LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
March 27, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The Burj Dubai, the tallest building in the world, has just been selected by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the "new seven wonders of the architecture world" in the April issue. Designed by Chicago-based architect Adrian Smith, the towering skyscraper will be 2,111 feet high and 160-plus stories when it opens next year (that's 1.5 times the size of the Sears Tower):
Its completion will mark the first time the Middle East has been able to claim tallest-building rights since the early fourteenth century, when England's Lincoln Cathedral surpassed Egypt's Great Pyramid-- a point of pride for local backers.
And here's another record-breaker: the elevators will catapult visitors to the top at a speed of 40 miles per hour.
National Geographic's Journeys of a Lifetime has the scoop on some of the top urban views in the world, and the elevator ride in the Westin St. Francis, the landmark hotel situated directly on Union Square in downtown San Francisco, is a once-in-a-lifetime must. There are 5 exterior elevators, and these are the fastest in the city-- hurtling upward at 1,000 feet per minute. The panoramic views of the City by the Bay are breathtaking.
PS. Don't miss dinner at Michael Mina, the award-winning restaurant housed in the hotel.
Now accepting reservations beginning April 1, 2008, the new W Hotel is the hottest thing to hit the scene in Istanbul. The hotel brand known for its chic, contemporary style has opened a sexy new property in the ancient city of gilded domes, minarets, and dynamic modern towers. Crossroads between old and new, East and West, the cosmopolitan metropolis of Istanbul welcomes a hotel as dynamic as the city itself. Designed by Geomim, the hotel is the centerpiece of the historic Akaretler Row Houses. You'll find all the signature W touches like iPod docking stations and flatscreen TVs, munchie boxes and mini bars, the luxurious W bed, separate showers and tubs in the bathrooms, and the cozy Living Room for cocktails. Plus, all rooms and suites have gardens, terraces, or cabanas. Indulge in all the decadent facilities on offer: chow down on the Southeast Asian plates at Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Spice Market before getting pampered with a massage at the spa. Talk about Turkish Delight.
March 26, 2008
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
If you faithfully read your horoscope each day and know the signs of all your friends, then you’ll want to visit the Park Hotel Weggis for their Park & Stars Package. It includes welcome champagne, accommodation including buffet breakfast, an individual astrological reading on the day of your arrival or a couple analysis, an astrological five course dinner (created around your astrological sign!), as well as a keepsake to take home with you. The astrological consultations are given by Doris Vollenweider, a counselor for astrological psychology. All readings are given in German so unfortunately you are out of luck if you don't speak that language. When you reserve, you will need to give the hotel your exact date, time, and location of birth for your astrological reading. Packages are also available without the overnight accommodation for those who would just like to spend an astro filled day at the Park Hotel Weggis.
Eat farm fresh for Bette Midler with a special Earth Day Menu at the acclaimed restaurant Bradley Ogden at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. To celebrate its 5th anniversary and the successful premiere of Bette Midler The Showgirl Must Go On, Bradley Ogden Restaurant-- recipient of the James Beard Award and honors from Mobil and Michelin-- has introduced an exclusive tasting menu until Earth Day, April 22, 2008. As leader in the farm-fresh cuisine movement, Ogden and his family have long been associated with sustainable, responsibly produced cuisine, and now the Ogdens, along with Caesars Palace, will donate 15 percent of proceeds from the menu to The New York Restoration Project, a non-profit organization founded by Bette Midler dedicated to creating green spaces in New York City's underserved communities. Priced at $75 or $115 with wine pairing, the menu features Ogden signatures like Twice-Baked Maytag Souffle and Butterscotch Pudding and includes organic produce and protein including Organic Artichoke Soup and Free Range Petaluma Chicken. The wine pairings feature several organic and biodynamic selections.
