Luxembourg—the Grand Ducal

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Grand Ducal Hotel: In the chasm between ancient fortress walls, there are green little farms.

Grand Ducal Hotel: In the chasm between ancient fortress walls, there are green little farms.

Jackie: We want to talk about a grand hotel in a mystical city. The Sofitel Grand Ducal Hotel in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg…
Once upon a time, (now), there was this fairy tale city in this fairy tale country that we’re thinking a few of you know very much about. Luxembourg, as a country, is smaller than our smallest state. The capital, Luxembourg City, can be explored on foot in a single day. It is like a toy town model of the best bits of old Europe, with castles and forts, palaces and rivers, hills and the most amazing maze you ever got lost in. I have enjoyed this delicate and charming location. And I’m still chilled at the thought that the Battle of the Bulge, in the Ardennes, was in view from this peaceful spot. History.
It is a Grand Duchy (since 1815) and has a sovereign mon-arch, the Grand Duke of Luxem-bourg. He has a nice palace with a colorful changing of the guard. Also, a great Chinese restaurant, somewhere… we found it on our first visit but never since. David will now carry on about his recent solo visit.
David: Luxembourg is home to some of the happiest, most affluent folks anywhere. In a word, Luxembourgers are civil-ized. They are superbly well-educated; in school they learn at least three languages—French, German and their own Luxembourgeois. Most also speak English, and several are fluent in Italian. The global downturn in the economy hasn’t yet made a dent in the social life of the average citizen here. They live well and eat well (there are more Michelin-starred restaurants here on a population basis than anywhere in the world). Maybe these are the reasons most of the citizens seem so eternally happy, pleasant and friendly, and the city is one of the safest anywhere. The country’s motto is (translated) “We want to stay where we are.” And I want to stay at the Sofitel Luxembourg Le Grand Ducal…

Sleek dining room and generous breakfast at the Grand Ducal in Luxembourg.

Sleek dining room and generous breakfast at the Grand Ducal in Luxembourg.

First of all, this hotel is a stark, exciting contrast to the ancient surroundings. Five-star luxury rising high above and facing the Pétrusse Valley, and just a short walk across a bridge to the Center and the old city. It is the future in design and concept. My classic room overlooked the Valley and the Center, and it was a gasp at first sight: black and white houndstooth carpeting, almond walls, deep crimson draperies, a very tall magenta floor lamp, and a lot of chrome and black and blond wood. And the shower… awesome! It’s a separate huge enclosure within the high tech bathroom. Two and a half walls of frosted glass, the other half-mirrored and one wall of almond marble with chrome fixtures and a rain forest overhead. I could live in this shower! Sleek contemporary glamour, marvelous comfort. Nat-urally, a big flat screen TV, WiFi, minibar, whistles and bells galore. Even an espresso machine for coffee at will.
On my first night, I was invited by General Manager Lacovino and his Sales Manager Carol Halpern (a real movie star!) to a costume party (in black and white) in the hotel’s glamorous Coco Mango Bar. Each day started in The Top Floor Restaurant with its panoramic view of the old city and their lavish breakfast buffet. My nights ended in this art-filled venue with a marvelous dinner inspired by world-famous chef Antoine Westermann and exe-cuted by Sofitel Grand Ducal’s Sebastian Perrot.
When you are thinking about a journey, treat yourself to a trip back into the once-upon-a-time world of old Luxembourg and the futuristic world of the Sofitel Grand Ducal Hotel. We’ll travel…

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