December 19, 2005
By: Guest Writer
By Courtney May
While in Las Vegas last week for the Luxury Travel Expo, I picked up on a few things that I thought I might share with all those travelers out there who have, will or want to travel to Vegas in the next few years. Between now and 2008, there are a number of new luxury hotels and casinos scheduled to open in Las Vegas. Currently Las Vegas boasts 133,000 hotel rooms and is expected to grow by 2009 to at least 155,000 rooms.
Here is the first example of what is yet to come:
The Trump Las Vegas has already broken ground behind the Fashion Show mall and Frontier Casino. From my room at the Wynn Las Vegas, I could see the starting foundation. The Trump International Hotel & Tower Las Vegas will be 64 gold-plated stories tall, with 1232 hotel condominiums and 50 hotel condominium suites-- ranging from 635 sq. ft. for a studio condo unit up to 3,530 sq. ft. for a three bedroom suite. The rooms feature floor to ceiling windows, euro-style kitchens, Italian marble floored entries and baths, spa tubs, flat screen plasma TVs, and wireless internet. Additional amenities include spa, fitness center, salon, and a heated outdoor pool. But Trump isn't gambling with this one-- parking will be valet only and there will be no casino! Doesn't sound much like the Vegas I know.
By: Guest Writer
Let the countdown begin. With Christmas a week away, a few-days escape may be the highest priority on your wishlist. Look no farther than The Setai, the eight-story art deco landmark in South Beach. Set amidst tropical gardens and exquisite pools, The Setai has a spa like no other, with luxury suites to match. Black granite baths, rainwater showers, espresso coffee-makers, and equipped with cutting-edge technology. Christmas rates start at $900, including breakfast.
The Setai, Official Site
The Setai, Five Star Alliance
The creme de la creme of ski resorts, Amangani was voted first for its spa programs by Conde Nast Traveler readers, and ranked as the top apres-ski destination in the recent December issue of Men’s Health. This place oozes luxury in every detail-- from the Pacific redwood paneling to suites with deep soaking tubs and panoramic views to the gorgeous outdoor swimming pool warm enough to be enjoyed year-round. The setting? The 40-suite resort is set on the cliff of a butte, with a cedar roof that blends in with the surrounding natural outcropping. Conveniently located just below the Teton village’s Bridger Gondola, at the base of Rendezvous Mountain, Amangani enjoys sweeping views of the Teton peaks and the Snake River range and provides easy access to some damn good skiing. Amangani’s Ski Lounge is staffed with a ski valet to assist with rentals and other details, and provides boot and glove warmers, ski racks, baskets for ski gloves, mittens and goggles to ensure that all equipment stays dry and comfortable. Of course warm and cold drinks are available all day, and a complimentary ski shuttle can whisk you back to Amangani’s award-winning facilities at the drop of a hat.
Amangani, Official Site
Amangani, Five Star Alliance
We've got the skinny on new Vegas hotel openings. There's the hotly-anticipated Las Ramblas, positively aglow with star power, which I've been prone to drool over. The Cosmopolitan Resort and Casino will squeeze onto the Strip right next door to the Bellagio, its condos and hotel ready in 2008. Steve Wynn's ambitions get more grandiose with the construction of Encore at Wynn Las Vegas, the 2,000-suite second tower which will be ready for 2008. And what a big year for Sin City! Loews is planning to open its first resort in Nevada; Loews Lake Las Vegas Resort will have 400 rooms, two outdoor pools with cabanas, restaurants galore, and a destination spa. Not to be outdone, the lovely Venetian will be dolled up with the addition of the Palazzo Casino Hotel, a new hotel and retail tower connecting to the classic Vegas hotel. Look out Wynn: Mr. Trump is developing a hotel sin casino right next door, scheduled to open next year. Lastly, W is joining the fray, opening its first hotel with casino in the Harmon Corridor in 2008. Just how big can the sprawling neon funland get?
Cupid's (or Hallmark's?) big day can't get better than this. The Library Hotel in New York—possibly the single coolest themed hotel on the planet—is organized by the Dewey Decimal System (the archaic library classification system that has boggled more than a few student brains), thus the collection of 6,000 volumes is spread out in uniquely decorated guestrooms by topic. Social Sciences, Literature, Language, The Arts, Technology, you get the idea. The best Valentine's guestroom in the nation? Why room 800.01! Wholly devoted to Erotic Literature, it's packed with intriguing, erotic classics and furnishings. And now for the icing on the cake: The Library Hotel is offering a unique Erotica Package for $650 per night, based upon availability. Special gifts include: champagne on arrival, one dozen red roses, strawberries and whipped cream, Kama Sutra Love Essentials Package, Kama Sutra Massage Therapy Kit, Erotic Dice, a box of Godiva chocolates, Tantric Massage Video, two plush Library Hotel robes (for keeps!), and of course a volume of Erotica to take home with you.
The mind-blowing Burj Dubai project has just been one-upped by a bigger, badder one in Kuwait. This baby will take-- count 'em-- 20 years to build, and will dwarf the Burj Dubai, at twice the height of the world's current tallest building in Taipei. But I can't help but ask: Why stop at a measly kilometer, when you could shoot for two?
December 15, 2005
By: Guest Writer
Looking for an ideal spot to pop the question? Or perhaps just an incredible, authentic Greek culinary experience? We were recommended to Selene by some Greek food connosieurs as the best restaurant on the island and we were not disappointed-- but delighted with our favorite meal of the entire trip (in a trip of much good eating). Try the Santorini salad, a twist on the normal Greek. Also try the Grouper - fresh and melts in the mouth. Don't forget the Pastitsio-- very hard to find this traditional dish, famous with the locals (we searched the whole island). To top all of this, you're dining on an amazing patio on the cliff of the city. Try beating that for romance!
By: Guest Writer
Sick of the crowds on the slopes? Hop over the Austrian or Italian border to ski what the Alps used to look like. Imposing peaks blanketed in white, bordered by untouched forests and deep river gorges. The former Yugoslav republic is a peaceful gem just waiting to be discovered. Where to go? Kranjska Gora, which hosts an annual World Cup men's downhill competition, is next to a national park. Or Mount Kanin, the highest altitude in Slovenia, boasts the longest season: December-May 1. From Kanin, just 100 miles from the Adriatic, you can ski in three countries! (Austria's and Italy's neighboring resorts are right next door.)
Get this. According to Forbes.com, the hotel-building biz in the US was lower than low this year, with only four new hotel openings in the luxury market. But hotel construction around the world is booming; thus seven of Forbes.com's top ten list are international. And without further ado, they are: The Intercontinental Financial Street (Beijing, China), Sofitel of Renmin Square (Xian, China), Hotel Fox (Denmark), The Four Seasons, Hong Kong, Shangri-La Hotel (New Delhi, India), Mandarin Oriental Tokyo, Park Hyatt Seoul, The Setai (Miami), The Shoreham (NYC), and the St. Regis Hotel San Francisco.
December 14, 2005
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Cringing at the thought of preparing a Christmas dinner? Take it easy on yourself and EAT OUT! The Sutton Place Toronto—located in the heart of the city— is offering a scrumptious four-course prix-fixe Christmas dinner in its elegant restaurant, Accents. Available for two seatings on Christmas day, $59 per adult, $26 for children between 6-12 years (the younguns are free). The menu offers a delicious array of aps, entrees, and desserts to be shared with family and friends. And plus, eating out means no dishes!
The Sutton Place Toronto, Official Site
The Sutton Place Toronto, Five Star Alliance