December 1, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Congratulations to Wynn Las Vegas, the first Vegas resort in history to win the coveted Mobil Five Star Award for its Tower Suites and one of only 37 hotels in the US to receive this rating. Since its opening in 2005, Wynn Las Vegas has epitomized over-the-top luxury in Sin City. The utterly decadent facilities include 19 fine dining establishments with celebrity chefs, superb spa, incredible casino, lots of retail and convention space, and its own 18-hole championship golf course (the only place on the Strip where guests can tee up right outside the front door). And in a place where the rooms are nothing short of magnificent, the Tower Suites are truly over-the-top. Private VIP check-in at the exclusive Tower Suites lobby. Floor-to-ceiling windows. A whopping 640 square feet of comfort and convenience. The latest technology, including VOIP telephones, fax, high speed Internet access, automatic bedside drapery and lighting controls, and flat screen LCD high-definition televisions. Luxurious bedding and spa-like bathrooms. In-room massage and beauty treatments. A terrace with private pools.
One of only 37 properties in the US to receive the Mobil Five Star Hotel Award. Recognized as the "Best Small Hotel", "Best Rooms" and "Best Service" in the Zagat 2007 Survey. And the Number One US Hideaway, awarded by Andrew Harper's Hideaway Report in September. Welcome to Twin Farms. Nestled on 300 bucolic acres in central Vermont, this small luxury hotel recognizes the importance of premier, personalized service. The property features only 20 guest rooms, but boasts a staff of 85 dedicated employees to attend to guests' every need. (How's that for a staff-to-guest ratio?) Accommodations are luxurious, spacious, and distinctive; no two of the 20 accommodations are alike, from the suites in the Main House to the graceful cottages built of stone and wood (including a log cabin in the woods and a 3,000 square foot chalet built for two). Guests enjoy the lovely library, 26,000 bottle Wine Cellar, Game Room, croquet court, museum art displayed throughout the property, and the celebrated spa, Out of the Woods. In the winter, there's Hot Rum Toddies in front of a roaring fire, skiing, ice skating, snow-shoeing, cross-country skiing, and sleigh rides.
Tee-up, Relax and Rejuvenate at Quail Lodge, located on the sunny side of the Monterey Peninsula in scenic Carmel, California. Situated on 850 scenic acres overlooking the rolling green fairways, Quail Lodge is only minutes from the white sand beaches and galleries in charming Carmel By The Sea. This resort property is an ideal jumping off point to discover the magical Monterey Peninsula, Pebble Beach, and the magnificent Big Sur Coast. Beloved for its championship gold and luxurious spa, Quail Lodge also offers great dining options within this idyllic natural environment. The Winter Golf and Spa Escape Package includes accommodations and breakfast for two plus choices of either two rounds of golf OR two 50-minute spa treatments, OR one round of golf and one spa treatment. It is an incredible value starting at $335 nightly. Available until March 31, 2007.
The Homestead is the winter playground for generations of families. Ranked among the world's top spa and golf resorts, the National Historic Landmark is located in Virginia's Allegheny mountains, where a plethora of outdoor activities are at your beck and call: skiing (with the excellent Sepp Kober Ski School and its staff of international instructors), snowboarding, snow tubing, ice skating, snowmobile tours, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Indoors, there's the world-class spa, bowling, movies, video games, heated pool, billiards, and family games. Folks have been flocking here since the 1700s to "take the waters" at the historic hot springs and naturally-heated pools. And they continue to flock to this timeless retreat to enjoy the world-class facilities and beautiful setting. The Winter Fun Package at The Homestead starts at just $109 and includes luxurious accommodations, breakfast daily, use of fitness center and outdoor pool, and afternoon tea in the Great Hall. Children 12 and under eat breakfast free. Children 18 and under stay free.
Coming in 2007: the gorgeous, newly renovated La Mamounia-- legend of Marrakech-- will open after a major makeover by celebrated interior designer Jacques Garcia, mastermind behind the new Hotel Fouquet's Barriere in Paris. According to Garcia, even grand hotels of seeming perfection like La Mamounia need touch-ups every few years. As quoted in the NYT, " must all be updated regularly. It's like face-lifts: a little injection once in a while is better than one big scar." Located in the heart of Marrakech with views of the desert valley and snow-capped peaks of the Atlas mountains, La Mamounia is set within idyllic 300-year-old gardens and surrounded by the city's 12th century ramparts. The beautiful gardens are tended daily by 40 gardeners; the thousands of flowers and trees and numerous lily ponds create a tranquil eden in the midst of this Imperial city. For over 80 years, La Mamounia has embodied the grand traditions of Moroccan hospitality.
Announcing the December 21, 2006 reopening of the Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach. The Mobil Five-Star, AAA Five-Diamond luxury resort is located just eight miles from Palm Beach International Airport, and features 310 elegant guest rooms, massage and fitness center with extensive spa menu, outdoor pool, fabulous oceanfront dining, and seven acres of oceanfront beach. After a massive five-month renovation project, the resort will showcase an additional swimming pool, three new restaurant concepts, a 3,000 square foot oceanfront terrace, newly expanded Ritz Kids and new Ritz Teens Programs, and a new 28,000 square foot Grand Spa (to debut summer 2007). Other luxurious additions include a resort-wide Wifi network, the installation of flat screen TVs, a new oceanfront suites luxury room category, and a new foyer with an unobstructed ocean view.
