DAY TRIP TO SAINTE-GENEVIEVE-DES-BOIS

Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois is a little village 30 km south of Paris.

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The Russian Orthodox cemetery of Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois started in 1926 by a group of Russian immigrants who settled in  Chateau de la Cossonnerie. The property  was bought in 1927 by English heiress Dorothy Paget who set up a retirement home with Princess Vera Meshchersky for Russian immigrants.

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In 1938-1939 Albert Benois designed the Dormition Church (Église de la Dormition-de-la-Mère-de-Dieu) which serves the cemetery. The church is regarded as an important historic monument and is built in the style of Novgorod Churches of the 15th and 16th century.

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The cemetery was created to house the burials of the White Russians who arrived in Paris after the Bolshevik revolution in Russia. There are also several graves of celebrities defected / expelled from former Soviet Union.

The cemetery is the resting place for more than 10 000 Russian expats including:

  • Rudolf Nureyev (Choreographer and the greatest male ballet dancer of all times)
  • Prince Félix Yusupov (One of the men who were responsible for the death of Rasputin)
  • Grand Duke Andre Vladimirovich Romanoff (grandson of Alexander II)
  • Andre Tarkovsky (Film director)
  • Antoine Pevsner (Painter and sculptor)
  • Ivan Bunin (first Russian writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature )

Laventeli has tested for you: Radisson Blu Biarritz

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If you are a fan of roof top swimming pools, then Radisson Blu Biarritz is the place to be for you! Just few steps from the city center and the market hall, this hotel features  150 large and comfortable guest rooms. The rooms are spacious, functional and light-filled with a nice view to the city or to the sea.

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In the evening, I enjoyed a glass of wine in the hotel’s rooftop terrace bar which overlooks Biarritz and the sea beyond. It was extremely relaxing to enjoy the gorgeous view  while sitting comfortably in a couch. I also enjoyed – and loved – a morning swim in the rooftop pool. The terrace area is open from April until October.

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The hotel has two restaurants and two bars. The hotel’s generous buffet breakfast is very tasty and it includes a large choice –  cheese, ham, yogurts, fruits, sausages, fresh croissants and bread, local specialties like Gateau Basque and much more.

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Radisson Blu Biarritz has an intimate sized well being center with a possibility to book facial treatments and massages. The wellbeing center also features a sauna and a hammam. The treatments and the entrance to the well-being center is an extra charge.

The hotel has over  600 sqm of adjustable event space that can be divided up to 9 different spaces, which allows a wide range of choices for your meetings. This hotel is a good choice for even big events.

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I appreciated the cozy feeling of the hotel, and it’s very friendly staff.

I can recommend Radisson Blu Biarritz for both, leisure and business; the hotel has a great location and makes sure you feel welcomed and like at home.

Laventeli tested for you: Sofitel Biarritz Le Miramar

Are you looking for a place to rest your body and mind? Sofitel Le Miramar offers a?great menu of spa services, body treatments, beach, view to the sea and the proximity of an 18-hole golf course of Biarritz Le Phare. And all this within a short walking distance to the city center.
I had a very relaxing stay in the hotel and I warmly recommend the hotel’s thalassotherapy center for you. Friendly longtime staff members of the spa are dedicated and experienced professionals and the broad range of high quality treatments are always performed with attention to every detail. The spa has a wide range of sea water treatments, massages, body scrubs and other special treatments. The spa also features a hair salon and spa facial room. Between the treatments you can enjoy the sauna or one of the two “hammam” steam rooms.The spa also features an indoor and an outside pool. I really enjoyed the outside pool with seawater – and the spectacular sea view, while I think the indoor pool could be a bit bigger. Children are allowed in both pool areas, which might not please everyone.

 

There is a peaceful relaxation area with a sea view as well as a tea room to get the most out of your spa experience. The hotel provides a nursery for clients arriving with babies up to 8 months old. Your baby is in the safe hands of a professional nurse, while you are enjoying your relaxing treatments. Whether you are a single mom traveling solo with your child or even a group of mothers – you can stop worrying about the babysitter and take your time to relax.

You don’t have to give up your healthy holiday even when your stomach is rumbling; you can indulge without the guilt in the hotel’s two restaurants or the lounge bar, that serves local and regional food paired with healthy and light options.

