April 5, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
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.
When you're traveling with a group of friends or extended family, sometimes a private villa is the way to go. You get plenty of space and privacy, but with all the luxurious facilities of a five-star resort, doting staff included. On Thailand's popular island of Phuket, the Aleenta Resort's Private Villa Collection offers an exclusive experience on the golden sand of Natai beach, just 20 minutes north of Phuket International Airport. Recently Aleenta Resorts opened a third new villa called Grand Villa Satis, a four-bedroom hideaway complete with a child-safe swimming pool, full kitchen, and outdoor terrace lounge area leading to a secluded stretch of beach.
Guests booking Grand Villa Satis between now and September 30, 2011, will enjoy benefits such as a roundtrip airport transfer, followed by private check-in and welcome sunset cocktails at their villa, where they will be greeted by a personal butler who will be on hand during their entire stay. Daily breakfast, along with a delivered newspaper, is also free. Villa guests can explore a series of resort experiences. Think BBQ with a personal bartender, facials and massages at Aleenta's spa, and sunrise boot camp-style workout or Thai boxing on the beach. Prices for Grand Villa Satis begin at THB26,500 per night, an introductory offer available until September 30, 2011.
March 21 has come and gone, which only means one thing: time for a spring break. The strikingly stylish James Chicago is inviting you to turn a business trip into pleasure by extending your stay with bonus nights. Get three nights for the price of two, four nights for the price of three, or seven nights for the price of five. With the extra savings, get out and enjoy Chitown: a show at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art, or shopping on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. Though you may be attraction-ed out, in which case, there are plenty of reasons to stay in at The James Chicago. The hotel suggests "a personal training session designed by celebrity trainer Jim Karas, a 60-minute massage from The Spa by ASHA, an award-winning dry-aged steak from David Burke’s Primehouse."
April 4, 2011
By: Guest Writer
Looking for luxury in Dubai without breaking the bank? Qamardeen Hotel-- located in downtown Dubai just a five-minute walk from Burj Khalifa (the world's tallest building)-- promises "a really excellent value for money compared to Dubai's vast number of five-star hotels." This four-star deluxe hotel offers contemporary style and Arabic architecture smack in the thick of things. On the hotel's doorstep is the Dubai Mall with 1,200 boutiques, and Souk al Bahar, a retail destination resembling a traditional Arabian souk with winding corridors and high archways overlooking Burj Khalifa. Qamardeen Hotel gets high marks for its warm staff, outdoor swimming pool, state-of-the-art Fitness Center, and well-equipped guest rooms. Take your choice of 13 Executive Suites, 123 Queen Rooms and 48 Twin Rooms filled with natural light, each with a flat screen TV, complimentary high speed internet access, free coffee and tea-making facilities and bottled water. You'll also find a spacious desk area, an open-plan bathroom, and a well-stocked mini bar.
By: Guest Writer
There's a whole lot to love at the Arizona Grand Resort in Phoenix. Situated on the doorstep of 17,000 acres of South Mountain Preserve (the largest municipal park in the world!), the resort has golf, a colossal water park (seven acres of it!), full-service spa and a 20,000 square foot athletic club (the largest resort spa and fitness center in the state!). And let's not forget the sultry temperatures afforded by Arizona's winning climate... We've just learned about a deal for families looking for some fun in the sun in Phoenix. The new BBC Travel blog is reporting that you can snag rates from $169 per night for two adults and two kids in a Resort Suite through May 9, 2011, and $139 per night from May 22- September 10, 2011. Make that a Deluxe Suite for $20 more. The "Escape Kit" includes your luxurious accommodations, full American breakfast for two at the Lobby Grill, a $50 spa credit towards any 50-minute treatment, andfour passes to the Oasis Water park. So what are you waiting for? The lazy river awaits...
Not too shabby a gift! Built in the 1920s, the Hotel Napoleon was bought by a Russian businessman as a wedding present for the French girl he had fallen for. Over the years the hotel hosted famous guests from the era's high society. (Josephine Baker, Ernest Hemingway, and Dali all stayed here.) In the 1930's, the hotel was immortalized by one of France's most famous actors, Jean Gabin, in a couple of his films. Today the boutique hotel is appreciated for its location in the heart of the Triangle d'Or, just a stone's throw from the Arc de Triomphe and the world-famous Champs Elysées.
