February 28, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
In the heart of Burgundy, surrounded by some of the world's finest vineyards, discover a culinary sensation. In a land celebrated for its gastronomy, this could be one of the best restaurants in the entire pays. Indeed, the Relais Bernard Loiseau has built a reputation as one of France's finest gourmet restaurants. Begin your meal by perusing the menu over drinks in one of the property's fireside seating areas. Be sure to try one of Bernard Loiseau's legendary creations: frog's legs with garlic puree and parsley juice, Pikeperch grilled skin-side down with sautéed shallots and red wine sauce, and steamed fattened free-range Bresse chicken "Alexandre Dumaine" with truffled rice. Executive Chef Patrick Bertron follows in the footsteps of his life-long mentor with his new menu offerings. (He hails from Brittany, so there's lots of tasty shellfish on offer.) There are prix-fixe menus, if you so choose, starting with the two-course "Délice" at EUR 120. The restaurant boasts one of Burgundy's most extensive wine cellars with 45,000 bottles.
And the best part of all? You can sleep off your food coma at one of the exquisite 32 guest rooms and suites! After all, this restaurant/hotel is part of the prestigious Relais and Chateaux luxury properties, and the rooms-- decked out with Burgundy stones and red-clay tiles, period woodworks, and antique furnishings-- won't disappoint. Other premium services include library, billiards room, spa, and swimming pool... all surrounded by beautiful wooded grounds and landscaped gardens.
A one-room hotel? I kid you not. The One Hotel Angkor is a stylish, one-suite hotel, offering the ultimate privacy in the heart of Siem Reap. Located in the town's Old Market area, the hotel is devoted to you and you alone. Perks include intimate, stunning dining experiences (the choice is up to you), a mobile phone for the duration of your stay, and in-room spa treatments.
Enter through a gallery-cafe on the ground floor. Ascend to your luxurious bedroom. A custom-made king size bed draped in Frette linen. Your personal iBook and iPod. 32" LCD screen television. Luxury and sensual indulgence continues into the bathroom. Choose from the two-person granito tub with underwater lighting or the soothing experience of your rainfall shower. A private rooftop terrace awaits above. Sink into your jacuzzi. The indoor-outdoor sound system allows you to accompany a romantic late evening dip with your favorite music. Lounge on the daybed. Dine at the table setting. Cast off your clothes for an outdoor shower. With the entire hotel to yourself, how you enjoy The One is up to you.
This hotel is no stranger to awards lists. Lavished with media attention, the One Hotel Angkor was recognized on Conde Nast Traveler's Hot List as one of the hottest luxury properties worldwide.
Where to dine in the trendy, popular neighborhood of Buckhead? Head to the Grand Hyatt Atlanta, where Cassis and Onyx Bar have made names for themselves in a crowded (and distinguished) playing field. Recently featured on Fox 5's "Good Day Atlanta," Executive Chef Billy Skiber has set the gold standard for hotel dining. Cassis is one of Atlanta's most successful kosher kitchens. This is the perfect place to enjoy an extravagant Sunday brunch; the spread includes everything from crab cakes to made-to-order omelets. Dinner is likewise memorable, pleasing palates with eclectic takes on traditional continental cuisine. For after-work happy hours and evening cocktails, head to Onyx Bar, where the extensive bar menu features fine liquors from around the world. Don't miss the elegant HyTea on Saturday afternoons from 2 to 6 pm served in the chic bar overlooking the tranquil Japanese gardens.
Treat yourself to a winter getaway in paradise starting from just $349 per night. Bordered by seven miles of palm-dotted beaches, the Edgewater Beach Hotel is an all-suite beachfront hotel on the Gulf of Mexico. With a chic, newly renovated lobby, new Coast restaurant, and enhanced services, this Naples hotel is all about casual luxury and barefoot elegance. So kick off your sandals and give in to indulgence. The Edgewater features 125 guest suites with private balconies, heated swimming pool and poolside bar, state-of-the-art fitness room, spa services, onsite restaurants, and engaging children's programs.
February 26, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Named Tatler Hotel of the Year 2007, Banyan Tree Ringha is set in the stunning, mountainous country which inspired the author of Lost Horizon to describe the remote, peaceful paradise of Shangri-La. The rugged landscape is mythical: snow-capped mountains towering over wide, open valleys. Designated the official "Shangri-La" by the Chinese government, this region of Yunnan province is part of Greater Tibet both historically and culturally. Here, 3,200 meters above sea level, Banyan Tree Ringha is a magical resort which reflects the local Tibetan culture. Crafted from traditional Tibetan farmhouses, the 32 spacious lodges and suites feature intricate woodcarvings, smoky fireplaces and wooden balconies with awe-inspiring views. Embark on a trek with a local guide through the Tibetan Mountains to crystalline lakes, deep canyons, mystical plateaus, and divine mountain peaks. At the end of the day, return to the heavenly spa and unwind in serene, luxurious comfort.
