LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
August 30, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Coming this winter 2007: the hotly anticipated Guerlain Spa at the sophisticated Regent Bal Harbour Hotel. With this spa opening, The Regent Bal Harbour unveils a new spa brand in the U.S.-- one which exclusively offers Guerlain therapies and products in a luxurious environment. Located near the prestigious Bal Harbour Shops in North Miami Beach, the oceanfront luxury hotel features exquisitely appointed rooms, outdoor pool with private cabanas, and two gourmet restaurants. Boasting a beautiful oceanside location, the 15-room, 10,000 square foot Guerlain Spa joins other notable destinations in Milan, Paris, and Shanghai and utilizes the complete line of Guerlain's world-renowned skincare products in its customized treatments. Upon arrival at the Guerlain Spa, guests will be asked to complete a comprehensive Spa Therapy Questionnaire, which therapists use to create a personalized beauty and wellness strategy. Plus, the questionnaire's results are transferable to any Guerlain Spa worldwide so clients can continue their well-being journey anywhere in the world.
For the ultimate epicurean experience, take a respite at a beautiful chateau situated just five minutes from the center of Reims and the epic Notre Dame Cathedral. Surrounded by sprawling gardens and hundred years old trees, Chateau Les Crayeres is the embodiment of French elegance and superior gastronomy. This is a luxurious gourmet retreat in the heart of Champagne country. The hotel has organized some excellent packages which combine incredible tasting dinners with organized tours of some of the most celebrated vineyards in the area. For example, the "Discover Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin" package includes a VIP welcome in your beautifully appointed room, a spectacular dinner at the chateau proposed by Chef Didier Elena, a tour at the Veuve Clicquot Champagne house and its Gallo-Roman cellar, and a visit to the surrounding vineyards. Priced from EUR 2300 for two people for a two-night stay.
Things are simply sizzling in Vegas. Now's the time to hit the beach at Mandalay Bay, with a special getaway package starting from just $109 per night in a Deluxe Room. Enjoy the only premier wave pool in Vegas with lots of pristine sand-- 11 acres of tropical poolside bliss. But that's not all. Mandalay Bay has improved upon this fantastical fun-in-the-sun Vegas experience with the $30 million Beach expansion, which includes the new air-conditioned beachside casino, just steps from the crashing waves. (Sliding glass panels provide the ultimate indoor-outdoor comfort). There's a new Beach Bar & Grill, along with the exclusive new sun villas overlooking the Beach, which feature day beds, wet bars, 50-inch flat-screen televisions, MP3 players, changing areas and private decks. The Surf N Sand package includes $300 in Mandalay Place Savings Certificates and $20 in exclusive "Sand Dollars" to use anyway you like at Mandalay Beach.
There's been a lot of buzz about Napa Valley's latest: the 89-room Solage Calistoga resort, which welcomes pets, boasts a mud bar at the spa, uses solar power, and serves fine, locally-grown produce. Enlightened, chic, and utterly fabulous, Solage Calistoga is located on the northern edge of Napa Valley. Rooms are named from stars in the night sky (how cool is that?), designed with natural materials and warm local woods. All of the accommodations feature outdoor private patios, a pebbled-stone shower, flat-screen TV, desk with high-speed WiFi Internet, DVD player, and iPod docking station. A pair of cruiser bikes is provided for your use during your stay, so you can go for a spin through the resort's beautiful 22 acres. Have a ball (bocce) on the classic courts, or take a dip in the beautiful pool. Energize yourself at the Spa Solage with a full-body mud "cocktail" at the Mud Bar. After dark, gather around the fire pits and savor a cocktail before enjoying the restaurant's delightful cuisine.
Since September 1999, Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita has wowed its discriminating clientele with its unrivaled facilities and level of personal service. Not to mention the breathtaking setting at the edge of a white sand beach lapped by the blue Pacific. This is a magical place, oozing romance. It's only natural that a spot like this one should put together the ideal romantic escape for couples seeking a little r & r. The sparks will fly with the "Fall For You" package, where guests receive a $100 resort credit for each day of their stay, with which they can indulge in a slew of romantic resort activities. Enjoy a sunset cruise on the resort's private yacht, sipping champagne and feasting on gourmet aps. Choose a nighttime, after-dark spa experience, like a poolside Watsu massage with a butler served, candle-lit dinner in a private cabana; an oceanfront Thai massage and picnic of gourmet finger foods; or chocolate-themed body treatments in the spa couple's suite followed by champagne and chocolate fondue. Indulge in nightly champagne and caviar at the Tamai Pool Bar, as the sun sets over the Pacific. And don't miss Dinner on The Rock, a private dinner on a grassy outcropping overlooking the waves. Consult with the chef to create your very own personal menu served under the stars. The "Fall For You" package is available at Four Seasons Punta Mita until December 15, 2007.
