LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
July 23, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Recently named to the Conde Nast Traveler "Hot List", Herons restaurant is a culinary gem located in the new Umstead Hotel and Spa, steps away from the beautiful walking and jogging trails of Umstead State Park just outside Raleigh, North Carolina. (The Umstead Spa was also named to the Hot List, the only spa in North Carolina to earn this accolade.) Steve Eudy, the Herons Sommelier, has assembled a magnificent wine list representing 500 wines that will delight even the most sophisticated connoisseur. They've even stocked away some North Carolina wines. Sip a glass on the terrace on Thursday evening, while chowing down on the outdoor "all-grilled" menu, a memorable outdoor dining experience for picture-perfect summer evenings. Enjoy grilled meat and seafood prepared by Executive Chef Phil Evans along with new fresh fruit cocktails, live outdoor music and breathtaking panoramic views of the lake and surrounding gardens. (The Terrace will be hopping on Thursday evenings until September 28th, 2007, weather permitting.) Come check out what everyone's been talking about. During the month of July, when you reserve a guest room at Umstead, you'll receive a $50 gift certificate to use in the restaurant or spa.
Eloise may not like the new condos, but she'd be pleased to see her hotel back in business. Rumor has it that the fabled Plaza Hotel, New York's landmark luxury hotel, will reopen this fall to coincide with the property's 100th anniversary. Fairmont Hotels and Resorts has gone ahead and announced the appointment of the new General Manager, Shange Krige, who hails from The Mansion on Turtle Creek, London's historic Grosvenor House and Ritz-Carlton properties in Washington D.C.. Towering over Central Park West, the 19-storey Plaza Hotel has completed a $400 million renovation which now includes private residences. Those who mourned the end of an era with the hotel's closing will rejoice at the makeover. The 282 guest room and condo-hotel units have been updated for the modern traveler, but still pay tribute to the hotel's illustrious history as a treasured symbol in Manhattan.
Uptown, the city's chic, tourist-popular enclave, will welcome a new Ritz-Carlton on August 15, 2007. This is the first Ritz-Carlton hotel to open in the U.S. in four years, and little wonder Dallas is the lucky destination; the city is touted as the most accessible setting in the continental U.S.-- less than three hours by air from nearly every point. The hotel will be walking distance to the American Airlines Center, home to myriad sports and entertainment events. As to be expected at a Ritz-Carlton, the Dallas hotel will have elegant, spacious guest rooms (with lots of sleek technology), an opulent 12,000 square foot spa, and the city's largest luxury ballroom, along with numerous meeting locations. The best part of all is Fearing's Restaurant with its interactive display kitchen. Headed by charismatic celebrity chef Dean Fearing who specializes in Southwest cuisine, the restaurant will celebrate a farm-to-market philosophy. Expect menu stand-outs like Barbecue Shrimp Taco with Mango-Pickled Red Onion Salad and Smoky Citrus Vinaigrette; Prime Cut Rib Eye Mopped over Live Mesquite with Cauliflower Twice Potatoes and Crispy Asparagus; Griddled Day-Boat Scallops on Wilted Brussels Sprout Leaves and Smoked Kentucky Ham with Tangerine Essence; Caramelized Peach and Almond Crisp with Mascarpone Ice Cream and Ginger Peach Sauce.
July 20, 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: Private Tropical Paradise, House Style, Island Time ...
There were 3 guesses (1 correct from bordan) for Last Week's Hotel Contest:
The Hotel De Orangerie, Bruges, Belgium
From the captivating entertainment of the Blue Man Group to authentic gondola rides along the quarter-mile Grand Canal, from the fabulous new Venetian Poker Room to the on-site Guggenheim Hermitage Museum, The Venetian has got it all. Smack dab in the middle of the action on the Las Vegas Strip, the all-suite luxury resort offers the romance of Italy and the pinnacle of luxury in a city known for mind-boggling excitement. Experience the "Suite Life" from just $179 per night! Even the standard rooms at The Venetian are twice the size of the typical Vegas room. (With 700 square feet of pure indulgence, there's nothing standard about them.) Book this special package at The Venetian, the world's largest four-star resort, and you'll also receive two Canyon Ranch SpaClub Passports, ten percent discount off spa treatments, twenty percent off fine dining at Postrio or Pinot Brasserie, and two complimentary drinks at the Blue Man Bar with purchase of performance tickets. Two night minimum stay required. Valid through December 30, 2007.
