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.
Ownership of a Manhattan hotel to rival Europe’s finest establishments is a dream come true for Hugues Martin. His elegant Hotel Vendôme is also where Hugues raises his precocious daughter, Heloise, after his wife runs off with a notorious guest.
Danielle Steel’s Hotel Vendome includes a cast of fascinating characters, among them the devoted staff who contribute in no small way to Heloise’s upbringing. 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 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.
Large Print Hardcover Book : 576 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Press ( November 01, 2011 )
Item #: 13-471082
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.12 x 1.3inches
Product Weight: 19.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Enjoyed the book very much despite the repetition.
Reviewer: Gwen B
Let's face it. Danielle Steele could use an editor with a red marking pencil! But despite the repetitions, it is a fun story that is filled with all the "insider" knowledge of the world of grand hotels. A nice book on a cold night.
I have read all of her books. This was a very good story.
No foul language, very clean without all the graphics details.
Look forward to her next book.
Personally I always enjoy her books.In fact, to my knowledge, I have all of them. This one did have some redundancy, but other wise it was a page turner. Yes, I agree in the recent years her style of writing has changed. However, I still continue to buy her newest book as soon as it is out in the large prnt edition.
Not anything at all like Danielle's writing. Maybe one of her daughters are giving writing a chance? Too much unimportant redundancy. Do we really, really need to know seventeen or one hundred times that Hughues does every aspect of running the hotel, really??? Slow, uninteresting read. Maybe after the halfway mark it will get better? This is the third book of hers that I have recently read and questioned if it is, in fact, written by Danielle. If it is, she is sorely lacking her appeal and maybe needs a hiatus for new material??