Sofitel Le Miramar has great conference and meeting facilities with maximum capacity of up to 250 persons. I adored the hotel’s “Villa des Vagues” meeting room – impressively completely private with a breakout area and breath taking sea view. This meeting room is for a maximum of 20 persons which is perfect for small corporate and executive meetings. If your client is looking for something unique and different, Villa des Vagues is the perfect place to host your meeting.

The hotel has 126 rooms and 17 suites which all feature balconies with sea or city view. The Sofitel “My Bed” Concept made sure I slept better than I have in a while. The bed was extremely comfortable with excellent choice of pillows and luxury blankets to suit most anyone’s needs. The rooms were rather basic style, for a five star hotel, not especially large, yet very comfortable with balcony and nice view. However the hotel’s four suites were all exquisite, all featuring large sea view terraces that meet all the requirements of your high end clients.

The breakfast can be enjoyed while the pool or sea view. The buffet breakfast features a large choice of delicious, healthy, fresh foods and also delicious “not-so-healthy” sinful options. The service was remarkably friendly and attentive. There is a wide choice of ready-cut fruits, freshly baked pastries and croissants, dried fruits and nuts, freshly baked bread, sausage, eggs, yogurts, muesli, and local, basque style cheese and much more, to kick start your day.

Sofitel Le Miramar has a Planet 21 label for its environmental engagement and actions. I warmly recommend the hotel for meetings or thalassotherapy stay.

Plage Beau Rivage – beach restaurant in NICE, French Riviera

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Enjoy drinks and delicious food by the beach in breath-taking seaviews in Nice.             Sounds quite perfect? We had a fresh cocktail and a tasty lunch – and we warmly suggest you to do the same!

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Plage Beau Rivage is one of the best beach restaurants in Nice with relaxed atmosphere. The seaview and delicious menus attract people all year round. Plage Beau Rivage has capacity for 550 people for sit-down meals and if one fancies a cocktail-event, the capacity for standing cocktails is over 1 000 people. This little paradise is located perfectly by the beach on the Promenade des Anglais.

The menu provides Mediterranean-inspired food and a great list of wines and cocktails. Restaurant is known for its fresh products and nicely set dishes, which one can enjoy in any time of the day. The restaurant offers something for every taste, whether you desire tapas at the beach or dinner at sundown. There are different menus for the restaurant, the lounge-area and the beach.

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Plage Beau Rivage also has a private beach, providing up to 300 sun beds and a peaceful environment for perfect, enjoyable day in the sun. During high-season you can either enjoy the calmness in Zen-area, or spend the day in Trendy-area, where the DJ is playing and the atmosphere is one-of-a-kind.

 If one is in need of true relaxation, there is also a wellness area where professionals offer body care services and advice.

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Biarritz

Queen of resorts and resort of the kings

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Fancy surfing and spa, French food and relaxed atmosphere, while the smell of ocean flowing in the air?

On the Atlantic coast, close to the border of Spain, lies a beautiful town called Biarritz; a surfer’s paradise with relaxing atmosphere and great fitness-possibilities. This town is a mix of luxury and easy-going surf culture and has also been in favour of the royalties and that is why this beautiful former small city is today one of the trendiest spa and holiday destinations. All packed in the same resort; truly a perfect place to spend a memorable Holiday!

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What to do?

Golfing experience in the Basque country

Biarritz has great golf possibilities with 8 golf courses in the town. Biarritz “le Phare” golf-course was opened in 1888 and is nowadays well known around the world and it organizes many international competitions. The golf-course is situated perfectly right next to the town centre where one can see Atlantic ocean on one side and the mountain backdrop.

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 Surfing and the beaches

Biarritz is called the European Mecca for surfing with 6 km coastline, 6 beaches to choose from and because of its history. Biarritz is known to be the birthplace of surfing in Europe and today it is one of the top spots in the world for amateurs and professionals to enjoy the waves. For beginners there are also a number of surfing schools in the area.

There are many  beaches in the town to choose from;  three of them are surfing  paradices, Plage Milady is better for families with children and Plage Port Vieux  is a perfect little cove beach for sunbathing. The most popular one is Le Grande Plage – Grande Plage beach, which is in between the famous Casino on the seafront and Hotel du Palais. This is the beach which most often is shown in the pictures of Biarritz and with a good reason – it has everything one can wish for a perfect day with beach clubs, cafes and restaurants and the most important; the huge waves that roll in from the Atlantic Ocean.

