March 24, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance
In the Middle Ages the Venetians who ruled the Ionian island of Zakynthos named it “Flower of the East”. Centuries later, it is flowering in all its glory at the boutique five-star Porto Zante Villas & Spa, which has combined the privacy of world class private villas with the amenities and services only seen in top five star hotels.
Standing majestically on a private sandy beach of a secluded bay, this tiny all-villas resort has proven a hit with well-known clients from political and business leaders to artists.
Each of Porto Zante’s luxury villas offers unparalleled privacy & seclusion. Villas range from one to four bedrooms, all of them with private heated pool, and some with private spa and private beach area.
Dining at the resort’s restaurant or at the privacy of the villas is a true authentic Greek experience. All the products used by the Chef is organically grown in the island or at the estate of the villas. The meat is from the island’s mountains and the fish is fresh delivered every morning by the resort’s fisherman.
Young guests can enjoy a kids’ entertainment service that includes supervised fun activities, decorated luxury villa guest rooms and specially created dining menus by the resort’s chef.
Porto Zante offers more than 20 spa and thalassotherapy Therapies – all in the privacy of the private spa areas of the villas - using products by Greece’s Apivita Natural and Italy’s Bulgari.
Should you wish to have some action, Porto Zante can organise a range of outside activities. Watersports, scuba diving, a helicopter ride over the island or a private boat excursion to the breathtaking Shipwreck (Navagio) Beach and the Blue Caves on the north shore. Or maybe you want to explore the island of Zakynthos, with its dramatic coastline and enchanting villages, or the vibrant nightlife of its capital – before returning to your private little haven at Porto Zante.
March 24, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The Mark already has a courtesy car for guests' use (and a neat 24-hour check-in policy). But now it gets even better. When you book a suite*, you'll get a complimentary car and driver with your stay. You'll be chauffeured anywhere you wish in Manhattan for up to six hours-- each day of your stay. While you're in town, ask the concierge to book you a table at the hotel's restaurant by Jean-Georges Vongerichten. (We tend to drool over the raw bar selections like oysters on the half-shell, chilled Maine lobster, and caviar on warm blinis, but the a la carte menu items are just as exciting.) In need of a haircut and styling? Check out the hotel's on-site salon services by famous hairstylist Frederic Fekkai.
*Excluding the Courtyard Suite, Seventy-Seven Suites, and Studios.
It's happened to the best of us. Upon arriving at your destination, you unpack your suitcase, only to discover the missing (and desperately needed) item. Oh woe! The Elysian Hotel Chicago to the rescue, explains HotelChatter in a recent story. The luxury hotel "stocks Emergency Style Kits to help with your fashion 911" and the offerings are pretty snazzy:
The women's Emergency Style Kit is filled with all-purpose goodies that will make you look good, whether you get last-minute tickets to the Lyric Opera or have a business meeting that requires some dress-up. The kit includes the perfect wear-it-a-million-ways LBD, the Donna Karan black Infiniti convertible jersey dress.
Ladies also get accessory choices, too. The kit carries classic Jimmy Choo black Gilbert Kid leather pumps, MAC Viva Glam Lipstick, Wolford Power Shape tights and a red Lanvin Ouloulette clutch.
Guys can also arm themselves with fashionable items from their very own Emergency Style Kit, stocked with "an Ermenegildo Zegna white French cuff dress shirt, an Hermés silk tie, David Yurman Armory cuff links, Gucci moccasins and Byredo Fantastic Man cologne." Prices for the ladies' kit items range from $15 to $1,000, and for the men, from $170 to $595.
