LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
December 26, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Start off the year on the right note with the ultimate dose of good health at Amanresort's gorgeous architectural masterpiece: Amangalla. Located within the fortified walls of the UNESCO World Heritage site Galle Fort, Amangalla reflects the elegant ambiance of a bygone era. From the lavish resort, step out into a historical treasure, the ancient crossroads of Persians, Arabs, Chinese, Malays, South Indians, Portuguese, Dutch and English. Amangalla has designed the Ayurvedic experience package, for guests to revitalize and balance their energies, setting the course for a healthier future. Ayurveda is an ancient system of health care originated by the sages of India who learned how to prevent diseases and maintain good health. Sri Lanka developed its own Ayurvedic system over 3,000 years ago, and you can get a taste of this at Amangalla. The three-day Ayurvedic Taster, priced at $1,350 for two, includes a personalized Ayurvedic diet with daily herbal teas, daily Yoga and meditation class, daily Ayurvedic or spa treatment, Ayurvedic tonic delivered to the guest bedroom, a prepared herbal bath, use of The Baths' hydrotherapy pools, steam room and sauna, and open discussion over afternoon tea with Ayurvedic physician. You can also choose the seven-day Ayurvedic Relaxer ($2,835 double occupancy), or the 14-day Ayurvedic Detox ($5,355 double occupancy).
December 24, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Wishing you a warm and wonderful holiday from all of us at Five Star Alliance. We'll be back soon with the best upscale hotel deals and news on luxury travel!
The snowcapped peaks around Grand Teton National Park average over 400 inches of snow a year, meaning Jackson Hole Mountain Resort boasts some of the best skiing anywhere. With a vertical drop of 1,260 meters and over 1,000 hectares of skiing and snowboarding terrain, Jackson is the place to be this winter. The valleys, blanketed with white until April, are the ideal place for cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, dog-sledding, and snowshoeing to track winter wildlife. Rusty Parrot Lodge and Spa invites you to discover this winter wonderland while enjoying the creature comforts at this five-star hideaway. After a day of adrenaline-pumping activity, retreat to the Body Sage Spa for a pampering massage, enjoy fine dining at the acclaimed Wild Sage restaurant, or soak up the views of Snow King Mountain from the outdoor hot tub. Book the Powder Package and get four nights accommodation (King or Double Queen room with oversized soaking tubs), daily lift tickets, a full chef-prepared Jackson style breakfast each morning, and complimentary transportation to Jackson Hotel Mountain Resort. Priced from $956 per room, per stay, available until March 23, 2008 (excluding December 21, 2007-January 2008). Or choose the No-Hassle Heli-Skiing Package, and enjoy five nights accommodation, two days of heli-skiing with lunch at the heli-deli when high-mountain heli-skiing, two days of skiing at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, breakfast daily, dinner for two at Wild Sage restaurant, and two Arnica sports massages. Priced from $5,590 per room, per stay.
Take advantage of guaranteed dollar rates at the stylish Athenaeum Hotel & Apartments on London's Piccadilly overlooking Green Park and all the excitement of Central London. The family-owned five-star hotel, renowned for its service, sumptuous décor and tempting dining, is offering a special Winter Warmer Package with rates at an unbelievable $290 per night (standard room). This is a whopping 50 percent off the published rates. The package is available until March 30, 2008, with a three-night minimum stay required. Also included: the use of an X-Box or Playstation in-room for the kids, 50 percent discount on breakfast for kids under 10, priority early check-in, and late check-out at 2 p.m.
Escape from the busy holiday season and plan the perfect beach vacation in paradise. Destination: Sun and Sand-- where you can dip your toes in the warm Caribbean, recharge in an otherworldly spa, laze on the picture-perfect white beach, and try your hand at numerous water sports. At the elegant Maroma Resort and Spa, guests are spoiled with fab inclusive amenities like daily breakfast, a welcome cocktail, and snorkeling trip to the extensive coral reefs just offshore. Surrounded by a 200-acre nature preserve on the Yucatan Peninsula just south of Cancun, this secluded hideaway serves up the best kind of barefoot luxury. Choose the "Stay Another Day" package and you can stay for four nights, but only pay for three.
