Savoring the Romance of Europe

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hotel lutetia It’s not possible to list European honeymoon choices without mentioning Paris, the City of Light and Love, and where romance fuses with culture. Which is why your couple clients will enjoy celebrating the centennial of the Hotel Lutetia—a property that calls itself a “…modern-day reflection of the belle epoque and Art Deco periods; the embodiment of contemporary, stylish Parisian living.” Nestled in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Pres, it’s within walking distance of the Seine, the Musee d’Orsay, the Notre Dame Cathedral and the boutiques and designers’ studios on the Left Bank. Views of the nearby Eiffel Tower can be enjoyed from many of the rooms and suites where the classic styling of the 1930s is combined with all the modern amenities. In fact, the sculpted Art Deco facade and welcoming statue of Gustave Eiffel, along with pictures of artists who once lived here, attest to the fact the hotel is full of artistic surprises. But while it’s not a honeymoon spot for everyone, it’s ideal for couples who enjoy the arts. Even today, it’s a meeting place for artists, writers and politicians, with the lobby boasting a lively edginess with displayed works of art by renowned contemporary artists Arman, Cesar, Philippe Hiquily, Perrin and Thierry Bisch. Surrounded by Art Deco architecture, period furniture, crystal chandeliers and the sounds of jazz music drifting through from the highly popular Lutetia Bar, this is a place truly immersed in a lively Parisian atmosphere. For stays of three consecutive nights through Dec. 31, the hotel has a gift voucher of about $130 per room for use at the Lutetia Bar, Brasserie Lutetia, Paris Restaurant and more.

chateau de la messardiere But for those who want to honeymoon outside of the City of Light, there’s a great option in sunny St. Tropez—the Chateau de la Messardiere, the 75-room and 6-suite Leading Hotels of the World property with a history that goes all the way back to the seventh century. Today, it’s a beautifully restored, five-star beauty that sits near the beautiful French Riviera and combines traditional beauty with contemporary flair. It’s a great honeymoon spot for couples who want to combine a lovers’ solitude with a little seaside fun. The different room categories offer a variety of views but recommend to your honeymoon clients to take either the deluxe room with views from the terrace or the balcony to the countryside and the gardens, or even better, the Prestige Room with large private terraces and breathtaking views of the sea from the room and the terrace. The Chateaux spa offers a variety of body treatments and fitness equipment, but the truly pampering experience here is the gourmet restaurant Les Trois Saisons, reputed to be one of St. Tropez’s best dining addresses and open evenings only. The hotel claims that the restaurant is “…the perfect venue for a romantic dinner for two or with friends,” because Les Trois Saisons serves refined and creative Mediterranean-style cuisine in a truly exceptional ambiance. The restaurant’s huge terrace offers sweeping views over the beaches of Pampelonne. The wine selection, by the way, is as sweeping as the panorama with over 400 wines and champagnes from France and the world over, with new wines being added every year. Deluxe rooms run from about $600 per room per day.

la reserve ramatuelle There’s still another take on a resort stay on the French Riviera with a relatively new property near St. Tropez—La Reserve Ramatuelle, a 23-room and -suite boutique hotel with an additional 12, 4- and 5-bedroom rental villas on site. It’s the boutique aspect, of course, that lends itself to the honeymoon market, with each of the rooms and suites enjoying their own private garden or terrace. All of the modern amenities are included, of course, with drop-dead gorgeous views of the Mediterranean thrown in for free. The hotel’s restaurant and bar promises “…meticulously flavored tastes of the south, that are subtly combined for pleasure, as well as health.” But it’s the spa here that’s the real spoiler. It even includes a 6-day program designed to focus on the personal health objectives of the guest with the goal of achieving long-term health improvement and “…maximize the future life potential of each participant.” Still another program is called Discovery Day, where guests get to sample the unique spa offerings, such as baleneotherapy, of their choice, exfoliant or wrap, a 50-minute body treatment, jet shower and lunch. Then there’s the Creme de la Mere, which they say is exclusive skin care with the goal of relaxation and pure pleasure and includes two regenerating facials and body treatments. Call for rates and reservations.