Celebrate the holiday season in Washington DC at the Hay-Adams. With the Holiday Getaway Package, guests enjoy a free third night when they pay for two. The choice of Presidents, international dignitaries, and savvy clientele looking to be pampered, the historic Hay-Adams offers guests the most prestigious Washington address with views overlooking the White House, Lafayette Square, and St. John's Church, the "Church of Presidents." The classic landmark has long been a favorite gathering place in the nation's capital. Like a distinguished private residence on Lafayette Square, The Hay-Adams boasts personalized service, culinary excellence and one-of-a-kind amenities. The 145 guestrooms (including 20 suites) are elegantly appointed with soft tailored upholstery, luxurious linens, and lavish decor; some feature ornamental fireplaces, intricately carved plaster ceilings, and balconies. Escape with a guest during the holidays to enjoy the sites of the nation's capital lit up for the season, and experience an unforgettable stay at the Hay-Adams. Relax and rejuvenate in your lavishly appointed guest room for two nights and receive your third night complimentary. Holiday Getaway Package rates are from $429-$729 based on availability and include daily breakfast for two and valet parking. Valid from December 19, 2006 to January 7, 2007.
Indulge in the best afternoon tea in the world at The Berkeley in Knightsbridge. Cakes, butter biscuits, and scrumptious delicacies are all set for a makeover in the style of the world's top fashion designers, such as Lanvin, Jimmy Choo and Valentino, as The Berkeley launches its new Autumn/Winter 2006 Prêt-a-Portea cake collection. The traditional afternoon tea gets a twist with inspiration from the latest fashion season's catwalk designs. On the Pret-a-Portea menu this season are fashionista delectables such as Valentino leopard chestnut crème handbag, Giles Deacon pink polka dot nougat mousse , Alexander McQueen Stuart tartan chocolate cake , Aquascutum yellow coat ginger biscuit, Yves Saint Laurent frilly passion fruit meringue and Jimmy Choo gold boot biscuit. (All served in tiny bites, of course, for the figure conscious.) The Berkeley's pastry chef visits London fashion week shows to get his inspiration for the new patisserie collections; the Berkeley has also created a distinguished Prêt committee of fashion experts from publications such as Vogue and Harpers Bazaar to check out the collection. Pret-a-Portea is served in The Caramel Room at The Berkeley from 2-6 pm everyday priced at GBP 33 per person. (GBP 41 per person includes a glass of champagne.)
The best hotel in Tokyo, the inspiration and backdrop for the film, Lost in Translation, is also the setting for one of the hottest hotel bars in the world. Park Hyatt Tokyo is an elegant oasis of space and calm that offers spectacular views of Tokyo and the Kanto Plain all the way to Mount Fuji, from the top 14 floors of the 52-storey Shinjuku Park Tower. This major landmark on the Tokyo skyline houses the stunning New York Bar, the place to see-and-be-seen in the city. The ambience could be Manhattan itself: black ebony chairs, walnut flooring, steel supports of the floor-to-ceiling windows, and Valerio Adami's huge murals of Radio City Music Hall and the Rainbow Room. As one of the top venues for live music in the city, the bar features jazz by top international artists nightly. New York Bar offers vintage cognac and brandy, classic and original cocktails, and the largest selection of American wines in Japan. Casual dining menu is available. Open Sunday to Wednesday from 5 pm to midnight. Thursday to Saturday from 5 pm to 1:00 am. Cover charge of 2,000 JPY is applied Monday through Saturday from 8 pm, Sunday from 7 pm.
November 27, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The best kept secret of the Indian Ocean-- the 26 atolls and 1,190 tropical islands of the Maldives-- has become one of the hottest destinations on the planet. Rated the number one islands in the world by the Conde Nast Traveler 19th annual Reader's Choice Awards, the Maldives are a natural wonder with unparalleled biodiversity (over 900 species of fish) and some of the most breathtaking dive sites in the world. Located on one of the most picturesque islands of the Maldives (lush and beautiful Ihuru), the Angsana Resort is surrounded by unspoiled natural beauty: pristine reefs, palm-dotted beaches, and turquoise waters. The island is encircled by a shallow lagoon and technicolor reef, making it an ideal spot for snorkeling and scuba diving. Angsana Resort and Spa Ihuru offers the hedonistic pleasures of a spa retreat and the perfect holiday paradise. The 45 private villas feature thatched roofs, private gardens and verandas with dining and sitting areas. The resort has recently revamped its spa offerings with an extensive list of treatments, including Asian Spa therapies and special men's treatments. The new highlights include Duet, tailored for couples to enjoy together (the spa experience begins with a Tropical Fruit Wash for him and an Almond Milk Aglow body polish for her, followed by body massages and the Milk Orange Bath), Soothing Sun Relief (which includes Cucumber Soother and a calming facial soother), and Ayurvedic Delights.
PS. Noteworthy: The Angsana Resort and Spa has won awards for its environmentally friendly focus, including several outstanding marine biology research initiatives.