LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
March 17, 2008
By: Madelyn Giblin
There's no need to sacrifice your diet just because you're on a luxurious vacation getaway in Asia. The Peninsula Bangkok now offers a nutritionist-endorsed Afternoon Tea. Led by Chef Philip Sedgewick, the program combines the traditional English custom with a variety of lighter, healthier options that reflect local cuisine. Among the items featured on the menu are home-made sugar free jams, low calorie cream, whole grains, and avocados. The Peninsula Bangkok is striving to move towards healthier dining options for its guests, while at the same time giving them a taste of the local cuisine, and continuing to provide delicious mouthwatering dishes to enjoy. Naturally Peninsula, the hotels healthy dining line, has been met with great success. So for travelers looking to enjoy an extravagant vacation at no cost to your waistline, The Peninsula Bangkok is well worth a look.
By: Madelyn Giblin
For what Travel + Leisure called "some of the best cooking in the United States," head to the lovely rolling countryside in western Massachusetts-- just two and a half hours by car from New York and Boston. Nestled on 22 acres overlooking the Berkshire mountains, Wheatleigh is one of the most coveted destinations for foodies. Built in 1893, Wheatleigh is an Italianate mansion originally designed for a Spanish countess. The Dining Room at Wheatleigh was awarded the AAA Five Diamond Award for Chef Jeffrey Thompson's sophisticated cuisine served in a pretty setting lit by candles and a fireplace. From large windows overlooking the mountains and the lake, the dining rooms offer incredible views-- especially during the sunset or fall foliage season. Menus, featuring the finest ingredients, change seasonally.
Pssst. You can sleep here, too. Wheatleigh offers 19 suites and guest rooms filled with exquisite antiques and contemporary art. Andrew Harper's Hideaway Report named the hotel a Grand Award Winner for 2008.
March 14, 2008
By: Madelyn Giblin
If you want to experience the magnificence of the Himalayas while staying in style, Wildflower Hall, located in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India, is the place to be. Situated at 8,350 feet in pine and cedar forest, Wildflower Hall offers a variety of activities for those who love the outdoors and those who love to be pampered. The surrounding area offers hours of entertainment in hiking, biking, horseback riding, and even a fully stocked archery court. In addition the hotel also offers a tranquil and relaxing spa, with a variety of therapies from around the globe. Rooms are furnished with exquisite decorations, and offer spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. The hotel also offers a full list of business amenities, including meeting rooms, board rooms, and fully equipped business center to meet all of your needs. For a truly grand stay, check out Wildflower Hall's exceptional Lord Kitchener Suite, named for the former resident of the hall; it features a four poster bed and separate second bedroom.
By: Madelyn Giblin
The Summer Lodge-- the 5-star haven surrounded by the idyllic English countryside of Dorset (Thomas Hardy Country)-- was recently awarded the Andrew Harper Grand Award for its individuality and devotion to personal service. Long appreciated as a truly enchanting hotel in the picture-postcard village of Evershot, the country house hotel is distinguished for its genuine hospitality. The Summer Lodge will always go the extra mile to create an unforgettable experience for its guests. There are a number of country pursuits on offer-- everything from horseback riding to croquet-- and the spa and swimming pool with its glass ceiling are universally adored. Spring is the perfect time for a getaway to the Summer Lodge, when the flowers are bursting into color in the exquisitely-manicured gardens. There is still limited availability for the fabulous Easter Package, running from March 21-24, 2008. The package includes traditional cream tea for two, dinner for two, one Swedish massage per person, Easter Egg turndown, full English breakfast, and a bottle of Champagne.
Just in time for the Olympic Games, The Peninsula Beijing will introduce its new Peninsula Spa by ESPA this spring. (So if you were one of the lucky few who scored rooms at The Peninsula for the Summer Olympics, you're in for a treat.) Following the successful launch of spas by ESPA in Hong Kong, Bangkok, Chicago, and Tokyo, the Beijing property is the latest to join the groupwide partnership between The Peninsula Hotels and ESPA. The 1,340 square-meter spa, with its 12 state-of-the-art treatment rooms, is part of the hotel's third-floor wellness, health and fitness facility. Guests will get pampered with a deeply personalized spa experience like nowhere else in the Chinese capital. Designed by Henry Leung of Chhada Siembieda Leung Ltd. (the man behind the renovation of The Peninsula Beijing), the spa is done up in marble, aged wood, and textured granite. You'll find VIP rooms, a Relaxation room, and Thermal facilities in addition to the single treatment rooms and massage spaces.
