October 10, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The scenery doesn't get much better than this. Deep within Banff National Park, overlooking a lake with the snow-capped Rocky Mountains as the backdrop, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise provides a lavish retreat of welcoming grandeur. Here you'll find the perfect winter wonderland: Lake Louise's world-renowned skiing, ice skating, dog sledding, sleigh rides, guided snowshoe walks, and cross-country skiing through the wilderness. The adventure starts right outside the Chateau's doors. After a rigorous day outside, treat yourself to an Aveda treatment at the Escape Spa & Salon. This spectacular hideaway is only a two hour drive from Calgary. Choose the Ultimate Ski the Canadian Rockies Package for low rates with ski passes included. Available during ski season (mid November to mid May), the package is priced from just CAD 319 per night, and includes luxurious accommodations, parking, breakfast, one Tri-Area Ski Pass per person (Valid for Ski Louise, Sunshine, and Norquay), and transportation to Ski Louise. Plus, you can earn double airline miles when you book this package.
Pamper yourself with the perfect girls' getaway just 20-or-so minutes from Sin City. Like a shimmering desert oasis, Loews Lake Las Vegas is a luxurious world-class resort perfect for any diva. Rejuvenate after a few days on the strip with the Desert Divas package. Upon check-in, you'll find a welcome basket with magazines, champagne, and bottled water. Head to the 9,000 square foot Moulay Spa for two exhilarating facials and two Moulay Massages. Enjoy a day at the Relaxation Pool in a SpahhBana-- drift into the ultimate state of relaxation in your own private cabana fully equipped with a selection of magazines, a Loews iPod, Moulay-misted chilled towels, chilled cucumbers for the eyes, the use of two waffle-weave robes, and a Beauty Basket filled with Spa Moulay products, herbal teas, fruits and snacks. Of course the one-night package also includes late check-out. Prices start at $595 and are based on double occupancy.
Celebrate fall's arrival in Vermont's Green Mountains. The award-winning Topnotch Resort is more than just a skier's paradise. At the foot of Mt. Mansfield, the state's highest peak, this place offers luxury digs mixed with an autumn abundance of recreational delights. Think gondola rides with sweeping views to Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks, outings to Cold Hollow Cider Mill for fresh-pressed apple cider, and exceptional hiking trails through the rural woodlands in all their fall technicolor glory. Recently ranked a "Top Resort Spa" in North America, Topnotch also partners with the Country Club of Vermont to bring its guests the best golf in Vermont. Talk about the perfect autumn destination. Fall rates start at $335 per night.
You can't beat this rate at the fashionable Jiva Hill Park Hotel. Starting from just EUR 189 per night, the Great Rate offered through Small Luxury Hotels is a steal. (Available until December 31, 2007.) Just two kilometers from the Mont Jura ski resort, this luxurious haven is set within a 70 acre park in the foothills of the Jura Mountains, just opposite the majestic, snow-capped Mont Blanc range. There's a spa, beautiful indoor swimming pool, helipad, Eurolac water-ski nautical base on the lake, endless outdoor activities (like the Riding School and Tennis Club), and innovative cuisine. And with only 34 rooms and lodges, guests are guaranteed a peaceful, discreet hideaway with intimate, personalized service. At the Jiva Hill Park Hotel, it's the attention to detail that makes a difference: the roaring fireplace in the lounge, the unlimited Wifi Internet access, the impressive contemporary art collection found throughout the hotel.
Head to the jungle of Cambodia and discover the secrets of an ancient civilization at Angkor, the 12th century capital of Khmer civilization. Housing over 100 stone temples, this magnificent architectural wonder is living testimony to Cambodia's ancestry. The place to stay is Amanresort's graceful contemporary sanctuary: Amansara, the former guest villa of King Norodom Sihanouk now converted into a 24-suite retreat set within beautiful gardens. In addition to its spa, pools, and exquisite roof terrace, Amansara now boasts an additional treasure: the Khmer Village House at the 10th century "royal bathing pool" of Srah Srang, a 15 minute drive from Amansara. Guests can enjoy four excellent excursions at this special place:
A Picnic by the Lake: After you explore the temples of Angkor, relax with a picnic on the front veranda overlooking the lake. Steamed dumplings, fritters, and coconut-based delicacies are laid out in luxury. Take an afternoon siesta, or take off on bikes to discover the countryside.
When Evening Comes: Watch the setting sun from the veranda, drink in hand. Garden flares, flickering candles, and moonlight are the only sources of light, creating an impossibly romantic ambiance. Traditional Khmer dishes are prepared over a charcoal fire while a musician plays. Sip ginger tea on a daybed inside the house after the delicious meal.
Rural Healing: A 90-minute non-oil massage at the Khmer Village House, followed by an additional 90 minutes of rural relaxation. Ginger tea and a selection of Khmer sweets are served.
The Art of Khmer Cooking: A leisurely morning exploring local markets and gathering ingredients for a traditional cooking class. At the Khmer Village House, a small farm garden contains fresh herbs, vegetables and chilies, used in the dishes you will prepare. A Khmer chef will guide you through the recipes in the traditional kitchen.
