ringing in julia’s 100th with a berry tart from oléron

August 23rd, 2012

At AMPR, we’re lucky to work a stone’s throw away from the Union Square Greenmarket. With August’s cornucopia of locally grown produce, it’s hard to shake that “so-many-recipes-so-little-time” feeling while meandering through the various stalls. But fruit-wise, delicate berries from the Hudson Valley – in our opinion – always steal the show.

Fruit tarts are a common sight in France, a country that’s home to a number of exciting properties represented by AMPR. Last week would have been Julia Child’s 100th birthday, and we’re celebrating her legacy of French cooking with a classic tart native to windswept Oléron, a scenic island off France’s Atlantic coast. The recipe is featured in Ruth Reichl’s book Tender at the Bone (a joy to read, by the way!) preceded by a few descriptive lines that had us chomping at the bit to get our hands in the flour:

Danielle took her finger out of her mouth and took a bite. I watched her. She took another. And another. I took a bite myself.

It was magnificent. The fruit was intoxicatingly fragrant and each berry released its juice only in the mouth, where it met the sweet, crumbly crust. “Why is this so much better than other tarts?” I asked.

Madame Deveau looked at me with something like interest. “The American wakes up,” she commented. “It is that the products here are so good,” she said. “Good butter from fat cows and wild berries grown in the island air.”

While we can’t comment on how the Big Apple’s Greenmarket compares to the fat cows and island berries of Oléron, we can happily confirm that this tart is a welcome taste of summer – anywhere , anytime.  Now, be inspired!

Oléron Raspberry Tart

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

Pastry:

1½ c. sifted flour

¼ c. sugar

1 stick unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ¼-inch squares

2 tbs. heavy cream

1 egg yolk

Filling:

¾ c. blanched almonds, toasted

¾ c. sugar

3 tbs. unsalted butter, softened

3 egg yolks

1 tsp. vanilla extract

4 c. raspberries

2 tbs. currant jam and/or powdered sugar, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

Place sugar and flour in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Add the butter squares to the flour mixture and blend using a pastry blender or forks until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.  Add cream to the egg yolk and pour into flour mixture. Mix lightly with a fork until the pastry holds together in a small ball. If it’s not moist enough, add a tablespoon or so of water.

Sprinkle some flour across a counter and push the dough with the heel of your palm until it has been worked through. Do not over-mix. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and let rest in the refrigerator for at least three hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the dough and allow to warm on the countertop for ten minutes. On a floured surface, flatten the ball and roll it into an eleven-inch circle. Fit gently into an eight- or nine-inch tart pan with a fluted edge and removable bottom. Press into pan gently, being careful not to stretch the dough. Trim off the edges and freeze for ten minutes to firm.

Line the tart shell with aluminum foil and fill with rice or dried beans. Bake 20 minutes. Remove aluminum foil and filler and bake for five minutes more or until golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool while making the filling.

Blend the almonds and three tablespoons of the sugar in a food processor until it is a fine powder. In a separate bowl, cream butter with the remaining sugar, and then add the yolks. Fold in the almond-sugar mixture and vanilla to combine.

Spread the almond mixture into the pre-baked crust and top with two cups of the fresh berries. Sprinkle the tart with two tablespoons of sugar and bake for 40 minutes or until just set. Cool at least two hours.

Just before serving, cover the tart with the remaining two cups of raspberries. Garnish with powdered sugar or brush the top with a simple glaze made from two tablespoons currant jam heated with one tablespoon of water. Bon appétit!

Photo was taken by Ben from the AMPR team.

paris’ le pavillon des lettres launches art series with installation by photographer blaise lavigne

May 22nd, 2012

In addition to the permanent collection of artwork and sculpture adorning Le Pavillon des Lettres, the literary-themed hotel, located just off Paris’ Champs Elysées, has launched an ongoing art series that will showcase collections of original artwork on a rotating basis.

The first installation features the photographs of local Parisian photographer, Blaise Lavigne, and can be viewed (and purchased) from now through June 10. The artwork is dotted among the hotel’s public spaces, seamlessly blending with the décor.

