LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
Discover the best of Barcelona on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. From museum hopping to boat trips, from Gaudi's architecture to gothic cathedrals, from reflexology massages by the pool to personal shopping tours, Hotel Arts Barcelona understands the art of enjoying summer. A member of the Ritz-Carlton family of hotels, Hotel Arts Barcelona overlooks miles of Barcelona beachfront and the grand vista of Port Olimpic. The view may be nice, but the hotel's striking contemporary architecture is really what turns heads. In addition, there is a spectacular collection of Spanish contemporary art housed in the hotel. Sit down for an al fresco meal, fanned by a mild summer breeze, at the Restaurante Marina. Sink into a soft sofa on Arola's chill-out terrace, sipping a cocktail and sharing tapas. This is what summer's all about. The hotel also boasts a stunning Spa by Six Senses on the 43rd floor, outdoor pool, open-air Jacuzzi in terraced gardens, and a fitness center with personal fitness consultations.
Everything about this joint encapsulates the over-the-top vibe of Sin City. The best views in Vegas? Check. The best décor? Hands down. Truly one-of-a-kind culinary creations? You'll be begging for more. After all, Mix is the vision of Alain Ducasse, the renowned celebrity chef whose stellar restaurants have catapulted him into stardom. You'll be tempted with contemporary and classic French and American dishes with global accents, as well as signature dishes from Ducasses' restaurants in Paris and Monte Carlo. At Mix, the setting high atop THEhotel at Mandalay Bay is as much an experience as the cuisine. The cutting-edge restaurant is adorned in white and silver, distinguished by sweeping staircases, mid-century modern furniture, and an incredible 24-foot chandelier of 15,000 hand-blown glass spheres. It's no wonder Mix was named "Best Restaurant" by the Travel+Leisure Design Awards 2006. Dinner only. Reservations a must.
Summer specials abound in the warmer climes. Case in point: Old Bahama Bay Resort, newly dubbed Old Bahama Bay at Ginn sur Mer, is offering an Endless Summer Package for a song. Enjoy deluxe accommodations, welcome drink upon arrival, round-trip airport transfers, and complimentary use of sail boats, kayaks, snorkel equipment, Hobie Cats, fitness center and bicycles-- starting from just $209 per night in an Ocean View Junior Suite. Three night minimum stay required; available until October 30th, 2007. A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Old Bahama Bay has an ambiance of barefoot elegance with an out-island remote feel, though it's only 56 miles from the Florida coast. A new member of the Ginn Resorts family, the full-service resort has got it all: beachfront suites with luxurious touches, a 72-slip port of entry marina, three restaurants, and a host of activities including the 4,000 sq ft heated swimming pool with infinity edge, massage services, fitness center, fishing, snorkeling and boating.
Just an hour from San Francisco but worlds a part. The Carneros Inn, frequently featured in top travel magazines around the globe, is a beautiful oasis; relaxation incarnate. Designed to reflect its rural surroundings, The Carneros Inn combines local architecture-- barns, silos, ranchers' cottages-- with stylish, modern interiors. Brimming with the region's distinct charm, these rustic cottages are nestled among 27 acres of grape vines, unspoiled farmland, and apple orchards. These roomy accommodations don't skimp on the comfort; there are wood-burning fireplaces with polished concrete hearths, private patios, spacious bathrooms with soaking tubs, flat-panel TVs with DVD players, and high-speed Internet access. Enjoy a glass of California's finest wines in the private gardens, delicious dining at the Hilltop restaurant, outdoor showers under the stars, and decadent spa treatments inspired by local ingredients. Indeed, the Spa at The Carneros Inn is a destination in and of itself. Indulge in a Destination Spa Day and enjoy a full day in one of the cottages complimentary, when you purchase $300 worth of luxurious spa treatments. Please call (707) 299-4900 to make your reservations. Cottages offered from 10-6 p.m. on the day of spa services. Monday through Thursday only.
Bellhops? Pa-leese! The Diva of Ocean Drive, fresh from a glamorous redesign by trendsetting designer Kelly Wearstler, offers personal assistant services for guests. Upon arrival at The Tides South Beach, you are welcomed by your very own Personal Assistant who delivers advanced round-the-clock services: beachside amenity baskets with bottled water, magazines, and sunscreen, in-suite dining and catering, laundry, dry cleaning and shoe shine service as well as complete business services such as translation, transcription, desk-top publishing, postal and parcel service. Trained by Robert Watson from The Guild of Professional English Butlers, the hotel's PAs do it all. And with The Tides' Guest Recognition Policy, these personal assistants understand guests' preferences before they even arrive.
