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France

Europe Reviews

5 Best French Châteaux to Visit in the Loire Valley

You haven’t truly experienced France unless you’ve been Châteaux hopping. We spent two days exploring some of the best Chateaux in France departing from the heart of Paris. Here are some of the most beautiful chateaux we saw on our adventure:

1. Château de Chenonceau
Located right outside the city of Tours, Château de Chenonceau was one of the most picturesque castles we visited and one of the most famous Loire Valley castles. We highly recommend visiting this chateau at sunrise as the grounds and the surrounding waters are incredible peaceful and moving. Hot air balloon rides are also available for a bird’s eye view.

2. Château de Cheverny
This 17th century decadent castle is truly royal and  the interior designs are spectacular and well worth touring the inside.

3. Chambord
Built by François I in the 16th century and the largest of the Chateaux in the Loire Valley, Chambord is famous for its double-helix staircase in the center and large terrace offering stunning panoramic views of Chambord park.

4. Château de Villandry
The peaceful gardens and grounds of Villandry were my favorite. Incredibly romantic, you can get lost in the maze for hours.

5. Château d’Amboise
Located in the town of Amboise, Château d’Amboise, a UNESCO world heritage site is as charming and grand as the town with superb gardens and stunning views of the Loire Valley.

6. Clos Lucé
Just a 10-minute walk from the Château d’Amboise, Clos Lucé  was the residence of Leonardo da Vinci where he spent the last three years of his life.

 

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.

 

Europe Hotels Luxury Reviews

Hotels We Love: Le Meurice Paris

It’s not everyday that you walk into a hotel and you feel like you’ve just walked into a fairy tale but the iconic and historic Le Meurice Paris surely has that effect on its guests. As the first Parisian Palace, Le Meurice is truly one of the world’s most beautiful hotels. You know they’re doing something right if Salvador Dali and Alain Ducasse were once regulars here. I had the opportunity to stay at the two Dorchester Collection sister hotels in Paris, Le Meurice and Hôtel Plaze Athénée and both offered two very different but equally beautiful experiences.

With the Tuileries Garden and views of the Eiffel Tower as your front yard, the Louvre to your left and Place Vendome to your right, there is no better location to stay in Paris for those who like to stay centrally located.

The public spaces are glamorous and are every corner is a work of art with a balance of classic and modern touches thanks to the redesign by Philippe Starck.

Junior Suite
Seeing my room for the first time was when that surreal feeling set in. The gorgeous Junior Suite had princess spelled all over it! With pink and gold touches, an expansive living room, a ton of closet space and a floor to ceiling marble bathroom.

Le Meurice Alain Ducasse
Magnificent is the perfect word to describe the setting at the Le Meurice Alain Ducasse restaurant. Modern touches such as Eero Saarinen Tulip chairs and funky mirrors add flair to the classic space. I only got to experience brunch here (which was absolutely delicious paired with flawless service) but I can’t imagine how memorable a dinner experience would be here.

Le Dali
With inspiration by Dali himself and touches by Philippe Starck as well as a cameo by his daughter, Ara Starck, this dining room is sure to make your jaw drop.

Bar 228
Dimmed lights, cozy interior and high ceilings, this classic bar is the perfect place for evening drinks and/or a night cap.

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. I was invited as guest by the Dorchester Collection. As always, all opinions are my own.

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Europe Hotels Luxury Reviews

Hotels We Love: Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée in Nice, France

A stay at the Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée transports you right back to the hotel’s glamorous past with just one glimpse of its art deco facade. After a very long airport delay, we strolled into the hotel around 2am but immediately felt right at home with the warm greeting we received upon check in. The 5 star hotel is ideally located on the gorgeous Promenade des Anglais in the heart of Nice.

The hotel features 187 rooms and they each boast stunning sea or mountain views. I loved how clean, modern and cozy our room was with a balcony overlooking the sea.

