November 13, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Escape to the secluded Exuma cays, a beautiful tropical oasis just a short flight from Florida. At the Four Seasons Resort Great Exuma, indulge in luxury while surrounded by crystal-clear Bahamian waters and silky sand beaches. Lounge poolside at the free-form Active Pool, amidst the lush landscaping, while attendants provide iced water, cold towels, and refreshing chilled spritz. Play a round of golf on the breathtaking championship 18-hole course designed by golf legend, Greg Norman, or hit some tennis on one of six Hydro Har-Tru courts (all lit for night play). Or indulge in an indulgent spa treatment at the beautiful open-air spa, followed by relaxation in the tranquil spa garden. The Golf and Spa package at Four Seasons Great Exuma has been designed for couples to make the most of their vacation in paradise. For each night you stay, choose either a 50-minute spa treatment or one round of golf, for the perfect combination of recreation and pampering. Package includes luxurious accommodations and choice of one round of golf (inclusive of cart) and one 50-minute spa treatment (for up to two persons, per room, per night). Starting at $628 per night in a Garden View Room. Valid until December 16, 2006.
The Merrion-- Dublin's finest five-star hotel-- is the place to be this winter season. A crackling fire lights the Drawing Room, and the bar and restaurant buzz with action. The luxurious Georgian surroundings of the Merrion-- comprised of four restored townhouses-- are filled with warmth and good cheer. At the vibrant Cellar Bar, fashionable patrons sip the ultimate Irish Coffee, or choose from one of fifty select wine vintages, now served by the glass. On the evening of November 14, 2006, The Cellar Restaurant will be showcasing an indulgent truffle menu guaranteed to dazzle even the most serious of gourmands. The experience will start with an introduction to truffles before the exceptional six course menu created by Executive Chef Ed Cooney in conjunction with the world renowned Urbani family.
During the winter months, curl up with a good book and unwind in style at The Merrion. The hotel has created a Literary Inspirations Experience for guests to soak up Ireland's literary heritage while being pampered in luxury; the package includes overnight stay, full Irish breakfast, and the rare opportunity to see the collected works of WB Yeats in the nearby National Library with a private curator tour.
And of course, there are myriad festivities and events to celebrate the holiday season: feasts, family entertainment, traditional menus, and a trip to Dublin's premiere race: Leopardstown Christmas Race Festival. After all that merry-making, detox at the luxurious Tethra Spa, a favorite of Dubliners and guests from around the world, which offers a variety of sumptuous treatments, an infinity pool, and fitness center.
"The best splurge in Orlando," claims Zagat, and most diners who experience this elite eatery will agree. Adored by the nation's top food critics, this formal American restaurant offers an excellent six-course prix fixe menu paired with exceptional wines. The Victorian ambience may seem a bit contrived (harpist? long-stemmed rose for the ladies? maid and butler duo to attend to your every whim?), but this is the Magic Kingdom we're talking about. The doting service and sheer opulence of the establishment will certainly make you feel like royalty. The menu is customized daily with fresh seasonal produce; diners indulge in a culinary experience akin to a "one-of-a-kind pampering of the palate." Though there's a six-month wait to sit at the Chef's Table located right in the kitchen, it's worth it. Evening attire required (jackets for men). Located in Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.
The Netherlands-based Golden Tulip Hospitality Group has introduced Royal Tulip, its new international luxury brand. (Now Golden Tulip will really have their bases covered in the hospitality sector, with hotels ranging from two to five-stars.) They're aiming for 40 Royal Tulip hotels in the next four to five years, in spots like Dallas, Amsterdam, Berlin, Casablanca, and Mirbat, Oman. The first one, dubbed the Royal Tulip Amsterdam Symphony, will debut in the city's financial center in 2009, targeting mostly business travelers. In addition to the 210 guest rooms, the five-star hotel will feature a wellness center, meeting rooms, and restaurant and bar.
Historic streets wrapped in a blanket of snow, lively restaurants and warm cafes, boutiques and art galleries... Old Montreal is the perfect destination for a magical Christmas. The sophisticated boutique hotel Le Place d'Armes, the first ever Canadian hotel to be awarded the International Star Diamond award, has designed a Christmas package for the whole family to enjoy the holiday spirit of Montreal. In addition to its elegant rooms, the historic luxury hotel features the Rainspa (which boasts the city's first hammam) and the award-winning restaurant Aix Cuisine Du Terroir. The Family Christmas Package includes accommodation for two, full Continental breakfast daily, wine and cheese cocktail every evening, gourmet dinner for two at the gastronomic restaurant, turndown service with gingerbread man for the whole family, a visit to Atelier Toutou (Plush Factory) where guests can make two stuffed animals, and tickets to the Montreal Science Centre in the Old Port. Available seven nights a week, from December 16-29, 2006. Starting at $618 for two adults and two children.
