Hotel review: Le Général

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Hotel review: Le Général
Lately, I’ve had an overwhelming desire for a vacation. A real vacation, where I relax on a balcony with a book, overlooking beautiful scenery; stuff my stomach with rich foods, exercise at my will and have long sleeps in white linen sheets. When I complained about my aching muscles and need to get away for a while to my friend Laura, she rolled her eyes and reminded me that I had just been to San Francisco for three weeks and before that the Italian Riviera. True. But those were all trips–what I need is a vacation. What Laura didn’t understand is that yes, I have been fortunate enough to go on some amazing trips (usually with my mother) where I’ve attended Sunday church in Bruges, gone for a gondola ride in Venice (not with my mother) and explored the Vancouver islands on an 80 ft. swan. Each of these trips has been fascinating, but also exhausting. I am in need of some down time…a vacation to recover from my trip. A vacation pampers, relaxes, and rejuvenates. A trip involves waking up at 6 a.m to meet a crowd of tourists in baseball caps and shorts at the cathedral doors to Nôtre-Dame. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could combine the two… At the Hotel Le Général, located on the quiet rue Rampon in the 11th arrondissement of Paris, I found my compromise. Upon passing through the electric glass doors of Le Général and entering the ultra-modern reception area that smells of hot-pink orchids and echoes Los Angeles’s downtown Standard (one of the chicest rooftop bars in LA.), you will travel forward in time to a white and fuschia “Brave New World.” Greeted by a rectangular white podium showing off a silver laptop, you will await the concièrge: tall and thin, dressed in black dress slacks, black (newly shined) shoes, a black button-down shirt and a long, skinny fuschia tie. Warm and polite, he will offer you a tour of your temporary home, though not to worry in this “Brave New World,” he won’t feed you a pill if you’re too jet-lagged to smile back.   You will first visit the breakfast room, which is also used as the bar later in the day, or whenever you order your first drink, depending on what kind of vacation you’re on. The spacious room’s futuristic and minimalist décor serves white flying saucers for chairs against a fuchsia wall that looks like colored paper that has been folded in half and artistically cut to create a floral design of large white-stemmed flowers on the walls. White placemats rest neatly upon the rosewood tables, so don’t spill in the morning when you raid the sweet and salty buffet. If you insist on communicating with the folks back home, there’s a closet-size business center located just around the corner from the breakfast room, equipped with a high-speed-connection computer; a fax, printer and telephone are at your disposal, and free of charge. Important: all of the guestrooms are wired for WiFi, also free of charge. The long hallways are cushioned with a checkered rug mixing various shades of fuschia, magenta and purple and lead to the room doors, each with their own lamp illuminating their respective room number and keyhole. The elevators are surprisingly large. The back wall is mirrored and the floor, black Astroturf…which is a little strange. (I think maybe, its purpose is to help collect the dirt from the bottom of your shoes and thus maintain this very clean environment.) At Le Général, the attention to detail is what will make your stay. After a long day of sightseeing and photo snapping, you’ll return to your room to find the white sheets pulled tight over the mattress and a green apple on each pillow. A khaki throw warms the foot of the bed. The bedroom is mostly white, with a few muted tones on the trim of squared-off furniture. There’s only a splash of color here and there, such as a fuchsia armchair drawing the eye to the corner of the room or the deep purple, glass vase reflecting the light from the spic and span white tiles in the bathroom. The Général’s rubber ducky welcomes you into a relaxing bath and guards your robe and slippers during your quiet time. The hotel offers four types of guestrooms—a standard single room, a standard double room, a superior double room, and a suite. All of the rooms are beautiful and almost identical in décor; the size of the room differentiates the types. The standard is a standard-sized room for Paris and perfect for one person, whereas the standard double room is suitable for one or two persons, the superior double room for 1 to 3 persons and the suite for 1 to 4 persons. There are certain rooms with balconies, which are lovely in the spring and summer for enjoying breakfast, so be sure to request a balcony in advance if you’re the people-watching type. All rooms are equipped with air-conditioning and heat that you can adjust yourself, internet connection and WiFi, direct phone, satellite TV, pay TV, safe, and a plug-in water heater, so that you will never have to wait for a warm cup of tea. Each floor alternates between smoking and non-smoking. Le Général doesn’t have a restaurant, but you’re sure to over-eat in one of the many charming restaurants specializing in traditional French cuisine just a few blocks away. Not to worry, though, the next day, you can work off your dessert in the hotel’s small fitness center, open 6 a.m. until 12 a.m., with a flat-screen TV to entertain you during your workout and a sauna to relax you afterwards. Later you can return to your room for a cold shower and a green apple. Le Général will help you relax on your next trip, so that you don’t need a vacation from your vacation. You’ll come home after climbing the steps of Nôtre-Dame and take a sauna. The hotel provides a…
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