What’s up Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte?

Even though the château of Vaux-le-Vicomte – that’s notorious for getting the Sun King enraged with jealousy – is closed for its annual beauty-sleep, it’ll open again on the 25th of March 2017 and it stays open until 07th of January ( except closed from 06th until 24th of November). And take a look just few of the Château’s many activities this year!

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Candlelit evening and fireworks

Special candlelit evenings are organized on every Saturday from 06th of May until 07th of October 2017. The visitors rediscover the magnificent 17th century château in charming light of the 2000 candles lit for the occasion, and enjoy the fireworks in the end of the evening.

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Easter in a Château for kids ( …and adults too!)

This castle does celebrate Easter from Saturday 15th to Monday 17th of April 2017.  There are activities such as art exposition about eggs, engraving workshop for kids and what’s best –an Easter egg hunt for kids of all ages. …Don’t worry adults; there is also a treasure hunt for grown-ups and children together that you can participate!

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Baroque luncheon on the Grass

Château organizes a Sunday lunch on the 11th of June 2017 – just slip on your favorite Baroque era costume for this Sun King Louis XIV-era dress-up for whole family. The lunch is enjoyed – where else but – on the grass, like any self-respecting 17th century noble should! If you are overwhelmed by the abundance of the baroque era costumes in your closet and do not what to choose to wear, no worries, you can also rent it from the spot.

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Vaux-le-Vicomte goes to movies !

Did you know that Vaux-le-Vicomte has been featured in several blockbuster movies such as 007 – Moonraker, Man in the Iron Mask ( with Leonardo DiCaprio and John Malkovich) and Sofia Coppola’s Marie-Antoinette, just to mention few? Discover the scenes and the techniques used by the filmmakers on the Chateau’s special exposition from 16 September until 05th of November 2017.

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Christmas lights by Vaux-le-Vicomte

The castle and its garden are dressed in enchanting Christmas illuminations and decorations to take your breath away. Each room of the castle is revived with splendid Christmas decoration, lights, deliciously decorated tables and fireplaces. The château’s façade is lit on the night fall alongside with the garden’s trademark trimmed hedges. From 25th November until 24th of December 2017 every weekend and every day from 02nd until 07th of January 2018.

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Happy Valentine’s Day from Laventeli

Frenchmen Phileas Le Cléateur is a great romantic at heart and he is on a mission to rescue the love locks of the Parisian the Pont des Arts-bridge and return them to their owners.

In May 2010 the city of Paris expressed concern over the growing number of love-locks on the Pont des Arts-bridge as the love locks were adding a dangerous weight on the footbridge. In May 2014, the weight of the padlocks resulted in a partial collapsing of the bridge, and the city asked the public to stop placing locks on the Parisian bridge. One year later, in June 2015, the local authorities cut off more than million love locks of the bridge, padlocks weighting over 45 tons.

Le Cléateur had the time to rescue just 800 love locks using old keys. He posted them on social media in the hope the couples will reclaim them. In the end of January he came across one lock that might be a bit more presidential than any of the other locks…

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Did the presidential couple sneak out to the bridge to attach a love lock on their 2009 or 2015 trip to Paris? We might never know, as there are only two people in the whole world who can answer that question, and they might not want to share that information with us, no matter how romantic the answer might be.

Paris Is the Go-To Destination for a romantic weekend getaway and Laventeli is here to help you with all the travel arrangements and make your travel dreams come true!

Laventeli has tested for you: Hotel Square Louvois Paris 4****

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Would you like to have a swim in candle light and just enjoy the silence…. have a cup of tea afterwards and just relax ? It is possible at Hotel Square Louvois, lovely boutique hotel in the center of Paris, a few steps from Opera. Lovely style, everything is chic and cosy at the same time. The service is kind and caring, very friendly staff. This brand new hotel has opened only 6 months ago. Hotel Square Louvois is a hotel that makes me feel like at home.

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This four star hotel is located  in the heart of the 2nd district of Paris, within walking distance  to the Opera Garnier and the big department stores as well as the Louvre art museum. Square Louvois is nestled in an elegant 19th century Haussmanian building fusing traditional Parisian chic with contemporary style with a pinch of Art Deco in the many details of this prestigious hotel. The hotel’s 50 cosy yet charming rooms feature parquet flooring, complimentary WiFi, mini bar, Nespresso machine, HD television and a beautiful bathroom with bathrobes and slippers. The hotel also has larger sized family rooms for clients travelling with kids.

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The hotel’s wellness area features exceptionally charming small indoor pool with a hydromassage bench and a small gym. Beauty treatments and massages are organized in the privacy of guest rooms for an extra fee, leaving you feeling pampered and relaxed.  I must say that  after a long  day out in Paris  there is nothing better than to jump into this warm pool and just let your mind and feet relax.  The atmosphere is very unique. After taking a swim I stayed quite a while at the relaxing area, just sipping my cup of tea and listening to music. Full 10 points for this moment.

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For business clients, hotel’s business corner is open all day long and the charming meeting room is perfect for small meetings up to 15 persons. The meeting room has a feel of a “library room” to it, with its cozy and elegant decoration, very convenient place to have a small meeting.

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The front desk is open 24/7 and the hotel has concierge services, a luggage room and a breakfast room. The breakfast is a small but stylish buffet with various delicious things – salmon, cold cuts, cheese, yogurt, fruit, and much more. The atmosphere is calm and private and all food very tasty, fresh and of high quality.

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Between 4pm and 6pm the hotel provides it’s guests an afternoon tea free of charge, a welcome break to calm down the sweet tooth, and savor gourmet teas and hot chocolate.

Close to Opera Garnier & Louvre – 4 stars design hotel – 50 elegant rooms – Cozy Meeting room for 15 persons –  Friendly staff – Stylish Buffet breakfast – and so much more !

I highly recommend Hotel Square Louvois for guests who appreciate chic and cozy decoration, great location, friendly service, unique and private atmosphere in a hotel, and a swim at candle light after “hard day” out in Paris !

FESTIVAL LES BOREALES

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November 17-27.2016

Since a quarter of a century, the region of Basse-Normandie has celebrated every autumn its distant Nordic cousins (the five Nordic countries, Baltic countries, Greenland and Faroe Islands), with which it has an important common heritage.

This year Finland and Estonia are in the spotlight. This 25th edition of the Boréales will take place from the 18th to the 27th of November 2016.

This edition will be the first one to be celebrated as a reunified Normandy. Like every year, various events will be organized in partnership with the cultural institutions of Caen.

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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.