Le Cinq Codet

Le Cinq Codet

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After getting my hair done, finishing off some last emails and then heading into town for a quick spot of shopping, I got home so late I was still packing my bags for Paris late into the night. I was so excited I hardly slept at all! We had a really early start but I had so much energy and after arriving at St Pancras to catch the Eurostar, I refuelled on the most delicious apricot pastries and coffee which kept me going through the morning.

Our journey was so easy and the incredible way the train passes under the Channel is simply magical! It is easy to forget which such different identities and personalities how close London and Paris are to one another! It was amazing, one minute we were waving goodbye to the red buses and the Christmas lights of London and the next we were walking down grand boulevards and shopping along Les Champs Elysées. We got so caught up in the beauty of it all that we didn’t check in to our amazing hotel until late in the day, the 5* Hotel Le Cinq Codet, which was in the most incredible location, minutes from Les Invalides where Napoleon Bonaparte is buried and just a stone’s throw from the Eiffel Tower and the famous Champ-de-Mars in the 7th arrondissement, one of the most exclusive neighbourhood’s in Paris.

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The 5* Hotel Le Cinq Codet, designed by Jean-Philippe Nuel was beautiful. We were greeted in a modern colourful lobby, filled with incredible pieces of furniture and beautiful flowers. The whole hotel was finished to such incredible quality. As we were shown around I couldn’t help but admire the courtyard situated in the middle of the building decorated with Christmas trees and lights. There was so much light and so much glass yet the stylish bar and lounge still felt cosy. I couldn’t wait to see our room!

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We stayed in their Chambre Duplex, which I will refer to for the rest of this post as our “suite” because it was so big! When I showed my friends the photos of our room, they thought that our sofa and seating area was actually the hotel lobby because it was so spacious and nice! The room didn’t have one, but two plasma TV’s and both had my name on them upon arrival “Mrs Royston” – Ok, so I am not Mrs yet…but still, pretty cool right?!

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The room was filled with original works of art which made it feel like a modern day artist’s studio, a futuristic version of the bohemian romantic and creative hubs that fuelled so many creatives that Paris is so famous for! There were curves and angles all in the right places, all complimented by original lighting, large mirrors and an incredible glass window that travelled the length of the two floors. What really added to the luxury and the modernity of the room were all the gadgets and incredible technology that we had at our disposal – from an an Apple-mini which enabled us to check Facebook and let me blog on the plasma TV, to design mobile phones that we could use to call room service. To say that Gustavo had a field day with all these toys is an understatement!

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I on the other hand was far more obsessed with the fact that this place had a gym and a spa and that we not only had a separate washroom and walk in shower that was big enough for 4 people downstairs, our own bathrobes, slippers and the best smelling cosmetics, but that we also had a huge bath in our bedroom, just feet away from our bed! Ou La La! This meant that I could run a bubble bath and watch Bad Grandpa on my customised “Mrs Royston” plasma TV! If this is a time to Hashtag Travel Goals then I don’t know when is…

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I slept like a chubby cat who has found a pile of freshly washed warm towels in the airing cupboard and has decided to go for a nap after polishing off a whole packet of cream. I woke up in a chubby Abi’s paradise – the Breakfast buffet was one of the most extensive I had ever seen…Continental, American, English, I made about three trips over to the counter and only stopped because we had managed to fill the whole table with our treats – bacon, sausages, croissants, pains of chocolats, coffee, juice, fruit salad, yoghurt, pastries, bread, muffins… It was so good I actually managed to eat most of it but only of course after taking a few pics 😉

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Our first two days were so busy and it was great coming back to such a lovely luxurious hotel in the evenings! We had some great meetings lined up for this year’s fashion season but we had a bit of time to Paris – so I can’t wait to share some of the pictures that we took and to reveal some of the exciting things that happened in this magical city soon! But first, here is a quick peak at the 5* Le Cinq Codet  and the first part of my Paris Travel vlog!

 

My White Picket Frock at the Dorchester

My White Picket Frock at the Dorchester

   I am so happy to be able to announce that this month, myself and My Girls On Tour are off to France and TURKEY which I am super excited about!!!!

