May 30, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Billed as the largest wine and spirits store in Europe, Lavinia opened in a premier Paris location to much positive press in 2002. (There are other branches in Madrid and Barcelona.) The place is visually stunning-- 16,100 square feet and three sleek floors of wine paradise. It's no wonder the oenophiles flock here to the restaurant. At the wine bar, you can choose from over 6,000 different wines-- served at the right temperature and the same price as the shop itself-- paired with delicious dishes to bring out the nuances of the chosen glass. And it's not just the French vintages; Lavinia boasts a selection from wine regions all over the world. Plus, the sommeliers are gracious, knowledgeable and attentive. 3-5, blvd de la Madeleine; Closed Sunday.
...brought to you by the good folks at Travel and Leisure, who just published their "It List" of hot new hotel properties. Of the 25 chosen elite, the luxurious newbies include Trailblazers like Frank Gehry's architectural masterpiece, a sparkling mass of twisting metal in the midst of the Rioja's celebrated vineyards, Beachcombers like Vietnam's gorgeous Nam Hai hotel, New Urbanists like the dazzling Mandarin Oriental in Prague, and Healers, like the swanky Bauer Il Palladio Hotel & Spa in Venice and our favorite Four Seasons Westlake Village, created in partnership with the California WellBeing Institute.
Jet to Iceland to enjoy light-filled June days (try 20 hours of daylight!), Reykjavik's hot party scene, and exquisite natural landscapes: glaciers, hot springs, geysers, and volcanoes. The place to stay is CenterHotel Thingholt, one of the best hotels in the capital. Newly opened in December 2006, the boutique hotel is a model for contemporary Icelandic design. Inspired by the country's extraordinary natural bounty, the Icelandic architect Gulla Jónsdóttir incorporated materials like salmon fish skin tiles, leather flooring, and lava-like black stone in a minimalist Nordic style. There's even a waterfall in the lobby. Chic guest rooms offer toiletries crafted with the mineral-rich waters of the Blue Lagoon geothermal springs. Housed in a renovated printing factory, the hotel demonstrates a strong focus on quality modern design. Located next to Laugavegur, Reykjavik's main shopping street, in the trendy Oceanside 101 neighborhood, the hotel is close to everything the vibrant city center has to offer.
P.S. TripAdvisor's Traveler Reviews are stellar.
California residents will love this one. The City by the Bay is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Summer of Love, and lucky Cali residents can score an exclusive hotel deal for a three-night stay in SF during the month of June. Stay three nights for the price of two when you book online and provide a billing address in California. In total, 16 hotels are participating, including luxurious icons like The Palace, host to presidents, royalty, and giants of industry.
Pictured: The renowned Garden Court restaurant at The Palace Hotel, which features a beautiful domed ceiling of stained glass-- designated a historic landmark by the city of San Francisco in 1969.
The latest designer to lust for a hotel to call his own, Ralph Pucci signed a deal with LXR Luxury Resort and Hotels to open a pretty new place in the classic Georgetown Inn. The plan is to infuse the Hotel Ralph Pucci with his signature design elements; innovative custom-designed furniture in each and every room:
Pucci has selected five of his artists to provide the furniture for each of the guest room floors. These designers include Robert Bristow's "warm minimalism”, Jens Risom's "mid-century modern," Patrick Naggar's "modern luxury," Paul Mathieu’s "sculptural elegance", and Christophe Delcourt's "tomorrow's classics."
The hotel lobby will serve as an art gallery where exhibits rotate every four months. And the best part of all: Pucci is collaborating with menswear designer, TOMER, to design all hotel uniforms, inspired by the 1950's jazz greats. They've pushed back the opening date from Fall 2007 to Spring 2008.
Move over, Wynn. Mandarin Oriental has plans for another property in Macau, the world's gaming capital. This means not one, but two, luxury hotels in the former Portuguese colony located just outside Hong Kong. Opening in 2009, the new Mandarin Oriental will be part of a luxurious, mixed-use complex (2.6 million square feet) on the waterfront with residences, upscale shopping, and dining. From here, the views are stunning. In the meantime, check into the existing Mandarin Oriental, Macau, the only resort hotel situated in the city center near the Jetfoil terminal. It's a cool mix of Asian and Portuguese styles, just like Macau itself.
Angsana Resort and Spa Maldives Velavaru has announced an irresistible offer: one complimentary night for every three nights booked at Angsana Treats rates. Experience the beautiful beaches and dive sites of the unspoiled South Nilandhe Atoll and also enjoy a complimentary 90-minute Body Massage session for two at the Angsana Spa. Discover your own private paradise in one of the most sought-after destinations for marine enthusiasts and honeymooners. Valid until September 30, 2007.
Visiting the Greek Isles this summer? Stop through Europe's oldest capital to contemplate the Parthenon's majesty and a plethora of Classical monuments dating from the 5th century BC. A trip to Athens isn't complete without a stay at the Grande Bretagne, the grande dame of Athens luxury hotels, standing proud at Constitution Square for more than 130 years. A member of Starwood's prestigious Luxury Collection, the Grande Bretagne has hosted scores of dignitaries, business tycoons, and stars, who enjoy pure luxury in service and living. Take a dip in the rooftop pool, relax in the stunning new GB Spa, watch the sun set behind the Acropolis from the GB Rooftop Garden Bar-Restaurant (pictured at right). Recently renovated, the magnificent restaurant serves savory Mediterranean cuisine from Chef Emilio Bracciale. The views are absolutely breathtaking.
May 25, 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: City Center with Madison Views, Fashionable Boutique, Added Amenities ...
David was the only one to correctly guess Last Week's Hotel:
On business in DF? Check into Casa Vieja and savor the flavor of artistic Mexico. (Frida would love this place.) Located in the chic Polanco district near Bosque de Chapultepec, the boutique is furnished with hand-crafted Colonial decor, unique artifacts, and colorful folk art, a fantasy of hand-painted tiles and bold fabrics. Each suite is inspired by the works of Mexican artists (yes, there's a room devoted to Ms. Kahlo). The 10 guest rooms have full kitchens, high-speed Internet, and spacious bathrooms with Jacuzzi tubs. The place seems to embody the romance and grandeur of Old Mexico. Reserve a table at Izote, a nearby hot spot run by Patricia Quintana, one of Mexico's top chefs, or dine al fresco at the hotel's own splendid restaurant.