LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
August 20, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
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.
Charming, tasteful, elegant, the Sofitel Trocadero is more akin to a stately private home than hotel. And yet, the Sofitel Trocadero is as sumptuous and grand as any luxury hotel in Paris. A temple to luxury in neoclassical style, the Haussmann-style building houses 41 rooms and 4 suites, each room uniquely (and impeccably) styled with period antiques and plush fabrics. And in a city known for its compact hotel rooms, the bathrooms here are perfectly spacious. Located between the Trocadero and the Arc de Triomphe, the hotel is home to the only champagne bar in Paris to also offer light meals.
At Kempinski Mall of the Emirates, you get a big taste of both worlds: desert sun and Alpine slopes. Overlooking Dubai's indoor ski resort, attached to the biggest shopping mall outside of North America, the luxurious Kempinski is one of the hottest attractions in the booming tourist destination of Dubai.
From your sprawling guest room-- equipped with large plasma screen TVs with international satellite channels, DVD players, and cutting edge technology-- you can check out the snow falling on the slopes of Ski Dubai. (You can also dine at the restaurants overlooking the wintry ski slopes.) But step outside your Ski Chalet, and you can bask in Dubai's tropical setting at the swimming pool and tennis courts.
Escape to one of the swankiest boutique hotels on Ocean Drive (this sexy hotel is right next door to the famed Versace mansion) for a perfectly fabulous weekend with your girlfriends. Outfitted by Parisian design extraordinaire Jacques Garcia, Hotel Victor is a gorgeous South Beach destination. Think rich color, retro furniture, and illuminated moon jellyfish tank in the lobby. Experience the quintessential Girls Only Getaway and enjoy a luxurious single or double Very Victor room, and welcome amenity, which includes copies of the latest Life & Style and Us Weekly magazines. Refresh yourself with a poolside manicure during the day and unwind in the evening with a complimentary Mojito at Vue Terrace. Though the city's buzzing nightlife is just steps from the hotel, you may not want to leave the comfort of Hotel Victor. The infinity pool overlooks the Atlantic, the vibe manager on staff can arrange all manner of Miami outings, and the mini-bars in-room are stuffed full of "South Beach life-style essentials." The Girls Only Getaway is available thru December 28th, 2007 and starts at $350.
There's a reason this place is such a honeymoon hot spot. Boasting the largest spa in the Seychelles, situated next to one of the world's most beautiful talcum powder beaches, Banyan Tree Seychelles is a rare taste of paradise. Boasting spectacular views of the Indian Ocean (framed by swaying palms and lush tropical forest), the resort's villas are a marvelous blend of contemporary, colonial, and plantation décor, with high sloping ceilings and airy verandahs. And Banyan Tree Seychelles recently got even more romantic, with the launch of the new Two-Bedroom DoublePool Beachfront villas, the first resort in the Seychelles to feature these exclusive retreats. Here you can wake up to the soft lapping waves just outside your villa. Each of the stunning villas offers two private pools, two open-air dining areas, a jet-pool, two sprawling master bedrooms, as well as a 24-hour in-villa host and in-villa chef services.
More new additions: the Club House and new restaurant Chez Lamar, offering gastronomic Creole delights with inspiration from Seychellois' vibrant culture.
Escape to the ultimate urban oasis for a little pampering and enjoy special value-added benefits when you book a room or suite. Choose Royal Tea for two, a one hour Swedish massage at the lavish Spa, or a one-way sedan transfer to/from LAX. In addition, enjoy a welcome beverage upon arrival, welcome fruit and flowers with daily newspaper, complimentary in-room Internet access, and complimentary access to the fitness center and swimming pool. Rates start from $675 per night, available until September 15, 2007. Situated in the heart of Beverly Hills at the intersection of Wilshire and South Santa Monica Boulevards, The Peninsula Beverly Hills is the only hotel in southern California to earn the distinction of an AAA Five-Diamond and Mobil Five-Star rating for 13 consecutive years. Each of the hotel's guest rooms and suites is equipped with a state-of-the-art electronic system that allows hotel guests to control their environment with the touch of a fingertip.
Horse folks are welcome at Half Moon, one of only three resorts in the Caribbean with its own equestrian center. Led by passionate trainers, the center offers excellent programs for all ages and skill levels. Enjoy the signature Beach Ride, which takes riders for an exhilarating swim on horseback into the sea. Budding equestrians can partake in the Jungle Jaunt, which leads riders through paths on a scenic hillside. More proficient riders can take advantage of private lessons. Plus, there are pony rides for the kiddies. Surrounded by sandy crescent beaches, the elegant Half Moon resort features an exclusive dolphin lagoon, championship golf, first-class tennis, a variety of water sports, and delectable specialty restaurants.
PS. Fall breaks at Half Moon are a steal, with nightly rates starting at $149 per night in a Superior Room. (Double occupancy; three night minimum stay required.) Available September 6 - October 31, 2007.