April 23, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Sunshine seekers, botanists, landscape lovers: pay heed. The LA Times Daily Deal Blog has highlighted an excellent getaway for visitors to SoCal. Discover the rugged beauty of the spectacular Desert Garden at Huntington Botanical Gardens in Pasadena. Celebrating its 100th birthday, the Desert Garden showcases magnificent cacti and rare specimens, some of which are no longer found in the wild. Shack up at Pasadena's landmark hotel, the splendid turn-of-the-century Ritz-Carlton Huntington, and take advantage of the Ritz-Carlton Cultural Escape Package, starting at $305. Available through December 28, 2007, the package includes accommodations for one night, breakfast for two on the Terrace, complimentary valet parking, and tickets to either the Huntington Library & Botanical Gardens or the Norton Simon Museum.
The Chinese capital's in the press a lot these-- mind-boggling economic growth, the new city-wide anti-spitting campaign, and all the buzz for the imminent Olympic games. After all, tickets have just gone on-sale! So once you've secured seats for your favorite sporting event, it's time to think lodging. The place to stay in Beijing is the new Raffles, awarded "Best New City Hotel" by Andrew Harper's Hideaway Report (2007) and also listed on Conde Nast Traveler’s 2007 "Hot List." Dating from the 1900's, the distinguished hotel is an architectural icon in the city. The location is ideal, just minutes from the Forbidden City and historic Tiananmen Square. The 171 guest rooms are downright decadent.
As if you needed an excuse to plan an escape to Hawaii. Four Seasons Lodge at Koele has announced a spectacular special: Get a fourth night free when booking three consecutive nights until December 19, 2007. Luxuriate in style at this opulent outpost surrounded by gardens and reflecting pools, ancient pines bordering expansive greens, and a magical orchid greenhouse. Hidden within the central highlands on Lana'i, The Lodge at Koele is the place to be to savor Hawaii's natural beauty. In addition to the spectacular golf courses, pool, and in-room spa services, the resort offers a slew of activities-- from archery to horseback riding. Rooms start at $295 per night.
April 20, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
Here's a challenge to test your luxury travel savvy. Do you know this hotel? Take a guess, leave us a comment letting us know which hotel you think this photo belongs to, and check back next week for the answer and new image.
Helpful Hints: Desert & Lake Resort, What happens here - stays here, Loves Kids & Pets
GJE came close last week guessing the Miller's Residence in London, but the correct answer for Last Weeks Hotel:
La Dolce Vita, indeed. The largest suite in Europe can be found on Via Veneto in Rome-- sprawling over two full floors beneath the frescoed cupola of the Westin Excelsior. Here's the breakdown. After a $7 million renovation, the signature suite continues to outshine most hotel accommodations worldwide. Sumptuous furnishings? You betcha. Tapestries and magnificent artwork adorn the place. The suite boasts six bedrooms, a rich paneled dining room that seats ten, private fitness room, boardroom and private eight-seat theater, sauna, steam bath, and Jacuzzi. Relax on the sundeck with your choice of 160 imported wines and take in the fabulous views of the Eternal City. Price tag on this one? Rumor has it that it's close to $40,000 a night.
The designer behind the glorious interiors of the Hotel Victor in South Beach, Hotel Costes and Hotel Fouquet's Barrière, the fabulous new palace on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, has big plans for his personal château. Jacques Garcia, the world-renowned interior designer, has decided to open his home, the regal Château du Champ de Bataille, to visitors with the debut of a new restaurant and glamorous 18-room hotel. Surrounded by expansive private gardens and the beautiful countryside of Normandy, the 17th century château was built by one of the principle architects of Versailles. Garcia has begun an elaborate restoration. As opulent as Garcia's other masterpieces, the public rooms have been completely restored in period style and filled with objets d'art. Garcia will unveil the boutique hotel-- a luxurious oasis within his magnificent château-- in 2008.
Has the Grand Bar kept its cool? The Soho Grand opened in 1996 (the first hotel to go up in stylish Soho in over a century) and its glamorous lounge took off as the hip place to be. It appears that this joint still epitomizes all that is trendy in Manhattan's downtown. Amber-hued lighting, copper tables, plush chairs, creative bar drinks, and oversized windows overlooking West Broadway. And indeed, it seems the Grand Bar and Lounge is the hot spot where celebs are both getting it on, and breaking things off.
April 19, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
In celebration of Earth Day, the Hayman Island Resort will be featured on ABC News broadcasts this weekend to report on significant environmental programs in Australia and the Reef. Located on the southwestern side of Hayman Island just beside the Great Barrier Reef, Hayman boasts an idyllic setting surrounded by coral fringed beaches and the lapping waters of the Coral Sea. The resort's website offers a dedicated page - Hayman.com.au/planetearth - to recognize the resort's involvement with ABC News and the "Planet Earth 2007: Seven Ways to Help Save the World" program.
The spotlight is on Hayman because of their direct involvement in the preservation of the Great Barrier Reef through a series of projects with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. The report will also show ways in which desalination plants, such as the one operating on Hayman, may be the answer to water shortages. Tune in to ABC's 20/20, Nightline or Good Morning America on Friday and Saturday of this week to watch the Hayman Island Resort interviews Live.
PS - In recognition of Hayman's involvement with ABC News, guests can benefit with the Hayman has also introduced the "ALL INCLUSIVE HOLIDAY- Hayman Planet Earth 2007 Escape" which includes 3 nights, full breakfast, a la carte 3-course dinner, and numerous Island activities. The 3-night package is priced from AU$1485 per person, and is valid through 20 December 2007.
For frequent travelers to Washington's lovely Dulles airport (will they finish the construction already?!), there's good news on the horizon. The DC suburbs-- aka "Virginia's high-tech corridor"-- are growing a mile-a-minute. Starwood's announcement yesterday is part of this incredible regional development. The new luxury hotel on the block will be the Westin Chantilly, a 211-room hotel to be built within the Commonwealth Centre development about three miles from Dulles. Outfitted with Westin's signature services and amenities (including the brand's Heavenly Bed and Bath), the new hotel will be open in Spring 2009. Guests can look forward to the "Westin signature sensory welcome"-- white tea scent and mood music, anyone?-- along with Unwind: A Westin Evening Ritual. (Looks like Westin's even branded their happy hour cocktails.)
April 18, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Get your game on at Kiawah, selected as the "Best Golf Resort in the US" by Travel and Leisure Golf. (The awards list isn't exactly short.) Golfers flock to Kiawah for unmatched play on the five championship courses designed by Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Fazio, Gary Player and Clyde Johnston. The world-famous Ocean Course-- ranked third in the "Top 100 You Can Play" by Golf Magazine-- recently got a $4 million makeover. Plan a girl's getaway and enjoy some of the best golf in the world as well as the beautiful beach, fantastic spa, shopping and natural beauty that has made Kiawah such a sought-after destination. The two-night Golfing Gals Bootcamp is designed for two people and includes ocean-view accommodations, champagne and chocolate covered berries on arrival, daily breakfast, dinner at Jasmine Porch, round of golf (not the Ocean course), half day golf school, nine holes of on-course instruction (for three people), and two Kiawah visors. Kiawah's team of instructors will cater the package to suit every skill level-- from beginners to pros looking to refine their game.