March 22, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The devastating natural disasters in Japan have forced the temporary closure of the new Shangri-La Hotel. Luxury Travel Advisor reports: "The hotel's general manager, Wolfgang Krueger, and about 11 other people from the hotel are now working out of Fukuoka, in southern Japan. "This is not a decision we have made lightly," said Maria Kuhn, a spokesperson for the hotel. "As soon as we feel it is safe and we can run the hotel at our normal standards, we will open again."
Here's the skinny from the hotel's website:
Following the natural disasters in Japan on 11 March 2011 and the resulting logistical difficulties and hazards Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo will not be accepting any new guests until further notice. Bookings will resume as soon as the energy supply and normal hotel operation can and has been restored.
Yet another reason to love the riverfront Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok: the hotel has just installed solar panels on a 938-square-meter portion of the rooftop (pictured at right). The BT 13 million investment will power a solar water heating system, generating enough renewable energy to heat 25 million liters of water a year, sufficient hot water production for the 802 guestrooms of the Shangri-La Wing and the Krungthep Wing. The Shangri-La Bangkok is making waves in the industry, as this is the largest such solar system to be found in any hotel in Thailand. Talk about guilt-free luxury!
From psycho ballerinas to speech-impaired royalty, it's been a memorable awards season. Hotels are also racking up the awards. The Pierre, A Taj Hotel overlooking New York’s Central Park, took its own turn on the red carpet recently. The luxury hotel nabbed two top 2010 Hotel Excellence Awards -- for “Best Overall Hotel Experience” (for a hotel with less than 500 rooms) and “Best Concierge Service”-- in an annual black tie event that recognizes the best of New York’s hospitality industry as voted by the readers of IN New York. Fresh from a $100 million makeover, The Pierre is celebrating its 80th birthday with a year-long jubilee. Heading to Manhattan this month? Book the "Suite Celebrations" package-- available through March 31, 2011-- and get your second night at half price when staying in a swank suite.
Le Meurice is celebrating the arrival of spring in Paris with some music-filled afternoons. The Olaf Olsen quartet-- comprised of a bass player, drummer, pianist and the famous singer-- will be jazzing up Le Dali, the Philippe Starck-designed restaurant and lounge, on April 15th, 16th, and 17th from 4- 7 pm. Perfectly located between the Place de la Concorde and the Louvre museum, opposite the Tuilleries Gardens, the palace hotel is the ideal place to stop to recharge with a cup of tea after shopping on the Rue Saint Honoré or gazing at the Mona Lisa. The Afternoons called "Swing in Meurice" consist of three sets of about 35 minutes each. The quartet play old jazz and swing classics, and also delight guests with songs from Broadway musicals and films. The Dali-inspired setting alone is worth the trip. Beneath a giant canvas painted by Ara Starck (the famous designer's daughter), the restaurant is filled with whimsical designer pieces like Dali-esque chairs with feet in the form of ladies shoes, lamps with drawers, and lobster-shaped telephones.
Sleep on top of the world at the Tower Club at lebua, the luxurious all-suite hotel housed in the top floors of Bangkok's State Tower (51st-59th floors). Not only will you find some of the finest digs in town, awarded numerous accolades, but you'll also get to imbibe some cocktails at the world-famous Sky Bar. Each of the hotel's suites offer dramatic views over the city skyline and Chao Phraya river from a private balcony. You'll be spoiled rotten in these spacious accommodations- outfitted with Bvlgari bath amenities, feather soft beds and gourmet goodies from Petrossian in the mini bar. That's not all. Access to the Tower Club Lounge means a host of complimentary amenities at your fingertips: full breakfast, wireless Internet access, VDO on demand, and drinks. There's also a light lunch and afternoon tea served daily at select times. Hot deals: Book the special "Five Star Alliance" rate and you'll get a 10% discount on your room, plus coveted access to the Tower Club Lounge.
Just a stone's throw from the British Museum, The Montague on the Gardens is a stylish four-star hotel in Bloomsbury. Behind the Georgian townhouse facade, guests find a calm respite in the hotel's private garden. The Montague gets its share of repeat clients who appreciate the understated elegance and warm hospitality; the hotel offers immediate serenity when stepping off a London street. With the upcoming Royal Wedding and Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee in June 2012, London has morphed into the destination du jour. To honor these celebratory events, The Montague on the Gardens has designed a special package to give you a real taste of what life is like for the Royal Family. And the staff at the hotel like to point out that the red carpet is always rolled out for you, as guests are treated like royalty no matter what. Called "Live Like Royalty and Explore Buckingham Palace," the package includes;
* Two nights accommodation in a beautifully appointed bedroom or suite
* Full English Breakfast daily
* Champagne Afternoon Tea
* Two tickets to your choice of one of the Royal Collection's Palaces and Residences' combined visits:
1) Live Like Royalty - The Queen's Gallery and Royal Mews. The Queen’s Gallery - a dedicated space showcasing a wide range collection of art and treasures help in trust by The Queen for the Nation. The Royal Mews – one of the world’s finest working stables. It houses the horse drawn carriages and motor vehicles used for state occasions, including the gold coach last used during the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002
2) The Royal Day Out -The State Rooms, the Royal Mews and The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace. The State Rooms, the heart of the working palace, lavishly furnished with some of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection - paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, Poussin and Canaletto; sculpture by Canova; exquisite examples of Sèvres porcelain; and some of the finest English and French furniture. Visitors also have access to Royal Fabergé, revealing how the world’s finest collection of work by the great Russian goldsmith and jeweller has been created by successive generations of the British Royal Family.