Lavigne’s exhibit, entitled Correspondences, features 25 stunning portraits of readers – a perfect complement to the literary atmosphere of Le Pavillon des Lettres. Like all of his work, Lavigne’s images play on light and form, creating a sense of fragility and dream-like elegance.

Following Lavigne’s exhibit, Le Pavillon des Lettres will feature Jean-Daniel Henry’s photography collection, “Les portraits dans le Noir” (portraits in the dark) from September 6 through December 31.

For more information about Le Pavillon des Lettres, visit www.pavillondeslettres.com or call 33 (01) 49 24 26 26.

For more information about Lavigne’s work visit www.blaiselavigne.com.

About Le Pavillon des Lettres

Opened in November 2010, the boutique luxury hotel combines arts, literature and fine design, with each of its 26 rooms devoted to a letter of the alphabet and an international writer corresponding to that letter. Think H for Hugo or B for Baudelaire. Text from the corresponding author’s book, poem or play is painted above the bed and a hard copy of the piece can be found on the nightstand, right next to the iPad in each room – loaded with international bestsellers and playlists from jazz to classical and beyond. The two top floor penthouse suites offer sweeping views of the Eiffel Tower and the Grand Palais.

risqué business with crazy horse paris & le pavillon des lettres

January 25th, 2012

Crazy Horse Cabaret, the avant-garde icon of provocative Parisian nightlife, continues the celebration of its 60th anniversary with Le Pavillon des Lettres, extending an invitation to see the show and get a room. In a perfect marriage of the arts (literature and burlesque go hand in hand, non?), the literary hotel and the legendary theater are offering a package that includes amour-inducing accommodations, VIP tickets to Crazy Horse’s 60th anniversary celebration show, Désir, and some take-home memorabilia.

In order to get the most bang for your burlesque buck, we suggest some pre-Paris homework… In a documentary showing at the Film Forum in New York City now through Tuesday, February 7, and currently available anytime, anywhere on Netflix, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman has captured the mystique of the most famous nude dance show in the world with “Crazy Horse: Désir.” Wiseman’s new film takes a behind-the-scenes look at the painstaking creation, grueling rehearsals, and ultimate unveiling of the 60th anniversary show.

Radiating the timeless elegance of Paris, Le Pavillon des Lettres features 26 intimate rooms, each dedicated to a letter of the alphabet that pays homage to corresponding French and international literary geniuses. A stay in a room named for, and decorated with the works of such writers of passion and romance as F for Flaubert (Madame Bovary), S for Shakespeare (Romeo & Juliet), or T for Tolstoy (Anna Karenina) is sure to enhance the experience.

This offer includes :

- Deluxe Room accommodations

- Daily breakfast

- Two VIP tickets to Crazy Horse

- Crazy Horse photo book

- Rates start at 440 euros per night ($570 USD)

- Valid for travel now through December 31, 2012

- Minimum two-night stay; based on double occupancy

For additional information visit:

www.pavillondeslettres.com or call +33 (0)1 49 24 26 26

no need to dream by the fire, these holiday packages will have you walking in a winter wonderland

December 1st, 2011

La Réserve Genève Hotel & Spa, Geneva, Switzerland

Nestled on the shores of Lake Geneva, La Réserve Genève Hotel & Spa is offering guests the perfect holiday getaway. Complete with a private ice-rink and traditional Christmas Market-style winter chalets, La Réserve Genève will be transformed into a true Winter Wonderland starting December 13.

Set within La Réserve Genève’s large onsite gardens, the Winter Wonderland will offer spectacular views of Lake Geneva. La Réserve guests can book a private skating lesson or glide solo across the ice before enjoying the festive winter chalets. Despite the chill in the air, a chic waitstaff will be serving festive treats such as crêpes, waffles, oysters, mulled wine, Sancerre, Champagne, and caviar.

