IRVINA LEW

Travel Writer & Author

Tag: Provence

Masterful Marseille

TMASTERFUL-MARSEILLEI rvina Lewhe five-star InterContinental Marseille – Hotel Dieu opened this April in France’s ancient Mediterranean port—the European Culture Capital for 2013.

The 18th-century building long served as the city hospital, and its transformation has retained the original staircases, stone tiles, vaulted passageways, and sections of limestone walls, one dating from the Renaissance.

A skylight over the soaring lobby tops a minimalist path bordered by ceramics that resemble ancient Greco Roman urns.

Of the 194 beautifully appointed rooms, 72 showcase panoramic views overlooking the Vieux Port to the Notre Dame de la Garde Basilica.

This dramatic vista fronts the expansive terrace, gastronomic restaurants (where Michelin-starred Ducasse disciple chef Lionel Levy reigns), the 800-square-foot private balcony in the Presidential Suite (about $6,762 a night), private terraces outside 15 Junior Suites and three walls of 15-foot-high windows surrounding the spacious Prestige Suites.

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Throughout the hotel, neutral tones enhance the contemporary décor and art reflects the sea theme; one notable work is a triptych of 17th-century Marseille. Shimmering glass tiles repeat the motif in the 3,000-square-foot Clarins Spa, complete with indoor pool, hammam, sauna, and six treatment rooms.

By Irvina Lew
See more at: Elite Traveler

Painters From Paris Through Provence

This is a 3 part series.
Read the full article at Luxury Traveler

Luminescent landscapes lured plein-air artists to live and paint along France’s sunlit stretch of Mediterranean coastline from Collioure to Cagnes-sur-Mer and inland, too, in Aix and Arles. As a fan of the fabulous Fauves—my favorites include Bonnard, Braque, Cezanne, Chagall, Derain, Matisse, Miró, Picasso, Renoir, Signac and Van Gogh, Vlaminck and others–I wanted to tour the South of France where many lived, worked and exhibited decades before I took my first museum-studded road trip in and around Nice, 20 years ago. Read More

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A Golfer’s Paradise


At the magical, elegantly rural Terre Blanche Golf Club, scents of lavender, mimosa and thyme mingle just 45 minutes from the Nice Côte d’Azur airport on the French Riviera. Golfers of all levels and challenges flock to this sunbathed, wooded summit where the 2012 French Riviera Masters (European Senior Tour) is scheduled.

Read the full article
By Irvina Lew
South Park Magazine
charlotteobserver.com

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