March is upon us, and for serious skiers (but those who prefer not to jet to the Southern Hemisphere during the other half of the year), this means the last days of the season on the slopes. And for some of the finest skiing in Europe-- away from Turin's still dissipating crowds-- the French Alps beckon. And the elegance and exceptional location of Hotel de Charme Les Airelles prove temptingly attractive. A grand chalet of the past, this place still embodies the prestigious old-world days of opulence and grandeur. During the 1992 Winter Olympics, Les Airelles served as home to the International Olympic Committee. Basking in its beautiful setting, with ski runs at the door, the hotel boasts an indoor pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam and Turkish bath.
Hotel de Charme Les Airelles, Official Site
Hotel de Charme Les Airelles, Five Star Alliance
Courtesy of the NYT: Tip the housekeepers on your next hotel stay!
Perhaps because they were unseen, working in the room when the guest was gone, hotel maids were generally overlooked by many travelers until fairly recently. A seasoned business traveler would always make sure to have a bunch of singles on hand to take care of the parking valet, the bellhop, the doorman and the cabby. But the maid? ...[the physicality of the housekeeping job has] become more intense in recent years, especially as hotels in the upscale and luxury niches have added luxurious new beds and bedding. Take a look at those swanky beds. They have duvets. They have half a dozen pillows and heavy 300-thread-count sheets-- usually three sheets, rather than two, per bed. Now think about the extra work involved in making those swell beds. Yet in most hotels, the maids are still expected to do the same number of rooms a shift, usually 14 to 16.Thus the importance of tipping. But-- in your experience-- what is the appropriate amount to tip?
Did they neglect to read National Geographic's damning assessment of the Costa del Sol? In Traveler's yearly Destination Scorecord-- ranking the integrity of places by creating an index of Destination Stewardship-- Spain's coast has gone to the dogs. The pressures of development, pollution, globalization, and mass tourism have held sway:
...[in] Spain's Costa del Sol—the overbuilt "Costa del Concrete," which caters to package tours from northern Europe... you can hear more English or German than Spanish. As with many uncontrolled seashores, a nonstop line of characterless hotels blocks off the coastline.The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company has assumed management of one of these hotels: the 112-room luxurious Villa Padierna. Though the place has got a golf course, spa, Beach Club, and rooms full of antiques, I'm still skeptical. Good luck, Ritz-Carlton. Let's see if they can turn the tide and bring back the glamor.
I know, I know, I'm a sucker for the white beds in the bar at the Delano. The fact is—I'm a sucker for everything Delano. The chic white bedrooms, the private beach, the magnificent pool, the elegant Indoor/Outdoor Lobby. This is the very best kind of luxurious urban resort, smack dab in the middle of South Beach. With fabulous dining (and did I mention the bars?), this is the place to see and be seen. Paradise could be the cool poolside bungalows, with custom Starck-designed furnishings, luxurious marble bathrooms, and billowing white curtains.
The Delano, Official Site
The Delano, Five Star Alliance
I dig the idea of a totally-democratized travel guide, written and edited by travelers like you and me. In the words of WikiTravel:
Wikitravel is a project to create a free, complete, up-to-date and reliable world-wide travel guide. So far we have 7,561 destination guides and other articles written and edited by Wikitravellers from around the globe.But is it reliable and trust-worthy?
In possibly the most heavenly setting on earth, the Spa at Little Dix Bay is situated high above the Caribbean, caressed by sea breezes with stunning vistas of sea, sky and sand. The Spa's philosophy is of ecological balance with the environment; thus the individualized treatment cottages are designed to blend harmoniously into the oceanside cliffs, incorporating local design elements. Likewise, the treatments feature the ancient healing arts of the island's early indigenous populations, using organic herbs and oils. The Cliff Spa Suite is the ultimate hideaway, with luxurious private facilities for both indoor and open-air wet and dry treatments, couple's massage, and a whirlpool overlooking the Caribbean. The Spa menu is as divine as the exclusive resort of Little Dix Bay. Examples include the Salt Island Scrub, Spice and Coconut Body Bliss (using a blend of freshly shredded young coconut and local Caribbean spices), or the Lemongrass Spice Wrap (using hand-picked lemongrass from the resort’s gardens.)
