LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
September 3, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Take the girls for an end-of-summer fling to South Beach and score an awesome deal with The Sagamore, one of the hottest hotels in South Beach. You'll love the outdoor pool, striking suites (with whirlpool tubs), and private collection of art and photography at this unique beachfront address. Even better- the hotel has a great location in the middle of all the action. The Sagamore Miami Beach, selected by Conde Nast Traveler in 2003 as one of the top twenty hottest beach resorts in the world, has designed a "Girls Night Out" plan for the month of September 2008, priced at just $69 per person (slightly higher on weekends, at $95 per person). This rate is based on 4 gals sharing a private, two-story poolside bungalow, and also includes: continental breakfast, disposable cameras (to record your late-night carousing), a round of martinis at the hotel's bar, and VIP admission to three local clubs- Opium Garden, Prive, or Mansion- with access to the VIP room.
Now there's another reason to check out the new luxury resort everyone's been talking about. The Mandarin Oriental Riviera Maya, situated on Mexico's pristine Yucatan Peninsula, has introduced a series of four-day holistic yoga programs-- featuring guided meditations, yoga classes and yogic diet and nutrition sessions. The next one will take place from September 25-28, 2008, followed by a program on October 23-26, 2008. Both novices and experienced yoga students will enjoy these retreats led by fabulous instructors. Embark on a peaceful journey of renewal and enlightenment while indulging in Mayan and Oriental spa treatments, and taking advantage of all the luxurious facilities in this naturalist's paradise. Surrounded by mangrove reserves and crystal clear lagoons, the resort is the ideal place to partake in a restorative yoga retreat. Plus, it is conveniently located just 10 minutes north of Playa del Carmen and just a 30 minute drive south from the Cancun airport. Leading the Yoga Retreat is Yoga Instructor Rishi Bhardawaj, who comes from a family of yoga experts and has been teaching yoga for almost 15 years. The retreat begins on Thursday evening with a welcome group dinner and opportunity to meet with instructors and fellow guests. The "Wellness Yoga Retreat" is priced from $2465 (single) and $3340 (double occupancy) and includes: three-nights accommodation, Yogic breakfast daily and one group dinner, choice of one spa treatment (Aromatherapy massage, Aromastone or Thai massage), morning and evening yoga sessions, daily meditations, diet and nutrition classes, participation in daily fitness activities, complimentary use of Heat and Water Therapies (including Steam, Sauna, Vitality Pool), and round-trip airport transfers.
Personal butlers for every guest is a hallmark of the St. Regis brand, famed for refined elegance and peerless service. And now St. Regis is importing this unique tradition to the tropical island paradise of Bali, when the St. Regis Resort Bali opens this month. Overlooking the ocean and Bali's premier golf course in the exclusive enclave of Nusa Dua, the beachfront resort has 125 luxurious suites and villas. The St. Regis butlers are known to provide ever-present, unobtrusive service while anticipating guests' needs. It goes beyond preparing coffee or tea and packing/unpacking suitcases; the butlers are more like experienced personal assistants. The St. Regis Bali is the first in the island to have an international Chief Butler, Tony Sharp, and Assistant Chief Butler, Robert Johnson, winner of 'Butler of the Year' award, an international award conferred by the International Butler Association. Trained in wine by the resort's chief sommelier, the butlers are also incredibly technologically savvy, as the resort is the first in Bali to feature Internet Protocol (IP) phones in all suites and villas.
This exclusive hideaway could easily be one of the most beautiful on all the Mediterranean Sea. Between Corsica and Sardinia in the sparkling emerald sea, lies a stunning archipelago called Lavezzi. Of this string of islands, the small Cavallo Island, extending just one mile, is the most beautiful. On this island, there is just one hotel- surrounded by all the summer homes of the international jetset. Completely serene, scented with myrtle and juniper, surrounded by breathtaking seascapes and beaches, the island of Cavallo allows only bicycles and electric cars. In this paradise, the Hotel and Spa des Pêcheurs has 50 rooms overlooking the white sandy beach and reef just offshore.
The reviews on TripAdvisor sum it up nicely: "LOCATION!" "Secluded paradise!" This is the best kept secret on the Med. The hotel was built in an environmentally responsible way- built with local rock and showcasing marvelous terraces, sundecks, gardens, and a beautiful pool. Enjoy the freshest Italian and French cuisine at the restaurant, and don't miss a massage at the spa or in the comfort of your own room.
