February 22, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
After late nights pondering the question, I've finally found the answer. Novelist Jay McInerney-- with his sarcastic wit and true command of the South and all things Southern-- describes the Peabody Memphis in his book The Last of the Savages:
I think it was Faulkner—usually a safe bet in these matters—who said the Mississippi Delta originated in the lobby of the Peabody. Certainly no one would have mistaken this for the Boston Ritz-Carlton, or for the Plaza in New York. That curious and beguiling southern blend of ease and formality were in the air—that rhythm oscillating between languor and hysteria. The lobby was thronged with revelers in evening dress... Young women in ball gowns wafted about the two-story lobby, while their male counterparts lurked in corners, conspiring and breaking out into sudden fits of suppressed hilarity. These young swains applauded as a tiny man in livery marched the ducks from the fountain in the center of the lobby across the floor and into the elevator en route to a pen on the hotel roof. The ducks were the descendants of a batch of live decoys—or so Cordell Savage once told me—which had been dumped into the fountain one afternoon by a band of liquored-up hunters fresh from the duck blind who wanted to continue drinking at the hotel bar.
So much for the ducks' noble origins.
The Peabody Memphis, Official Site
The Peabody Memphis, Five Star Alliance
Imagine a luxurious home-away-from-home in the heart of Manhattan, featuring designer furnishings by rock-star designers Robert Kuo, Martha Sturdy, Barbara Berry and Bill Sofield. The two-bedroom Taipan Suite is a dreamy 1,210 sq feet, with floor-to-ceiling views overlooking Central Park, the Hudson River and Manhattan skyline from the 54th floor of the Mandarin Oriental. The decor? The best of urban chic, with Asian and Art Deco influence. The bathrooms—equipped with heavenly bath products by FRESH—are unique and luxurious: an oversized marble bath with LCD flat panel TV and separate shower, and the other featuring a soaking tub with picture window overlooking Central Park. Take care of some business—your suite converts easily to an office with three multi-line telephones, high-speed internet access, laptop connections to LCD TV, and printer and fax machine upon request. Or relax with a drink from the wet bar with Bisazza tiles, and enjoy a flick from the home theater set-up.
Mandarin Oriental New York, Official Site
Mandarin Oriental New York, Five Star Alliance
When the grey and dreary February days drag on (could this really be the shortest month of the year?), it's easy to dream of greener pastures. And with spectacular special packages like this one, it's easy to act and make those dreams happen. At the sun-drenched resort of Casa de Campo, the days are long, lively, or languorous, rooms are luxurious, the spa is heaven-on-earth, and the activities are plentiful. Horseback riding, tennis, water sports, golf, fishing, sailing… whatever your little heart desires. Truly. Now through April 16th, guests who book four nights, receive the fifth night free. Starting at $1,476 per person, all-inclusive. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner; unlimited drinks in resort restaurants and bars; horseback riding; tennis; non-motorized water sports; one round of skeet-shooting; one four-passenger touring cart for duration of stay. Now that's a deal.
Casa De Campo, Official Site
Casa De Campo, Five Star Alliance
Think Spring. Flowers blooming, birds chirping, and the ultimate country house inn from which to witness nature's reawakening. Named one of the Top 50 Romantic Spots in the World by Travel and Leisure, Kingsbrae Arms is Relais and Chateaux's only Eastern Canada property. And though this country inn is a perfect hideaway, it’s not much of a secret—this spot is a two-time Andrew Harper Hideaway Grand Award winner, Mobil Four-Star, and listed in Fodor's Top Twenty Hotels in the World. Overlooking the sea, harbor and the historic seaside resort of St. Andrews, Kingsbrae Arms is surrounded by historic, salt-air gardens. Sumptuously appointed suites are the essence of romance. But the best part of a stay at the inn is the unforgettable evening dinner party, where gorgeous organic cuisine is paired with selections from the Wine Spectator Award winning cellar. These evenings are legendary. Available throughout the month of May, the Spring Indulgence Package includes two nights luxurious accommodations with spring flower bouquet, full country breakfasts each morning, and four-course dinner for two with Champagne cocktail reception. Starting at $750 per couple, standard guestroom.