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Last weekend as a very special treat we went to one of the most beautiful and famous hotels in the world, the Dorchester, for afternoon tea. Now a good old afternoon tea is, for me at least, right up there with probably one of the best inventions of the 19th century, with the likes of the light bulb, the steam boat, the telephone, the rubber band, the lawn mower and the dish washer. Am I exaggerating? Perhaps a little, but really how many other countries do you know of that have come up with what is basically a three course cake feast?

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For such a pampering and girlie afternoon I decided to wear a gold and turquoise bodice dress from White Picket Frock. What I loved about this dress were the rich colors and the beautiful heart shape of the corset. I felt like a Princess wearing it and so feminine. It was a perfect length, just above the knee, so it looked really sexy but also super sophisticated and smart. I paired it with a long gold arrow necklace to compliment the dress which shined in the light and sparkled as I moved. I really can’t get enough of this beautiful little London boutique’s dresses, they are just so perfect for special events. I can not recommend them enough!

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The atmosphere was amazing at the Dorchester Hotel. Staff gave presents to guests are they descended from their rooms, the staff were immaculately dress, so polite and the flower bouquets so beautiful. A place where the present Queen Elizabeth II attended a dinner part the day before her engagement was announced. This place oozed old school class and wealth.  I felt so chic and feminine wearing my Khalea Strapless Jacquard Midi Dress, whilst sipping pink champagne. The scones were so scummy and the fruit tea that I choose delicious. My favorite part were the little cakes which we couldn’t quite finish for fear of death by chocolate. A must do, even if it is just once in a lifetime 😉

Let me know what you think of the dress, do you like the look? What is your favorite White Picket Dress? Let me know 🙂

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Wearing

Khalea Strapless Jacquard Midi Dress – WHITE PICKET FROCK

Metal Twirl Stilettos – DUNE

Long Arrow Gold Pendant – Accesorize

Green flower earrings – Accessorize

Don’t forget that you have until the 11th October to use your 15% code “MGOT” on all dresses!!!!!

Khalea Strapless Jacquard Midi Dress

Sophie Embellished Lace Gown

Grace Beaded Detail Gown

Kendall Sweatheart Lace Bodice Gown

Brigitte Drap Straight Gown

Lia Sequin Midi Dress

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5* Islantilla Golf Resort & Mirador del Golf

5* Islantilla Golf Resort & Mirador del Golf

At only a 70km drive from Faro airport,the stylish resort of Islantilla can be found on Spain’s ‘Coast of Light’, often referred to as the ‘Spanish Algarve’ or ‘Spain’s Best Kept Secret’. Its beautiful sandy beaches stretch for miles and its lack of over-development means that it has retained its natural beauty with its backdrop of sand-dunes and pine trees between the sea and the promenade.We found beautiful star fish and walked past a lagoon to a deserted beach.

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I particularly liked the small fisherman’s village with its little white chapel. At night after a hearty meal we would walk about along the promenade and see their little lights bobbing out at sea. In the morning we went and bought fresh fish straight from their nets and saw how they pulled their boats in and mended their nets. Islantilla is the perfect place to relax, enjoy a lovely scenery in a very stylish and beautiful Spanish town. There are many shops and restaurants, some cocktails bars but no night clubs. In the summer half of Madrid and Sevilla escape the hot sun and come down for a couple of weeks to play golf, tennis and eat some of Spain’s best sea food. Make sure you can speak Spanish or don’t mind giving it a go, as there are not many foreign tourists here and lots of people can’t speak English.

Here are my recommendations of where to stay in Islantilla:

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A lovely two bedroom house in one of the most exclusive urbanisations of Islantilla, ‘Mirador del Golf’, 5 minutes walk from Islantilla Golf Club- rated Top 100 Best Courses in Europe by Golf Digest, and 8 minutes from the beach. It is a peaceful & securely gated complex with a stunning pool, sea views and own parking. It was really clean and had been newly refurbished to a great standard. The pool was beautiful and the kitchen was really well equipped. We enjoyed using the DVD player and watching the wide screen TV. This is a really cheap but good quality alternative to a hotel as prices start at £350 per week and the house sleeps 6!

