Now open. The Mandarin Oriental scores a perfect location in downtown Tokyo, in the historical district of Nihonbashi, within walking distance of the Ginza entertainment and shopping district and the Imperial Palace. Why does this hotel rock? Let me count the ways. A 38th floor Sky Lobby with vistas of the city behind a sheer wall of glass. Guestrooms that are some of the largest in Japan. A kick-ass spa: 9,500 sq ft devoted to luxurious relaxation through Heat and Water Experiences. 9 treatment rooms, 5 luxurious private Spa suites, steam and sauna, vitality pool and bubble pool, and the Ice Fountain arctic refresher. Superb gourmet dining in several establishments. And highly sophisticated technology: widescreen TVs with surround sound, connected to multi-standard DVD players (you can output your laptop onto the LCD TVs), and 100 Mbps broadband data network that delivers high speed Internet access and high-definition digital video.
By Alex Rose
Would you like to know how royalty is treated? Then make plans to stay at The Peninsula Hotel in the heart of downtown Chicago. You'll notice its distinctiveness as the doorman greets you and you enter the lobby. Once you reach the main level, you'll be welcomed to the hotel lobby by the beautiful mural commissioned to artist Gerard Coltat of Nice, France. The Magnificent Mile provides world-class shopping only minutes away, and at nighttime, you can see the beautifully-lit Chicago Water Tower. For epicureans, treat yourself to some true Chicago treasures such as Everest, Gibson's, Charlie Trotter's, and Japonais. And during your stay, treat that special person in your life to the Peninsula Essential Massage at the Spa. (Note: The internet rates offer a nice discount for online reservations.)
The Peninsula Chicago, Official Site
The Peninsula Chicago, Five Star Alliance
By: Guest Writer
Taking the kids to Disney World for Spring Break? Head to the Peabody Orlando, one of only two Mobil four-star hotels in the city. No need to compromise on luxury before you sweat in line at Epcot—the Peabody has prime accommodations (including two magnificent Presidential Suites), loads of facilities, and excellent service. And plenty to amuse the kids, especially the pool with cascading waterfall and world-famous Peabody ducks who parade through the lobby twice daily.
The Peabody Orlando, Official Site
The Peabody Orlando, Five Star Alliance
By Julie Lausch
What a way to celebrate a birthday. We headed to Hutong, a chic Chinese restaurant with many delicious items to choose from. Among the stand-outs we ordered were crispy lamb ribs and mixed vegetable spring rolls. We had a table for 14 overlooking the breathtaking nighttime lights of Hong Kong harbor-- almost all of the tables have fabulous views. Hutong is the shining star of the Aqua restaurant group. After dinner, head two flights up to the awesome bar/club upstairs.
By: Guest Writer
Check out Luxury Travel Mag's 2005 Luxury Travel Awards. The top new hotels in the U.S include Le Mars in Sonoma, Hotel Vitale and the St.Regis in SF, the Inn at Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina, Wynn Las Vegas and the Hotel Victor and The Setai in Miami. Award-winning new Caribbean hotels include The Palms in the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman. Top new destination in Asia is Chiang Mai, Thailand, with a slew of new luxury properties featured on this hot list.
This is by far San Fran's most gorgeous museum. The setting alone is well worth a gape. On view from its perch above the Pacific: the GG bridge, the Marin headlands, and the dazzling white cityscape. And standing guard in front: the huge statue of Rodin's Thinker, musing from his seat inside the museum's courtyard. And of course, if you can tear yourself from the view, the museum's permanent collection is pretty fantastic: over 4,000 pieces of ancient and European art. On view now is a fascinating exhibit titled "After the Ruins, 1906 and 2006: Rephotographing the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire," containing over 75 paired photographs of then and now.
Escape the arctic temperatures to one of Fiji's most sublime and sought-after hideaways. This exclusive island retreat-- its solitude and seclusion the ultimate in tropical bliss-- offers 16 secluded villas, overlooking white sand beaches and the Beqa lagoon. What's in store for privileged guests? The villas are outfitted in mahogany floors, thatched roofs, sea-grass ceilings, and Jacuzzi spa tubs, with spellbinding views. Private terraces open onto the dramatic clifftop, with infinity-edge plunge pools completing the perfect setting. After a sea-soaked day of superb diving or snorkeling—most of these dive sites on the resort's living barrier reef have never been dived before– enjoy a four-course meal featuring fantastic fresh seafood.
On December 15th, a fire ravaged the historic Adirondacks landmark, destroying the main building. The Lake Placid Lodge has been an exclusive mountain retreat since 1882, prized for its rustic elegance and awesome views of the lake and mountains. The hotel is temporarily closed, but we're ecstatic that the owners are already getting in gear to rebuild.
This is it-- the big daddy of skiing competitions. On January 20-22, the world's top skiers attempt the gnarliest of downhill courses, staged by the Kitzbühel Ski Club. The 66th International Hahnenkamm Races include the Super-G and downhill on the Streif run, along with the slalom on the Ganslern course. Witness the incredible speed of downhill—up to 90 mph!—and the super-skills of the Hahnenkamm champion, who must outperform on both the downhill and slalom courses. (Past champs include Franz Klammer, who won this race four times.)
December 26, 2005
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
We're on break for a few days, but will be back soon with lots of hotel recs and special luxury travel offers for the new year. (For anyone who can guess where I'm taking this hiatus, I'll publish your hotel/travel story! Can anyone guess the charming locale?)