Where to stay in France this summer: new hotels to travel vaccinated

France has officially reopened to international (vaccinated) travelers – and not too soon, say travel agents, who immediately found themselves scrambling to meet demand. “We are already seeing availability problems in July and August,” explains Philip Haslet, co-founder of the French travel specialist. Kairos, speaking of his house in Provence. “It’s the busiest I think I’ve ever been.”

This is good news for the travel industry, which faces a year and a half of deficits. But for travelers, that leaves a lot to unravel; some run short stays at multiple resorts to bypass reservation dates and other restrictions. Combine that with the fact that many of France’s most exciting hotel openings are yet to come, and there may be good reasons to (briefly) delay a visit.

Plus, says Haslet, August is still expected to be relatively calm amid the typical summer shutdowns in Paris and beyond. “It’s France,” he exclaims. There may be fewer businesses shutting down for the month, “but I’m afraid the underlying Gallic DNA is triggered.”

Not that there is never a bad time to visit France. So whether it’s in the near future or after the dust has settled, here are the hotels to prioritize … assuming you can get in.

One of the 14 rooms of Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle

Source: Lingonberries

Around cities

Airelles Palace of Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle
In the closed enclosure of the emblematic Louis XIV estate and opposite its famous Orangerie is Le Grand Contrôle, a complex of three buildings which once housed dignitaries and which has recently been reborn into a luxury hotel with 14 rooms. This is the first time that related commoners, not courtiers, have been able to sleep within the storied walls of the palace, a privilege that allows them early morning access to the gardens and to visit the Hall of Mirrors after hours. opening. The sumptuous period-inspired rooms give the impression of a journey back in time to the 18th century. But the Alain Ducasse restaurant, the Valmont spa and the sophisticated geothermal heating system that were installed during the multi-year renovation remind you that 2021 is a golden era in its own right. Rooms starting at $ 2,000.

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Saint James Paris looks like it belongs in the countryside, but it’s actually a short walk from the Trocadero or the Arc de Triomphe

Source: Saint James Paris

Saint-Jacques Paris
Imagine the quintessential French country house, then drop it off in the 16th arrondissement a few minutes walk from the Trocadéro or the Arc de Triomphe, which wraps up according to the (late) artist Christo in September. That’s what you get at Saint James, which opens with 50 rooms and a membership club on July 1. The gracious estate was once an elite school, and its gardens occupy a former hot-air balloon launching pad; now it will have an ambitious restaurant run by Ducasse’s protégé Julien Dumas and enough space for guests to go horseback riding or cycling. For the ultimate urban oasis book, the Pavillon d’Amour, a self-contained triplex chalet with its own steam room and elaborate fountain up front. Rooms starting at $ 535.

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A rare and quiet hit from Tuba Club; the hotel is normally buzzing with an avant-garde ensemble.

Source: Snorkel Club

Tuba Club, Marseille
You’d think this chic five-room inn, run by the owners of a popular restaurant that shares its name, was on its own private island in the middle of the sea. The opposite is true. Of course, it is located on a rocky outcrop with daybeds under the Mediterranean sun. And yes, the house dish, “Linguini Tuba”, is coated with a clam sauce that smells of the Italian Riviera. But Tuba is actually perched on the edge of a fishing enclave on the outskirts of Marseille, a vibrant cultural capital that’s poised to surpass its reputation as France’s second city. Even with the traffic, you are only 30 minutes from the Old Port, where you will find the Mucem Museum of Art and Architecture, with its successful summer show Jeff Koons. Rooms starting at $ 200.

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Each room at La Maison d’Estournel, outside of Bordeaux, is slightly different in its colors and accents

Source: La Maison d’Estournel

New campaign classics

La Maison d’Estournel, Bordeaux
The original tenant of this large Haut-Médoc estate, Louis Gaspard, was one of the first Bordeaux wine exporters, sending cases for distribution to India in the early 1800s. Now under the careful management of Michel Reybier Hospitality, a group that also owns La Réserve in Paris – Gaspard’s heritage has been preserved intact. You’ll notice its influence in the house’s 14 bedrooms and many common areas, from a secret basement cellar (now available for wine tastings) to its sprawling vineyards and subcontinent-inspired decor. Make friends with the concierge, who can arrange tours of premier grand cru vineyards, cooking classes at local homes, or lunch with oyster farmers along the charming shore of the river. Arcachon bay. And expect to treat yourself. Bordeaux is perhaps best known for its grapes, but it is the region that gives us foie gras, truffles and some of the best produce in France. The House highlights all of this whenever it has the opportunity. Rooms starting at $ 300.