Adorned with Napoleonic artwork and elegant Directoire furniture, the Hotel Napoleon has retained an intimate ambience. The 102 guest rooms are decorated in the Empire style and have views over the Paris rooftops and the Eiffel Tower. What could be better than starting the day with breakfast on your terrace, with all of Paris at your feet?
From themed Afternoon Teas to commemorative tea bags and postage stamps, London is getting in the mood for the upcoming Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Visit London-- the official tourism organization for the capital-- recently unveiled a giant 4-foot wedding cake, a lovely replica of the famous St. Bride's Church on Fleet Street-- the actual, real-life inspiration for the traditional tiered wedding cake enjoyed around the world today! Visit London describes their recent feat:
Back in the 18th century, London-based baker’s apprentice Thomas Rich wanted to create something special for his wedding day so, taking the tall spire and steeple of St Bride’s Church as a model, he came up with the idea for a tiered cake. This cake was provided by Sophisticake (who made the wedding cake for HRH Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall). It was created using a medieval recipe which required a whopping 200 eggs, 120lb (54kg) of dried fruit and 18lb (8kg) of butter! The cake will be donated to St Bride’s Church to share with its parish and support their charitable causes.
Pssst! Starwood is having a ginormous sale to herald spring's arrival. So if you're looking for a spring fling, why not take a jaunt to one of Starwood's 800 hotels and resorts worldwide? Or even just spend a night away from home in your own 'hood? The "Our World, for a Limited Time" package doles out savings of up to 30% at properties available across all nine of Starwood's brands: Sheraton, Westin, W Hotels, St. Regis, Le Méridien, The Luxury Collection, Aloft, Four Points by Sheraton and Element. (We say the W Retreat on Koh Samui looks mighty nice... And closer to home: spend the night in the "drunk tank" at Boston's "liberated landmark," The Liberty Hotel.) Available for stays until May 30, 2011, must book by April 4, 2011.
Pictured: A heavenly slice of the Mediterranean at Le Meridien Limassol Spa and Resort on Cyprus.
March 31, 2011
By: Guest Writer
Bedside cocktails, cuisine by acclaimed Chef Daniel Boulud, and a wow-worthy rooftop garden are enough reason to head to The Surrey Hotel in Manhattan's Upper East Side. An exceptional guest experience is assured at the hotel that once hosted JFK, as The Surrey, recreated by interior designer Lauren Rottet, has just about everything the modern traveler could dream of. (Yes, even pooches are pampered here with Lauren Rottet-designed pet beds and Pratesi pet robes.) Hot rates: If you book with Five Star Alliance and choose "Five Star Alliance" rates, you'll get a discount on your room plus loads of freebies: in-room Continental breakfast for two, 20% off spa services (not available on mani-pedis), a welcome amenity from the General Manager, and an upgrade based on availability.
By: Guest Writer
March 30, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
On business in Shanghai? The Four Seasons Hotel is inviting you to recharge your batteries... by disconnecting from your Blackberry and iPhone. The swank hotel insists that two days is all they need to get you fully rebooted and ready to get back to work. Just switch off the power buttons, extend your stay with the new "Suite Delight Promotion," and reconnect with the art of relaxation. You'll get reduced rates on your accommodations plus dining and spa credits. Straight from the horse's mouth:
Opt for a personal Spring detox via the Green Dragon Cleansing Ritual at Qin, The Spa; savour Chef’s April Zhou Shan seafood specials in Si Ji Xuan; or sample the tantalizing first flush of Long Jin (Dragon Well) green tea with Spring Flush Afternoon Tea in the Lobby Lounge. And with access to the Hotel Concierge’s legendary historical, art and cultural itineraries, there’s scope to discover even more of the city’s sweet spots.
The Suite Delight Promotion is offered through May 1, 2011, and includes Executive Suite accommodations, a CNY 300 food and beverage credit, daily buffet breakfast for two at Café Studio, CNY 200 Spa voucher, and late check-out based on availability.