LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
August 6, 2016
By: Rachael Weir
Watch in-room movies like never before within the Screening Suite at the W London Leicester Square. This unique and seductive space offers a private bedroom cinema with a Sony 3D HD video projection system, 3-meter screen, ambiant ceiling lighting, in-bed movement system, media hub with surround sound, and open movie pass. (Read more below)
When you're not lounging in bed watching movies, you can relax in the suite's contemporary spa-inspired bathroom which includes a deep-soaking tub, separate steam shower, and Bliss bath products. Plus, plush robes and slippers to add to the overall spa-like feel. (Continue reading below the photos.)
If you're ready to hit the town, the hotel's designer wardrobe room service can assist you with just the right look for exploring London in style.
The W London Leicester Square is 192-room contemporary boutique hotel in London's West End. Steps away from the city's theater and entertainment hub, the property is ideally located for exploring London's cultural scene.
By: Rachael Weir
August 4, 2016
By: Five Star Alliance
In honor of the U.S. National Parks 100th Anniversary, the Enchantment Resort is offering an “Over-the-Top Grand Canyon Adventure Package”, which includes a private helicopter ride for four people from the resort to the Grand Canyon. Ideal for families, the Sedona Resort is surrounded by natural vermillion-colored rock formations, with hiking trails, Camp Coyote kid's club, Mii amo spa, outdoor swimming pool, golf, and tennis. Read more below about this special package from our sister publication, Luxury Travel Advisor, written by Ruthanne Terrero.
A Southwest getaway for the family should include active experiences plus some quality downtime. We say Enchantment Resort in Sedona might just fit the bill, especially with the program it's created for the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service. The “Over-the-Top Grand Canyon Adventure Package” provides for a private helicopter ride for four people to take a flight from Sedona to the Grand Canyon. When it's time to come home, a clay wrap spa treatment is included, at Enchantment's sister property, Mii amo. Which room works best for families? We're thinking it's the two-bedroom “Full Hacienda Suite,” which has a living room (think high ceilings and a fireplace) with two queen pull-down beds. If a family member likes to barbecue, a nice big deck has a built-in grill and lots of seating for the family to sit around and critique the cook. There's a kitchen inside as well and a dining room area for six. There's no arguing over who gets the best bedroom since both are masters (some with king beds, some with two queens, just ask). All told, there are plenty of private bathrooms for all, including one off the living room.
Enchantment, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, has a program for children ages four to 12, which provides nature walks, pottery classes, star gazing, scavenger hunts, cooking classes and yoga. Older children and teens can also participate in tennis camp clinics. They can also take a Pink Jeep tour and visit Native American ruins in the area.
Family Dining Tip: Enchantment has two restaurants. Tii Gavo has a more casual Southwestern vibe while Che-Ah-Chi is the fine-dining venue. Reservations can be made at any time for either, but do know that both have great views of the red rock canyon. We suggest making reservations at least two weeks out for a window seat or outdoor table for optimal views.
Good to know: Families sometimes want to relax and not worry about disturbing guests around them, so, we suggest a private room at Che-Ah-Chi for parties of six to 12. Another fun option is to request in-room dining served on your private patio. Enchantment has plenty of other venues for larger groups.
Tip: Spring and summer are peak seasons at Enchantment Resort, so management recommends booking six to 12 months in advance.
Check rates and learn more about Enchantment Resort and Mii Amo Spa>>
NINE-TEN Restaurant, located at the landmark Grande Colonial Hotel in La Jolla, California, was recognized by the California Restaurant Association with "San Diego's Best Hotel Fine Dining Restaurant Award". This is the seventh consecutive win for NINE-TEN, recognizing the restaurant's excellence in Evolving California Cuisine. Celebrating more than a decade of service, NINE-TEN offers the perfect combination of sophistication and casual elegance. Diners enjoy the best of the harvest from local farmers, where produce is selected daily for the restaurant's farm-to-table menus.
Welcoming guests since 1913, The Grande Colonial Hotel is a 93-room historic hotel overlooking the Pacific Ocean. One-block from the beach, the property offers can outdoor pool, meeting space, and the award-winning NINE-TEN Restaurant featuring a Wine Spectator-recognized wine list.
*The content of this sponsored article was provided by Grande Colonial Hotel.
Savor Life Slowly at SLS South Beach. Indulge your senses at The Bazaar by José Andrés, featuring a vibrant mix of sophisticated cuisine and a playful indoor-outdoor environment. The Bazaar menu blends Andrés' Spanish heritage, tradition and ingenuity with influences from South Beach's local Latin flavors. Read more below.
