June 28, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The newest chic spot on Mexico's Riviera Maya, Esencia is a small boutique hotel which was once the home of a European duchess. Located on one of the best white sand beaches on the Yucatan, Esencia has been recognized for its elegant cuisine, personalized butler service and modern amenities. The 29 rooms and suites offer exquisite views, private gardens and pools, and in-room bathtubs. The luxurious Aroma Spa prides itself on its organic focus, with plant extracts and botanical essences used in the treatments. From now through August, Esencia is offering a five-night "Family Fun in the Sun" package with discounts of more than 30 percent. The package includes a garden suite with plunge pool, daily breakfast and transfers, for two adults and one child under age 12. Starting at $1,725. (Nightly rates usually start at $475) Via Washington Post "What's the Deal?"
June 21, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
This elegant 140-acre resort offers an alluring array of recreational choices for the ideal summer getaway. Situated just 15 minutes from the Palm Beach International Airport, The Breakers is a legendary Florida resort with a premium oceanfront location, brand new $15 million beachfront experience, fabulous cuisine, extensive amenities, and an award-winning children's program. This summer at The Breakers, it's all about affordable luxury, with the Stay Longer and Save promotion, offering reduced summer rates based on length of stay. From June 1- September 30, 2006, summer savings are in full effect, both on room categories and recreational amenities. For example, for one or two nights, rates start at $259 per night for standard superior rooms, and for five nights or more, rates are an unbelievable $219 per night. The resort's top amenities are also available at reduced summer pricing: 20 percent savings at Spa services (Monday-Thursday, and 15 percent off on the weekends), 20 percent savings at select restaurants, including Sunday Brunch, 20 percent savings at the Coconut Crew kids camp, daily complimentary tennis court time and fitness classes, reduced Golf greens fees on the resort's two championship courses, and fabulous introductory pricing on daily rental fees for the new Luxury Beach Bungalows. Located along the newly transformed waterfront, the premium beach bungalows offer a private retreat by the ocean. Enjoy savings starting at $149 per day.
June 19, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
This summer, the award-winning Half Moon resort will begun work on a new $4 million spa facility. The resort's signature villa, Fern Tree House, will be converted into a 68,000 sq ft sanctuary to debut in early 2007. The colonial styled treatment rooms will be set within lush gardens, and the ultra-private couples massage room will include a private dipping pool. The extensive treatment menu will draw from Jamaica's ancient healing remedies and will incorporate native herbs, fruits and botanicals.
The Fern Tree Spa Complex will also house a spa cottage (for families and wedding parties), relaxation lounge, yoga pavilion, hydrotherapy swimming pool, sculpture garden, and six beachfront spa suites. These signature suites, located adjacent to the Spa, will provide all of the traditional hotel amenities along with added spa features, including oversized bathrooms, private patio with outdoor soaking tub and shower overlooking the Caribbean, personal studio for yoga and en-suite treatments, and organic refreshment bar.
The Fern Tree Spa is the third in a series of major refurbishing projects to be undertaken by Half Moon in last five years. Other upgrades included the rebuilding of the resort's beachfront Hibiscus Suites, adding a children's play area, the renovation of the 41-year old Robert Trent Jones Sr. designed golf course, and refurbishing of the Oleander deluxe suites.
Black bear sightings, excellent King Salmon fishing, kayaking through fjords with orca and dolphin-viewings, heavenly spa treatments, extraordinary outdoor adventures… The season has begun at King Pacific Lodge, a luxurious haven in the heart of the Canadian wilderness. Named the world's # 1 Wilderness Lodge by Andrew Harper's Hideaway Report, King Pacific Lodge is located on Princess Royal Island in British Columbia, and offers an unparalleled, exclusive wilderness experience. A Rosewood Resort, the King Pacific Lodge is the essence of luxury, its seventeen oversized accommodations showcasing sumptuous down duvets, window-side seating areas that overlook spectacular views of the landscape, and slate-lined bathrooms with deep soaker-tubs. A peaceful and unspoiled getaway in the midst of nature's rugged marvels. The Lodge is now promoting a special offer, to celebrate the recent creation of the Great Bear Rainforest protected area (and the Spirit Bear being named BC's official animal). Guests booking a stay at the lodge in September will receive a one-day complimentary bear-viewing eco-adventure.