Thalassotherapy

For decades, Biarritz has been famous for its healing maritime climate and sea water, therefore there are many thalasso-therapy centers in town, where people can enjoy different treatments and fully relax while the seawater and seaweed are doing their magic. There are three Thalassotherapy centres and each of them offers customised treatment and therapy to meet your needs.

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Ride a historic narrow-gauge train

Jump on to a small wooden train and let it take you to a height of 905 meters where the view is breathtaking. Above the small villages and forests you can even see Pyrenees Mountains and the valleys of French and Spanish Basque country. The train leaves from Saint-Jean-de-Luz, which is a short drive away from Biarritz.

Visit Bayonne and make a daytrip to San Sebastian

While on holiday in Biarritz, there is a great possibility to experience also the other beautiful destinations nearby. For example right above Biarritz there is Bayonne, one of the most attractive towns in southwest France and less than an hour drive away lies the Spanish city San Sebastian.

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Rocher de la Vierge (Virgin of the Rock)

A bridge made by Gustave Eiffel, leads to a rock in the middle of the sea and in the end stands a white statue, Virgin of the Rock. The view and the experience are truly memorable, when standing in the end when the waves are hitting the rocks around you and on a clear day one can actually see the mountains of Spain.

Laventeli has tested for you : Hotel Idol Paris

Paris – Near department stores and Opera- 4 stars boutique hotel with unique setting – Groovy spot of calm and relaxation
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I was given – with a smile –  a key card for my suite named Feeling Good. It turned out that  “feeling good” was exactly how I felt about my stay from the very beginning to the end. The hotel staff was very friendly, helpful and made me feel right at home.

The rooms are visually stunning and sumptuously designed. If you are enthusiastic about interior design, you will fall in love with this charming hotel! Each room is unique and has got that “special little something ” about it. The words fail to describe this  hotel that has smartly balanced high quality, tasteful style and simply out of this world design! Hotel has been completely redone in 2014.

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My room that was on the 6th floor of the building was a peaceful oasis of calm, where I just felt relaxed -even though top technology was readily available ( I could have connected my own cellphone to my room’s sound system and so much more). Later in the evening I heated up my very own private “hammam” – steam room –  which was very pleasant experience… and sooooo relaxing!  The “Nuxe” bath & shower products that came with the room were a perfect match to the luxury of having a private steam room in my suite.

After a good night’s sleep in my very comfortable bed, it was time to head for breakfast, which was simply delicious; freshly-baked bread and croissants (from a trusted local bakery), pancakes, locally produced cheese, fruits, yogurts, eggs, sausages, pastries, dry fruits, cold cuts – vast choice in a perfect small buffet. During warm weather, it’s possible to enjoy your breakfast at hotel’s cozy patio.

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The hotel has 32 amazing design-rooms. It’s also possible to privatize the whole hotel for your group!

For your “groovy” family clients:  many of the rooms fit a bed for a child  – such as the Suite Jungle Fever ! For couples in love :  My Cherie Amour Suite ( with rose petals of course )!  For those who love  hammam : Feeling Good Suite ! And this is what is truly wonderful in this hotel: you really have a room for every taste, style and every age group. Even though the hotel’s brand is groovy, the hotel is also classy and it appeals to different types of clients. A few rooms with a cute small balcony also available !

32 rooms – meeting room for up to 12 persons – room service – patio – thematic musical evenings – peaceful rooms – unique decoration – friendly service –  tasteful breakfast – good location near department stores  – Nespresso machine in each room – Nuxe products –  WiFi – Hifi Bluetooth Elipson  – and so much more !

Very warmly recommended by Laventeli 

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Petite Maison de Couture Anna Ruohonen

 

Take a peek into the fashionhouse

Are you interested in fashion and architecture? Would you like to see what a life of a designer contains? Come with us and explore the fashioncreations in the making in exquisite frames. A five story triangle shape fashionhouse serves plenty of inspiration and reasons to wonder.

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Anna Ruohonen is one of the best internationally known finnish designers, who has a long and all-round history in fashion. The fashionhouse of Anna Ruohonen won an award as the best clothingstore in Paris in 2014 and was chosen into the highly respected Louis Vuitton travel guide along with other top brands in the world. The designer’s creations are simple and classy in Scandinavian style and the clothes are custom made.

