LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
April 2, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Forget seven-star hotels or underwater resorts. Floating pyramids are "the new dimension in luxury lodging," to quote CNN. The Swedish-based Oceanic-Creations is in the business of designing floating buildings. Their first project? The $209 million Maya Hotel located south of Cancun, slated to open in 2010. This pyramid-shaped hotel will float in the crystal clear Caribbean waters with the help of a new composite material, normally used in the defense industry, which is billed as six times lighter and ten times stronger than steel.
Discover an oasis in the middle of Dubai. Desert Palm polo estate, with four championship polo fields, riding school, stables for over 300 horses, and vast green landscapes, is the setting for a chic boutique resort and spa. The grounds are meticulously manicured; beautiful gardens and swaying palm trees rise from the dramatic desert landscape. The resort is impossibly cool, with ‘naturally modern’ guest rooms and villas, a sensuous spa experience at Lime, gorgeous infinity pool, and excellent dining (fresh produce is flown in daily from around the world). But polo fans will really swoon. (After all, the owner's Dubai Polo Team has won both the two most prestigious and world-renowned high goal events in England: The Queens Cup and The Gold Cup.) Desert Palm Retreat showcases Dubai as a key destination in the world of international polo, hosting key polo tournaments such as the Cartier International Challenge Cup.
Here's a challenge to test your luxury travel savvy. Do you know this hotel? Take a guess, leave us a comment letting us know which hotel you think this photo belongs to, and check back next week for the answer and new image.
Helpful Hints: A 'Complex' Desert Oasis, Paradise on the Gulf, Three in One ...
Thanks to everyone who guessed last week, and yes, the hotel is in New York City, but no one guessed the hotel correctly -
Preservationists, historians, sybarites rejoice. The boutique Albergo Diffuso Santo Stefano di Sessanio is Italian living at its finest, in an absolutely stunning setting. An abandoned medieval hill town and castle in Italy's Abruzzi region, a former ghost village, has been restored and guests can book a stay at the magnificent hotel. The entire town's renovation project-- a $5.1 million price tag-- has been sponsored by the Italian-Swedish philosopher-preservationist Daniele Elow Kihlgren. During the restoration, the attention to detail was staggering: the exclusive use of material found in the surrounding area, interiors furnished in the Arte Povera tradition (folk arts and crafts from the Abruzzo mountains), imperceptible modern amenities (like heating beneath the floors). The press has gone wild. Gourmet magazine described it as "pretty enough to be in the movies." Enjoy the fairy-tale of this Italian Renaissance.
Travelling with the family to Venice? Stay at The Westin Europa & Regina before 06 January 2008 and enjoy the following specials: * Accommodations for 2 starting from Euro 410,00 per room/per night in double occupancy, * daily buffet breakfast included in the room rate for 2 adults and free of charge for up to 2 children 0-17 years of age, * extra bed free of charge for up to 2 children 0-17 years of age, sharing the room with their parents, OR, * an additional hotel accommodation reserved for children up to 17 years of age will be eligible for a 50% discount on the room rates paid by the parents.
PLUS, for stays of 3 or more consecutive nights, a 50% discount on one lunch or dinner in the hotel restaurant during the stay. When you visit with your family, keep in mind that each double room is able to accommodate a maximum of 2 adults and 2 children 17 or under.
That's right, starting in June 2007 you can satisfy your soul at the brand new Marley Resort. The Marley family's summer home as been transformed into the Marley Resort and Spa, where the 16 themed suites (Kinky Reggae, Lively Up Yourself, Three Little Birds, Sun is Shining-- you get the picture) feature chic furnishings, tropical rain showers, and high tech amenities. To quote the proprietor Rita Marley:
We are happy to say, The Legend Lives at the Marley Resort & Spa. We invite you to come and experience this nostalgic, mystical piece of paradise we once called home. Come embrace the feeling of One Love and One Heart in only One Place.
Located on famed Cable Beach, the resort also features the luxurious Natural Mystic Spa, oceanfront dining, and nightly island music.
Baseball, yummy SF eats, and stylish summer digs. Forget the notorious fog, what could be better than a summertime jaunt to the City by the Bay? Head to the award-winning Campton Place, San Francisco's celebrated luxury boutique hotel. You can't beat the location on the edge of Union Square in the heart of the city's downtown. Here, superb accommodations are matched by the exquisite European feasts at the restaurant. This summer, take advantage of the City of Giants package and enjoy a game at Giants Stadium (where you can gaze out over the bay while watching Barry Bonds nail another home run). The package includes one night accommodation in a Campton Suite, full American breakfast for two, welcome amenity, two tickets to a Giants game, and a gift card to the Giants souvenir shop for $100. Total price is $750, a savings of 20 percent. Available from April 1- August 31, 2007.
Gridskipper, Beginner's Guide to San Francisco
Utterly unique, Claska is one of the coolest small hotels in the world. Hip Tokyo architects Intentionallies and British design gurus Tomato transformed an old business hotel into the city's cutting-edge boutique hotel. On the first floor: lobby, buzzing café-lounge (with DJ spinning), and DogMan dog salon, the city's coolest place to bring fashionable Fido. The second floor is an art gallery which showcases the newest groundbreaking trends. And on the third and fourth floors: the nine unique guest rooms which are all individually designed, stacked with designer amenities. (One even has an attached terrace, another with a view from your bathtub.) And then there's the rooftop lounge which offers stunning panoramic views of the Tokyo Metropolitan area. Note: You must reserve months in advance to get a room. (It's worth it.) The one setback: the hotel is located in the trendy Meguro neighborhood, not exactly centrally located.
March 28, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Now's your chance to make like Julia Child and try your hand at cooking the French classics. Enroll alongside the best of 'em at the famous cooking school at the Hotel Ritz, named for Auguste Escoffier, the first Head Chef at this Parisian palace hotel. Auguste was hailed as a pioneer of modern cuisine, and it's no wonder: the dude created Peach Melba, for crying out loud. Learn pastry-making, knowledge of wines, flower-arranging, and the secrets to fine cocktails (along with the great plates of modern French cuisine), taught by the talented chefs at the Ritz. Lessons alternate theory with practice and are geared to the different levels and goals of its students. The setting couldn't be more perfect: opposite the great kitchen at the Ritz.
March 28, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
Opening its doors on April 2, 2007, the Cafe du Parc - located in the former Chanel Boutique, next to the Willard InterContinental Hotel, Washington, DC - is overseen by one of Europe's top Michelin-starred chefs, Antoine Westermann, who supervises the menu to ensure that his vision of French cuisine is appropriately transposed in an American setting. Cafe du Parc will be led by Willard Executive Chef Daniel Kenney and Westermann's hand-picked brigade trained by the master in Paris. The restaurant embraces classic bistro cuisine with moderate pricing ranging from $6 to $19, serving dinner, lunch, afternoon "petit plats" (small plates), breakfast and casual takeaway items. An open kitchen highlights the upper level Cafe du Parc and seats 96 people - accessed by a grand staircase and an elevator. Menu items will include items such as "Le pâte en croûte façon Antoine Westermann" (Antoine Westermann's Pate in a crust), "Les paupiettes de veau" (stuffed veal fillet bundles) "Le confit de Canard" (Duck confit) and vegetarian options like "Les tomates farcies aux legumes" (vegetable-stuffed tomatoes.) PS - They are still accepting resumes for all positions as of today ...