Live the bourgeois life in Reims, in the Continental Hotel, but also in the Beaux-Arts Museum!8 min read
Not far from the so connected Gare de Reims (connected in particular to Paris in 45 minutes and its airport of Roissy) is a hotel which perpetuates a certain charm of yesteryear.
The Hotel Continental was originally a mansion built in 1850, a Parisian couturier, the time when Reims was rather acclaimed for its fabrics than its champagne. That’s why the current Place d’Erlon next to the establishment was called the old rue des Coutures.
Today, there are many remains of this period, whose ceiling dates back to 1862 and the moldings representing vineyards.
These antique items have recently undergone a refresher course, during the refurbishment of the hotel’s fonts, which stretched between September 2017 and September 2018. A decade-long facelift tradition that has allowed the Continental Hotel to enter the XXI century and thus to truly assume its boutique hotel status. This fits well to the legendary Patrimony of Reims and notably the Houses of Champagne.
“It’s my responsibility to be a relay and to carry History, and not to exploit it in an ephemeral way.” Maxence de Barros, manager of the Continental Hotel.
This surgery was, this time, carried out masterfully by 3 trendy architecture players. Carlos Pujol for the bar-restaurant, Véronique Dupont for the rooms and the two together for the transition operated in the common areas. The architectural firm Dilegge managed the supervision of the previous designers and the structural work.
A mix of works of art that the architect Véronique Dupont had brought a touch of personalization to the 52 rooms. The comfort isn’t eclipsed since the isolation was reinforced, due to a strong effort of insulation was done due to clay balls under the floor and triple glazing concerning the windows, to avoid any street noise since the Hotel is located in the hyper-center of Reims!
This surprise effect does not stop there. It is fully in line with the response to travelers seeking variety and international standards, in order to follow some references in vogue in the high-end hotel industry (photo credits: Alex Plato).
Indeed, we can find four moods with different chromatic tones in the rooms: gold, green, blue and black. These nuances will match the tastes of everyone, some of whom will opt for a balcony, a bath, a shower, or even both and even Japanese toilets!
You will notice that these subtleties of color match perfectly with other contemporary color codes that can be found in the common areas, and rather dark, as the navy blue restaurant or lavender gray for the ceiling.
Certainly, this new identity brought to the Hotel Continental will seduce processions of holiday happy few coming, for some of them, straight from the brand new connection of the TGV from Roissy airport.
This renovation initiative is registered in the core of a long term tourism plan elaborated by the Reims metropolis, with the goal of welcoming a revival of tourists. Management independence allowing certain freedoms to better break the codes of the customer experience…
You will be thrilled to discover rather large rooms, with bathroom surfaces just as important. Air conditioning, personal bathroom amenities and coffee machine using organic coffee.
In terms of services offered, a seminar room for 25 people (of 70m2) and a gym, accessible from the patio. This space is open 24/7 and the Hotel also proposes SPA cares from the Motio Institute, in partnership with the Codage Paris Cosmetics, the brand that also supplies the hospitality and toilet elements in the rooms.
On the other hand, a deliberate choice of absence of mini-bars for a greater human interaction especially through an adapted room-service offer.
Following the light disposition of the reception, just equipped by a standing table, the different hospitality’s philosophy of the Continental pursues with other facilities. A chat-bot, named Zalia, developed by QuickText, is present on the hotel’s website, from the welcoming page, in order to answer customers’ recurring questions.
This function directly connected to the hotel platform could tell about the customers about the maids passage and thus warn them of the availability of their room.
Consequently, this is dedicated for a very digital interaction and especially very direct, which responds to current travel trends, oriented to digital and cosy ambiances. Also an occasion, to highlight the local products like those Reims Parfums line of the 3 fragrances, conceived by the Reims Theater actor Jean-Philippe Vidal and the nez, Bertrand Duchaufour,. A tribute to this City of the Coronations of the Kings of France.
An entertainment program addressed to customers is slowly taking place…
A pajamas party, oenology sessions are regularly proposed around the discovery of new wines with a sommelier, rum-cigars workshops with tasting of these commodities. For the winter, cafés-philos (philosophical cafés) would surely much inspiration for the best exchanges.
In another hand, references to champagne houses are multiple in the hotel. By the way, the Passion Chardonnay association is welcomed there every year and then promotes the secrets of Chardonnay and the terroir of Champagne, within each year a tasting of clear wines and Blanc de Blancs champagnes.
An homonym untitled continental breakfast, is offered until 10am. This is imagined like a simple brunch, charged 21 euros, if not included in your room rate.
From the buffet presentation, are presented, different homemade pastries and viennoiseries.
Those are joined by fruits, detox juices or alternative organic milks (like almond and nuts). Your coffee is directly served at your table and you may also ask a cup of champagne to start your sparkling day!
A personalized omelette could be cooked at your own taste if you would complete your breakfast with a hot touch. From this moment, take the opportunity to savor this panorama on the Place d’Arlon, with your neighbors!
