LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
May 16, 2008
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
Having trouble deciding between Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain resorts in St. Lucia? Now you can have the best of both worlds with the new Yin and Yang package experiences. Packages can be tailor made, but we are excited about their Lovers' Early Bird Total Romance Package. It includes four nights in a Beachside Deluxe room at Anse Chastanet and three nights in a Jade Mountain Star sanctuary, as well as round trip airport transfers, all meals, all drinks including house wine (however not bottled wine and champagne), a welcome cocktail, basket of local fruit, bottle of French champagne, and a drinks package in the in-room fridge.
Activities which are included in the package are a tour of the volcano, Sulphur Springs and Diamond Mineral Baths, a guided tour of old French Colonial Plantation of Anse Mamin, a half day jungle biking tour in Anse Mamin Valley, a guided boat snorkel trip, a resort scuba diving course for beginners or two dives for certified divers, and a half day sail on the skippered resort yacht, Serenity. Or, if you choose to stay at the resort, feel free to enjoy the tennis courts and equipment, snorkeling, kayaking, mini-sailing, windsurfing, beach chairs and beach towels, and a one hour Swedish massage.
As if this wasn't enough, they'll also provide you with two resort t-shirts and an anniversary certificate of 500 USD to be used for a return visit. Rates start at 8,450 USD per couple from April 16th-May 31st and November 1st-December 19th, and 8,140 USD per couple from June 1st- October 31st.
Buzzworthy: The Westin Princeville Resort recently opened its doors on the north shore of Hawaii's lush, secluded island of Kauai, and they're offering an introductory special offer of $299 per night for a one-bedroom villa. (As the LA Times points out, rack rates are normally $800 per night.) You must book by May 31, 2008, but you can enjoy these special rates for dates through the end of the year. With golf greens designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., shimmering pools, and boundless watersports and activities (whale watching, anyone?), the Westin Princeville Ocean Resort promises a little piece of Hawaiian paradise. Perched 200 feet above Anini Beach, the vacation ownership resort features 173 two-bedroom villas with all the luxurious amenities and services of a Westin Resort, including the signature Heavenly Bed and Heavenly Bath. There's also a world-class WestinWorkout fitness center, steam room and sauna.
The island resort just outside Charleston, South Carolina is home to five award-wining championship golf courses, hard and clay tennis courts, and a variety of recreational activities-- from kayaking to biking-- sure to please everyone in the family. Rated the No. 2 Golf Resort (T + L Golf Magazine) and No. 2 Tennis Resort in the U.S. (Tennis Magazine), Kiawah Island features inviting accommodations and award-winning dining surrounded by spectacular natural beauty. For a limited time, take advantage of the "Villa Beach and Breakfast Package" and spend quality family time enjoying the warm breezes on Kiawah's ten miles of pristine beach. Starting from just $175 per night in a one-bedroom West Beach Villa, the package also includes breakfast. For a family of four in a two-bedroom West Beach Villa, the price is $247 per night including breakfast. Available until June 5, 2008 with a two-night minimum stay required.
May 13, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Overlooking the sparkling bay of Portofino, the Italian Riviera's glamorous coastal town, Hotel Splendido is an exclusive hideaway for the international jetset. The guest book is filled with VIPs (like the Duke and Duchess of Windsor) who have long sought out the superb accommodations at this 16th century monastery-turned-luxury hotel. The sea views are absolutely stunning, and the hotel can even arrange a chartered yacht or sailboat for you to discover small fishing villages along the coast and the prime beaches only accessible by sea. The Splendido Mare, the recent extension of the Hotel Splendido, is situated in the heart of Portofino overlooking the famous Piazzetta and the waterfront. (It's only a five-minute walk from the main hotel.) There you'll want to sit on the terrace at Chuflay Bar Restaurant for some excellent cocktails and people-watching.
The Hotel Splendido can arrange a wonderful excursion to the Cinque Terre, the five postcard-perfect fishing villages that hug the cliffs of Liguria. The two-day, two-night journey starts with a gourmet dinner in either the Splendido Mare's Chuflay restaurant or in the Splendido's La Terrazza restaurant. The next day, guests will be taken by chauffeur-driven car from the hotel to the railway station at Santa Margherita, where they will board the train for the Cinque Terre (tickets available from the concierge). Upon their return, scheduled for late afternoon, guests will find a car waiting to take them back to the hotel. Prices for two persons in a double room with sea view include flowers, a bottle of spumante in-room, full American-style breakfast and all the activities in the program. Until June 5, 2008 (and from September 15-November 9, 2008), the prices are EUR 1670 at Hotel Splendido and EUR 1315 at Splendido Mare. During high-season (June 6-September 14, 2008), prices start at EUR 1585 at Splendido Mare.
