LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
July 18, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The Setai, South Beach trendiness incarnate, is moving beyond the confines of Miami-Dade county. The famed hotel will be opening another branch in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter, arguably the country's hottest real estate market. (We're waiting with bated breath for the Setai brand to jump into other metropolises.) Formerly called The Diegan, the new five-star condominium hotel is billed as a mecca for world-class dining and entertainment, where a "handful of ultra-luxury penthouse residences" will have the city swooning. Both the House of Blues and the newest Sky Bar will be located here. According to the New York Times, more than half of the units, priced from $500,000 to $3.8 million, have been sold. Expected to be completed by the end of the year, these residences will have Italian furniture, flat-screen TVs, and wifi access. Also in store: a fourth floor pool deck with cabanas, spa, fitness center, screening room, and recording studio.
July 18, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
Between now and October, the three Mid-Atlantic Loews Hotels - the Loews Philadelphia, Loews Annapolis, and the Madison a Loews Hotel - are partnering with Nordstrom department stores to make getting ready for school fashionable and fun. Guests will stay in style and look stylish with the "Back to School" package that features overnight accommodations, a Nordstrom gift card and a "piggy" bank with a Presidential dollar coin to get a head start on education savings. The complete package includes overnight deluxe accommodations, a $25 gift card which can be used in the store or on-line, a personalized "piggy" bank with Presidential gold dollar coin, lunch for two at Cafe Nordstrom, use of a fashion stylist to assist in selecting the hottest fashion trends, and a Nordstrom catalogue.
Rates start at $244 for the "Back to School" package and will be subject to availability through October 31st, 2007.
The best hotel in the world? That honor-- according to Travel and Leisure's 2007 reader's poll-- is the Oberoi Udaivilas in India's romantic desert city of Udaipur. There's been a lot of buzz about this award-winning hotel, which commands one of the most beautiful settings in the world-- high above Rajasthan's fabled lake, with views across to the floating City Palace and sloping Aravalli Hills. Guest rooms are truly fit for a maharajah, with large private terraces, private swimming pools, walk-in closets, and butler service. The grounds are as stunning as the suites: 30 acres of landscaped gardens, courtyards, fountains, and reflection pools.
We're a little star-struck over the Bottega Veneta suite which debuted last fall in the St. Regis New York. The swanky seventh-floor suite, dolled up with pieces from Bottega Veneta's furniture line, goes for $6,500 a night. (Guests have become so taken with the woven-leather pillows, fragrances, and cashmere throws, they've been known to head out to Bottega Veneta's store, right next door.) But Bottega Veneta's not the only designer checking in to the St. Regis. Christian Dior and Tiffany have likewise outfitted designer suites in Manhattan's fashionable establishment. Pictured above right: the view of Central Park from the Orient Designer Suite.
A refreshing addition to the South Beach dining scene, La Marea offers innovative Mediterranean cuisine overlooking the ocean. The recently redesigned Tides South Beach, the flagship property of Kor's new Tides brand, just launched this spectacular new restaurant, overseen by Executive Chef Pietro Rota, former Il Sole standout and a new culinary star to South Florida. Dishes are created with seasonal ingredients and accented with Northern Italian flavors and flare; menu samples include Littleneck Clams with Chorizo, Basil, Chilies and Garlic; Duck Confit on Warm Lentil Salad with Foie Gras Essence; and vast selections of fresh fish. The interior was designed by Kelly Wearstler, accented with theatrical hooded armchairs, antique brass touches and wall décor of faux tortoise shells. Dine al fresco on the terrace overlooking Ocean Drive and the beach, immersing yourself in the sexy energy of South Beach. This place is poised to become one of South Florida's premier dining destinations. The summer's 2007 Miami Spice Restaurant Month is the perfect chance to experience La Marea. From August 1 through September 30, prix fix three-course lunches are only $22 and three-course dinners are $35, Monday through Thursday.
