April 8, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Sunshine, here we come. Give yourself a spring cleaning with a trip to the beach. Just a hop from the East Coast, Puerto Rico's got enough sand and sea to soften even the hardest of hearts. (Any lingering winter blues will dissolve with the first fruity rum drink and salsa dance.) Conrad San Juan Condado Plaza is making a spring break trip easy on the wallet with a special offer that translates to 20% off your stay. In addition, you can get up to $100 in resort credit,* a 50% discount on Children's tours, and a $25 casino match bet coupon. Priced from $151 per night; minimum two-night stay required. With three pools, a casino, vibrant nightlife, and dazzling sunsets at the Conrad San Juan Condado Plaza... what are you waiting for?
It feels like summer in Paris this week. Actually, the weather's even better than summer: sunny and 70 degrees! The sidewalk cafes are packed with sun-bathers and people-watchers. Needless to say, work productivity may suffer this April... Take advantage of these glorious days in Paris with a special offer from the Radisson Blu Le Dokhan's and the Radisson Blu Le Metropolitan. The two luxury hotels have launched a 3=2 offer for new bookings only. Stay three nights and pay for only two from April 15- April 25, 2011. Based on contracted mid-week rates in Deluxe rooms, subject to availability. Located between the Trocadero and the Arc de Triomphe, the neo-classical style Le Dokhan's is home to a beautiful Champagne bar. Near the Eiffel Tower, the Radisson Blu Le Metropolitan features sleek contemporary interiors by designer François Champsaur (pictured at right).
A bar drink served in a real hip flask? You heard that right. A new bar in London's Theatre Land is serving up a delicious array of Champagne cocktails and creative libations, including the Astor Hip Flask, a bourbon-based cocktail mixed with secret ingredients and aged in an oak barrel for at least one month. The Waldorf Hilton has just opened Good Godfrey's bar & lounge, named for Howard Godfrey, the celebrity bandleader of the ‘Waldorfians’, the Waldorf house band in the 1920’s. Back in the day Godfrey was known across the country for his hit records, and The Waldorf drew quite the crowd for its famous Tango Teas. Nelson Bernardes, the award-winning head mixologist at Good Godfrey’s, has outdone himself with the drinks list. Order up a Waldorf-tini and you'll taste edible gold (in the garnish, anyway!). Made with either Tanqueray No 10 and grapefruit bitters or Grey Goose Vodka with ginger bitters and Noilly Prat, the cocktail is stirred in a golden shaker and garnished with gold. We also like the sound of the Hot Gin Punch for two which is served in a large teapot. Good Godfrey’s at The Waldorf Hilton is open all day serving morning drinks, light bites, afternoon tea and small plates meant to be shared.
So you didn't get your act together for an Easter trip to Prague. No biggie. You'll miss the dyed Easter eggs and willow whips at the festive markets, but you can still head to the capital for the ever-popular Czech Beer Festival in May, taking place in three enormous tents with a seating capacity of 10,000. Taste more than 70 brands of beer (served in glass pitchers straight from the tap), and when you're looking for a nibble, you'll find a selection of tasty bites from local chefs. All served by ladies and gents sporting the Czech national costume, of course. The festival runs from May 12- May 28, 2011. Looking for a place to hit the hay? Check out our fabulous collection of Four-Star and Five-Star Hotels, including the Mandarin Oriental, Kempinski, and The Augustine (pictured at right).
Hyatt Hotels Corporation has officially planted its flag in the Maldives with the April 1 opening of the Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa on the Indian Ocean atoll called North Huvadhoo. Formerly the Alila Villas Hadahaa Resort, the property was rebranded a Park Hyatt and promises a dose of luxury in a swoonworthy tropical locale. (Just check out the website's photos and you'll be plotting your getaway.) The resort is comprised of 50 villas, some with private plunge pools just steps from the crystal clear waters of the lagoon. From sumptuous spa treatments at the Spa by Mandara to scuba diving at the onsite PADI dive center, the Park Hyatt Maldives offers a range of experiences to help you get the most out of your stay in paradise.
