Exploring Fabulous France

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With its stunning scenery, rich history and culture around every corner, it’s no wonder why a trip to France seems to leave vacationers starry-eyed every time. And this year, a bevy of new hotels, a diverse lineup of events—not to mention some new flight offerings from Air France—are making a vacation in France look even better.

Where to Stay With brand-new and renovated hotels popping up all over France, your clients have tons of options when it comes to hotel accommodations.

After five years of research and construction the new Jules et Jim hotel, for example, is set to open in Paris’ hsitoric district, Le Marais, in September. The 23-room property will cater mainly to gay guests, while remaining friendly to all orientations. With its interior courtyards and peaceful atmosphere, the hotel’s theme pays homage to Francois Truffaut’s celebrated film. For more information, visit hoteljulesetjim.com.

Expected to make its debut in 2012, meanwhile, is the W Paris-Opera. Occupying a former 1870s Haussmann-era building near the famous Palais Garnier Opera House, this property will offer 69 guestrooms and 21 suites, complete with fireplace, white marble bathrooms and in-room entertainment systems. All the suites are designed to resemble lofts, boasting high ceilings, and impressive views of the opera house. For more information, visit wparisopera.com.

Also opening by the end of the year is the Hotel du Grand Controle. One of the Palace of Versailles’ 17th century mansions, the property is being converted into a boutique hotel. The new hotel feature 23 rooms and suites, each boasting views of either the Royal Suisses Lake, Orangerie Gardens, or the chateau itself.

The Hotel du Grand Controle was used as one of the king’s residences until the French Revolution. The mansion, now in damaged state, is expected to complete a $7 million renovation. For more information, visit chateauversailles.fr.

What to Do Those traveling to France this summer can check out the 51st annual Jazz a Juan—Europe’s longest running jazz festival—taking place in Antibes Juan-les-Pins July 14-21. The annual outdoor festival on the French Riviera has hosted some of the world’s most celebrated jazz artists, including Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, Charles Mingus and Nora Jones.

This year, the festival will include an array of special events, exhibitions and film screenings commemorating the 20th anniversary of the death of Miles Davis, who played at the festival from 1963 to 1984. For more information on Jazz a Juan, including a full lineup of events, visit antibesjazzfestival.eventbrite.com.

For wine connoisseurs, recommend a visit to Colmar Expo, being held Aug 3-12. This annual wine fair features wine tastings, concerts and other events. Created in 1948, the fair attracts over 200,000 visitors each year. For more information, visit foire-colmar.com.

Airline France Debuts New Route Just last week, Air France announced it will be adding daily service between San Francisco and Paris this summer. The airline will be operating 10 weekly flights between Paris-Charles de Gaulle and San Francisco, including one daily flight from June 6 to Sept. 4. Tickets are already available for purchase. For more information, visit airfrance.com.

For more information on travel to France, visit the French Government Tourist Office at franceguide.com.