There's a lot to love at Half Moon, the beautiful destination resort in the Caribbean. 400 exquisitely landscaped acres, a playground of exciting land and water activities, the buzzed-about Fern Tree spa (68,000 square feet of bliss), and dreamy accommodations. Delightfully romantic, Half Moon is also a paradise for kids. And with the resort's new "Hanging the 'Rents" special, teenagers and parents will find a special place to bond this summer. Who says it's not cool to vacation with your parents? The package allows teens up to 18 years to stay free when sharing a suite with two adults. Now through the end of the year (Dec. 14, 2008), parents can choose any of resort's opulent suites: a junior suite for $380, a spacious 2 bedroom suite for $1,060 or an expansive imperial suite for $1,100. Additionally, Half Moon is offering a 50 percent discount on meal plans for children aged 3 – 11 years. It's the perfect destination for a post-graduation getaway with your teens, or a family vacation with the kids before heading back to school. The myriad recreational facilities-- an exclusive Dolphin Lagoon, equestrian center, water sports activities, the recently renovated Robert Trent Jones Sr. par-72 championship golf course, Night Golf, 13 lit tennis courts, and fitness center-- means quality family time and heaps of fun.
Jump in! The new pool deck and ocean terrace at Shutters on the Beach is now open. Santa Monica's elegant beachfront hideaway has one of the best pools anywhere in LA-- with spectacular ocean views and the most spacious pool deck in the city. You can watch the waves while unwinding in the Jacuzzi. Full restaurant and bar services, plus high speed wireless Internet service, means this is also a killer spot for al fresco business meetings. With two fireplaces and full service catering, the hotel's lower Pacific Deck is the perfect setting for events right at the edge of the sand. Beach concierge service is available daily offering a host of services and equipment for guests including bike rentals, yoga sessions, and beach gear. (Or skip the sand and soak up the sun by the gorgeous pool at Shutters on the Beach.) Come on in, the water's fine!
May 9, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Cruise the streets of Hollywood, shop and dine in style on Rodeo Drive, search for celebs in the Hollywood Hills, and speed down the Pacific Cruise Highway, wind in your hair, for some fun in the sun on the beaches of Malibu. LA is yours for the taking with the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, the gorgeous luxury hotel that occupies a prime spot in Santa Monica just a block from the sprawling white sandy beach. This place has it all-- from an Ocean Spa and Fitness Center to the breathtaking views from the guest rooms and lounges. Choose the "Live Like A Star" package and you'll enjoy a one-night stay in a Premium Room and also get a one-day car rental (luxury convertible, of course) with a map of stars homes and LA attractions. Priced from $405, available until May 25, 2008.
May 8, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Head down to Rio for a relaxing break at one of the most glamorous hotels in the world. Setting of the famous film 'Flying down to Rio' where Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers danced together for the first time, Copacabana Palace offers the ultimate in sophisticated luxury-- just steps from the white sands of the most famous beach in the world. This is the hide-out of the rich and famous. Make the Copacabana Palace your home as you explore the delights of the fascinating city: sun yourself on Copacabana or Ipanema beach and visit Corcovado or Sugar Loaf Mountain and marvel at the beauty of Rio nestled in the series of bays below you. With the "Stay Another Night" package, you get the fourth night for free when you stay three consecutive nights. Rates start at $487, and you also get complimentary access to the fitness center, tennis court, and sauna.
May 7, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The latest luxury resort to open on the Med is the Mövenpick Resort & Thalasso Crete. After an extensive, two-year renovation, the upscale resort opened its doors on the northern coast of Crete along Amoudara Beach. This is the first property for Mövenpick in Greece. What's in store? "An exquisite combination of typical Greek hospitality and the traditional Swiss passion for efficiency, reliability, punctuality and precision," touts the hotel. We are most excited about the Aegeo Spa Center. If it's anything like the Zara Spa at the Mövenpick on the Dead Sea, spa-goers are in for a real treat. Mövenpick has an impressive portfolio of specialized spa resorts, and this Greek oasis is a beautiful addition. Sized at 4,500 square meters, the Spa Center offers classic wellness services including Thalasso and beauty therapy. The large seawater spa complex has various baths as well as a sauna, sanarium, solarium, whirlpools and steam rooms. Other resort facilities include a fitness center, two floodlight tennis courts, table tennis, squash, billiards, beach volleyball, and a wide variety of water sports. And of course all the 285 guest rooms offer divine sea views.
May 6, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The falling dollar soured your mood? Don't let it deter your summer travel plans. There are deals to be had out there-- from the Maldives to Scottsdale. Thanks to the LA Times Travel and Deal Blog for pointing out this fab compilation of bargains at hotels worldwide. Looking for some sun and sand? You can get 20 percent off with the "Fall for Jamaica Inn" package at the elegant Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios. Or how about an exotic escape? Score a savings of 48 percent in the Maldives at the exclusive One&Only Reethi Rah. A weekend getaway Stateside? Get a fourth night free from the fabled Virginia resort, The Homestead, with the "Hot Springs Holiday" package. You can also get 20 percent off at the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain with the "Sonoran Sanctuary" package, which includes spa treatments. A European getaway? How does 20 percent off sound- at Edinburgh's finest hotel: Rocco Forte's The Balmoral? Choose the "Scotland Summer Spa" package and get three nights in a Classic room with an automatic upgrade to an Executive room based upon availability; full Scottish breakfast; and unlimited use of the spa, including the sauna, relaxation suite, yoga and pilates classes.