The Sheraton Shines

The Sheraton Shines

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Say
“airport hotel” and likely you envision a Motel 6 in Denver, maybe a
Comfort Inn in Albuquerque. While you’ll stay there for the proximity
to the airport (and the cheap rates), you have rather benign
expectations. So the muffin from the breakfast buffet table is stale.
No frills, no problem.

Leave
it to Paris to take something as utilitarian as an airport hotel and
add a good dose of extravagance. While the function is unchanged—a
convenient stay-over before a flight out of town (or for those on
business, someplace to take respite during a convention)—the hotel
experience at the Sheraton Paris Airport Hotel is radically different.
When you check in the night before your departure, you trade in all
that travel-day fluster (getting a taxi, heaving your bags to and fro,
sitting in traffic while the precious minutes before your flight tick
away) and get in return a little peace of mind, luxury-style. In a time
when we have more anxious travelers than ever, perhaps we should take
notice of this opportunity to add some tranquility to our travels.

The scoop…
The
Sheraton Paris Airport Hotel has even revolutionized the basic bit
about proximity to the airport; the hotel is in the airport (Terminal
2). Just below the glass floor of the lobby you can watch your fellow
travelers scurry toward the Air France departure gates or the RER-TGV
station (with trains to the Paris city-center, other parts of France,
Brussels, and Amsterdam). If your flight is departing from Terminal 1,
the staff will gladly give you a private shuttle over at no additional
cost.

But the hotel is more
than simply location; it’s a state of mind. The building itself is
designed around the concept of a boat (thereby connecting air, sea, and
rail), and the celestial décor, the work of Andrée Putman, is both
tasteful and soothing. The beige tones and sage green in the 256 guest
rooms (11 suites) add to the sense of calm. We’re told guests staying
on the executive floor can soon expect “heavenly beds,” a new bedding
concept that features 16 total bed sheets and promises a blissful
night’s sleep. Executive floor guests are also treated to a bottle of
champagne upon their arrival, as well as free butler service (need a
blouse ironed?).

There’s a
small but adequately stocked gym, and in the executive lounge (large
screen TV, beverages, an array of small conference rooms), I took
refuge in one of two black leather massage chairs. Had the hotel staff
not awoken me when the lounge closed at 11:00, I would have likely
passed out for the night, being kneaded and nudged through my dreams.

Back
in the room, laptop connections are at your fingertips (two telephone
lines) and your desk will overlook a nightscape scattered with
departing and arriving flights. My companion noted how strangely
wonderful it was not to be able to hear the planes at all, and that’s
when I noticed just how quiet everything was. I imagine this would have
to be a particularly meditative experience for nervous travelers. I was
certainly going to bed grateful for the knowledge that I’d be avoiding
the taxi-and-traffic scramble in the morning (or worse the
packed-to-the-gills train trip). We put our breakfast requests outside
the door (coffee with hot milk, croissants, fresh O.J., and a U.S.A.
Today) and slipped into sleep.

There’s more
Dining
at the Sheraton is also much more than the muffins-at-the-breakfast-bar
notion. You’ll have the choice of the Galaxie bar for a light meal or
cocktails, Les Etoiles, a restaurant gastronomique (Chef Jean Michel
Kirche), for selections like oysters ravioli and pan-fried eagle ray,
or the brasserie, Les Saisons, which serves everything from salmon
tartare to pasta with Bolognese sauce to profiteroles. Coming soon: a
sports bar, complete with nachos and flat-screen TVs (and you thought
this was a Parisian airport hotel).

For
those planning business trips, there are sixteen meeting rooms
pre-wired for videoconferences and most other forms of technology, as
well as easy access to translators.

And
if you’ve just got a long layover, the hotel offers “Day Use” (which
accounts for a full 10-20% of business), so you can nap away, use the
treadmill, get online, or take advantage of the four-hour express
laundry service.

All that being said, the Sheraton will cost you more than the Motel 6. Tranquil traveling, I suppose, doesn’t come cheap.

Sheraton Paris Airport Hotel,Charles de Gaulle
(a member of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.)
Terminal 2
Tel: (33) (1) 4919-7070 or (from the U.S.) 800.325.3535
Fax: (33) (1) 4919-7071
www.sheraton.com/ParisAirport

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