LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
January 24, 2008
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
Finding a room in New York is often difficult if you're traveling with three people-- whether with a small child, a girls night out, or with adult children. Often times (more often then not) rooms only accommodate two, or hotels charge quite a bit extra for a rollaway bed. Fortunately for luxury travelers, Mandarin Oriental can add a rollaway bed free of charge to any of their room categories, making it extremely easy for friends and family to travel together. Plus, by staying at the Mandarin Oriental, you get the benefit of being on Columbus Circle-- at the corner of Central Park.
We just checked out the new renovations at the Hyatt Key West, the "Oasis Off Duval," and liked its stylish new design and eco-friendly focus. After an $11 million makeover, this waterfront resort welcomed a hip new watering hole, Blue Mojito, and the fashionable Jala Spa featuring Payot Paris products. Officially the island's first "Green Certified" resort, the Hyatt has an exclusive partnership with the Reef Relief Organization; each time you book the signature "Jala Blue" spa treatment, the resort makes a contribution to Reef Relief. Sip a cocktail at the new bar (the "Blue Mojito" is the signature drink, of course) and watch the pool change colors with ambient lighting. (Notably, the new pool deck was designed with eco-friendly decking and pathways.) Perhaps most appealing is the resort's location facing the Gulf of Mexico, just a short stroll from all the action on Duvall Street.
Montage Laguna Beach is as about as swanky as they come. High on the bluffs gazing out over the Pacific in Laguna Beach, this super-luxury resort has racked up the accolades: one of the "World's Best Hotels," one of the "100 Best Places to Stay," one of the "World's Sexiest Hotels." Steal away for a weekend with your girlfriends to relax and reconnect against a glorious backdrop, and experience the resort's outstanding service and opulent facilities. Relax at the spa (a Mobil Five-Star award-winner!), indulge with some culinary delights, soak up the sun on the white sand beaches. The Montage Memories package is perfect for any bridal shower or girls' weekend, and includes one night accommodation in a two-bedroom suite, breakfast, and a day at Spa Montage with a relaxing spa manicure and pedicure and a one-hour massage with an expert therapist. Priced at $3,300 for three people, valid until December 31, 2008. Each additional person is $565.
The 2008 London Fashion Week is upon us. Just like Milan, NYC, and Paris, London is now a universally accepted showcase for the world's most exciting fashions. Why not "Spring into Fashion" with Red Carnation's luxury hotels? With this special offer, you can enjoy all the excitement of the catwalk (the cream of British designers including Matthew Williamson, Stella McCartney, Ben De Lisi, Armand Bassi, Julien MacDonald and Louise Goldin) while indulging in an unrivaled five-star hotel experience. With full English breakfast, refreshing welcome drinks, and two admission tickets to London Fashion Weekend (February 20- 24, 2008), to boot! The "Spring into Fashion" package is available at all three RCH five-star London properties: Kensington's Milestone Hotel; '41' opposite Buckingham Palace; and The Egerton House Hotel in Knightsbridge. Priced at GBP 365 per room, per night. Valid from February 8- 18, 2008.
How's this for the ultimate personalized package? When you book the new romance package at Omni Hotels, the hotel will work with you to customize the perfect experience. Shortly after you make the reservation, the hotel's concierge will contact you to make arrangements to recreate a special memory-- so couples can relive the memories that matter. Enjoy a picnic in the park with your favorite foods and wines, thrilling helicopter rides, a stroll through a vineyard... the possibilities are limitless. The Déjà Vu guest package is available brand-wide-- from Houston's AAA Five Diamond hotel to San Francisco's plush property perfectly located on the cable car line downtown-- from February 1 - December 30, 2008. Prices vary, from $150-$350, depending on the recreation requested.
