September 27, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
A mere $14,500 will buy you a tasty, fruit-infused treat served with an 80 carat aquamarine stone. As reported by the International Herald Tribune, this artistic masterpiece includes a gold leaf Italian cassata flavored with Irish cream, mango and pomegranate compote-- along with a handmade chocolate carving in the shape of a local stilt fisherman (pictured). The inspiration behind the "Fortress Stilt Fisherman Indulgence" is the resort's logo itself; stilt fishing is a centuries old tradition along the beautiful Sri Lankan coastline. Apparently no-one's yet forked over the cash to try this concoction. If you are so tempted, head to the resort's Wine³, a modern glass cave which showcases a breathtaking array of 2,000 Old and New World wines. Your indulgent dining experience is enhanced by the use of handmade glass cutlery, created exclusively for The Fortress by Glass Studio.
Touted as one of the best new restaurants of 2007, Restaurant Guy Savoy is brought to you by the master chef whose delightful Paris restaurant boasts three Michelin stars. (This award-winning chef is also the mentor of Thomas Keller and Gordon Ramsay.) The most coveted reservations in Sin City are to be had at this outpost of Parisian haute cuisine. Located at Caesars Palace, this dining room is an intimate space (max of 75 guests) accented with dark woods, stone, leather, and plenty of contemporary art. Dishes are poetic; the chef's signature artichoke and black truffle soup is one mouthwatering example of many. Located on the second floor of the Augustus Tower, the restaurant offers views of the classically-inspired architecture of the Roman Plaza and even that little piece of Paris in the desert: Sin City's Eiffel Tower. Choose the TGV menu for an unforgettable 90 minute experience (priced at $190).
PS. Restaurant Guy Savoy was one of only six restaurants nominated for the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant (2006)-- the only one in Vegas to be nominated.
Beijing is welcoming a slew of new luxury hotels just in time for the 2008 Olympic Games. Just recently, Fairmont-- the iconic brand that got its start with the 1907 opening of that landmark Nob Hill establishment, Fairmont San Francisco-- announced plans to open a grand luxury hotel in the Chinese capital. This will be a welcome addition to the collection of fabled castles, secluded lodges, and modern retreats that dot North America and Europe. Fairmont will open this new 25-storey Beijing hotel in partnership with the Thailand-based Reignwood Group. Expect 235 classy guest rooms, restaurants and bars, and a 1,000 square meter Willow Stream Spa with fitness facilities and a swimming pool. Located downtown near landmarks like Tiananmen Square, the Fairmont Beijing is being designed by the Japan-based architectural firm Paul Tange & Associates.
Photo Via National Geographic
Tucked away in the winding alleyways of Montmartre, a charming and chic new hotel made its debut this summer. From the façade, the Hotel Particulier Montmartre appears to be a 19th century country house, surrounded by leafy landscaping and secluded private gardens. Though there are only five guest rooms, this interior space is a dream of modern design. Vogue (September 2007) praises the "distinct personalities" of these magical spaces designed by a graphic designer, a Musée de la Mode et du Textile curator, and three artists. From fanciful fashion to ornate rococo style, the guest rooms embody the best of high design. Choose the top-floor miniloft for incredible Paris views.
Be forewarned: finding the entrance amidst the tiny rues of hip Montmartre is not for the faint of heart.
Only 36 guests will be allowed to attend this exclusive event at Bermuda's finest resort, Cambridge Beaches. Over the weekend of November 15-18, 2007 the resort proudly welcomes actress and author Mariel Hemingway for a very special event. Inspired by her book Healthy Living from the Inside Out, Every Woman's Guide to Real Beauty, Renewed Energy and a Radiant Life, the weekend will be filled with enriching activities in a stunning seaside setting-- where attendees will also enjoy all the distinctive pleasures of the resort. Hemingway will share her passion for healthy living and spotlight the four cornerstones of her book: food, exercise, home and silence. Highlights include:
* a book signing and cocktail/mocktail party to begin the weekend
* an inspirational beachside yoga session
* a Hemingway-inspired lunch
* a personal Q & A on the benefits of great nutrition and how to choose "foods that boost"
* a delicious sampling of Hemingway's signature menu items throughout the weekend
* a personal conversation with Mariel about stress and the benefits of meditation
This exclusive event package includes premium deluxe accommodations, all meals prepared by the renowned Cambridge Beaches culinary team, additional yoga classes and a spa treatment at the fabulous Ocean Spa. All guests for the event will also receive Rare, a special gift from Lili Bermuda, the island's on-site perfumery. The four day/three night event is priced at $2,825 per person based on double occupancy.
