LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
October 2, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Taste la dolce vita-- the sweet life-- at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, a little piece of seaside Italy at Universal Orlando Resort. This luxurious Loews hotel recreates the charm and romance of cobble-stoned Portofino, Italy-- from the picturesque harbor piazza and colorful pastel buildings to the fine Italian furnishings and exceptional Italian cuisine. Book a fall package at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel and score rates as low as $279 per night, breakfast included. Or choose the Mandara Spa package, starting from $339 per night-- and enjoy a massage, facial, body wrap, or manicure/pedicure-- daily! Or book the popular Free Theme Park Tickets package, from $269 per night, and get two free Universal Orlando tickets with a four-night stay. Available November 25- December 20, 2007.
The construction work may not yet be finished, but Manhattan's storied hotel is ready for its big birthday bash this evening. The fête promises to be a dazzling affair, as befits the 100th anniversary celebration. Think fireworks, music (the song "My Way" has been reworked with original lyrics devoted to The Plaza), and cake slices for all-- carved from a "meticulous model birthday cake made by the society baker Ron Ben-Israel based on architectural drawings of the Plaza, with a facade of nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger and windows of crystallized sugar."
Say hello to the first luxury eco-retreat in Mozambique. Built and operated in partnership with the local community, Azura is situated on an unspoiled island within a National Park-- fringed by deserted beaches, sparkling seas, and swaying palms. The 15 villas, each with their own infinity pool, are just steps from the beach. Showcasing traditional artwork beneath a local thatched jekka roof, the villas are stacked with luxurious contemporary amenities. But Azura boasts more than just creature comforts; here you can enjoy the service of your own private butler. If you can tear yourself away from your private deck and beachside Sala, you'll find a sumptuous spa, superb wining and dining (fine vintages are flown direct from the owner's Loire Valley chateau), and a vast range of activities (fishing, sailing, scuba diving, swimming with the dolphins...) Take advantage of a special introductory offer, from now until November 14, 2007, of $300 per person in a Luxury Beach Villa. The Infinity Beach Villa is $375 per person, while the Presidential Villa is yours for just $550 per person.
Craving some tropical sun? Escape to one of the most indulgent resorts in the Caribbean, and treat yourself to some super savings in the off-season. As the dollar continues to slide to an all-time low against the euro, the chic Hotel Guanahani has guaranteed a dollar-to-euro match so lucky guests can avoid the frightful exchange rate. Nestled within coconut groves and tropical gardens, the colorful cottages at this award-winning resort offer a sophisticated hideaway in a blissful setting. There's nothing like soaking up 180 degree views of the turquoise sea (while getting pampered at the spa) to cure the post-summer blues. The three-night Blissful Guanahani package, identified by Sherman's Travel Magazine as a top luxury value deal for the fall, is a seriously smart splurge. Available until October 31, 2007, the package includes a host of add-ons: daily breakfast, two lunches and dinners per person, one-day car rental, four spa treatments for person, and even a cooking class-- all for $2,025 per person.
A Hong Kong institution, the Mandarin Oriental got a glam makeover last year. The $140 million overhaul has delighted both the press and the hotel's passionately loyal clientele. The restaurant from epicurean maestro Pierre Gagnaire is the crown jewel, perched on the 25th floor. Indeed, the October 2006 opening of Pierre, high atop the landmark hotel, has been the talk of the town for almost a year. Three-star Michelin chef, Pierre Gagnaire, serves up dramatic dishes in a magnificent setting with oversized windows framing Victoria Harbour. The extravagant French influenced cuisine is innovative and bold. A highlight from the menu is La Bretagne: Wild seabass carpaccio, endive-farm cider sorbet. Black wheat pancake filled with sea urchin and cauliflower florets in a noisette butter. Mako artichoke velouté, crab meat mayonnaise and purple artichoke.
September 28, 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: Moorish Elegance, World Heritage Monument ...
Bordan correctly guessed our Previous Hotel Contest:
One Aldwych, London, United Kingdom
Shangri-La is celebrating the holidays big time with festive packages at 13 city and resort hotels from Muscat to Manila. Guests can indulge in all sorts of exclusive add-ons, like daily breakfast for two, CHI massage treatments, dining credits, and late check-out. Book a room at the newly renovated Shangri-La Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa, for example, and score rates as low as $250 per night (based on a three-night stay). The offer includes complimentary buffet breakfast at Spice Market Café and a complimentary one-way airport transfer. Nestled beside the crystal clear waters of world-famous Batu Feringgi beach, this resort is home to a beautiful, shore-side restaurant, a happening bar, and luxuriously appointed spa. After a $30 million renovation in 2006, this resort offers accommodations that are downright decadent.
Trick or treat! Leave it to Daily Candy to dig up a special Autumn deal in Manhattan. Live it up on Halloween in the Big Apple and enjoy savings of 40 percent off the regular room rates at 70 Park Avenue. Plus, you'll get a pumpkin full of candy, a distinctive Kimpton touch. The Drop Dead Rate of $299 is available on October 31, 2007. True to the Kimpton standard, the stylish digs at 70 Park Avenue are whimsical and comfortable, loaded with cutting edge technology (if a bit small). Guests enjoy complimentary wine receptions each evening, a Kimpton hallmark. Plus, this Murray Hill boutique hotel is pet-friendly.
The glaciers are receding in the dramatic mountain range of the Alps, and renowned resorts like Badrutt's Palace are doing something about it-- putting up a fight against global warming. With a new energy-efficient heating system in a long term cooperative effort with Zurich's "EWZ" power station, the resort has designed a heat pump that draws water directly from Lake St. Moritz without harming the area's flora and fauna. With this measure, the legendary hotel-- the very symbol of sophisticated Alpine luxury-- is saving 400,000 liters of heating oil per season, while cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 1,000 tons per year. That's an 80 percent difference over the previous heating system. Bravo.
A mere $14,500 will buy you a tasty, fruit-infused treat served with an 80 carat aquamarine stone. As reported by the International Herald Tribune, this artistic masterpiece includes a gold leaf Italian cassata flavored with Irish cream, mango and pomegranate compote-- along with a handmade chocolate carving in the shape of a local stilt fisherman (pictured). The inspiration behind the "Fortress Stilt Fisherman Indulgence" is the resort's logo itself; stilt fishing is a centuries old tradition along the beautiful Sri Lankan coastline. Apparently no-one's yet forked over the cash to try this concoction. If you are so tempted, head to the resort's Wine³, a modern glass cave which showcases a breathtaking array of 2,000 Old and New World wines. Your indulgent dining experience is enhanced by the use of handmade glass cutlery, created exclusively for The Fortress by Glass Studio.