A two-night weekend stay at La Réserve Genève starts from $1,076 (based on two sharing a double room) and includes full use of all hotel facilities including the spa, fitness center, swimming pool, indoor tennis courts, and the Winter Wonderland.  To book:  www.lareserve.ch / +41 22 959 59 59.

La Réserve’s Winter Wonderland is open to hotel guests only from December 13, 2011, to February 26, 2012.

Eden au Lac, Zurich, Switzerland

While the singing Christmas tree at Werdemühleplatz and the hot spiced wine at Europe’s biggest indoor Christmas market may keep Zurich merrymakers grounded, the most festive spot in town is perched high above the city streets! Eden au Lac’s Top of Eden terrace is celebrating the holidays in high style with private fondue tastings and a rooftop Christmas market.

Nothing beats fondue – except for fondue with a view! Choose from truffle or classic flavored fondue paired with mulled wine while enjoying amazing views of Lake Zurich.  Stay warm with gingerbread, hot chestnuts, and cozy blankets. The festively decorated terrace can now be exclusively reserved for a private fondue tasting for two for just 310 CHF (approximately $337).

Skip the crowded stores and take shopping to the next level at Zurich’s smallest Christmas market located on Top of Eden! From November 27-December 23, guests can shop the city’s best kept secret while snacking on Wienerli sausages, roast chestnuts, and Christmas biscuits for 49 CHF (approximately $53).

Pavillon de la Reine and Le Pavillon des Lettres, Paris, France

Paris at Christmas time is magical, with vin chaud and gingerbread sold in the Tuileries, twinkling lights adorning the Champs-Elysées, and charming holiday markets such as the historic Marché de Noël. The impossibly chic Pavillon de la Reine and new literary-themed sister hotel Le Pavillon des Lettres are the ideal places to ring in the Yuletide with luxurious accommodations and special seasonal treats.

Guests of both hotels who book the “Parisian Christmas” package for the festive season will have the option to explore Paris’ grand boulevards by night on an enchanting chauffeur-driven journey past department stores awash with lights and elaborate window decorations, by the lavishly decorated tree on Notre Dame Cathedral’s main plaza, and down the majestic Champs-Elysées lined with light-drenched trees stretching all the way from Place de l’Etoile and the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde.

For many Parisian Christmas guests, the holiday season would be incomplete without a generous helping of delightful bites, who may opt to visit one of the most beautiful chocolateries in Paris instead, where they will learn about the fascinating history of chocolate-making and sample their decadent creations.

The “Parisian Christmas” package includes accommodations for two in a Deluxe Room at Pavillon de la Reine or Le Pavillon des Lettres and either a chauffeured evening tour through Paris or a visit to local chocolatier.

Package rates at Pavillon de la Reine and Le Pavillon des Lettres start at €450 and €350, per night respectively. Two night minimum stay is required. Package is valid for travel December 11 through December 27. To book: www.pavillon-de-la-reine.com Tel : 33 (0) 1 40 29 19 19 or www.pavillondeslettres.com or Tel : 33 (0) 1 40 24 26 26

ten ways to avoid mainstream merriment

October 26th, 2011

Escape the humdrum of the holidays and leave behind the crowded stores, traffic, gift-wrapping, and tangled lights in exchange for a stress-free season at one of these 10 alternative spots. Whether it’s close by or halfway around the world, it’ll surely be unforgettable.

Enjoy the holidays stateside…

Nantucket, Massachusetts

Where: White Elephant and Jared Coffin House

What: A New England holiday

Why: Nantucket Island celebrates the season with Nantucket Noël, a month-long celebration that runs November 25–December 31. The highlight event is the Annual Christmas Stroll Weekend, December 2–4.  Stores, shops, and restaurants open their doors for shoppers (almost everything on the island is on sale!), carolers sing favorite holiday tunes, and Santa Claus arrives aboard a Coast Guard vessel. Steps from historic downtown, White Elephant is the perfect place to spend the weekend. For a longer stay, the Jared Coffin House is ideal. Open all season long and built in 1845, this historic hotel will have you feeling the spirit of the holidays.

