LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
February 12, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Ahhh, Venice, the "open-air museum" of architectural treasures, grand palazzos with frescoes and romantic canals. From La Galleria dell'Accademia to the Peggy Guggenheim collection, the city is simply brimming with artistic masterpieces. And fine restaurants and shopping means Venice could be the perfect European destination. The hotel of choice is the exquisite Hotel Gritti Palace situated directly on the Grand Canal with incomparable views. Built in 1525 as the residence of Andrea Gritti, the Doge of Venice, the award-winning hotel is part of Starwood's Luxury Collection. And with gold-trimmed ceilings, marble tiles, and the finest Venetian antiques, it's really no wonder the Hotel Gritti Palace is considered one of the world's best hotels. Dine at the Club del Doge restaurant and fall in love with the views while getting spoiled like royalty. Choose the Room with a View Special and get great rates for a mid-week stay, including a bountiful buffet breakfast. Valid from Sundays- Thursdays until March 31, 2008, the offer is priced at EUR 459 per night. And if you reserve three consecutive nights at Hotel Gritti Palace (during the months of March, April, July and August 2008), you'll receive the best available rate plus your fourth night for free!
February 12, 2008
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
Look beyond a refined facade and peel back the elegant cloak to expose the edgy dark side of Ivy San Diego.
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Houston's decadent urban resort, brilliantly located in the Museum District, has established quite the following, welcoming dealmakers, fun-lovers, trendsetters, and romantic couples to a glamorous, sybaritic paradise. Celebrated for its gracious and attentive service, the Hotel Zaza Houston takes pleasure in the details, like the Magic Carpet (a.k.a. complimentary car service to neighborhood locations), butler pantries located on each floor, in-room grab & go gourmet refreshment bars, Italian linens and down-filled pillows, and the happening poolside retreat and outdoor bar with private cabanas. Did we mention the Peep Show (ZaZa's twist on a gift shop)? And pets are most welcome.
But the best part about the Hotel ZaZa is the Magnificent Seven, the most exquisite of the hotel's luxury accommodations. These suites come with all the lavish excess and little ZaZa surprises you'd expect at ZaZa. The names say it all: Rock Star, Fatal Charms, For Your Eyes Only, Outlaw, Tycoon, Black Label, Bella Vita. They come with whirlpool tubs, amazing views, balconies, and private access to the twelfth floor. And get this: you and 25 of your best friends can actually take over the entire twelfth floor and all the Magnificent Seven suites! The 18 Karats package is pure indulgence. Imagine: gourmet dinner including wine and champagne for 26 people prepared by the ZaZa chef and served in the Rock Star Suite, breakfast for 26 served in Black Label, valet parking, 3 private cabanas at Urban Oasis pool, 26 ZaZa robes for lounging, complimentary bath butler service, and candlelit turn-down. All for just $18,000.
Escape the winter blahs and discover paradise just off the northern tip of Phuket Island. Nestled on a stunning stretch of white sandy beach on Thailand's Andaman coast, the Aleenta Resort is a serene hideaway that promises a seductive tropical experience. It's the ideal base to discover Phang Nga Bay National Park, a geologic wonder filled with islets, sunken caverns, and startling limestone rock formations rising from the sea (pictured). An idyllic retreat by the sea, the Aleenta Resort and Spa Phangnga opened after the incredible success of the first Aleenta hotel in Hua Hin (praised in the New York Times). The 15 suites come with infinity pools, private decks, wireless Internet, and all kinds of high-tech amenities. Here you can embark on a culinary adventure with Thai cooking classes, revitalize with pampering spa treatments in an unparalleled spa setting overlooking the sea, and sip some sunset cocktails in "The Living Room" lounge and open-air bar.
From the luxury hotel that brought you Chocolate Sushi as a nightly turndown amenity (nothing like some sweet sushi between the sheets), comes the most delectable, mouth-watering Valentine's Day feasts you can imagine. At the stylish Palm Court, there will be a Chocolate Bar dessert buffet with a wide selection of both savory dishes and sweet desserts. Each table will also be served a chocolate fondue; you can choose from the "chocolate menu" with selections ranging from 40.5 percent Ghana Cocoa to 75 percent Tanzania Cocoa. Priced at HK$268 per person. Or for a seriously romantic venue, choose The Bostonian, The Langham's upscale steak and seafood restaurant. The special 5-course Valentine's Day dinner includes such items as Oscietra Caviar Tian with Durham Pikelets, Foie Gras Parfait with Crushed Raspberry and Balsamic Jelly, Oyster and Brie de Meauz Champagne Soup, and choice of Butter Poached Maine Lobster or Fillet of Angus Beef with Truffled Potato Gratin. Priced at HK$1,888 for two people. Or head to the award-winning T'ang Court for a romantic, 8-course Chinese Dinner.
