Storm the Bastille with Concorde Hotels

Need an excuse to head out to Europe this summer? Concorde Hotels & Resorts is ready to feed your jones for travel. The Concorde Summer package – just in time for Bastille Day – puts 22 hotels from around the world at your fingertips, from the Hotel Lutetia in Paris to the super-upscale Hotel de la Paix on the shores of Lake Geneva. You can join the party for as little as $115 a night ($165 in some cases), which, I assure you, is so insane that I half-expected to see Crazy Eddy’s name listed somewhere on the press release.

As has become common with deals from up-market hotels, the low room rate isn’t all you get. Concorde is throwing in some great extras, including a daily buffet breakfast, access to double rooms and a second room at an additional 50 percent discount. Also, Condorde’s throwing in a surprise gift for each stay.

But, you have to take advantage of it this summer. The deal stretches from July 10, 2009 to September 13, 2009.

Bouncing Brit babes help hotels launch free nights offer

InterContinental Hotels kicked off its biggest free nights promotion with a hell of a bounce. Around the world, the hotel chain invited people to bounce on oversized beds in an attempt to set a world record. In all, more than 20,000 bouncers bounced in Paris, New York, Shanghai and London for 16 hours.

The highlight for most was probably the presence of Olympic gymnasts at each of these locations, but it’s hard for anyone to compete with The Sun‘s famous “Page 3” models, who made an appearance at London’s Covent Garden for a bit of bouncing.

In New York, the crowed gathered in mid-town’s Bryant Park (which I walked by, but didn’t see any Page 3-caliber hotties).

Why all the fuss? InterContinental Hotels was just psyched to dish out 4,000 free room-nights at its hotels. Scoring with a Page 3 girl would have just been a bonus.

To see all the bed-jumping action in one place, click here.

Stinky London, Rude Paris, Romantic Venice

If you need a sense of authority to trust a publication, you can’t do better than one from Australia. So, when the Sydney Morning Herald says that Brussels is boring, you have to believe it. Likewise, Paris is overrated, and the food sucks in London (duh).

Well, if you think the folks down under have credibility problems, fear not. It was reporting on a TripAdvisor poll of nearly 2,400 travelers, so it’s really TripAdvisor users who had an epiphany on the quality of London‘s cuisine.

Bad news for London: it also has the worst-dressed locals and is the most expensive. Oh, and it’s the dirtiest.

Sorry, guys.

Meanwhile, we needed a poll to tell us that Paris was the least friendly (though I’ve never had a problem there) and the second most expensive. Yet, Paris is top for grub and fashion, and London leads in nightlife, public parks and free attractions.

Need a romantic getaway in Europe? Venice still wins.


Hang with Andy Warhol in Paris

Elvis may have left the building, but the man who immortalized him (no, not the colonel) has left his mark.

The Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais has scored a major win: the museum is playing host to 250 works by Andy Warhol. Quite simply, this doesn’t happen. The exhibition, called “Warhol’s Wide World,” is a rare opportunity for pop art fanatics to immerse themselves in the accomplishments of the master. With a new package from Concorde Hotels & Resorts, you can separate yourself from the proletarians at this show with VIP passes.

Stay at one of six Concorde properties in Paris – the Hotel de Crillon, Hotel Lutetia, Hotel Concorde Saint-Lazare, Hotel du Louvre, Hotel Concorde La Fayette or Hotel Concorde Montparnasse – and you’ll also receive a buffet breakfast for two, two priority tickets to the Warhol show and a Warhol-themed box of Parisian sweets. Rates start at $260 per room-night.

This is a rare opportunity and is only available until June 29, 2009. If you’re a Warhol freak, this show is a must. The Concorde deal just makes it more comfortable.

Photo of the Day (4/23/08)

What makes a scene look distinctive of a place? Clothes people are wearing? The way paint is peeling on a door? This shot by Marni Rachel captures a detail of a young woman’s world in France. It could be a young woman’s world anywhere, except that building does not look like one in the U.S. The building materials and style are different.

The contrast of the youth and freshness of the young woman and the worn quality of the building visually pulled me to this shot. One of the pleasures of travel is watching ordinary people doing things that look the same, but there is something about the details that say you’re not in a place that is familiar. The subtle tones and textures are quite lovely.

To share the shots you’ve captured as you travel, send them our way at Gadling’s Flickr photo pool.