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travelgirl recommends: Hilton Molino Stucky; Park Hyatt Vendome

SALUD TO THE STUCKY

Hilton Molino Stucky

Venice, Italy

Opening mid-2007

Perhaps Michelangelo got inspiration for his art from his view of the Venetian skyline from the island of Canale Giudecca where he lived in the 16th century. Now you can get inspiration of your own -- maybe while sipping a refreshing Limoncello from the Skyline Bar in the Hilton Molino Stucky Venice, due to open in mid 2007 after a four-year renovation. It's been called the most significant architectural project in Venice in recent years: A 19th-century flour mill is being transformed into a 380-room luxury hotel. Located just 10 minutes south of Piazza San Marco, the hotel will have five restaurants, a rooftop swimming pool, a spa and Turkish bath and its own landing jetty.

www.hilton.com

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A FEAST FOR THE SENSES

Stay at the Park Hyatt Vendome in Paris and you will feel energized.

This hotel is truly a modern masterpiece, but we're not talking the Bauhaus nouveau minimalism that shocks guests in many "hip" hotels. Its seamless fusion of art, space and light oozes serenity like no other accommodation in Paris, putting it among the celebrated great hotels of the city, though not a shred of toile or gold-leaf will be found at this choice Rue de la Paix address.

Instead, large bronze sculptures by French native Roseline Granet grace the common areas, and each of its 188 rooms is decorated with bronze sculpture sconces and door handles. Muted fabric tones, mirror walls, mahogany and flat-panel televisions that blend with paintings and picture windows all contribute to the rhythmic and relaxing atmosphere.

Guests make a habit of roaming the public rooms and spaces of the lobby, peering around corners and smiling at the array of bronze fixtures and statues set among lights, in niches and atop horizontal stone surfaces. For dinner, sample Le Terasse's classic French favorites with a modern touch and enjoy the scene at the hotel's traditional courtyard. Don't rush to your room afterward, The Bar in the hotel's lobby is a place to see and be seen.

Park Hyatt, Paris - Vendome

5 Rue de la Paix

Paris 75002

France +33 (1) 5871 1234

www.paris.vendome.hyatt.com

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