The Kor Hotel Group has big plans for this chic oceanfront boutique. Kor purchased "The Diva of Ocean Drive" in January, and recently announced a $7 million makeover for the sophisticated Art Deco landmark. The refurbishment will take place during the low-season (when the hurricane threat keeps most travelers at bay) from July to September. The redo is all cosmetic-- guest rooms, public spaces, the pool and front terrace--led by famed interior designer Kelly Wearstler, known for her design of the Bergdorf Goodman Restaurant in NYC and the Hard Rock High Roller Suite in Las Vegas. The hotel's sleek and spacious suites, each with ocean views, are a huge draw for the celebrities who flock here. (Along with the three penthouse suites with private sundecks and Jacuzzis.) The planned makeover will no doubt enhance these cutting-edge interiors, while preserving the historical Art Deco exterior so cherished by the city and its visitors. Via TravelWeekly
Looking for an undiscovered island? In Europe, of all places? Look no farther than Pantelleria, the secret volcanic wonderland located between Sicily and Tunisia in the blue-green waters of the Mediterranean. After the June article in Vogue, the cat's out of the bag about this one. The "secret escape for Madonna, Julia Robers, and Giorgio Armani," the "virtual natural spa with thermal rock pools, crater lakes, and cave saunas," sounds too good to be true. And the recreational activities on this island are endless: diving, fishing, horseback riding, swimming, vineyard-hopping, and touring the magical Roman ruins. In this Italian paradise, a new hotel opening is causing quite a stir. Pantelleria Dream offers 46 exclusive suites situated within dammusi, which are the typical island structures comprised of black volcanic rocks which help to insulate from the heat and the sun, with Arab-influenced vaulted ceilings inside. Each dammuso boasts a panoramic terrace with sweeping ocean views. For an ultraprivate, unparalleled experience, request the Venus Suite, which is distanced from the main hotel structure in sublime isolation, and stocked with luxurious amenities. Starting from EUR 180 for a double dammuso, including breakfast.
Vogue, "Travel: Bathing Beauties"
June 15, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
from Courtney W. May and Lanny Grossman, Director of Communications for Small Luxury Hotels of the World
Now that the World Cup is officially underway in Germany (my bracket has the Czech Republic walking away with it all - even though I am a huge US fan), some travelers might be looking for alternatives to dealing with the crazed soccer fans who have descended on Germany this summer. Personally, I can't imagine not wanting to be in the thick of things, but if you're one of those looking to go away during June, SLH has the following promotion "7 : 0 for Small Luxury Hotels: Best Escapes from the Soccer World Championship".
With World Cup madness hitting Germany and much of Western Europe, here are seven ways to visit the region and escape to a world of private luxury and ultimate experiences.
Wild Water Rafting in the Austrian alps: Around Kitzbuhel numerous river routes through spectacular mountain gorges are available for wild water rafting excursions, which the Hotel Tennerhof (www.slh.com/tennerhof) can arrange for its guests. A more tranquil alternative exclusiv for hotel guests: Fishing at a lake nearby where the Tennerhof holds private fishing rights.
Falconry in baroque gardens: As stylish as the ambiance of the castle hotel Chateau St. Gerlach (Netherlands) are the leisure activities of this SLH hotel: Golf, Horse-Riding, Tennis and falconry are on offer in the hotel's baroque gardens and in the wonderful nature of the Geul valley. (pictured)
Clay Pigeon shooting high above Mozart town: Salzburg lies afoot the Vitalhotel Kobenzl. On the Gaisberg mountain, high above the city, which celebrates this year Mozart's 250th anniversary, the Hotel offers attractive sporting alternatives: Clay Pigeon shooting, fishing, mountain hiking and biking as well as sailing, tennis and croquet.
