LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
Now's your chance to escape for a blissful Caribbean holiday with savings up to 50 percent off the usual seasonal rates. Operated by Elite Island Resorts, the all-inclusive St. James's Club sits on an 100-acre estate boasting unobstructed ocean views and two white sandy beaches on the island of Antigua, the largest of the British Leeward Islands in the Caribbean. The resort has a long-standing reputation for its exceptional service in a casual, club-like environment, with plenty of fun-filled activities and diversions. You'll enjoy complimentary non-motorized water sports such as kayaking and catamaran sailing, along with the four distinctive swimming pools, spa, tennis courts, and seaside fitness center. The resort is not just for couples; families love it too. Mom and Dad can lounge on the beach while the little ones are entertained at the award-winning Kidz Club. Elite Island Resorts is currently running a great promotion, the "$299 Island Sale"- so that you can snag a nightly rate of $299 (double) at all-inclusive properties like the St. James's Club, Palm Island, and the Verandah Resort and Spa-- including accommodations, meals, beverages, taxes and service charges. This deal is available until December 21, 2008, three-night minimum stay required.
PS. It's also possible to stay at St. James's Club on a room-only basis (not all-inclusive).
Spain's Canary Islands may be crowded with tourists looking for a sunny holiday, but the Abama Golf and Spa Resort, operated by Ritz-Carlton, offers a little piece of paradise among all the bland tourist traps. The resort is vast and equipped with just about every convenience imaginable. Situated on a 160 hectare finca in a remote part of the island of Tenerife, the 478-room resort has it all: "Out of Africa"-inspired spa, 10 dining options, Dave Thomas-designed golf course, fitness center, Sánchez-Casal Tennis Academy, 8 swimming pools, and private beach accessed by a funicular from the hotel's cliff-top perch. The island of Tenerife itself is breathtakingly beautiful. Just 300 km from the African coast, just a bit north of the Tropic of Cancer, the "Island of Eternal Spring" boasts volcanic landscapes and lush vegetation surrounded by the blue Atlantic. And the views from the Moorish-style Abama Resort (and its exclusive beach) are mind-blowing. Book the Reconnect Package and you'll enjoy daily buffet breakfast, one spa experience per person, one tasting menu per person in the restaurant La Pampa Verona, and late check-out at 3 pm with your accommodations. Valid until October 31, 2008, the package starts at EUR 380 per night.
July 23, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Mexico dreaming? Just a short hop from the West coast, Los Cabos is a favorite destination for Hollywood A-listers looking for a quick getaway. Where the tip of the Baja Peninsula divides the Sea of Cortez from the vast Pacific, the resort destination has recently experienced a luxury-hotel construction boom. The latest on the scene, and named to Conde Nast Traveler's 2008 Hot List, is Cabo Azul, a beautiful 332-room property which CNT describes as "a well-kept secret"-- "tasteful despite its large scale." You can indulge in pure luxury at the state-of-the-art spa, or partake in massages in private cabanas on the beach. Take a dip in one of three huge pools overlooking the waves; this tri-level infinity pool is also the setting for fire bonfires in the evening. Retire to your villa and appreciate the thoughtful amenities including flat-screen TVs, whirlpool baths, double sinks, and full kitchens. You'll be so smitten with this place, you may even consider tying the knot here. The wedding services are top-notch, with a five-story open-air church set beside candlelit water walls.
Discover the ultimate in island living in Australia's Whitsunday Islands, nestled between the Queensland coast and the Great Barrier Reef. Surrounded by coral fringed beaches, Hayman Island boasts tremendous natural beauty and superb facilities. Home to the largest swimming pool in the southern hemisphere, the 244-room resort is an unparalleled private island destination. It's winter down under so Hayman Island has designed a neat promotional offer to help you escape the winter blues and marvel at all the wonders of the great barrier reef with exciting activities and the finest of resort living. With great value like this, it's the right time to visit Australia. With the Winter Escape package, you get 3 nights' twin share accommodation in a Retreat Room with daily buffet breakfast for two in Azure overlooking the Coral Sea-- and a fourth night free. Included are complimentary activities: paddleskiing, windsurfing and catamaran sailing, tennis, squash, golf putting/driving, croquet, gym, sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi. Priced from AUD $870 per person.
During economic tough times, there are deals to be had close to home. Many luxury hotels are cutting us a break so we can embark on a quest for stylish summer fun without breaking the bank. Case in point: The Wauwinet, Nantucket's most luxurious hideaway, which has slashed rates to $500 a night (vs. the usual $700+ during the summer peak season). Situated on the water nine miles from town, this Relais and Chateaux property is elegance incarnate. After a full breakfast each morning (included), you can stroll along the beach (or go for a run with the iPods provided by the hotel), bike through town, or relax with yoga or at the island's first resort spa. In the evening, the hotel hosts an aperitif with port, sherry, and cheese.
