LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
April 29, 2008
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
The next time you visit Victoria, BC, perhaps to the grand Fairmont Empress right above the Inner Harbor, you may want to compliment your city stay with a visit to The Aerie Resort and Spa. Named Best Hotel in the Continental US and Canada by Travel and Leisure Magazine as well as voted the Best North American Resort by the Conde Nast Traveler Gold List, it is truly a word class escape. The Aerie is set 1500 feet above the Pacific Ocean allowing for views of Victoria, as well as the San Juan Islands and Washington State. Guests can enjoy days filled touring local organic farms and wineries, whale watching, hiking, sailing, or mountain biking. Of course, some may choose to luxuriate in the spa with one of The Aerie's signature body or facial treatments. No one, however, should miss out on the gourmet cuisine that their executive chef creates out of fresh local ingredients. Room rates start at 175 CAD in the winter months and 285 CAD during the summer.
April 29, 2008
By: Courtney W. May
Directly overlooking the Grand Canal, with an incomparable view of Venice, the Palace of the Doge Gritti is one of the most celebrated hotels in the world. The Hotel Gritti Palace continues to attract elite guests, with luxuriously appointed rooms, attentive service, and the savoury cuisine of the Restaurant Club del Doge. The attentive service is embodied by the hotel concierge staff - who answered our questions below.
What activity do you recommend the most often?
A walking tour of the city with private guide; A tour of the lagoon Islands by water taxi; visiting all the most important museums; countryside excursions by private limousine, and visits to the Palladian villas.
Which restaurant do you recommend the most often and why? Who is it best for?
The Hotel Gritti Palace restaurant "Club del Doge" mainly for fish and Venetian dishes but also for deliciuos pasta; Osteria "Santa Marina" (Venetian, fish); "Met" (creative Venetian), or "Da Ivo" for a change ( tuscan food meat & fish).
What are the scariest requests you've gotten from guests?
On 9-11, the high number of requests from Guests to go back home and the impossibility to solve all the Airline tickets due to congestion.
What is the funniest request you've gotten from a guest?
A big knife from the kitchen to open a bottle of Champagne.
What is the strangest request you've gotten from a guest?
Request of parachute for a launch ...
Do you have any regular celebrity/famous guests?
We would upset many if we mention even a few of them.
What types of things have you been unable to do for guests?
Hard to remember... but only the illegal ones!!
What is your personal favorite part of the hotel?
The Terrace on the Grand Canal.
What are the things that you wish guests knew about the Concierge?
The Concierge is the best informed person in town, always aware of all events that are taking place in Venice; a miracle maker.
Because you are in a major international tourism destination, what kinds of language problems come up?
English and French are known by everybody. The upcoming market of China is raising interest in the oriental languages which until now have been quite unknown
How big is the Concierge staff at the hotel?
Twelve persons in total.
Are there any specialty concierges or all generalists for everyone?
Each one has to be able to fulfill the same specialist requests and general duties.
What is the average number of requests a day?
Depending on the season, on average 1 request per minute.
What is your favorite aspect of your job?
To serve the most important people of the World.
By: Courtney W. May
April 29, 2008
By: Madelyn Giblin
No matter how far you have traveled, the "Washington Insider" Package at The Madison, A Loews Hotel, has everything you need to feel like you're right in your own home. Guests stay in a exquisitely decorated room that comes with a Sharper Image Massage Chair, free high speed internet and local calls, flat screen TV, iPod dock, oversize desk, and free use of the Fitness Center. The hotel is optimally located close to the White House, and the many museums along the mall, perfect for a business stay, or just a relaxing vacation in the nation's capital. Guests making reservations at The Madison, a Loews Hotel through Five Star Alliance will receive a welcome amenity and possible one category room upgrade based upon availability at check-in.
By: Madelyn Giblin
Sadly, it looks like our favorite luxury airline, Eos, is following in the footsteps of Maxjet and has ceased operations. Travel Weekly has the scoop on the demise of Eos, which filed for bankruptcy over the weekend and closed its doors as of April 28. It looks like the end of an era.
Guests of The Breakers, take heed! We love us some beachfront luxury and The Breakers, the exclusive Palm Beach getaway, epitomizes the very best. From now until the end of May, you'll get a free 25-minute spa service-- choose a reflexology foot massage, sea salt scrub, classic manicure, or a soothing eye treatment-- when you treat yourself to an 80-minute massage or facial. Plus, if you book a summer vacation from June 1 to September 30, 2008, you can take advantage of the Stay Longer and Save promotion-- guaranteed savings and a room upgrade-- and get increased savings based on length of stay. [Map]
Saigon's most storied hotel is getting a makeover. Made famous during the American-Vietnam War when journalists camped out on the hotel rooftop and filed stories (Walter Cronkite stayed here during his 1968 tour of the country), the landmark Caravelle Hotel reopened in May 1998 and soon attracted clientele like President Bill Clinton and the Lord Mayor of London. It's already pretty swanky; there's a free-form swimming pool with Jacuzzi set amidst lush lagoon palms, rooftop terrace and bar, the tranquil Qi Spa, and newly-revamped restaurant Nineteen (one of the city's best buffets). But The Caravelle has big plans for 2008. Not only will all the guest rooms and suites be renovated, but the hotel will also introduce a slew of environmentally friendly green initiatives and the publication of a book that celebrates the hotel's history. The Caravelle is situated in the very heart of the city, across from one of Vietnam's three colonial-era Opera Houses.