Say hello to the new Dukes Hotel. This beloved London establishment was recently taken over by Campbell Gray Hotels-- a collection of exquisite, individual hotels including One Aldwych in London and Carlisle Bay in Antigua-- and has undergone a complete makeover. Tucked in its own courtyard in a quiet corner on St. James's Place between Mayfair and Green Park, Dukes has been given a touch of 21st century contemporary chic. Hailed by The New York Times as "the ultimate country house hotel, only steps from Piccadilly," the award-winning Dukes Hotel is as famous for its service (the best in London, according to Travel and Leisure), as it is for its martinis. All 90 luxury rooms and suites have been upgraded by a stellar design team, along with the public areas. The world-famous Dukes Bar has been made up with blue velvet chairs and portrait paintings from the Dukes collection. Guests will find a new menu at The Dining Room, featuring classic British dishes with a comprehensive wine list (including a special reserve selection with predominantly Old World reds). There's also a Health Club with a 24 hour gym, steam room, and full range of spa treatments.
The Dan Hotel Tel Aviv, member of Leading Hotels of the World, has debuted new guest rooms with advanced technology. The ultimate in elegance and comfort, the guest rooms are what you'd expect to find at Tel Aviv's best hotel. The Dan Tel Aviv sits on the shoreline lapped by the brilliant, blue Mediterranean, within easy access to all the urban sophistication of Tel Aviv (thumping nightlife, trendy restaurants, excellent shopping.) A city hotel in a resort setting, the Dan is centrally located, right next to the main business and entertainment district, with direct access to a white sand beach. Facilities include a newly renovated spa, outdoor sea water pool, indoor freshwater pool, sun deck overlooking the beachfront, Jacuzzi, sauna, and fitness center. Recognized for its high level of personal service, the Dan Hotels chain is considered the top in Israel.
PS. Get a discount of 15 percent with a stay of seven nights or longer.
Stay for four nights or longer at The Boulders Resort, and enjoy rates as low as $169 per night. (Twist my arm! Lingering longer isn't so hard when indulging in all that Five-Diamond luxury.) Nestled in the secluded Sonoran Desert amidst dramatic 12 million year old granite boulders and towering cacti, this exclusive resort showcases distinctive adobe architecture that blends with the natural surroundings. The Boulders is located just 15 minutes north of Scottsdale, but feels a lifetime away. Discover all that desert beauty (teeming with wildlife), the world-famous Golden Door Spa, and challenging golf greens which have put the resort on the map as one of the top golf resorts in America.
A Tinseltown institution, The Beverly Hills Hotel, aka The Pink Palace, is one stylish place to drink. Since 1912, the hotel has reigned supreme as a luxurious hideaway on Sunset Boulevard in the center of Beverly Hills. Surrounded by 12 acres of lush tropical gardens and exotic flowers, the hotel is certainly a place to see and be seen. Head to The Polo Lounge-- a favorite breakfast spot and watering hole for generations of stars and Hollywood types-- and order the signature cocktail, The Pink Palace, made with gin, Grand Marnier, grenadine, and lemon juice.
Escape to South Africa and discover "a world in one country": dramatic landscapes teeming with wildlife, caves etched with ancient rock art, a beautiful, timeless wilderness. Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Retreat is a five-star ecological oasis, a stunning hideaway that happens to be a sanctuary for many endangered species of flora and fauna. (It's hard to contain one's exuberance when writing about a property this extraordinary.) Situated 270 kilometers from Cape Town, Bushmans Kloof is recognized as one of South Africa's Natural Heritage Sites. A proud member of Relais & Chateaux, the resort boasts an impressive list of accolades. Here you'll find luxurious guest rooms, a pampering spa, swimming pools, wilderness excursions and activities aplenty. Plus the dining is out-of-this-world. Pictured: Imagine a breathtaking dining experience under the starlit sky, where a traditional South African barbeque is served in a unique setting: an ancient, natural sandstone amphitheater of giant boulders overlooking time-worn cliffs and valleys.
PS. This time of year is simply magical. After the winter rains, an abundance of wildflowers dots the landscape.