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Hôtel de Crillon – Paris Reopens!

July 3, 2017 @ 1:29 pm
posted by Sandra Sheridan
Paris Luxury

Set on Place Concord, Hôtel de Crillon

The renowned Hôtel de Crillon, next door to the American Embassy in Paris, has finally completed a four-year renovation! Always considered to be one of the most luxurious hotels in the world, the hotel steps forward with a classically subdued mix of 18th-Century elegance and refined, contemporary comfort – including the central air conditioning that many of us consider essential today.

Certainly the Crillon had not fallen into musty disrepair, but catering to those who likely spend the equivalent of a mortgage payment on a night’s stay requires a discerning makeover now and then.  No less than 700 people tackled this renovation at a cost undisclosed by representatives of the Saudi Prince who has owned the hotel since 2010.

paris hotels

Just one of Hotel Crillon’s signature suites

Changes range from the addition of an indoor pool looking up to a garden, more accessible dining and bar areas, intimate lobby nooks and an overall atmosphere of visiting the manor of an ever-so-well-to-do friend in the heart of Paris. I look forward to stepping through her hallowed doors, as I did over 20 years ago.  And THAT is a story worth telling!

During my first visit to Paris, my good friend demonstrated her indefatigable ‘the world is my oyster’ style – a style, I might add, that can leave me quaking! Dressed for a casual walk and a bit sodden with the Paris mist, she insisted we duck into the Crillon for a glance about and a visit to the restroom and gift shop. I balked at the thought with the feeling that such a visit would equal attending an upscale event in jeans and tennis shoes.

Quite the view from the Suite Bernstein

No, no, my friend assured me, and we entered … with her darling dog in the lead. A uniformed gentleman nodded with an appropriate smile (I think the dear man rather enjoyed seeing ‘regular people’ entering the distinguished address!) We traversed the marble foyer and descended elegant stairs to the toilette. Then, we enjoyed moments of hushed French-style conversation with the gracious attendant in the gift shop, as we looked among porcelain keepsakes, sumptuous leather goods and feather-light silk scarves. Despite my initial misgivings, the experience was delightful and the welcoming staff as hospitable as the signature service of the hotel would lead a guest to expect.

I later heard about a tourist who had the same thought to take a peek inside, perhaps a good ten years after our adventure.  As this lady approached the door, a guard at the front explained that only hotel guests could enter in order to protect the privacy of their guests.  I really don’t know if that is the case today, but I feel certain my friend would have the ‘new keys to the Crillon’.

Don’t hesitate to contact S. Sheridan with questions or specific requests!

Copyright © 2005-2017, LuxeEuro, LLC. Photo and text, all rights reserved

 

 

A Passion for Travel … and France!

June 24, 2017 @ 8:57 am
posted by Sandra Sheridan
Why travel is important

Paris laid back in September

My son surprised me with his declaration that one of the reasons he loves me  is  “… because you have such a passion for France. I wish I felt that passion for a place.”  I think many of us have felt a certain envy of those who are immersed and enriched by their love of a place, an art form, a hobby … any of those interests that brighten our lives.

I realize that travel … and France specifically … has uplifted and transformed me and allowed me to leave behind some difficult days of youth, significant losses, career responsibilities and the never-ending challenge of raising children!   With travel I could embrace a new world, entirely apart from all of that, a chance to escape the cage and fly.  I believe that captures one of the most important reasons to travel – to immerse yourself in another place that draws you into its charming circle and allows you to emerge with new appreciation for the unique world around you.

Montmartre Paris France

Dinner with a view!

I had enjoyed three trips to France, when I met my future husband in the States. After many years as a widow, I was blessed beyond imagination to find this phenomenal man who shared my love of travel. We honeymooned in Paris. We traveled for an entire summer in France. I wrote the following at the end of that lovely summer:

The calm after the tourist storm (on the road in August) is welcome. We stay again in our chosen Montmartre apartment, where Sacré-Cœur attracts legions of tourists; but the population has rapidly decreased with the end of vacations. Fewer families on the street, fewer shops closed, more locals about makes for the ‘normal’ rhythm of the city we enjoy.