One of my favorite aspects of the hotel was the hotel’s restaurant, Le 3e located next to the pool with an open air, front and center view of the gorgeous Mediterranean sea. Incredible dishes crafted by Chef Cyril Cheype were delicious and the service was impeccable. The perfect place to experience the delicious Nicoise cuisine.

Additional features:
– Indoor and outdoor pool heated all year round
– Modern gym
– Sauna and Turkish bath
– A private partner beach near the hotel: ask for special conditions at the Concierge
– Free WiFi

Nearby things to do in Nice:

Grab a seat and relax at the beach


Photo collab with Fanny of @peacefulmonkey

Take in the beautiful views from Castle Hill

Visit the local antique market, Cours Saleya

#nastasiainfrance

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.

I was invited as guest by Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée, Nice Tourism and Côte d’Azur France. As always, all opinions are my own.

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Airlines Europe Food Hotels Luxury

An Art Themed Guide to Paris

Earlier this month we embarked on an art themed Parisian adventure in partnership with La Compagine Boutique Airline and Le Royal Monceau hotel, where we got to experience the first flying art gallery by Brooklyn based artist, Kevin Lyons!

The concept was just as innovative as La Compagnie itself, a boutique and affordable all-business class airline offering one main route from Paris to Newark and back again. At times, the cost is just about as equal to economy flights to Europe on major airlines… but with way more perks such as lounge access, a swift check in and boarding process (total boarding time took about 15 minutes since there were as little as 70 people on board), comfortable lay down seats, friendly service and excellent French cuisine!

Additionally, La Compagnie is always thinking of unique ways to keep their guests entertained. This time around, in the collaboration with Kevin Lyons where he was be onboard to meet and greet passengers.

He also signed the drawings that were offered in a magazine that featured the sketches on the windows! It’s safe to say that time went by fast.

Hotels We Love: Le Royal Monceau

After landing, we checked into the uber chic Le Royal Monceau – which has to be one of the most unique hotels we’ve experienced in Paris.

Built in 1928, the hotel underwent complete renovation in 2010 with the help of legendary Philippe Starck, making every inch of the hotel a work of art.




Ideally located down the street from le Arc de Triomphe, the hotel offers a gorgeous Clarins spa, a 1 Michelin star restaurant, Il Carpaccio, a sushi restaurant, Matsuhisa by Chef Nobu, a cinema room, bar, smoke lounge, an art gallery with a private art concierge and a gorgeous book store. With all of these unique spaces, you won’t want to leave the hotel!

Junior Suite

This suite was like sleeping in an art gallery! The whole set up of the room is unique with the bed in the middle, dual hidden televisions behind the mirrors, and a bathroom covered from top to bottom with mirrors. Straight out of an artist’s dream!


Art Concierge

Le Royal Monceau is also the first hotel to offer specialized art concierge services led by art guru, Julie Eugene. Every week, the art concierge prepares a special schedule of various art events especially for guests staying at the hotel.

And if you don’t feel like going far, you can enjoy an art tour of the hotel itself with the art concierge as it has its own art gallery featuring various exhibits. We got to see their recent photography exhibit, “Icons.”

Our art filled trip began with a private tour of the Grand Palais with Julie to enjoy the “Jardins” Exhibit, which was equally inspiring and beautiful.

Art Galleries Not To Miss In Paris:

Picasso Museum

The museum was open to the public in 2014 and the building itself is art. Stunning staircases and gorgeous views of the Marais district are seen from every window. “Olga Picasso’ was the exhibition we toured… and it was simply beautiful. The love was felt between the two through every painting, drawing and photograph.




Perrotin

My favorite exhibit was The Wrinkles of the City: Istanbul by artist JR. It was incredibly moving to see such massive portrait photographs in person and to observe all of the details in each.

Thaddaeus Ropac Gallery In Pantin

This is a very special gallery located in the outskirts of the city, allowing for more grounds for the sprawling space. I was especially inspired by the light filled rooms which shining on the beautiful artwork.

Zimoun at Le Centquatre

I absolutely LOVED this place. I felt like I had just walked a movie set. Seeing all of  urban artists flourishing in this creative environment where they could spend hours on end perfecting their craft was so inspiring.