When: White Elephant rates start at $195 per night from December 1–5. Jared Coffin House rates start at $155 per night during this special season.

Jump the pond…

Provence, France

Where: Hotel Crillon le Brave

What: A traditional French holiday experience

Why: Hidden in a tranquil town in France, Hotel Crillon le Brave is the perfect place to go for a peaceful escape. Festivities start on December 23 with a classical music concert in the local village church. On Christmas Eve, the hotel hosts an elaborate dinner that is sure to get guests into the Christmas spirit, who are also invited to celebrate the New Year with champagne in La Grange, the cozy bar, followed by a decadent dinner in the restaurant by a roaring log fire.

When: Holiday rates start at $329 dollars per night from December 23–January 2.

 

Salisbury and Canterbury, U.K.

Where: Onboard Belmond British Pullman

What: Festive seasonal journeys that rival the magical Polar Express (and you don’t have to go as far as the North Pole!)

Why: Hop on the British Pullman and enjoy the caroling in Canterbury or Salisbury’s world famous cathedrals. Following the concerts, guests are welcome to roam freely through the festive cities. With each excursion, they can look forward to a delectable brunch served with a Bellini on the outward journey and a four-course meal with wine and champagne on the way home. To make the trip even more unforgettable, upon return to London, guests visiting Salisbury may choose to stay overnight at The Goring, a luxurious hotel adjacent to Buckingham Palace, where Kate Middleton spent her last night as a commoner.

When: Rates begin at £350 ($550) per person and include brunch and a four-course dinner with champagne and wine. Dates for the Canterbury journey are December 6 and 13, 2011, and for the Salisbury journey, on December 15, 2011.

 

Paris, France

Where: Le Pavillon des Lettres

What: A cozy Parisian getaway

Why: The new Le Pavillon des Lettres is housed in a classic Haussman townhouse in the 8th arrondissement. The hotel features 26 rooms – each devoted to a letter of the alphabet and an international writer corresponding to that letter. Shakespeare, Baudelaire and Rousseau are among the authors whose quotes are elegantly scrawled on the walls en Français. Settle down in the hotel’s library, next to the fireplace, and spend the holidays relaxing and reading while sipping a sumptuous cocktail from the honesty bar.

When: Rates start at £250 ($345) per night.

Farther still…

Marrakech, Morocco

Where: Royal Mansour Marrakech

What: A Rockin’ Moroccan New Years

Why: Spend the advent of a new year in utmost relaxation unwinding in a private riad, a Moroccan style house decorated with luxurious hand-done tile work and mosaic-covered courtyard floors. Visit Royal Mansour’s own traditional-style hammam, while the children are entertained at the exciting Kids Club, before a luxurious meal with menus created by three Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alléno, or escape into the city of Marrakech for a bite while soaking in the unique rhythms of the centuries-old city.

When: Holiday rates start at $2,228 for a one-bedroom riad from December 15 to January 7.

As far as you can get…

Paro Valley, Bhutan

Where: Uma Paro

What: Ten days of exploration in this culture-rich Himalayan Kingdom

Why: With sweeping mountain views, there is no shortage of adventure at Uma Paro. Bring the whole family during Uma Paro’s 10-day holiday program and attend lectures on Buddhism, go for hikes in the Himalayas, watch an archery contest, or participate in candlelit yoga sessions. There will also be a special mask performance, a Bhutanese film night, and an evening of traditional music and dance. Children 12 and under who are sharing a villa with their parents stay free.

When: rates start at $330 until December 31, 2011.

 

Koh Samui and Koh Phangan, Thailand

Where: Anantara Lawana Resort & Spa and Rasananda Phangan Island Resort & Spa

What: Two island experiences for the price of one

Why: For anyone wanting to get away for a week of relaxation and exploration before the holiday season kicks into high gear, the “Two Island Experience” package from Anantara is a perfect fit. The six-night island hopping adventure begins with a three-night stay at Anantara Lawana Resort & Spa on beautiful Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand, to be whisked away by speedboat to the more remote yet infamous island of the full moon parties, Koh Phangan, for an additional three-night stay at Rasananda Phangan Island Resort & Spa.

