November 6, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Eager skiers are anxiously counting down the days until the November 23, 2006 opening day of ski season at Whistler Blackcomb. The biggest ski resort in North America may also be the best-- judging by the number of accolades it's racked up recently. According to Conde Nast Traveler's annual readers' choice awards, Whistler hotels are the best in Canada: the Pan Pacific Mountainside, Four Seasons Whistler, and Westin are the top three. Luxury Spa Finder magazine ranked the The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Whistler as the third best spa in the world. Australia's Luxury Travel Magazine (Summer 2006) named Whistler the best overseas ski resort, and Forbes Traveler (along with Skiing Magazine) voted Whistler Blackcomb as the number one resort in North America. With the biggest vertical rise in North America (a whopping 5,280 feet) and the most terrain (8,171 acres), it's little wonder why Whistler has swept up the awards.
The Windy City is magical during the holidays. From the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival (November 18) to the Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier (think decorated trees, thousands of lights, and lots of family-style holiday attractions), Chicago knows how to celebrate in style. And of course the holiday shopping is world-class. This year, Conrad Chicago is offering a Holidays on Magnificent Mile package for lucky guests to enjoy Chicago at its glittery best. The package includes a fifty dollar gift card and VIP savings passport for Westfield North Bridge shopping mall, thirty dollars for shipping of items within the United States, gift wrapping, holiday martini at Rendez-Vous lounge, late check-out, and complimentary parking for one night. Located in the heart of it all in Chitown, Conrad Chicago is one of the most prestigious addresses on the Magnificent Mile. (The 311 guestrooms boast incredible views over the city skyline.) Within walking distance of The Loop, The Merchandise Mart, and Lake Michigan, the Conrad is a perfect urban oasis, with the best restaurants and shopping experiences at its doorstep.
Celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with up to 20 percent off select Kor Hotels in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Washington DC, San Francisco, and West Hollywood. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a luxurious getaway while award-winning chefs prepare your Thanksgiving dinner. At the Campton Place Restaurant (San Francisco), Executive Chef Peter Rudolph offers a four-course dinner with veg options available. (Adults $105, kids $35, 12pm-8pm.) The culinary creations include butter poached Maine lobster, Red Kuri squash soup, and roasted turkey breast and gravy with blue lake beans and potato puree. And Whist at Viceroy Santa Monica will host a decadent Thanksgiving extravaganza with delicious selections from Executive Chef Warren Schwartz that include pan seared New Zealand salmon and baby pumpkin filled with mascarpone polenta. (Adults $75, kids $37.50, 1pm-8:45 pm.) Taste buds tempted?
In today's article "Living in Zen: The Spa Life, 24/7" the NYT identified the latest trend in lifestyle community living: "spadominiums" brought to you by Miraval, the Tucson-based destination spa, and Canyon Ranch, its chief competitor. Spa lifestyle communities have been springing up rapidly across the country in recent years; most of them are second-home condos at destination resorts. But now Miraval and Canyon Ranch are creating condominium projects in major cities to help foster a balanced urban life dedicated to wellness and healthy living.
Beginning in early 2008 those who choose to relocate to 515 East 72nd Street will be able to experience Miraval’s spa, fitness, nutrition and general wellness programming from the comfort of their own high-rise condominium homes. The project will be known as Miraval Living; the company is billing it as New York City's first "inspired living residence" and the first of what John Vanderslice, the chief executive, said would be 10 to 15 similar developments in the next decade in cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami and Washington.
Canyon Ranch has similar spa-living condos under development in Miami and Chicago.
Kai, the renowned restaurant at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa on the Gila River Reservation, was recently awarded the covered five-diamond award from AAA. Located within the rugged expanse of Arizona's Sonoran Desert, the resort is designed to be an authentic representation of the Gila River Indian Community's cultural heritage. Its restaurant, Kai (meaning "seed" in the Pima language) is tribe-owned, and offers a menu rich in Native American culture. In fact, Executive Chef Michael O'Dowd and Native American Chef de Cuisine Jack Strong have masterfully created an indigenous menu focusing on locally farmed ingredients. (James Beard Award-winning Chef Janos Wilder is consulting chef for Kai.) Sample menu items include Tenderloin of Buffalo from the Cheyenne River Tribe (with Smoked Corn Puree, Barbeque Scarlet Runner Beans, Saguaro Blossom Syrup, Cholla Buds and Seasonal Mushrooms) and Sugpiaq Black Cod with Los Palacios Chorizo and Red Lake Wild Rice (accompanied by Plantain Creme Brulee, Guava Nectar, Caramelized Young Pineapple Wild Rice and Yucatan Coconut Cream). Open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday, reservations are recommended.