Private Visit Of The Studio Of French Artist Baptiste Debombourg

We had the opportunity to visit the studio of French artist, Baptiste Debombourg, who creates various impressive works such as this piece made entirely of staples. I highly recommend Googling him to check out his many other mind blowing masterpieces, some of which are massive sculptures made of glass. An impressive artist with a heart for humanity, I can definitely appreciate that.

Xippas in the Marais Lunch / Drinks:

  • Il Carpaccio – Le Royal Monceau
  • Biglove Caffe

Dinner

  • Les Cocottes located in the Sofitel Arc de Triomphe by Chef Christian Constant.
  • Clover Grill this restaurant quickly became one of my favorite restaurants in Paris with its cozy yet interior (perfect for drinks and dinner with friends or even a date), incredible meats and their Provence lavender cocktail was delicious!

#nastasiainparis

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.

I was invited as guest by La Compagine Boutique Airline and Le Royal Monceau. As always, all opinions are my own.

 

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Europe Hotels Reviews

Hotels We Love: Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris

The moment I walked into Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris, I felt as if I had just walked into the most perfect Parisian fairy tale. The luxurious and elegant atmosphere is just as perfect as its location, just steps away from the famous Champs-Elysées. Built in 1928, the hotel offers 244 luxury hotel guest rooms and three incredible restaurants, Le Cinq, Le George and L’Orangerie, making it one of the most iconic hotels in Paris.


The Four Seasons Paris is a stand out hotel for many reasons but one of the greatest reasons is due to the fresh floral designs by Four Seasons Hotel George V Artistic Director Jeff Leatham that fill the hotel year round. Roaming around the hotel lobby and its hallways, you get the feeling that your walking through a botanical garden.

From check in to check out, the staff at Four Seasons George V go out of their way to make your stay as memorable and comfortable as possible.


Le Galerie Lounge
19th-century furniture and art pieces surround guests in this lounge located in the heart of the hotel. Complete with a pianist, who plays every day from 3:00 pm, making La Galerie the ultimate meeting place.

Deluxe Room
I had the pleasure of staying in the Deluxe Room which is the largest standard guest rooms in Paris and it is absolutely perfect, complete with stunning views of Tour Eiffel from both of my windows. More than just a standard hotel room, the Deluxe made me feel as if I were staying in a Parisian apartment.




If breakfast is included in your rate, you can opt to have it delivered to your room or enjoy the experience in the L’Orangerie restaurant.
Suites

The Penthouse Suite
This suite has one of the most stunning terrace views I’ve ever seen and the room itself is exquisite with a light and airy feel to it thanks the natural light from the windows that surround the room.


Photo of me captured by talented Parisian photographer Marc Nouss

Credit: Courtesy Four Seasons Hotels and Resort

Credit: Courtesy Four Seasons Hotels and Resort

Royal Suite
This suite is home to one of my favorite bath tubs. Just look at how grand the marble is! The amazing marble and Baccarat crystal bathrooms offer a rain shower and a Turkish bath. I also loved the classic Parisian terrace and beautiful contemporary artworks spread throughout this suite.


Dining

L’Orangerie
L’Orangerie is where you can opt to have breakfast instead of in room dining. The spread was absolutely gorgeous and the room is light and airy with exquisite mother of pearl tile throughout.

Le Cinq
The three-Michelin-star Le Cinq is an exquisite classic French culinary experience.

Le George
Lunch at Le George was perfection, I absolutely loved my experience here so much that I ended up staying here for about 2 hours! The most beautiful pink orchids line the windows with a view of the perfect courtyard from the conservatory of Le George. The dining room itself is also perfection with soft gray and creme tones oozing with Parisian elegance. I had the pleasure of meeting Le George’s amazing Italian chef, Simone Zanoni and even got to learn how to make pasta from scratch!

 

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.

I was invited to experience Four Seasons Paris as guest. As always, all opinions are my own.

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