When: rates start at $578 through December 20 and include accommodations, daily breakfast, speedboat transfer, and roundtrip airport transfers.

 

Bali, Indonesia

Where: Uma Ubud and COMO Shambhala Estate

What: A Balinese escape for the mind, body, and soul

Why: The holidays can be exhausting, so treat the family to a well deserved break at Uma Ubud. This exotic retreat overlooking a valley is the perfect place to unwind and explore with its lush forests, sweeping rice paddies, and COMO Shambhala Retreat spa. Nearby in the town of Ubud is COMO Shambhala Estate, a secluded, residential health retreat with a focus on wellness and relaxation. The Discover COMO Shambhala program allows guests to design their own wellness experiences at the retreat and is the perfect way to decompress during this stressful season.

When: Holiday season rates start at $290 per night from December 20–January 6 at Uma Ubud, and the Discover COMO Shambhala program at COMO Shambhala Estate starts at $1,400 for three nights.

 

Uttarakhand, India

Where: Shakti Kumaon Village Experience and Shakti 360° Leti

What: A unique getaway that’s far off the beaten path

Why: Experience the culture and beauty of India this fall with Shakti’s Kumaon village walking experience followed by a stay at 360° Leti, the boutique hotel set at 8,000 feet elevation.

When: Season is from October 1 until April 30, 2012.

A four-day, three-night Shakti Kumaon village experience is $1,307 per person, based on two or three adults, and includes accommodations, food and beverage, activities, English-speaking guide and porters, car at disposal, and roundtrip transfer between Kathgodam train station or Pantnagar airport and village houses, and taxes. Rates for a three-night, four-day package at 360˚ Leti start at $1,916 per adult, based on two traveling on a twin/double share basis. Rates include accommodation in a private cottage, all food and beverage, activities, English-speaking guide and porters, car at disposal, roundtrip transfer between Shakti Kumaon village experience and Shakti 360˚ Leti, and all taxes.

 

Chiang Rai, Thailand

Where: Anantara Golden Triangle Resort & Spa

What: An elephant adventure in Northern Thailand

Why: For anyone seeking an unforgettable holiday adventure with the whole family, Anantara Golden Triangle Resort & Spa’s Mahout Discovery package is just the ticket! Learn how to feed, bathe, and ride these gentle giants through the forest during a 3-day mahout training course. Perched on a lush hillside near the borders of Burma and Laos, the resort, so rich in culture, is a blissful escape for adults and children alike.

When: rates start at $342 per night based on double occupancy through December 31.

see the world in these rooms with a view

October 19th, 2011

EUROPE

La Réserve Paris
Paris, France

La Réserve Paris sits in the heart of the city at Place de Trocadéro, letting visitors live like a Parisian – and a chic one at that. The stylishly furnished apartments provide all guests the comforts of home, with a view only available in Paris – the Eiffel Tower cuts the sky and behind it is a backdrop of the green Champs de Mars, often speckled with picnickers.

RATES: start at 2,590 euros per night (about $3,564) for a minimum stay of 3 nights.

Le Pavillon des Lettres
Paris, France

The penthouse suites at the new Pavillon des Lettres are a dream for bibliophiles. Each of the hotel’s 26 rooms is dedicated to a letter of the alphabet and a corresponding author. The two penthouse suites, Yeats and Zola, have beautiful views of the Eiffel Tower, the Grand Palais, and Paris rooftops. Gaze out at the lights on the Eiffel Tower while reading Zola’s Nana from the room’s iPad – stocked with novels in several languages – or scan Yeats’ The Wind Among the Reeds that is printed on the wall.

RATES: start at 250 euros per night (about $347).