Related Article: Bed, Breakfast, and Marc Jacobs at the Elysian Hotel Chicago
Always dreamed of seeing the Angkor Wat ruins in Siem Reap, Cambodia? Do it in style with a girlfriends getaway at the Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor-- originally built in 1932 to provide classy digs during the "golden age of travel." The elegant French period hotel is inviting you to check out the mystical Angkor temple complex while reliving the romance of Indochina's colonial heyday during a three-night stay at one of Asia's finest hotels. The "Girlfriends Getaway" is designed for groups of four ladies, and combines spa pampering and gourmet dining with escorted shopping and temple outings, priced at US$1,955 per night. What else is in store? Airport transfers, round-the-clock assistance from Raffles Butlers, daily Champagne breakfast, a private cocktail party and two gourmet dinners, including a ‘Royal Khmer’ tasting-menu of imperial cuisine at the fine dining restaurant Le Grand. You'll also score culinary secrets in a private cooking class with a Raffles chef. Inside your two-bedroom villa, you'll get manicures and pedicures, facial and reflexology treatments, a mediation session and a choice of aromatherapy or traditional Khmer massage. Did we mention the consultation with the local fortune teller?
Need a change of scene? Craving a little Spring sunshine? Book yourself a trip to Europe for Easter break and you'll find yourself stopping to sniff the flowers (and sip the wine, and taste the chocolate bunnies) while recharging your batteries. Nothing says Easter like Italy... And the Baglioni Hotels Collection is doing it right with festive meals and fine chocolates for all guests. Whether you're looking to travel to Venice, Rome, Florence or Milan, Baglioni's got you covered. Here's the scoop:
Luna Hotel Baglioni, located just a few steps from St. Mark's Square in Venice, is celebrating Easter by giving guests a Chocolate Easter Egg and a choice of Easter lunch or dinner at the award-winning Canova Restaurant.
Relais Santa Croce, a stylish 18th century residence in Florence, is offering a special Easter weekend focused on food: a chocolate tasting at “Arte del Cioccolato” by specialist Tuscan chocolate maker, Roberto Catinari and dinner at the Guelfi & Ghibellini restaurant with a sweet surprise.
Regina Hotel Baglioni in Rome will be serving Easter Monday brunch in its beautiful Belvedere Room. Located on the top floor of the hotel, this glass walled room lets you enjoy breathtaking views across the Eternal City.
Carlton Hotel Baglioni, situated in the heart of Milan, is offering an Easter break full of shopping opportunities and indulgent spa treatments: private Deluxe Car transfer to/from the Fidenza Village (Parma), a special body exfoliating treatment with Mimosa essence at Spiga 8 Spa and an elegant dinner on the Baglioni Terrace.
March 22, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance
Good news for ski bunnies. Canyons, Utah's largest ski resort, has extended its 2010/2011-ski season by a full week to April 17, 2011. The six new dining and après ski outlets, along with the first heated chair lift in North America, are scheduled to remain open in celebration of great snow conditions and the resort’s recent multi-million dollar re-creation. Located in Park City, Canyons offers 4,000 acres of exceptional skiing and snowboarding terrain, 180 trails, and five world class lodging properties including Silverado Lodge and Grand Summit Hotel. The ski conditions have been phenomenal this season; the resort has already reported more than 270 inches of snow with forecasters predicting even more to fall later in the season.
Canyons is so excited about its makeover, which includes the new "Ski Beach" base area, that they're running two special promotions. The “You’ll-Love-It-Or-It’s-Free-Guarantee” offers a refundable lift ticket for guests not fully satisfied with their mountain experience and a $15 après ski dining credit. Guarantee ticket must be purchased directly through the Canyons website at www.thecanyons.com/guarantee. The “Spring Ski, Dream and Dine” package is complete with overnight accommodations at Sundial Lodge, full-day lift ticket and daily breakfast for $139 per person, per day.
Heading to Miami this weekend? Tennis fans won't want to miss the opportunity to mingle and play tennis with 18-time Grand Slam champion Fred Stolle at the Fairmont Turnberry Isle resort. The 300-acre tropical retreat is hosting Stolle, one of the greatest tennis pros of all time, and lucky guests can score some tips to improve their game. Activities include a pro-am round robin at 5 p.m. on Friday, and then a two-hour group clinic followed by an organized match-play that begins at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday. $175 per person includes all tennis activities with Fred Stolle, unlimited court time throughout the weekend, and a wine reception on Friday evening. Spaces are limited and reservations are required in advance by calling (305) 933-6925. Turn the weekend into a getaway with the resort’s new Fred Stolle Stay & Play package, priced from $195 per person, per night.
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.