Travel Passages – Blog

The Grand Hôtel du Palais Royal Celebrates 5th Anniversary

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I recently had the great honor and pleasure of attending a gorgeous event in celebration of our very chic sophisticated Grand Hotel du Palais Royal’s 5th Anniversary! I crossed the Atlantic on La Compagnie, the all-business-class boutique airline from New York to Orly – which I loved. The value is amazing and I met some lovely people too!

I arrived at Grand Hôtel du Palais Royal, located across the street from the Palais Royal garden, minutes from the Musée des Arts Décoratifs and close to the upscale boutiques and galleries on both Rue Saint-Honoré and St. Germain-des-Pres, a few minutes away, across the Seine, just in time for the July “Les Soldes! The biannual sales in the city of lights is a tradition for locals and tourists and I admit, I was able to support the French economy in a small way and found the perfect dress for the occasion that brought me to one of my favorite cities.

The Grand Hôtel du Palais Royal attracts sophisticated and low-key-chic international travelers but today the intimate Place de Valois seemed to be sparking in anticipation of the big occasion as I arrived. The festivities began with a 10-piece New Orleans-style band playing just outside the entrance, where hotel guests and locals stopped by to join the festivities. The lobby of the hotel was filled with gorgeous white flowers, their scent wafting up the staircase greeting guests joining the anniversary festivities. The owners, as well as, Lena Le Goff, General Manager, Severine Greault our Director of Sales and Marketing and the entire team were dressed in white.

The weather was perfect and at dusk, the city lights began to twinkle over the picturesque Paris rooftops and we could see the Eiffel Tower to the left, from the rooftop terrace. I was joined by Filip Boyen, CEO, Small Luxury Hotels of the World as well as invited guests from across the region and the globe – as we raised a glass to toast this “true gem” at a glittering anniversary party!

I was sad to leave but will look forward to my next trip to Paris to visit when their Grand Power in the 8th Arrondisement will open in December!

Grand Hôtel du Palais Royal is one of the most recent properties to be accepted into the Virtuoso Hotels & Resorts Program, the prestigious and exclusive luxury travel agency network. The property was accepted into Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Traveller Made and Signature Travel Network in 2017 and was the recipient of Conde Nast Travelers 2017 and 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards. For the third year in a row, the luxury property received four stars from the Forbes Travel Guide.

If arriving by plane, it takes 45 minutes from Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG), and 30 -45 minutes from Orly Airport (ORY). If traveling by Eurostar, the hotel can be reach in 15 – 20 minutes by taxi from the Gard du Nord or by Metro (lines 1 and 7; Palais Royal –Musee de Louvre). From Gare de Lyon, it is about a 10 – 15 minute taxi ride. The Palais Royal Metro is around the corner from the hotel.

Fete Imperiale and the City of Music

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Adam’s Austrian Fairytale

By Adam Szymanski

I have had the pleasure of working with Sacher Hotels for three years now. To be honest, I thought I knew these hotels in and out…but man was I wrong! I just returned from hosting the most incredible FAM trip to stay at each of the two hotels (Vienna and Salzburg), and amazement aside, it was one of the most informative trips of my life. As I said, I know Sacher Hotels in and out, but because of this trip…I now understand just how iconic they truly are.

Our trip began in the exquisite, historic city of Vienna. Our trip was co-sponsored with Austrian Airlines and they were kind enough to provide us with international business class tickets. They recently recreated their entire business class experience, and it was very impressive – definitely something to check out. I especially liked the fully-flat beds and amenity kit. Upon arrival, we were met and taken to the iconic Sacher Hotel. Greeted and effortlessly checked-in, we had the afternoon to spend touring the old city. Our tour didn’t last long, as we had Waltz Lessons planned for us! None of us had ever really waltzed (for the most part), so the lessons were mainly spent laughing and trying to do the basic four steps. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. The day ended perfectly with outdoor dining at the local restaurant “Heuriger”, specializing in Austrian Cuisine. After filling up on as much wiener schnitzel we could handle, we headed back to our palace for the night.

The next day, we had a fabulous breakfast, followed by an early morning factory tour to see how the world-famous Sacher Torte is made. It was great to see, and of course we stuffed our faces once again (this time before noon)! We headed back to the hotel to begin getting ready for the Fete Imperiale, or the Summer Ball. Each of the ladies on the trip were given a personal, private hair and makeup stylist to help them prepare for the night. All necessary of course when you’re going to a European Grand Ball!

The evening began with the most incredible surprise – the Sacher team arranged for horse-driven carriages to take us to the royal palace. Nope, not dreaming. Everything you read about in fairytales growing up was happening for us at that very moment. We arrived at the ball, where each of us were personally greeted by Mrs. Guertler (Hostess of the ball and Owner of Sacher) herself. We watched the ceremonies, then danced the night away until 5 a.m.! It was unforgettable to say the least.

How to follow-up on that?! The next day was pretty incredible as well. Mrs. Guertler invited our FAM group to have lunch with her at her private home. We were all still in the afterglow from the night before, but somehow, she still managed to impress us even more. Lunch was fabulous of course, like something out of Real Simple magazine. Afterward, we headed to the train station to board our train to Salzburg!

Upon arrival in Salzburg, we were transferred to the Hotel Sacher Salzburg, checked-in, and immediately headed out on an impromptu city tour. We stumbled upon a few of the filming locations from The Sound of Music which was very cool. The night only got better as we then attended a private performance of Mozart’s famous concertos at Mirabell Palace – A unique and unforgettable moment.

We ended the trip with another day touring the beautiful city of Salzburg, including visits to the von Trapp Mansion, the Palace (and lunch there, too!), Mozart’s Birthplace, and more! We ended the tour in the lakes region, at this breathtaking place called Salzkammergut…say that 5 times! It was the perfect ending to our Austrian fairy tale. All in all, it was one of the best moments of my life.

So many wonderful memories from our trip…it really was one of the best FAM’s I have ever been on!!!
From learning the secrets to baking the perfect Sacher Torte at the factory to our fantasy like horse & carriage ride to the ball, our stay in Vienna was truly memorable! Of course I won’t forget our waltz lessons which were so much fun and sure gave us a lot of laughs! The impeccable service, beautiful accommodations and sheer authenticity of this historic property truly define the Hotel Sacher…..and we can’t leave out the best wienerschnitzel ever!!

Judy SteinOvation Travel