LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
December 3, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Celebrate the season in the nation's capital. Ogle the pretty lights (the National Zoo's even got ZooLights featuring larger-than-life exhibits of their most popular animals!) and check out the glittering National Christmas Tree with the large scale model train running around it. Shop at the downtown Holiday Market on F Street, where local artisans have set up a fabulous marketplace. The place to stay is The Madison, A Loews Hotel, where elegant accommodations boast miles of spectacular views and in-room amenities recreate the comforts of home. You'll find spacious bathrooms with heated towel racks, luxurious terry towels, the "Ultimate Doeskin" robes by Chadsworth & Haig, and Bloom toiletries. There's a 24-hour fitness center, spa with massage services, sauna and steam room. Plus, The Madison is pet friendly. For a limited time, you can enjoy holiday rates starting from just $149 a night. Valid between December 19, 2007- January 4, 2008.
Here's an idea for your Christmas wish list: a blissful overnight stay at historic Santa Fe's poshest property. La Posada de Santa Fe Resort & Spa is the sprawling adobe-style hotel smack dab in the middle of it all in Santa Fe. (Though during a stay at such a tranquil oasis, guests would never guess at the hopping excitement surrounding the hotel: art galleries and hip restaurants within steps of the front door.) Get this: book the Christmas Package for just $375 per night and get a $100 resort credit plus a special holiday amenity and daily breakfast for two! Valid from December 21- 31, 2007 so hurry! Three night minimum stay required.
There's a new luxury hotel on the block. Now the faithful who make the pilgrimage to the Sundance Film Festival every year have another swanky option. The Sky Lodge will debut on December 26, 2007 and is set to become the hottest thing west of the Mississippi. The tagline? Soho meets the mountains. The experience here goes far beyond 400-thread-count sheets and the usual high-tech gadgetry (like multiple flat panel HDTV and Bose surround sound systems with iPod cradles). They're aiming to create over-the-top indulgence in every aspect of the resort. Located in the heart of historic Old Town at the corner of Main Street and Heber Avenue, The Sky Lodge exudes luxury in the details: fire pits in the lounge, private cedar hot tubs, trendy restaurants, tranquil Japanese-influenced spa, complimentary cocktails and nibbles served nightly in the Sky Club... The Sky Lodge's philosophy? YouCentricity.
Smack bang in the middle of Dublin, Brownes is a sumptuously restored Georgian townhouse managed by Stein Hotels and Resorts. Situated on St. Stephen's Green in the heart of the historic city (an unbeatable location), the hotel offers only 11 guest rooms, tastefully furnished with comfort and character in mind. Steeped in history, oozing old school Irish elegance, the hotel is not lacking for contemporary amenities. For a limited time, enjoy three nights for the price of two at Brownes. With the "Stay Another Day" package, pay for two nights and get the third for free when you stay by December 31, 2007. Rates start at just EUR 250 per night.
The Clift hasn't lost its cool. San Francisco's uber-hip hotel is still the place to be, thanks to the legendary Redwood Room where hipsters gather to ogle the digital art exhibitions. The Philippe Starck-designed "wonderland for the jetset" is located just a few blocks from Union Square in downtown SF. Travelzoo's touting an offer that's almost too good to be true: a breakfast package for $150 for rooms that usually go for $300. The bad news? They're only available for a few nights-- December 23- 27, 2007-- and with such slim pickings, they may already be sold out. The good news? Right now there's a bunch of special offers at the Clift, including a Holiday Shopping Package which includes complimentary valet parking and special offers at Bloomingdales, Ted Baker and Ben Sherman, from just $235 ANY night until January 8, 2007.
Celebrate the holiday season at The Belvedere, Southern California's only AAA Five Diamond restaurant for 12 consecutive years. Indulge in some tasty treats in the heart of Beverly Hills at the award-winning Peninsula Hotel. Chef Sean Hardy will be serving up a splendid celebratory feast for Christmas Eve and Christmas brunch at the hotel's restaurant. You won't forget this meal. On Christmas Eve, carolers will sing merry tunes as you delight in five courses of culinary decadence (think foie gras and lingonberry with sauterne chantilly, Alaskan halibut with porcini mushrooms and baby Brussels sprouts). $125 per guest, 6:30-9:30 p.m. The Christmas Day Brunch is equally as elegant with three courses and Perrier-Jouet champagne. $95 per guest, 11 a.m.- 8 p.m.
This Friday, November 30, 2007, top-to-bottom skiing opens on Bald Mountain. More ski runs and lifts will be open to allow skiers access to the first powder of the season. Baldy's sprawling slopes have enticed well-heeled vacationers since the opening of Sun Valley Resort in 1936. Who else but a railroad tycoon (Averell Harriman) to single-handedly bring the concept of the European ski resort to the U.S.? He built the world's first chairlift at Sun Valley, creating a phenomenon: the "original ski resort." Back in the day, the Sun Valley Lodge was the place to stay (Hemingway camped out in room 206), and the iconic 148-room resort continues to please guests with its old world charm and innumerable amenities. Adjoining the hotel is the glass-enclosed pool and Sun Valley's famous ice rink and Terrace. There's even a basement bowling alley.
It’s that time of year again. The sparse weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, when the temperatures keep dropping and we find ourselves "cubicle dreamin." The locale of choice? Any old tropical paradise will do, as long as it's surrounded by crystal clear water and lots of silken sand. But here's a deal that could turn those day-dreams into reality: the deliciously luxurious Four Seasons Resort on the Caribbean island of Nevis is offering a resort credit to guests who choose to head south between now and December 14, 2007. Lucky guests will get $100 a night, which they can use at the restaurants, island golf, or award-winning spa. You'll also get a complimentary upgrade, based upon availability. Two-night minimum stay required.
Tis the season. Jet to Chicago to shop in style along the Magnificent Mile. Don't miss Macy's on State Street, the second largest department store in the world-- connected to the Fairmont Chicago via pedway. Winter awaits you in the Windy City with a slew of fun-filled activities: sip hot chocolate while ice skating at the McCormick Ice Rink, listen to the carolers at the Cloud Gate sculpture in Millennium Park, and hit up the Christkindlmarket at Daly Plaza, home to Chicago's sparkling Christmas tree. This marketplace is like a piece of old Europe in the middle of the city. Book the "Only One Way Winter Rate" at the Fairmont Chicago, and you'll get luxurious overnight accommodations for two for just $199 a night. Plus, if you book by December 31, 2007 (for stays between now and April 15, 2008), you'll get your second night for free!
November 27, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The newly-remodeled, impossibly glamorous Tides South Beach is open for business. The first and most significant phase of the $14 million restoration project has been completed and as of November 15, guests were dazzled by the makeover. Acclaimed interior designer Kelly Wearstler has worked her magic on this historic gem and now the "Diva of Ocean Drive" embodies a new grandeur. Check out the lobby (pictured). Stone, gold-leaf and leather accent the central lounge area, adjacent to the Martini Bar. There's been a lot of buzz about the trendy new restaurant, La Marea, where Chef Pietro Rota (from Il Sole in West Hollywood) dishes up fabulous Italian-Mediterranean seafood. The best part of all? Three signature penthouse suites with one-of-a-kind vintage elements and original artwork. The exclusive Coral Bar, offering twilight cocktails and seasonal culinary selections, is scheduled to be completed in early winter 2008. Likewise, the pool terrace with signature cabanas and a state-of-the-art fitness facility will be available in January.