LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
August 14, 2006
By: Guest Writer
By Alex Rose
Art deco style. Opulent and lavish suites. The nicest bedrooms in London. Slab marble in the bathrooms. All the trappings of luxury. The Dorchester Hotel is London's premier "traditional" hotel. Since 1931, it has a history with world leaders, celebrities, musicians, cultural luminaries, royalty, and the cream of society. But don't let that stop you. If you can get one of the first-class suites, you'll understand why: The Dorchester is striving to be the "perfect" hotel. Once you walk into the hotel, you"ll be treated like an A-lister. And you'll feel like you're at home, only with a staff that's at your beck and call, and a room service that's available 24 hours a day. The hotel itself is located close to Hyde Park, but book some time at the hotel's spa and the gym, and then go shopping and sightseeing. Or maybe take your time at the hotel, and you'll spot one of the current celebrities who stay at the hotel. For dinner, get a group together and reserve The Dorchester's private kitchen room, which allows you to see Executive Chef Henry Brosi and chefs preparing the evening's masterpieces. During your stay, have the Concierge point you to Sadie Coles HQ, The Serpentine Gallery, or the Interim Art galleries. And for your naughty side, Coco de Mer's Erotic Emporium in Covent Garden is the place for couples.
By: Guest Writer
August 11, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Named best spa by Conde Nast Traveler a good ten times, Canyon Ranch is a destination spa and health resort that offers the ultimate place for pampering and well-being. Surrounded by the beauty of the Southwest desert, Canyon Ranch sits on stunning grounds, where guests take in the dazzling Arizona sunsets from the porch of their Southwestern-style accommodations. With an endless array of fitness and health classes, guests are inspired with a new vitality and fresh perspective at Canyon Ranch. Every day at the Ranch, guests can choose from this extraordinary range of classes geared for all fitness levels and interests, such as: Aerobic Conditioning and Strength Training, Biking, Body Composition Test, Customized Exercise Videos, Fitness Walks, Hiking, Jogging, Personal Training, Pools and Aqua Classes, Raquet courts, Tennis lessons, and much more. More than 40 indoor and outdoor fitness classes and activities are scheduled each day. Of course there's also Golf, the excellent Spa, and numerous pools to relax and unwind. The gourmet cuisine is delicious, and adheres to the highest nutritional standards (all meals are included with your stay). Canyon Ranch is dedicated to total health and well-being, creating the most valuable kind of vacation for guests to achieve a passion for healthy living.
Discover the paradise island of the North Atoll and the luxury of Banyan Tree Maldives Vabbinfaru, just 20 minutes by speedboat from the airport. On this slice of heaven, 48 villas are perched on the sand, surrounded by nothing but the vast expanse of turquoise ocean. Gaze out at the sea from your own personal sundeck, or step onto the powder soft beach to swim above the untouched coral reef with its vast array of colorful tropical fish. To enjoy these magnificent marine creatures of the Maldives, the Banyan Tree Maldives Vabbinfaru has put together an awesome Wonders of the Sea Adventure package, where certified divers, guided by PADI-certified instructors, discover the sting rays, green sea turtles, dolphins, and white tip sharks in the deep. Available from July 1 to December 19, 2006, the eight-day, seven-night package offers a series of six dives with villa rates starting from $740 per night per couple. Includes half board meals, exclusive accommodation at Banyan Tree Maldives Vabbinfaru and return speedboat transfers between the airport and the resort. At its five-star Gold Palm Resort Dive Center, the Banyan Tree offers the full range of PADI courses. Notably, Banyan Tree employs marine biologists who offer environmental dives and eco-safaris. The Marine Biology Laboratory, the first of its kind to be built by a private resort, works on important conservation and research projects, including Green Sea Turtle and Reef Shark Conservation.
Located in Tokyo Shiodome, the luxurious 37-storey Conrad Tokyo offers panoramic views over the Tokyo Bay skyline. Guests enjoy comfortable, contemporary guestrooms equipped with all the latest technology, the largest banquet facilities in Shiodome, and the Spa Mizuki, the largest hotel spa in Tokyo, with ten treatment rooms, gym, indoor pool, sauna and steam rooms. The hotel's highlight is Gordon Ramsay at Conrad Toyko, the first restaurant in Asia for London's legendary three-star Michelin chef. To celebrate its first anniversary, the Conrad Toyko has put together an excellent value-added "Business Plus" package, which includes daily breakfast either at the brasserie "Cerise by Gordon Ramsay" or via room service, high-speed Internet connection, complimentary access to the swimming pool, one complimentary Pay TV program per day, and two bottles of mineral water per stay. Rates start from JPY42,000 for single occupancy ($365), including tax and service. Two-night minimum stay required, valid until December 31, 2006.
