Happy birthday, Normandy! (1,100 years isn't exactly small potatoes.) Eleven centuries after the signing of the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte which created the regional dukedom, Normandy is fêting the occasion with celebratory events and festivals galore in 2011. Plan a jaunt to France to mark the anniversary and revel in Normandy's Viking past. While you're there, make a pilgrimage to the D-Day landing beaches; explore Mont St Michel; marvel at the charming seaport of Honfleur, adored by the Impressionists; and gasp at the incredible Bayeux tapestry, a UNESCO-listed treasure. Looking for accommodations? A stay at the Château La Chenevière-- a veritable 18th-century castle nestled in beautiful gardens-- is an experience in itself. Not far from Omaha Beach and the historic town of Bayeux, the chateau-hotel has 29 charming guest rooms, recently renovated with new beds, sumptuous fabrics, and carpets. In the grand dining room, tuck into classic French cuisine highlighting Normandy's flavors. The heated outdoor pool and terrace are ideal for soaking up the chateau ambiance after exploring the nearby touristic sites.
Hot deal: Book with Five Star Alliance and you'll get a bountiful buffet breakfast when you choose the exclusive "Five Star Alliance" rate. You'll also enjoy a special in-room gift: a bottle of Pommeau and caramels.