Fairmont Hotels and Resorts makes it easy to go green. With eco-friendly programs and initiatives-- like the Adopt-A-Beluga Program-- Fairmont's been making waves in the hotel industry. Indeed, Fairmont has been championing luxury eco-tourism for awhile. When the Fairmont Mayakoba opened in early 2006 on the white sand of Mexico's Riviera Maya, it became the cornerstone of a unique eco-friendly resort community, surrounded by unspoiled tropical forest and beautiful waterways. Mayakoba is a luxury destination with golf, tennis, world-class diving and exquisite restaurants-- and it was also created to harmonize with the natural environment. Fairmont Mayakoba offers guests a unique and sustainable travel experience while providing all the luxury expected from an AAA five diamond award-winning resort.
In fact, Fairmont has launched a slew of Green Packages recently. Not only do these packages support eco-minded organizations, but they also provide guests with enriching experiences in unforgettable destinations. Look for them at Fairmont Hotels worldwide.
Where else can you sail across the bay to Angel Island, hike in the Redwoods, bike across the Golden Gate bridge, eat like a king with celebrity guest chefs, and get pampered with luxurious spa treaments? Cavallo Point, The Lodge at the Golden Gate, opened on July 1 outside Sausalito to much buzz and excitement. The resort itself is nestled on 50 acres of Fort Baker in the Golden Gate National Recreational Area, a former military base. We hear the restaurant's pretty good, too. As recently featured in the Washington Post:
The resort aims to offer something for everyone: stone massages and a basking pool for those who wish to be pampered; guided hikes and horseback and bike rides through the surrounding 75,000 acres of parkland; culinary and wine excursions into San Francisco and the nearby wine country; and fitness "boot camps" for those who need more of an adrenaline rush. Cavallo Point presents a curious mix of Outward Bound ambition with Canyon Ranch amenities.
Cavallo Point may be ambitious, but it's off to a great start.
That honor goes to hotels in Hawaii, Vegas, and Walt Disney World-- according to the Fodor's Forums. Hawaii may boast incredible beaches, but the pool attractions are just as jaw-dropping. Case in point: the five acres of meandering lagoons and pools at the Grand Hyatt Kaua'i Resort and Spa, set within beautifully landscaped gardens. Kids go gaga over the water slides, waterfalls, whirlpools, and neat, 1-acre free-form pool. (They'll also love the koi fish feeding and hula lessons at Camp Hyatt.) You can even kayak in the salt-water lagoon. Nestled on the south side of Kaua'i, Hawaii's Garden Isle, the oceanfront resort also has a full tennis complex and Anara spa. You can play a round of gold at the Poipu Bay Golf Crouse, home of the PGA Grand Slam, right next door.
August 25, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Anguilla has been in the press a lot these days. The Caribbean island in the British West Indies has remained pristine because of regulated development, and only three resorts have graced its beaches: Cap Juluca, CuisinArt, and Malliouhana. But 2009 will see the debut of two spanking new hotels: the Viceroy, which we noted last year, and the Baccarat Resort and Residences at Temenos. As described by Travel + Leisure in the September 2008 issue, this uber-luxe resort is being developed by Barry Sternlicht, the "mastermind behind Starwood's W, St. Regis, and Luxury Collection chains." There will be a Greg Norman golf course, a David Bouley restaurant, and world-class spa and fitness center. Plus, guests and residences will enjoy "signature Baccarat aesthetics" from the premier luxury brand. Like lots of crystal chandeliers in the lobby.
Come October 2008, the historic Pier House will begin a new life after a $10 million renovation of all guest rooms. The one-of-kind property in free-spirited Key West has been a choice tropical destination since its renovation into a hotel in the 1960s. No two bedrooms are alike in this vibrant hideaway, now appointed with custom-designed furniture and flat-screen TVs. Bathrooms have been redesigned to offer more space and rain showerheads. Throughout the hotel's history, local conchs, including Jimmy Buffet, have frequented the restaurant and "flagship hotel of the Key West state of mind." The resort has a killer location at the foot of Old Town, steps from Duval Street. But the private pool and lush gardens create a quiet oasis away from the
crazy lively ambiance for which Key West, the southernmost point in the US, is famous.
Visitors to the world's most over-the-top destination can't go wrong by booking the Jumeirah Beach Hotel. The award-winning hotel exalts the pleasures of the good life with every amenity imaginable. In fact, lucky guests will find 20 restaurants to choose from, 4 swimming pools, 7 tennis courts, golf and more. Designed as an enormous wave on the shores of the Arabian Gulf, the hotel boasts uninterrupted panoramic views from all 600 guest rooms. From the private beach, you can enjoy endless watersports, including snorkeling over the purpose-built coral reef just 2 kilometers offshore. Just next door, the Wild Wadi Water Park lures with its exhilarating rides. Until September 30, 2008, you'll get a fourth night for free when you book a suite or villa for three consecutive nights. (Plus, you'll have access to your own private plunge pool when you book a villa.) As Halogen Guides points out, the rate at this luxurious property translates to only $264 per night.