Once again the good folks at Kor Hotels are recognizing National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with October's Think Pink campaign at posh properties like Viceroy Santa Monica and The Tides South Beach. When you book the special Think Pink rates, 10 percent of the revenue will be donated to The Revlon/UCLA Breast Center. Sip a luscious Pink Martini at La Marea (the hot, new destination restaurant in South Beach), and feel good knowing that 20 percent of Pink Martini sales go to Saks Fifth Avenue's Key to the Cure, benefitting the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. At other Kor Hotels, you'll find gift bags, Think Pink fleeces and throws, and pink-themed welcome drinks.
Most folks think of InterContinental Hotels as the first truly international hotel brand in the world. So it's no wonder that InterContinental-- as it continues to define glamorous global travel-- goes the extra mile to provide guests with unique experiences to enrich their lives and broaden their outlook. Case in point: the "In the Know" program that provides online destination videos and Internet communication with the hotel concierges. Today's savvy, worldly guests are pickier about what they expect from hotels, and InterContinental is on hand to point the way to authentic and local destination experiences.
At the InterContinental Grand Stafford in Hong Kong, for example, you'll find maps created by the concierge with suggestions for the best shopping and dining spots in the area. (The hotel offers a complimentary shuttle bus service to the Star Ferry area, to boot.) And at the Athenaeum InterContinental, the best hotel in Athens, the multi-lingual concierge can do a lot more than arrange tours of the Parthenon and the Acropolis. Local insider tips include favorite neighborhoods, new exhibits, and what's new on the city scene. Even suggestions for the best Greek gifts to take home with you. Check out this video from the concierge.
October 5, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Luxuriate in the grand surroundings of Ireland's grand sporting estate, Mount Juliet Conrad, and learn how to tell your Pétrus from your Penfolds. The country house hotel is offering a series of exclusive wine master class weekends with award-winning sommelier, Alain Bras. Recognized as one of Ireland's leading authorities on wine, Bras was Ireland's representative at the World Sommelier Championships in 2004. During these two-night escapes, Bras will guide guests through tastings of Champagnes, Ports, and fine wines. The wine master classes are priced from $543 per person and includes two nights accommodation with breakfast for each guest in The Hunter's Yard, a casual dinner including wine on the first evening, and a Champagne reception and dinner including wine on the second evening in the Lady Helen Dining Room at Mount Juliet House. Tuition and course materials are also included. The dates are November 5-6, 2007, November 26-27, 2007, January 14-15, 2008, and February 4-5, 2008. Set within 1,500 picturesque acres in Kilkenny county just an hour from Dublin, Mount Juliet Conrad offers an incredible range of activities-- in the grand tradition of the gracious living of the countryside-- including horseback riding, clay shooting, fishing, archery, tennis, and golf.
October 5, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
Enjoy the lively rhythm and elegant ambiance of the chic 1st arrondissement at the legendary palace hotel that has played host to international royalty, fashion designers and countless public figures, Hotel Le Meurice. The Christmas package, starting from EUR 590 per room, per night, includes accommodations, daily American breakfast, Christmas gifts and chocolates for parents and children. Extraordinary Christmas Eve and Day dinners are available at Restaurant Le Meurice and Jardin d'Hiver. Package available from December 7- December 27, 2007.
Or if a Christmas stay isn't in the works, plan a New Year's escape to the heart of Paris. This internationally renowned five-star hotel is Paris at its most elegant and stylish. Between December 28, 2007- January 2, 2008, your family can enjoy a minimum two-night stay with accommodations, daily American breakfast, Christmas gifts and chocolates for parents and children starting at EUR 730 per room, per night.
October 4, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The Dutch town of Maastricht has been hailed as both an historical delight (cobble stone streets framed by 17th century houses) and-- on the other side of the Maas River-- an "urban planner's dream mix of contemporary buildings." Just a ten minute drive outside of this charming European city, the luxurious Chateau St. Gerlach is a destination in and of itself. Sprawling over a number of period buildings (including a 13th century chateau, farmhouse, convent, and Baroque church), the hotel is home to the fine, Michelin-starred restaurant of the same name. Nestled on a beautiful country estate with a wildlife reserve, Chateau St. Gerlach showcases the best of the Valkenburg countryside-- the frontier region that is one of the most popular holiday resorts in Holland. Dive into some extraordinary haute cuisine with a special "Culinary Maastricht" package. This fabulous offer include two nights in a Deluxe Room, a welcome glass of champagne on arrival, daily breakfast buffet in the Winter Garden, free Marco Polo guide of Maastricht, and free use of the swimming pool, Turkish bath, and sauna. Enjoy a four-course dinner at Michelin star restaurant St. Gerlach and then on your second night, indulge in a five-course dinner at Michelin star restaurant Chateau Neercanne. Rates start from just EUR 259; available until December 31, 2007.