Katsuya South Beach infuses traditional Japanese cuisine with a provocative twist as Master Sushi Chef Katsuya Uechi unleashes his culinary artistry with a menu of innovative sushi and robata dishes uniquely adapted for the American palate. For the perfect nightcap, Bar Centro by José Andrés is where cocktails become adventurous undertakings with a variety of fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables, as well as modern tools of liquid nitrogen and organic emulsifiers to create Manhattans with liquid cherries and margaritas with salt air that accompany delightful selections of caviar and Andrés' signature snacks. Continue reading below.
Set in the heart of South Beach, the SLS Hotel combines impeccable design, imaginative dining, and a luxurious atmosphere with an outdoor pool that transforms into a chic evening lounge. Offering direct beach access and city views, the high-style property is steps away from upscale boutiques, dining and nightlife.
Five Star Alliance Perk: Guest that book through Five Star Alliance receive a $50.00 resort credit during their stay.
*The content of this sponsored article was provided by the SLS South Beach.
Wow, what a view at The Springs Resort and Spa at Arenal in La Fortuna, Costa Rica. Courtesy of instagram user /Safarianne, the boutique hotel sits on a mountainside 1,000 feet above the Arenal. The tropical resort has 28 thermal spring pools with the highest quality mineral content in the area, the famous "Monkey Slide" at Perdidos Springs, and the Club Rio Outdoor Center set on one-mile of the Arenal River with on-site adventures such as water tubing, rock climbing, and horseback riding. There's also a wildlife sanctuary with more than 100 rescued animals including monkeys, deer, sloths, toucans, jungle cats, and crocodiles.
As you can see, guest rooms feature views of the volcano and surrounding valley, with hardwood floors and ceilings, carved wood furniture, marble bathrooms with dual sinks, and sitting areas.
August 2, 2016
By: Five Star Alliance
If you are a first timer, or even a seasoned traveler, looking for a swanky villa within a luxury resort, we've got the best option for you in the Caribbean at the uber chic Baoase Luxury Resort in Curaçao. Nestled amidst tropical gardens and caressed by the azure water of the Caribbean Sea our sister publication, Luxury Travel Advisor, has the following insight:
Baoase Luxury Resort in Curaçao is a great fit for LGBT guests and all seasoned Caribbean travelers looking for an island where everything is accepted and celebrated. The local airport, Curaçao International, is about a 25-minute drive from the resort, which also has a helipad. Hint: Guests can opt for a VIP transfer, and a chauffeur will pick them up inside Curaçao International Airport, allow them to pass through customs and immigration more quickly, bypassing the lines, and then take them to the property in a luxury car. Note: There is a private jet center at the Curaçao International airport.
More below >>
Even though the Ocean Front Villa is the most requested accommodation here, but we were told families cannot go wrong in booking the Private Pool Villa, the Superior Private Pool Villa and the Master Villa (the only one with butler service).
Note: The resort doesn't have a spa. However, guests can request treatments ranging from traditional massages and body scrubs to manicures and pedicures on the property's private beach. In-room group treatments are also available for wedding parties. Tip: Guests are advised to book spa treatments at least two days in advance.
The resort’s Baoase Culinary Beach Restaurant is open to locals. The most popular fare here is "The Chef’s Menu," a full seven-course menu, which changes constantly and makes use of fresh ingredients. Additional recommended dishes include tuna tartare, lionfish and ginger cheesecake. Nice Touch: All of the seating at this restaurant is beachfront. Although it is fairly easy to get a reservation at the resort, we were told guests should book two weeks in advance to be on the safe side.
More below >>
For VIPs tying the knot, the resort can do everything from buyouts to ceremonies for 10 guests and rehearsal dinners. The property can accommodate almost any over-the-top request. For instance, A-listers can hire a private jet to drop rose petals during the ceremony. Other extravagant needs that the resort has fulfilled in the past include delivering 100 flowers to a couple's room during their honeymoon, and flying in wagyu beef from Japan to meet a guests request for dinner.
Additional experiences include a bottle of champagne upon arrival; a four-course “Surprise Menu” created by the chef in a romantic gazebo set up on the beach; and private picnic on the beach.
Tip: For those VIPs looking to get some shopping done, there are some high-end jewelry shops in Punda, which is roughly a five- to 10-minute drive from the resort. The property can provide VIP transport to and from the shops.
