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.
February 22, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
The Grand Regina Alpin Well&Fit Hotel is located at the foot of the famous Eiger and Jungfrau mountains, and is renowned as the winter and summer resort of Grindelwald.
Highlights include - Whirlpool, Sauna, Steam Baths, Beauty Salon, Fitness Center, Massages, solarium with light therapies and oxygen bar, heated indoor and outdoor pools - and that's only in the Alpin Well&Fit Club. Hiking, mountaineering, tennis courts, golf driving range, all winter sports, and an 18-hole golf course are nearby.
But the reason it's a new favorite of mine? It treats each and every guest like royalty - no matter what and no matter which staff member you deal with. Just don't forget to request a "Eiger north face" view room - all of the rooms have mountain views, but the Eiger is definitly the best one - if you can get it.
Dream of staying in a castle? Ireland's majestic Waterford Castle is located on its very own 310-acre island in the middle of the beautiful River Suir. With only 19 premium guest rooms, the castle provides the ultimate in luxurious privacy. Dine at the award-winning restaurant, play golf on the island's 18-hole golf course, and check out the world-famous Waterford Crystal factory nearby. Get pampered like royalty at this stunning estate, only three hours drive from Dublin in southeast Ireland. Take advantage of a special re-opening offer of EUR 70 per person, including Full Irish Breakfast daily. Valid Sunday to Thursday until March 31, 2007. ( Waterford Castle is closed annually for the month of January, and has now re-opened to welcome the Spring!)
Get a load of this fantastic offer at the Whiteface Lodge. Stay three nights at the special rate of $395 per night for two people, and receive a $300 credit towards your room rate at check-out. Now pick that jaw up from the floor, and call 1-800-903-4045 to make reservations. Available March 1-May 24, 2007, subject to availability, one bedroom suite only. Nestled in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains in Lake Placid, the luxurious Whiteface Lodge offers the rustic sophistication of the Adirondack Great Camps with refined service and contemporary amenities. "The whole place radiates rustic good taste," says the Conde Nast Traveler Hot List. Indulge your inner epicurean at the celebrated Kanu restaurant, and enjoy Chef Brian Moyers' culinary creativity at the Exhibition Kitchen. Relax at the premier spa, the only spa on the East Coast to offer 24-hour treatments in the Spa Suites. Exciting resort activities include The Canoe Club, health and fitness center, year-round heated swimming pool, year-round ice skating rink, movie theater, family game room, ten-pin bowling alley, platform tennis, and hiking and cross-country skiing trails.
undiscovered island paradise of Vieques, now hailed by travel guides as among the world's best-kept vacation secrets, is home to the Martineau Bay Resort and Spa, scheduled to become a new "W" hotel this year. Situated on the north coast of Vieques, just eight miles off the coast of Puerto Rico, the resort overlooks two secluded beaches. The two-level pool is surrounded by a coral-stone sundeck from where guests can soak up the Atlantic views. Take advantage of the "Get Your Green On" three-day package and celebrate St. Patrick's Day on an idyllic tropical island starting from $973. The package includes three nights' luxurious accommodation, two tickets to the beachfront St. Patrick's Day celebration, and emerald cocktails (try mojitos and margaritas) with green smoothies for the kiddies.