MT Business Travel: Room service - Where Pierre van Beneden stays ...

FOR BUSINESS - When I'm doing business in France I tend to stay at the Meridien Montparnasse in Paris. I've been going there for six or seven years. It's in a lively area - there are 20 or 30 restaurants within a few hundred metres of the hotel, with cinemas and other nightlife too.

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

The whole area stays open late, so if you're looking for a decent meal after 10pm you won't be disappointed. But there's a lot going on in the hotel itself - breakfast rooms and three or four restaurants, serving Japanese, French and Indian food - so if you're caught up with business and have no time to get outside and explore, you can have a life there in the hotel. The rooms are very large, and there's a desk that makes an excellent workstation, and somewhere to put your files. The bathrooms are roomy, and the whole set-up makes you feel at home. It comes with all the facilities you'd expect - DVD, TV and an internet connection - and the room service is excellent.

FOR PLEASURE - I have very different needs for personal hotels. I often visit the Hostellerie de l'Abbaye de la Celle in Provence. It's a beautifully refurbished 19th-century house in a very small village, surrounded by forests and vineyards - there's almost no noise. As it has only seven or eight rooms, there's barely anyone there. I discovered it three or four years ago, and now I go there whenever I've got a week off. It's got a calm, family atmosphere - the staff recognise you even if you haven't been there for a year. It has a huge park with a swimming pool, and you're very sheltered from the outside. Every bedroom is different, but all are full of old furniture and, because of the age of the house, they're very spacious. There's only one restaurant, with a great cook, and the service is first-rate. Wine tasting is one of the few things to do in the area - there's not much else going on - but if you're after late-night dinners, Aix-en-Provence, a large student town, is not far away.

- Pierre Van Beneden is enterprise vice-president, EMEA, at Adobe.

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