France

  • France’s AccorHotels wants to make it easier to hit the slopes this year without sacrificing luxury with a new concept dubbed “Flying Nest.” The first version of this hotel that uses refurbished shipping containers was introduced this season at the Avoriaz ski station in the Alps. The Flying Nest was created in partnership with Paris-based designer Ora-ïtoand Capsa, a Lyon-based startup that converts old shipping containers. Using old shipping containers as frames, the modules are then fitted with eco-friendly wood and a minimalist design. The containers are 130 square feet, have their own bathrooms, living room, and a bed next…

  • Visitors to Paris can soak up the past. But now they can step into the future. Digital entertainment company Ymagis has opened in Paris the first of what it expects to be a network of virtual reality adventure parks. Dubbed Illucity, the facility offers four different immersive experiences.: Hyper Reality Experience, VR Escape Game, VR Arcade and VR Film. HYPER REALITY EXPERIENCEA team game in a 100m2 space that vibrates and has heat sensors. Games include After Humanity and TOYLAND : Crazy Monkey. VR ESCAPE GAMESeveral players work to solve a puzzle as part of unraveling a mysterious plot.Games include Assassin’s…

  • The rumors and buzz started swirling late last summer in the small French city of Angoulême: Director Wes Anderson would be filming a movie in this town starting in the fall. While there has never been official confirmation from city officials who are apparently swown to secrecy, the director of “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Fantastic Mr. Fox” has indeed invaded this town, located about one hour northeast of Bordeaux. Angoulême may not be the first destination tourists think of when coming to France, but I visited several years ago and it’s easy to see how Anderson could have been…

  • During our trek from the Chamonix region to Paris, we made a quick stop in Bourbon-Lancy, a small town in the Saône-et-Loire Department, located in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region. Alas, we did not get to visit its most famous feature: its thermal baths. But we did spend a couple of hours wandering around its medieval district after a picnic lunch. It’s beyond picturesque, and a great example of many of the styles common in the Middle Ages. One enters through an arch under the clock tower, which apparently used to be the wooden-gated entrance to the city. (see photo above). If…

  • A 4-day bike ride through France’s famed Loire Valley promised to be a big adventure for our family. Though we are all bike riders to some measure, we had never done a tour like this with our two teenage children. Fortunately, the Loire Valley offers moderately easy terrain, spectacular views, an embarassment of castles, and the good food you’d expect from this region. While there are countless companies that will book the whole tour for you, we opted to cobble together our own route and accommdations. For those who wish to follow in our wake, here is our itinerary. Day…

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