I dashed ‘one more time’ to the fabric stores. How do you choose from all the incredible fabrics? I touch them. I look at their sheen in the light. The Louvre? Fantastic, but the fabrics and chocolates and people in phone booths are as interesting, though less historic.

Last night we climbed ‘the mountain’ (Montmartre) to have a simple dinner at a sidewalk café just at the base of Sacre Coeur. We enjoyed a delightful waitress with an appealingly mixed French-Italian accent.  When we walked to the steps of the cathedral, as always there was a crowd gathered, a mix of tourists living out their last night of Paris vacation and locals taking advantage of enjoying this last warmth and freedom,  before serious work and cold weather arrived.

Paris Charles de Gaulle airport

Homeward bound 

Our timing was perfect to see the Eiffel Tower perform its light show, as it does for ten minutes at the top of every hour through midnight. We will ALWAYS relish this trip, this experience. Who would ever have dreamed it possible?

So there you have but one vignette that underscores the value and enrichment of travel. Within some realistic boundaries,  set aside travel fears and budget constraints and allow yourself this freedom to discover.  Whether you choose France or Colorado or any point in between, you will be refreshed and anxious to plan your next trip.

 

Don’t hesitate to contact S. Sheridan with questions or specific requests!
Copyright © 2005-2017, LuxeEuro, LLC. Photo and text, all rights reserved

The Promise of Paris – New E-book

April 28, 2017 @ 4:04 pm
posted by Sandra Sheridan

I know, I know.  I said I would launch on Monday in honor of Labor Day in France … but I’m kind of like that kid who can’t wait to give you your present 3 days before your birthday!  And then there’s the tendency of everyone to check out Facebook on the weekend.  In any case …. here ’tis!  I welcome your feedback!

By popular request, Fired Up for France:  The Promise of Paris E-book (pdf)

is now available!

3 Things You’ll Love about This E-book:

Easy-access, helpful planning guides and resource links 

Specific accommodation, dining, sightseeing and shopping information – computer and mobile device access, printable pdf – hyperlinks to dynamic Paris resources – Paris Tourist Office, Currency conversion, museums++

Fired Up for France: The Promise of Paris

Author Sandra Sheridan

Concrete tips & authentic information – delivered with warmth & humor!

Neighborhoods, cafes, flea markets, markets and fun excursions with captivating anecdotes
and real-life experiences – even wedding ideas – fabulous photos to whet your appetite for Paris

Inspires you to set aside your fears and take action!

The author eases the angst of travel planning and ignites your hunger for Paris. Every word is designed to move you from dreaming of a Paris trip to making it a reality to cherish for a lifetime.

$6.95 Easy-access e-book – File will be e-mailed to you




Top Customer Reviews
The Promise of Paris

A super informative book!  For some years now I have been making the trip to Paris & staying at “My Little Home in Paris” in the Latin Quarter.  I came across your amazing book, while staying at the apartment …and just wanted to tell you what a super informative book it is.   Having been to so many of these places, I feel you have captured them to perfection.  Thank you again for the wonderful book on Paris.
Paris comes off the page and into the heart in this gem of a travel book
 
 After reading The Promise of Paris, I was ready to abandon tasks at hand and board a plane for France. This charming volume provides the first-time visitor, as well as the most experienced traveler to Paris, insight into off-the-tourist-beat places to eat, shop, sight-see and museum-visit. For the arm chair traveler, the intriguing photos of people, buildings and items on display in shops make owning a copy of the book worthwhile.
Erase any fears or hesitation ….Manages to erase any fears or hesitations you may have about visiting Paris – language barriers, negotiating the metro, where to eat, where to stay, etc. – and provides you with just the right amount of information needed – down-to-earth and easy to digest and embrace.  She helps you feel ‘at home’ in Paris, before your trip has begun! Most of all, she invites you to have your own experience, to discover the Paris of your dreams….Inspires you to take the plunge, make the trip, and discover for yourself the magic of Paris that keeps calling her back.
Easy to read – this book will prepare you for Paris  This book will prepare you for Paris, so that you can blend in like a long-term resident instead of a tourist. It is like a good Parisian friend meeting you for coffee at a sidewalk cafe – effortless and amusing way to brush up on the City of Lights.
Fresh and original! Just what the world needs: another Paris guidebook!  Sandra Sheridan’s book is NOT a guide book, nor does it pretend to be.  It’s fresh and original and motivates and inspires those who have always dreamed of seeing Paris but keep putting it off, or who have been meaning to return ‘one day’ … to do it!  I was struck by the honesty of the book – or should I say of its author.
Accompany the author on her frolics through Paris Through her exuberance for everything French, the author invites you to accompany her on her frolics through Paris.  Her book weaves and wanders with great delight through the narrow cobblestone streets and the grand avenues of the 20 districts that make up Paris, taking a ‘wrong’ turn and finding yourself happily lost in paradise.  Discover quiet, hidden neighborhoods close to the bustle of the city, art, architecture, artisanal crafts, monuments, museums, history, culture, cuisine, practical info and tons of ambiance, spiced with captivating anecdotes straight from the heart.