Check rates and availability at the Baoase Luxury Resort in Curaçao >>
August 1, 2016
By: Five Star Alliance
Nestled along Southern California’s most recognizable and breathtaking coastline, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel provides the inspiration for guests to create #EpicMemories in 2016 with original and enduring packages and activities that awaken the soul, stimulate creativity rejuvenate the spirit and inspire the heart.
Sea legs are embraced and the soul is awakened on the Eco-Adventure Center's Biggest Show on Earth excursion. See first-hand why Dana Point is the Whale Capital of the West. A famous gathering area for aquatic animals, Dana Point attracts not only marine mammals but marine biologists and whale lovers from around the world. While on the adventure, majestic blue whales or gray whales can be seen as they travel past Dana Point, which is believed to serve as a visual landmark for several species of whales that migrate along the Pacific Coast. The Biggest Show on Earth is $110 per person and includes transportation to and from Dana Point Harbor.
The history of art is filled with stories of solitary artists abandoning society to pursue their creative expression. The 2016 Pageant of the Masters sets out in search of stories of compelling collaborations that led to the creation of unforgettable artworks in this summer's presentation of "Partners". Filled with provocative and passionate tales of some of art's dynamic duos - artists and patrons, models, muses, even dance partners, be sure to bring someone special with you, as "Partners" pulls back the curtain to reveal the significant others without whom the creation of great masterpieces might not have been possible.
Going backstage at the Pageant of the Masters stimulates creativity. The resort's Behind the Velvet Rope experience offers an exclusive opportunity to see how this grand production comes together behind the curtain and offers a peek into the mystery of how art comes to life. The experience also affords guests to rub elbows with the artists while on a private docent tour of the Festival of Arts. The resort also offers a Pageant of the Masters "Partners" package that includes two tickets to the performance. Pageant packages start at $849 per night and are available July 7 through August 31, 2016.
Rejuvenate the spirit with the Rejuvenate You package. Celebrate a new you with two 60-minute signature spa treatments, oceanfront Pilates and yoga, as well as a delectable lunch for two in Raya. The Ritz-Carlton Spa offers a selection of massage, facial and body treatments in a relaxing and tranquil environment. Rejuvenate You starts at $749 per night.
Guests can extend their stay with the Treat You package. Starting at $875 per night, the Treat You package includes accommodations on The Ritz-Carlton Club Level and one complimentary night when guests stay four nights. The Club Level experience offers the comfort, convenience and privacy of a hotel within a hotel. Located on the fourth floor of the resort, The Club Level is not just about luxurious surroundings; it's about personalized service. A dedicated concierge is available to meet any needs from hard to get restaurant reservations to assistance with changing airline flights. Only guests registered on Club Level can access the floor through use of a special elevator key, ensuring a sense of personal security. The focal point of Club is a spacious lounge area, furnished to resemble a comfortable living area and well stocked with books and a variety of magazines and newspapers.
Inspire the heart and fall in love all over again with the resort’s Sunset Romance package that includes overnight accommodations, Champagne and chocolate dipped strawberries, and breakfast for two. Enhance the experience with an upgrade to a fireside ocean guestroom where guests can toast the sunset by the warmth of the fire on the private patio and create #EpicMemories. Sunset Romance starts at $699 per night.
Throughout 2016, #EpicMemories experiences will be highlighted on the resorts social media channels including Facebook and Twitter. These experiences range from watching the sunset over the Pacific Ocean with your loved one to building a sand castle on the beach with your children. Guests are also encouraged to share their #EpicMemories.
*The content of this sponsored article was provided by Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. Offers and packages are subject to change.
July 30, 2016
By: Rachael Weir
Occupying the entire eighth floor of The Fairmont San Francisco, a grand historic property in the heart of the city, The Penthouse has hosted royalty and celebrities alike, including John F. Kennedy, Mikhail Gorbachev, King Hussein of Jordan, Marlene Dietrich, and Mick Jagger.
The lavish suite offers three large bedrooms, a formal dining room with seating for up to 60 guests, ornately tiled billiard room, formal living room with a grand piano, and a two-story library. Plus, behind the bookshelves, there's a secret passageway adding to the allure of the fabled suite. Read more below.
The Fairmont San Francisco opened in 1907. Set atop Nob Hill, the property offers panoramic views of the city, and its located at the only spot in San Francisco where each of the cable car lines meet. Fully restored with luxurious modern comforts, the hotel features the Laurel Court Restaurant & Bar with locally sourced ingredients, plus the Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar featuring a tropical setting and Pacific Rim Asian Cuisine. Close to the Financial District, Union Square, and Fisherman’s Wharf, the property offers a centralized location for business and leisure travelers.
