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.
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
Better jump on this: absolutely fabulous weekend packages at the Conrad Bangkok. This towering haven of contemporary luxury has got a fabulous fitness center featuring rooftop jogging track, outdoor swimming pool and floodlit tennis courts. And pretty awesome meeting rooms, with all the latest technology. $139 per room per night gets you a lotta goodies, like: buffet breakfast, 30-minute Season Spa massage, late check-out (5 pm is generous!), one-day BTS Skytrain pass with complimentary shuttle bus to BTS station, Guide to Bangkok map, and a Chinatown walking tour map. Valid on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights until January 30.
Sitting gloriously above the Spanish steps, the Hotel Hassler reigns supreme over the Eternal City. Hands down the best views over Rome (while working out at the health club, you can check out St Peter's Cathedral!) And in a city that breathes antiquity, the hotel swims in it: walls decorated with original paintings by Titian and Tintoretto Schools, antiques in every room, large bathrooms finished in precious Italian marble and 23-carat gold plated faucets, walls covered in frescoes. One of the finest hotels in the world, in one of the most romantic cities in the world: the ideal honeymoon destination. The Special Honeymoon Package includes room with a view, breakfast buffet (served at restaurant or in the room), airport transfer in private car, wine in room upon arrival, daily fresh fruit in room, special gift from management, and upgrade based upon availability. EUR 726 per room, per night.
Hotel Hassler, Official Site
Hotel Hassler, Five Star Alliance
The marvelous Galapagos Islands, the inspiration for Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, are home to the greatest diversity of creatures on the planet. What better way to experience this rich biodiversity than by private yacht tour? Blue Parallel is the specialist for private luxury travel to the wondrous natural wonders of South America, including customizable yacht packages to the equatorial islands of the Galapagos. Boats range in size from small (one to four passengers) to larger cruise ships for up to 40 peeps. The price range? From between $6,000 to $7,000 per person for an 11 day trip. Amenities include a superb staff (onboard personal chefs, expert naturalists, dive instructors, masseuse, and butler) and five-star accommodations.
Record lows (prices, that is) at the Boulders Resort, with winter specials from $249 a night. Discover one of America's top golf and spa resorts, located on 1,300 acres of pristine Sonoran desert. Book one of 160 unique adobe casitas, overlooking red-rock boulders, enormous cacti and the wildlife of the Southwestern desert. Or choose one of 55 Pueblo Villas, with one to three bedrooms, and private patios. The 32,000 sq. foot Golden Door Spa offers 24 treatment rooms, Movement Studio (Pilates, etc.), private locker rooms with saunas, steam rooms and Japanese baths. The full spa menu includes Native American wraps and therapies.
Boulders Resort and Golden Door Spa, Official Site
Boulders Resort and Golden Door Spa, Five Star Alliance
SD's Gaslamp Quarter is seeing a renaissance, this historic hood packed with great shops, tasty bistros, elegant galleries and exquisite fine-dining. Stroll past the Victorian buildings and the old-fashioned gaslamps illuminating the sidewalks. Its energy is conspicuously contagious; this place is where it's at! Among all the excellent bars and restaurants, Chive stands out for its sleek, contemporary environment and cutting-edge cuisine. Opened in 1999, this chic urban bistro dubs its grub, "Cuisine Moderne." But I see a global fusion of sorts: mouth-watering dishes like goat cheese crusted Colorado lamb sirloin, and pink pepper crusted mako shark, served alongside more classic American plates like short ribs with a coffee glaze and buttermilk onion rings. Happy Hour, from 5-7 pm daily, runs the gamut of eclectic: Mad Monday (choose from a superb selection of wines by the bottle), Tequila Tuesday (enjoy duck nachos with that margarita), White Wednesday (with Whitehaven sauvignon blanc and a white corn pizzette). You get the idea.