Victoria-Jungfrau Collection – Palace Luzern
Luzern, Switzerland

Founded in 1906, the Palace Luzern epitomizes the height of Belle Époque elegance.  While embracing the style of a true palace hotel, numerous renovations have brought the hotel into the 21st century with a fresh, modern aesthetic.  Overlooking Lake Lucerne, it offers a unique combination of Alpine scenery and proximity to the center of Lucerne, which is host to renowned music festivals, world-class museums, and many charming boutiques.  Sailing, golf, and skiing are all available nearby.

RATES: start at $308 for a City View Double Room.

ASIA

Uma Paro
Paro, Bhutan

Uma Paro is in the extraordinary Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, sitting atop a tree-lined hill on 38 acres overlooking the town of Paro in the valley below. Situated on the country’s western border, the Paro Valley is one of the main cultural centers of Bhutan. Simply relax and gaze out at the unbelievable view, or join one of Uma Paro’s activities such as hiking or biking to the nearby monasteries or exploring the country through the lens of a camera.

RATES: start at $ 330 through December 31, 2011.

Park Hyatt Shanghai
Shanghai, China

Located in one of the world’s tallest buildings, a bathing experience at the Park Hyatt Shanghai is far from ordinary. Even with the heated floors in the bathroom, you’ll shiver at the thrill as you glance down at the breathtaking city from a window-side deep soaking tub. For the faint of heart, there is always the oversized monsoon rain shower, not a bad trade.

RATES: start at $391 for a Park King room.

Park Hyatt Beijing
Beijing, China

Park Hyatt Beijing illuminates the city skyline as a new landmark. Directly opposite the China World Trade Center and the striking new CCTV Tower, the hotel occupies the uppermost floors in the main tower of the Beijing Yintai Center — the tallest development on prestigious Chang’an Avenue in the heart of the capital’s Central Business District. The interiors of Park Hyatt Beijing have been inspired by classical Suzhou architecture and water gardens, and the hotel incorporates these Oriental aesthetics into a sleek, contemporary design.

RATES: start at $288 for a  Park King Room.

Park Hyatt Sydney
Sydney, Australia

The iconic Park Hyatt Sydney will reopen in late 2011 after a seven month makeover and complete redesign. Located in the Rocks district of Sydney’s city center, the hotel has been reimagined by Melbourne-based design firm BARStudio. All rooms are being completely redesigned to enhance the guest experience and highlight the hotel’s harborfront location. Views of Sydney Harbor and the Opera House take on new meaning with a series of floor-to-ceiling windows throughout almost all areas of the property, including in The Dining Room, the hotel’s premier restaurant, completing the large-scale redesign.

RATES: opening rates starting at $871 for a City/Harbour King Room.

Shakti 360˚ Leti
Uttarakhand, India
U.S. Toll-free: 1 877 637 5665

At 8,000 feet in elevation surrounded by soaring peaks of the snowcapped Indian Himalayas, Shakti  360˚ Leti has some of the best views in India.  Each of the four en-suite cabins and the central lodge of this high elevation hotel have floor to ceiling windows, which means the views of the peaks and, in spring, the rhododendrons in full bloom, never disappear.  Described as “a contender for the world’s most remote luxury resort,” Shakti 360˚ Leti can be visited as an extension from the Shakti Kumaon Village Experience, or as its own destination.  Accessible by car or charter flight from Delhi, the fun getting there really begins with the hour-long trek into the hills.  But once you’re there, you won’t want to leave…  Forget your Blackberry, power down your iPhone, disconnect, and just breathe in the fresh mountain air while listening to the silence that surrounds you.
Season: October 1 – May 1

RATES: 3-night, 4-day package starts at $1,916 per person, double occupancy.  Rates include accommodations; all meals and beverages; activities; English speaking guide and porters; a car at your disposal, and all taxes and return transfers between Shakti Kumaon Village Experience and Shakti 360˚ Leti.  Flights are not included.  Minimum of a 3-night stay required.

MIDDLE EAST

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara
Liwa Desert, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.