Dating from 1909, the Art Nouveau-style Hotel Palace Praha is smack dab in the middle of Prague, just a stone's throw from Wenceslas Square. In addition to the 114 guest rooms, combining traditional elegance with all the modern comforts, the hotel boasts some to-die-for suites with marvelous views of Prague Castle: 3 Junior Suites, 2 stylish Old Town Suites located on the 6th and 7th floors, the Opera Suites with white Carrara and Rosso Verona marble bathrooms and state-of-the-art entertainment systems (and views of the State Opera), and the 5th floor Art Nouveau Suite. Our favorite is the 6th floor Palace Suite with its private sauna and balcony. When you book the Suite Package at the Hotel Palace Praha, you'll experience pure luxury in the heart of Prague with some excellent add-ons including a 3-course candle-lit dinner in Gourmet Club Restaurant-- awarded one of "The Top 10 International Restaurants in Prague." Priced from just EUR 335 per night in a Junior Suite and available through the end of 2008, the package includes luxurious accommodation in one of the suites, daily full buffet breakfast in L'Epoque Restaurant, welcome drink upon arrival, home made chocolate pralines in-room, 3-course candle-lit dinner, free access to the hotel sauna and business center, and a voucher to the nearby Fitness center (use of fitness, indoor pool, whirpool and steam bath).
The Cherry Blossom Festival is gearing up to start this Saturday and the trees in the Tidal Basin are already cooperating with lots of flowers. Daily Candy's got the scoop on all things cherry blossom, and the best-- by far-- is the hour-long spa treatment at the Willard InterContinental's luxurious I Spa, a massage which uses cherry massage oil mixed with organic orange oil, lavender, and rose geranium.
With a superb location in the historic Rocks district between the world-famous Sydney Opera House and Harbor Bridge, the Shangri-La Hotel offers the city's largest accommodations along with stunning views. Here you can also chow down at some of Sydney's finest restaurants: the award-winning Altitude, and Blu Horizon Bar, both perched on the 36th floor with sweeping views over the harbor. Any stay here is a magical one, and special occasions can be made even more memorable with an indulgent five-star experience at the Shangri-La Sydney. Priced from AUD 398 per night, the Occasions offer includes overnight accommodation, breakfast for two at Café Mix, bottle of Moet & Chandon Champagne, strawberries and hand-made chocolates on arrival, nightly turn-down service, late check-out at 4 p.m., complimentary use of the Health Club, and complimentary valet parking. Includes 10 percent goods and services tax. Valid until December 30, 2008.
How's this for some mind-blowing indulgence? Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts offers a $100,000 gift card, and as Forbes Traveler points out, why not give the gift of around-the-world travel? With some stays at seriously luxurious digs, no less. You can hit up the Four Seasons Miami for the rowdy South Beach nightlife, taking advantage of the newly-appointed nightlife concierge, before hopping across the Atlantic to the Provence property with its sexy new spa, and then heading over to Asia for some luxury camping in the Golden Triangle of Thailand. Or, as the company recommends, why not start the trip with three nights in the Beverly Wilshire penthouse, followed by two nights at the Four Seasons Resort Provence at Terre Blanche, then 11 nights in Thailand? (Two at the Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok, three in a one-bedroom residence at the Four Seasons Chiang Mai, three in a luxury tent at the Four Seasons Golden Triangle, and three in a two-bedroom estate at the Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui.) The grand finale? Three nights in the chairman's suite of the Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi.
March 24, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Looking for an end-of-winter celebration? Think Caribbean. Your own private island in the Caribbean, where sugary sand beaches and turquoise waters await. Peter Island Resort seduces visitors with its unparalleled facilities and beautiful setting. Experience barefoot elegance in paradise with a slew of activities, water sports, and heavenly spa. Book the Paradise Now Package and you'll find the most economical rates plus lots of included amenities with a five-night stay. You'll enjoy epicurean delights from the award-winning culinary team with the Full American Plan (breakfast, lunch, Afternoon Tea, and dinner). Plus, you'll get unlimited resort launch to/from Tortola, private lunch on one of the secluded beaches, and unlimited use of waters-ports equipment, mountain bikes, library tennis courts, windsurfing, snorkeling, fitness center and swimming pool. Prices in April start from $3,190 in an Ocean View room (double). From May 1- October 31, 2008, the rates drop to $2,785. Availability is limited.