Another wonderful place that I have stayed in is the 5* Islantilla Golf Resort, which is 3 minute walk from the house Mirador del Golf. It is very large and its grounds are really impressive. With both indoor and outdoor pool, a beautiful and world famous golf course right in front, this is the place to go for all golf lovers. It is around 10 minutes from the beach, but a little train goes passed every half and hour and it is free for guests. An additional perk of staying here is the ability to use the Beach Club which is a luxurious pool and lounge area right on the sea front reserved for members and guests of the hotel. The golf coaches are great and when we went they offered a free lesson to anyone who came every Saturday morning. The rooms were large and had great views. The only slight downside would be that it was a little empty and thus the services normally on offer at a 5* resort were slightly absent.

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Xi’An a place of Culture, Beauty and Sophistication

Xi’An a place of Culture, Beauty and Sophistication

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Our hotel was in the Central Plaza but just wasn’t the Crowne Plaza…

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We walked out of the large beautiful hotel, down into the underpass. We emerged and walked round the square, I dislocated my shoulder yanking my massive tour bag around, but thankfully our real hotel wasn’t far away. This was it, not quite the same, but the location was still great. We walked into a dark little corridor, a stark contrast to the grandiose building we had just moments ago enjoyed. Our room was on the 7th floor and there was no lift. We dumped our bags off and set off for a wonderfully creamy comforting Starbucks at the large spacious, modern building just next to us. So much glass, a large shopping mall close to us.  I am a pleb, but truly this was heaven.

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Dirty and and in the same clothes from the day before in Pingyao we rocked up. There were so many couples and all beautifully dressed. The girls wore their hair in ringlets and had beautiful ball dresses and disco style heels on. The young boys wore suits and elegantly accompanied their dates to their tables where they would whisper over the sumptuous drinks. I looked at my clothes like ones does at a swanky party. I felt under-dressed and slightly embarrassed.

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We emerged from our room all groomed and fragrant. If the people of Xi’An dressed up and looked amazing, we wouldn’t let the side down. As one of the four ancient capitals of China, the capital of Shaanxi Province is used to its fair share of wealth and opulence. Xi’An marks the start of the Silk Road and is one of the most influencial, important and oldest cities in China. Here class, culture and taste rebounded off the tall skyscraper walls and resonated around the beautifully kept ornate gardens. Here are some photos of our beautiful evening around Xi’An’s magestic  Bell Tower and Huifang Style Street. The orange lights lit up th architectural wonders which litter this area and appear all around this square. Glaceful birds soared around the towers and scattered when the loud gongs went off. People teemed along the rampart hights and bronze statues ornamented the clean vibrant streets. Street sellers sold beautiful jade bracelets and chefs cooked food on wild fires. The night was warm, people were friendly and it was great that we had dressed up because everyone looked great and super stylish. Xi’An soon became my favorite place in China, it was just so beautiful.

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WEARING

MONSOON DRESS

ZARA BLACK BLAZER

KAREN MILLER HEELS

4* Hotel Bolivar Rome

4* Hotel Bolivar Rome

The first thing which was incredible about this boutique 4* hotel was its location. We emerged at the Colosseum metro stop and walked up the boulevard. Before we had even got to our hotel, we were gasping in awe at all the roman relics. Our hotel was a five minute walk from the Victor Emmanuelle II monument. Absolutely breathtaking.

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The rooms were large and sumptuous. I loved the yellow curtains and wall color. It made it really light and airy yet majestic. A large oil painting hung above our bed. The road on which the hotel is situated is little and so the rooms were quite.

The views from the breakfast room were wonderful, although the coffee a bit too rough and the pastries a bit stale.  One of the highlights of our stay were the restaurant recommendations which we were given by the receptionist. Rome is notorious for its tourist traps and thanks to him we were able to find a couple lovely restaurant which were inexpensive and did amazing food. It was a wonderful few days here and I would definitely come back.

