vive le quatorze juillet

I’ve never needed an excuse to extol anything French, but Bastille Day is just too good a fête to forgo.  Celebrating the righteous victory of a Republic (the people) over an Empire (the King), the storming of the Bastille is by far the country’s most important day in history – not to mention one heck of a success in the annals of proletariat revolution. It calls for cake. Or even better: croissants.  With a good salty French butter, too, please.

Heck, what it really calls for is room service!  So here are a few of my favorite hotels du charm in advance of tomorrow’s fireworks – they’ll treat you like royalty without sending your wallet to the guillotine.

HOTEL RAPHAEL, Paris – Just steps away from the Arc de Triomphe, you’ll easily grab a front row seat at the annual Bastille Day Military Parade as it processes down the Champs-Elysées at this classic Parisian hotel. The hotel’s famous rooftop is ideally positioned to watch the Eiffel Tower’s extravagant fireworks display, too.

VILLA & HOTEL MAJESTIC, Paris – This newest addition to the Parisian hotel landscape is within immediate proximity of the Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysées and the Eiffel Tower’s fireworks show. Chic interiors combine classic French style and period antiques with contemporary abstract artwork and modern furnishings in comfortably oversized living spaces.

HOTEL REGINA, Paris – A Belle Époque gem in the heart of Paris, directly across the Tuileries Garden and the Louvre.  (The Louvre offers free admission on Bastille Day, by the way). The 90 individually designed guest rooms and suites at Hotel Regina are adorned with Toile de Jouy fabrics, rich Regency colors and period furnishings.

HOTEL DU PALAIS, Biarritz – Built in 1855 by Napoleon III as a summer mansion for Empress Eugenia, this grandiose oceanfront hotel has interiors with restored 19th century antiques, a Guerlain spa, and a bunker and putting green for you to practice your swing before hitting the links along the magnificent Basque Coast.

PAN DEI PALAIS, Saint-Tropez – Luxury historic mansion turned boutique hotel located in the heart of Saint-Tropez.  Sun bathers can view the magnificent sights of the French Riviera while lounging in this harmonious haven of Asian-inspired architecture and modern amenities.

PALAIS STÉPHANIE, Cannes – This new hotspot’s modern redesign pays tribute to its glam film heritage – the hotel sits on the original site of the Palais des Congrès, where the first Cannes Film Festivals were held. Located in the center of the famous La Croisette and steps from the beach, Palais Stéphanie maximizes the decadent European luxury experience.


in fireworks lie secret codes

Whether you cringe at the thought of anything overtly patriotic or your cell phone rings that you’re “Proud to Be an American (‘cause at least I know I’m free)”, there is one thing that everyone can agree on come July 4th and that’s fireworks. Big, bright and blazing across the sky. Here are a handful of ways to indulge your inner child and take in the rocket’s red glare across the US of A this Independence Day.

For the Patriot

From Tea Parties to Massacres, Boston’s tumultuous history played a major role in the birth of our nation. Stay at The Liberty Hotel – the historic building was previously the Charles Street Jail – and you’re just steps from the Esplanade and a VIP view of the city’s famous Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular celebration.

For the Modern Cowboy

It doesn’t get much more American than the Wild West.  And Jackson Hole, Wyoming has one of the most down-home Independence Day celebrations in the country:  after a morning at the “Music in the Hole” festival head out to Spring Creek Ranch for a traditional BBQ and outstanding views of fireworks against the backdrop of the Teton Mountains

For the Jersey Girl

With the Manhattan skyline as a backdrop, the Sheraton Lincoln Harbor Hotel is the ideal spot for watching the Macy’s fireworks while staying close to home.  In the heart of Weehawken’s business district – and overlooking the Hudson River – there are prime river views to be had at the hotel’s Harbor Bar Restaurant.  Plus it’s located directly across from one of the fireworks barges.

For the Indecisive

For revelers whose American spirit is matched only by their fear of commitment, the Allegria Hotel & Spa in Long Beach, NY has a number of viewing options. Spend the night and you’ll have front-row seats to several Fourth of July fireworks shows – including the most talked about show at Jones Beach. From the boardwalk, the roof, an oceanfront room, or the beach, you can see the breathtaking show from any and every corner of the hotel.

For the Gambling Man

Prefer red and black to red, white, and blue?  Find the perfect mix at Atlantic City’s The Borgata Hotel Casino.  The hotel will light up the skies July 4th weekend with a special fireworks show in the nearby marina. Igniting at 9:20PM on land near the hotel, patrons of The Borgata and neighboring Water Club will have a front row seat to AC’s only patriotic pyrotechnic extravaganza.


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