The Royal Day Out is available from 23 July to 3 October 2011
Prices start from £187.00 per night for the Live Like Royalty offer and £200.00 for The Royal Day Out offer per night (excl. VAT) based on two adults sharing a Superior Double room for two nights. This package is offered subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply. Please note that tickets are not available on Sundays.
The James New York is celebrating the end of winter. "The snow is melting and winter is releasing its grip," says the hip hotel. "The streets and sidewalks of Soho, once conquered by shovels and snowplows, are being reclaimed by pedestrians heading to boutiques, galleries, cafes and more." It's time to partake in some luxury, liberated from winter. Live it up at The James (scoping out the rooftop pool scene) with the "End of Winter Offer" which includes 15% off the best available rate in a Queen Guest Room, King Guest Room and Deluxe King Guest Room plus a complimentary room upgrade. Or you can enjoy 15% off plus an in-room Continental breakfast from Celebrity Chef's David Burke Kitchen when booking a Corner King Studio or Apartment Loft. You must reserve by March 31, 2011 for travel through May 31, 2011. Based on availability.
PS. Have you heard about our giveaway contest? You could win a 3-night getaway at The James New York! Just sign up for our free monthly newsletter by May 31, 2011, and you’ll be automatically entered to win! All new subscribers, aged 18 or older, will be eligible for a chance to score this sweet prize.
Hilton Worldwide is rapidly expanding its luxe Waldorf Astoria brand- now encompassing some 20 landmark destinations around the globe. The newest to join this impressive portfolio is the Waldorf Astoria Sevilla at La Boticaria, the fifth property for Waldorf Astoria in Europe, joining Rome Cavalieri, Trianon Palace Versailles and London Syon Park, which opens this month. Scheduled to open this summer, the Andalucian style-hotel was previously known as the Hacienda La Boticaria and is located just 20 minutes from both the Seville city center and the San Pablo airport. When it comes to activities, you've got some world-class options-- from the equestrian center with 16 thoroughbred Spanish horses to the driving range for golf enthusiasts close to the Real Club de Golf de Sevilla. What we're most excited about: some of the largest spa facilities in Europe! There's also a helipad on the estate for tours of the area by whirly bird. Up next for the brand: Waldorf Astoria hotels in London, Berlin and Jerusalem.
Design fanatics go gaga when they step inside the lobby of the Hotel Keppler. This boutique hotel near the Champs Elysées was designed by Pierre Yves Rochon-- the star responsible for The Savoy's staggering recent makeover and the buzzworthy new Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane. (Rochon's full list of projects can be found on his design studio's website.) Decidedly chic, the intimate hotel is decked out with objets d'art, Asian-inspired vases, colorful paintings, and potted orchids. Both classic and contemporary styles merge in the lobby, where bold checks and animal prints grace a space that channels traditional French elegance. There's no restaurant on site, but the hotel staff is incredibly helpful with restaurant reservations, and the hotel's breakfast spread is so sumptuous that it'll tide you over almost all day. Choose a top-floor suite and you'll be privy to a terrace with unending views of the City of Light. (Not to mention the Hermès toiletries.) Stay at the Hotel Keppler and you'll get a dose of Parisian glamor.
March 16, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
You may not be able to snag some prime Pacific Heights real estate (San Francisco's exclusive neighborhood is filled with multi-million dollar mansions) but you can stay there in style at the Hotel Drisco. Located in one of the most exclusive parts of Pac Heights, the Hotel Drisco is an intimate getaway spot providing all the luxe amenities of a much larger luxury hotel with attentive service, to boot. Loyal repeat guests love this historic hotel because it feels like an elegant residence, the perfect respite from the hurried pace of the city. The gorgeous bay views are another enticement. Plus the hotel offers lots of freebies: a gourmet Continental breakfast, overnight shoeshine, wine and cheese reception in the evenings, and a town car shuttle service to Union Square, the Financial District and the Presidio every weekday morning. What's more, guests can take advantage of the gym facilities at the Presidio YMCA. Keen to discover all the hidden sites of SF? The Hotel Drisco can hook you up with custom guides to off-the-beaten-path insider spots.