Madrid's world-famous Prado Museum completed an incredible $208 million expansion project in 2007, incorporating various nearby buildings into the Prado in the creation of a Museo del Prado Campus. The old Cloister of the Jerónimos was restored and connected to the Prado, creating new exhibition space. Check out the newly-expanded Prado Museum while staying at Madrid's legendary luxury hotel situated just across the street from the museum. Since its opening in 1910 under the personal supervision of Cesar Ritz, the sumptuously-decorated Hotel Ritz has been a favorite of kings, heads of state, and film stars. The Hotel Ritz is offering the "Cultural Experience in Madrid" package just in time for the major Goya Show. Available from now until December 23, 2008, the two-night package for two persons starts at about $1,317 in low season and $1,476 in high season and includes:
*Two nights accommodation in a classic room
*Entrance to the Prado, Thyssen Bornemisza and Reina Sofía Museums
*One three-course dinner, excluding beverages, in the Goya Restaurant
*Daily buffet breakfast with Cava (Spanish sparkling wine) at the Goya Restaurant
*One bottle of Cava in your room
*Afternoon tea in the Lounge
*Roundtrip airport transfers in a private chauffeured car
*Complimentary Art Guide to the Prado
*Welcome amenities in room upon arrival
*Free access to the Wellness Center
Private guided visits to the Prado after hours and chauffeured tours of the city can be arranged by the hotel for additional charges.
March 13, 2008
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
The Inn at Perry Cabin is the perfect place to enjoy the annual St. Michaels Food & Wine Festival from April 25th to 27th, 2008. The event takes place on the grounds of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, a stone's throw from the Inn. Chefs from around the world will be offering recipe demonstrations along with wine seminars, wine tastings, and a variety of food and wine related exhibits. In honor of the festival, fine restaurants in the area will be featuring special wine inspired dinners that weekend. However, if you'd like to spend a weekend in lovely St. Michaels, The Inn at Perry Cabin has created a two-night package. Everything is included from room accommodation to breakfast for two each morning, two seats at Chef Salter's Grand Tasting Dinner on Friday April 25th, a wine amenity to indulge in your own wine tasting, and two weekend passes for the event. You'll certainly be able to make the most out of all the delectable offerings!
Until the end of March, take advantage of some excellent special offers at one of the finest hotels in Manhattan. With its exceptional service and refined Park Avenue address just two blocks from Central Park, Loews Regency is an indulgent hideaway of pampering in a city that never sleeps. The "Park Avenue Winter" rates, starting from a mere $299 per night, are available until March 31, 2008. This represents a savings of 40 percent off regular room rates. Or choose the "Power Suite" package and discover the perks of a VIP at Loews Regency starting at just $499 in an Executive Suite. (The Luxury One Bedroom is priced from $699 per night.) High-speed Internet access and local calls included. Available until March 28, 2008.
March 12, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Our spies on the ground in South Africa couldn't help but notice the crew of Secret Service henchmen who recently took over the Royal Malewane, named "Best Safari Lodge" by Tatler (UK) in 2006. Located on the western edge of Kruger National Park in the heart of South Africa's "Big Five" territory, the Royal Malewane is as posh as they come. After arriving by private helicopter, Sarko and his muse stayed hidden away in their swanky Royal Villa. Though they missed out on the incredible meals served in the lodge (Persian carpets, crystal, silver, fine china and all the plush offerings of a bygone era), we hear they had a private chef on call and some of the best game trackers in South Africa for their exclusive game drives. The Royal Malewane accommodates only 20 guests, so anyone who stays there will feel as spoiled as the French
royal president. Plus, the luxurious lodge is situated on its own private reserve, so don't be surprised to see elephants drinking out of your private plunge pool in the morning.
PS. There's a swanky spa, too.
March 12, 2008
By: Christina Vasquez
When many people think about Las Vegas weddings they think of a quick ceremony officiated by an Elvis impersonator, in a drive-through chapel on the old Vegas Strip. However within the walls of the fine luxury hotels on Las Vegas Blvd. are hidden gems of amazing wedding options that break the stereotypical mold of a Las Vegas wedding. For me personally my best hotel experience by far has been at The Venetian. Granted I am very partial to this property as it holds wonderful memories of the day when my husband and I were married within this charming Las Vegas hotel. Our wedding day was far from the typical Vegas wedding; it was elegant, intimate and included all the personal touches that we asked for. We were pleasantly surprised at the amount of options that the hotel offers for weddings, including a personal wedding planner, suites and ballrooms for receptions of every size, and floral and video services available on site to ensure our every expectation was met. The specialized treatment that we received from the wedding planners and hotel staff was impeccable and the romantic setting and accommodations provided to us by The Venetian made our wedding day even more memorable. You will find great wedding packages offered at many hotels such as Caesars Palace, Bellagio and the Venetian. These hotels have created customized wedding packages that range from small intimate ceremonies to grand traditional ceremonies-- and everything in between!