November 14, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
It’s really no wonder The Belvedere is so good. It's located in the only hotel in So Cal to earn the distinction of an AAA Five-Diamond and Mobil Five-Star rating for 13 consecutive years. Its sophisticated ambience, impeccable service, and outstanding American cuisine have distinguished The Belvedere as one of the finest restaurants in LA. In fact, readers of Travel and Leisure recently voted it the "Best Hotel Restaurant in the Continental US and Canada." Star chef Sean Hardy has created a beautiful menu which includes signature items like the famed "Macaroni and Cheese", Elbow Pasta with Taleggio Cheese, Shaved Truffles, and a Parmesan Tuile, or Potato-Crusted California Sturgeon. Guests can dine on the patio and soak up the California rays while indulging in the exemplary cuisine. One can even get their food to go (*gasp*) with the Pen-Air menu, originally designed to accommodate guests on their flights home. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. The Sunday brunch is especially popular.
November 13, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The Wine Dinners at The Milestone Hotel, compiled by famed Cellar Master, Nicolas Clerc, are sumptuous affairs, tailored for connoisseurs of fine food and wine. Each wine dinner begins at 7 pm with aperitifs, followed by a four-course dinner paired with different wines. Upcoming events are on Wednesday, November 22, with David Powell from Torbreck Estate, Australia (GBP 75), and Wednesday, December 13, with London's foremost Burgundy importers who seek out small, family owned domaines (GBP 90). Take advantage of the Wine and Dine Package at The Milestone Hotel and Apartments and enjoy a luxurious guest room, full English breakfast, personal wine tasting with the Sommelier, and an elaborate four-course gourmet dinner.
The Merrion-- Dublin's finest five-star hotel-- is the place to be this winter season. A crackling fire lights the Drawing Room, and the bar and restaurant buzz with action. The luxurious Georgian surroundings of the Merrion-- comprised of four restored townhouses-- are filled with warmth and good cheer. At the vibrant Cellar Bar, fashionable patrons sip the ultimate Irish Coffee, or choose from one of fifty select wine vintages, now served by the glass. On the evening of November 14, 2006, The Cellar Restaurant will be showcasing an indulgent truffle menu guaranteed to dazzle even the most serious of gourmands. The experience will start with an introduction to truffles before the exceptional six course menu created by Executive Chef Ed Cooney in conjunction with the world renowned Urbani family.
During the winter months, curl up with a good book and unwind in style at The Merrion. The hotel has created a Literary Inspirations Experience for guests to soak up Ireland's literary heritage while being pampered in luxury; the package includes overnight stay, full Irish breakfast, and the rare opportunity to see the collected works of WB Yeats in the nearby National Library with a private curator tour.
And of course, there are myriad festivities and events to celebrate the holiday season: feasts, family entertainment, traditional menus, and a trip to Dublin's premiere race: Leopardstown Christmas Race Festival. After all that merry-making, detox at the luxurious Tethra Spa, a favorite of Dubliners and guests from around the world, which offers a variety of sumptuous treatments, an infinity pool, and fitness center.
"The best splurge in Orlando," claims Zagat, and most diners who experience this elite eatery will agree. Adored by the nation's top food critics, this formal American restaurant offers an excellent six-course prix fixe menu paired with exceptional wines. The Victorian ambience may seem a bit contrived (harpist? long-stemmed rose for the ladies? maid and butler duo to attend to your every whim?), but this is the Magic Kingdom we're talking about. The doting service and sheer opulence of the establishment will certainly make you feel like royalty. The menu is customized daily with fresh seasonal produce; diners indulge in a culinary experience akin to a "one-of-a-kind pampering of the palate." Though there's a six-month wait to sit at the Chef's Table located right in the kitchen, it's worth it. Evening attire required (jackets for men). Located in Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.
November 10, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
The Madison, a Loews Hotel is offering a sweet suite deal for guests staying with them on Thrusdays, Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays. The hotel's special "Fall and Winter Weekend Special" offers a complimentary suite upgrade to guests during the weekends between November 15th and January 7th, 2007.
What's going on in DC during these weeks to help entice your visit? For one you can visit the "Pageant of Peace" on the Ellipse at the White House (the official lighting of the living National Christmas Tree is on December 7th), or you can visit one of the many magical winter shows at The Kennedy Center (including 'The Nutcracker' over Thanksgiving and a show for their New Year's Eve celebration), or visit the brand new US Air Force Memorial which was unveiled and dedicated in October 2006.
This offer is based on availability, so make sure you reserve your nights now. Check availability at The Loews Madison in Washington, DC.
