LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
November 6, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
In October, Oberoi launched another vessel which brings a new level of luxury to Nile River cruising. Joining the Oberoi Philae, the Oberoi Zahra boasts the largest suites on the River and-- (how's this for bragging rights)-- a five-star spa onboard. The four massage suites have private showers and a steam room, with uninterrupted views of the Nile. Voyage between Aswan and Luxor in style with eight-day itineraries which highlight the extraordinary antiquities of Egypt. The Zahra has its own private moorings at Luxor, Edfu, Aswan and Qena-- which means none of that hectic dock frenzy that other cruisers contend with. After a day of discovering the sites, return to the ship's 21st century conveniences such as plasma TVs and wireless internet in all suites, a swimming pool, and gym.
Sir Rocco Forte will unveil a splendid new resort in 2009. Lapped by Mediterranean waters, Sicily is a land of ancient history, a cultural crossroads of temples and fortresses, overshadowed by the volcano Mt. Etna. Here, in a small village called Verdura (near Sciacca on the southern coast), the Rocco Forte Collection is building a EUR 129 million hotel and golf resort. Centered around the restoration of several historical buildings, the hotel will no doubt reflect the history and character of the region. Overlooking the sea, the 200-room Verdura Golf and Spa Resort will boast two championship golf courses, a hydrotherapy spa, and recreational facilities.
Get ready, Atlanta. There's a new luxury hotel on the block, and "impressive" doesn't even begin to describe it. The Mansion on Peachtree, the latest from the renowned luxury hotel brand Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, is a towering addition to the Buckhead skyline. Designed by noted architect Robert Stern, the limestone building soars above the city. The 42-storey tower will feature 127 elegant guest rooms and 45 residential units with the highest quality amenities. There will also be two restaurants, a pool, and spa and fitness facilities. The opening date in 2008 has not yet been set.
In just a few weeks, the Venetian Macao Resort will host a historic tennis match. Catch the action as the former World No. 1 tennis legend Pete Sampras goes head-to-head with the current World No. 1 tennis champ Roger Federer. There's been a lot of hype about this match between two of the greatest tennis players of all time. Called the most sought-after tennis event of 2007, the Venetian Macao Tennis Showdown will be played on Saturday, November 21 at the hotel's stunning event center. Fittingly, the Venetian Macao has put together some impressive packages for the event: Platinum, Gold, and Silver. The three-day/two-night Platinum Package, available for November 23-25, 2007, includes tickets in the Reserve A section for the match along with a slew of add-ons: complimentary drink at the Bellini Lounge, daily buffet breakfast, a 15-minute gondola ride down the Grand Canal, and your choice of fine dining experiences at the resort's superb restaurants. Priced at HKD 4,888 per person, assuming double occupancy.
Get luxury for less at the brand spanking new Verandah Resort & Spa. Opened on October 19, 2007, this Caribbean gem is an all-inclusive paradise nestled on Antigua's pristine northeast coast. Encompassing 30 beachfront acres bordered by Devil's Bridge National Park, Verandah is an eco-friendly luxury resort with "Green Hotel Certification." Unwind at the free-form swimming pool, rejuvenate with an exotic treatment at the Spa Tranquility, or go kayaking or snorkeling in the turquoise waters of the resort's reef-sheltered beaches. There's even a dedicated Kid's Club and mini-cinema. The 200 rooms have water views and lots of high-tech amenities. The all-inclusive introductory rate is $243 per room, per night. The price for kids ages 2-11 is $60 per night. Available until December 20, 2007. In January, the rate jumps to $580 per night.
Enjoy Thanksgiving in discerning style with gourmet cuisine and the last of the season's sun on the Mediterranean isle of Mallorca. Just 15 minutes from the sun-baked ochre buildings of Palma, the Gran Hotel Son Net occupies a commanding perch overlooking olive groves, palm-lined lanes, and an ancient village. David Stein, founder of the Stein Group of luxury hotels, renovated this breathtaking 17th century hacienda, and it now welcomes guests as if it were a wonderful private house. Amidst the splendor of the Tramuntana Mountains, the luxurious hotel features just 24 rooms and suites. Autumn is mild on Mallorca, the perfect time for an off-season getaway. The Thanksgiving package at Gran Hotel Son Net includes two nights accommodation, two Son Net breakfasts, and a traditional Thanksgiving dinner buffet on Thursday, November 22, 2007 in the Oleum Restaurant, the point of reference for fine dining in Mallorca. Rates start at EUR 545.
Berlin's illustrious hotel just got even nicer. The Hotel Adlon Kempinski, celebrating its 100 year anniversary this year, has unveiled its new Adlon Day Spa. Soak in the whirlpools, sauna or steambath; book an appointment with a personal trainer in the Fitness Room; relax in the pool; indulge in luxurious massage and body treatments. The choice is yours in this peaceful and rejuvenating environment. Located in the basement of the hotel, the 9,687 square-foot spa is easily accessible by a special lift located on every floor of the hotel. Open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Lana'i-- aka Hawaii's private island-- is drop-dead gorgeous. It's also known for its incredible golf. Try your game at the Challenge at Manele, the Jack-Nicklaus designed course that's ranked in the top 20 in the U.S. Or play a round at the Experience at Koele, the championship course designed by Greg Norman with stunning views of mountains and lush greens, with the ocean in the distance. Celebrated for its incredible downhill drop of 250 feet from the eighth tee to the fairway, the course offers an incredible combination of highland terrain, inspired landscape architecture and a range of play challenges. Just your luck: the swanky Four Seasons Resort Lana'i, The Lodge at Koele, has a special offer: You'll get a fourth night free with three paid nights. Plus, the rates are a steal at $295 a night for a garden room.
Even in November, Vienna is quite the European hot spot. Catch a performance at the opera house. Hit the museums. Waltz til you drop at the Viennese ball. Come mid-November, discover seasonal cheer and gifts galore at the Christmas markets, while sampling hot punch and mouthwatering treats. And whatever you do, don't miss the Vienna Boys' Choir sing Sunday morning mass. Where to stay? The Grand Hotel Wien, the very hub of Viennese social life since the turn of the century, recalls the majesty of the past epoch of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Besides the royal accommodations, the hotel boasts an excellent location: only a stroll away from the Vienna State Opera, the famous Karntner Strabe and the magnificent St. Stephen's Cathedral.
October 31, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Experience one of New Zealand's most exclusive and private lodges. Aptly named, Solitaire Lodge is situated on its own private peninsula, gazing out over Lake Tarawera and onto Mount Tarawera's peak. And with only 10 suites, this five-star lodge offers the ultimate in privacy, with personal service that's been recognized worldwide as virtuoso. From every luxury suite, you'll enjoy supernatural views from floor-to-ceiling windows. The Lodge provides an exciting base for those wishing to explore the area's natural beauty. You'll find a slew of activities: float plane tours, jetty access to luxury charter boats, trout-fishing, bush walking, and thermal bathing. It's here, in blissful seclusion, where you can experience the Ultimate Indulgence Package. Imagine: a 40-minute helicopter flight where you'll stop on Mount Tarawera for a glass of champagne. A three-hour cruise aboard Clearwater Pride with lunch served. A four-course gourmet dinner (the finest in New Zealand cuisine prepared by Chef Ervin Garde), daily cocktail hour, and full breakfast each day. The two-night retreat at Solitaire Lodge also includes a bottle of Methode Champenoise and one dozen red roses. Priced from NZD 2,250 per room, per stay. Minimum two-night stay.