April 21, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
It's that time of year again. Conde Nast Traveler recently published their 2011 Hot List of the best new hotels in the world. The venerable rag describes this year's Hot List as "an eclectic group- from tree houses to farmhouses" in some 43 countries on six continents. What unites them? "A common standard in their artful blend of high style and a strong sense of place." We've selected a few of our favorites below. To gawk over the full list (and some splendid photography), check out the magazine's website.
North America: Thompson Toronto, Banyan Tree Cabo Marques, Rosewood San Miguel de Allende, Andaz Fifth Avenue, The Chatwal, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, The James New York City, The Redbury, Waikiki Edition...
April 14, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Easter's right around the corner (April 24)... Do you know yet where you're chasing the Easter bunny? Hop over to the Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort, a 300-acre haven of tropical fun north of Miami beach, and get in on the festivities. You'll be tickled pink by the (eggs-traordinary) Easter brunch at Cascata Grille, and the kids will get eggs-cited over the Easter egg hunt on the resort's Laguna Lawn, where there will be arts & crafts, goodies, and a chef's hat awaiting. Brunch sounds lavish: an interactive station to make eggs any-style, French toast and pancakes; a carving station; and specialties from the resort’s award-winning culinary team. Brunch seatings are available between noon and 3 p.m., with the egg hunt taking place at 1 p.m. $50 per adult and $25 per child, includes kids’ egg hunt, and reservations are required.
April 13, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance
We admit it. We're suckers for a good Top 10 List. (And who isn't?) So when the Toronto Sun recently published their list of the "World's Top Beachfront Hotels," we ate it up. They single out the following:
- Ritz Carlton in Laguna Niguel, California;
- Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil;
- Anastasis Apartments in Santorini, Greece;
- Baboona Beachfront Living in Pattaya, Thailand;
- Half Moon in Rose Hall, Jamaica;
- Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria in Sorrento, Italy;
- The Ritz Carlton in Cancun, Mexico;
- Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino, B.C;
- Gansevoort Miami Beach in Florida;
- and Halekulani in Honolulu, Hawaii (pictured at left).
The kids can embark on action-packed adventures at Camp Half Moon, while their parents can take a breather and bask in some well-deserved down time. Why not schedule a treatment at Half Moon's award-winning Fern Tree Spa? Play a round of golf? The world's your oyster at this top-notch Caribbean resort. The kids will have more than enough to keep them happy and entertained. Under the watchful supervision of Penn State certified counselors, children can get creative at Craft Court, get wet and wild with water sports, try Performing Arts, and more. The camp is priced at $180 per week, including lunch, activities, and snacks; and runs from July 4-28 and August 1-11. Camp is also available by the day. Complement this camp experience with the Stay Free, Eat Free Special. Book a minimum stay of 4 nights and the 4th night is FREE. Plus, receive $150 food and beverage credit. What's even better: Kids 11 years and under stay free when sharing room with parents. Start planning your summer vacation today!
Did you hear the news? We can barely contain our excitement: The James Hotels brand is moving to Miami! Word on the street is that the Royal Palm Hotel was bought up last month and will be renovated to a tune of $42 million to become the James Royal Palm. This Miami pad will join the 297-room James hotel in Chicago and the 114-room James that opened last year in NYC. (Pssst. You could win a FREE 3-night stay at The James New York if you enter our Giveaway Contest!) No word yet on the opening date, but to echo what HotelChatter says, "Since we're huge fans of both the James Chicago and the James New York, we're excited to see what they bring to Miami. But we hope their staples of peekaboo bathrooms, carefully cultivated art and of course free WiFi remain."
