LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
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!
The beautiful Low Country of South Carolina is home to a splendid Auberge Resort (sister property to Napa's Auberge du Soleil and the Esperanza in Cabo). Situated on a nature preserve along the May River near Savannah, The Inn at Palmetto Bluff is known for its great golf, luxurious spa, and impeccable service. Now's your chance to score great rates at this upscale hideaway. Until the end of March, when you pay for two nights at the Inn at Palmetto Bluff, you'll receive the third for free. The Lagoon-View Cottage is priced from $750 per night.
Be one of the first to stay at Chicago's newest landmark: Trump's 92-story high-rise soaring above the Loop and North Michigan Avenue. Guests are promised "a higher level of luxury with unrivaled hospitality and detail-oriented amenities, including a personal attaché service." The 339 guest rooms at Trump International Hotel and Tower feature floor-to-ceiling windows, custom-designed furnishings, and fully-equipped kitchens. Also on-site: The Spa at Trump, Grand Ballroom and conference facilities, and the signature restaurant, Sixteen, with sweeping lake, river and city views. Travel and Leisure broke the news on the Trump International's opening. From now until March 27, 2008, you can enjoy special introductory rates starting from $425 in a one-bedroom deluxe king city view suite. Normal rack rates are $825. You must book from Sunday-Thursday nights. River view one-bedroom suites are available for $475 (rack rates are $875).
The big sale is back. Stay at a luxurious RockResort from just $96 per night! From snug mountain hideaways in the Rockies to a blissful beachfront retreat in the Caribbean, Rock Resorts has some dazzling destinations: The Pines Lodge in Beaver Creek, Aspen's Hotel Jerome, Keystone Lodge and Spa, The Lodge at Vail, La Posada de Santa Fe, and The Landings St. Lucia in the West Indies. Even the swanky new Arrabelle at Vail Square is going for just $136 per night. To take advantage of this exclusive offer, book your stay before Sunday, March 16, 2008, at 11:59 p.m. MDT. This offer is available for travel Sunday through Thursday nights, April 13, 2008 through November 13, 2008. Online bookings only. All bookings must be prepaid and are nonrefundable.
Set on a peninsula surrounded by the waters of the South China Sea, the Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort is a secluded tropical retreat just minutes from the center of Kota Kinabalu. Picture it: inviting beaches, views of sparkling coral islands, incredible natural wonders and local culture on the island of Borneo in the eastern part of Malaysia. Sabah-- the Malaysian state perched on the northern tip of the island of Borneo-- is known for its scenic beauty and natural heritage including such treasures as the Rafflesia (the largest flower in the world), Asian elephant, proboscis monkey, and of course the famous Orang Utan. Just a 2 1/2 hour flight from Singapore, Hong Kong, and Kuala Lumpur, Shangri-La's luxury resort offers 492 recently renovated rooms and suites, seven restaurants and bars, and a wealth of recreational opportunities for families and leisure travelers. Since December 2007, the resort is also home to CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La, which boasts 5 individual Island Villas, 3 Couples' Villas and an open Yoga Pavilion-- all located on Pulau Bayu, the resort's private island.
Don't miss a spectacular evening at the Sunset Bar, before heading out for a night at Blue Note, the buzzing bar featuring nightly music and generous cocktails. A hot new line-up of well-known international DJs will appear for "Generation Y" every Saturday in March. This is quite the scene- created by DJs renowned the world over for their trendsetting talent.
Where else but the happening Lobby Bar at One Aldwych, "London's most exciting contemporary luxury hotel" (Harpers Bazaar), could one find heavenly cocktails like these?
Blackberry and Lavender Martini: Lavender infused Wyborowa vodka with fresh blackberries, blackberry purée, lemon juice and a dash of sugar syrup
Thai Martini: Spicy mixture of ginger infused Stolichnaya vodka, fresh coriander, lemongrass, lime leaf, Angostura bitters and sweetened with a dash of ginger syrup
Heralded as one of the top hotel bars in the world, The Lobby Bar is a gorgeous double-height space appointed with original contemporary sculptures and vast flower arrangements (pictured) set high on Perspex plinths. Hot since the day it opened, the glamorous Lobby Bar has an extensive range of champagnes, wines and beers, not to mention 63 original cocktails made with the freshest of ingredients. Bar nibbles (sushi, duck spring rolls) are stellar. Smack dab in the middle of London in Covent Garden, One Aldwych offers some fine people-watching at oh-so-cool The Lobby Bar.
March 11, 2008
By: Courtney W. May
Anyone who has ever read The Informed Traveler in the past, knows what a big fan I am of the Don CeSar Beach Resort in St. Pete Beach, Florida. Located on the Gulf of Mexico Beach, the hotel is wonderful for singles, couples, and families - which is a hard endorsement to get. Click on the link below to get a pop-up window with video, pictures, and tours of the Don CeSar Beach Resort. You can check out the beach, restaurants, pool area, and a bunch of rooms through this link ...
By: Courtney W. May
March 11, 2008
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
A winery might not be the first place that comes to mind when one thinks of St. Patrick's Day festivities, but at Chateau Elan Winery & Resort the party begins at 5:00 pm until 12:30 am. Irish musician, Davey Clark, will be playing and a special menu of pulled pork barbeque sandwiches, corned beef sandwiches, Irish chicken wings, fish-n-chips, pub fries, and Guinness mouse has been created. A variety of beverages, both tinted green and regular, will be available. You can also take home a t-shirt or other novelty item commemorating the evening. The fun begins March 17th at Paddy's Irish Pub, (678) 425-0900, ext. 6074.
On Saturday, March 15, Tea Master Elizabeth Knight will host a special Afternoon Tea at The Peninsula to celebrate St. Patty's Day and all things Irish. Sit down at Fives, and enjoy the lively 5th Avenue views from the large arched windows while indulging in warm scones and a selection of finger sandwiches, breads, and petits fours presented on a three-tier silver server, with a choice of Celtic Teas or Peninsula Signature Tea. Elizabeth Knight will discuss her new book, "Celtic Teas with Friends, Teatime Traditions from Cornwall, Ireland, Scotland and Wales." You'll be taken with her charming ideas: from hosting a lively St Patrick's Day Tea to a Scottish Hen Party Tea. Plus, there will be a discussion on the benefits of tea and its related etiquette. From 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.; priced from $50 per person. Attire is smart casual.