In the heart of the Liwa Desert just ninety minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport is Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, the newly built 206-room resort surrounded entirely by legendary red sand dunes. The Liwa is part of the Rub’-al-Khali, or Empty Quarter, the world’s largest uninterrupted desert. Built right into the sand, the resort is modeled after an ancient Emirati fort that rises out of the desert and evokes the rich culture of the Bedouins, the indigenous tribes people who roamed the desert for centuries. Get away not only from your everyday life, but this century altogether!

The rooms and suites spill off the main lodge like little villages, and all have stunning views of the ocher dunes of the Liwa. Hundreds of museum-caliber artifacts are on display throughout the hotel to provide more feasts for the eye, including the world’s largest collection of camel saddlebags used in desert crossings by the Bedouins throughout Arabia.  Offering all the comforts of modern luxury in a superbly unique setting, Qasr Al Sarab is more than just a luxury hotel; it is a window into the history and culture of a nation.

RATES: start at 2,100 AED from October 1-November 30, 2011, and at 1,900 AED from December 1, 2011-January 31, 2012.



 

 


 

 




 

 



 


 

 


 

 


 

 

french kiss

May 17th, 2011

Paris in springtime: morning croissants at intimate outdoor cafes, sharing sweet sorbets in the afternoon sun, evening strolls hand-in-hand along the Seine… No matter the season Paris is undeniably the most romantic city in the world, n’est-ce pas? Whether your love is just budding, or is in full bloom, grab your honey and head over to the enchanting new Parisian bolt hole, Le Pavillon des Lettres, where each of its 26 rooms is named for a letter of the alphabet and devoted to a famous writer (Think H for Hugo and S for Shakespeare).

The recently-opened literary love nest has created a romance package that includes some spot-on reading material, with a complimentary copy of The Best Places to Kiss in Paris.  Of course, the best smooches are spontaneous but a little guidance can’t hurt! Follow author Soufflard Thierry’s advice and pucker up by the Medici Fountain, located in a shaded corner of the Luxembourg Gardens; at Sainte-Chapelle, a 15th century gem of a church; or on Pont des Arts, the oldest pedestrian bridge in town.

Also included is daily breakfast in bed, tickets to the Grand Palais museum and a bottle of champagne. For extra inspiration book the Voltaire room, where quotes from his classic romance novel, The Princess of Babylon, are scrawled passionately on the wall.

Rates start at €420 (approximately $606) per night for a Deluxe Room. Minimum two-night stay required. To book a reservation at Le Pavillon des Lettres, visit www.pavillondeslettres.com or call 33(0)1 49 24 26 26.

here comes peter cottontail…

May 17th, 2011

Afraid the Easter Bunny won’t know where to find you if you’re away? We guarantee he’ll be drawn to these great Easter celebrations, so pack those bags and get ready to eat some jelly beans and chocolate eggs. Whether near (Nantucket, Washington D.C., Toronto) or far (Paris, Provence, Moscow), these spots are perfect to ring in the spring.

 

NEAR

Nantucket Island Resorts

Nantucket, Massachusetts         

Nantucket Island Resorts, including Jared Coffin House (starting at $125), White Elephant (starting at $195), The Cottages & Lofts (starting at $200), and White Elephant Hotel Residences (starting at $350 for guestroom or $500 for residence)

Easter Happenings: Amazing rates at each of the properties over Easter Weekend – and a delicious brunch at the Brant Point Grill featuring Easter Basket Workshops and Egg Hunts!  

The Offer:  Spend a great family weekend on Nantucket with plenty of amusement for the little ones. The following will be happening at the White Elephant. For event and brunch reservations, please call 508.228.1320.  

  • Saturday, April 23 – Easter Basket Workshop at 1 pm and 3 pm.  Reservations required; $5 per child; open to the public
  • Sunday, April 24 – Easter Brunch with Raw Bar at Brant Point Grill – $42 adults; $21 children
  • Sunday, April 24 – Easter Egg Hunts – 11 am and 2 pm with a special guest on the White Elephant Harborside Lawn

Subject to availability. Excludes room tax.

 

Park Hyatt Washington D.C.

