Paris needs no introduction. It takes pride of place among the world’s great cities, with its wealth of important landmarks and historic buildings. It also remains today an eternally elegant and vibrant modern European capital, with a vivid contemporary culture. The city somehow manages to preserve the unparalleled French heritage of art, fashion, architecture, while not forgetting its leadership of the unique French culinary and vinicultural prowess.
Our venue the Westin Vendôme is part of this tradition, located between the Place de la Concorde, the Louvre and the majestic Place Vendôme. It was inaugurated as the Continental, largest and most luxurious hotel of its kind at the time, to welcome visitors to the World Fair of 1878. It has played host to numerous celebrities, including Empress Eugenie during her husband Napoleon III’s many years of exile, more recently Princess Grace of Monaco, Colin Powell and the Dalai Lama. Victor Hugo famously held his later birthday parties there.
A word of warning: Paris is expensive. Its top hotels are way beyond any corporate budget. The cost of our event will slightly exceed that of past years, despite the fact that the Westin is rated 4 star. The Westin is a definably French experience: members should not expect massive rooms and US style walk-in showers. But given the media row about luxury hotels etc in one of our member countries following our Lisbon biennial two years ago, this may be no bad thing.
Looking forward to seeing you for what will be my swansong after many happy years at the iFHP. It has long been my ambition to put on a major event in our extraordinary neighbouring capital - I will be delighted to have finally succeeded!Tom Sackville, London, January 2020