January 18, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Only the finest five star hotels can become members of The Leading Hotels of the World, the world-renowned collection of 430 of the world's best hotels. These small luxury hotels, resorts, and famous stately hotels offer unparalleled luxury and first-class service for a discriminating few. So when LHW announces its annual award winners, travelers (and, indeed, the whole world of luxury hospitality) pays attention. The 2006 International Convention was held in Barcelona, where LHW announced its new Commitment to Excellence Awards, acknowledging hotels like Uppal's Orchid in New Delhi and One Aldwych in London for their exceptional community service programs. And (...drum roll please) taking the Gold for the Leaders Club Awards was the Hay-Adams Hotel in Washington DC, the historic landmark which offers guests the most prestigious address in the nation's capital. Overlooking the White House, Lafayette Square, and St. John's Church, the Hay-Adams has long been the choice of Presidents and international dignitaries who enjoy the hotel's famous personalized service, plush accommodations, and one-of-a-kind amenities.
The highest rated ski resort in New England, Topnotch Resort and Spa is nestled in the rolling Green Mountains of Vermont on 120 wooded acres. In addition to excellent skiing at Stowe, the four season luxury resort offers an abundance of recreational pursuits including mountain biking, snowshoeing, hiking, sleigh rides, heated swimming pools and cross-country skiing. After a day on the slopes (the Ski Concierge will deliver lift tickets directly to your door), relax in the critically acclaimed Spa (choose from 120 treatments and luxury services), before taking in the extraordinary views at the resort's signature restaurant, Norma's. Because the snow's been scarce this winter, the resort is offering some incredible special offers to entice travelers for a sophisticated getaway. Lock in great rates and valuable perks by booking a winter stay at Topnotch Resort and Spa, an excellent place to enjoy the season, whatever the weather. With the Topnotch In-Season Special, enjoy a $150 Resort Credit for every night of your stay from Sunday through Thursday, to be used toward incidental charges at on-site restaurants, in-room dining, Topnotch Spa and the Tennis Center. Available through March 31, 2007. With the Bed and Breakfast Special, enjoy a newly decorated Deluxe Room at Topnotch for just $299 per room, per night (based on double occupancy), including Full American Breakfast for two daily, hot tea and homemade cookies served every afternoon in Topnotch's fireside living room, and Spa access. Available through March 31, 2007. Advance reservations required.
It's no wonder the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club is the recipient of the coveted AAA five diamond award, one of only 30 such resorts in the United States. With its opulent accommodations and top recreational facilities, this 300 acre oceanfront resort leaves nothing to be desired. Miles of windswept Florida beaches. 36 holes of golf. 15 hydro tennis courts. Four heated pools. Bicycling, boating, and fishing. Excellent restaurants and lounges. Children's Playground and Nursery... Truly a landmark in American hospitality, the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club has indulged three generations of guests since its celebrated opening in 1928. To quote Zagat: "rooms and service are rated extraordinary to perfection."
But now Ponte Vedra Inn and Club has improved on perfection-- with the November opening of its new, sophisticated spa. At 30,000 square feet, the state-of-the-art facility is the region's largest. Situated on three acres amidst signature waterfalls and water sculptures, the spa offers an extensive menu of over 100 services including the Lomi Lomi Massage, Fiji Tropical Isle Coconut Scrub, Rose Hydrating Cocoon, Hydra Pure Hydration Facial, La Stone Therapy, Body Polish, Hot Paraffin Manicures, Pedicures, and Hair Care. There is even a Men's Barber Shop on-site. Escape to Florida's sunshine and indulge in some luxurious spa treatments at Ponte Vedra Inn and Club. For a limited time, guests can take advantage of the Spa Getaway Package, which includes lodging and a pampering spa service, from just $269 a night (based on double occupancy). Available through February.
Traveling to Singapore in February? Experience the city’s festive Chinese New Year: brightly decorated Chinatown streets, excellent shopping, and exciting events and parades. Book a stay at the luxurious Conrad Centennial Singapore and enjoy the hotel's perfect location, panoramic views of the bay, superb business facilities, health club, and highly personalized service. Celebrate the New Year with the family at the Conrad Centennial Singapore with a festive special offer. Priced at $208 per night, the Chinese New Year package includes accommodations, Conrad F&B Dollars valued at $50, 3 pm late check-out, and 15 percent off a la carte spa services at the Centennial Spa. Upgrade to a Centennial Suite from only $60 per night. Valid from February 16-25, 2007, two night minimum stay required.
With the exchange rate hovering at a dismal low, Americans traveling to Britain often experience serious sticker shock come check-out time. But not so if American travelers book a London stay at one of Red Carnation's outstanding luxury hotels and take advantage of an exceptional special offer: the Deluxe Dollar Deal. At three stunning five-star hotels-- "41" (overlooking the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace), the completely refurbished Egerton House (in the heart of fashionable Knightsbridge), and Milestone Hotel and Apartments (opposite Kensington Palace and Gardens)-- guests are guaranteed an affordably fixed US Dollar rate. Available until April 15, 2007, the Deluxe Dollar Deal also includes added extras such as car transfers to/from Heathrow, a hearty English breakfast for two each day, one traditional afternoon tea for two, a complimentary bottle of Champagne, and free wireless internet access. Rates are $1,399 for three nights at "41" or The Egerton House, and $1,499 at The Milestone Hotel. Minimum three night stay required.
