LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
July 5, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
After a massive two year renovation by interior designer Jacques Garcia, La Réserve has emerged as one of Geneva's hottest hedonistic haunts. Utterly decadent, this contemporary five star hotel is located on the shores of Lake Geneva in a beautifully landscaped park of 10 acres. The Garcia touch is evident in the animal print carpets, outrageously gaudy colors, plastic resin chandeliers... (you get the idea). Most of the spacious 102 rooms and suites have a terrace with views over the gardens and the lake. High tech amenities include high speed Internet, flat screen TVs with CD and DVD players, Satellite TV, and international dial with personalized voicemail. The Spa, four hectares of sheer bliss, was also redesigned by Jacques Garcia with magnificent pools, hammam, sun beds, treatment rooms, and gym. This spectacular space also houses an organic restaurant, decked out in white leather. After a stay at La Réserve, you may wish to take home with you the sinfully delicious cuisine. With the in-flight catering service, you can enjoy classic dishes from the hotel's restaurants-- a whole menu of your choice-- during your flights from Geneva.
July 4, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Chances are, your calendar is booked for a wedding or two this weekend, as July 7, 2007-- a.k.a., "07/07/07"-- is the luckiest date of the century. Eva Longoria and Tony Parker weren't alone in choosing this day to get hitched; it's the most popular wedding date in history. (There's even a Flickr group devoted to snapping the best 7 shots on 7/7/07!) The wedding industry is bracing itself for the weekend, while the hospitality sector is also going gaga with special packages and promotions, from the "Seven Deadly Sins" to "7 Nights in 7th Heaven," from "Test Your Luck" gambling vacations (Lady Luck is on your side in Sin City!) to "Lucky in Love" romantic escapes. Whatever your destination this weekend, go ahead and indulge. Days like this come once in a lifetime.
P.S. If you miss out on all these decadent festivities, you can still look forward to 08/08/08 next year. Not quite as lucky, but still exciting.
Go coastal this summer and head south of the border to Acapulco, the oft-overlooked Pacific Coast retreat nestled between the soaring mountains of the Sierra Madre on one side and the crystal blue bay on the other. Book a stay at the premier resort in the area, the Fairmont Pierre Marques, once the private getaway of J. Paul Getty, and enjoy fantastic savings with "Only One Way" summer rates, starting at just $149 through early September. With refreshing infinity pools overlooking the ocean, a state-of-the-art fitness center, tennis, golf, and aquatic sports galore, this landmark hotel offers endless fun in the sun for a real steal. (The hotel's sister property, Fairmont Acapulco Princess, has likewise reduced its summer rates.)
Foodies flock to Whist at Viceroy Santa Monica, ranked in the top hotel restaurants in the U.S. for its fabulous Modern American cuisine. In this stylish hot spot, Executive Chef Warren Schwartz serves up highly addictive bites using fresh local provisions. This summer, Taste of Tuesday transforms Viceroy Santa Monica's famed poolside into a gourmand's mecca; guests can relax by the pool while indulging in tasty treats every Tuesday from 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. Servers circulate small plates to accompany classy cocktails like the Bartinis-- a low carb/low calorie selection of martinis with flavors like blue raspberry, cranberry cosmo, and dessert key lime. In addition, guests at Viceroy Santa Monica can enjoy "Warren's Culinary Journal," a new menu at Whist showcasing recipes from the globe-trotting Executive Chef that he's collected on his extensive travels. Taste your way around the world without leaving the luxurious comfort of the Viceroy.
Set within 1,500 acres of lush gardens and woodlands in picturesque Kilkenny county, Mount Juliet Conrad is easily the finest sporting estate around. Just an hour from Dublin, the award-winning hotel epitomizes the gracious living of the countryside. Spend a weekend at this country house hotel and sample a slew of activities and sports in a spectacular natural setting: horseback riding, clay shooting, fishing, archery, tennis, and golf on the challenging links. (Mount Juliet Conrad played host to the 2002 and 2004 WGC-American Express Championship.) The Stay and Play package starts from EUR 250 per night and includes overnight accommodation in the Hunters Yard, breakfast and dinner at Kendals (excluding beverages) and your choice of one of the featured activities per adult, per day.