Exotic, beautiful, emanating an indelible aura of mystique, Morocco has long captured the imaginations of travelers. But in recent years, Morocco has achieved celebrity status on the traveler's "it list", with a slew of luxury hotel openings, including Sir Richard Branson's Kasbah Tamadot. In this new world hot spot, Angsana Resorts and Spas-- the sister hotels to acclaimed Banyan Tree Resorts-- has announced a new property for the third quarter of 2007. In the exuberant city of Marrakech, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site virtually unchanged since medieval times, the new Angsana Riads Collection will dazzle visitors with its traditional hospitality and rich, restored architecture. The collection will include seven different traditional Moroccan houses known as riads, along with the award-winning Angsana Spa. Six of the riads are located in the preserved medina in Marrakech, within walking distance of each other. The seventh, Riad Bagdad, is located in the coastal city of Essaouira. Each riad is assigned a dedicated resident host who attends to guests' needs with a truly personalized guest program.
Enjoy summer in the city from just GBP 185! For one of the London's finest hotels, this rate is a steal. There's the happening Lobby bar, a fabulous swimming pool with underwater music, two excellent restaurants, luxurious rooms and truly professional service. And perhaps most importantly, you can't beat this London location. One Aldwych is bang in the middle of one of the world's most exciting cities, ideally suited for exploring the capital in the summer months. Stroll along the Thames and see the most famous sites, view the skyline from the London Eye, shop 'til you drop at every leading department store, hit a massive selection of galleries, exhibitions, theaters, and attractions just minutes away from the hotel. Whatever your plans, make sure you take one of One Aldwych's picnic baskets, packed with a delicious meal from the British coastline, fields, and farms. The perfect accompaniment to an outdoor concert or excursion to a park, the picnic hamper includes a selection of breads, olive oil and balsamic mixed for dipping, crudités, cheese straws, asparagus with hollandaise to dip, Quail scotch eggs with caper mayonnaise, quiche, along with a choice of rabbit or chicken and ham pie, salads, pots (like shrimp or Mackerel pâté), and desserts (think Gooseberry fool or Summer pudding with clotted cream.) Weekend rates start from GBP 185 per night in an Aldwych room, while midweek rates start from GBP 225. Available until September 9, 2007.
Park Hyatt Washington has just announced a seasonal artisanal cheese menu available nightly from 5:30 to 11 pm in the new Lounge & Bar. Decked out with "Capitol Hill" glass-enclosed booths flanking the marble and glass bar, Park Hyatt's Lounge seats 60 people, who enjoy power breakfast, served from 6:30 a.m., full lunch, and evening fare, including oysters, Wagyu burgers and signature crab cakes. Priced at $4 per ounce, the tempting, handcrafted cheeses are presented as a selection of six on a handmade circular wooden cheese board, accompanied by quince paste, raisins on the vine from the Mojave desert, honey, dried fruits, flat bread and a mini-baguette. Sample a vintage from the extensive wine list, recommended by Paula Pereira, Park Hyatt Washington's cheese expert, who is quite knowledgeable about wine and cheese pairings. For summer 2007, the fine cheeses include Bandaged Wrapped Cheddar, which was awarded the 2007 Wyke Farms Trophy and the 2007 World Cheese Award for Best Nature Cheddar in the World, and Humboldt Fog, an elegant and soft surface-ripened goat's milk cheese, from Cypress Grove in Arcata, California.
Relax with an inspired cocktail at one of the best hotel bars around, Bemelmans at The Carlyle. Manhattan may be brimming with fashionable (and thumping) night spots, but The Carlyle has a very real glamour, augmented by its long and fashionable history. Sink into a plush chair in this timeless NY watering hole, frequented by the city's finest for over 50 years. The bar's namesake, Ludwig Bemelman, is best known as the creator of the classic Madeleine books for children, and the bar is fittingly adorned with his whimsical murals. The dapper and knowledgeable barmen will hook you up with some seriously snazzy libations.
Things are heating up in Scottsdale, and the FireSky Resort (formerly Caleo) is the place to be to cool off. Like other Kimpton Hotels, this place has an inspired, boutiquey feel, with lots of fun and whimsical amenities. When night falls, the pool is a happening hot spot, lit by torches. In fact, these elements of fire and water are infused throughout the property. FireSky is located in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale (near Fashion Square), and the beautiful surrounding setting of the Sonoran Desert contrasts with the lush tropical grounds: an oasis with a sandy beach pool, Mediterranean inspired lagoon, and heated outdoor pool surrounded by cabanas and secluded fire pits. Don't miss the Jurlique Spa, the first of its kind for Kimpton, based on the Australian beauty brand. Within the 3,500 square feet of bliss, pamper yourself with a botanical detox bath in one of the deep soaking tubs.