Stressed out by your wedding planning? Before the honeymoon--even before the wedding--why not try a Minimoon, the quick getaway for the future bride and groom to remind each other, amidst all the wedding stress, why they agreed to tie the knot... Indulge in a little pre-wedding relaxation, and celebrate your future marriage at Peter Island, the idyllic Caribbean Classic. The legendary resort, consistently awarded one of the world's best places to stay, combines the sophistication and exclusivity of a private island retreat with the understated elegance of the BVI. Accessibly only by boat or helicopter, Peter Island is 1,800 acres of lush, tropical beauty, and features five beaches, a private yacht, tennis courts, scuba diving, and an incredible staff. Here's the skinny on Peter Island's De-stressor for the Stressed-out Bride and Groom Minimoon: The package includes a welcoming bottle of champagne and an invitation to a gourmet vintner dinner, choice of a day trip to St. Thomas (Tuesday and Saturday) or to Virgin Gorda (Thursday), a trip to the Peter Island Loop to watch the sunset including wine, fruit, and cheese, a private spa experience for two at one of the the Spa at Peter Island's private, seaside bohios, a private dinner on the beach (tiki lights and all!), and a special departing gift to help prepare for marital bliss. Package includes four nights accommodations in an Ocean View Room, all meals and most activities. Rates start at $4,490 per couple, from January 4 through April 15, 2007. From April 16 through November 16, 2007, rates start at $3,205 per couple.
This Valentine's Day, hit the slopes at Aspen and indulge in a stay at the quintessential Aspen hotel. Opened in 1889 at the height of Colorado's silver boom, this luxurious boutique hotel has become a symbol of Aspen itself. Surrounded by the majestic Rocky mountains, Hotel Jerome is just minutes from downtown Aspen. The hotel features 92 sophisticated guest rooms which have been individually decorated with luxurious amenities. Guests enjoy exquisite American cuisine, excellent service, year-round heated pool and two Jacuzzis, and ski resort transfers. Hotel Jerome has created the Be My Valentine Package for the perfect Valentine's getaway. Available from February 13-15, 2007, the package includes deluxe room or suite accommodations, Champagne and a special treat prepared by Pastry Chef Heather Campbell in your room upon arrival, daily lift tickets for two, candlelit dinner for two in the Century Room, nightly bath butler service, and daily continental breakfast buffet in Jacob's Corner. Rates start at $595, two nights minimum stay required.
In the 100 years since its inauguration, the legendary Hotel Adlon Kempinski has become a symbol of luxury in Berlin. Now celebrating its centennial, the Adlon Kempinski invites guests to enjoy its jubilee year with special events, historic exhibits, and the October birthday bash. And with the debut of the Presidential Suite--unveiled last year in the hotel's new Security Wing-- the Adlon Kempinski continues to make history with one of the most opulent suites in the world. (Not to mention safe. This suite has an independent telecommunications system, dedicated security hub with video monitoring, bullet-proof walls and windows, and an independent power supply.) The seven-room suite is as elegant as befits the royalty and heads-of-state who frequently stay there. With a beautiful view over Potsdamer Platz, the Suite features a spacious living room, office and conference room, bedroom with separate dressing room, as well as a 30 sq meter bathroom with Jacuzzi, Finnish sauna, and massage area. Of course the suite's loaded with state-of-the-art technology (and includes 24-hour butler service). The impressive 240 sq meter suite is available for about EUR 20,000 a night.
No longer a backpacker's tropical paradise, the island of Koh Samui is getting a luxe makeover with a plethora of new hotel openings. First up, the W Retreat and Residences-Koh Samui, the third such luxury resort in the world for the stylish lifestyle brand, following the debut of the fabulous W Maldives in September 2006 and the W Vieques, scheduled for 2007. The Koh Samui retreat, slated for late 2008, will be an upscale, 70 villa property which will include 20 residential units for purchase. Situated on the secluded Maenam beach on the north shore of the island, the new W will have a prime position to enjoy Koh Samui's best windsurfing and snorkeling sites. Of course guests can enjoy all the stylish services and amenities they've come to expect at W Hotels and Retreats: the signature Living Room and lounge, trendy restaurant, 24-hour concierge, and Whatever/Whenever service.
Likewise scheduled for late 2008, the new Conrad Koh Samui Resort and Spa is to be located on the exact opposite of the island, overlooking Aow Thai Beach on Koh Samui's southwest tip. (It doesn't get any better than this for contemplating the dazzling sunsets.) From its perch on a hill, the 118-villa resort will feature panoramic views of the Gulf of Thailand and outlying islands. Surrounded by lush coconut plantations, the resort will offer a variety of fine dining restaurants and bars, a world-class spa, and meeting and business center facilities. The luxurious villas will be enormous, with plenty of outdoor space for private plunge pools and sundecks.
Head to the Winter Blues Festival at Coeur D'Alene Golf and Spa Resort and ditch those winter blues. The idyllic landscape at the resort's lakeside setting may be cure enough for the inevitable wintry blahs (not to mention the luxurious accommodations, spa treatments, and sumptuous cuisine). But this award-winning destination resort has designed an added enticement: the Winter Blues Festival on the weekend of February 16-18, 2007. The Northwest's preeminent blues artists will be showcased at this inaugural event, including Seattle's Lloyd Jones Struggle and "Blueswoman of the Year" Nicole Fournier (& Her 3 lb. Universe). The lineup features nine bands playing the blues for some 15 hours over the three evenings. All the musical events will take place at four intimate music venues conveniently located inside the resort, including two stages inside the newly remodeled Conference Center as well as an exciting Blues Cruise on the lake Saturday after dark. Take advantage of the special Winter Blues Festival Package which includes accommodations and access to all the music venues for the weekend. Packages begin at $149 per person nightly. Daily tickets are $10 Friday and Sunday, and $35 on Saturday.