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The exterior of Sources de Cheverny, in the Loire Valley

Source: Les Sources de Cheverny

Les Sources de Cheverny, Loire Valley
No one does bucolic luxury like the French, and nowhere is this clearer than Les Sources de Cheverny, a 49-room chateau that draws its ethereal design from the ancient forest that surrounds it. The location is convenient for Cheverny and Chambord, but the hotel is a destination in itself, with yoga classes in the woods, a spa that offers ‘crushed cabernet scrubs’ and thermal baths. outside, plus a wine bar in the former cellar of the estate which emphasizes lesser-known local grape varieties. Rooms starting at $ 240.

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A terrace at the Domaine du Mas de Pierre, in Provence

Source: Le Mas de Pierre

The Domaine du Mas de Pierre, Provence
This fully renovated 75-room resort’s home car is a Rolls-Royce, but most guests choose to get around the property – and the surrounding quaint town – with a fleet of in-house electric bikes. It’s Le Domaine du Mas de Pierre Resort & Spa in a nutshell, with various luxury touches for many types of guests. For families, there’s a free kids’ club that accepts kids three and up, with a bouncy castle and gardening workshops. For nature lovers, there is an equestrian center and the possibility of canyoning or paragliding. And for the sybarites, there is a fragrance garden, aviary, and four restaurants that draw ingredients from the aforementioned on-site garden. There is no better place to choose your own adventure. Rooms starting at $ 275.

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The superb pool terrace of the Lou Pinet hotel

Source: Lou Pinet Hotel

Lou Pinet Hotel, Saint-Tropez
Travel specialist Haslet says this hotel alone made Saint-Tropez relevant again, contrary to any impression that the destination was resting on its laurels – or that it might be better suited for one or two getaways. nights to simply soak up the excess. This is because the Lou Pinet Hotel has something that many of its neighbors lack: three generations of soul. Family-owned, the hotel has only 34 rooms with eclectic design, inspired by artists such as Picasso and Cézanne. Its soundtrack is more cicadas than electronica, the property is planted with fragrant trees (Lou Pinet means “pine” in the local dialect), and the swimming pool is tiled in a romantic shade of egg blue that matches the shutters of the garden. ‘hotel. It all sounds a bit like a ’60s reverie, with Brigitte Bardot glamor to match. Rooms starting at $ 625.

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A render of the Riviera Maybourne in progress.

Source: Maybourne Hotel Group

Worth the wait

Those who wish to plan an entire trip around a truly special hotel will have two openings to watch out for in the coming months: the Maybourne Riviera on the French Riviera and owned by LVMH Cheval Blanc Paris. Neither has started accepting reservations, but there’s a good chance both will open before summer is over.

The Cheval Blanc project occupies a two-storey building in the 1st arrondissement, right next to the Quai du Louvre. A former department store, it is completely reinvented as a 72-room urban oasis by Peter Marino, all sprayed with a personalized scent designed by Maison Dior’s top nose. This is LVMH, therefore Dior will also take care of the spa, where flowery baths will be on the menu; it is expected that there will be many opportunities to showcase the company’s various champagne brands. In typical LVMH style, the company builds a mystery around the finer details, but it’s a business that can always beat the hype.

There is more to chew on with the Maybourne Riviera, literally. A modernist setting of glass and steel near the medieval village of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, it will have 69 rooms facing the sea with access to a series of restaurants designed by the best chefs in the world. Mauro Colagreco, whose three-Michelin-starred Mirazur currently holds the title of Best Restaurant in the World awarded by William Reed Business Media, is in charge of a venue; Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Japanese sushi legend Hiro Sato oversee the others. This is quite appropriate for a hotel group whose crown jewels are Connaught and Claridge’s.

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