The scene in the lobby of the Hotel Vendôme on East 69th Street in New York was one of impeccable elegance and meticulous precision. The black-and-white-checked-marble floors were immaculate, red runners were rolled out the instant there was a drop of rain outside, the moldings on the walls were exquisite, and the enormous crystal chandelier that hung in the lobby was reminiscent of the finest palaces in Europe. The hotel was much smaller than the one that had inspired its decor, but for practiced travelers, it was remarkably similar to the Ritz in Paris, where the Hotel Vendôme's owner had worked as an assistant manager for two years, during his training in the finest hotels in Europe.
Hugues Martin was forty years old, a graduate of the illustrious and respected École Hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland, and the hotel on Manhattan's Upper East Side was his dream. He still couldn't believe how lucky he had been, how perfectly it had all come together five years before. His Swiss banker father and equally conservative mother had been devastated when he announced that he wanted to go to hotel school. He came from a family of bankers, and they thought that running a hotel, or working in one, had a seamy quality to it, of which they strongly disapproved. They had done everything they could to talk him out of it, to no avail. After four years at the school in Lausanne, he trained and eventually had respected positions at the Hotel du Cap in Cap d'Antibes, the Ritz in Paris, and Claridge's in London, and even did a brief stint at the famed Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong. He figured out during that time that if he ever had his own hotel, he wanted it to be somewhere in the States.
Hugues worked at the Plaza in New York before it closed for extensive renovations, and he assumed that he was still light-years away from his dream. Then it happened. The Hotel Mulberry was put up for sale, a small tired hotel that had been run-down for years and had never been considered chic, despite its perfect location. When he heard about it, Hugues put together every penny of his savings, took out every loan he could get in both New York and Switzerland, and used all of the modest inheritance his parents had left him, which he had carefully put aside and invested. And the combination made the purchase of the hotel possible. He just managed to do it, with a mortgage on the building. And suddenly Hugues was able to buy the
Mulberry and do the necessary renovations, which took two years, and at the end of it the Hotel Vendôme was born, to the amazement of New Yorkers, most of whom said they had never even realized that there was a hotel in that location.
Excerpted from Hotel Vendome by Danielle Steel. Copyright © 2011 by Danielle Steel. Excerpted by permission of Delacorte Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Danielle Steel’s legions of fans will be dazzled anew as she invites readers into the ultra-glamorous world of a five-star hotel.
Swiss-born entrepreneur Hugues Martin can hardly believe it when he realizes his dream: ownership of a New York City hotel to rival all of Europe’s finest establishments. The magnificent Hotel Vendôme is soon renowned for its elegance and a clientele as rich as it is famous. It is also where Hugues and his beautiful wife, a former model, choose to raise their daughter. But when Heloise is 4 years old, her mother runs off with a notorious guest, making Hugues the center of his little girl’s world.
Hotel Vendome portrays a cast of fascinating characters, among them the devoted staff who contribute in no small way to Heloise’s upbringing. Her universe is filled with wonderful mysteries and pleasures, crises and celebrations. It is no surprise that when she becomes a young woman, Heloise wants to follow in her father’s footsteps…until Hugues finds unexpected romance. Overcome with intense jealousy, will Heloise recall the lessons learned in her upstairs/downstairs world? Only then will she be able to live her own dream…with her own special someone to love.
Hardcover Book : 336 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Press ( November 01, 2011 )
Item #: 13-425683
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.76inches
Product Weight: 13.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
I read it in three days could not put it down. The storyline was good too.
Reviewer: michelle s
This was not a good book,
to much talk of running a hotel very boring.
I kept skipping a lot, not a good story line.
Danialle Steel keeps repeating herself.
This was a great read! I couldn't put the book down : )
this was a wonderful book. much better than other ones from danielle steel. would love to stay at a hotel like this 5 star one.
Since I have worked in a hotel for many years, I found this book thoroughly enjoyable! It was sensitive, funny & sad, at the same time. Fast reading and a pure delight!