Historic streets wrapped in a blanket of snow, lively restaurants and warm cafes, boutiques and art galleries... Old Montreal is the perfect destination for a magical Christmas. The sophisticated boutique hotel Le Place d'Armes, the first ever Canadian hotel to be awarded the International Star Diamond award, has designed a Christmas package for the whole family to enjoy the holiday spirit of Montreal. In addition to its elegant rooms, the historic luxury hotel features the Rainspa (which boasts the city's first hammam) and the award-winning restaurant Aix Cuisine Du Terroir. The Family Christmas Package includes accommodation for two, full Continental breakfast daily, wine and cheese cocktail every evening, gourmet dinner for two at the gastronomic restaurant, turndown service with gingerbread man for the whole family, a visit to Atelier Toutou (Plush Factory) where guests can make two stuffed animals, and tickets to the Montreal Science Centre in the Old Port. Available seven nights a week, from December 16-29, 2006. Starting at $618 for two adults and two children.
The five-star, five-diamond Ritz-Carlton Resort Naples has got it all: seven different restaurants, world-class spa, pool and beach activities, golf, tennis, kids programs, and a wide selection of water sports. It's no wonder The Robb Report lists The Ritz-Carlton Naples as one of the "100 Best Places to Stay in 2006" (May 2006). But now there's another reason to check out the beachfront resort: the Beach House. Located on the pristine sand of the Gulf of Mexico, the $4.5 million beach house is a 3,000 sq ft, two-storey, multi-use facility for weddings, private dinners, business functions, or parties. (It can host 120 people for a sit-down dinner or 150 for cocktail receptions.) The Beach House sports mesquite hardwood floors, Caribbean wicker ceiling fans, plantation shutters, state-of-the-art technology, and a full service kitchen for on-site catering needs complete with black granite bar. And of course there are remarkable views overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.
November 8, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Situated on Orcas Island in Puget Sound, Rosario Resort and Spa is blessed with a privileged location to experience the unparalleled beauty of the Pacific Northwest. The waterfront resort is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, its centerpiece the 1906 Moran Mansion, which houses the restaurant, spa, lounge, music room, library and museum. The 116 guest rooms are spread out on the hill overlooking Cascade Bay and the lush evergreen forest of Orcas Island. (Some feature gas fireplaces, sunken Jacuzzi tubs, and private balconies.) There is an abundance of activities on the island and Puget Sound (whale watching charters, kayak tours), though some guests prefer to relax at the Avanyu Spa, with its two pools, fitness room, sauna, Jacuzzi, and host of pampering and rejuvenating spa treatments. Celebrate Thanksgiving with a traditional feast and some pampering at Rosario Resort and Spa. The all-inclusive Thanksgiving package includes two nights accommodations, breakfast, Thanksgiving dinner for two, welcome amenity, and complimentary use of Avanyu Spa facilities. Starting at $359 in a Gardenside room, based on double occupancy. Two-night minimum stay required. Available for travel November 22-24, 2006. Package prices include all taxes, resort fees and gratuities.
November 7, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The award-winning Equinox Resort and Spa is cooking up a delicious, New England style Thanksgiving feast. Escape to Manchester Village, Vermont for a fall getaway and celebrate Thanksgiving with a free night. Situated on 2,300 acres between the Green and Taconic Mountains, the Equinox dates back more than 200 years. Enjoy deluxe accommodations, a recently renovated Avanyu Spa, and year round outdoor activities. The Thanksgiving package includes four nights accommodations for the price of three, daily breakfast, daily dinner, complimentary use of the Avanyu fitness spa, and Thanksgiving dinner in either the Colonnade Dining Room or the Marsh Tavern. The four-night package is $918.50 per person, based on double occupancy. Available November 22-November 26, 2006.
November 6, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The Jefferson is simply brimming with good cheer this holiday season. An American landmark since 1895, The Jefferson is one of only 23 hotels to hold both the Mobil Five Star and the AAA Five Diamond ratings. Located in the center of downtown Richmond, The Jefferson is a luxurious haven of old-world charm and personalized service. The fun-filled holiday events begin with the annual Grand Illumination on November 27 at 6pm in The Rotunda, when the 45-foot Christmas tree is illuminated with thousands of twinkling lights and ornaments. (Rumor has it that Mr. Claus will be there.) Throughout the month of December, The Jefferson will celebrate the season with Music at Midday, as gifted music makers from the Richmond area will perform at the hotel, starting with the Collegiate Strings on Wednesday, December 6. Of course there are exceptional dining experiences offered this holiday season; the Thanksgiving feast is a glorious affair with excellent Virginia specialties (lunch and dinner at TJ's, and a Champagne Brunch is available in The Rotunda). Christmas and New Year's seatings are likewise extraordinary events. The New Year's Eve Celebration includes a four-course prix fixe dinner at TJ's, dancing to the music of the Skip Gailes Quintet in The Palm Court, and a champagne toast at midnight. And there are excellent Holiday Packages available at The Jefferson. For example, the New Year's Eve Bed and Breakfast Package, priced at $255 for superior room, includes champagne upon arrival and full American breakfast.