LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
January 24, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Voted No. 1 hotel in Rome on Travel+Leisure's list of the 500 best luxury hotels in the world, the Hotel Hassler has been wowing visitors for over a century. Perched atop the Spanish Steps, the Hotel Hassler promises an unforgettable stay in an enviable location. Take advantage of some unbeatable special offers available in the Eternal City. When you book the Magic Roma package, you can score rates as low as EUR 410 per night in a Classic Room. Stay over Valentine's Day and you'll luck out with an extraordinary dinner. The menu's got tantalizing tasters like pan-friend scallops with seasoned Cinta Senese bacon and white asparagus, black cabbage ravioli and ginger burrata cheese with hazelnut foie gras, and saffron pasta veils with crab. (EUR 155 per person)
The 2008 London Fashion Week is upon us. Just like Milan, NYC, and Paris, London is now a universally accepted showcase for the world's most exciting fashions. Why not "Spring into Fashion" with Red Carnation's luxury hotels? With this special offer, you can enjoy all the excitement of the catwalk (the cream of British designers including Matthew Williamson, Stella McCartney, Ben De Lisi, Armand Bassi, Julien MacDonald and Louise Goldin) while indulging in an unrivaled five-star hotel experience. With full English breakfast, refreshing welcome drinks, and two admission tickets to London Fashion Weekend (February 20- 24, 2008), to boot! The "Spring into Fashion" package is available at all three RCH five-star London properties: Kensington's Milestone Hotel; '41' opposite Buckingham Palace; and The Egerton House Hotel in Knightsbridge. Priced at GBP 365 per room, per night. Valid from February 8- 18, 2008.
We're big fans of the blog from the International Herald Tribune. Where to eat the best seafood in Hong Kong? How do the airports measure up in Zurich and Bangkok? For insider tips and recommendations from the folks who know-- IHT reporters and editors-- check out this invaluable resource. Cities covered include Bangkok, Paris, Hong Kong, Rome, Washington....
London's celebrated hotel, the Jumeirah Carlton Tower, has just announced the addition of six brand new luxury suites created by world-renowned interior designer Khuan Chew (the genius behind the stunning interiors at Dubai's seven-star Burj Al Arab hotel). Located smack dab in the middle of Knightsbridge, the Jumeriah Carlton Tower raises the bar for luxury in London: these new suites are simply oozing glamour and sophistication. Private lobbies sweep through to spacious lounges appointed with rich upholstered couches and dark wood furniture. Bedrooms are detailed with chrome studding set into the leather walls, modern light fixtures, and sumptuous bedding. The bathrooms, appropriately, are the largest in the hotel-- with deep infinity baths and rich red marble for the double sinks. The Six Luxury Suites can be booked as either a one- or two-bedroom suite starting from $3,610 for a one-bedroom suite and from $4,880 for a two-bedroom suite.
P.S. The hotel has also recently unveiled 92 refurbished rooms! You'll love the new pop-up TV at the foot of the bed, and mirror-vision concealed TVs in the bathrooms.
Now accepting reservations for July 1, 2008 arrivals, the new Four Seasons Hotel Firenze will knock your socks off. One of the hottest hotel openings of the year, the 117-room hotel is housed in two historical masterpieces: the Palazzo Della Gherardesca (a 15th century palace) and the Conventino (a former convent dating from the 17th century). It's only fitting to discover the birthplace of early Renaissance art and architecture while staying in this art-filled city sanctuary with abundant original frescoes and sculptured reliefs. Just a stroll away from Michelangelo's David, the Duomo, and the wonders of the Uffizi, the Four Seasons offers an open-air pool, sumptuous spa, and a tranquil private park-- one of the largest private gardens in Florence. Rooms blend Renaissance artistic details with high-tech comfort. For the ultimate in luxury, book the Della Gherardesca Suite (Royal Suite), touted as the "most desired accommodation in the city." Located in the nobles' quarters of the Palazzo, the suite boasts beautiful frescoes, painted vaulted ceilings, and an original Capodimonte Maioliche-style ceramic floor by Ignazio Chiaiese in the gallery. Like the other guest rooms, 21st century amenities are standard: iPod docking stations, flat-screen TVs, and spacious bathrooms.
The New York Times has the skinny on the fate of small Alpine ski stations in the face of melting snows brought about by global warming. Recently, Bruno Prior, a British entrepreneur, snatched up the ski resort of Ernen for one Swiss franc. After suffering heavy losses (and no snow), the Ernen ski-lift company was forced to shut down the four ski lifts. In an act of desperation, Ernen decided to give away the lifts to the investor who could best assist the village. With plans to invest as much as $45 million to build new hotels and lifts, Prior saved the small village from an uncertain fate.
January 21, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Listed by National Geographic's Journeys of a Lifetime as one of the "Top 10 Food Pilgrimages," the Hotel Sacher Vienna is home to the world's most famous chocolate cake. Sachertorte-- rich chocolate torte with thin layers of apricot jam, accompanied by lots of whipped cream-- was created by Franz Sacher in 1832. This divine piece of patisserie is as much a part of Vienna as the State Opera, the Lipizzaner Horses, and the Hotel Sacher itself, built by Franz's son in 1876. Enjoy a stay at this legendary hotel, just opposite the Opera, and immerse yourself in the charms of the Hapsburg Monarchy. The tasteful rooms simply ooze luxury, adorned with original oil paintings, precious rugs and silk wall coverings. And get this: the Sachertorte is available for worldwide delivery!
January 18, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Cool shoes, hip hotel. The Camper brand doesn't just mean hipster footwear... There's a luxury boutique hotel situated in Barcelona's vibrant, arty El Raval district, within walking distance to Las Ramblas, and rumor has it that there will be a whole chain of them on the horizon. Housed in a restored historic building, Casa Camper has 25 guest rooms: simple, contemporary, and stylish. Each is painted vivid green or red, while bathrooms are gleaming white. Across the hall, you'll find your own sitting room with a flat-screen TV and hammock strung on the balcony. Perks: Snacks are on the house all day long, service is friendly and personalized, amenities include wifi and pillow menus, and there's a roof terrace with beautiful views over the rooftops.
Talk about "foie gras with a view!" Celebrity chef Alain Ducasse-- renowned for his fine dining restaurants at the Hotel Plaza Athénée in Paris and the Dorchester in London-- recently opened a new restaurant on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower. After a four-month refurbishment, the Jules Verne restaurant showcases nifty glass windows that allow diners to gape at the view even when it's nighttime and the lights are on in the room. With 16 Michelin stars under his belt (and 20 eateries around the world), Ducasse is the very symbol of haute cuisine. His goal with the new Jules Verne? Create a "shop window for French cuisine." Lunch goes for $108 and dinner costs $223.
This summer, the Czech capital will welcome a stunning new hotel from the Rocco Forte Collection, housed in a complex of five historical buildings including St Thomas's Monastery which dates from the 1400s. Smack dab in the heart of Prague, just a stone's throw from the glorious Prague Castle, the 101-room property will be designed by Olga Polizzi, Rocco Forte's sister, who has added impressive design touches to the other Collection hotels. Expect contemporary amenities in a picturesque setting of courtyards and tranquil garden squares. In fact, the practicing Benedictine monks will continue to meditate in certain areas on site! Of course key historic features-- cloistered terraces, beamed ceilings, stone arches, and wine vaults-- will be celebrated in the hotel design. The Augustine's Tower Suites will boast incredible panoramic views across the Prague rooftops.