LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
November 8, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The Nordic-style Indigo Patagonia is easily one of the most exciting new hotels of the year. Overlooking the Fjord of Last Hope in the maritime passage of Puerto Natales at the entrance to the Torres del Paine National Park, the hotel opens out on one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world: the sweeping sea and sky, mountains and glaciers, that come together to create the grandness of Patagonia. The Indigo Patagonia is a triumph of contemporary design, an exemplar of architectural sophistication with natural materials and a neutral color palette. The 23 rooms and 6 suites are outfitted with luxurious details: delicate sheets, blankets of pure hand-heaved wool, wireless Internet. And there are windows, windows, everywhere so that guests can always contemplate the surrounding grandeur. Unwind in one of the thermal pools in the blissful rooftop spa and just try to tear yourself away from the views.
The historic Alexis Hotel just emerged from a big renovation and guests can't stop singing its praises. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the century-old hotel has been a fixture on Conde Nast Traveler's Gold List for six years. But as if that weren't enough, Kimpton Hotels decided to inject $10 million for the hotel's makeover. The recently unveiled masterpiece is praised as "a work of art in itself." Located in the heart of downtown Seattle, the hotel has become an arts mecca; guest rooms and public spaces are decorated with original pieces that showcase the city's thriving arts community. The new rooms constitute a marvelous variety-- each of the 121 guest rooms is individually decorated with classic furniture and antiques. Some suites have wood-burning fireplaces and two-person jetted tubs. Guests enjoy complimentary wireless Internet access, the legendary hosted wine reception each evening, complimentary on-site fitness center, steam room, and 24-hour business center. Plus, the Alexis Hotel is entirely smoke-free.
Celebrate the holiday season in the magical surroundings of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Get cozy by the roaring fireplaces with a cup of hot cider or homemade hot chocolate, soak up the views, and enjoy spectacular seasonal decorations. Keswick Hall is the ideal home away from home during the festive season. The resort has arranged an abundance of traditions for your friends and family to enjoy during the month of December. First up: The Lighting of the Holiday Tree on December 1, 2007 with holiday carolers and an appearance by Santa in his sleigh. Throughout the month, enjoy the Sunday Champagne Holiday brunch, Holiday Family Photo Sessions, and Traditional Afternoon Tea for the Generations in the beautiful setting of the Hall's Villa Crawford (think delectable tea sandwiches, clotted cream, and scones with homemade marmalades and lemon curd). And of course there will be Christmas Eve carols and a magnificent Christmas lunch. From December 2- December 27, 2007, book the Home for the Holidays Escape and enjoy rates as low as $265 per night (Sundays-Thursday).
PS. Look out for the mistletoe!
Talk about a room with a view. This could be the best hotel room in Paris. Perched high atop the Palais de Tokyo-- that wonderfully quirky space for contemporary art-- the Hotel Everland is a transportable capsule hotel created by two Swiss artists, Sabina Lang and Daniel Baumann. It already spent 18 months at the Gallery for Contemporary Art in Leipzig, and will stay in Paris until the end of 2008. This one-room hotel is also an art installation, so overnight guests actually become a part of the artwork. The luxurious suite includes a marvelous bathroom and 24-hour room service. Prices vary from around $560 per night on the weekdays to $700 per night on the weekends. Note: Guests book online and stay only for the night after the museum's closing. Museum visitors can check out the one-room hotel during the day.
The Sunset Marquis is the place to stay in L.A. Get pampered like a rock star at the Hollywood hot spot that's the hotel of choice for the international jet set and music industry clientele. It may be located right off Sunset, but this elegant spot-- surrounded by lush landscaped terraces and heated pools--is the ultimate hideaway in the heart of the action. The new villas are impossibly swanky and come with "a Butler trained to serve the Queen of England, and people a lot more demanding." When you book one of the villas now through December 31, 2007, your stay will include complimentary airport transfers and a Mercedes Benz to tool around town in style. One-bedroom villas start at $1,200 per night (regularly $1,500). Two-bedroom villas start at $2,400 per night (regularly $3,000).
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.
November 2, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
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.