Stunning accommodations surrounded by some of the most sublime scenery on earth. Welcome to the Spa Hotel Jagdhof, situated in the midst of the Tyrolean mountains, just 30 minutes from Innsbruck, against the backdrop of the Stubai Glacier. This Relais and Chateaux property is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts-- country walks through the slopes of the Alps provide glimpses of chamois, stags, and dear-- and spa lovers, alike. The hotel's renowned Vital & Beautywelt Spa is a beautiful oasis that offers 17 different treatments in an area spanning 2,000 square meters. Exceptional cuisine includes hunted game and lamb from the hotel's own farm. With the Tyrolean Spa Experience package, enjoy four nights in a cozy 'Zwölfer' apartment including extensive breakfast, a six-course à la carte dinner, complimentary use of spa, indoor and outdoor pools, saunas and steam rooms, one stimulating Tyrolean massage, one glacier massage with high-quality natural oils from the Alps and return transfers from/to Innsbruck airport. Rates starting from EUR 899 per person for four nights. Valid until September 30, 2007.
Stay at the Conrad Indianapolis, the luxury destination hotel in the heart of Indiana's capital, anytime until August 31, 2007 and you can earn double Hilton HHonors points and a continental breakfast for two at Vitesse. Since its debut last year, Conrad Indianapolis has been wowing its guests with its lavish, high-tech facilities. The 23-storey hotel tower houses the luxurious Spa Chakra, fitness facilities, two unique dining options (a brasserie-style restaurant and a lounge), and state-of-the-art meeting and event space.
There's a lot to love at the InterContinental Hong Kong: the large outdoor heated swimming pool and unique trio of infinity spa pools, the luxurious I-Spa (with its feng shui inspired ambiance), prime waterfront location in Kowloon, unparalleled dining, not to mention the spectacular views. But one of the best things about the hotel is the stunning Presidential Suite, one of the most beautiful in Asia, and the city's priciest and largest. The price tag is $10,000 a night for 7,000 square feet of pure luxury. The 2,500 square ft terrace boasts its own infinity pool overlooking the sparkling lights of Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Island. The wrap-around terrace can easily seat 50 folks for dinner, and 24-hour room service from Alain Ducaisse's Spoon Restaurant is a perk enjoyed only by guests of the Presidential Suite. Of course this five-room facility has made the roster of Forbes' most expensive hotel rooms in the world.
Thailand's highly popular King's Cup Elephant Polo Tournament returns to the hills of the Golden Triangle in 2008. Mark your calendars for March 31-April 6, for some serious fun in the sun. Event organizer, Anantara Resorts, describes the event as wildly entertaining, ranked as the 6th largest on the Thai tourism calendar. And it's easy to understand why. A charitable event that raises money for the country's National Elephant Institute in Lampang, King's Cup Elephant Polo is chock full of celebrities, seasoned elephant polo players, colorful parades and elephants. Plus, it's location in spectacular northern Thailand showcases the natural beauty of the Golden Triangle region, home to Thailand's elephant population. Indeed Anantara Resort has its own Elephant Camp, an on-site sanctuary for these peaceful pachyderms. Located 60 kilometers north of the Chiang Rai airport, perched on a ridge overlooking the hills of Myanmar and Laos, Anantara is all about laid-back luxury. Here you can experience the refreshing chill of a Northern Thai sunrise shrouded in mountain mist; the rush of a longboat ride up the Mekong to Laos; the exhilaration of riding an elephant through bamboo jungle along the border of Burma.
PS. The sport of Elephant Polo poses no threat to the participating creatures, says the World Wildlife Fund.
August 6, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
First stop: Costa Rica. Steve Case is launching a new luxury resort company, Revolution Places, with an eye on environmental and cultural preservation. Only natural for a guy who grew up in Hawaii and feels passionately about not paving over paradise. The first environmentally-friendly project is an $800 million, 650-acre development in Cacique, Costa Rica, on the northwest Pacific coast. What's in store? A 120-villa One&Only resort by Sol Kerzner, who developed Atlantis, Paradise Island in the Bahamas; a 180-unit Miraval: Life in Balance-branded destination spa resort; a Tom Doak-designed golf course; and a tennis and fitness center designed by Andre Agassi and his wife, Steffi Graf. Expected to open in 2010, the resort will be designed to reduce water and energy waste, with renewable energy sources and on-site treatment facilities to reuse waste water.