October 29, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Fashion divas, heed this one. Now you can hit San Francisco's best, most exclusive addresses for Fall Fashion with the help of Campton Place, the celebrated luxury boutique hotel located right on the edge of Union Square. Find the season's top designs in ultimate comfort with the "Shop Til You Drop" package. Enjoy four nights at the intimate Campton Place Hotel and get spoiled with gracious personalized service (more akin to a stay at an elegant residential apartment). You'll get airport transfers, welcome cocktails, daily breakfasts for two, plus 12-hours in a limo to shop the designer boutiques on Union Square, the chic shops in the Marina and Pacific Heights, galleries across the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito, the upscale malls in Napa, and even all the charming boutiques of Palo Alto. Available until November 21, 2007, the package is priced from $3,750 and includes all gratuities.
Just 150 miles from Shanghai, you'll find a stylish sanctuary-- a modern day imperial compound-- that's hailed as China's leading resort. Nestled in the tea-covered hills of Fuyang village in Hangzhou province, the magical Fuchun Resort was inspired by a 700-year old painting. These lush surroundings were where Yuan dynasty painter Wang Gongwang went into exile, and it's easy to see why this storybook setting prompted his classic landscape painting, "Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains." And with villas designed by Jean-Michel Gathy of Amanresort fame, it's no wonder Condé Nast described the Fuchun Resort as one of the World's Best New Hotels (2005)-- the only hotel in China to make the list. The accommodations are stunning, with Jacuzzis and oodles of technological gadgetry. From your private balcony, you'll contemplate incredible mountain views. Other facilities include a glamorous spa, golf course, two tennis courts, a mountaintop conference pavilion, and a ballroom.
London sparkles at Christmastime, so why not hit the shops, take in a Christmas show, go merry-making around town? Complete the experience with a stylish overnight stay at Claridge's (that glamorous establishment) or The Berkeley (the Knightsbridge home of Petrus restaurant and the hip Blue Bar), where you'll find some dazzling good deals available over the holidays. The "Christmas on Ice" package promises a welcome bottle of champagne, two tickets for ice-skating at the National History Museum with a basket filled with hot chocolate and stollen cake to sustain you, and traditional English breakfast next morning. Festive rates start at just GBP 289.
Hurry! The award-winning Chateau Elan, the wildly popular winery and resort situated just 40 minutes north of Atlanta, has announced a last-minute Spooky Weekend Special. Buy one night at the regular rate of $199 and get the second for free! Looks like it's all treats and no tricks for the folks that can snag this offer. (Only a limited number of rooms are available at this special rate.) Book for Friday and Saturday night (October 26 and 27, 2007) or check in on Saturday and enjoy your free night on Sunday, October 28.
How to improve on perfection? Open a splendid, new spa called Fern Tree. The timelessly elegant Half Moon, a favorite Caribbean hideaway, has opened the doors to a new facility that will knock your socks off. Celebrated as "a destination within a destination," the spa is housed in the resort's signature Fern Tree House; the conversion retained the original colonial design of hardwood floors and white-washed verandahs situated in beautifully-landscaped gardens. Choose an individual spa treatment or experience a customized, step-by-step program developed by the Spa Elder, your experienced guide who is trained in the use of local indigenous ingredients. Upon arrival at this 68,000 square foot oasis, each guest enjoys a ceremonial foot bath. Treatments utilize premier skincare lines from Jamaica and Europe, highlighting the indigenous botanicals of Montego Bay (Pevonia, Thalgo, and pure essential oils from Jamaica's Blue Mountain Aromatics). Choose a luxury VIP suite and bask in the posh amenities: full bath, private patio and garden with hot tub and shower.
The coolest place to bunk down in Montreal is the Hotel Opus, the sleek contemporary boutique hotel that was formerly the Hotel Godin. A design mecca, Hotel Opus is a chic, minimalist space right smack in the middle of Montreal's most in-vogue neighborhood, at the corner of Sherbrooke and Boulevard Saint-Laurent. The building's exterior is split in two distinct halves: the historical "Édifice Godin" and the modern brick-concrete addition. Guest rooms blend a sleek aesthetic with luxurious comfort. You'll find custom-designed furnishings and cutting edge technology. The stylish hotel is also home to dramatic Suco Lounge, a hip night spot where stainless steel sculpture works by Scott Eunson are exhibited. The Hotel Opus was named to Conde Nast Traveler's Hot List in 2005 and it's still getting rave reviews. Pssst! The Hotel Opus is pet-friendly, so don't leave Fido at home!
It may not yet be ski season in North America's top ski destination, but Whistler Blackcomb offers a scenic mountain getaway all year-round. The future site of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Whistler is surrounded by glaciers, alpine meadows, and awe-inspiring mountain peaks. Experience the pinnacle of luxury at one of Canada's most exclusive mountain resorts with a special promotion available for a limited time. Until November 21, 2007 (a day shy of opening day on the slopes), get a third night free when you book a two-night stay. Rates start as low as CAD 245 per night. At the Four Seasons, hit the well-equipped gym and take advantage of the complimentary Virtual Workouts downloaded to an iPod. After your work-out, relax in the eucalyptus steam room. Or discover the free-form outdoor pool and whirlpools, reminiscent of a glacier spring. Dine by the fireside at Fifty Two 80 Bistro and take in some impressive views of the local mountains. And during your stay, be sure to spend some time at the superb spa, where the luxurious treatments use only all-natural ingredients: seaweed, fresh fruits, wild flowers, pure essential oils and clay harvested from British Columbia's glacial lakes.
Step into a canoe, where you are transported to a private island in the middle of an azure lagoon. Candles flicker against the sand. Music plays. A dedicated butler brings champagne, and a message in a bottle-- your menu written on a scroll inside. Surrounded by lush tropical foliage, you taste a salad with hearts of palm, followed by yellow tomato gazpacho, before sinking your teeth into a magnificent plate of Mahi Mahi with garlic and chilli guajillo served with mashed potatoes and spinach. Between courses, vodka and lime sorbet cleanses the palate. For dessert? A warm chocolate volcano cake accompanied by macadamia ice cream. The Private Lagoon Dinner at the award-winning Tides Zihuatanejo is easily the most exclusive dining experience on Mexico's Pacific coast.
Experience paradise for a song. La Samanna, an Orient-Express hideaway in the French West Indies, is a chic, white-washed wonderland where restaurant provisions are flown in from France daily. And it recently completed a multi-million dollar renovation, to boot. This beachfront spa resort has all-time low promotional rates of $395 per night during peak season. The catch? You must arrive on one of the following arrival dates: November 25 and 26, 2007, January 30, 2008, or February 26, 2008. As Travel + Leisure points out, this is a whopping 60 percent savings, as normal peak season rates start at around $1,000 a night. But hurry, this "Best Deal Days" promotion is bound to book fast.
October 23, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Langham Hotels International will open its newest gem in the beautiful Thai province of Krabi in January. Since the London flagship opened in 1865, the Langham name has come to represent hotels that epitomize elegance and sophistication. (The Langham in Hong Kong is easily one of the top hotels in Asia.) Now Langham brings that legendary reputation to Lanta Yai Island in Krabi province, where an eco-friendly resort will offer luxurious accommodations that coexist in perfect harmony with the magnificent surrounding landscape. The five-star resort features 185 rooms and villas perched on the beach and up the gently sloping hillside overlooking Klong Tob Bay. Other facilities include four swimming pools, including a unique ocean pool, six restaurants and bars, and a plethora of sporting and leisure facilities-- from diving to mountain biking.