In 1907, my grandfather, Don Manuel Francisco Yrarrázaval, arrived in Paris from Chile
and booked himself into the Hôtel du Louvre, opposite the Comédie Française.
He lived there for four years, until his death and, as he had not time to pay for his last year's bill,
the invoice was sent to his family who had remained in Santiago and who were quite panic-stricken upon discovering
the amount. Shortly afterwards, however, they received another letter, announcing that the hotel was
canceling the bill in memory of Don Manuel Francisco, the ideal and incredibly entertaining guest.
Over a century later, I also checked into the Hôtel du Louvre, together with my sister, my parents and my grandparents who once again registered our quite unpronounceable name (for the French) in the hotel register.
My family were used to traveling all over the world and although this trip to Paris was not new either for my parents nor my grandparents, it most certainly was for both my sister and myself who were discovering France after years spent in the Chilean campo. The Louvre Hotel was the first French address my school was given, and my grandparents lived at the hotel for quite a few years afterwards.
These books are inspired by my memories, my strange family and the golden age of travel. They are also my "nod" to those months spent running around that second floor corridors, to those amazing beehives with their formidable teams of workers, where guests often do far more than just pass through.
Xavier Barral Eds.
With this book, Francisca Mattéoli shares her passion for nature with us in the purest of tradition of travel writers. She reveals her favorite destinations, where each time a hotel developed a unique relationship with its surrounding universe. Ode to travelling and to respecting the environment, Escape Hotel Stories is about the love of open spaces and lucky escapes... To get away from the planet while preserving it.
Museums may be a great introduction to a city but Francisca Mattéoli prefers strolling in flea markets. Legendary or unknown, small or sprawling, popular or posh, she takes us over the continents discovering all sorts of treasures, to a city, to a corner of the world for a few hours or a week-end…
An unconventional guide-book for collectors, travellers and all those who wish to discover a country differently. And to top this, for every destination a charming hotel, a special restaurant, haunts just in case that after the treasure hunt you have not finished with adventure !
Read the summary (in French)
With this book, Francisca Mattéoli offers 100 travel stories which assemble her most beautiful memories and her most surprising discoveries throughout the world. A book which will give you 100 ideas to leave, whether it's close or far and that you can read like a collection of short stories, all different and unexpected. The perfect travel companion...
I wanted to tell all sorts of adventure tales, and have adventures myself. I spent a year on the trail of famous adventurers, favorite writers, and legendary films. A year of non-stop madness in the Amazon, Patagonia, deserts, the North Pole... Exhausting, crazy but quite extraordinary.
Who has never dreamt of going somewhere where the sun always shines, where the sea is turquoise, where only a minimum is required and where peace and quiet can be found? The best compliment anyone ever paid me about my book: "Social Security Services should prescribe it free of charge!"
Assouline Eds.Read the summary
As my life in France began in a hotel, it was natural for my first book to be a tribute to hotels. Little did my great grandfather dream, when he left Chili, that his story would inspire an international best-seller!
Modern Weekly China - Monthly column.
We only have what we give. To write about our planet is also to love the world around as well as the people who live there. Here is a non-profit organization particularly close to my heart : ASSOCIATION CHIRURGIE PLUS
Rêves de comptoir in French Tv channel Voyage.
In 2000 I went into François Marot's office, Chief Editor of the National Geographic Magazine France, with the idea of covering the humanitarian plastic surgery mission to Rwanda in which my husband was taking part. I really wanted to do this story. I knew that we could give this story superb coverage. A few weeks later, I was on my way, accompanied by Patrick Zachmann, photographer with the famous Magnum Agency. We experienced some compellingly moving moments in Kigali hospital, going from one operating room to another from dawn to dusk. I tried to write the best report I could, telling about the outstanding work done by these surgeons who go off and operate on people in need free of charge. This does not happen very often, and I felt it was important to tell people about it. That plastic surgery is not just about cosmetic surgery but also about therapeutic repair. This was also my first contribution to a mythical magazine and collaboration with some fantastic people.
Download the article in French (pdf - 2.031 Ko): Mission humanitaire au Rwanda
I always wanted to return to Rancagua one day with National Geographic to write about a place that is so dear to me. And between each of the lines I wrote, such tremendous pride, a thousand emotions that had been held back for so long, the scary and reassuring happiness experienced with reunions, the link between my past and my present.
Download the article in French: Huasos, les cow-boys du Chili
Read: Cocteau dress
I was very impressed by Robert Redford's organization. An environmentalist but also a businessman. Sundance proves that the two can and do go together, and also that he doesn't take himself too seriously.
I was asked to write about experiences I enjoyed. So off I went to spend an afternoon in an Istanbul hammam. I loved writing these humorous dispatches. But above all, because going to Istanbul's oldest hammam is really quite an experience!
The first time that I was able to put pen to paper about my own country. A faraway part of the world where no-one had ever been. Only a few people even knew where it was. I was so pleased to have a chance of talking about my home land at last, and of showing everyone all the fantastic and positive aspects, far removed from those clichés that I cannot stand.
I suggested the topic and the stories were published as a series the following summer. The idea of writing a book naturally followed. After telling my travel tales, I started to write books that were directly inspired by the life of my family.
Il was the opportunity to write in a more literary way. A love story that starts in Valparaiso and ends in New York. I wanted to write something original for that rare magazine, that published stories of the very best French authors.
Each time, I can tell a travel story in my own way. It can be a journey to Patagonia or to the French Alpes. Everything is possible.
Every month, an egocentric chronicle of Flea Markets all over the world, with illustrations by François Avril.
Download the article (pdf : 251 Ko): The disappearance
Los Angeles Living a movie (format pdf : 1.462 Ko)
Other travels, other stories : Benin/Cambodia accompanying humanitarian missions - sharing the daily life of teams of surgeons specializing in post-conflict surgery.
Chilean Patagonia, the Carretera Austral personal research for stories and books. Chile, regular trips. Journey from Atacama to Punta Arenas. Visits and meetings for travel tales and stories. Argentina, provincia de Misiones, staying in the sub-tropical jungle, research on biodiversity and the development of eco-tourism with teams of Argentinean biologists for a book. Brazil, regular trips. Amazon, navigating the Rio Negro, living in the Amazonian forest, researching Brazilian eco-tourism and community projects. Sri Lanka, visits to compile travel information. Australia, journey through the Northern Territory and Queensland, personal research and stories about Dreamtime, research for a book. Scotland, journey through the Highlands & the Isle of Skye to look up relatives for a book / patchwork of stories and portraits. California, ten years at Carmel. USA, journey from East to West. Latonia, British Colombia, Mexico and others, research for travel tales and books.
And also: Talk about travels, photography etc, with renown French photographer and artist Jean Larivière, famous for his advertising graphics for Louis Vuitton, at the Louis Vuitton boutique, Place Saint Germain-des-Près in Paris – Signing books at the Louis Vuitton boutique, Place Saint Germain-des- Près and in the Espace Louis Vuitton book shop on avenue des Champs-Elysées, Paris – Signing books / talk at the W.H Smith Paris book shop - In New-York, at the Algonquin Hotel and the Plaza Hotel – In London, conference at the Travellers Club on Pall Mall...