Same place but different management, the Continental Restaurant offers a golden central comptoir (like in the Louis XV restaurant by Alain Ducasse in Monaco) and rays of lights at night thanks to the light reverberation on those mysterious dark blue walls and the bottles shelves. Indeed, a carte of nearly 300 wines are offered. Of course, many champagne references are also proposed. Among them of a dozen independent houses.
This cosy framework would make an eco-friendly day, echoing the cuisine of the Chef Gilles Landragean. Indeed this Continental Restaurant, looks local and seasonal. You may find creative dishes on the menu, such as Wild arctic charr, Black Angus beef tataki, Roasted pollack and peaches, Tangy lobster and even Scottish Shortbread with blueberries!
Continental Hotel & Restaurant / 95 Place Drouet d’Erlon, 51100 Reims / 00 33 (0)3 26 40 63 83
The Museum of Fine Arts of Reims invites you to the heart of a journey of five centuries through French and European art, from Renaissance to Art Deco through the painting of the Grand Siècle, Impressionism and art. unclassifiable work of the French-Japanese artist Léonard Foujita.
The visit of this vast museum begins with the Salle Gérard, magnifying artistic Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles, through a multitude of objects, works and furniture.
It traces the evolution of these ubiquitous styles into the architecture of Reims and which culminated at the end of the Great War. The pieces shown here illustrate the richness and variety of decorative arts found in every room of the house. The museum was thus a rich collection of these two styles, as much by the Art Nouveau mainly represented by the Art of Émile Gallé as the Art Déco, more floral and flirting sometimes with cubism and modernism. The current includes works by Jean Dunand, Jean Goulden, Michel Dufet and Charlotte Perriand.
This space adjoins the Temporary Exhibitions Hall, organized around collections in reserves or loans from partner museums. Currently and until September 22, 2019, the Museum of Fine Arts is interested in portraiture in the century of Colbert. A local personality and the news since in this year 2019, is celebrated the 400th anniversary of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, born August 29, 1619 in Reims… In a seventeenth century where the portrait played an important role in the society.
When you climb upstairs with this majestic staircase, you reach this impressive Room Monthelon, which takes you to the heart of the Renaissance.
The works in this gallery emanate from the great tendencies of the 16th century, namely religious paintings, as well as secular paintings showing the place of the human in Renaissance society, in France and in Italy, with portraits painted by Georges Boba and Giovanni-Battista Moroni.
A little further, you will access such a vintage of Champagne to the Grand Siècle Gallery!
The room includes both French and Dutch portraits, like the representation of Louis XIV on horseback, the workshop of Pierre Mignard, but also Children Habert de Montmor of Philippe de Champaigne and Girl with peacocks Melchior Hondecoeter.
Then paintings of history, religious and mythological French, allow to approach the baroque style with Simon Vouet The Assumption of the Virgin, or Jean-Baptiste Jouvenet Apollo and the chariot of the Sun. Finally, the classic style with the historical landscapes of religious nature of Laurent de La Hyre or the one after Nicolas Poussin.
This permanent exhibition is strongly linked with the theme of the next gallery, the Diancourt room focused on the Siècle des Lumières (Age of Enlightenment).
The visitor finds his account between Neoclassicism and the Decorative Arts. The latter, more rococo and libertine, evokes the art of living in the eighteenth century. We can find here a secret dresser by Jean Saddon and especially the exceptional collection of ceramics by Jeanne-Alexandrine Pommery.
The Beaux-Arts Museum is smaller than many others but has an exceptional collection of works by Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, twenty-six landscapes and a portrait. This is for sure, the richest together in Europe preserved in a museum, after the Louvre museum. This fund, known by international renowned specialists, offers a complete panorama of his artistic approach.
In the next room, the place of landscape in the nineteenth century is important. This genre reaches its peak with Impressionist artists, of whom are shown some masterpieces, urban or rural representations, from Claude Monet to Camille Pissarro and other luminous paintings by Henri Martin or Jean-François Raffaëlli.
The course continues with an evocation of the lived or dreamed facets of Orientalism with Eugène Fromentin or Etienne Dinet and ends with a selection of some naturalistic genre scenes of large formats, including the famous Le Vin by Léon Lhermitte.
In 2013-2014, we find many of the 2300 pieces left to the museum by the heirs of Kimiyo Foujita.
Essential reference to evoke Léonard Foujita, this collection is revealed here by some major works, including The Apocalypse, evoking in particular his spiritual quest that led him, in 1959, to his baptism in Reims and the realization of his chapel, dedicated to Notre-Dame-de-la-Paix.
Then come and observe the beginnings of modernity, especially around the work of Paul Gauguin, paintings of the artists of Pont-Aven and the Nabis, with their large colored areas, such as The Red Beach by Maurice Denis, show the evolution of the avant-gardes in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Also note the beginnings of Fauvism with the artists Albert Marquet and Charles Camoin, and the cubist movement with Louis Marcoussis and André Lhote.
Reims Museum of Fine Arts –
Open every day from 10 am to 12 pm and from 2 pm to 6 pm – Closed on Tuesdays.
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