Catch it while you can. The brand new Stowe Mountain Lodge will be opening in June, and promises a luxurious haven for discerning travelers at world-famous Stowe Mountain in Vermont. In celebration of its opening, Stowe Mountain Lodge is offering a special "First Guest Package" with room rates up to 50 percent off for the first summertime guests. Room rates usually start at $555 per night, but you can snag a room for two people plus breakfast at Solstice Restaurant for $299 a night with this special offer. You must book between 12:01 am on April 28 and 11:59 pm on April 29, 2008 (that's tonight!) for stays from July 1 to July 31, 2008. The special package is available for stays of up to 15 nights.
April 28, 2008
By: Lucy LeTourneau
The legendary Le Meurice is a luxury hotel in the heart of Paris with a prestigious location between Place de la Concorde and the Louvre on the fashionable rue de Rivoli. Le Meurice has played host to international royalty, fashion designers and countless public figures, through the centuries. It's classic French style , but with modern flourishes recently unveiled in the reception area by designer Phillipe Starck. The hotel has your family in mind with a large number of connecting rooms upon request. Take advantage of the Le Meurice Family Package by booking two Superior or Deluxe rooms now through December 31, 2008 and receive:
* Accommodations and daily American breakfast
* Upgrade to a two Bedroom Suite upon availability (only available if Deluxe double rooms booked)
* Petits fours in the parents' room and Sweets in the children's room
* Meurice children bathrobe and slippers and a Kid's kit: Pistache "stuffed animal", cartoon DVD for use in room, puzzle, coloured pencil
* Free access to sauna, hammam, Jacuzzi and fitness center for the parents
In addition to this package, Le Meurice has created a Passport given to the Children at their arrival taking their family on a (re)discovery of Paris' little-known delights. Their very own passport maps out a trail of city's most magical sights. There are also bicycles available for rent for the inviting paths in the Tuileries Gardens nearby.
No kids? Hotel Le Meurice is also pet-friendly... Plus, Book with Five Star Alliance and receive a complimentary bottle of champagne with any reservation.
By: Lucy LeTourneau
Conde Nast Traveler recently scoured the globe to come up with picks for the "world's sexiest hotel pools." On the mag's top 10 list? The Beverly Hills Hotel, aka The Pink Palace, situated on 12 lush acres just off Sunset Boulevard smack dab in the center of Beverly Hills. Hollywood types have long flocked to this Tinseltown institution, and continue to enjoy the hotel's old-school glamour. The Polo Lounge has been a watering hole for generations of stars, and the pool is not any less of a hotspot. The poolside cabanas are the "main attraction," Conde Nast Traveler dishes:
Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe once showed off their assets in them, and they're still prime territory for fledgling celebrity romances and power deals. The lower poolside cabanas are $225 per day; $100 for those farther from the action. Famous regulars request their favorites well in advance, confident that no embarrassing shots of cellulite will show up on the pages of Us Weekly, thanks to the hotel's tight security. Amenities include secluded sunning spots, private phone lines, and attendants with chilled towels. Chaise longues are on a first-come, first-served basis. And movie tunes are piped in through an underwater sound system.
The Somerset on Grace Bay: Sand Castle University, Extreme Croquet, and Orchid Gardens on Turks and Caicos
April 25, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
It doesn't get much better than this. The Somerset on Grace Bay opened at the end of 2006 and has been turning heads ever since. The resort is both a romantic island hideaway and beachfront family haven. (Where else would you find a Sand Castle University for kids to learn to build awesome sand sculptures?) A member of the prestigious Small Luxury Hotels of the World, The Somerset on Grace Bay offers pure indulgence on 4.6 acres of pristine beach. There are 54 residence suites equipped with living, dining and entertaining spaces. You'll even find a fully stocked gourmet kitchen with Viking appliances and a wine storage fridge. All suites offer balconies with jaw-dropping ocean views (and the exclusive Estates boast wrap-around terraces with hot tubs). On the manicured croquet lawn, play Somerset eXtreme Croquet (the series of cut-throat challenges includes "Water Slaughter" when a player roquets an opponent's ball into the ocean). Soak in the huge infinity pool, which seems to flow into the Atlantic itself. There's a state-of-the-art underwater sound system, to boot. Recreational pursuits run the gamut from bone-fishing to snorkeling. Discover a piece of paradise in the islands of Turks and Caicos.