Planning to take the family to Paris? Consider adding a few nights at a perfect countryside getaway, the newly-constructed, 49-room Royal Champagne, opened in July 2018.
From Paris, France’s high-speed TGV train travels the 100 miles to Reims, the capital of the Champagne Region, in 45 minutes (Epernay takes 75 minutes). For an even more exciting transfer, Karim Loqrifi, the Clef d’Or chief concierge, can arrange a helicopter transfer.
The Relais & Chateaux affiliate is located outside Epernay, the capital of the Champagne industry, in teeny, tiny Champillon. The newly built, spacious, semi-circular, contemporary wood and stone structure added on to the original, now refurbished, 19th-century inn on the property, formerly used by royalty traveling to Reims. Its stunning rooms (with balconies), multi-level terraces, restaurants and indoor and outdoor heated swimming pools all overlook Moet & Chandon vineyards.
The culinary program here is led by Michelin-starred Chef Jean Denis Rieubland, also a Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF = best chef in France). And, the 16,000-square-foot Biologique Recherche spa houses yoga space and a wet area with sauna, hammam and Jacuzzi.
While you may know the Champagne region best for its famous bubblies — Veuve Clicquot, Taittinger, Krug and Pommery — one winery, Champagne Mercier, has a kid-friendly underground train that travels along the stone cellars, where kids can learn about growing grapes and winemaking.
Feeling adventurous? Karim can arrange a flight 450 feet in the sky in a Ballon Captif, to enjoy a 360-degree panorama of the UNESCO-listed region. Or, he’ll book an exploration of the regional vineyards in a chauffeured E-Mehari electric cabriolet, on a historic boat on the Marne river, on a bike or in a buggy. One destination for a picnic is on the landscaped terrace of the wine estate behind Abbaye d’Hautvilliers, where the monk known as Dom Perignon is said to have discovered what we call Champagne.
The bevy of kid-friendly options includes rollercoasters at Nigloland; trees to climb at Couleurs Adventure Park; water sports at Lac du Der Fun Centre; a zip-line at Terraltitude Adventure; or an indoor adventure park at Royal Kids.
Be sure to spend a few hours visiting historic Reims, with its Gothic cathedral and old town. During World War I (1914–1918), the city was bombed daily and youngsters had to survive (and study in pop-up schools) within underground caves, called crayères. While visiting Reims, take a cooking class at Au Piano du Chef (across from the cathedral) and eat what you make; or, view vintage cars at Musée Automobile Reims.
Sometimes, even when you suspect a spiffy-swank hotel might be a bit over-the-top for the family, you find one like this, both luxe and low-key!
In a recent survey by Orbitz, 63 percent of millennial travelers said the hotel amenity they'd like to see more of is plants in hotel rooms. The same number said they seek plant-filled spaces and activities on vacation, including parks and botanical gardens.
San Diego is a great destination for families looking for fun no matter what time of year it is, but this fall, there is plenty to do for everyone — even when you have a budget. Thanks to year-round sunshine, the best way to explore this city is by heading outdoors and enjoying the beautiful weather.
Mana is the life force Tahitians believe connects all things. Feel the mana for yourself on a visit to the islands of Tahiti, and sample some of these activities as you connect with the breathtaking nature of the South Pacific. Fly Air France from the United States to Tahiti in the most convenient and comfortable way and let your holiday start on board.
Just because the kids have gone back to school and the days have started getting shorter doesn’t mean summer fun has to end. There are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy what’s left of the dwindling season. You can extend your warm weather adventures with these activities all over the country.