Secluded on the powder-white sands of Jimbaran Bay on Bali's southern coast, the InterContinental Resort sprawls over 14 tropical hectares of ornamental ponds and winding lagoons. The 418-room resort showcases traditional Balinese architecture with modern lifestyle facilities, and is an alluring hideaway for both couples and families. The resort's Club InterContinental is perhaps the island's best kept secret, a real luxury value. Designed as a resort within a resort, the Club InterContinental takes guests on a journey of unprecedented luxury. With prime terrace views, spa-like bathrooms with Aveda toiletries, espresso machines and high-tech amenities, the accommodations were created to anticipate every possible need of the seasoned traveler. Club InterContinental offers guests total privacy and an array of indulging privileges: Airport Lounge with priority Immigration clearance, unobtrusive 24-hour Butler service, a private Club Pool, and exclusive access to the 24-hour Club InterContinental Lounge for breakfast, complimentary refreshments, high tea, sunset cocktails, late night supper and all-day snacks. Other entitlements include late check-out benefits and preferential seating at every restaurant throughout the resort.
Choose the Club Dreams package at the InterContinental Bali and you'll get a bunch of cool extras. Upon arrival, you'll be driven to the resort in a top of the line Jaguar. Once in your room, a chilled bottle of Moet Chandon, chocolates and a soothing flower bath await you. Experience a sunset boat tour around Jimbaran Bay in a traditional outrigger. Then enjoy a romantic dinner in a private tent by the sea. Priced at just $1,100, this three-night package also includes all Club InterContinental privileges. Valid until March 31, 2008.
Stay at The Pines Lodge, the award-winning ski-in/ski-out resort nestled at the base of Beaver Creek, during the 2008 Leap Year and receive one night of lodging for free! Situated between towering aspen and pine groves, The Pines Lodge is renowned for its AAA Four-Diamond dining at Grouse Mountain Grill, intimate accommodations, unmatched mountain views, and rich variety of amenities. Plus, there's a slew of outdoor activities right outside your front door! Book the Leap Year Special, available until December 22, 2008, and get an extra day soaking up all that luxury at The Pines Lodge. Rates start at just $115 per night for a three-night stay when you factor in the complimentary night.
February 8, 2008
By: Lucy LeTourneau
If you travels take you "down under" for a visit to the beautiful city of Sydney, don't miss out on a stay at the classic Observatory Hotel, with its ideal location close to The Rocks and downtown area. Be sure to take advantage of their To Dine For Package with includes a superb seven course dining experience for two at the renowned Galileo Restaurant, a pre-dinner house cocktail the The Globe Bar, a full breakfast for two in Galileo, full use of all health club facilities and of course overnight accommodation. A variety of side trips and city experiences can also be arranged including a visit to the Sydney Observatory where you can name your own star. The Observatory's sister hotel is the gorgeous Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa, less than two hours from Sydney's center.
By: Lucy LeTourneau
February 8, 2008
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
The Resort at Paws Up offers unexplored wilderness with 37,000 acres of resort, 100 miles of trails, 7 miles of the Blackfoot River, and 1.5-million acres of the nearby Bob Marshall Wilderness - all which combine to make for the ultimate wilderness adventure playground. Go horseback riding, skiing, snowmobiling, or fly-fishing in the Blackfoot River and dine on gourmet cuisine.
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You are invited to an extraordinary private event that unites lovers of wine, fine food and philanthropy for an unforgettable Wynn experience. On April 25- 26, 2008, Wynn Las Vegas will host this important weekend event. Guests will enjoy an exclusive Vintners Reception in the Penske/Wynn Ferrari Showroom on Friday evening, mingling with master wine-makers while sipping world-class wines (and surrounded by cool cars on display). On April 26, guests will attend the 100 Point Wine Dinner featuring full pours of legendary 100 point wines. Each vintage will be paired with a mouth-watering dish that is part of a five-course extravaganza prepared by internationally-renowned chefs. Among the items to be auctioned at the dinner are some rare wines including:
*Balthazar 2000 Chateau Haut-Brion, one of a limited edition of only five bottles ever produced.
*Balthazar 2000 La Mission Haut-Brion, the first and only Balthazar of the 2000 vintage ever released and one of only five in existence. Viewed by many as "The Wine of the 2000 Vintage," and recipient of a 100-point rating from Robert Parker.
*Double Magnum 2000 Petrus direct from the chateau.
Saturday will also feature a course on wine buying and investing by Sotheby's and afternoon events hosted by Wynn retail. All guests will enjoy a two-night stay in the Wynn Tower Suites at Wynn Las Vegas. For the second consecutive year, the Towers Suites is the only casino resort in the world to earn both the Mobil Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond awards and recently received Michelin's highest hotel rating of Five Red Pavilions. Guests will have access to all that the Wynn has to offer including the Tower Suites pools and cabanas, Tom Fazio-designed golf course, Wynn Golf Club, full-service spa and the spectacular casino and private high-limit gaming areas.
Ticket prices are $5,000 and include the 100 Point Wine Dinner, the private Vintners Reception in the Penske/Wynn Ferrari-Maserati Showroom, admission to all the special events, and Tower Suite accommodations.