Las Ventanas al Paraiso, Rosewood's world-renowned resort in Los Cabos, has been leading the pack when it comes to personalized service and fabulous amenities. Where else can you find a post-dinner Bath Menu? Private beach dining by the glow of a warming bonfire? A pet's luxury program with special menus and pampering massages for your furry friend? Enhanced poolside service that includes sunglasses cleaning? By far the finest resort on the peninsula of Baja California, if not the continent, Las Ventanas al Paraiso has recently introduced an olive oil tasting menu showcasing oils from Valle de Guadalupe. Guests will delight in dishes like Panela cheese with hot chili fougasse bread (La Cetto Vineyard oil), beef and organic vegetable stew (Misión Porvenir oil), and homemade linguini with red snapper (Adobe Guadalupe Vineyard oil). There's even a dessert with olive oil ice cream.
The time to visit the postcard perfect Baltic States is now. Think ahead to a summertime jaunt to Lithuania. One of the most exciting cities in Europe, Vilnius is situated at the crossroads between Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, and Western Europe. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Lithuania's vibrant capital is chock full of fascinating attractions. The splendid architecture on display in the old town manifests Baroque, Romanesque, Renaissance and Jugendstil influences. The place to stay is the Stikliai Hotel, the city's best luxury digs, housed in an elegant 17th century residence in the heart of historic old town. The hotel's name is derived from Stikliu Street, on which many craftsmen had their workshops in the 15th and 16th centuries. (Stikliai means "glass blower" in Lithuanian.) A member of the prestigious Relais and Chateaux collection of luxury hotels, the Stikliai boasts an acclaimed restaurant, ornate winter garden, and refined guest rooms. Charming and full of warmth, the Stikliai Hotel is praised for the remarkable hospitality of its hosts.
Book a stay at a participating Fairmont Hotel by December 31, 2007, and you'll get the third night free with Only One Way Winter rates. Or you can earn double airline miles with the Only One Way Winter rate until April 15, 2008. Hurry, now's your chance to get the best of winter with memorable experiences, fabulous rates (starting from $189 in D.C.!) and free third nights in Washington D.C., Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, Vancouver, Santa Monica, and Newport Beach.
Half Moon has been delivering the picture-perfect vacation for over fifty years. And recently, Half Moon has been the talk of the Caribbean with the opening of its dreamy Fern Tree Spa. Celebrate the good life in a magical setting: sandy crescent beaches dotted with palms, white washed cottages surrounded by fragrant gardens. Stretching across 400 lushly landscaped acres, the resort boasts top-notch facilities: a championship, 72-par Robert Trent Jones, Sr. golf course, 18-hole putting green, 13-lit tennis courts, a full range of water sports, an exclusive natural Dolphin Lagoon, six gourmet restaurants and over half a dozen informal snack bars, and shopping village.
Book the Winter Escape package and receive big-time resort credit: $1,000 resort credit for a 5-bedroom villa, $1,200 for a 6-bedroom villa and $1,400 for a 7-bedroom villa to be used at restaurants, activities and other services at the resort. The package includes daily breakfast and round-trip airport transfers. The villas offer a grand home away from home for your friends and family-- with a personal staff of a butler, housekeeper and a cook, private pool, 2 golf carts, and all the amenities of a luxury resort. The Winter Escape package is also available for guests staying in any of Half Moon's 201 hotel rooms and suites and offers $200 in resort credit. 5-night minimum stay required. Valid for stays January 5- April 15, 2008 with blackout dates Feb. 14- 22, 2008.
There's a few more days to take advantage of this cool offer. During the month of December, when you book a flight for travel completed by February 29, 2008, you can score triple award points valid on any airline, anytime. This is yet another reason to fall in love with the "flying boutique hotel" which handed out Nintendo® Wii™ video game systems to passengers who booked flights this fall between New York and London Stansted. With just 48 seats and premium service, Eos is the "all-business class" airline that has everyone talking. Globetrotters actually find flying to be fun. The airline's Class 48 is a frequent flier award program like no other. You can redeem points for travel on all major airlines, including Eos, with no blackout dates. There are also awards beyond air travel: luxury items and gift certificates to top retailers like Harrods and John Lewis.
PS. Look out for routes between Newark and Stansted, and JFK and Paris, starting in 2008.