Learn more and check rates at The Fairmont San Francisco >>
By: Rachael Weir
July 26, 2016
By: Five Star Alliance
10 miles from the strip, The Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa offers the ultimate high roller suite - the 180 Suite - spread over 7,500 square feet of space and with views of the Strip and the mountains. Read more below from our sister publication, Luxury Travel Advisor.
Guests will be staying in good company as the resort has hosted George Clooney, Pink and Cindy Crawford. The One-Eighty Suite has views of the Strip and the mountains. However, the suite may divert attention from the vistas with its sleek, luxurious design in a color scheme of black, rich browns and blues - very 21st-century. This top suite leaves us wanting to know what's around every corner and behind every door. Amenities at this luxury hideaway include a pool table, a 100-inch TV and a full bar (hello, Sin City).
The bathrooms in both master bedrooms are fitted with a walk-in shower and Jacuzzi tubs with fireplaces. The two bedrooms also come with private balconies. Outside, along with a stunning view of the mountains, guests will have a spa tub and a bar with a revolving sofa. With these digs, venturing over to the Strip may not be necessary.
Additional Tip: For the ultimate entrance, the hotel has luxury Cadillac Escalades and Cadillac Limos for private pick up from Las Vegas McCarran International Airport.
Check rates and availability for the 180 Suite at the Red Rock Casino Resort >>
July 25, 2016
By: Five Star Alliance
Following a year-long $40 million renovation Southern California's Monarch Beach Resort, formerly a St. Regis property, has announced the completion of the project, which includes a new Miraval Life in Balance Spa, new pool areas, updated guest rooms, and fresh dining options. Read more below from our sister publication, Luxury Hotel Insider.
The resorts renovated arrival area now has beach house-inspired details with panoramic windows, over-sized seating, wide plank wood floors and blue and sea-glass green accents.
Also new is the Miraval Life in Balance Spa offering more than 70 treatments at its Monarch Beach Resort location. Each is designed to “awaken the senses, create balance and promote a sense of well-being” for guests throughout the spa's 24 treatment rooms. There is also a lap pool, multiple spa suites, a boutique, Drybar, Deborah Lippmann Nail Salon and relaxation and tranquility zones. Healthy menu items inspired by Miraval’s philosophy are also available at the resort's restaurants, as well as the new Miraval Spa Café inside the spa.
For dining, chef Michael Mina's Stonehill Tavern continues to provide a private beachfront dining space for guests, while the resort is also debuting five new dining concepts led by executive chef Collin Thornton as part of the renovation. The new dining options focus on using fresh ingredients from local purveyors and exercising sustainable practices, and include:
- AVEO Table + Bar: A Mediterranean restaurant and bar designed by San Francisco-based hospitality firm Puccini Group. Dishes are inspired by the cuisine of Spain, Italy, Greece and Morocco, and are crafted using local ingredients.
- 33° North: This venue includes three separate dining areas; a contemporary bar serving hand-crafted cocktails; a living room salon; and an outdoor patio with fireside seating and live music Thursday through Sunday.
- Part & Parcel Market: Also designed by Puccini Group, the all-day dining option serves small bites and healthy options for guests on-the-go.
- Club 19: A refreshed indoor-outdoor gastro pub situated near the golf course offers beers on tap, cocktails, and classic American fare.
- Sombra: A Mexi-Cali, family-friendly poolside cantina offering a fusion of Mexican/American dishes along with salads, vegetarian options and modern Mexican comfort food.
The resort's new pool areas include an adults-only Monarch Pool, Family Pool with splash zones and two infinity-edge spas. Private cabanas have built-in music and stocked outdoor mini-bars, while chaise lounges and an outdoor fire pit provide space for guests to gather in the evenings. The pool area’s multi-level design now has a second tier dedicated to sunning and lounging.
Refreshed guestrooms designed by Los Angeles-based Rodrigo Vargas Design have a color palette of blues, greens and whites. All rooms and suites have balconies furnished with modern patio furniture, and all first floor balconies include fire pits.
Tip: In addition to the renovation, Monarch Beach Resort is also offering several new land and sea experiences in Dana Point. At the resort's private access beach, guests can enjoy activities like standup paddle boarding, trail hikes, bonfire communions and one-on-one surf lessons led by a resort Surf Host.
Check rates and availability at the Monarch Beach Resort >>