LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
January 22, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The New York Times has the skinny on the fate of small Alpine ski stations in the face of melting snows brought about by global warming. Recently, Bruno Prior, a British entrepreneur, snatched up the ski resort of Ernen for one Swiss franc. After suffering heavy losses (and no snow), the Ernen ski-lift company was forced to shut down the four ski lifts. In an act of desperation, Ernen decided to give away the lifts to the investor who could best assist the village. With plans to invest as much as $45 million to build new hotels and lifts, Prior saved the small village from an uncertain fate.
For an utterly decadent hotel experience, head to Sao Paulo, where the Emiliano pampers guests with the most fabulous five-star treatment. No joke-- this is some of the best service and amenities we know about. Frommer's says it best: "The Emiliano is a bargain compared to what a room like this would cost in New York or Paris." Think welcome massages, private butlers to unpack bags, personalized pillow selections (why not try 6 different ones?!), mini-bars stocked to your liking, and bathrooms the size of small spas (with customized toiletries). Oh, and there's private helicopter service to the airport. This is a true sybarite's delight, where rooms are beautifully designed, the restaurant is renowned for its haute cuisine, and the rooftop boasts a pool and spa.
Now there's another reason to love this award-winning hotel nestled in the Adirondacks. You can make your reservation carbon neutral! The Whiteface Lodge-- the magnificent rustic lodge fashioned after the Great Camps of the early 20th century-- recently announced its participation in the Leading Hotels of the World's Green Initiative, a carbon off-set program to encourage greener travel. Indulge yourself in a luxurious spa weekend or ski getaway,* while feeling good that your carbon footprint has been offset with carbon-neutral accommodations.
*Luxury translates into the details: 24 hour services including in-suite dining and concierge services, plus loads of in-room delights: jetted tubs, pillow-top beds, cast iron gas fireplaces and LCD, high-definition televisions. Plus, The Whiteface Lodge is the only luxury resort in the region to offer private jet service to guests as well as charter plane transportation to and from all major airports directly into Lake Placid.
Choose the 3 Night Winter Stay Package (priced at $395 per night for three consecutive nights in a superior or deluxe one bedroom suite) and get breakfast for two each day, plus a $300 room credit at the end of your stay. Available until March 31, 2008.
Football on the brain? Where will you be on February 3 when the Giants take on the Patriots in Arizona? The next best place to watch Super Bowl XLII (besides the University of Phoenix Stadium) is Caesars Palace Casino. You can place bets on the game-- legally. With yummy eats and an animated crowd, Caesars is going off! To quote Hemispheres Magazine: "diehards start claiming the 250 seats and tables around 6 a.m.; by game time, another 2,000 or so guests crowd into standing-room space." Plus, Caesars Palace has lined up Jerry Seinfeld for the biggest football game and the biggest laughs of the year! Over the Super Bowl weekend, enjoy a night of comedy at The Colosseum-- February 1 and 2, 2008-- with one of America's best-loved comedians.
Listed by National Geographic's Journeys of a Lifetime as one of the "Top 10 Food Pilgrimages," the Hotel Sacher Vienna is home to the world's most famous chocolate cake. Sachertorte-- rich chocolate torte with thin layers of apricot jam, accompanied by lots of whipped cream-- was created by Franz Sacher in 1832. This divine piece of patisserie is as much a part of Vienna as the State Opera, the Lipizzaner Horses, and the Hotel Sacher itself, built by Franz's son in 1876. Enjoy a stay at this legendary hotel, just opposite the Opera, and immerse yourself in the charms of the Hapsburg Monarchy. The tasteful rooms simply ooze luxury, adorned with original oil paintings, precious rugs and silk wall coverings. And get this: the Sachertorte is available for worldwide delivery!
A decadent Valentine's experience awaits at the newly-renovated Tides South Beach, the glamorous icon on Ocean Drive. Luxuriate in style and get romantically inspired. Book the "Return to Romance" package and you'll enjoy an opulent Oceanfront Suite, a dozen long stem roses, a bottle of champagne in-room, two Chocolate Chili Martini cocktails on La Marea's terrace, a lingering five-course dining experience in whatever setting strikes your fancy, and playful in-room extras (wink, wink). Total price is based on room choice, starting at $395 in the Ocean Front Studio suite. (The Tides Suite is priced at $5,000). This is a 30 percent savings! Available February 1-29, 2008.
Until February 21, 2008, receive up to $1,000 off your stay at Miraval for donating to your favorite charity. Giving back is a big part of the Miraval philosophy, and now Miraval wants to thank those folks who've helped others in the last year. Just book a reservation for a stay between now and Feb. 21, and Miraval will deduct the amount of charitable contributions you made in the past year. (Up to $1,000. Valid for stays four nights or longer.) There's no place quite like Miraval, Life in Balance. Nestled in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains in Southern Arizona, surrounded by the natural beauty of the Sonoran Desert, the award-winning luxury resort offers serene privacy and a healthful focus for the body, mind, and spirit.
Planning a trip to the "Mile High City"? Looking for a lively hotel with friendly staff and loads of cool amenities? Consider the Hotel Monaco, situated in the center of bustling downtown Denver near the Colorado Convention Center and LoDo entertainment district. You'll enjoy the nightly complimentary wine hour with a chair massage and special treats from the hotel's famous restaurant Panzano. The concierge is on call 24/7 to create an action-packed itinerary for you- from clubbing to skiing (this is the gateway to the Colorado Rockies). Wireless Internet is complimentary, of course. Room service is round-the-clock. And there's always a cup of steaming hot java awaiting you in the lobby. Housed in two renovated landmark buildings, the Hotel Monaco is sophisticated and stylish, and lots of fun (think leopard print robes and pet goldfish in-room). PS. There's a full-service Aveda Spa and Salon.
When the Don Cesar debuted in 1928 on St. Pete Beach, high society flocked to "Florida's Pink Palace." F. Scott Fitzgerald, Clarence Darrow, Lou Gehrig, Al Capone and America's pampered elite fancied this Gulf playground-- built to resemble the Royal Hawaiian in Waikiki Beach for $1.2 million (but came out 300 percent over budget!) Today, the rose-colored sandcastle continues to dazzle with its sugar-white beaches, fabulous dining, renowned children's program, and newly-renovated pool deck with fresh landscaping (Canary Island Date Palms and tree-formed Oleander) and open vistas of the Gulf. You'll be tickled pink by this news: The Don Cesar will open a new spa this Spring. Spa Oceana will feature 16 treatment rooms, rooftop garden, and fire pit, with a gorgeous views of the Gulf of Mexico.
Cool shoes, hip hotel. The Camper brand doesn't just mean hipster footwear... There's a luxury boutique hotel situated in Barcelona's vibrant, arty El Raval district, within walking distance to Las Ramblas, and rumor has it that there will be a whole chain of them on the horizon. Housed in a restored historic building, Casa Camper has 25 guest rooms: simple, contemporary, and stylish. Each is painted vivid green or red, while bathrooms are gleaming white. Across the hall, you'll find your own sitting room with a flat-screen TV and hammock strung on the balcony. Perks: Snacks are on the house all day long, service is friendly and personalized, amenities include wifi and pillow menus, and there's a roof terrace with beautiful views over the rooftops.