Enjoy a culinary getaway in the heart of Europe's largest medieval walled city, the magical fairytale destination of Carcassonne. Perched on a hill above the River Aude in Southwest France, Carcassonne attracts millions of visitors every year to explore the wonders which make it an UNESCO World Heritage site. Hôtel de la Cité, managed by Orient-Express hotels, is the city's most luxurious hotel and the only one to be found within the actual medieval citadel. Enjoy a three-night stay and relish some serious fine dining at La Barbacane restaurant, a private cooking lesson with dinner, and a half-day wine-tasting tour. Available until October 31, 2007, the Food & Wine Culinary Escape also includes daily buffet breakfast and an in-room amenity of sparkling wine, flowers, and petit fours.
Rumor has it that Las Vegas Sands Corp. is bringing its Vegas-style pool parties to the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau. The 3,000-room Venetian Resort-Hotel, "large enough to hold ninety Boeing 747 jumbo jets," will open at the end of August in the world's gambling capital. The centerpiece of Las Vegas Sands' $11 billion complex of casinos and shops, the Venetian will bring over-the-top luxury to the Cotai Strip. Suites are enormous, decked out with lavish Italian marble bathrooms and sunken living rooms. There will be a V Spa, V Gym fitness center, myriad dining experiences, and of course multiple swimming pools, including the exclusive adults-only pool. Book now and get special introductory rates from HK $1,088.
July 2, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
Abu Dhabi is emerging as a bright, thriving, cosmopolitan city with lush green parks and a bustling commercial hub and Dubai claims it is "the City built for Tourism all around the year." With these two major cities, and others, the United Arab Emirates continues to consistently top "Best of" lists for its attractions, business, and accommodations. In addition to the impressive number of super-luxury hotels, the United Arab Emirates features Etihad Airways as its National Airline. With three Guest Zones on each flight for passengers to choose from - Diamond, Pearl or Coral - there are new levels of comfort and luxury for travelers.
Etihad's Pearl Zone guests enjoy luxurious seating, extensive entertainment options, ambient mood lighting and signature cuisines. The new Pearl Zone seat (pictured) reclines 180 degrees into a fully flat 6 ft and 1-inch Business Bed. The Pearl Zone seat offers plenty of space and privacy with an 88-inch pitch and direct access to the aisle. A built-in massage facility helps passengers relax. Learn more about the Pearl Zone entertainment, communication, dining and service here.
Until July 28th, click here to enter your contact details for a chance to win 2 tickets to any Etihad destination - with over 43 international destinations across the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, Oceania and North America - you're sure to find somewhere you would like to travel in comfort and style.
June 29, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Hidden in the tropical forest on the white sands of the Riviera Maya, the Tides is a 30-villa property that epitomizes barefoot luxury. Located just outside Playa del Carmen, this seaside refuge has been touted as "a sexy, eco-conscious hideaway in the jungle" by Travel and Leisure magazine. Taste the award-winning "Yucatecan Cuisine," take a yoga class overlooking coastal splendor, discover nearby ancient Mayan cities, frolic on the seven miles of white sand beach. Here in paradise, the Tides provides unique services and facilities: Temazcal, the stunning Maya-style sauna right on the beach, a "tropical butler" to deliver iced face towels poolside, and a "dine anywhere, anytime" policy. Leave your cell phones behind (they're not allowed here!) and get ready for some serious relaxation, both in your palapa-roofed villa (decorated with sophisticated simplicity) and the full-service holistic spa. If you book the Barefoot Luxury package, you can enjoy four nights at the Tides Riviera Maya along with a private Mayan cooking class or Tequila and Ceviche tasting. Priced at $2,740, includes a departure amenity.