LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
Now's the time to check out the Hopper and Homer exhibits at the Art Institute of Chicago-- running until May 10, 2008. Check into the Conrad Hotel, a bastion of contemporary luxury smack dab on the Magnificent Mile and within walking distance to the Art Institute, and you'll be spoiled rotten by the cool amenities on offer. Unleash your inner artist and book the special "Homer and Hopper" package. Starting from $420 per night and available for a limited time, the package includes accommodations, an in-room interpretation of the works of Homer and Hopper amenity prepared by the hotel's Executive Chef, two tickets to the Homer and Hopper Exhibit at The Art Institute of Chicago, audio tour for two for the exhibit, and a gift certificate for $25.00 to Blick Art Supply. [Map]
Spa-lovers come for the intimate Sanctuary Spa with its luxurious Asian-inspired treatments. Feeling zen? You'll appreciate the movement studio and quiet corners for relaxation. Foodies are delighted by the farm-fresh cuisine with Asian accents prepared by Executive Chef Beau MacMillan (yup, he's appeared on the Today Show a couple times). Offering dramatic mountain and spa casitas with breathtaking views of Paradise Valley, the award-winning Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain is the swanky Arizona hideaway of choice. And since last year's debut of the "Mi Casa, Mi Chef" program, gastronomes are going wild. This package is the ultimate epicurean getaway, where four couples can enjoy the instruction of their own personal chef in a private mountain home:
From the farmer's market to the kitchen of a private mountain home, guests join Sanctuary Chefs for the ultimate in bespoke dining. As a guest of the Mi Casa, Mi Chef package you will work hand-in-hand with the Chef to plan your customized dining experience, and work side-by-side to prepare the feast. The Chef will join you for you dinner, expertly pairing wines to complement the meal. This feast for the palate ends with a feast for the senses, as the sun sets over the Sonoran skyline.
The package includes two nights in a private mountainside home, a chauffeured trip to the local farmer's market with your Chef to shop for that evening's customized menu, interactive cooking session and dinner paired with wines, and one 60-minute spa treatment in the private home for each person. The "Mi Casa, Mi Chef" experience is available once per month through December 31, 2008, subject to availability. Pricing starts at $8,000.
April 3, 2008
By: Courtney W. May
I recently traveled to New York City on business, and of course in my line of work, I stayed in three hotels over the course of five nights. One of those properties was The Carlyle, a Rosewood Hotel, located on Madison Avenue at 76th Street. The hotel strives for a "private residential atmosphere" and they more than succeed. The dedication to creating that feeling is demonstrated by the Managing Director choosing to live on the property with his family.
I was spoiled like a princess at The Carlyle in the hotel's "Royal Suite" - room 2209. The Royal Suite is located on the 22nd floor along with three other suites and is a short ride with the white-gloved elevator operator from the lobby. The Carlyle's Royal Suite floor-plan (click on the image at right) doesn't do justice to how spacious the Royal Suite actually feels. After stepping inside, I thought I had entered into someone's Park Avenue apartment with gorgeous hardwood floors, area rugs, and fabric wall coverings.
According to The Carlyle -
- With just 187 rooms and suites distributed among the hotel's 60 residential apartments, The Carlyle offers the exclusive ambience of an Upper East Side pied-a-terre. The Royal Suite is an elaborate two-bedroom suite offers 1,700 square feet of living space and features both a king-bedded and twin-bedded bedroom. There is a full kitchen, dining room for six, two marble bathrooms, a double-high ceiling in the raised living room, grand piano and mantle fireplace. This suite is located on the 22nd floor and features views sweeping skyline and East River views. Tastefully appointed and individually decorated by Alexandra Champalimaud, the Royal Suite features original hardwood floors, area rugs, luxurious fabrics and linens, and unique artwork adorning its walls.
The hotel's description fails to mention that from the kitchen, dining room, and master bedroom you can see views of New York's Central Park - and that these impressive views are from windows which open all the way ... without screens or safety nets. I loved it, but I can imagine it would be terrifying for others.
After wandering through the suite for a half hour, I called friends of mine who live in New York and invited them to share the second bedroom of the suite. I thought they might enjoy the extra space! The suite easily fits four adults or two adults and two children. The sofas are not pull-out for sleeping, but I can admit that I did take a small nap in one accidentally.
I honestly have nothing but wonderful things to say about The Carlyle's Royal Suite and amenities. The suite has a very regal feel with rich colors, black marble and deep woods – but the large open windows, mirrored walls, and high ceilings keep it from being oppressive. The standard published rack rate for the Royal Suite is $6000 USD per night for 2 adults (I personally did not pay that much!). The most standard, basic rooms at The Carlyle start at $755 USD per night for two adults. Just for comparison sake, the hotel's most spectacular suite is the 2600 square foot duplex on floors 28 and 29 which features three bedrooms, full park views in the tower and is $15000 USD per night.
My picture of the living room area from the top of the stairs - looking towards the fireplace to the right, piano straight ahead, desk and television to the left. (I wish I had a better camera or lighting for this one).
The main bedroom with king bed, door to the right, standing in the bathroom doorway. There was an iPod docking station, multiple closets, television, great views, and of course slippers and robes for two.
The 2 stock photos provided by the hotel ...
Don't forget - Guests who make their reservations through Five Star Alliance for The Carlyle will receive a special welcome gift upon check-in, a $50.00 food and beverage credit as well as a complimentary in-room continental breakfast daily for up to two guests.
Learn More about The Carlyle Hotel in New York City >>
By: Courtney W. May