 




Paperback still available and on sale in connection with the E-book launch.
Paris France travel
Special Sale:$14.95 (+tax & $3 shipping)  Signed copy

Paperback print on demand – 128 pages – allow 10 days for shipping.

Don’t hesitate to contact S. Sheridan with questions or specific requests!

Auguste Rodin – in Paris and Meudon

April 17, 2017 @ 9:00 pm
posted by Sandra Sheridan
Auguste Rodin Museum in Paris France

Grand windows, soft light and Rodin’s masterful works

I choose a block of marble and chop off whatever I don’t need. ~ Auguste Rodin

Sculpture draws me, as if it wraps a silk scarf about my waist and tugs ever so gently, until I come into the fold. Naturally, Musée Rodin topped my initial list of things to do and see in Paris. But this museum eluded me. First visit – closed. Second visit – a minor ‘strike’. Third visit – a friend’s wallet went missing, before we ever arrived.

Finally, I was able to step into the mansion and through the gardens. The museum is housed in the magnificent 18th-century hôtel particulier known today as Hôtel Biron. Officially opened in 1919, the museum and all of Rodin’s works in plaster, marble, bronze and stone, as well as all of his drawings were given by Rodin to the French nation. What a miracle of time and preservation to be able to see the alabaster marble figures, to fathom the birth of sculpture from sketches and paintings.

And, then, to walk among the garden figures – the shy and shame-filled figures of Adam and Eve, the Gates of Hell and – bien sur! – The Thinker. My husband and I retraced my original steps during a recent visit. Time had taken no edge from the spectacular beauty of Rodin’s works, but we did notice the march of time and tourists over patched parquet floors and well-worn walls.

Paris musee rodin

Pleasant moments in the garden cafe

We were delighted to see that a 16-million Euro restoration took place from 2012 to 2015, restoring the lovely mansion, opening new visiting rooms and renewing the museography of Rodin’s collections.  One of the most exciting changes was the redesign of its interior to reveal the creative development of Rodin’s work and that of some of his contemporaries, including Camille Claudel.  Visitors now literally see can trace the works’ movement from plaster to completion in bronze or marble.  For the first time, we see the sculptor’s genius evolve.

Villa des Brillants, Auguste Rodin's home in Meudon

Villa des Brillants, Meudon

On our return to Paris, we definitely will spend a morning at this lovely museum and end our visit with lunch in the garden.  Just imagine – the wonder of visiting Rodin’s enchanting home, immersing yourself in his work, wandering through the sculpture garden and lingering over lunch like privileged guests.

Sadly, there are no more extended evening hours, but no problem.  We would not miss this precious experience.  We also look to add to our experience with  the discovery of The Villa des Brillants, Rodin’s Meudon residence and studios, where he lived with and later married Rose Beurret. They are buried here in Meudon, their tomb dominated by an imposing, full-size copy of The Thinker.

I really can’t help but compare the cost of this dual experience of museums – 13 Euros per person ($13.83) to the cost in Orlando for a movie or museum.  Incomparable – and one of the many reasons Paris spoils us!

Copyright © 2005-2017, LuxeEuro, LLC. Photo and text, all rights reserved