Some places have that certain something when it comes to architecture and design. 5 location for lovers of extravagant designs.

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1. David Chipperfield and Matteo Thun in the trendy district: Falkensteiner Margareten in Vienna

Vienna has recently inspired me with its historic and sometimes somewhat morbid charm. This fits with the Falkensteiner Margareten a location that is sometimes not in the city center but in one of the upcoming neighborhoods.

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Flagship hotel in the future scene district

Vienna's 5. District, Margareten could become the upcoming scene district among the inner city districts of Vienna, even if he is still a little bit in the slumber. He is called a working-class district for this reason and seems to be a bit like that. But even if you have sophisticated theaters, chic shopping miles and architecturally memorable castles like in the 1. District searches in vain, some Margaret predict the development of the future scene district.

There are already the first trendy bars and a coffee museum, similar to other cities in Vienna, formerly run-down areas are becoming popular Art and culture enhanced. And the famous Naschmarkt can also be reached with the U4 in two underground stations, one station further is Karlsplatz, from which you can centrally anywhere in the center. It is also not far to the western train station with connections to Salzburg and Germany, nor to the motorway. And another subway line is in for years to come Planning.

It is exciting, therefore, that the Falkensteiner hotel chain here, only 100 from the subway station Margaretengürtel, 2013 has opened its new flagship hotel. And that is architecturally interesting in every respect.

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By David Chipperfield and Matteo Thun

The British architect David Chipperfield designed a former office building into a modern city hotel whose façade blends in perfectly with the surroundings as a stylish eye-catcher with clean lines and shapes.

The interior of the hotel is also exciting: Matteo Thun, architect and designer from Bolzano in South Tyrol, is responsible for the entire interior design of the hotel. Its interiorConcept based on the Idea capturing the splendor of historical Vienna and using elements and materials from the Biedermeier period such as glass, walnut, brass, Spiegel and velvet to combine.

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The entrance, lobby, reception and bar area are characterized by a mix of old and modern chandeliers and a harmonious, classic Biedermeier color scheme. The materials used here, with their mosaicSpiegeln reflect the charm of historic cafes in the lobby and bar areaspiegeln.

The 195 rooms and suites, on the other hand, speak a quieter design language, with warm-white walls accented by wallpaper and curtains that match the Style of the Wiener Werkstätten. A great furnishing concept that I was very enthusiastic about.

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Roof terrace and culinary

My absolute highlight, however, is the roof terrace in the 7. Floor, which belongs to the freely accessible for guests spa and fitness area - but unfortunately without pool. Up here you not only have a great view over the rooftops of Vienna, but can also relax on the sun loungers.

Finally, I was also impressed by the culinary art. The restaurant also serves very good Viennese classics, Austrian cuisine and Mediterranean dishes. Overall, the Falkensteiner chain is characterized by a very good alpine cuisine with a Mediterranean touch and in the Falkensteiner is always a friendly service staff happy to special requests such as vegan or vegetarian food. Even the daily breakfast buffet includes many local products, which is rare for a city hotel in this price range.

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Events and supporting program

The hotel is due to its central, convenient location, good facilities and at the same time comparatively low prices very well suited for meetings and conferences of all kinds. There are four meeting rooms with space for a maximum of 180 people available. The seminar equipment includes a flipchart, a pin board, beamer, screen, seminar blocks, pens, presentation case. The price also includes coffee breaks and conference packages. The seminar package starts as a summer special with 59 Euro per day and person, single room with breakfast costs 95 Euro per night. Only the WLAN connection was a bit difficult in the test.

The hotel also organizes a typical Viennese supporting program for the conference, eg a tour through vineyards with the Heurigenexpress, a night walk through the Tiergarten Schönbrunn, a tour through the subterranean Vienna to match the movie The Third Man, a vintage car track ride or an apple strudel seminar in the Wiender Hofbackstube.

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2. Meetings and incentive events with a panoramic view: Jade Mountain, St. Lucia

Located in the South of the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, the Anse Chastanet Resort is crowned by the luxurious Jade Mountain, where suites have their own pool with 270-grade panoramic views of the sea and the Pitons, Unesco World Heritage Sites. This unfortunately has its price.

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Anse Chastanet

Canadian architect Nick Troubetzkoy comes from an old Russian noble family. Trubetzkoy came to St. Lucia in the 70's to build resorts. He had previously worked in British Columbia with architects such as Ron Thom, Bud Wood and Arthur Erickson. He bought those system Anse Chastanet 2,4 kilometers north of Soufriere and rebuilt it according to his ideas.