It's official. The Boston Red Sox are swinging into baseball season and The Langham, Boston is inviting you to experience a game at one of America's favorite ballparks. The AAA Four-Diamond hotel provides two baseball package options-- "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" and "Cheer From the Bleachers"-- which include two tickets to the game at Fenway Park with seats either in Right Field within the first 20 rows or in the Bleachers within the first 20 rows. Rates start from $385, a savings of $70. Overlooking the Norman B. Leventhal Park of Post Office Square, The Langham is within walking distance to Faneuil Hall Marketplace, the Freedom Trail, the North End, the Financial District, the New England Aquarium and the Boston Harbor waterfront. If you're inspired to get back into shape after winter's long hibernation, you'll want to hit up their excellent fitness center, followed by a massage at Chuan Body + Soul spa. And that means don't go overboad on peanuts and beer at the game!
Sound too good to be true? The ultra-luxe Rosewood Crescent Hotel-- located in the heart of Uptown Dallas-- is celebrating its 25th anniversary by offering guests the original 1986 room rate of $100 per night. Beginning today, a limited amount of rooms will be available for booking on a first-come, first-served basis. (Rates are normally $525 and up, so if you can score one of these rooms, you'll be getting a discount of over 80%!) This deal is available for the weekends of Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day (Friday-Tuesday). While you're at it, take advantage of one of the "25 Exclusive Offers for 25 Years" available at the hotel; discounts abound at the spa and eateries, though not including the on-site Nobu restaurant. A few examples: 25% off wine at lunch at The Conservatory, $25 off the Rosewood Journey Pedicure, and $25 room upgrades.
We've just learned about the new "Apprentice-Trips" program at Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, a neat experience for travelers seeking out enriching and authentic adventures while on the road. Fairmont has taken this "yearning to learn" movement and created a collection of thoughtful experiences for hotel guests to learn, perfect, or acquire a new skill while on vacay. From surfing in Montreal to art immersion in Dallas, the program offers something for everyone. A smattering of these offerings are outlined below:
How to Pass a Bill in Washington D.C. (learn how to craft your agenda with a federally-registered lobbyist)
Find Your Inner Chi in Beijing (perfect the ancient art of Tai Chi)
Samuel Adams Behind the Scenes Boston Brewery Package at the Fairmont Copley Plaza
Canoes, Coffee and Culture in Hawai'i at the Fairmont Orchid
Cook with the Chef at the Fairmont Algonquin and the Fairmont Southampton
Learn about the Grizzly Bear while hiking from the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
Who needs a giant Easter Bunny in a costume when you can have the real thing? For the entire month of April, the Ritz Paris will be transformed into a flower-filled wonderland. Florist Djordje Varda is decorating the halls with yellow butterflies made from Oncidium orchids. The Grand Jardin-- the leafy terraced oasis at the heart of the hotel-- has morphed into a secret garden where real bunnies can be found in the vegetation. Accompanied by their parents, kids can seek out the rabbits and other fun surprises. A lavish Easter brunch will be served on Sunday, April 24 from 11 am to 3 pm, and during this time, there will be three Easter Egg Hunts in the Grand Jardin. The hotel's on-site chocolaterie will also be entertaining pint-sized guests with chocolate-making demos (chocolate Easter eggs galore!) The brunch is priced from 155 euros for adults, including a glass of Champagne, and 80 euros for children under 12. Kids under 5 eat free.
Related Article: An Inside Look at the Escoffier Cooking School at the Ritz Paris
Jet to Egypt this spring and you could have the Pyramids all to yourself... While many travelers are avoiding North Africa and the Middle East because of political unrest, a now-peaceful Egypt is luring visitors with all kinds of special offers- including discounted hotel rooms and airfares. The Wall Street Journal reports that the country is also "offering airlines incentives to fly to the tourism-dependent North African country as it seeks to stimulate demand and stop carriers from slashing capacity."
Pictured here: The Oberoi, Sahl Hasheesh-- set on the coast of the Red Sea at Hurghada. Browse the Five Star Alliance collection of Four- and Five-Star Hotels in Egypt... in destinations like Alexandria, Cairo, and Sharm El Sheik.