LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
Since its opening at the end of November, the Payard Pâtisserie & Bistro has been the talk of Las Vegas. The mastermind behind this new hotspot is the world's foremost chocolatier, François Payard, recognized year after year with prestigious awards from the French Government, Bon Appetit, and Wine Spectator. The third-generation French pastry chef has worked at many Michelin-starred restaurants, including NY's legendary Le Bernardin. With his new pâtisserie, Payard brings a little piece of Paris' Left Bank to the Strip. Located adjacent to Rao's at Caesars Palace, the restaurant offers classic French bistro fare and fresh pastries for breakfast and lunch, while the dinner features a four-course all-dessert tasting menu. And for those on-the-go, there's a retail area where you can purchase chocolates, candies, pastries, and coffee. Taste connoisseurs will be dazzled by the evening tasting menu, where you can choose from four distinct categories: Le Fromage, The Orchard, Coffee, Caramel and Nuts, and Tout Chocolat. Chocoholics will rejoice with the Tout Chocolat menu; the ingredient is served up in a variety of ways: warm chocolate tart with cocoa nibs tuille and gianduja ice cream; devil's food cake with cardamom pot de crème, chocolate pudding and whipped crème fraîche.
The French Riviera's glamorous Art Deco palace is home to one of priciest suites in the world. Overlooking the largest private beach on the Croisette, the Hotel Martinez lures the rich and famous seeking the fanciest digs in the South of France. The room of choice? The Presidential Suite, with its incredible panoramic views of the Bay of Cannes from wrap-around teakwood decks and sunken Jacuzzis. Rumor has it that the price tag is EUR 18,000- EUR 32,000 per night. The 8,000 square foot pad includes two sitting rooms, two dining rooms, four bedrooms, kitchen, hammam and sauna-- not to mention a plethora of high-tech accoutrements and the private butler on call 24 hours a day. But it's really the terrace-- arguably the most fabulous on the Cote d'Azur-- that has movie moguls coming back for more each year during the Cannes Film Festival.
Now there's another reason to love the Willard InterContinental, the D.C. institution that has hosted almost every U.S. president since Franklin Pierce. I Spa may be sinfully luxurious, the Cafe du Parc may be divine, but the Willard, the epitome of world-class hospitality, is also a green hotel. The International Hotel & Restaurant Association (IH&RA) recently awarded the Willard and its General Manager with its Environmental Award for hospitality sustainable development for "Willard InterContinental- The Next 100 Years." What's in the plan? The conversion to 100 percent wind energy power, the first hotel in the nation's capital to achieve this; Complete hotel retrofit for energy-savings including the use of compact florescent bulbs; The rehabilitation of Pershing Park across from the hotel; Water savings projects where the proceeds go to cleaning the local Anacostia River and the Chesapeake Bay. Bravo.
Pasadena's turn-of-the-century icon will soon become the Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa, reflecting its new ownership. Hong-Kong based Langham Hotels has eight luxurious hotels worldwide, and will now add this So Cal landmark to its splendid collection. Starting January 8, 2008, the 392-room hotel will be serving up signature Langham service in style. [Map]
Winter blues got you down? Take a weekend trip to Miami, where the luxurious amenities of the Conrad await: dazzling contemporary guest rooms with all the latest technology, tennis courts and hot tub surrounding the rooftop pool, the Spa Conrad with breathtaking views from the 24th floor, and the Sky Lobby overlooking Biscayne Bay and the city's glittering nightlife... Located in an innovative building of concave glass and steel in the heart of Miami's financial district, the Conrad Miami provides quick and easy access to South Beach, Coconut Grove, and Key Biscayne. Improve your swing this winter with the "Winter Warm Up" package, which includes two nights accommodation, decadent daily breakfast, one round of golf at the stunning 18-hole Crandon Golf course in Key Biscayne, complimentary transportation to and from the golf course and a 50 percent discount on purchases and rentals from the pro shop. Also included in the package are two 60-minute wellness treatments of your choice at the new Spa Chakra, a complimentary rejuvenating foot bath upon arrival at the spa and the luxury of a late 3 p.m. check-out. Starting from $549 per room, per night.