Long hailed as a landmark in St. Moritz, Badrutt's Palace Hotel embodies the grandeur of the Swiss Alps. Situated amidst breathtaking scenery, the hotel has been a celeb-hounded hotspot since its opening in 1896. Dine at the hotel's new Nobu restaurant, the trendiest place in town and innovative addition to the storied hotel. After a lip-smacking good meal (legendary dishes like Tiradito, Black Cod with miso and New Style Sashimi are musts), head to the Renaissance Bar, the coziest bar in St. Moritz. Here, Mario, the well-known barkeeper, fixes both classic and creative cocktails. Sip the best Bellini in St. Moritz, or opt for the U2, the signature drink inspired by Mario's celebrity clientele. The shaken creation includes peach juice, cranberry juice, vodka, apricot brandy, a tumbler, and a straw.
Georgia's Sea Island Resorts, renowned for its championship golf and exclusive accommodations, is welcoming the arrival of Spring with a slew of recreational activities. Beach walks for bird watching. Hands-on nature programs about raptors, reptiles and gifts from the sea. Cooking schools and wine tastings. Golf clinics to ready your game. Dance lessons and etiquette classes. Escape to Sea Island and break out of your winter shell. A visit to the magnificent 65,000- square-foot Spa at Sea will provide a rejuvenating spring glow. Enjoy the blooming azaleas and soak up the sunshine. And get ready to get doused in some serious Southern hospitality; the service at Sea Island is legendary.
The line-up for Jazz Fest is looking good. Who's not going to be there? Dr. John, Rod Stewart, Van Morrison, Norah Jones, Brad Paisley, Jill Scott, Irma Thomas, Ludacris, Bonnie Raitt, Jerry Lee Lewis, Pharoah Sanders, Lucinda Williams, Soulive, Harry Connick Jr., Steely Dan, ZZ Top, John Legend, Allen Toussaint, Counting Crows, New Edition, George Benson, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Allman Brothers Band, Better Than Ezra, Joss Stone, Stephen Marley featuring Jr. Gong, Taj Mahal... (And the list goes on, and on.) Scheduled for April 21-29 and May 4-6, 2007, New Orleans' Jazz Fest draws tens of thousands of fans annually. Celebrate the rebirth of the Big Easy and enjoy ten stages of simultaneous music programming complemented by an unparalleled Food Fair with 100 varieties of authentic Louisiana cuisine (jambalaya, anyone?) Head to New Orleans for Jazz Fest and shack up at The International House, the stylish, contemporary boutique hotel just two blocks from the French Quarter. "If New Orleans is the best place in the country to party, then International House is the best place to sleep it off," says Travel and Leisure about this hip spot.
Congratulations to Gaia Hotel and Reserve, Costa Rica's luxurious hideaway, for winning a prestigious award from Conde Nast Johansens. The international luxury travel guide recently named Gaia "Most Excellent Hotel" for the entire Central America and Mexico region. This fabulous, eco-friendly hotel deserves some serious props. Nestled in the gorgeous coastal forests near Manuel Antonio National Park, the hotel's beautiful suites feature wrap-around views of the lush tropical surroundings. (You can even appreciate the sensational vistas while soaking in your own Jacuzzi.) This is an exotic setting without compare. Dedicated to the preservation of the pristine nature preserve surrounding the property, Gaia offers sublime luxury and a chic ambience. Conveniences include full-service spa, al fresco dining room, three-tiered infinity-edge pool, gym, restaurant, private butler service, and 24/7 room service.
The winners have been announced. After much speculation, Michelin has come out with its latest crop of three-star restaurants in France, with a whopping five new restaurants added to the prestigious list. The total number of three-star restaurants is 26. To quote the New York Times:
The new three-star establishments include three in Paris — Le Meurice in the Hôtel Meurice, Le Pré Catelan in the Bois de Boulogne, and Astrance, a tiny, 25-seat Right Bank restaurant — along with Lameloise in Burgundy and Pic in Valence, south of Lyon. Lameloise and Pic each regained third stars that were taken away several years ago; Pic's chef, Anne-Sophie Pic, is now one of only a handful of women ever to be in charge of a three-star kitchen.
But perhaps the most interesting announcement of all: the startling demotion of many top-tier restaurants to two stars, including Taillevent in Paris (bestowed three stars since 1973) and Le Cinq in the Four Seasons George V.