The Anse Chastanet has 49 rooms in various categories ranging from standard to premium, spread throughout bungalows across the mountain. The rooms are cozy, beautiful and decorated in a traditional style - complemented by bright, large-format paintings on the walls. Through a room leads in the middle of a tree, with others missing the wall and thus allows an unobstructed view of sea and Pitons. Not for nothing is the plant also called Baumhaus.

The prices vary according to season and category: For example, in the low season from June to October, an overnight stay without breakfast for two people in one of the four standard rooms costs up to 355 US dollars. In the main season over Christmas and New Year, one of the five Premium Hillside suites for two people including breakfast is only available for 1210 US dollars. There are also four other room categories and various packages and offers for early bookers, adventure lovers or groups.

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Jade Mountain

In 2006 Trubetzkoy realized his long-cherished dream of an extravagant luxury hotel on the top of Morne Chastanet: The Jade Mountain, with its futuristic architecture, borrows heavily from Gaudi. The guests welcomes his Ms. Caroline Trubetzkoy, who is also the German honorary consul in St. Lucia and otherwise very agile and with a lot of commitment, manages the system, also likes to personally before dinner.

All rooms are open on one side and have a phenomenal, partial 270-degree panoramic view, sea and pitons and a king-size bed covered by a mosquito net, as well as fans on the ceiling. Sleeping here is actually a bit like sleeping under the open sky, just more luxurious. And it is not everyone's case, for occasionally one also has animal visit of birds or geckos.

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The suites

The hotel has 29 suites, which are also smaller meeting rooms due to their size. They vary in size, equipment and design: The 150 square meter large Sky Suites without pool, but with jacuzzi are already available for 1025 US dollars per night without breakfast in the off-season from June to October. A sky suite, a little paradoxical, is equipped with air conditioning. The most expensive Galaxy suites with panoramic views cost in the high season over Christmas including breakfast 3100 US dollars.

All of the other 24 suites are equipped with so-called infinity pools, which open up visually into the horizon, are lit up at night - and, despite the rather modest size of 40-60 square meters, are surprisingly good for swimming, which is probably because of the depth. Each of them is designed in different colors and shapes.

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The interior fittings were largely made of local woods. The price includes a private butler, you could call it room service, which you can call 24 hours a day with a simple phone. The hotel also has its own spa with various massages, manicures and treatments. Right next to it there is a small gym.

There is no TV in the suites and there is more of a "heavenly" calm in the Jade Mountain: Guests are asked not to make calls in public and children under the age of 15 are not allowed.

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Meeting room and facilities

For Meetings and events, Anse Chastanet has a 140 square meter room with space for around 50-75 people, depending on the seating and purpose. It's functional, but unfortunately not as luxurious as the suites at the Jade Mountain.

Free WiFi is included in the price. In the on-site test, the WLAN was rather weak, which was also due to temporary problems. One has me though insuredthat you can request easily and without additional Costs can provide additional WiFi connectivity, even for groups of 50 people successfully has achieved.

Also available are meeting-typical equipment such as whiteboard, beamer or screen. Laptop and other technical accessories can be organized. The meeting room is only available for groups, which also live in the hotel - free of charge. Groups should be advised to reserve 6 to 12 months in advance. In the end, however, it depends on the size of the group, how long it has to be booked in advance.

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The food at Jade Mountain is outstanding. Consulting Executive The restaurant is the award-winning Allen Susser, known from the likes of NBC, Time, or Wall Street Journal. The ingredients come as far as possible from the island: So the hotel builds cafe and chocolate on its own plantation.

Noteworthy is the breakfast al Carte, which is served either in the suite or in the Jade Mountain Club - eg freshly squeezed orange juice, individually prepared Smothies. For groups, Executive Chef Jonathan Dearden likes to put together an individual menu with matching wines. Appropriate menus are available from 115 US $ per person.

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Activities and excursions

Guests of the Jade Mountain also have access to all the amenities offered by Anse Chastanet - but not vice versa: These include three restaurants, two bars and the Jungle Beach Bar and Grill on Anse Mamin Beach. For guests of the two hotels, two beaches are available for swimming, which are connected by hotel shuttle boats.

