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Paris Update

What's New and Noteworthy

What's New

Hotel Charles de Gaulle, Roissy, Charles de Gaulle Airport

Those who love to be at sea on a luxury cruise ship will enjoy the ambiance of this new and dramatic hotel. The structure is elliptical like an ocean liner and even the brochure says, "Welcome Aboard." Since they are meant for short stays, airport accommodations are mostly very ordinary. The Hotel Charles de Gaulle, with its strong architecture and user-friendly interior, decorated predominantly in a cheerful shade of blue, breaks the mold. This delightful and comfortable place in which to overnight or rest for several hours c ompares favorably with other well-designed and well-serviced European hôtelleries. "Because the location is exceptional," said designer, Andrée Putman, "I used unexpected details to create amiable surroundings."

Hotel Charles de Gaulle, Roissy, Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris
Hotel Charles de Gaulle, Roissy, Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris (credit: Edwin Fancher)


Windows are double-pained and completely sound-proof. You experience the airport by watching the take-offs and landings through the glass and by entering and exiting the hotel from the terminal. The ultra-sleek bathrooms have separate tubs and shower stalls. Mirrors built into the counters and electric pants pressers are just a few of the in-room facilities. All the guest accommodations on the four floors are the same size and surround a central atrium. However, the club and executive levels provide extra amenities.

Meticulous attention is paid to the needs of the passenger-in-transit. Traveler-survival kits include useful stopover items. The hotel also offers luggage storage, flight monitors in the lobby, reconfirmation of flights by the concierge, express laundry/dry cleaning, meeting rooms, saunas, a fitness center and relaxing massage chairs built to help combat the "travel blues."

As part of their recent airport hotels program, ITT Sheraton now serves innovative anti-jet lag Body Clock Cuisine. It is also available at Sheraton airport hotels in Brussels, Frankfurt, Heathrow in London and Luxembourg and was conceived to help fliers adjust to new time zones and to overcome jet lag. Nutritionists and chefs created 14 menus with six of them, including breakfast, lunch and dinner, available at any given time. Arrival times and in-flight meal patterns from all continents were considered in creating the tasty dishes such as smokey garden salad and poached pears with goat cheese and candied pine nuts.

The hotel has a spacious bar, Le Galaxie, and two fine restaurants, Les Etoiles, serving gourmet food, and Les Saisons, a brasserie.

Hotel Charles de Gaulle, Aérogare Charles de Gaulle 2, B. P. 300 51 - 95716 Roissy Aérogare. Tel. 33 (1) 49 19 70 70, central reservations 800-325-3535. Room rates start at $155.00. The hotel is located above the TGV terminal with links to London, Amsterdam, Brussels and the North and South of France. Express trains on the RER arrive in downtown Paris in 30 minutes.

What's Noteworthy

Prince de Galles

What makes a hotel special? Service? Decor? Or a combination of details, some of which almost go unnoticed, but somehow make the traveler feel at home and comfortable? With 168 rooms the Prince de Galles seems smaller than it really is, perhaps because the public spaces are beautifully done in a majestic, yet understated way. A 1993-94 renovation restored this caravansary to its 1920s grandeur. The attractive lobby features oak wall paneling, a beige stone and marble floor, dark green "sit on me" sofas and a petit point carpet.

The Regency Bar where cocktails, lunch, tea and supper are served opens onto the lob by. It has a clubby English atmosphere– the walls are lined with prints– and is furnished with dark red leather armchairs, mahogany tables, paisley design crockery and a deep-hued carpet.

The Patio, Prince de Galles, Paris
The Patio, Prince de Galles, Paris


In the high-ceilinged Jardin des Cynges restaurant good taste reigns and you feel as though you could be anyplace on the continent. The dining room is crowned with a painted ceiling of a trompe l'oeil sky and extends into a lovely, beautifully landscaped patio with mosaics on the walls.

Guest rooms are charming. Only one pattern is used, the classic "Toile de Jouy" with its French provincial motif in blue and white or yellow and white. Bathrooms are mostly marble. Some suites on the upper floors have large terraces overlooking the courtyard.

We enjoyed two outstanding meals in the Jardin des Cynges. Dinner began with Petrossian caviar and a light cream sauce on a large blini, accompanied by vodka served in thin flutes. A whole small lobster removed from its shell was napped with sauternes sauce and ginger-flavored diced vegetables. Calvados granite cleansed the palate. The entree was a small filet of juicy veal with seasoned mashed potatoes, toasted and served like meringues. Dessert of fruits, chocolate "aveline", cookies and petit fours ended this banquet. Sunday brunch here is a Parisian tradition. The table overflowed with breads, cereals, eggs, smoked salmon and other fish, meats, 10 hot dishes, fruits, pastries, cheeses and wine.

Stephen Alden, general manager, said, "We are a constantly evolving hotel. We keep guest request profiles. The entire staff can access the information and on subsequent visits our clientele gets exactly what they want."

And about those details that practically go unnoticed, we did observe that the bucket for chilling the vodka was carved out of ice. What service!

Prince de Galles, 33, Avenue George V, 75008. Tel (1) 47 23 55 11., is a member of the ITT Sheraton Luxury Collection, 800-325-3589. Rates start at $295.


The Paris Museum Pass

The one- (70 francs), two- (140 francs) or five- (200 francs) consecutive days museum pass admits visitors to more than 65 museums and monuments in Paris and the environs. Available for purchase at participating museums, major metro stations, the Na tional Tourist Bureau and selected railroad stations, it permits immediate entrance, unlimited visits and offers good value. A brochure distributed with the pass lists the hours, addresses, telephone numbers and metro stop of each entry and includes a short description of the displays.

Under the Arcades

Under the Arcades is an outdoor art show that runs from mid-May through mid- September from and from noon until 7 p.m. Artists exhibit their paintings beneath the arched passageways that su rround the Place des Vosges in the center of the Marais district.


Paris, as everyone knows, is expensive and more often is just for browsing rather than buying. However, we found two clothing stores that are worth vi siting because of their low prices.

La Rosa Rossa sells deeply discounted Italian fashion for men and women and has an excellent selection of apparel by byblos.

Kesako, which sells French fashion for women at a reasonab le cost, is consolidating its two outlets. Phone before visiting. La Rosa Rossa, 45, rue des Francs Bourgeois, 75004. Tel. 48 04 54 68. Open seven days a week from 11 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. Kesako, 36, rue de Passy, 75016. Tel. 42 88 09 98. Open daily.

Fall 1996