LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
A new resort is making waves in the Whitsundays on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Just a stone's throw off the Queensland coast, qualia, pronounced kwah-lee-ah, is described as a "unique Australian expression of world-class luxury." And the Sydney Morning Herald, present at the resort's launch in late 2007, couldn't agree more, praising qualia as a "coming-of-age for Australian resorts." Situated on the secluded northernmost tip of Hamilton Island, qualia puts the stunning wonders of the Reef at your doorstep. With kayaking, diving, seaplane flights, fishing, and bushwalking, thrill-seekers will find heaven on earth. At this adults-only resort, everything has been meticulously anticipated to provide the ultimate pampering experience. Surrounded by native Eucalyptus, the resort's 60 one-bedroom pavilions were handcrafted from the finest timber and stone. Choose either the Leeward or Seaward pavilions, outfitted with sundecks and private infinity-edge plunge pools, or the exclusive Beach House. What's more: Accommodations include all on-island transfers, meals in both restaurants, non-alcoholic beverages, plus access to your own two-seater electric golf buggy to explore the island. Get ready to get spoiled.
Celebrate Spring with an "Easter Escape" in Manhattan that includes a complimentary upgrade, daily continental breakfast for two, and a Vitamin Infusion in the hotel's five-star spa. As we've raved before, Mandarin Oriental is the ideal choice for luxury accommodation when traveling with 3+ in the city... plus it's just steps away from Central Park and the city's finest shopping, museums, and theater. The "Easter Escape" package is priced from $1,650 in a Premier Hudson River View Room and is available March 16- 31, 2008. Kids will go gaga over the Lobby Lounge's Easter Chocolate Workshop led by the famous chocolatier, Jacques Torres on Friday, March 21 and Saturday, March 22. The "Edible Easter" Package includes accommodations for the family (one night in a Corner Hudson River View Room with an adjoining Superior Double Room for $1,750) and complimentary breakfast for up to four people.
P.S. Nothing beats a carriage ride around Central Park when the flowers are in bloom.
February 28, 2008
By: Courtney W. May
Recently re-opened after a USD 30 million redevelopment in 2006, the Shangri-La Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa is a luxury resort at Batu Feringgi, one of the most inviting beaches in Malaysia. The Resort offers vacationers an expansive luxury retreat in traditional Malaysian style, nestled beside the emerald waters of world-famous Batu Feringgi Beach in Penang. The resort is also within walking distance of Batu Feringgi's lively night bazaar and some 17 km or 20 minutes' drive from the heritage city of George Town. Until March 31st, the Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa is offering a 3 and 4 night Penang Holiday Plan. Starting at just MYR 2,308 for 3 nights and MYR 3,078 for 4 nights, retreat from the world and enjoy the luxuries of this renovated resort.
By: Courtney W. May
During the month of March, the award-winning Chester Grosvenor is offering a special dinner/bed and breakfast package with Five Star Alliance that represents excellent value. Priced at GBP 229, the package includes an overnight stay in a Classic Room, 3-course a la carte dinner for two in La Brasserie restaurant, bottle of wine with dinner, breakfast and VAT. Considering the published rate on a Classic Room is GBP 229, this dinner-included package is a fabulous deal. Dating back to 1865, The Chester Grosvenor is owned by the family of the Duke of Westminster. Surrounded by the breathtaking scenery of the historic city of Chester in northwest England, the hotel was one of a handful of hotels to be awarded five AA Red Stars.
Of all the special packages we've seen to commemorate D.C.'s Cherry Blossom Festival, this has got to be the coolest. This year marks the 96th anniversary of the original gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the city of Washington, and the 2008 National Cherry Blossom Festival will run from March 29- April 13 with the parade on Saturday, April 12. The Madison, A Loews Hotel, has designed a special "Cherry Blossom Keepsake" Package, and each guest will be given a small Yoshino cherry tree sapling to take home for planting! Starting from $229 per night, the package includes deluxe accommodations and complimentary parking in downtown Washington near the National Mall and all the action. Available March 14- April 13, 2008.
