and electric pants pressers are just a few
of the in-room facilities. All the guest accommodations on the four floors are the
same size and surround a central atrium. However, the club and executive levels provide
Meticulous attention is paid to the needs of the passenger-in-transit. Traveler-survival
kits include useful stopover items. The hotel also offers luggage storage, flight
monitors in the lobby, reconfirmation of flights by the concierge, express laundry/dry
cleaning, meeting rooms, saunas, a fitness center and relaxing massage chairs built
to help combat the "travel blues."
As part of their recent airport hotels program, ITT Sheraton now serves innovative
anti-jet lag Body
Clock Cuisine. It is also available at Sheraton airport hotels
in Brussels, Frankfurt, Heathrow in London and Luxembourg and was conceived to help
fliers adjust to new time zones and to overcome jet lag. Nutritionists and chefs
created 14 menus with six
of them, including breakfast, lunch and dinner, available
at any given time. Arrival times and in-flight meal patterns from all continents
were considered in creating the tasty dishes such as smokey garden salad and poached
pears with goat cheese and candied pine nuts.
The hotel has a spacious bar, Le Galaxie, and two fine restaurants, Les
Etoiles, serving gourmet food, and Les Saisons, a brasserie.
Hotel Charles de Gaulle, Aérogare Charles de Gaulle 2, B. P. 300
51 - 95716
Roissy Aérogare. Tel. 33 (1) 49 19 70 70, central reservations 800-325-3535.
Room rates start at $155.00. The hotel is located above the TGV terminal with links
to London, Amsterdam, Brussels and the North and South of France. Express trains
on the RER arrive in downtown Paris in 30 minutes.
What makes a hotel special? Service? Decor? Or a combination of details, some
of which almost go unnoticed, but somehow make the traveler
feel at home and comfortable?
With 168 rooms the Prince de Galles seems smaller than it really is, perhaps because
the public spaces are beautifully done in a majestic, yet understated way. A 1993-94
renovation restored this caravansary to its 1920s
grandeur. The attractive lobby
features oak wall paneling, a beige stone and marble floor, dark green "sit
on me" sofas and a petit point carpet.
The Regency Bar where cocktails, lunch, tea and supper are served opens
onto the lob
by. It has a clubby English atmosphere– the walls are lined with prints–
and is furnished with dark red leather armchairs, mahogany tables, paisley design
crockery and a deep-hued carpet.
|The Patio, Prince de Galles, Paris
In the high-ceilinged Jardin des Cynges restaurant good taste reigns and
you feel as though you could be anyplace on the
continent. The dining room is crowned
with a painted ceiling of a trompe l'oeil sky and extends into a lovely, beautifully
landscaped patio with mosaics on the walls.
Guest rooms are charming. Only one pattern is used, the classic "Toile de
Jouy" with its French provincial motif in blue and white or yellow and white.
Bathrooms are mostly marble. Some suites on the upper floors have large terraces
overlooking the courtyard.
We enjoyed two outstanding meals in the Jardin des Cynges.
Dinner began with Petrossian
caviar and a light cream sauce on a large blini, accompanied by vodka served in thin
flutes. A whole small lobster removed from its shell was napped with sauternes sauce
and ginger-flavored diced vegetables. Calvados granite cleansed the palate.
The entree was a small filet of juicy veal with seasoned mashed potatoes, toasted
and served like meringues. Dessert of fruits, chocolate "aveline", cookies
and petit fours ended this banquet. Sunday brunch here is a Parisian tradition. The
table overflowed with breads, cereals, eggs, smoked salmon and other fish, meats,
10 hot dishes, fruits, pastries, cheeses and wine.
Stephen Alden, general manager, said, "We are a constantly evolving hotel.
We keep guest
request profiles. The entire staff can access the information and on
subsequent visits our clientele gets exactly what they want."
And about those details that practically go unnoticed, we did observe that the
bucket for chilling the vodka was
carved out of ice. What service!
Prince de Galles, 33, Avenue George V, 75008. Tel (1) 47 23 55 11., is a member
of the ITT Sheraton Luxury Collection, 800-325-3589. Rates start at $295.
The one- (70 francs), two- (140 francs) or five- (200 francs) consecutive days
museum pass admits visitors to more than 65 museums and monuments in Paris and the
environs. Available for purchase at participating museums, major metro stations,
tional Tourist Bureau and selected railroad stations, it permits immediate
entrance, unlimited visits and offers good value. A brochure distributed with the
pass lists the hours, addresses, telephone numbers and metro stop of each entry and
includes a short description of the displays.
Under the Arcades is an outdoor art show that runs from mid-May through mid- September
from and from noon until 7 p.m. Artists exhibit their paintings beneath the arched
passageways that su
rround the Place des Vosges in the center of the Marais
Paris, as everyone knows, is expensive and more often is just for browsing rather
than buying. However, we found two clothing stores that are worth vi
of their low prices.
La Rosa Rossa sells deeply discounted Italian fashion for men and women
and has an excellent selection of apparel by byblos.
Kesako, which sells French fashion for women at a reasonab le cost,
is consolidating its two outlets. Phone before visiting.
La Rosa Rossa, 45, rue des Francs Bourgeois, 75004. Tel. 48 04 54 68. Open
seven days a week from 11 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.
Kesako, 36, rue de Passy, 75016. Tel. 42 88 09 98. Open daily.