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Lexington, Kentucky
A Week in
DEAUVILLE

9 Days, 8 Nights (including one en route)
AUGUST 12 to AUGUST 20, 2007

7 nights in Deauville
4 days of racing at Deauville, Clairefontaine, and Cabourg
Farm visits in Normandy
The Deauville Select Yearling Sale
An Excursion to Bayeux and the D-Day Landing Beaches

 

Day 1
Sun  Aug 12
Depart U.S., if not joining the trip from France or elsewhere in Europe.
 
 
Day 2
Mon  Aug 13
Arrive in Paris. You will be met at the airport (most likely Charles de Gaulle) and transferred to the Royal Hotel in Deauville on the English Channel coast of France. We can also meet you in Central Paris if you are already there. The transfer will take approximately three hours. The remainder of the day is free for adjustment and your own activities.

Late afternoon / early evening, we'll rendezvous for cocktails at the lawn bar of the Royal to spend some time together and get oriented for the week. It will be a busy one, so a simple first night is recommended. We'll organize a casual group dinner at a local restaurant for those who want company.

THE ROYAL HOTEL: The Royal, and her nearby sister The Normandy, are the places to stay in Deauville. Channel-facing, but set back from the busyness of the beach, both have justifiable worldwide reputations as first class resort hotels, combining traditional atmosphere, fine service, and a middle-of-it-all location. We've chosen the Royal because the rooms are larger. The Royal and Normandy are both operated by the Barriere Group, and you can have a look at their website at www.lucienbarriere.com to learn more about the properties.

Our rooms are deluxe / ocean-front unless you've specified otherwise, and a buffet breakfast is included each morning.

 
 
Day 3
Tue  Aug 14
DeauvilleYou might want to take an hour or so to stroll a bit this morning, to get a feel for the town and a little used to being in France. You're likely to discover a sidewalk café you'll come back to more than once. Late morning we'll join up and head over to a restaurant overlooking the boardwalk and the beach for a leisurely first lunch together.

Afterward, we'll go to Clairefontaine Racecourse for a casual afternoon of racing.

Deauville is sometimes referred to by Americans as the "Saratoga of France". It could just as easily be called the "Del Mar of France", because in addition to its seaside ambience it also fulfills the same function in France that Saratoga and Del Mar do in the U.S.: in August the urban (Paris, in this case) racing circuit shuts down and the horses and everybody associated with them gets out of town for the month and comes here.

The racing dates back to 1864, making it exactly contemporaneous with Saratoga. The Duc de Morny, brother to Napoleon III, brought racing and its associated glamor to this new resort, one of the first in the world built from scratch to cater to what was then the newly "discovered" pleasure of sea bathing. The Duc remains much in evidence today: the main square in town bears his name, and so does one of the biggest races of the season - one which we'll be seeing later this week.

ClairefontaineThe town has two racecourses, and one or the other of them operates most days. Deauville-la-
Touques is the primary one, where all the major racing is conducted. Clairefontaine is much more relaxed and informal, and offers up mixed cards of flat and jump racing a couple of days a week.

The course is quite beautiful, heavily planted with flowers and cozied up next to low adjacent hills. It is country racing  par excellence, and just the thing to settle us into the mood for the week.

You can stay as long as you want and take a short cab ride back to the hotel when you're ready.

Early evening, we'll regroup and motor a few miles down the Cote Fleurie to Cabourg and its trotting races. Trot racing is huge in France, and courses devoted to it outnumber flat tracks by a very large margin. It's a surprising amount of fun if you've not been before. Many of the races have the rider sitting right on the horse instead of pulling a sulky, and going very fast indeed. And there's the usual amount of stride-breaking just when you think you're about to win or lose your exacta - the betting has a bit of a casino aspect to it.

We'll have dinner at the course.

 
 
Day 4
Wed  Aug 15
We'll enjoy another of Deauville's great attributes today. In addition to being the Saratoga and Del Mar of France, it's also the Kentucky. Just inland in Normandy is the country's principal Thoroughbred breeding area and the home of many of its leading farms. For this reason, by the way, Deauville is "twinned" with Lexington and Ireland's Kildare in the Sister City program.

We'll visit at least two farms, and afterwards have lunch at a restaurant out in the country before heading back to town. There's racing at the main Deauville course this afternoon, and depending on the quality of the card and the amount of progress we make getting through lunch, we might decide to drop in and get our feet wet on a couple of races.

In the evening, we'll book a no-host group dinner. More than likely we'll go up the coast the opposite way from last night, have a walk around the pretty and historic town of Honfleur, and then dine there or someplace else on the way back.

 
 
Day 5
Thu  Aug 16
Today is a non-racing day, but it's likely to be one of the more memorable days of the week. We'll head out of town again and visit the sites of two momentous events that occurred nearly a thousand years apart.

And we're not talking garden-variety momentous here: In 1066 the Duke of Normandy, soon to be known as William the Conqueror, embarked on his invasion of England and became the last to be successful at pulling off this particular military problem. It laid the beginnings for the evolution of the English-speaking culture that has been the world's most influential over the last millennium.