Little Dix Bay, Official Site
Little Dix Bay, Five Star Alliance
March 7, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
From Gary Stram, Director of Sales & Marketing, The Regency, A Loews Hotel
Continuing our theme of highlighting luxury suites in New York City (see posts for the Taipan Suite at Mandarin Oriental and The Royal Suite at The Carlyle) we present to you the 'Park Avenue' Suite at The Regency, A Loews Hotel.
Park Avenue Suite
Rate: $3,500.00 per evening, plus applicable taxes
Sq. Footage: 1625 sq. ft.
Rooms (not including bath): 4
Bathrooms: 1 and 1/2
Interior Designer: Connie Beale
Note Bene: The suite offers views of the city on its private outdoor terrace.
The Park Avenue Suite offers views of the city with a private terrace. Connie Beale, Interior Designer, used aqua and red schemes throughout the suite for a traditional feel like a Park Avenue apartment. The main doorway enters into a lovely living room overlooking the private terrace with a custom-made mahogany desk and beautifully appointed matching chairs, coffee tables and couch. The den has a more clubby and cozy feel featuring comfortable leather chairs with a matching couch. Book cases filled with the Classics as well as a built-in television and entertainment center are highlighted. The dining area is large and has a kitchen attached for those who would like to entertain on their own. The outdoor terrace is also ideal for entertaining due to its size and furniture with a gas grill. The bedroom also looks out on the terrace with authentic artwork. The room is very spacious with its own bathroom, seating area, and private outdoor balcony.
The Regency, A Loews Hotel, Official Site
The Regency, A Loews Hotel, Five Star Alliance
Winner of Outside Magazine's 2006 Trip of the Year, this heli-skiing experience is simply sublime: the only operation in the world that departs from a luxurious megayacht, Absinthe. The world-famous terrain of the West Coast Mountain Range of BC is celebrated for its incredible powder and enormous glaciers, and accessible from Absinthe within just a few minutes by helicopter. After an adrenaline-pumping day, return to the yacht to enjoy the luxurious amenities of a five-star hotel, while surrounded by beautiful views of the fjords and coastal wildlife. Trips depart March and April. Maximum of 11 skiers. Via Outside March 06 issue
March 6, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
From Carole Muller, Sungate Port Royal
There are a lot of hotel and resort spas out there claiming to have the "Best Male Spa" or the "Best Spa for Men", but we think you might find Sungate Port Royal to be a better fit. The resort, which covers a large expanse of 250.000 square meters in the heaven-like town of Beldibi in Antalya, Turkey, must know their audience - they offer a 'beer bath' for men. Sungate claims to be the largest holiday and entertainment complex in Turkey and the Mediterranean and the second largest hotel spa center. With those kinds of claims, Sungate is the new star of the Mediterranean.
Examples of the new spa care methods (for men and women) after the jump.
NEW CARE METHODS UNIQUE TO PORT ROYAL
Ying & Young Body Massage With Reiki Initiation:
This massage is applied to the whole of the body by a specialist with the purpose of removing stress with harmonic and rhythmic movements. At the end of the massage, the aim is to make the person to re-discover his own skin and to love himself.
Chinese Toe Massage:
How would you like to have friendly Chinese specialists apply a relaxing massage from your chakra points to your face and head and then exhibit a magical dance with a ballerina's fingertips in a specially-prepared Chinese atmosphere?
Kohala Marmor Therapy Massage:
Are you ready to meet with specially-heated stones of 7 separate colors and aromatic oils to embrace your whole body in your 7 chakras?
