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Pietro d’Abano, serves refined yet contempo- rary Italian fare paired with offerings from an extensive cellar. Guests can choose from an a la carte menu, or opt for the five-course chef ’s tasting menu, which changes daily. The James Bond Bar offers some of the best- mixed cocktails in Italy; when you’ve had your fill of wine and Prosecco, indulge in a Vesper martini and other 007 favorites. Between the attractions of Padua and the luxury resort enticements of the Abano Grande you could easily spend a week here, (as Europeans like to do) but if you must, Venice is only 45 minutes away… www.abanograndhotel.com Provence, France LA BASTIDE DE GORDES GORDES La Bastide de Gordes, a luxury hotel spa perched on the ramparts of the walled, medieval town of Gordes in the Luberon, is a swoon-worthy place to stay in Provence. Everything the name Provence conjures–lavender fields, sunflower heads turned to the sun, ancient abbeys, rolling vineyards, gastronomic meals–is made real here. Once a private chateau, the Bastide boasts 33 bedrooms and six suites, done up in elegant toile

pool, terrace bar, sitting rooms and grottos. Gordes is an exceptionally pretty and well- preserved stone village, with charming shops, restaurants, cobbled streets and churches to ex- plore to your hearts content. If you are headed to Provence any time soon, don’t miss a visit to this exceptional property. Member, Leading Hotels of the World. www.bastide-de-gordes.com/en/

A unique, 60-room boutique hotel, Cour des Loges lies in the heart of Lyons’ charming, regentrified, old town. (Don’t lose the code on your email confirmation; you’ll need it to open the gate to drive through the pedestrian- only streets to the hotel’s entrance). Step back through time into a renaissance-era chateau with tapestried walls, brick arches, coffered ceilings, candlelight and an enclosed, inte-


rior courtyard that now serves as the Loges Michelin-starred restaurant. Twisting stairways (and a 21 st C. elevator) lead guests to individually decorated rooms awash in silk and antiques. Enormous bathrooms of- fer every amenity, and hidden plea- sures. Opulence abounds. Mystery prevails. Les Loges restaurant, a soaring Itali- anate space at the heart of the hotel, is


overseen by talented young chef Anthony Bon- net, who earned the restaurant its Michelin star with refined yet exciting gastronomic cuisine. Duck foie gras with onions and roots served in half of an orange; braised veal sweetbreads with black truffles in pithiviers (pastry crust); and codfish from Brittany with seasonal vegetables with cinnamon bark and Tonka beans, are the kinds of dishes that wow the palate and earn accolades. Don’t be surprised if you see elegant clientele eating their soft cheeses off of their knives here, as French etiquette permits them

Enter the former home and grounds of artist Bernard Buffet for a stylish and gourmet villa stay in Provence. Situated on over 90 rolling acres, the villa offers a luxury rural retreat with exquisite guestrooms, lavish salons, intimate dining areas, covered courtyards and magnifi- cent terraces. Spacious rooms and suites are individually decorated in 18 th century French country style, with beautiful papered walls, el- egant furnishings, ornate bathroom tiles and unique objets . The villa is awash in color, a trib- ute to Buffet’s keen eye and expressionist style. Here one can take a cooking lesson, join a Pilates or yoga class, climb to a waterfall, play tennis, lounge by the swimming pool, enjoy tranquil spa services, and admire the property’s views over the hills of Provence. Olive oil served and sold in the restaurant is cultivated on the property, as are honey, herbs, and vegetables. A complimentary afternoon tea with house made pastries is served daily, on the terrace if weather permits, in one of the charming salons if the Mistral is blowing. The same holds for dinner, which is a nightly tasting menu of the chef ’s preparation of seasonal, locally sourced, farm fresh fare. Nearby Tourtour, a lovely, typical Provençal village, sports winding streets, fountains, watch- towers, cafés and art galleries, if you can tear yourself away from the myriad and magical of-


fabrics, period furniture, fine antiques and artwork. All guestrooms have lavish marble bathrooms and amenities like fine linens and toiletries. Public rooms are airy and elegant, all with extraordinary views over the valley. Service is exemplary here, from directions to nearby walking trails in the hills, to a recommendation of wine with dinner from the nearby vineyard featured in A Good Year and fa- vored by director (and frequent guest) Ridley Scott. Wonderful Provençal and Mediterranean fare is featured in the hotel’s gourmet restaurant, which encompasses an elegant stone-vaulted din- ing room, terrace overlooking the hills, and pri- vate dining cellar. The hotel features a beautiful, stone-clad Sisley spa with a range of mind-body treatments, an indoor and an outdoor swimming


to do. Step past the hotel’s retro-trendy bar into the cobbled streets of Vieux Lyons, to explore, shop, drink, dine and while away your time to your heart’s content. If you make it across the bridge to the rest of Lyons, a fascinating mod- ern French city awaits. http://www.courdesloges.com

ferings of this enchanting domaine. http://en.domaine-delabaume.com/


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