And if the great cross-Channel invasion undertaken on D-Day, June 6, 1944 by the Americans, British, and Canadians hadn't been successful, it's arguable that instead of wrestling with French on this trip we'd be battling Russian.

William actually set out from the port of Dives, not far from where we were at the trotting races two nights ago, but it's in the town of Bayeux, traditional seat of Normandy's dukes, where the famous Bayeux Tapestry is displayed. The "tapestry" - actually an embroidery of wool on linen 20 inches high and 230 feet long with 58 separate panels - depicts the background, preparation, sea journey, and victorious battle of the invasion. We'll have time for a good look at it.

After lunch, we'll visit various significant spots relating to the 1944 landings, which were made along a 50-mile front of the Channel coast. Last stop will be the place that's most moving to Americans: Omaha Beach. This is where the invaders encountered the stiffest resistance, and the outcome here was very much in doubt for most of D-Day. On the bluff above the beach is the famous Cemetery - actually official U.S. territory - where the American dead of the entire Normandy campaign are buried. It's a place not possible to visit without emotion, and you will come away very proud of what our fellow countrymen accomplished here.

 
 
Day 6
Fri  Aug 17
This is an unstructured day. You can catch up on some sleep, do a little shopping, maybe go back for a sit at the café you've decided is your favorite. Those who want to can join up for lunch somewhere - we'll choose the place based on the mood of the group.

This afternoon is the opening session of the Deauville Yearling Sale, the premier yearling sale in France. The sales grounds are adjacent to the main racecourse, within easy walking distance of the hotel. Perhaps you will have had a chance to wander up and have a look prior to this, but today you'll have as much time as you want. The sale starts at 2:30PM, and typically the most highly-regarded youngsters go through the ring during this first session. Buyers from all over Europe attend.

We'll have a dinner booking made in town for this evening, for those who want to hook up for it on a no-host basis.

And we may organize a group assault on the casino later if there's a demand. (The casino is virtually next door to our hotel, so don't wait until now if this is something you enjoy. It's open all night, and admission to the elegant rooms away from the slot machines is easily arranged for the properly dressed.)

 
 
Day 7
Sat  Aug 18
Mid-morning we'll head up the coast again in the direction of Honfleur for a special treat - a visit to a Calvados distillery. Calvados, a brandy made from apples, is one of Normandy's most famous agricultural products. We'll probably have sampled quite a bit of it already this week, as it's the traditional ending point for any dinner in this part of France. And often the start of a long post-dinner period. Today we'll get a chance to see how it's made, and along with lunch, do a little sampling.

This afternoon, those of us still ambulatory will head over to Deauville-la-
Touques, the main racecourse, for an afternoon of racing. The Guillaume d'Ornano, a Group 2 for 3-year-olds, heads the program, and the undercard will have another Group race and several Listed events.

The 2nd session of the yearling sale starts immediately after the racing, and there is also polo in the racecourse's infield at the same time. The Gold Cup polo matches have been on all week, by the way, so if this is a special interest of yours hopefully you will have found the time to enjoy it. This day and early evening is a good demonstration of just how difficult it is to do everything in Deauville.

We'll have identified a time and a place for those interested to rendezvous for a no-host dinner.

 
 
Day 8
Sun  Aug 19
A lazy or active morning - your choice - is followed by our principal day of racing at Deauville-la-Touques. We'll have lunch in the restaurant overlooking the course, and, as the race viewing is excellent, we'll use our table to come and go from for the day. This is an important race day. The first French Group 1 of the season for 2-ear-olds, the Prix Morny, tops the card, and is supported by two Group 2s: the Jean Romanet for older females, and the 15-furlong Kergolay for stayers.

Evening, DeauvilleAgain, apre-la-course, there is polo in the infield and yearlings being auctioned at the nearby sales grounds.

Tonight will be our last evening together. We'll arrange a nice no-host restaurant booking, and we hope everyone will want to come along.

 
 
Day 9
Mon  Aug 20
Unfortunately, the organized itinerary ends after breakfast and checkout this morning. Time to go home for those that have to. We'll organize transport down to Charles de Gaulle airport for your flight home, or into Central Paris if that's your next stop. And if you're continuing on by train or rental car, we'll get you there, too.

Bonne chance and travel safely.

 

CLOSING DATE:

This trip will close on May 15, 2007. Payment in full and all necessary paperwork must be received by us no later than this date to insure that you will be able to travel on the trip. This earlier than normal Closing Date is due to the very heavy demand for hotel rooms in Deauville during our travel period. THIS TRIP HAS CLOSED.

COME EARLY, STAY LATE:

This itinerary is designed to be full and busy. For those preferring a more leisurely experience, we invite you to consider coming to Deauville earlier and / or lingering awhile after our planned trip is over.