It's official. The Venetian Macao Resort, the sprawling, $2.8 billion, 3,000-suite mega hotel from the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, opens today at 7:18 p.m. Special introductory rates start from just HK 1,088-- about $140 per night! This is just the beginning for the Sin City of China, which will see a bumper crop of luxury hotels sprouting up in this former Portuguese enclave on the mouth of the Pearl River, including a St. Regis, a Shangri-La, a Raffles, and a Conrad. And let's not forget the Wynn, which opened last year in this booming gaming capital.
Escape to a secluded beach outside Waikiki and live the legend at the Kahala Hotel and Resort, where Charles Lindberg, Muhammad Ali, Frank Sinatra, and Princess Diana (to name a few) have vacationed in paradise. Situated just ten minutes from all the Waikiki action, the legendary resort offers five stylish restaurants, a world-class spa, fitness center, myriad leisure facilities, and a private lagoon with resident dolphins. Stay three nights and receive a complimentary breakfast buffet for two guests at Plumeria Beach House and a $200 resort credit. And if you stay for four nights, you get the fifth night for free. Available until December 19, 2007.
A former 15th century monastery, the storied San Domenico Palace is now the most luxurious hotel in Sicily-- with sweeping views of snow-capped Mt. Etna and the Ionian Sea that were described by Goethe in 1767. Perched on the hills of Taormina, the palace has long attracted patrons like Wagner and Guy de Maupassant who found inspiration in the fragrant gardens of jasmine, bougainvillea, lemons and oranges. Guest rooms are distinguished by splendid historical details: vaulted ceilings, cloisters, courtyards. Lounge by the outdoor swimming pool, while soaking in the views of an ancient Greek theater and the smoldering volcano in the distance. Hit the 24-hour fitness center, followed by a relaxing massage. Delightful dinner options include Les Bougainvillèes for traditional palace cuisine, Principe Cerami for gourmet dining (seasonal), the Pool Restaurant "Giardino dei Limoni" for seafood and Sicilian specialties (lunch only, seasonal), and the Lounge Oratorio dei Frati for light meals and cocktails with live entertainment.
The glamorous desert boutique resort is known for its sexy vibe and playful attitude. Where else can you sip a Popsicle Tini? (Yup, that's a watermelon martini with a popsicle.) Or indulge in a chocolate sun spray tanning? Or jump start the circulation with a dip in the icy plunge pool? The fun never stops at this fabulous desert oasis. In addition to the summer's Film Noir Summer Series (al fresco movies galore), the Viceroy Palm Springs has introduced the Ice Haus--an extension of the full-service Estrella spa-- for a wonderful summer cool-down. This new open-air, outdoor treatment room (for one or two people) is set up for a "do it yourself" one-hour treatment. Start with a detoxifying full-body clay mask (painted on by yourself or your partner), take 20 minutes to recline on your private chaise lounge to set the mask, then follow with a full-body ice exfoliation. Shower off with the seaweed scrub bar, spritz your on-fire skin with spearmint misters, then finally sooth and cool with Estrella's house-made all-over body lotion. 60-minute treatment: Single-- $85; Double-- $125.
It's not too late to plan a Labor Day escape. Soak up the sunshine rock 'n roll style at that most sophisticated West Hollywood hideaway: the Sunset Marquis Hotel and Villas. Contemporary elegance with no attitude in a totally unique environment: no wonder the rock stars camp out for weeks in the swanky Mediterranean-style villas. Sure the on-site private recording studio is cool, but the heated pools and gorgeous landscaped terraces are even more exciting. After all, this is a hidden oasis just steps from all the Hollywood action. Guests are also stoked about the warm and attentive personal service. This place is unique, even by Hollywood standards. And from now through Labor Day weekend, the longer you stay, the more you save. So try 10 percent off for three nights, 15 percent for four nights, or 20 percent off for five nights. And rates are truly a steal, starting at $350 for a Junior Suite.