Welcome in the Lunar New Year at Singapore's landmark hotel, The Fullerton. Housed in the former general post office, the hotel has an ideal location in the heart of the bustling island-city of Singapore. Don't miss a swim in the breathtaking infinity pool above the Singapore River. You can only imagine what the views will be like for the Lunar New Year fireworks! For February 5-7, 2008, choose to stay in a sea-facing Quay room for the best views (S$388 per night). Book the Lunar New Year holiday getaway package and you'll experience luxurious living in an elegant guest room, a classic Afternoon Tea of sweet and savory treats for two people, buffet breakfast at Town Restaurant for two (a sumptuous spread!), and a late check-out til 6 p.m. All for just S$338 per night. Or take advantage of the Suite Weekends, and get 50 percent off selected suites (unique double-story Loft Suites, one-bedroom Palladian Suites, or Fullerton Suites with large outdoor terraces). Plus, when you stay in a suite, you get to enjoy the privileges of The Straits Club, the hotel's exclusive executive club: champagne breakfast in a private dining room, afternoon tea, afternoon cocktails, and complimentary Internet in the lounge.
We're big fans of the blog from the International Herald Tribune. Where to eat the best seafood in Hong Kong? How do the airports measure up in Zurich and Bangkok? For insider tips and recommendations from the folks who know-- IHT reporters and editors-- check out this invaluable resource. Cities covered include Bangkok, Paris, Hong Kong, Rome, Washington....
London's celebrated hotel, the Jumeirah Carlton Tower, has just announced the addition of six brand new luxury suites created by world-renowned interior designer Khuan Chew (the genius behind the stunning interiors at Dubai's seven-star Burj Al Arab hotel). Located smack dab in the middle of Knightsbridge, the Jumeriah Carlton Tower raises the bar for luxury in London: these new suites are simply oozing glamour and sophistication. Private lobbies sweep through to spacious lounges appointed with rich upholstered couches and dark wood furniture. Bedrooms are detailed with chrome studding set into the leather walls, modern light fixtures, and sumptuous bedding. The bathrooms, appropriately, are the largest in the hotel-- with deep infinity baths and rich red marble for the double sinks. The Six Luxury Suites can be booked as either a one- or two-bedroom suite starting from $3,610 for a one-bedroom suite and from $4,880 for a two-bedroom suite.
P.S. The hotel has also recently unveiled 92 refurbished rooms! You'll love the new pop-up TV at the foot of the bed, and mirror-vision concealed TVs in the bathrooms.
Now accepting reservations for July 1, 2008 arrivals, the new Four Seasons Hotel Firenze will knock your socks off. One of the hottest hotel openings of the year, the 117-room hotel is housed in two historical masterpieces: the Palazzo Della Gherardesca (a 15th century palace) and the Conventino (a former convent dating from the 17th century). It's only fitting to discover the birthplace of early Renaissance art and architecture while staying in this art-filled city sanctuary with abundant original frescoes and sculptured reliefs. Just a stroll away from Michelangelo's David, the Duomo, and the wonders of the Uffizi, the Four Seasons offers an open-air pool, sumptuous spa, and a tranquil private park-- one of the largest private gardens in Florence. Rooms blend Renaissance artistic details with high-tech comfort. For the ultimate in luxury, book the Della Gherardesca Suite (Royal Suite), touted as the "most desired accommodation in the city." Located in the nobles' quarters of the Palazzo, the suite boasts beautiful frescoes, painted vaulted ceilings, and an original Capodimonte Maioliche-style ceramic floor by Ignazio Chiaiese in the gallery. Like the other guest rooms, 21st century amenities are standard: iPod docking stations, flat-screen TVs, and spacious bathrooms.
January 22, 2008
By: Lucy LeTourneau
Upon entering The Carlyle, as I did during a late evening arrival last week after a harrowing cab ride from New York's Penn Station that coincided with the end of a Rangers hockey game, I was immediately soothed by the simple but elegant surroundings and the friendly and welcoming hotel desk staff. A guest representative escorted me to my room, a Deluxe Suite on the 10th floor and gave me a quick tour. The suite was beautiful and felt very homey with hardwood floors and area rugs, vs. wall to wall carpeting we've come to expect in most hotel rooms. Even though my suite was directly across from the elevators, the rooms were amazingly quiet. Although I wasn't in the hotel long enough to enjoy the world famous Bemelmans Bar or Café Carlyle, this leaves a great excuse for less-harried return visit.
Scoop: The Carlyle is currently offering guests who book through FIVE STAR ALLIANCE a complimentary in-room continental breakfast daily.
By: Lucy LeTourneau