LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
October 11, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Hong Kong may be the world's hottest culinary destination. We've waxed poetic about the new Nobu at the InterContinental and Pierre Restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental, but there's another player on the scene in this culinary capital. What other luxurious establishment has attracted a superstar chef? The Four Seasons, widely hailed as the first major hotel to open in Hong Kong in 15 years. You'll find the city's best contemporary Cantonese cuisine at Lung King Heen (View of the Dragon). Using only the freshest local ingredients, renowned chef Chan Yan Tak creates innovative dishes which combine French and Southeast Asian touches. Commanding spectacular harbour views, the environment is modern and stylish. Silver and glass accents replicate the glitter of Hong Kong's skyline at night. Dim sum here is not to be missed.
It's hard to believe that there's a five-star oasis in the middle of the harsh Australian Outback, perched in the shadow of Uluru (Ayers Rock), Australia's famous natural icon. Sails in the Desert is just what its name indicates: a sumptuous hotel that appears like sails rising from the landscape. At this award-winning hotel, beautiful rooms are decorated with Aboriginal Art and outfitted with private balconies. Sip cocktails by the pool (or in your Jacuzzi), or try your hand at a game of tennis on one of two courts. The restaurant serves up elegant plates with an Aboriginal twist. Indeed, the hotel celebrates Aboriginal heritage and culture in all of its decor; the lobby gallery even features the works of artists in residence.
Beaches and whale-watching, sure. But Baja as a wine region? Who knew? Lapped by the Pacific on one side and the Sea of Cortez on the other, this desert peninsula is widely regarded as Mexico's premier wine region. (And definitely one worth watching.) Just a two-hour drive from San Diego, the Guadalupe Valley is the heart of it all. Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts has partnered with Monte Xanic, one of Mexico's top winemakers, to build an exclusive vineyard resort there. The first luxury spa resort of its kind in the region, the new Banyan Tree will feature 40 pool villas nestled in the midst of the Monte Xanic vineyards. No word yet on an opening date.
October 10, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
Surrounded by a lush oasis of flowers and trees on Camelback Mountain, the Sanctuary on Camelback is truly a legendary hideaway. Enjoy their highest level of luxury in Casa Montana, one of their homes with the most breathtaking panoramic views on the north slope of Camelback Mountain.
Size: 3,500 square feet - four spacious bedrooms, and six full baths.
Features: Private pool, whirlpool spa and scenic patio for entertaining, three wood-burning fireplaces, and a billiard room.
Rooms feature a master bedroom and adjacent private study, a king size bedroom and two rooms with double beds. The billiard room features a spacious bar area and pool table for entertaining your guests. Casa Montana's warm Old World Spanish inspired decor greets you with a comforting welcome and a view like no other.
Make your reservations for Casa Montana at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain >>
The scenery doesn't get much better than this. Deep within Banff National Park, overlooking a lake with the snow-capped Rocky Mountains as the backdrop, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise provides a lavish retreat of welcoming grandeur. Here you'll find the perfect winter wonderland: Lake Louise's world-renowned skiing, ice skating, dog sledding, sleigh rides, guided snowshoe walks, and cross-country skiing through the wilderness. The adventure starts right outside the Chateau's doors. After a rigorous day outside, treat yourself to an Aveda treatment at the Escape Spa & Salon. This spectacular hideaway is only a two hour drive from Calgary. Choose the Ultimate Ski the Canadian Rockies Package for low rates with ski passes included. Available during ski season (mid November to mid May), the package is priced from just CAD 319 per night, and includes luxurious accommodations, parking, breakfast, one Tri-Area Ski Pass per person (Valid for Ski Louise, Sunshine, and Norquay), and transportation to Ski Louise. Plus, you can earn double airline miles when you book this package.
Pamper yourself with the perfect girls' getaway just 20-or-so minutes from Sin City. Like a shimmering desert oasis, Loews Lake Las Vegas is a luxurious world-class resort perfect for any diva. Rejuvenate after a few days on the strip with the Desert Divas package. Upon check-in, you'll find a welcome basket with magazines, champagne, and bottled water. Head to the 9,000 square foot Moulay Spa for two exhilarating facials and two Moulay Massages. Enjoy a day at the Relaxation Pool in a SpahhBana-- drift into the ultimate state of relaxation in your own private cabana fully equipped with a selection of magazines, a Loews iPod, Moulay-misted chilled towels, chilled cucumbers for the eyes, the use of two waffle-weave robes, and a Beauty Basket filled with Spa Moulay products, herbal teas, fruits and snacks. Of course the one-night package also includes late check-out. Prices start at $595 and are based on double occupancy.
