LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
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 ...
At Deer Valley, 300 inches of snow annually and only 6,500 tickets sold each day means a noncrowded paradise for skiers. Add to that the excellent attention to service and cuisine, which have really distinguished the resort above and beyond the other greats. Outside Traveler magazine rated Deer Valley the Best Luxury Mountain 2007:
A swarm of uniformed employees (one for every four ski-resort guests) greet your car in the heated driveways and carry your skis to the slopes; the on-mountain cafeterias are appointed with silver service, marble cash-register stands, and brass-trimmed carving stations...
Where to stay? America's most celebrated ski-in, ski-out resort: The Stein Eriksen Lodge. There's a reason this place is AAA five-diamond and Mobil four-star rated. The legendary lodge is the ultimate year-round luxury destination, with a gorgeous outdoor pool and fitness facility, head-to-toe pampering at the spa, and ski attendants who provide warmed up boots and a hot drink upon your return from the slopes. And starting April 1, 2007, the resort's "Value Season" kicks in, which means rooms for a steal starting at $400.
March 27, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Last fall, the historic Hotel Reina Victoria opened its doors again as the first incarnation of a new breed of contemporary personality hotels, launched by Spanish hotel group Sol Meliá. What's so seductive about this new line of properties? Latin flair, contemporary style, and a whole lotta cool bars designed by Rande Gerber. Located in the Plaza de Santa Ana in Madrid, the ME Madrid Reina Victoria is home to one of the coolest nightspots in Madrid: The Penthouse. This rooftop bar offers the most spectacular views of the city. Sip a cocktail while reclining on a decadent cushioned bed, gazing out over the city's sparkling panorama.
PS. Rande Gerber's After Midnight Company also designed the glamorous ground-floor restaurant and lounge, Midnight Rose, a fashionista hot spot.
March 26, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
As recently featured in the New York Times, Mont Tremblant offers mountain chic just 80 miles from Montreal. Second-home owners are attracted to this beautiful ski resort, fashionable but not overly glamorous; the NYT raves:
Tucked into the Laurentian Mountains less than 80 miles north of Montreal, Mont Tremblant is a stunning Quebec ski town perched at the southern tip of Lake Tremblant. It somehow manages to blend the kitsch of a Disney-like ski resort, the elegance of a small cosmopolitan city and the serenity of fir-and-pine-covered mountains.
The place to stay is the Fairmont Tremblant, situated in the heart of the picturesque village at the base of the majestic Laurentian peaks. Here, you can climb aboard a high-speed chair lift directly at your doorstep. The facilities at this award-winning hotel are state-of-the-art: heated outdoor and indoor pools, spa and health club, golf, excellent culinary options, and beautiful guest rooms.
The Book-Cadillac Hotel will soon return to its former splendor. Detroit is going through a renaissance, and the $180 million renovation and reopening of the famous hotel is the ultimate symbol of Detroit's rebirth. Rising from the ashes of decline and neglect, the once-luxurious hotel will-- once again-- dazzle as the Grande Dame of the city. As described in a recent AP article:
The Book-Cadillac Hotel was the epitome of glamour when it opened its doors in 1924. The world's tallest hotel, it boasted an opulent, Italian Renaissance-inspired design. Over the years it hosted presidents, Hollywood stars and infamous gangsters.After standing vacant for more than two decades -- the gilded interior stripped by scavengers, the ballrooms exposed to the elements -- the Book-Cadillac is poised to again become Detroit's ultimate luxury destination.
The hotel will open its door in late 2008 as a new 455-room Westin hotel, with luxurious residential condos crowning the top of the building.
March 23, 2007
By: Guest Writer
I snuck off to Vegas for a Bachelor's party over the weekend in one of the few JetBlue flights that boarded during last Friday's east coast snowstorm. The 16 of us booked our accommodations at Treasure Island (now called TI) because it was the most affordable option for a big group. TI's facilities were for the most part mediocre but their recently installed spa "Wet" had an impressive layout, great massage options, and a fantastic weight room. Our room at TI was a Premier Suite and it was equipped with two marble bathrooms, a terrific Elite SensaTIonal bed, and a 50 inch flat screen - great for us group of guys.
However, my tastes for entertainment were better satisfied at The Venetian (located directly across the street from TI and recommended by Five Star Alliance) which was currently undergoing some new construction (but only mildly noticeable) to add another building/wing. The addition to the Venetian is nearly complete and when finished, it is proclaimed to be the "Biggest Hotel in the World." I spent a lot of free time in their new poker room - opened in late 2006. It was massive and the poker tables were the nicest I had ever laid my hands on (pun intended). I also made my way to the Venetian's nightclub Tao which is a big celebrity hotspot and deserves to be – it features the new trend of combining fine dining and nightlife into one.
The weekend was dubbed by ESPN (because of March Madness) as "the best four days of the year. It starts at 9 a.m. on Thursday and doesn't end until 7 p.m. on Sunday. It's just a whirlwind. It looks like a frat party from morning 'til night. Those are special days." That's a great way to describe a destination bachelor party in Las Vegas.
By: Guest Writer
Hot off the press. Raffles will open a spectacular luxury resort in St. Lucia. What to expect at Raffles' latest dazzling property? Exquisite fine dining, five pools, the 10,000 square foot RafflesAmrita Spa, and a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, the centerpiece of the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club St. Lucia, with stunning views of the Caribbean and the island's dramatic coastline. St. Lucia is a logical choice for the setting of the newest Raffles Hotel. The idyllic island-- an undeveloped tropical paradise with lush mountainous landscapes and picture-perfect beaches-- is the latest "it" spot in the Caribbean. New properties like The Discovery at Marigot Bay have been making waves in the region.
P.S. The opening date has not yet been announced.
March 22, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Beyonce's cover shot for the Sports Illustrated 2007 Swimsuit Issue sure generated a lot of buzz. But even more buzzworthy is the Jamaican setting for the photo shoot. Where exactly were the Sports Illustrated models cooling off by the ocean? Surrounded by dramatic cliffs and coral reefs, The Caves in Negril provided the beautiful sanctuary and luxurious accommodations for the magazine's 2007 issue. Ten handcrafted cottages are nestled in lush gardens at the edge of the sea. Within a grotto in the cliff overlooking the ocean, the restaurant is impossibly romantic, lit by candles and strewn with flower petals. There's even an Aveda mini-spa. The Caves is a favorite for high-profile events, but also adored by couples who value their privacy. On the island's westernmost tip, Negril entices with the best beaches in Jamaica and miles of coral reef just offshore, teeming with marine life for excellent scuba diving and snorkeling. Visitors are drawn to Negril's laid-back roots, and casual, cool attitude.
March 21, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
These days, we're all about sustainable luxury. And this spot--5,000 acres of raw and gorgeous Colorado terrain-- will take your breath away. Devil's Thumb Ranch is a year-round resort and spa with rustically upscale accommodations, fine dining, year-round swimming pools overlooking the mountains, and winter/summer outdoor recreational activities galore. It's been dubbed "the eco-getaway that leads the way." Outside Magazine applauds the geothermal heating, low-emissions chimneys, and the organic menu with free-range antelope steaks. Located 65 miles west of Denver, the resort ranch sits at the foot of the Continental Divide in the spectacular Rocky Mountains. Thousands of acres of countryside means cross country skiing, snowshoeing, horse back riding, fishing, hiking, downhill skiing, river rafting, and more. After a day exploring this majestic wilderness, relax with a culinary feast and divine fine wines. (Check out the Barrel Room, a hand-crafted wine uncorking room, pictured at right.)