LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
November 15, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The tiny country of Monaco, the glamorous city-state nestled between Italy and France on the Côte d'Azur, is luxury incarnate. With over 300 days of sunshine per year, the Riviera is an enticing Mediterranean destination, and Monte Carlo is the prestigious choice for the globe-trotting elite. Take the six-minute helicopter ride from the Nice airport and arrive in style. (Plus, on the way you can take in all 500 acres of the Principality.) The place to stay is the Fairmont Monte Carlo, which unveiled a EUR 42 million renovation this spring. Built in the 70s, this enormous luxury hotel (619 rooms and suites) commands a remarkable location: built on piles over the water next to the Casino. It's like an island unto itself, floating over the Mediterranean, with sweeping sea views from its rooftop terrace and heated swimming pool. The Fairmont boasts three restaurants, two bars, 18 meetings rooms, a fitness center, shopping arcade, and in-house casino-- the first hotel in Monte Carlo to install its own. During the Grand Prix auto race in May, the Formula One cars rocket right under the hotel. Book the Corner Suite for the Grand Prix and you'll see why it's the most highly prized room in town for the race. On one side, views of the glittering sea, and on the other, the famous hairpin turn before the cars zoom into a tunnel beneath the hotel.
One of the most hotly anticipated restaurant openings in London, The Landau will make its debut at the prestigious Langham Hotel by month's end. After the opening of the fabulously chic bar Artesian, the star designers at David Collins Studio have been hard at work designing this new luxury London restaurant in The Langham's original ballroom. Hailed as one of the best kept secrets in the capital, The Landau will be a top destination restaurant alongside the capital's big players: Gordon Ramsay at Claridges and Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester. Head Chef Andrew Turner has devised a contemporary European menu with the best British ingredients and a few surprising twists. What's behind the name? Landau was originally the word for "the front horse-rider who gave direction to a carriage." True to its namesake, The Landau will be a leader on London's happening culinary scene.
The awards keep streaming in for The Nam Hai, the stunning Asian flagship for GHM (of Setai fame). The Nam Hai nabbed the #1 spot for the Best New Beach Resort at the 18th annual TTG Travel awards, which honor the movers and shakers in Asia-Pacific's travel industry. Since its opening in December 2006, the Nam Hai has been turning heads nonstop. Nestled on the pristine beach in Hoi An, Vietnam, the Nam Hai is a gorgeous design hotel with close proximity to important UNESCO World Heritage sites: the ancient Cham sanctuary of My Son and the citadels of Hue. You'll find in-room bathtubs, rain showers, flat-screen TVs and iPods, and in-room bars. There's an all-natural spa center, tennis courts, exquisite beachfront swimming pools, and a restaurant serving the finest Vietnamese cuisine overlooking water gardens and the ocean.
Discover Moab's luxury adventure outpost, the only Small Luxury Hotel in Utah. Just 20 minutes from Moab, Sorrel River Ranch Resort is perched on the banks of the Colorado River in the heart of the adventure capital of the Southwest with two of the country's most spectacular National Parks at hand: Arches and Canyonlands. The resort is an exquisite base to explore the surrounding natural landscape. Ride trails on horseback or by 4x4, raft down the Colorado, mountain bike or hike through the parks and marvel at the awesome red cliffs. Cabin-style luxury suites have custom hand-crafted furniture, log-beamed ceilings, deck porches, and high-speed Internet access. Indulge in a holistic spa treatment and after dining at the ranch, watch countless shooting stars streak across the night sky. Sorrel River Ranch Resort sets the standard for luxury hotel accommodations at a world-class adventure destination.
Set in the heart of a mahogany forest, this sumptuous safari lodge is the only lodge in the diverse Lake Manyara National Park in northern Tanzania. Part of CC Africa's portfolio of luxury safari lodges, Lake Manyara Tree Lodge was designed to offer all the five-star comforts with minimal impact on the natural environment. Ten tree house suites are cradled in the boughs of ancient mahogany trees in close proximity to the beautiful soda lake. Crafted from local timber and palm fronds, the tree houses are extraordinary. They have large windows to invite the forest inside, private game viewing decks, en suite bathrooms and outdoor showers, and stylish interiors with contemporary furnishings and four-poster beds. There is butler service, and an interactive kitchen so that guests can observe the preparation of the fine cuisine. Discover marvelous African wildlife (tree-climbing lions included!) in open 4x4 safari vehicles.
Enjoy a three-night jaunt on the Chesapeake Bay at The Inn at Perry Cabin, the luxurious manor house resort and spa located in the charming town of St. Michaels on the Eastern shore of Maryland. Within two hours of Washington D.C., this colonial mansion is the perfect hideaway, seemingly worlds away. The Thanksgiving Fest Package includes one Thanksgiving lunch or dinner for two with all the trimmings, a gourmet breakfast for two, and a $200 credit for use at the new Linden Spa. Rates for the three-night package start at $1,045 in a Signature Room, for arrivals on November 20, 21, or 22, 2007.
Missing your mutt? Never fear, the newly-renovated Fairmont Copley Plaza-- a symbol of Boston's rich history and elegance since its gala opening in 1912-- has a pup on the premises to offer canine companionship for pet-deprived guests. The Canine Ambassador program is an example of the unique amenities proposed by the hotel as it strives to be a true home away from home. Catie Copley is a five-year old black Labrador Retriever, originally trained as a guide dog, stationed near the hotel's St. James entrance where she relaxes between walks in her cozy bed. Guests can make an appointment with the concierge to talk Catie for a walk or run. You'll get a walk pack that includes a booklet highlighting Catie's favorite Boston walks, as well as the commands that she knows and a biscuit for a walk well done.
The date has been set. France's Finance Minister has announced that Les Soldes d'hiver-- the Winter Sales-- will debut on January 9, 2008. Cure the winter blues in the world's fashion mecca when the chic boutiques and grands magasins slash their prices and the French run around in a maniacal frenzy. Why such madness? Because sales events are allowed by law only twice a year (also in July). The choice of digs in Paris is simple. Book a room at the glamorous Hôtel Plaza Athénée, the landmark palace which celebrates the pleasure of luxury. The quality of service is unrivaled, the dining room is world-renowned (Alain Ducasse is the boss here), and Le Bar is the city's contemporary and trendy meeting spot.
Get a third night free when you book a two-night stay at a W Hotel with an American Express card by December 31. Why not stay by the lakeshore in Chicago? Check out the cutting-edge design hotel in downtown Seattle? Sip a cocktail at the W San Francisco's XYZ bar? Book a stay at any of the five urban oases in Manhattan? (Indulge in an in-room massage while you're at it.) The choice is yours at this exciting collection of boutique design hotels. Click here for a full list of participating hotels.
Be among the first to stay at The Arrabelle, Vail's most anticipated resort. Just steps from the Eagle Bahn gondola, The Arrabelle offers ski-in, ski-out access to Vail Mountain, America's #1 ski resort. Managed by RockResorts, The Arrabelle showcases 36 luxury guest rooms with canopy beds, in-room martini bars, fireplaces, five-piece baths (two lavatories, separate water closet, shower and soaking tub), and all the latest technology. Plus, there's an après-ski deck and rooftop pool and hot tubs. Celebrate the opening on January 5, 2008 with a special introductory package which includes accommodations, free lift tickets, and breakfast for each day of your stay. Plus each adult will receive an Arrabelle Grand Opening Fleece to commemorate the hotel opening. The package price starts at $850 per night in a Deluxe Room (the room-only price). Available January 5- 31, 2008; four-night minimum stay required.