Welcome to the finest hotel in Charleston, the stunning Orient-Express property located at 205 Meeting Street. At Charleston Place, guests are charmed by the best Southern hospitality in elegant surroundings. Relax in your beautifully appointed room, or treat yourself to some time at the incredibly lavish European-style Spa (there's a clay tennis court and heated horizon edged swimming pool with retractable glass roof). The NYT raves:
With a prime location, two top-flight restaurants, and an indoor-outdoor pool, this 450-room sister ship of Venice Cipriani easily tops the roster of Charleston Hotels.
The Charleston Place Thanksgiving Package includes three nights room accommodation, two tickets to the Thanksgiving Culinary Celebration at the elegant Palmetto Cafe, and a $25 gift certificate good for use in any of the Shops at Charleston Place. Valid from November 21-26, 2006. Starting from $808 in a Deluxe Room (Club Level Room is $1,138). Taxes and gratuities not included.
Escape down under for some fun in the sun and a most fashionable getaway to South Yarra in Melbourne, one of the world's most cosmopolitan destinations. South Yarra's got it all: hip bars and restaurants, designer shops, and the award-winning Lyall Hotel and Spa. The area's most elegant address, The Lyall emanates sophistication, with each floor of the hotel transformed into a mini art gallery. Rooms are spacious and luxurious, the lounge boasts an open fireplace, the Champagne Bar is happening, and the spa features a full-service menu with all natural products. (Plus the courteous staff will hook you up with an exclusive Privilege Shopping Card for use in over twenty stores and a shortlist of restaurants personally recommended by the owners of The Lyall.) Until December 31, 2006, enjoy the Lyall Sip, Shop and Spa package. Available every night of the week, this package includes accommodation in a one-bedroom Deluxe Suites, a la carte breakfast, a bottle of Australian sparkling wine, two 20-minute steam sessions, and one 60-minute massage or facial. Rates from AUD 470 per room, per night, inclusive of tax and service. Maximum 7 nights stay.
About 165 miles southeast of Nassau in the Bahamas, lies a small tropical island, fringed by sand and surf. (The surrounding coral reef, chock full of tropical fish, makes this one of the finest fishing and diving destinations in the world.) This paradise island called Rum Cay is about to get an upscale resort managed by the luxury hotelier RockResorts. Based in Colorado, the luxury hotel company operates seven elegant properties in the US, including The Pines Lodge in Beaver Creek, The Equinox in Vermont, and La Posada de Santa Fe Resort in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This will be their first international resort. What's in store? The $700 million, 870-acre development will feature a mega-yacht marina, exclusive shops, fine dining, golf, tennis, residences, and the luxury hotel with world-class spa. According to TravelWeekly, the RockResorts brand was originally created in 1956 by Laurance Rockefeller, with the development of Caneel Bay on St. John and Little Dix on Virgin Gorda. Thus the management of Rum Cay Resort Marina brings RockResorts back to its tropical island beginnings.
The prestige and excitement of World Cup ski racing returns to Aspen again this winter. Take advantage of the exclusive World Cup Ski Package at the St. Regis Resort, easily the most fashionable spot in Aspen. Gorgeous rooms, the all-new Remède Spa (the flagship of the global spa brand developed for St. Regis), heated outdoor pool, attentive service... this is the ultimate in indulgence for the discerning traveler. The package includes luxurious accommodations, two lift tickets daily, breakfast for two at Olives, two authentic Swiss cow bells for race day, and USA Ski Team souvenirs. Rates start from $460 per night when you arrive Sunday through Thursday for a minimum two-night stay. Available from November 23 through December 21, 2006.
As our winter creeps perilously near, South Africa's summer is about to begin, marked by warm days full of ample sunshine and soft, balmy breezes. Visitors to cosmopolitan Cape Town enjoy fine wining and dining, whale watching, and sunbathing in one of the most beautiful cities on earth, perched over the sea with dramatic views of the Twelve Apostles mountain range. The place to stay is the world-renowned Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa. With luxurious rooms, breathtaking pools overlooking the ocean, the sublime Sanctuary Spa, and the excellent Azure Restaurant, the Twelve Apostles is well-deserving of its many awards. And the service is exceptional. The surrounding area is jam packed with things to see and do: scuba diving, whale and dolphin watching excursions, and nature trails. The best part of all: a fourth free night when you pay for three, available until December 18, 2006.