March 14, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
This Easter experience the renaissance of the cool and cultured in Berlin, and the luxurious bliss of Germany's most famous hotel. Leveled during the war, the Hotel Adlon was reconstructed in 1997 by Germany's renowned hotelier, Kempinski. Located in the heart of Berlin, next to the famous Brandenburg Gate, the Adlon is a grand and storied hotel. The seven-room Presidential Suite-- its window the notorious scene of Michael Jackson's baby-dangling antics-- is as elegant as befits the royalty and heads-of-state who frequently stay here. The Easter Package includes two nights accommodations in a deluxe room, a welcome gift upon arrival, gourmet breakfast buffet daily, one special four-course dinner with champagne, a guided cultural tour, and free entrance to the Adlon Spa. Starting at EUR 498, valid from April 14- April 17.
Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin, Official Site
Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin, Five Star Alliance
Hot off the press! A fabulous limited offer brought to you by Leading Hotels of the World. With this four night vacation package at the exquisite Cuisinart Resort and Spa, book three nights and get a fourth night for free! Accommodations include a beachfront junior suite with daily continental breakfast. Available from March 26- March 30, April 23- April 27. With some of the Caribbean's most beautiful white sand beaches, gorgeous infinity pool, world-class spa, and white-washed Mediterranean style villas surrounded by tropical gardens, it's no wonder that the Cuisinart is such a sought-after Caribbean destination.
Cuisinart Resort and Spa, Official Site
Cuisinart Resort and Spa, Five Star Alliance
Take a jaunt to Puerto Rico for a few days of girls' pampering and beachfront luxury. Who can resist an offer like this? Especially with Jet Blue's easy and affordable flights to San Juan. The Water Club is San Juan's only luxury boutique hotel on the beach, oozing Latin sophistication and chic elegance. Home to San Juan's hottest bar, Liquid, and the exotic open-air rooftop lounge, Wet, boasting the island's best sushi bar. The two-night package includes luxury accommodations in an ocean front room, dinner for two (champagne and sushi, of course!) at Wet and VIP list privileges at a local night club, in-room manicures and pedicures, massages at Wet, and a private dinner for two on your second night (Chef Nelson Rosado will cook tableside and then you'll receive 2 rum guns to get things going.) $999, based on double occupancy. Package valid for travel Sunday-Thursday only March 1-April 16, and 7 days a week April 17- September 30, 2006; blackout dates may apply; reserve by March 31, 2006.
The Water Club, Official Site
The Water Club, Five Star Alliance
Now is the time for an end-of-season hurrah. The biggest ski resort in North America may also be the most fabulous. Whistler boasts the biggest vertical rise in North America (a whopping 5,280 feet) and the most terrain (we're talking 8,171 acres). Additionally, there's a meager 100,000 acres of Heli and SnowCat backcountry skiing on the surrounding Coast Mountain range. Where to stay? The Pan Pac is where it's at, consistently rated the best, most luxurious spot in Whistler. Here's why: the suites offer full kitchens, balconies, and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the mountains. Resort amenities are world-class: outdoor heated swimming pool, outdoor hot tubs with spectacular mountain views, fitness center, spa and steam room.
Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside, Official Site
Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside, Five Star Alliance
Arguably the world's best spa resort, the Banyan Tree Phuket is an exotic spa paradise facing Thailand's turquoise Andaman Sea. These exquisite tropical surroundings have recently become the sought-after setting for Banyan Tree's Destination Spa program: a series of fitness, wellness and cultural activities available in three, five and seven-night packages. The program includes accommodation for two in award-winning villas at Banyan Tree Phuket, daily breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner, two 90-minute massage sessions, an Intimate Moments experience, complimentary participation in daily fitness and wellness program and a special gift from Banyan Tree Gallery. In addition, guests are provided their own personal resort host to assist and recommend the best spa treatments. Rates begin at US$1,980 for a three-night package in a Deluxe Villa.