Celebrate fall's arrival in Vermont's Green Mountains. The award-winning Topnotch Resort is more than just a skier's paradise. At the foot of Mt. Mansfield, the state's highest peak, this place offers luxury digs mixed with an autumn abundance of recreational delights. Think gondola rides with sweeping views to Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks, outings to Cold Hollow Cider Mill for fresh-pressed apple cider, and exceptional hiking trails through the rural woodlands in all their fall technicolor glory. Recently ranked a "Top Resort Spa" in North America, Topnotch also partners with the Country Club of Vermont to bring its guests the best golf in Vermont. Talk about the perfect autumn destination. Fall rates start at $335 per night.
You can't beat this rate at the fashionable Jiva Hill Park Hotel. Starting from just EUR 189 per night, the Great Rate offered through Small Luxury Hotels is a steal. (Available until December 31, 2007.) Just two kilometers from the Mont Jura ski resort, this luxurious haven is set within a 70 acre park in the foothills of the Jura Mountains, just opposite the majestic, snow-capped Mont Blanc range. There's a spa, beautiful indoor swimming pool, helipad, Eurolac water-ski nautical base on the lake, endless outdoor activities (like the Riding School and Tennis Club), and innovative cuisine. And with only 34 rooms and lodges, guests are guaranteed a peaceful, discreet hideaway with intimate, personalized service. At the Jiva Hill Park Hotel, it's the attention to detail that makes a difference: the roaring fireplace in the lounge, the unlimited Wifi Internet access, the impressive contemporary art collection found throughout the hotel.
Head to the jungle of Cambodia and discover the secrets of an ancient civilization at Angkor, the 12th century capital of Khmer civilization. Housing over 100 stone temples, this magnificent architectural wonder is living testimony to Cambodia's ancestry. The place to stay is Amanresort's graceful contemporary sanctuary: Amansara, the former guest villa of King Norodom Sihanouk now converted into a 24-suite retreat set within beautiful gardens. In addition to its spa, pools, and exquisite roof terrace, Amansara now boasts an additional treasure: the Khmer Village House at the 10th century "royal bathing pool" of Srah Srang, a 15 minute drive from Amansara. Guests can enjoy four excellent excursions at this special place:
A Picnic by the Lake: After you explore the temples of Angkor, relax with a picnic on the front veranda overlooking the lake. Steamed dumplings, fritters, and coconut-based delicacies are laid out in luxury. Take an afternoon siesta, or take off on bikes to discover the countryside.
When Evening Comes: Watch the setting sun from the veranda, drink in hand. Garden flares, flickering candles, and moonlight are the only sources of light, creating an impossibly romantic ambiance. Traditional Khmer dishes are prepared over a charcoal fire while a musician plays. Sip ginger tea on a daybed inside the house after the delicious meal.
Rural Healing: A 90-minute non-oil massage at the Khmer Village House, followed by an additional 90 minutes of rural relaxation. Ginger tea and a selection of Khmer sweets are served.
The Art of Khmer Cooking: A leisurely morning exploring local markets and gathering ingredients for a traditional cooking class. At the Khmer Village House, a small farm garden contains fresh herbs, vegetables and chilies, used in the dishes you will prepare. A Khmer chef will guide you through the recipes in the traditional kitchen.
Once again the good folks at Kor Hotels are recognizing National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with October's Think Pink campaign at posh properties like Viceroy Santa Monica and The Tides South Beach. When you book the special Think Pink rates, 10 percent of the revenue will be donated to The Revlon/UCLA Breast Center. Sip a luscious Pink Martini at La Marea (the hot, new destination restaurant in South Beach), and feel good knowing that 20 percent of Pink Martini sales go to Saks Fifth Avenue's Key to the Cure, benefitting the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. At other Kor Hotels, you'll find gift bags, Think Pink fleeces and throws, and pink-themed welcome drinks.