We thought the Eiffel Suite was luxe. The Hotel Plaza Athénée is also home to the lavish Royal Suite, 4840 square feet of serious opulence. The four-bedroom suite is situated on the 5th floor, overlooking the Avenue Montaigne and the courtyard. Furnished with splendid antiques, drapes embroidered with three different gold threads, and the finest silks and fabrics, the Royal Suite is like an elegant Parisian home-- a truly exceptional one at that. Bathrooms are decked out in Italian marble, with steam showers and Jacuzzis. To be expected, the suite offers the utmost in state-of-the-art technology: plasma TV screen in each room, glass video projecting screen in the master bedroom, WiFi Internet access, telephone with eight lines, fax, music library with 5,000 titles, and incredible security (digital finger print entry on each door of the Suite, four electronic safes...)
Of course you don't have to be a member of the royal family to stay at the legendary Plaza Athénée. Make like Carrie Bradshaw and book a room at the most famous hotel in the City of Light (with our without the "lovah" in tow). Recently renovated and scented with a unique amber fragrance, the hotel's spacious guest rooms showcase French style at its best.
Luxuriate in blissful peace at Auberge du Soleil's sister property, Calistoga Ranch in Upper Napa Valley. Tucked into a private canyon just outside the historic town of Calistoga, the luxury resort is an oasis of ancient oak groves and rolling vineyards. In such a majestic natural setting, it's only appropriate that the resort offers guests the ultimate experience of indoor and outdoor spaces. (Even the fitness facility is open-air, taking full advantage of the setting, so you can work out while gazing out over the vineyards.) For a taste of the good life, plan a summertime escape to the 46-cottage Calistoga Ranch. Settle into a lounge chair near your very own indoor-outdoor fireplace. (The free-standing guest lodges are outfitted with natural cedar interiors-- with entertainment centers, high speed Internet, and all the latest technology.) Dine at the private restaurant which celebrates the rich culture of Napa Valley wines and cuisine. Indulge in a rejuvenating spa treatment at The Bathhouse, where you can also "take the waters" in the natural thermal baths which have enticed visitors for over a century.
With the dollar at an all-time miserable low, travelers to Europe experience serious sticker shock when checking out of their hotels. But with the guaranteed £ for $ rate at the renowned Athenaeum Hotel, visitors to London can enjoy luxurious accommodations and all the best the city has to offer-- and breathe easy. Your three-night stay will be priced at $310 per night with the Summer in the City promotion; hotel rates won't go soaring through the roof with fluctuations on the currency markets. The package includes priority check-in, free Internet access, and a ten percent discount on food and beverages at the hotel. Located on London's Piccadilly overlooking Green Park, the family-owned Athenaeum Hotel and Apartments is surrounded by all the excitement of Central London. Added bonus: the hotel has recently completed a sumptuous renovation of the ground floor, with tempting dining and drinks available 'til late.
Turkey's most popular seaside destination, white-washed, bougainvillea-drenched Bodrum, just got a luxury addition. The exclusive five-star Movenpick Resort Bodrum opened its doors at the beginning of July. From its vantage point on a hilltop overlooking Gumbet Bay and the Aegean Sea, the Movenpick offers breathtaking vistas over the harbor. Known for its happening nightlife and its historic sites (including St. Peter's Castle and the Mausoleum), Bodrum is also a yachtsman's dream, a jumping off point to discover the myriad small islands along Turkey's incredible Aegean coastline. In fact, the Movenpick has a sailing yacht which can be chartered by up to 18 people. The resort's 92 rooms are decorated in a Mediterranean style with light wood colors and Spanish shutters. Guests can take in the spectacular sunsets from the private balcony or terrace. Facilities include two outdoor swimming pools, one indoor pool, restaurant and bar, Fitness Center, and a Wellness Center, where guests can relax in the Turkish hammam and sauna. Take advantage of a limited time special offer for the hotel's grand opening: rates start from just EUR 122 until September 1, 2007. Three night minimum required.
The Setai, South Beach trendiness incarnate, is moving beyond the confines of Miami-Dade county. The famed hotel will be opening another branch in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter, arguably the country's hottest real estate market. (We're waiting with bated breath for the Setai brand to jump into other metropolises.) Formerly called The Diegan, the new five-star condominium hotel is billed as a mecca for world-class dining and entertainment, where a "handful of ultra-luxury penthouse residences" will have the city swooning. Both the House of Blues and the newest Sky Bar will be located here. According to the New York Times, more than half of the units, priced from $500,000 to $3.8 million, have been sold. Expected to be completed by the end of the year, these residences will have Italian furniture, flat-screen TVs, and wifi access. Also in store: a fourth floor pool deck with cabanas, spa, fitness center, screening room, and recording studio.