LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
August 1, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Dreaming of a Costa Rica getaway? Explore the magnificent tropical rainforests and surf the Pacific waves at one of the world's best resorts: The Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort. Nestled between the ocean and a 1,100 acre rainforest, the resort offers the best kind of Costa Rica beach vacation- where you can sit back and relax by the palm-fringed free-form pool, or (for the adrenaline-junkies) glide between the trees high in the forest on a canopy tour. Imagine playing a round of golf on the 18-hole championship La Iguana Golf Course with a gallery of friendly monkeys and brightly colored macaws! Pamper yourself with a massage in an ocean-side gazebo, and choose between 6 restaurants and lounges for memorable meals in unforgettable settings. There's even a casino on-site. The accommodations feature world-class amenities: designer duvets and luxurious bedding, private balconies overlooking the ocean, high-speed Internet and work desk, and more. Extend your vacation in Costa Rica with Marriott and get a third night free until October 31, 2008.
Design Your Own Italian Itinerary with Orient-Express Hotels in Venice, Florence, Portofino and Ravello
Discover Italy's glorious destinations while staying at true gems of refined hospitality. With a new special offer, Orient-Express allows guests to customize their own itineraries with exclusive add-ons. When you reserve a minimum of 6 nights in at least two Orient-Express hotels in Italy, you gain access to your personal private capital of "Golden Coins"- a virtual currency by which you can "buy" value-added amenities of your choice. There is a tempting menu of choices, ranging from private limousine transfers to pampering spa and beauty treatments, from memorable experiences to very romantic options. For example: when you stay 3 nights, you get 9 golden coins with which you could treat yourself to a 50-minute Renew Rose Radiance Facial (1 credit), a 3-hour guided walking tour of "Secret Venice" (3 credits), a chilled bottle of French champagne with cold canapés served wherever you like on the hotel premises (2 credits), a romantic dinner for two served in the secluded privacy of your terrace (3 credits), and many more specially designed services!
With the "Italy, My Way" package, you can customize your stay exactly as you want- at no extra cost. And if this isn't enough, every day you also get full American breakfast, served at the hotel's restaurant or in the privacy of your room, as well as one à la carte meal (either lunch or dinner) with regional wines, served in the hotel's fine dining room. Pricing is as follows:
Hotel Caruso (pictured, top right), the spectacular cliffside hideaway on the Amalfi Coast: Three nights for EUR 3,300
Hotel Splendido, Europe's legendary resort overlooking Portofino: Three nights for EUR 3,750
Villa San Michele (pictured bottom right), the picturesque Florentine estate housed in a converted 15th century Franciscan monastery in the hills outside Florence: Three nights for EUR 3,750
Hotel Cipriani, the splendid Venetian resort located at the tip of Giudecca Island a short boat ride from St. Mark's Square: Three nights for EUR 4,650
July 30, 2008
By: Madelyn Giblin
There's no better time to escape to the Caribbean than this summer and fall with Rosewood Resorts Escape Rates. The dreamy Caneel Bay Resort is offering rates from $325 for bed and breakfast through September 2nd. With spectacular window views overlooking pristine white sand beaches, Caneel Beach is perfect for forgetting your work week woes.
Rosewood's Little Dix Bay is also offering discounted rates of $425 for bed and breakfast from now until December 19th. With brand new villas just opened Little Dix Bay offers the ultimate luxury Caribbean vacation.
By: Madelyn Giblin
The oceanfront paradise on Florida's Gold Coast will soon be taken over by Ritz-Carlton. Celebrating its first anniversary this year, this ultra-luxury beach resort is distinguished by its service (a private army of St. Regis butlers) and indulgent facilities. The St. Regis Fort Lauderdale boasts unobstructed views of the Atlantic and the Intracoastal Waterway from the 192 guest rooms, decorated by the celebrated interior designers, Hirsch Bedner Associates. Come August 11, 2008, Ritz-Carlton will take over management of the property. Reminiscent of the grand ocean liners of a bygone era, designed to evoke the glamorous era of vintage yachting, the stylish resort is home to the largest oceanfront ballroom in the city and a gorgeous spa. Until the hand-over, St. Regis is offering a First Anniversary Package that includes overnight accommodations, a complimentary third night with two paid nights (adjusted at checkout), half bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne, strawberries and overnight parking for one vehicle per stay. From $289 per night with a two-night minimum.
Capella Hotels and Resorts is bringing its brand new vision of luxury hospitality to the idyllic Pacific coast of Mexico at Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, a region blessed with 300 days of sunshine and world-class scuba diving and sport fishing. Founder Horst Schulze has created a brand focused on customer choice, with unmatched amenities, architecture, and individualized service. Top-tier travelers are delighted by the brand's first resorts in Velden, Austria and Cork, Ireland, and the Ixtapa property will surely dazzle. Built into a cliffside with staggering ocean views, the resort will feature 59 ultra-luxurious suites with indoor/outdoor living rooms, terraces, and personal plunge pools. What to expect? A pampering cliffside spa with treatments inspired by the local flora, complimentary bicycles to explore the village, fitness center, private beach, freshwater and saltwater pools, and exceptional dining. Set to debut on November 15, 2008, the Capella Ixtapa will complement the other Capella properties soon to open in Mexico: Capella Pedregal in Cabo and Capella Bahia Maroma in the Riviera Maya.
There's a lot to love at Acqualina, Rosewood's Mediterranean villa-style resort situated on the sand between Fort Lauderdale and Miami, including off-season rates that are friendly on the wallet. Since its opening in 2006, this dazzling resort has pampered guests with the 20,000 square-foot ESPA oceanfront spa, the acclaimed Il Mulino New York restaurant, three oceanfront swimming pools and an innovative marine biology-based AcquaMarine children's program. Parents can enjoy world-class service and the ultimate relaxation, while kids are well taken care of (services on offer include arts and crafts classes, 24-hour babysitting, dinner-and-movie nights, and more.) Steal away for some r and r close to home and you'll be treated to some discounted rates starting at $350 for 3-4 night stays. During peak seasons, room rates top $850...
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.
July 22, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
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.