Kingsbrae Arms, Official Site
Kingsbrae Arms, Five Star Alliance
February 20, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Private luxurious beach bungalows are now available for daytime rental at The Breakers. Enjoy a secluded day retreat on the ocean with loads of ultra-luxurious conveniences. Situated next to the Ocean Grill across from the new Active Pool, the five cabanas are 300 square feet in size with outside patio surrounded by lush tropical landscaping. The Breakers has done it right with its new $15 million beachfront makeover. Along with the casual dining at the new Ocean Grill overlooking the Atlantic and the expansive Active Fun Pool (free-form zero entry pool on the beach, designed for families), 15 more Beach Bungalows will be available for some lucky folks come end-of-March. These cabanas will be situated next to the new luxury relaxation pool designated quiet area (more chill-out zone than people-watching hub).
The Breakers, Official Site
The Breakers, Five Star Alliance
As the New Zealand Herald reports, luxury travel in kiwi territory is booming. Lodges like Kauri Cliffs, Wharekauhau, Blanket Bay and Huka Lodge are glam destination resorts that play host to celebs (laying low), oil tycoons, and the international jet-set. The cat's out of the bag about the remote Pacific islands whose breathtaking scenery played center stage in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings flicks. Our pick? The luxurious hideaway of Blanket Bay, with its magnificent setting next to Lake Wakatipu, beneath snow-capped peaks. Earning top accolades from CNT, Forbes, and the Sunday Times UK, Blanket Bay offers 12 secluded rooms and suites, constructed of timber and stone and filled with sumptuous furnishings. The suites boast exquisite views from large private terraces. Likewise, the mountain and lake vistas are phenomenal from the outdoor heated lap pool. Activities range from the adrenaline-pumping (jetboating and heli-skiing) to the calm and relaxing (excellent health and spa facilities).
Blanket Bay, Official Site
Blanket Bay, Five Star Alliance
Top-quality spas abound, but the Aji Spa is sublime. Named for the Pima word for "sanctuary," the 17,500 sq ft spa features treatments derived from the ancient Native American cultural tradition. Specifically, treatments like the Blue Coyote Wrap and the Blue Bird Facial are inspired by longstanding Pima lore and utilize ingredients like red clay from the Gila River and Cholla cactus bud to help purify the body. Additionally, the Ho'dai (or River Rock Massage) uses the hot river stones (naturally smooth) that the Pima and Maricopa have used for centuries to alleviate pain. With 17 treatment rooms, fitness center, relaxing watsu pool and a traditional roundhouse, the Aji Spa is surrounded by Arizona's stunning natural scenery, only 15 minutes from downtown Phoenix.
Sheraton Wild Horse Pass, Official Site
Sheraton Wild Horse Pass, Five Star Alliance
Now is the time to discover the legendary Nice hotel, the architectural masterpiece and national historic monument that has dominated the Promenade des Anglais for over a century. Its pink dome a symbol of the French Riviera, its name evokes the essence of "art de vivre." Situated on the seafront promenade overlooking the Mediterranean, the hotel is filled with a fantastic collection of antiques, oil paintings and contemporary works of art. In this living museum, each of the 121 guestrooms and 24 suites are individually decorated in styles spanning the historic spectrum from Louis XIII to Art Deco. The award-winning restaurant The Chantecler is celebrated as one of the best in Nice. Take advantage of this special offer celebrating the first days of spring. For a limited time—from now until March 31-- when you book a three night stay, the third night is free! (Breakfast included.)
Hotel Negresco, Official Site
Hotel Negresco, Five Star Alliance
Just in time for the World Cup Championship I've been obsessing about. Following an extensive restoration, the Villa Kennedy will be ready to dazzle (and show off that stunning neo-gothic architecture) on March 1st. Originally built in 1904, the hotel has extensive gardens and a sweet central courtyard. Located on the southside of the River Main, the Villa features luxurious rooms with state-of-the-art technology, mosaic-tiled bathrooms, pool and three-level-Spa. Book the gigantic presidential suite (300 sq meters) and enjoy a separate kitchen and turret dining room.
February 15, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
It's music to our ears. A 230-acre private island, Ritz-Carlton's deluxe spot in the Bahamas, is scheduled to open in 2009. Just four miles off Nassau and Paradise Island, Rose Island will be accessible by boat or helicopter. Guest rooms are planned to average 550 square feet with large balconies overlooking the beach.