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NATHALIE'S HOTEL PORTRAIT *
Hôtel de Crillon
A Palace Hotel in Paris
One of my preferred hotels in Paris is, since over 10 years, the 18th-century Palace 'Hôtel de Crillon'. I always stay here when the "Prix de Diane" or other legendary horse races become the focal point of equestrian activity in Chantilly near Paris. In this calm oasis you can forget the hectic hustle and bustle of the French capital.
After a tiring day, it is a merciful relief to enter this beautiful palace with its golden-yellow marble and soft carpet flooring. An antique desk serves as the reception. Each visitor receives an individual welcome, because in the Crillon every guest is treated like a VIP and this perfect service is exactly what one would expect of a 5-star 'Leading Hotel of the World'. Minute attention to detail is reflected in everything, from the Champagne on ice in your suite to the rose I was presented with upon my last arrival.
The glamour of the past is still perceptible. In 1788, the Count de Crillon purchased this private palace which had been built for King Louis XV by famous architect Jacques-Ange Gabriel some 30 years previously. The Crillon remained in the hands of the Crillon family until 1907 when it was transformed into a magnificent palace hotel. Sonia Rykiel and other star designers performed extensive renovation work.
The Crillon is the only French hotel able to boast that the complete furnishings from one of its suites, including the original wood panelling, is on permanent exhibition in the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Since the hotel opened its doors to the public, this noble residence has provided a meeting place for leading figures in politics, art, film and the theatre. No wonder, the Hôtel de Crillon is a place where the art of living is celebrated every single day of the year!
I always enjoy my tea in the winter garden listening to well-known harpists such as Michèle Beaumont, who give regular afternoon concerts. The aperitif, however, you should take in the very original piano bar. The world-famous French sculptor, César, designed the actual bar counter, a glittering mirror jigsaw. Let your mind wander, sip on a delicious cocktail and forget the stress of the day here.
If you are looking for an exceptionally beautiful restaurant where you can enjoy a romantic dinner with your beloved one, try the award-winning Les Ambassadeurs which is located in the former ballroom. The restaurant is under the direction of Executive Chef Dominique Bouchet and David Biraud, best sommelier of France 2002. The second restaurant, l'Obelisque, provides a Parisian atmosphere with traditional French cuisine.
Debutante & Haute Couture Ball
I was sweet seventeen when I became a 'Debutante'. I was presented at the "International Debutante Ball" in New York's Waldorf Astoria and I will never forget this marvellous event. In 1991 this tradition also became reality in Europe. Forget about Vienna and the "Wiener Opern Ball"! Since over 10 years, the annual "Haute Couture Ball" is the Parisian social and fashion event of the year, held at the Hôtel de Crillon. It is not possible to purchase tickets, this event is by invitation only. The gala evening starts with a catwalk of the twenty-four 'new debs' dressed in French Haute Couture, acting as models, followed by a dinner and a ball. So if you have children and you are interested to send your daughter to this most exclusive event in Paris, then contact the hotel directly at www.lebalhautecouture.com
HOTEL DE CRILLON
10, place de la Concorde 75008 Paris, France
Tel : +33 (0) 1 44 71 15 00;
Fax : +33 (0) 1 44 71 15 02
The Hôtel de Crillon is a member of the Concorde Hotel Group
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* This special feature "Hôtel de Crillon Paris" has been produced by Nathalie Gütermann for Nathalies-Lifestyle.com © 2004. The reproduction or other use of any text, photographs, layout etc. needs the prior written permission of the Chief Publisher.