Right on the beach, the Kai Belte Spa is available for the guests of both hotels with application rooms for various massages or Ayuveda treatments as well as a small beauty salon. On the beach there are small shops for fashion, art or souvenirs. Guests can enjoy a range of activities, including scuba diving, snorkeling, tennis, yoga, jungle biking, kayaking, bird watching and sailing.

In addition, the hotel organizes various excursions, such as rainforest hikes, ziplining or deep-sea fishing, for a surcharge. My colleagues climbed the 750 meter high Grande Piton, which everyone found a little stressful, but of course the view is phenomenal. The champagne sunset cruises with cocktails and live jazz music are nice - with a little luck you can also see dolphins. Special whale watching and dolphin tours are ideal for this. In general, because of the poor roads, it is advisable to explore the area around the hotel on the water, for example by water taxi.

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3. Le Havre: UNESCO World Heritage Site between concrete aesthetics and impressionism

The French port of Le Havre is not only an important trading center on the Atlantic, but also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A picturesque old town is sought in vain, much more, the city has much to offer artistically thanks to Claude Monet.

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The story of Le Havre

Not that Le Havre has no historical roots: Founded in 1517 at the suggestion of Admiral Bonnivet as a naval port, then expanded into a garrison town. Le Havre owes its boom to the transatlantic trade, also with slaves, for sure one of the darkest chapters in French history. Le Havre can be reached from Cologne or Düsseldorf with the Thalys to Paris Nord, then by metro one stop to St. Lazare station and from there by train directly.

In this way, the city on the Seine estuary became the most important port in France. Neighboring Sainte Adress even hosted the Belgian government-in-exile during the First World War. During World War II, the port city was strategic due to its Significance occupied by the Germans and was 1944 percent destroyed by bombing by the Allies in 85. Le Havre was one of the worst damaged cities in Europe: 160.000 of the 5.000 inhabitants were killed, 80.000 were homeless, 12.000 buildings and 150 hectares of old town were devastated.

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The World Cultural Heritage of UNESCO

Reconstruction was unthinkable when it was destroyed to such an extent. As a result, the city of Le Havre made a plan to build a model city in Le Havre that would create new dwellings for residents living in shelters.

The designs came from the architects Auguste Perret, the so-called poet of the concrete, who patented the prefabricated construction and thus laid the foundation for modern prefabricated buildings. Perret, 1945 already 71 years old, designed a new city in the spirit of Le Corbusier: It was to house on 133 acres the 40.000 inhabitants of the city center.

To save space, 150 orthogonal building blocks were therefore designed, which are located in the two urban grids that line the old quays. Inside this double grid, Rue de Paris, Avenue Foch and Boulevard François Ier form a “monumental triangle” and resume the position and function they had before the war. This triangle was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2005.

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Living like in the 50ers

Likewise, symbolic buildings were rebuilt in a new form at their original location: for example the town hall, the stock market, the market halls and various churches. Perhaps the most important of these is the church of Saint-Joseph: it inspires above all through the architecturally ingenious light-play, which adapts to the solar radiation. The striking, octagonal tower, on the other hand, is intended to recall the destruction of the Second World War.

An important feature of the new building architecture is the neoclassical style: connecting struts and pillars, arranged in blocks, courtyards, streets, squares and gardens with their traditional division. These open blocks embody the modern principle of the "right to rest, air, sun and space" for all residents of the "new" city. Such a model apartment can still be seen today in its original furnishings - the Museum Apartment Temoin Perret. You can also rent rooms in the style of the 50s in Le Havre.

Auguste Perret himself died of 1954, but up to 1964 about one hundred architects realized his urban planning visions. One feature of this construction is the different concrete surfaces made from the existing debris of the city: it was mixed, dyed and processed in different ways, sometimes coarse, sometimes smooth, processed.

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Event Location by Oscar Niemeyer

An exciting meeting and event location is the Maison de la Culture Du Havre, created by Oscar Niemeyer 1972-1978, also known as le volcan for its shape of a truncated volcanic cone. Niemeyer had previously planned, inter alia, the South American capital Brasilia, his volcano consists inside of light-flooded, high-ceilinged rooms such as the public library - excellent for events.

The motto of the excellent Hotel Vent d'Ouest for seminars, on the other hand, could be “small but great”: The cozy hotel is very centrally located opposite the Saint Joseph church and offers space for 20 seminar participants and 38 rooms. The 3 stars shouldn't hide the facilities and the excellent service: There is a lovingly designed breakfast and a spa area with massage rooms.