Staying on here, relaxing in the sea air, has many positives. Walk the town and beach a bit, and spend more time at your own favorite restaurant or sidewalk café. Play golf. There is racing for one more week after our dates here, and either Deauville or Clairefontaine are open most days. And there are many options available for those who would like to explore Normandy more closely.

The Barriere Group has promised to accommodate extensions as best they can, but the space is not blocked or guaranteed. Please let us know as soon as possible if you wish to do this. This is the height of the season in Deauville, and the hotels in town are extremely busy. The farther in advance you let us know, the more likely they are to be able to accommodate you.

ITINERARY & PRICES:

The itinerary includes:

  • Seven(7) nights lodging in a deluxe, ocean-front room. (*See below for other options.)
  • Breakfast each morning.
  • At least Four(4) escorted days' racing at Deauville, Clairefontaine, and Cabourg, including transportation to and from the racecourse, course admission, and race card.
  • Lunch on Five(5) days: on the boardwalk August 14, in the country August 15, picnic-style in or near the coach August 16, at the Calvados distillery August 18, and at Deauville Racecourse August 19.
  • Dinner on One(1) night: at Cabourg Racecourse August 14.
  • Partial-day excursion into Normandy with visits to at least two farms, August 15.
  • Full-day excursion to Bayeux and the D-Day landing beaches, August 16.
  • Calvados distillery excursion.
  • Transfer from Charles de Gaulle airport or Central Paris to the Royal Hotel, Deauville.
  • Transfer from the Royal Hotel, Deauville, to Charles de Gaulle airport or Central Paris.
  • Welcome cocktails at the Royal Hotel.
  • Complimentary racing newspaper each day.
  • Accompaniment throughout by a Deauville-hardened and exceedingly personable American host.
The itinerary does not include:
  • Airfare to and from the U.S.A.
  • The cost of dinner or lunch except on days indicated above.
The Cost of the Trip does not include:
  • Any charges incurred at hotels other than the basic cost of the room, including but not limited to room service, mini-bar, television or video, restaurant or bar service, laundry or dry-cleaning, business services, golf or other activities, and activities arranged through hotel concierge. (All group members will be required to provide a credit card imprint upon check-in to guarantee payment for any individual charges.)
  • Excess baggage charges. Please check intra-European baggage limitations.
  • Costs related to obtaining passports or visas.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Alcoholic beverages.
  • Charges incurred for anything other than what is specified in the "Itinerary Includes" summary above.
  • Personal gratuities. As part of our arrangements, we will tip our drivers and the hotel staff on behalf of the group. Group members should appropriately tip anyone who provides them with personal assistance, including special assistance by the hotel staff. Please note your principal escort does not expect and will not accept a gratuity.
The Cost of the Trip Is:
    $4,875 per person, based on double occupancy (Twelve or more travelers)*
    $4,975 per person, based on double occupancy (Ten or eleven travelers)*
     
    $2,425 single supplement**.

    *We have reserved a limited number of standard rooms at the Royal Hotel, and for those wishing to be accommodated in one, we are able to reduce the price of the trip by $700 per person, based on double occupancy. **The single supplement for travelers utilizing a standard room will be $850. Please let us know as soon as possible if you would like to select this option.

    Please note we have not received the final costing for some minor elements of the itinerary, and therefore the final price of the trip is subject to minor adjustment until we do. Some minor elements of the itinerary, for example lunches, may be adjusted in the event their final costing necessitates it.

    Unless otherwise arranged, singles will be accommodated in the same class of deluxe, ocean-front rooms as the double-occupancy members of the group.

    We will attempt to match single travelers wishing to double up and thereby avoid the Single Supplement, however it will always be the single traveler's decision whether or not to accept a roommate. Because of the limited number of rooms that we have been able to reserve at these very busy times, we regret we must reserve the right to limit the number of single travelers on each trip.

    Trip prices are subject to change up to thirty(30) days prior to trip departure to reflect fluctuations in currency exchange rates between the United States and the European Union. Dollar prices quoted here are based on the following exchange rate:

      1 US $ = 0.758 Euro // 1 Euro = 1.32 US $

OPTIONS:

  • Additional Nights at the Royal Hotel, Deauville, if available: will vary, depending on length of stay and the specific nights chosen.

GENERAL INFORMATION:

*In the event the French authorities alter some of the currently proposed racing dates, some of the activities listed in the itinerary above may be transferred from one day to another.

*Please note the transfer time from central Deauville to Charles DeGaulle airport is approximately three hours. We recommend leaving Deauville a minimum of six(6) hours prior to your departure time. Therefore, we advise a departure time for your flight from Charles de Gaulle be as late in the day as you can make it, consistent with the time you want to be back in the U.S.

*This trip is designed for ten to fourteen people. We reserve the right to cancel the trip if it has less than ten subscribers. Should we need to do this, all payments made toward the cost of the trip will be fully and promptly refunded.

*You must have a valid passport to enter France.

View the itineraries for our other 2007 trips:

For May-June, click here       For September-October, click here

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