What’s so special?
The Molitor was a staple of the Parisian social scene for 60 years from its opening as a grand lido in 1929 until it closed and fell to rack and ruin. The bikini was launched there in 1946 and future Tarzan actor Johnny Weissmuller was a lifeguard. Now, after a renovation, it has opened as a luxury hotel, centred around the beautiful swimming pool.
How they rate it
The new bedrooms are beautiful, writes Isabel Best in the FT – she stayed in room 221. “While there are larger suites boasting terraces, this is surely the best in the building… it would be a pleasant but unremarkable space were it not for the large round window looking down on to the magnificent T-shaped outdoor pool.”
The outdoor pool is “dazzlingly glamorous” and empty – to swim in this gorgeous expanse of watery blue you either have to be a hotel guest or pay the €3,300 a year private members fee.
On the roof there is a terrace with views of the Eiffel Tower and a cocktail bar and grill. There is also a restaurant that serves up classic French cuisine.
Double rooms cost from €300. For more information visit www.mltr.fr/en or call 00 33 1 5607 0850.
Le Royal Monceau Raffles
What’s so special?
A combination of the location and celebrity design makes this hotel worth booking. It is close to the Champs-Elysées, on the broad avenue between the Arc de Triomphe and Parc Monceau. The interior is stylish and unusual thanks to designer Philippe Starck.
How they rate it
“As soon as you see the red lanterns and red glass marquise outside, you know this place is naughty but nice,” says Natasha Edwards in The Daily Telegraph. “It’s at its best downstairs in the public spaces, the lounge stretches endlessly mixing vistas and secluded corners, with the illuminated Long Bar for seeing and being seen, and a cascade of chandeliers in the stairwell.”
The bedrooms are “far from designer minimalism, rather, a Starck-conceived artistic clutter of eclectic lamps and tables, mixing retro and contemporary touches, with a vast island bed”. For something even grander, book one of the three presidential suites “occupying a floor each of the adjacent building”.
Both the hotel’s restaurants boast Michelin stars. Choose from French dishes at La Cuisine or Tuscan food at Il Carpaccio.
Double rooms start from €640 per night. The presidential suites cost from €25,000 per night. Find out more at www.leroyalmonceau.com or call 00 33 1 4299 8800.
Beat the post-World Cup blues
With the World Cup over, many football fans might be suffering withdrawal symptoms. One way to beat the post-tournament blues is booking into one of these football-related hotels.
Hotel Boca in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is “dedicated to the city’s beloved Boca Juniors team”, says Laura Holt in The Independent. “It’s decked out in signature blue and gold home colours, with paintings of the stadium, La Bombonera, on the walls.” The hotel has a gym, pool, sauna and “spa therapists on hand to ease post-match aches”. Rooms start from £80 including breakfast (Hotelbocajuniors.com; 00 54 11 4590 8540).
This summer, aspiring football stars can take part in the Chelsea Football Academy at the Forte Village Resort in Sardinia. “Now in its seventh season, it welcomes children aged four to 14 for five-day football camps, taught by the same coaches who train the players at Stamford Bridge.” Doubles from €550, half board, the academy costs €320 per child (Fortevillageresort.com; 00 39 070 921516).
Hotel Football is set to open opposite the Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester this winter. Co-owned by Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville it promises “views of the former
England fullback and the Welsh winger’s old stomping ground when they played for Manchester United, with its own five-a-side pitch on the roof”. Doubles start from £80, room only (Hotelfootball.com; 0161 751 0430).