Washington, D.C.

A tony Washington DC design and foodie favorite in the fashionable West End Georgetown neighborhood.

Easter Happenings: A three-course, buffet-style brunch from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm. Highlights include sunnyside eggs with cod cakes and spicy buttermilk sauce; roasted leg of lamb with rosemary jus and shallots; local rockfish with pea sauce and morels; and Belgian Liege waffle with Mountain Huckleberry Marmalade.

The Offer: $90 per person and $45 for children between six and 12; children under six years of age are welcome on a complimentary basis.

Park Hyatt Toronto

Toronto, Ontario

Set in fashionable Yorkville just across the street from the Royal Ontario Museum and five minutes from the theater and financial districts, Park Hyatt Toronto offers a contemporary city getaway, with 336 guestrooms and the award-winning Stillwater Spa.

Easter Happenings: Relax in comfort with Park Hyatt Toronto’s Awaken at The Park package: overnight accommodations and full breakfast for two in the acclaimed Annona Restaurant. Annona is also offering an Easter Brunch Prix Fixe and an Easter Dinner Prix Fixe.

The Offer: The Awaken package is available from Friday, April 22 until Monday, April 25 starting at $208. Three course brunch menu at Annona is $71 per person, while the three course dinner is $52 per person.

 

FAR

Pavillon de la Reine

Paris, France

This impossibly chic and charming hotel is located on the historic Place des Vosges in the Marais. Blooming with life in the spring season, the ivy-clad 54 bedroom Pavillon de la Reine was originally built in the 1600s as part of the Place Royale by King Henri IV.

Easter Happenings:  Guests are welcomed with a chocolate egg and bottle of champagne upon arrival. Following an egg painting session, kids will enjoy running throughout the private courtyard on the quest for chocolate eggs. The Easter weekend package also includes brunch for two.

The Offer: Superior rooms start at 390 euros per night, Junior or Duplex Suite start at €550 ($792 USD) per night.

Le Pavillon des Lettres

Paris, France

The new literature-inspired hotel offers 26 rooms – each devoted to a letter of the alphabet and an international author corresponding to that letter (think S for Shakespeare, V for Voltaire…)

Easter Happenings:  A chocolate egg, bottle of French white wine, and a book of the best places to eat chocolate will be waiting in your room upon arrival. Enjoy brunch for two on Easter morning in the Salon amongst the hotel’s literary greats!

The Offer: Deluxe rooms start at €360 ($518 USD) per night.

Hotel Crillon le Brave

Provence, France

The refined rustic Hotel Crillon le Brave is one of France’s most notable boutique hotels. Just 90 minutes North of Marseille, its consists of seven beautifully restored stone houses dating from the 16th and 17th centuries, which are linked by bridges, cobblestone walkways, and hidden courtyards.

Easter Happenings:  While the kids participate in entertaining French lessons, learn to make French desserts, and visit a local boulangerie and olive oil mill, parents can enjoy wine tastings and spa treatments. 

The Offer:  The Provençal Family adventure package is offered April 17-22 and April 25-29 and costs €2,290 ($3,297 USD) for a family of four.

Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow

Moscow, Russia

While “egg hunt in Russia” might inspire thoughts of “finally, a chance to find those missing eight Fabergé eggs,” Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow is offering an even sweeter deal. Built on the former site of Hotel Armenia, this  hotel combines classic Armenian and Russian design elements, and is located within immediate vicinity of Moscow’s most famous landmarks, including the Bolshoi Theatre, the Kremlin, Red Square, and Saint Basil’s Cathedral.

Easter Happenings: Free chocolate eggs will be given to take home at Easter Sunday Brunch on April 24th. Executive chef Guillaume Joly will be whipping up traditional Easter dishes like kulich, paskha, roasted leg of lamb, and much more at The Park Restaurant. For children, an egg hunt (yes, of the chocolate kind) will take place, with “sweet” prizes to be won.

The Offer: RUB 3,900 per person ($138 USD), including VAT and service charges.

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