The upper terrace of La Samaritaine is where I used to frequently take my morning café crème and croissant, when I was in my most favourite of all cites in Europe .... Paris. I would then saunter off into the main store to buy wonderful stockings in the hosiery department, and was often tempted by Clarins and Thierry Mugler in the perfumery en route! Like many devotees, I cried when they padlocked the doors, and Samaritaine ceased to breathe and exhude the smells and flavours of this magical city. The great news is that the prestige LVMH group, along with Japanese architects, are turning it into the divinely luxurious Hôtel Le Cheval Blanc, scheduled for opening in 2014. I have seen some of the planner's sketches and it would seem that much of the original art deco splendour will be retained. The 80 bedrooms will all directly overlook the Seine. Rumour has it that is better not to even speculate on room rates at this stage ..... but it will definitely be in 4 figures! I cannot promise that there will still be an open roof terrace, but there will definitely be plenty of opportunity to shop. Even if I cannot avoid to stay there, I will definitely be back to see the "reborn Samaritaine" in 2014. I have given it a 5 star advance rating on my past memories.
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