This Friday marks leap day. What's the big deal? This extra calendar day doesn't come around too often! To celebrate, the Texas properties in Omni's hotel collection are pampering guests with a "Leapend Package." Each moment of the weekend stay is highlighted by a special indulgence. A chocolate surprise and champagne upon arrival. A complimentary in-room movie each night. Breakfast in bed. Plus, signature robes to take home. Omni Hotels in Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio are offering "Leapend Weekend" at special rates from $129 to $329. Plus, get this! For those wishing to take a "Lovers' Leap," Omni will provide a complimentary weekend stay to any couple who becomes engaged on hotel grounds during their "Leapend" stay. (The proposal must be witnessed by an Omni associate.) The complimentary weekend provides couples the opportunity to celebrate the anniversary of their engagement with welcome wedding cake martinis for two, a petite cake and 29 roses at the issuing hotel property during February 2009. Leapend Weekend is available at nine Texas locations from February 28 to March 2, 2008.
Soak up the exotic atmosphere of Istanbul at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. Now accepting reservations from July 1, 2008, the new Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus promises an alluring mix of old and new-- just like the vibrant city itself. On the European bank of the fabled Bosphorus Strait, a 19th century Ottoman Palace got a facelift and now houses the 166-room luxury hotel. Facilities are chic, fresh: a beautiful 22,605-square-foot urban spa, state-of-the-art fitness room, fine restaurants and pools at the water's edge. Guest rooms are bright and spacious, appointed with both Ottoman and contemporary furnishings and art. Almost a quarter of the rooms offer views across the Strait to the hills of Asia. Beyond the hotel, discover the treasures of the only city in the world to exist on two continents.
February 26, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Following an extensive renovation, the Fairmont Mara Safari Club has re-opened on the edge of the Masai Mara, Kenya's world-famous wildlife refuge which is home to an astounding array of animals including zebras, cheetahs, wildebeests, gazelles and of course the "Big Five." The 50 tents are the farthest thing from "roughing it"... Outfitted with four poster, pillow-top beds and spacious verandas, the tents offer all the creature comforts overlooking the Mara River full of hippos and crocodiles. Each of the beautifully-furnished tents has its own three-piece bathroom, and many have outdoor showers. Guests are spoiled with complimentary welcome drinks, private massage tents, poolside attendants at the heated, free-form swimming pool, and excellent entertainment like Masai dances. At the main lodge you'll find an indoor restaurant, bar, and library with Internet access. There are a wide range of activities available. For the ultimate indulgence, choose a balloon safari over the Mara plains capped with a champagne breakfast on the savannah. Coming soon: The Norfolk and Mount Kenya Safari Club will soon join the Fairmont Mara Safari Club bringing the grand total to three Fairmont properties in Kenya.
Indulge your quirky side with the delightfully unique Luxe Manor, located in the bustling city of Hong Kong. Surrounded by a variety of shops, museums and stores, the Luxe Manor offers a variety of activities outside the hotel to choose from, while also providing a unique place to stay. Furnished with a combination of Oriental, European and post modern decorations, each suite offers a different experience artistically enticing, yet comforting and luxurious. The Luxe Manor Hong Kong is also home to the extraordinary restaurant Aspasia, complete with bar and sit down dining area. Aspasia benefits from the talents of Chef Rolland Schuller, winner of multiple Michelin Stars, and presents a fine variety of Italian cuisine, among other delicious dishes. Each room includes an LCD television, marble bathroom, internet access, and room service. The Luxe Manor also offers a gymnasium, Business Centre, wireless internet throughout the hotel, and various childcare and car services.
By: Madelyn Giblin
Despite several delays due to ongoing construction, the highly anticipated Maxim Bungalows will be opening this year. March 15 marks the debut of Maxim Bungalows, Cofresi Beach, while its sibling resort at Juan Dolio will open in September. Maxim Bungalows is designed to give singles and couples alike an exotic stay in one of the Dominican Republic's finest resorts. Maxim Bungalows boasts 108 one and two bedroom bungalows complete with 24 hour service, Jacuzzi tub and flat screen TV. The resort includes a large, relaxing spa, and pool area, and most notably, a 54 foot yacht, which guests have the ability to charter for day trips and evening cruises.
Maxim Bungalows also offers a variety of activities for its active guests including jungle trips, scuba diving, a lively nightlife at various bars, cabanas, and night clubs in the area. The spa also offers guests a place to relax and rejuvenate in an exotic exciting environment. Maxim Bungalows stands out as the place to go for trendy singles searching for a place to enjoy a magnificent resort. And yes, it is related to Maxim Magazine. Visit www.maximbungalows.com.
By: Madelyn Giblin