Go coastal this summer and head south of the border to Acapulco, the oft-overlooked Pacific Coast retreat nestled between the soaring mountains of the Sierra Madre on one side and the crystal blue bay on the other. Book a stay at the premier resort in the area, the Fairmont Pierre Marques, once the private getaway of J. Paul Getty, and enjoy fantastic savings with "Only One Way" summer rates, starting at just $149 through early September. With refreshing infinity pools overlooking the ocean, a state-of-the-art fitness center, tennis, golf, and aquatic sports galore, this landmark hotel offers endless fun in the sun for a real steal. (The hotel's sister property, Fairmont Acapulco Princess, has likewise reduced its summer rates.)
Foodies flock to Whist at Viceroy Santa Monica, ranked in the top hotel restaurants in the U.S. for its fabulous Modern American cuisine. In this stylish hot spot, Executive Chef Warren Schwartz serves up highly addictive bites using fresh local provisions. This summer, Taste of Tuesday transforms Viceroy Santa Monica's famed poolside into a gourmand's mecca; guests can relax by the pool while indulging in tasty treats every Tuesday from 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. Servers circulate small plates to accompany classy cocktails like the Bartinis-- a low carb/low calorie selection of martinis with flavors like blue raspberry, cranberry cosmo, and dessert key lime. In addition, guests at Viceroy Santa Monica can enjoy "Warren's Culinary Journal," a new menu at Whist showcasing recipes from the globe-trotting Executive Chef that he's collected on his extensive travels. Taste your way around the world without leaving the luxurious comfort of the Viceroy.
Set within 1,500 acres of lush gardens and woodlands in picturesque Kilkenny county, Mount Juliet Conrad is easily the finest sporting estate around. Just an hour from Dublin, the award-winning hotel epitomizes the gracious living of the countryside. Spend a weekend at this country house hotel and sample a slew of activities and sports in a spectacular natural setting: horseback riding, clay shooting, fishing, archery, tennis, and golf on the challenging links. (Mount Juliet Conrad played host to the 2002 and 2004 WGC-American Express Championship.) The Stay and Play package starts from EUR 250 per night and includes overnight accommodation in the Hunters Yard, breakfast and dinner at Kendals (excluding beverages) and your choice of one of the featured activities per adult, per day.
Enjoy a culinary getaway in the heart of Europe's largest medieval walled city, the magical fairytale destination of Carcassonne. Perched on a hill above the River Aude in Southwest France, Carcassonne attracts millions of visitors every year to explore the wonders which make it an UNESCO World Heritage site. Hôtel de la Cité, managed by Orient-Express hotels, is the city's most luxurious hotel and the only one to be found within the actual medieval citadel. Enjoy a three-night stay and relish some serious fine dining at La Barbacane restaurant, a private cooking lesson with dinner, and a half-day wine-tasting tour. Available until October 31, 2007, the Food & Wine Culinary Escape also includes daily buffet breakfast and an in-room amenity of sparkling wine, flowers, and petit fours.
Rumor has it that Las Vegas Sands Corp. is bringing its Vegas-style pool parties to the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau. The 3,000-room Venetian Resort-Hotel, "large enough to hold ninety Boeing 747 jumbo jets," will open at the end of August in the world's gambling capital. The centerpiece of Las Vegas Sands' $11 billion complex of casinos and shops, the Venetian will bring over-the-top luxury to the Cotai Strip. Suites are enormous, decked out with lavish Italian marble bathrooms and sunken living rooms. There will be a V Spa, V Gym fitness center, myriad dining experiences, and of course multiple swimming pools, including the exclusive adults-only pool. Book now and get special introductory rates from HK $1,088.
Hidden in the tropical forest on the white sands of the Riviera Maya, the Tides is a 30-villa property that epitomizes barefoot luxury. Located just outside Playa del Carmen, this seaside refuge has been touted as "a sexy, eco-conscious hideaway in the jungle" by Travel and Leisure magazine. Taste the award-winning "Yucatecan Cuisine," take a yoga class overlooking coastal splendor, discover nearby ancient Mayan cities, frolic on the seven miles of white sand beach. Here in paradise, the Tides provides unique services and facilities: Temazcal, the stunning Maya-style sauna right on the beach, a "tropical butler" to deliver iced face towels poolside, and a "dine anywhere, anytime" policy. Leave your cell phones behind (they're not allowed here!) and get ready for some serious relaxation, both in your palapa-roofed villa (decorated with sophisticated simplicity) and the full-service holistic spa. If you book the Barefoot Luxury package, you can enjoy four nights at the Tides Riviera Maya along with a private Mayan cooking class or Tequila and Ceviche tasting. Priced at $2,740, includes a departure amenity.
June 29, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
Here's a challenge to test your luxury travel savvy. Do you know this hotel? Take a guess, leave us a comment letting us know which hotel you think this photo belongs to, and check back next week for the answer and new image.
Helpful Hints: River & City Views, Renaissance Monument ...
Lana correctly guessed Last Week's Hotel Contest:
The Blackberry Farm Walland, TN, United States
Since its reopening at the end of 2006, the Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa has generated quite a buzz. (In a setting this magical-- private coral island surrounded by the turquoise sea-- it's no wonder visitors are swooning.) The resort's palm-thatched pavilions and bungalows rise above the water, or line the white sand, and boast private plunge pools, over-water decks, and outdoor showers. From the infinity edge pool, one of the largest in the Maldives, you can take in the memorable sunsets, when the sky is painted in brilliant shades of color. Aboard the resort's yacht, The Explorer, you can cruise untouched atolls and discover some of the best scuba diving spots in the world. Until September 30, 2007, book a four-night stay and you'll receive a $250 resort credit for use in the fabulous spa and restaurants.
Sup on the finest traditional American cuisine in a Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired atmosphere at the Arizona Biltmore's acclaimed restaurant. The chefs at Wright's use only the best hand-crafted organic ingredients from boutique farms across the country-- goat cheese from Maui, escargot from Oregon, or elk from Wyoming-- with the menu changing weekly to reflect what's in season. It's all about getting back to basics rather than manipulating the food. This philosophy also applies to the service, which is warm and attentive, but not at all stuffy. In addition to the fantastic à la carte menu, Wright's offers diners a tasting menu each evening. Open daily for dinner and Sunday for brunch.
At the lowest point on earth, where the lapping waters of the Dead Sea are sought out for their curative powers, you'll find an elegant resort with one of the most advanced spa operations in the Middle East. Located at 400 meters below sea level, beside the northern shores of the saltiest sea in the world, Movenpick Dead Sea is a luxurious hideaway designed as a traditional stone village. Where else can you float in the sea while reading your newspaper? Indulge in the legendary therapeutic secrets of the Dead Sea at the ZARA Spa, with its wide range of health and beauty therapies and several saline pools including an indoor Dead Sea flotation pool. The facilities are superb: beach, heated pool, summer beach pool, children's pool and playground, solariums, tennis court, and large fitness room. The Dead Sea is an exciting place to visit, not only because of this blissful spa experience, but also because of the spectacular surrounding landscape and ancient historical sites.