Welcome to paradise. The dream of your own sublime island retreat is realized on Naladhu, the palm-fringed private island in the Maldives. Unsurpassed luxury and expansive private spaces are yours on this blissful atoll surrounded by the turquoise sea. Since its opening in March, Naladhu Maldives has been named one of the world's hottest new resorts by Conde Nast Traveler (2007 Hot List). With only 19 secluded villas designed by Bangkok-based designer Julian Coombs, the resort offers the ultimate in seclusion. Plunge into your private infinity pool, soak up the sun on your teakwood deck, swim and scuba-dive in the surrounding pristine waters... The choice is yours at Naladhu. The villas sport beautiful free-flowing spaces: spacious bedrooms and dressing rooms, open-air baths, steam rooms and garden rainshowers, and private gardens with your own dining sala. The best part of all? Your own House Master, a personal butler who attends to your every need and indulges your every whim. Rates start at $2,000 a night.
A free night in Manhattan? In a sumptuous suite? At one of the world's finest hotels? No, this is not a joke. With the Suite Life Package at The Peninsula New York, guests get the second night for free when reserving a suite for a two-night stay. Plus, this legendary hotel has thrown in some added benefits for good measure: daily continental breakfast for two via Room Service or at Fives, complimentary amenity with daily newspaper, complimentary in-room Internet access, complimentary in-room Water Bar, complimentary local telephone calls, and flexible check-in/check-out time. Priced at $3,000 in a Deluxe One-bedroom suite, available until March 31, 2008.
Start off the year on the right note with the ultimate dose of good health at Amanresort's gorgeous architectural masterpiece: Amangalla. Located within the fortified walls of the UNESCO World Heritage site Galle Fort, Amangalla reflects the elegant ambiance of a bygone era. From the lavish resort, step out into a historical treasure, the ancient crossroads of Persians, Arabs, Chinese, Malays, South Indians, Portuguese, Dutch and English. Amangalla has designed the Ayurvedic experience package, for guests to revitalize and balance their energies, setting the course for a healthier future. Ayurveda is an ancient system of health care originated by the sages of India who learned how to prevent diseases and maintain good health. Sri Lanka developed its own Ayurvedic system over 3,000 years ago, and you can get a taste of this at Amangalla. The three-day Ayurvedic Taster, priced at $1,350 for two, includes a personalized Ayurvedic diet with daily herbal teas, daily Yoga and meditation class, daily Ayurvedic or spa treatment, Ayurvedic tonic delivered to the guest bedroom, a prepared herbal bath, use of The Baths' hydrotherapy pools, steam room and sauna, and open discussion over afternoon tea with Ayurvedic physician. You can also choose the seven-day Ayurvedic Relaxer ($2,835 double occupancy), or the 14-day Ayurvedic Detox ($5,355 double occupancy).
The snowcapped peaks around Grand Teton National Park average over 400 inches of snow a year, meaning Jackson Hole Mountain Resort boasts some of the best skiing anywhere. With a vertical drop of 1,260 meters and over 1,000 hectares of skiing and snowboarding terrain, Jackson is the place to be this winter. The valleys, blanketed with white until April, are the ideal place for cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, dog-sledding, and snowshoeing to track winter wildlife. Rusty Parrot Lodge and Spa invites you to discover this winter wonderland while enjoying the creature comforts at this five-star hideaway. After a day of adrenaline-pumping activity, retreat to the Body Sage Spa for a pampering massage, enjoy fine dining at the acclaimed Wild Sage restaurant, or soak up the views of Snow King Mountain from the outdoor hot tub. Book the Powder Package and get four nights accommodation (King or Double Queen room with oversized soaking tubs), daily lift tickets, a full chef-prepared Jackson style breakfast each morning, and complimentary transportation to Jackson Hotel Mountain Resort. Priced from $956 per room, per stay, available until March 23, 2008 (excluding December 21, 2007-January 2008). Or choose the No-Hassle Heli-Skiing Package, and enjoy five nights accommodation, two days of heli-skiing with lunch at the heli-deli when high-mountain heli-skiing, two days of skiing at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, breakfast daily, dinner for two at Wild Sage restaurant, and two Arnica sports massages. Priced from $5,590 per room, per stay.
Take advantage of guaranteed dollar rates at the stylish Athenaeum Hotel & Apartments on London's Piccadilly overlooking Green Park and all the excitement of Central London. The family-owned five-star hotel, renowned for its service, sumptuous décor and tempting dining, is offering a special Winter Warmer Package with rates at an unbelievable $290 per night (standard room). This is a whopping 50 percent off the published rates. The package is available until March 30, 2008, with a three-night minimum stay required. Also included: the use of an X-Box or Playstation in-room for the kids, 50 percent discount on breakfast for kids under 10, priority early check-in, and late check-out at 2 p.m.