Hualalai Oil Therapy:
In this massage constituting the most exotic application of the Pacific islands, the particular aromatic oil selected on the basis of the person's current mood is heated beside the person and then causes the muscles to relax in an unprecedented manner in the knowledgeable and soft hands of our therapist.
Astrological Face Care:
The individual's zodiac element is established and a mask constituting of fresh fruits and vegetables in harmony with the said element is used to make the skin gain all active ingredients and vitamins.
Thai Herbal Pack - Thai Hot Steam Pack :
In this massage constituting Thailand 's most traditional heat therapy, small pouches made of cotton cloth including a mixture of therapeutic herbs are heated with steam and applied for one minute each on the required parts of the body.
Floating Bali Massage:
Dream of yourself lying on the floor of a floating raft while sipping real Chinese jasmine tea. Dream of yourself laying on your back while your therapist recreates the magic of your relaxed body accompanied by the aromas of the Far East and high quality music under stark while curtains fluttering in the cooling evening wind ...
Mauna Kea :
Thanks to the rich content of cacao particles, mineral salts, vitamins and anti-oxidants, our specialists aim to moisturize your skin and make it as smooth as velvet.
Honey Moon For Two :
Rediscover your honeymoon in a romantic atmosphere in special double suits accompanied by candle light and a soft music. After spreading the honey mask over the couple's bodies, the therapist then silently leaves the room to let them rest for half an hour. Afterwards, the couple is allowed in the Jacuzzi containing fresh flower leaves with the accompaniment of a glass of champagne.
A must for men :
Sweet Stimulus For Men:
The body is stimulated, is revived and refreshed with honey, coarsely-ground coffee and energetic massage movements. The enlivening light and aromatic odors are in the service of men wishing to stay young.
Oriental Body Peel :
A mast comprising of honey and sesame particles is applied by rubbing on those wishing to stay young and to have a moist and velvety skin. The dead laLocation of the skin is removed without irritating and thus the skin is allowed to nourish deeply.
Swedish Herbal Steam Bath:
The unequalled magic of the scent of linden leaves in a special Swedish steam bed penetrates the soul through respiration and the skin through its pores.
Tmc Paradise For Body:
The peeling with fresh seaweed extract serves to remove the dead laLocation of cells on the body. Then the skin is prepared by spreading the concentrate with intensive active ingredients all over. Fat-dissolving and cellulite-reducing ampules are applied by the therapist along with aromatic creams and special massage movements. The body feels like in heaven.
Fresh Laminaria Treatment
The breasts are enlivened thanks to the active ingredients of algodermia seaweeds serving to increase collection and elasticity. During this treatment, the stimulating and refreshing effects of the massage come together with the cell-rejuvenating properties of oceanic seaweeds.
This bath is exclusively reserved for businessman who desreve a deep relax momont.Remineralization with Green Marine Bath salts, vitamins and stimulation with fresh seaweed extracts, relaxing with melissa and Lemon essansial oils and finally sensual with yılang yılang.
This is an experience unique to Port Royal Sungate Spa. A 20-minute bath in a very special, massif wood bathtub imported from China and filled with beer..
Watermass - Vakuum Massage :
A risk-free slimming massage thanks to the Palper-rouler vacuum massage technique as well as the slipperiness of water and aromatic oils.
In order to ensure that the oxygen therapy is risk-free and enjoyable, steam within capsules and heated water droplets are provided at your favorite temperature.
Sungate Port Royal, Official Site
Sungate Port Royal, Five Star Alliance
March 6, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The new Four Seasons Silicon Valley may have staked its claim to the luxury market in Palo Alto, but now Rosewood's moving in:
Stanford University and Rosewood Hotels and Resorts announced that they are working on plans to develop a 120-room luxury hotel on a 21-acre site directly southeast of the Sand Hill Road/I-280 intersection in Menlo Park. The site, about one mile west of the Stanford campus, is adjacent to land where some of the nation's foremost venture capital firms and other prestigious businesses are situated.Looks like world-class luxury lodging galore for business travelers.