Intrigued by the luxury "it" spot of the moment? The paradise islands of the Maldives-- distinguished by white sandy beaches, the world's finest scuba diving, and the warm azure waters of the Indian Ocean-- have definitely crossed the elite traveler's radar screens in recent years. Cocoa Island is the luxurious outpost from COMO Hotels and Resorts (of Parrot Cay fame). If you're dreaming of private beaches and turquoise lagoons, overwater bungalows, water sports, and the benefits of yoga and spa services on-site, this island resort will more than exceed your expectations. Plus, the resort has recently debuted all sorts of added extras. There are brand new features in all suites and villas. Guests can now enjoy the viewing pleasure of 42" flat screen TVs and media players, while sipping some Italian coffee from their Lavazza Espresso machine - without having to leave the privacy of their room. Wait- there's more. A new all-day lounge offers a stylish environment for guests. Internet access here is complimentary, and you can chill out with a ginger tea, satellite TV and media player.
It's not just the surfers making waves down here in the south of France. The spa at this Atlantic-facing imperial palace hotel, beloved by Empress Eugénie (wife of Napoleon III), has been racking up the awards since its opening in mid-2006. Offering treatments from Guerlain Paris, the 31,215-square-foot Imperial Spa was awarded Best European Spa 2008 by both the Prix Villégiature and Condé Nast Johansens. The spa complex sprawls over 5 floors, filled with natural light. There is a 15-meter indoor pool with counter-current swimming, swan neck taps, and a Jacuzzi. On the same floor: two separate hammams and sauna. From the solarium, you can enjoy herbal tea or Champagne (this is France, after all!) while staring out at the Atlantic. In addition to the treatment rooms and beauty salon, there is also a fully-equipped fitness studio with advanced Pilates machines and personal trainers galore.
Not often do you see deals during peak season in Bermuda. But Fairmont is offering "Only One Way" Summer Rates at two gorgeous Bermuda properties with rooms starting at $299 per night, a savings of $100 a night. Plus, you can earn triple airline miles with participating partners. Escape to the lush tropical gardens, shimmering pink sand beaches, and azure blue seas of Bermuda for an unforgettable summer getaway. Perched royally on the island's highest vantage point, the luxurious Fairmont Southampton resort has it all: two golf courses, private beaches, an excellent beach club, tennis, award-winning cuisine at six restaurants, and snorkeling, jet skis and water sports galore. The Fairmont Hamilton Princess is a luxurious urban alternative- a haven of Old World splendor with fresh and saltwater pools, fitness center, spa, and genuine hospitality. From here, you can catch a complimentary ferry over to the private Fairmont Beach Club in Southampton. To get the Only One Way Summer rates, a four-night minimum stay is required at the Fairmont Southampton; and there is availability only for Thursday-Sunday stays at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess.
At long last, the iconic Santa Monica landmark will reopen after a dramatic, $30 million renovation. This Art Deco beauty is perched on a high bluff on Ocean Avenue with endless views of the Pacific. Within walking distance to the Santa Monica pier, shopping promenade, and expansive beaches, the Hotel Shangri-La is reopening its doors in October 2008. Dating from 1939, the exclusive hotel has been a Hollywood favorite and popular hideaway for insiders. What's in store? Sweeping ocean views from every one of the 71 rooms, state-of-the-art technology, a courtyard pool with cabanas, chic rooftop bar, and a gourmet restaurant. Introductory rates are starting from $265.
July 16, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Fans of Langham Place, a sister brand of The Langham, will be thrilled about this piece of news. The luxury hotel operator, Langham Hotels International, has just signed a management agreement with Isola Estate for a five-star boutique hotel on Waiheke Island, an exclusive enclave 30 minutes off the coast of Auckland. (Just 8 minutes away by helicopter.) Opening in 2010, the Langham Place Vineyard Resort and Spa will be designed by CDA Architecture, one of the leading hotel architects in NZ, as a Tuscan-style property nestled among 26 vineyards. Talk about the ultimate wine-lover’s paradise in the South Seas! In addition to the 76 condo-style rooms and suites, the wine-based resort will have a Chuan Spa, gym, tennis courts, gastronomic restaurant, and meeting and banquet facilities to accommodate 300. The idea? To create a Martha’s Vineyard of the South Pacific.