The five-star, five-diamond Ritz-Carlton Resort Naples has got it all: seven different restaurants, world-class spa, pool and beach activities, golf, tennis, kids programs, and a wide selection of water sports. It's no wonder The Robb Report lists The Ritz-Carlton Naples as one of the "100 Best Places to Stay in 2006" (May 2006). But now there's another reason to check out the beachfront resort: the Beach House. Located on the pristine sand of the Gulf of Mexico, the $4.5 million beach house is a 3,000 sq ft, two-storey, multi-use facility for weddings, private dinners, business functions, or parties. (It can host 120 people for a sit-down dinner or 150 for cocktail receptions.) The Beach House sports mesquite hardwood floors, Caribbean wicker ceiling fans, plantation shutters, state-of-the-art technology, and a full service kitchen for on-site catering needs complete with black granite bar. And of course there are remarkable views overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.
Since 1950, Jamaica Inn has consistently been ranked one of the top resort hotels and vacation destinations in the Caribbean. In the November 2006 Issue of Conde Nast Traveler, the Readers Choice Awards ranked Jamaica Inn as the number 6 Resort in the Caribbean and the number 1 resort in Jamaica. At the World Travel Awards in September, Jamaica Inn was named the "Leading Hotel in Jamaica." Simply put, the resort epitomizes elegance. Situated on a stunning private white sand beach, Jamaica Inn features 47 rooms and suites, each of which has a private balustraded balcony or verandah with full sized sofa, breakfast table, writing desk, and coffee table-- overlooking the sea. Though you may not want to leave your exquisite guest room, there are plenty of activities for those so inclined: complimentary use of snorkeling equipment, sunfish, kayaks, tennis, croquet, spa...
The Winter Honeymoon Plan (7 days/6 nights) at Jamaica Inn promises the honeymoon of a lifetime, with unrivaled accommodations paired with lots of activities and extra amenities. Package includes accommodations in an Ocean View Deluxe Verandah Suite, full breakfast daily, gourmet dinner nightly including one private candlelight dinner on your own verandah, private car transfers to/from the airport, bottle of champagne upon arrival, two massages (half hour each), a "touch" experience with the dolphins at Dolphin Cove, Dunn's River Boat Trip, a Jamaica Inn candle, complimentary welcome drink and daily Planters Punch on the beach, and nightly entertainment. Available December 15, 2006 to April 15, 2007. Rates from $4,780 per couple. Not applicable during the month of February.
Situated on Orcas Island in Puget Sound, Rosario Resort and Spa is blessed with a privileged location to experience the unparalleled beauty of the Pacific Northwest. The waterfront resort is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, its centerpiece the 1906 Moran Mansion, which houses the restaurant, spa, lounge, music room, library and museum. The 116 guest rooms are spread out on the hill overlooking Cascade Bay and the lush evergreen forest of Orcas Island. (Some feature gas fireplaces, sunken Jacuzzi tubs, and private balconies.) There is an abundance of activities on the island and Puget Sound (whale watching charters, kayak tours), though some guests prefer to relax at the Avanyu Spa, with its two pools, fitness room, sauna, Jacuzzi, and host of pampering and rejuvenating spa treatments. Celebrate Thanksgiving with a traditional feast and some pampering at Rosario Resort and Spa. The all-inclusive Thanksgiving package includes two nights accommodations, breakfast, Thanksgiving dinner for two, welcome amenity, and complimentary use of Avanyu Spa facilities. Starting at $359 in a Gardenside room, based on double occupancy. Two-night minimum stay required. Available for travel November 22-24, 2006. Package prices include all taxes, resort fees and gratuities.
Skiers rejoice! The Rocky Mountains continue to receive record snowfalls and many resorts, including Keystone, are opening earlier than expected. It's a winter wonderland out there and Keystone Lodge is offering a fantastic ski package to celebrate. Surrounded by majestic peaks and thousands of acres of national forest, Keystone Lodge is an AAA four diamond destination. The elegant mountain lodge features a spa, outdoor swimming in heated pools and whirlpools, and fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment. Plus, the resort is committed to 100 percent wind energy (how cool is that?) The Early Season Ski package starts at $101 per person per night, and includes nightly accommodations and daily lift tickets for two to Keystone Resort. Valid until December 16, 2006. Rate is per night based on double occupancy, not inclusive of taxes and resort surcharge.
November 7, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
A Toronto landmark since 1927, the Windsor Arms Hotel is a fashionable contemporary boutique hotel, the favorite hideaway for celebrities visiting the city. Sophisticated and luxurious, this destination hotel embodies the elegance of a bygone era. Located in the heart of Toronto's fashionable Yorkville district, the Windsor Arms is very much part of this lively scene--designer boutiques, trendy restaurants, art galleries-- but tucked away in a haven of calm. The Windsor Arms is celebrated for its exceptional level of service; behind the beautiful century-old facade are 28 newly appointed luxury suites with 24-hour butler service.
But perhaps the best thing about the Windsor Arms Hotel is the luxurious Darphin spa, conceived as one of its kind in all of North America. Situated on the 4th and 5th floors of the hotel, the full-service spa offers a full range of world-class aesthetic services for both men and women. The spa boasts a magnificent pool with grand fireplace, sauna, steam room, gym, hair salon and individual treatment rooms. During the month of November, the spa is offering some excellent specials. Enjoy any detoxifying body wrap treatment and receive in addition a revitalizing mini facial during the treatment (valued at $170, for only $100). Also, when you book any massage/facial package Monday to Thursday, receive complimentary Spa Lunch. Lastly, during the month of November, book any facial and receive a manicure just for $20.00 (regular price is $35).