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The 5 Best Conference Locations for Architecture Lovers: Pure Design & Extravagance {Reader Travel Tip}

Meetings at the port and football stadium

15 m², including a 000 m² exhibition hall, a conference room with 10,000 seats and a panoramic restaurant with 383 seats, are available in the port: The building complex Docks Cafe was built and is currently being remodeled for 270 millions of Euros: This will create a large hall for up to 1998 people as well as a seminar room for 30 to 2.000 persons.

The football stadium Océane can also be rented for events. The blue football and rugby stadium has space for 25.178 spectators and is the only energy-efficient soccer stadium in Europe: solar modules with an area of ​​1.500 m² are installed on the roof.

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Claude Monet and the beach promenade

My personal highlight in Le Havre is the beautifully designed beach promenade. Here, the museum André Malraux (MuMa) is another special feature: after the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, the museum houses the largest and most significant collection of Impressionist painting, as Claude Monet here his childhood and youth from the age of six.

In general, Le Havre was very popular with artists due to its proximity to Paris: The app “Impressionist and Fauvist Le Havre” provides information about this today: Whenever you pass a view of Le Havre or Sainte-Adresse that inspires an impressionist painter can listen to the history of the painting, zoom in on its representation, learn anecdotes about the painter and his city and much more. Small drawback: the multilingual app only works with an internet connection.

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Hanging gardens and culinary art

The Jardins Suspendus are also highly recommended over the rooftops of the city: they are located within a former fortress: rare plants are gathered from all parts of the world, almost 4000 different species invite to a botanical journey to North America, Asia, Australia and Europe.

Of course, the culinary arts are not neglected either, as we are in France: you can enjoy excellent food with exceptionally large portions in the “Bouchon Normand”. Rather something for lunch and snacks in between is the restaurant “l'Etable” and “Le Chat Bleu”. Le Grignot didn't quite convince me - despite the GaultundMillau reference.

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4. Eco-hotel with MICE location: Le Germain Charlevoix Hotel & Spa

At his birthplace Baie-Saint-Paul in Quebec, Canada, the Cirque du SoleilFounders A monument was erected to Guy Laliberté. Today his Hotel La Ferme operates as Le Germain Charlevoix Hotel & Spa.

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The rooms: Youth hostel in a luxury hotel

However, you don't have to worry about comfort - even if the furnishings are somewhat reminiscent of a more luxurious version of IKEA: The rooms 145 Ziemmer are very functional in a modern, Scandinavian style. There are different categories: My room was apparently the compact luxury variant, in which the flat screen was conveniently let into the foot of the bed, but there is also the slightly larger variant.

Each room also has a music system with a dock in station for an iPod. Not strictly necessary, but a nice idea. A room per night starts at 150 Canadian dollars. I think the idea that you can only rent one bed in four-bed rooms that you can simply fold out of the wall when necessary is really ingenious. Other than that, these rooms have the same level of comfort as any “normal” hotel room, but are very affordable at $ 50 a night. Luxury hotel with youth hostel, so to speak.

There is also a spa with sauna and swimming pool. Unfortunately, it was still under construction when I visited, so I can't say anything about it. In general, my visit showed that the hotel had only just opened: The Employees have certainly been extensively trained, but they simply lacked the experience during my visit, which also applies to smaller service requests fast could get a bit messy. Well, we have to wait and see.

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the farm

Meeting venues

For meetings and seminars, the Hotel 6 offers meeting rooms as well as a multi-function room, which can be adapted as required. The meeting rooms are large between 21 and 59 square meters. Depending on whether the seating is rather theater, U-shaped, like a classroom or a room for receptions, they offer space for up to 110 people.

All meeting rooms are equipped with high-speedInternet (which is available free of charge throughout the hotel anyway), telephone, a 60-degree screen and a sound system. The multifunctional room is 29 x 16.7 meters in size and 13 meters high and can be divided up and used according to taste. There is a stage that can be enlarged, reduced or rearranged as desired. As is so often the case, prices are a matter of negotiation.

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The restaurant

The food from the hotel Les Labours' restaurant is really outstanding: Light, modern, ecological - and good. Chef David Forbes attaches great importance to regional products and the manuscript of a young team is noted here.

I think that Forbes would like to become self-sufficient in the medium term and only want to use products from its own vegetable and herb garden in the courtyard in its kitchen is a bit too ambitious Objectiveconsidering the size of the hotel.

