LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
August 22, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The National Historic Landmark of The Homestead, ranked among the world's top Spa and Golf resorts, is a family favorite. Nestled in Virginia's Allegheny mountains, The Homestead boasts historic hot springs and naturally heated pools, in addition to its myriad recreational activities. Enjoy the elegance and style of Southern Accents Magazine and the 2007 Southern Accents Showhouse all wrapped into two special weekends at The Homestead Resort. The Homestead Preserve and The Homestead Resort have teamed up with the magazine to offer two distinctively different weekends that both feature design seminars and tours of the Showhouse. The Showhouse is conveniently located just two miles from The Homestead Resort. The weekend rate starts at $980; September 21-23 and November 2-4, 2007.
Tis the season. For holidays on the coast of Maine, that is. Chances are rooms at the award-winning White Barn Inn have been booked solid for months. But a Fall getaway at this "achingly romantic destination" will restore the spirits and-- to quote Zagat-- "stay in your memory forever." The ideal base to explore the breathtaking Maine coastline, The White Barn Inn is built in two restored barns dating from the 1860's. The restaurant is equally as noteworthy as the cottage-style accommodations, simply brimming with accolades. The finest New England cuisine is paired with delicious wines from the impressive 7,000-bottle cellar. An experience at The Inn is distinguished by its level of service-- from the valets to the bath butlers. Luxuriate in a plush bathrobe, indulge in massage therapy by the heated swimming pool, soak in a perfect, butler-drawn bath. The White Barn Inn offers the best of Maine.
The grape harvest is fast upon us in North America-- the perfect time to pay a visit to the romantic vineyards of Washington's Woodinville region. Escape to Willows Lodge, just 20 minutes from Seattle, and indulge in a culinary extravaganza at one of the most highly-rated restaurants in the Northwest, a stroll through award-winning wineries, and all the civilized comforts of a magical luxury lodge. Oenophiles will delight in Western Washington's wine and culinary destination of choice; Woodinville is currently home to nearly two dozen wineries and many are open for daily tasting including Columbia Winery, Silver Lake Winery and Chateau Ste. Michelle. Situated on five exquisitely landscaped acres that border the Sammamish River, Willows Lodge features 84 rooms and suites, a full-service spa with outdoor Jacuzzi, and The Herbfarm Restaurant, rated one of the Top 50 Restaurants in America.
PS. Willows Lodge is pet friendly! The WVIP (Willows Very Important Pet) program means special amenities for four-legged friends including a doggie room service menu specially prepared by Seattle's Three Dog Bakery, map and directions for pet and owner walks, and doggie bed with turn down service (and a night time raw hide bone).
An African safari wouldn't be complete without a stop-over at the Indian Ocean hot spot of Zanzibar. The archipelago is just a hop from the mainland, and entices visitors with its rich history and aquamarine waters. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of ancient Stone Town is buzzing with bright bazaars, redolent with the scent of cloves. Wander the narrow streets and marvel at the Portuguese, Arab, Dutch, and English cultural influences. The place to stay is the Zanzibar Serena Inn, the perfect base to explore the atmospheric streets of the town. Idyllically situated on the sea front, the hotel is a haven of opulence amidst the bustle of the town. Each guest room is a cool, white enclave, constructed in the traditional design of a Swahili house, adorned with traditionally carved furniture, cool-ceramics, intricate fretwork, and draped beds. Lovely doors open onto wrought-iron balconies overlooking the Persian-bath pool and azure bay beyond.
Pan Pacific's first new-build in the U.S. has already made quite a name for itself, voted on to Conde Nast Traveler's 2007 Hot List. Located just minutes from downtown's many attractions, the new Pan Pacific Seattle boasts "eye-of-the-Space-Needle views of the city" from its 160 guest rooms. Part of the exclusive 2200 Development, the hotel is just upstairs from retail and dining outlets all located within a pedestrian-friendly landscaped plaza (think Whole Foods, Starbucks...) Designed by Hirsch Bedner, the sleek hotel is all about "East meets West." Rooms epitomize luxury, outfitted with a Hypnos bed, Egyptian cotton bedding, Herman Miller chairs, four-fixture bathrooms in every room, oversized tubs, HD plasma televisions, and complimentary internet. Not to mention the personal steward service. Whether it's planning a full vacation itinerary, or simply arranging dinner reservations, your personal concierge works with you to customize your stay. How's that for individualized service?
Coming soon: the full-service spa.
Celebrate Georgia's largest grape harvest featuring national and international wineries, Chef seminars, winery tours, live blues-rock music, grape stomping and good eats! An elegant French-style chateau just 40 minutes from Atlanta, Chateau Elan Winery and Resort is the largest producer of premium wines in Georgia and a favorite weekend getaway spot. The Vineyard Fest will take place on Sunday, August 26th, 2007. (Advance purchase tickets only.) This highly anticipated event includes over 100 different wines being poured by wineries and distributors from around the world, as well as wine tastings, tours, and seminars. Plus, the resort will be rolling out the BBQ smoker this year for seriously slow-cooked southern BBQ prepared by Chef Russell McClendon. It's a day filled with merriment, surrounded by 3,500 acres of vineyards in full gorgeous bloom.
Say hello to the newest luxury hotel on the block, your own private palazzo in the heart of Venice. Smack dab on the Grand Canal, Ca' Sagredo has a spectacular location just a short walk from the Rialto Bridge and St. Mark's Square. Dating back to the 15th century, classified as a National Monument, the building has retained its magnificent frescoed wall and gracious architecture. Indeed, the hotel is more like a museum, housing precious artwork from the most important Venetian painters of the 17th and 18th century: Giambattista Tiepolo, Pietro Sebastiano Ricci, Pietro Longhi, among others. The restaurant is no less luxurious. Overlooking the Grand Canal from a grand panoramic terrace, L'Alcova serves the finest Mediterranean cuisine in a trendy atmosphere.
There's been a lot of buzz about the breathtakingly beautiful island of Hvar, magnet for beautiful people, dotted with lavender patches and sun-kissed (rocky) beaches. Hvar receives more days of sunshine than any other place in the country, and the visitors flock to this scenic hot spot. Hvar Town is chock full of fine restaurants, trendy bars, and winding Medieval alleys-- a picturesque and popular hideaway. The place to stay is the Hotel Riva, the island's chicest boutique hotel and the only Croatian hotel that's a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Located on the seaside promenade, the hotel attracts a memorable crowd of pretty people to its BB club, the island's hottest bar. The views from the stylish, contemporary rooms are simply stunning.
Each summer, the large white sand beach in front of the Ritz-Carlton Cancun becomes a sanctuary for sea turtles which arrive at night to nest. The luxury resort, one of the most elegant in the world, has created a Turtle Camp, an ecological conservation program for guests to discover one of the best kept secrets of this sought-after destination. The Ritz-Carlton Cancun has introduced the services of the Turtle Nanny, who patrols the beach at night in search of nests, serves as a guardian for the turtles and guides guests in the release of the hatchlings into the ocean after a two month incubation period. Be part of this truly extraordinary experience at The Ritz-Carlton Cancun.
Book a spa package at the popular Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and indulge in a complimentary, 50-minute Hot Stone of Swedish Massage. The Stay and Spa package starts at just $299, available Sunday-Thursday until October 31, 2007. The world-class Woodlands Spa is just one of the fabulous facilities on-site at this Mobil Four-Star and AAA Four-Diamond resort situated on 3,000 beautiful acres outside Pittsburgh.