LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
Since its inauguration in 1911, the world-famous Hôtel Plaza Athénée has symbolized Parisian glamour. This is the chic hotel of choice while staying in the French capital, ideally situated between the Avenue des Champs Elysées and the Eiffel Tower. Add a touch of magic to the winter season with a jaunt to the sparkling City of Light, and enjoy the private ice-skating rink opened in the hotel's courtyard. Starting from EUR 695 in a Superior Room, the Plaza Festive Offer combines the most opulent accommodations with special amenities: American breakfast for two, access to the ice rink plus skate rental, a EUR 40 gift voucher to the Plaza Athénée Red Line Gift Collection, and an in-room gift from the pastry chef. Available until January 31, 2008, two-night minimum stay required.
Why limit the hearts and flowers to Valentines Day? Spread the love throughout the whole month of February with Red Carnation's luxury hotels in London. It's a tough choice picking just one of the fabulous boutique properties for an indulgent overnight stay. There's "41" opposite Buckingham Palace; The Milestone by Kensington Gardens; The Egerton House in Knightsbridge; The Montague in Bloomsbury; The Chesterfield Mayfair and The Rubens next door to "41." The Valentine Romance break (starting at GBP 280 per night) includes luxurious accommodations, half a dozen red roses, a box of luxury chocolates, candles around the bath and petals within, and last but not least-- a book of poems to read to each other in bed. Or choose the Valentine Indulgence package (starting from GBP 365 per night) and get all of the above and more! Extras include a bottle of Champagne, a hibiscus flower, and a "Love Hamper with fruits, love hearts, bath salts and body lotion."
Since its debut in 2006, the Conrad Indianapolis has been racking up the awards. In fact, the Conrad received the Monumental Award from Keep Indianapolis Beautiful Inc.-- presented for the project that most enhanced the city in 2006. And the November 2007 issue of Conde Nast Traveler listed the Conrad Indianapolis as one of the Top 100 "Best in the World." The first true luxury hotel in the "circle city," the Conrad is located at one of downtown's most prominent intersections. (A sky bridge provides an uninterrupted path from the hotel's ballroom and meeting rooms to the Arts Garden, Circle Centre Mall and the Indiana Convention Center.) The 23-story towers boasts 241 guest rooms, 10,000 square feet of meeting space, the Spa Chakra, and the Vitesse Lounge. It's no surprise that a hotel of this high caliber indulges mothers-to-be with complimentary turndown amenities. Conrad's pregnant guests can monitor the baby's heartbeat, kicks and hiccups with a prenatal listening system. Internet access allows moms-to-be to email the baby's sounds back to loved ones at home. Plus, pregnant guests will enjoy extra pillows for elevating legs and unlimited bottled water. Nightly rates for classic accommodations start at $279 per night. Or choose the "Indulging Mothers-to-Be" package, priced from $319 per night, and enjoy a 60-minute Prenatal Massage in addition to the complimentary amenities.
It's here. The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing officially opened on December 12 in China Central Place. And the arrival of Ritz-Carlton on the scene bodes well for the thriving capital, utterly transformed for the 2008 Summer Olympics. (Hint: Book now for the Summer Games!) With millions of athletes and visitors expected in just a few months, the city has gone all out with new tourism facilities. The debut of the Ritz-Carlton couldn't have come at a better time. The company's third property in China, the 305-room hotel is offering special introductory rates for as low as $200 per night until February 29, 2008. Designed by the renowned design consultants, Hirsch Bedner Associates of Atlanta, the hotel's interiors were styled like an English country manor. In the guest rooms, classic furnishings blend seamlessly with the latest in-room technology from flat screen TVs to iPod docking stations. Facilities include fitness area, spa, 14,000 square feet of meeting space, and a wide selection of dining experiences. There's even a Wedding Chapel, the first for a Beijing hotel.