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the farm
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The region offers numerous activities in every season, such as the Flavor Trail, a small tourist train that stops at various stations and enables visitors to get to know regional products. In our case, my curious experience was visiting an emu farm. Or a kayak tour with the Team from the kayak rental company Katabatik - Aventure dans Charlevoix:

You are set down on a small river and can then paddle down the river on your own. The river is only a few inches deep. The Grand-Jardins National Park, half an hour's drive away, is ideal for wonderful hiking tours - great views included. And when canyoning you climb down a waterfall secured on a rope over slippery stones. Nothing for weak nerves. I wrote about it here. The tour was organized by Canyoning Quebec.

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the farm
the farm

5. Salzburg meets Venice: Hotel Stein

Different location, different concept, but no less spectacular: The Hotel Stein in the Mozart city of Salzburg is under the motto Salzburg meets Venice.

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Art, architecture and design as a connecting element

The connections between these two cities of art and culture go back a long way. At the end of the 16th century, Prince Archbishop Wolf Dietrich commissioned the Venetian architect Vincenzo Scamozzi to plan a new urban layout. His successor, Markus Sittikus, appointed another Italian architect, Santino Solari. They gave the city the appearance that is world-famous today and for which the historic old town of Salzburg was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997.

What does this have to do with the Hotel Stein? Well, it belongs to the family that owns the Venetian glass manufacturer Barovier and Toso - and you can see this connection everywhere. In several areas of the house, lights and glass works of art made especially for the Hotel Stein can be seen. The large-scale photographs, which show snapshots from both cities, were made by the art photographer Luigi Caputo, who lives in Salzburg. Bowing to two cities is of the greatest importance in terms of art history. The world-famous fabric house Rubelli, based in Venice, was also able to be won over for the interior decoration. In addition, works by the renowned Austrian artist Brigitte Kowanz, who already represented Austria at the Biennale, can be seen in the hotel.

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Room and design: the focus is on the color blue

The color blue and the associated color spectrum, reminiscent of the blue lagoon of Venice and the blue sky, dominate the interior - also and especially in the 56 rooms with a total of 120 beds. The historical substance of the historical building from 1399 is cleverly used in conjunction with all other stylistic devices to reinforce moods and set unusual accents.

The honeymoon suite, for example, is great, in which the original stucco ceiling has been integrated into the modern room concept. A lounge for a maximum of 50 people is available for meetings in the foyer area, and there is also a small boardroom on the roof terrace with a fantastic view over Salzburg. So it is practical that Tourismus Salzburg provided me with a Salzburg Card, with which I can visit various sights such as Hellbrunn Palace with its famous trick fountains, the Hohensalzburg Fortress with the Prince's Room (unfortunately the Golden Room has just been restored) or the Mönchsberg and the was able to use all local public transport - further great views in this fantastic city guaranteed.

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Super food with a great view

But back to the view in the Hotel Stein: I was really impressed by the view from my room of the Salzach and the fortress - any volume is well absorbed by the double-glazed windows - but the roof terrace, formerly widely known as the Steinterrasse, can top that. Because here is now the rooftop bar Seven Senses, where breakfast is served and where you can now enjoy a wonderful sunrise in autumn. Breakfast is a pleasure, because here the healthy dishes, smoothies, muesli, superfoods and fruit are in the foreground, the unhealthy dishes that you usually find in breakfast buffets, on the other hand, have to be ordered separately. A dream!

It is therefore only logical that the hotel has its own restaurant on the ground floor, the Green Vanilla, which describes itself as a pleasure temple and hotspot for healthy eating, and which guests can also enter via a separate entrance. And the name says it all: trend food, superfood, street food, slow food, raw food, brain food and low carb, salads, soups, smoothies, Buddha Bowles, golden milk, soy cappuccino and matcha latte, ginger shot and granola bar - everything can be found one here. There are new dishes every day with surprising and unusual ingredients, fresh from the market and newly combined.

For example, I can try a poison green spinach cake where you can't even taste the spinach. The Green Vanilla do not use any industrially processed foods or white sugar, the products are of regional and organic origin as far as possible and are processed using the most modern and gentle methods of a healthy diet. In this way, all essential nutrients, micronutrients, vitamins, fiber and enzymes are processed in an optimal form and made highly available for the human organism. Highly Recommended!

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