It's back. A little girl's fantasy come true: a pink bedroom decked out with Barbie furniture, heart-patterned curtains, accessories, and all kinds of fun wall art. Last summer the Hôtel Plaza Athénée got dolled up for their pint-sized guests, and this year they're rolling out the limited-time fantasy rooms again for the month of August. And this time there's a Hot Wheels-themed room, too, equipped with a car-shaped bed, flame-motif mirrors, and a Hot Wheels race track with all kinds of surprises. Little princesses can choose between two Barbie styles: "Modern Princess" or "Fashion Icon" (for the slighter older crowd). Start planning your summer vacation and get a special offer for a room or suite of your own connecting with the Barbie Room or Hot Wheels Room at Hôtel Plaza Athénée: Deluxe Parental Room from €1700; Deluxe Parental Suite from €2800, with continental breakfast for children and parents included. Offer valid August 2-30, 2011. Barbie and Hot Wheels Rooms not suitable for children under 3 or teenagers over 16.
Earth Day is just around the corner (April 22) and to celebrate, Kimpton Hotels is launching EarthCare Week in 23 cities nationwide-- designed to inspire you with eco-events, amenities, earth-friendly cuisine, and more. On the menu at Kimpton restaurants? Organic dishes, showcasing local flavors specific to each Kimpton hotel location, paired with biodynamic and organic wines. You'll also find pop-up Eco Art exhibits, as Kimpton has partnered with local artists to create gorgeous artwork made from recycled materials. Here's another fun way to celebrate Earth Day: Kimpton's Pedometer Contest! Grab a pedometer from hotel reception, pound the pavement, and rack up steps to win prizes. (Pets welcome!) Kimpton's EarthCare Week runs from April 15- April 22, 2011. Take advantage of a special offer at Kimpton Hotels and get a 50-minute in-room Eco-Massage for just $50 more during EarthCare Week, valid until April 30, 2011 at participating Kimpton Hotels including the Hotel Solamar in San Diego; Hotel Monaco, Hotel Palomar, The Argonaut, and Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco; 70 Park Avenue and Eventi in New York; Hotel Palomar Philadelphia; Morrison House in Alexandria, VA; Hotel Vintage Park in Seattle; Nine Zero Hotel in Boston and Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge, MA.
It only took Pastry Artist Stephen Day 110 hours to create a a 600-pound hotel replica from hundreds of pounds of sugar, flour, egg, chocolate, butter cream and royal icing. (Don't worry, he wasn't alone in his efforts. Day has a very capable patisserie team!) Check out the video to see the cake version of a La Quinta hotel take shape in time-lapse fashion. Why did the Boca Resort pastry team go to such lengths? La Quinta was celebrating a corporate milestone with a recent event at the Boca Resort. And what a way to celebrate. Looks like the Boca Raton Resort & Club may just take the cake in staging memorable corporate meetings.
You saw it on the TODAY Show, and now you're wondering: Where the heck is Scrub Island? The tropical island retreat has been open for a little over a year and it's garnering accolades left and right. And a quick peek at the photos helps you understand why. The first private resort built in the British Virgin Islands in over 15 years, Scrub Island is a seven-minute boat ride away from the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport (EIS) on Beef Island, which itself is a 35-minute flight from San Juan Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in Puerto Rico. You'll find three private beaches, an infinity edge pool, a world-class marina, and swank rooms with spectacular ocean views. The best part of all? This five-star luxury experience is affordable- with introductory rates starting from just $299/night. Pick up a copy of the May 2011 issue of Travel + Leisure magazine for more praise of this private island resort.
Sun, sand, golf, and tennis... St. Petersburg, Florida has got its bases covered as a resort destination. But with the opening of the Chihuly Collection in summer 2010 and the addition of the new Salvador Dalí Museum in January 2011, St. Petes has become something of a cultural destination, too. To encourage you to discover the art on offer, the Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club is inviting guests on an Art Retreat. Priced from $174 per night, the getaway package includes an upgrade to a newly renovated bay view guest room; dinner for two at Marchand’s Bar & Grill from the 1925 Classic Dining Menu; and a choice of two tickets (valued at up to $42) to the Salvador Dalí Museum or the Chihuly Collection and the Morean Arts Center Glass Studio & Hot Shop. Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, the Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club is also a work of art, showcasing Mediterranean Revival architecture from the 1920's, and its very own Chihuly sculpture in the Grand Ballroom, comprised of 750 pieces of individually hand-blown glass.