Hot Air Balooning in the Black Forest: The Hotel Belle Epoque (www.slh.com/belleepoque), a neo renaissance villa from 1870, arranges sightseeing flights from Baden-Baden into the wonderful nature of the Black Forrest.
Archery in nature's paradise: Golf, Horse-riding, archery, mountain climbing and many more activities offers the Hoteldorf Gruner Baum (www.slh.com/grunerbaum) in the spectacular mountain world of Gastein. The main building of the hotel was built 1831 as hunting lodge for Duke Johann. Besides the countless leisure activities of the hotel the surroundings tempt visitors with romantic castles, dripstone caves and the national parc Hohentauern.
Formula 1 at the Hotel die Hirschgasse: The hotel offers a Formel 1-Package, which includes a three nights stay in a suite with jacuzzi, daily breakfast buffet and a bottle of champagne at arrival. Tickets and transfer to the Grand Prix at Hockenheimring can be arranged by the concierge. The package is available from 27 to 30. July 2006 and costs 1.300 Euro per room. www.slh.com/diehirschgasse
Arlberg from a bird's eye view: Many guests of the SLH Hotel Kristiania Lech in Austria (www.slh.com/kistiania) arrive by helicopter and enjoy a bird's eye view of the wonderful alpine nature: only 300 metres from the hotel, guests can also find a paragliding field .
View more Small Luxury Hotels with Five Star Alliance.
Vogue applauds the newest boutique on the "beach-blessed east coast of the Dominican Republic," its glamorous villas designed by Dominican-born Oscar de la Renta. Travel and Leisure describes a gorgeous tropical oasis, where "the only contact to the outside world is a golf cart, a satellite TV hookup, and a cell phone connection to a concierge." Tortuga Bay is located within the Puntacana Resort and Club, which boasts extensive facilities: two golf courses (the one designed by Pete Dye and the other by Tom Fazio), eight restaurants, five bars, and glorious stretches of private white sand beaches. Yet Tortuga Bay is blissfully private and quiet. The 50 suites (situated within 15 villas) were designed by Oscar de la Renta, both inside and out, graced with locally crafted mahogany and rattan furniture. Guests enjoy use of a golf cart (to navigate the awesome facilities, including Puntacana's spa), and are pampered by impeccable service from the personal villa manager who organizes all details of their stay. Needless to say, the stars are flocking to the DR to be pampered with Tortuga Bay's low-key luxury. Summer rates start at $650 for a one-bedroom suite. Related Articles: Vogue, "Travel: Bathing Beauties" Travel and Leisure, "The New Gold Coast" (June 2006)
June 14, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Beachfront properties that offer a superb range of facilities, loads of charm, and lots of informal elegance… The Elegant Hotels are located in some of the most exquisite areas of Barbados; four sit beachfront on the west coast and a fifth, Turtle Beach Resort, sits on the sand on the island's south coast. For a limited time, get incredible savings (up to 30 percent!) with the Elegant Hotels summer sale. Score a deal at the all-inclusive Turtle Beach Resort, for example, with a Junior Suite (Pool/Garden View) for $308. Rates at Crystal Cove start at $332 per night for specified summer stays.
Via Washington Post "What's the Deal?"
June 12, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The lush, forested Caribbean isle of Dominica is a nature lover's delight, with miles of hiking and mountain biking trails, gorgeous beaches where whales can be spotted off-shore, and hot springs and glorious waterfalls amidst the rainforest. In this tropical paradise, the Jungle Bay Resort and Spa is a peaceful and luxurious retreat. With yoga studios, beachfront bar, gorgeous Spa, and Atlantic-facing restaurants, this resort could be heaven on earth. The 35 tropical hardwood cottages are nestled within the jungle, accessed by a series of graceful footpaths, and feature balconies and private outdoor showers. At night, fall asleep to the peaceful sounds of the spring fed stream in the forest below, or the Atlantic waves crashing into the soft sandy shore. Dining is an experience to remember, with delicious and fresh Caribbean specialities served in an outdoor Pavilion overlooking the stone pool and ocean.