When you fly, no matter how great your seat is, having a place to freshen up is a great way to actually start a trip. After a flight from San Francisco to London on Virgin Upper Class, which was awesome, I discovered the Revivals Lounge. The lounge at SFO was great, the flight was awesome and after we arrived at Heathrow, we went directly to the Virgin Revivals Lounge. It was GREAT. We each got a private room with a sink, shower and place to change into a new outfit for the day. After getting all gussied up, they forced us into having breakfast and Champagne, again … we had one on the flight, but that was a while back, so we said YES. It was just the thing we needed to start the adventure ahead.
Last year, we decided to use points and fly economy on Delta with minimal upgrades, so we could use the money saved for more first class hotels and a longer stay. Remember, my Bargain First Class Travel style is about trade-offs, and this free flight helped us have an amazing trip, including 3 nights at the beautiful Marques de Riscal in Spain … designed by Frank Gehry ($700/night), but I digress.
We flew from San Francisco to Paris, with a stop in Minneapolis (also used the Amex Platinum Card to get free access into Delta’s lounge for free food and drinks, but I digress again.
Using the Revivals Lounge idea, I booked a room at the Sheraton Hotel at the Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris, so we could have a nice refresher without leaving the airport, like with Virgin Atlantic in Heathrow. The room was about $120. We were going to have breakfast and Champagne in our room, but we were anxious to get on the TGV to Bordeaux and thought we’d live it up on the train instead.
We picked up our luggage (minus one bag … see Luggage Insurance for more about that one). We checked in about 8am and immediately started filling the bathtub for a warm, relaxing, refreshing bath. After soaking while listening to beautiful classical music (See my TIP: FREE CLASSICAL MUSIC … grab their FREE app and you can listen to great classical music anywhere in the world), I dressed for the train ride to Marseille. We grabbed some lunch items at Paul (steps from the hotel), boulangerie and patisserie (a great chain in France – pastries, quiche, sandwiches and other bakery items.).
Right below the hotel and Paul is the TGV platform whisking passengers to all parts of France. We boarded effortlessly and in a little over 3 hours, we were at the starting point of our trip – Marseille.
We did the same thing in Bordeaux. When we arrived, we grabbed one of our favorite cheap hotels, Campanille, walked around downtown, had a traditional French meal of mussels, steak tartare and freits (french fries). Walked a bit more and then off to bed for a good night’s sleep. Voilla. We like doing this and it’s usually a cheap way to luxuriate at the beginning of a trip, so you avoid that burned out, jet lag, hung over feeling. This is our favorite way to recuperate, regenerate, refresh and then we’re ready for a fabulous First Class Trip the rest of the time. Try it and let me know what you think?