 

 

 

 

  1. Fashion and some champagne

The visit contains a tour in the five story fashionhouse. In the first floor lies the showroom. On the second and third floor you get to see the magic happen – the cutting and sewing. The designer’s office is located on the fourth floor and from the top floor you can find the kitchen and the lounge. Above all this is a small roofterrace, where in the end of the visit we enjoy a champagne service if the weather allows.

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  1. A tour with a private fashionshow and champagne

The visit contains a tour in every five floors of the fashionhouse and as a specialty a unique fashionshow particularly tailored for you. The whole house will be closed from the public so your party may enjoy of this exquisite happening with models and beautiful clothes in perfect peace.

During the tour you will see the showroom which is located on the first floor. On the second and third floors you can watch the cutting of the fabrics and learn the secrets of sewing. The fourth floor is dedicated to the designer’s office and on the top floor lies the kitchen and the lounge. The visit ends to the small roofterrace, where we shall enjoy some champagne if the weather allows.

 

4 GOOD REASONS TO START THE YEAR 2016 IN FRANCE

PRIX D’AMERIQUE 2016

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Considered the world’s most prestigious harness race, the Prix d’Amérique occurs annually in January at the Vincennes Hippodrome in Paris, brightening the winter with its crowds and general ambience of festivity.

It was started in 1920 as a way for the French to thank America for its assistance during World War I. In addition to the 18 driver/horse teams, a spectacular parade of more than 150 performers also graces the race track, making for an elite and simultaneously convivial event. Placing a bet on the world’s best harness race adds another dimension to your visit.

January 31st 2016. Hippodrome de Vincannes (2 route de la Ferme – 75012 Paris)

WINTER SALES

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Apart from art and architecture Paris is also famous for its incredibly fabulous sales, that can reach as high as -75% towards the end of the sales season. The city will be pasted over with colourful “Soldes”-signs. A month and a bit more of incredible savings!

The 2016 Winter sales in Paris begin on Wednesday 6th January 2016 and end on Tuesday 16th February 2016.

LOUIS VUITTON EXHIBITION AT GRAND PALAIS

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Titled “Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton,” the showcase is to trace the brand’s journey from historic trunk-maker, founded in 1854, to the modern luxury giant it has become.

Spread across nine rooms of the palace’s Salon d’Honneur, with set design by Robert Carsen, the exhibition is to cover classic and eccentric trunks, the evolution of travel, craftsmanship and Vuitton’s modern guise, spanning ready-to-wear and luggage for modern celebrities.

December 4th 2015 – February 21st 2016. Grand Palais (3 Avenue du Général Eisenhower – 75008 Paris)

PROM CLASSIC IN NICE

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The French have had their first run of the new year on the ‘Promenade des Anglais’ in Nice on the French Riviera. It has grown and now has a field approaching 8,000 each year. There is a great party atmosphere here with many runners in fancy dress.

Sunday 10th January 2016

Laventeli tested for you : Hotel La Perouse – Nice French Riviera

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We had a small business meeting in La Perouse and in 2 days time we could test pretty many hotel services for you. We think Hotel La Perouse is a perfect choice for clients who appreciate French charm and discrete luxury.

Our rooms were quiet.  All rooms were nicely decorated with French touch.  Upper floor rooms have sea view, but the garden view is very relaxing as well. Even the “worst” room category facing the rock wall of  “Colline du Château”  is somehow very original – and even beautiful.

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Buffet breakfast was not as big as it is in the ‘big hotels’ but everything was tasty and fresh : eggs, sausages, fruit, freshly squeezed juice, yogurt, bread, croissants, french cheese and cold cuts etc. The kitchen is very good at La Perouse – you can have lunch or dinner at garden or inside restaurant.
Cosy garden with lemon trees was a  great place to organise our small meeting – on comfortable sofas, in very inspiring surroundings. For bigger groups, there is a  meeting room up to  40 persons.
Large roof  sun terrace with breathtaking sea view  was perfect  for our brainstorming.
Amazing sauna  –  a bit small  but very good quality – perfect for 3-4 persons at a time. We appreciated the direct view and access  to the outdoor swimming pool next to sauna.
Heated jacuzzi on the top floor terrace was very relaxing  after the meeting – and ideal place for brainstorming!

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The old city and beach are only couple of minutes walk away – hotel has a great location.
Very friendly staff – always ready to help  with smile. We had a bit rainy day when we left the hotel – no problem, the staff walked us with La Perouse umbrellas until the taxi.  Merci !
SIMPLY – we loved it and can recommend it to anyone who looks for charming stay in southern France !