Banyan Tree Phuket, Official Site
Banyan Tree Phuket, Five Star Alliance
This Easter, think Spain. The gorgeous Mediterranean isle of Mallorca, awash with flowers and olive groves, is home to the 17th century hacienda-turned-boutique hotel: Gran Hotel Son Net. Its 25 rooms are each unique, lavishly and individually decorated; the suites boast large windows overlooking the countryside, and private terraces, gardens and swimming pools. The Easter special includes four nights luxurious accommodations, four Son Net breakfasts, cava and fresh fruit in-room upon arrival, traditional Good Friday dinner and Easter Buffet-Brunch at the L'Orangerie Restaurant, and private transfer service from and to Palma airport. Starting at EUR 1,670, valid April 13-18.
Gran Hotel Son Net, Official Site
Gran Hotel Son Net, Five Star Alliance
Welcome to the most elegant hotel in Latin America. The awards are numerous--Andrew Harper's Hideaway Report ("Among the World's 20 Best"), Travel and Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler (Top Hotels in the World)-- and the service, impeccable. Among the wide avenues, magnificent architecture, and splendid boutiques of the elegant Recoleta neighborhood in the "Paris of South America," the Belle Epoque Alvear Palace is a city historical monument. Furnished in the style of Luis XV, the rooms and suites are adorned with antiques and crystal chandeliers. Amenities include Hermes de Paris bath products, personal butler service, 500 thread Egyptian cotton sheets, telephone with intelligent screen to regulate AC, Wifi, and DVD players. Bathrooms are nothing short of magnificent, often equipped with jacuzzi and sauna. Guests are treated to the best buffet breakfast in the city, at Orangerie Restaurant, and the fine-dining restaurant-- La Bourgogne—is considered the best in the city, awarded "Latin America's Best Restaurant" by Wine Spectator. Indeed, the Alvear Palace Hotel is itself a symbol of Buenos Aires.
Alvear Palace Hotel, Official Site
Alvear Palace Hotel, Five Star Alliance
My home town is getting a makeover and I couldn't be happier. Kimpton-- that most delightful hotelier-- has bought the aged, decrepit Holiday Inn in Old Town, Alexandria and plans a complete overhaul. At long last: the return of glamour and class to this prime real estate in the heart of Old Town's cobblestone streets, flickering gas lamps and gorgeous colonial homes! Kimpton is pumping in $22 million in its conversion; the new Hotel Monaco, Alexandria will have 241 colorful and unique guest rooms, a pool, fitness club, and fine dining. Bring it on.
March is upon us, and for serious skiers (but those who prefer not to jet to the Southern Hemisphere during the other half of the year), this means the last days of the season on the slopes. And for some of the finest skiing in Europe-- away from Turin's still dissipating crowds-- the French Alps beckon. And the elegance and exceptional location of Hotel de Charme Les Airelles prove temptingly attractive. A grand chalet of the past, this place still embodies the prestigious old-world days of opulence and grandeur. During the 1992 Winter Olympics, Les Airelles served as home to the International Olympic Committee. Basking in its beautiful setting, with ski runs at the door, the hotel boasts an indoor pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam and Turkish bath.
Hotel de Charme Les Airelles, Official Site
Hotel de Charme Les Airelles, Five Star Alliance
Did they neglect to read National Geographic's damning assessment of the Costa del Sol? In Traveler's yearly Destination Scorecord-- ranking the integrity of places by creating an index of Destination Stewardship-- Spain's coast has gone to the dogs. The pressures of development, pollution, globalization, and mass tourism have held sway:
...[in] Spain's Costa del Sol—the overbuilt "Costa del Concrete," which caters to package tours from northern Europe... you can hear more English or German than Spanish. As with many uncontrolled seashores, a nonstop line of characterless hotels blocks off the coastline.The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company has assumed management of one of these hotels: the 112-room luxurious Villa Padierna. Though the place has got a golf course, spa, Beach Club, and rooms full of antiques, I'm still skeptical. Good luck, Ritz-Carlton. Let's see if they can turn the tide and bring back the glamor.