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A cheaper alternative, where we also stayed for a few nights is the 3* Hotel Colosseum found on Via Sforza (10). The rooms were not as memorable and the location not as great (between Termini station and the Colosseum). However, what I loved about Hotel Colosseum was the massive roof terrace which has beautiful vistas over Rome. One night we bought our own food and sat up there and ate under the stars. The breakfast room is darker and ordained with thick wood. The quality of the food was better than Hotel Bolivar, but all in all if you can afford the price Bolivar would be my personal favorite.

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3* Hotel Sevilla Old Havana, Cuba

3* Hotel Sevilla Old Havana, Cuba

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A popular meeting place for Cuban high society from the time of its inauguration in 1908. Well known visitors grace the guest book of Hotel Sevilla including Al Cappone, luminaries like Enrico Caruso, Graham Greene and Josephine Baker. havana256front-of-hotel-sevilla

The Hotel is situated off El Prado and is a short walk to the sea promenade El Malecon and places of historical historical and cultural interest such as the Capitolio and Gran Teatro.

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Inside a large spacious lobby, with art deco fountain. It is here that Cuban music is performed and where on our first night we watched a professional flamenco performance. Once a month, original silent films are projected on a screen assembled in the lobby area, to an amusing piano accompaniment that tries to set the mood, attesting to the establishment’s inventive commitment to culture.

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Outside, there is a large swimming pool, with gym and sauna, which offers an oasis of cool and relaxation in the heart of the vibrant busy city. Other features include an arcade with shops which adjoins the lobby at its far end.

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The rooms are spacious and clean, reminiscent of Havana’s gold era. Don’t miss the towel Origami!

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The most impressive part of Hotel Sevilla is the palatial Roof Gardens, where breakfast is served and a great place to have dinner.

A cheaper alternative to Hotel Sevilla is its sister hotel Hotel Caribbean, a two minute walk away. This is its much smaller, less grand counter part, with darker rooms. It is however half the price and enjoys the same great location. Food is served at the Hotel bar and breakfast is included in the 30cuc per night price tag. Guests of the Hotel Caribbean can use the pool facilities of Hotel Sevilla, and the clean rooms come with en-suite bathroom with plenty of hot water, air-conditioning. Some however have only internal windows onto the Hotel’s landing.

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Both hotels have an incredible location and all of Old Havana can be explored easily from here on foot. We loved the fact that it was so easy to get to the sea and we walked there often early in the morning and to watch the sunset

5* Paradisus Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

5* Paradisus Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

An oasis of tropical escapism embraces the fine white sands and crystalline waters of legendary Playa Bavaro.

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Our suite was on the beach front, and was very large and spacious. Each room has a living area, individually controlled air conditioning and ceiling fan, coffee maker, safe deposit box, luxurious bathrooms, private terrace or balcony with jacuzzi, 24 hour room service and daily stocked minibar. Room service includes Champagne, breakfast and full three course meals.

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Paradisus Punta Cana Resort, coexists in harmony with nature which results in an exquisite balance of natural and man-made wonders. Open-air architecture featuring indigenous materials gracefully rises from artfully designed tropical gardens, native mangrove forests, soaring palms and magnificent views of the stunningly clear turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.

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At every turn there is a new species of exotic vegetation, native birds and delicate garden scents. The Caribbean playground offers tennis, championship golf, an array of gorgeous pools, every non-motorized water sport imaginable, a casino, an exquisite full-service spa and health club and a thrilling collection of unique island activities.

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The staff are incredibly professional and attentive to hotel guests. As we walked round the grounds, a man cut up a coconut that had fallen off the trees and gave it to use. Its taste was incredible.

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All the hotel buildings are exotic, clean and very spacious.

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The resort offers 9 international restaurants, 8 bars with premium drinks and 24 hours room service

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The food was range was incredible, with each restaurant designed differently. Our favorite was the Argentinian Grill. Make sure you book well in advance because they fill up quickly! After dinner, if you can stay awake, after the early rise, day at the beach, excellent food and wine, don’t forget to go to the beach bar, disco or even to the circus.

The only bad comment I feel that should be highlighted were the vouchers amounting to $1,500 that we were given to spend at the resort. We didn’t spend any, as most had conditions of high minimum spends attached to them.

The hotel was beautiful, the beach idyllic and the service top rate. Choose Paradisus as your Punta Cana destination, you won’t be disappointed!