The snow is falling fast. In the past week, the Rockies have been blanketed with over three feet of snow. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and experience powder-filled slopes and sunny skies at one of RockResort's Colorado hotels! Nestled at the base of some of the best ski resorts in the world, RockResorts combine unmatched skiing with luxurious accommodations and award-winning service. Take advantage of a special package and get free nights and lift tickets. At the Hotel Jerome in Aspen, for example, the Ski Free Stay Free package (starting from $450 per night) means a fourth night free plus one day of skiing and complimentary slopeside ski storage at Aspen Sports. Or choose the package at Keystone, starting at $459 per night, and discover hundreds of acres of varied terrain from Dercum Mountain's beginner terrain to The Outback's expert terrain and Area 51, Colorado's largest nightpark. And at the Pines Lodge, with access to Vail and Beaver Creek, the package starts at $348 per night.
After some big time renovations in September 2007, Grace Bay Club has emerged as one of the finest resorts on the scene in the hopping destination of Turks and Caicos. What's new in terms of luxury amenities? Anani Spa Tents (manicures, pedicures and massage therapy just steps from the lapping sea), 100 chic new day beds (think chilled sorbet, fresh fruit and traditional beach service by the pool), a kid's treehouse, chic new beachfront interiors at the celebrated gourmet eatery Anancaona, and as reported in the NYT this weekend, the Infiniti Bar, the Caribbean's longest. Stretching 90 feet across the Grace Bay Club beach, the bar is constructed of black marble, creating the illusion that the entire structure is floating above the sand and extending indefinitely into the Caribbean Sea. Dine under shaded umbrellas with the waves at your feet. Inside, baccarat black glass chandeliers decorate the ceiling and the walls glow in blue and gold Bisazza glass tiles.
December 15, 2007
By: Courtney W. May
Set on the exclusive Kona-Kohala Coast, the Four Seasons is a magical, tropical oasis that captures the essence of Hawaii's golden age. It offers seclusion without isolation, complemented by an award-winning sports club and spa and a private Jack Nicklaus signature golf course. Experience an oasis of beachfront and golf club bungalows that captures the essence of Hawaii's golden age. Play the Jack Nicklaus signature Hualalai Golf course. Dine beside the rolling surf. Snorkel among 3,500 fish. Surrender to massage in fragrant gardens. Be inspired to live each moment to the fullest.
By: Courtney W. May
In a quest to help "turn the tides," the Tides brand of chic, luxury hotels has partnered with Oceana, the largest international organization focused on protecting the world's oceans. Considering that all Tides hotels and resorts (like the fabulous hotspots in South Beach, the Yucatan Peninsula, and Zihuatanejo) are set in pristine coastal settings, this is a match made in heaven. Beginning January 1, 2008, guests can book Oceana room rates at all Tides locations through the dedicated Web site, helpturnthetides.com, and a portion of the room rate will be donated to Oceana to help fund ongoing efforts (protecting essential ocean habitat such as coral reefs, reducing pollution, eliminating government subsidies worldwide that promote over-fishing). To celebrate the partnership, the newly-revamped Tides South Beach is hosting a New Year's Eve Soiree to honor Oceana. The five-course dinner will include sustainable seafood selections such as Alaskan sablefish and Maine lobster, and Chef Pietro Rota of The Tides South Beach's highly acclaimed La Marea restaurant will welcome special guests, high-profile activists and Oceana donors to enjoy an unforgettable evening.
Enjoy endless winter activities-- skiing, snowboarding, tubing, ice-skating and guided snowmobile tours for the whole family-- at The Homestead, one of the most celebrated and storied Virginia resorts. Reward the whole family with a getaway in the mountains and discover a winter wonderland. Outdoors, days are filled with fun in the snow. Indoors, you'll find a world-class spa, fitness center, bowling alley, historic movie theater and indoor pool. Rooms start from just $199 per night, plus kids under 12 ski for free! Available from January 2- March 15, 2008.
Kiss goodbye the era of lousy overnights at airport hotels. The latest trend, as detailed in Forbes Traveler, is a spectacular array of posh properties at airports around the world. In 2007, the industry pumped millions into capital investment for luxury airport hotels. Case in point: the swanky Radisson SAS which opened at London Stansted Airport, home to the business class-only airlines Eos and MaxJet. Road warriors will find four restaurants, excellently-appointed guest rooms, and full meeting and fitness facilities. The best part of all? "The 13-meter-high wine tower which holds 4,000 bottles of wine obtained each evening by 'wine angels' who fly on cables to retrieve your choice." For the full list of exciting airport hotels, check out ForbesTraveler's slide show.