Get away from it all, while also getting back to it all, enjoying time together with your family at Half Moon. Since 1954, this gorgeous Jamaica resort has played host to discerning travelers from around the world, who delight in the luxurious accommodations and limitless array of excellent activities. And now Half Moon—with its soft, sandy beaches and 50 freshwater pools—is offering an excellent Homecoming Offer for your family to enjoy some pampering and "together time" on Montego Bay, Jamaica. Available for the months of August, September and October, the Homecoming Offer starts at $289, a savings of up to 20 percent off rack rates. The package includes luxurious accommodations, sumptuous daily breakfast, round trip airport transfers, unlimited use of tennis courts and fitness center, Managers cocktail party, and all taxes and service charges. Children under 2 stay free, while children between 3 and 12 pay only $12.50 per child per night when sharing a room with two adults. (Children aged 13-18 pay $25 per child per night when sharing a room with two adults.)
"Top 50 Asia Hotels" and "Top 100 Best in the World," Conde Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards. "Top Favorite Business Hotel," TIME Reader's Choice Awards. "World's Best Places to Stay," Conde Nast Traveler Gold List. "The Greatest 500 Hotels in the World," Travel and Leisure. "Best Hotel Spa," SpaAsia Crystal Awards. Raffles The Plaza is draped with impressive accolades. Ideally situated at the crossroads of Singapore's business, cultural, entertainment and shopping districts, Raffles The Plaza is the most prestigious address in the city. World-renowned for its exemplary service, the hotel offers its guests the ultimate in luxury with 769 guest rooms and suites, a collection of 17 distinctive restaurants and bars, and 70,000 square feet of prime meeting space. RafflesAmrita Spa is one of the largest spa facilities in Asia. Hot off the press: Guests at Raffles The Plaza, Singapore, can now enjoy an unparalleled experience of comfort and luxury in two new BMW 730Li limousines. The limos are thoughtfully embellished with amenities such as the embedded 3G-access technology, iPod, and high-speed wireless connection.
The majestic red canyons and rock formations of Sedona lure millions of visitors a year seeking desert solitude and inspiration. Framed by the towering outcroppings of Red Rock Country, the Enchantment Resort combines luxury with the rugged grandeur of the surrounding landscape. And because of the resort's high elevation (4,600 feet), even the hottest of Arizona weather is do-able. Situated on 70 pristine acres, the resort offers adobe casita-style accommodations packed with luxurious amenities. Mii amo, the resort's spa, offers a full menu of heavenly spa services (High Desert Facial, Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment, Milk and Honey Bath, Sedona Clay Wrap, massage) in an unbelievable setting. From now until mid-September, take advantage of a special summer special: book three nights and you'll get a fourth for free!
Recently featured in House and Garden magazine, the Gran Hotel Son Julia in Mallorca is a small luxury hotel housed in an exquisite 15th century mansion. Not far from Palma de Mallorca and the Mediterranean coast, the hotel offers 24 stunning rooms and suites, including the Imperial Suite, which overlooks the spectacular countryside and groves of almond trees from its perch on the top floor of the hotel. The hotel balances historical details-- high beamed ceilings and original archways—with all the modern conveniences, including spacious all-marble bathrooms, jacuzzis, internet, and plasma screen TVs. Walk the beautiful grounds, relax by the pool, play a game of tennis, hit the gym, or relax in the spa. Two 18-hole golf courses are within 2 minutes of the property. The dining experience at Las Bovedas Restaurant is first-rate; delicious dishes are served in a beautiful environment. Enjoy an unforgettable break on the island of Mallorca with special summer rates starting at EUR 240 a night for two people (in a Superior Room).
Just outside the charming historical city of Charleston, South Carolina, Kiawah Island Golf Resort is a secluded haven of unspoiled beaches, championship golf (five courses! including the world-famous Ocean Course), and nature trails through lush semi-tropical wetlands where alligators, egrets and other natural residents seek refuge. This oceanside resort is likewise paradise for the guests who flock here-- to experience the luxurious accommodations and abundant recreational facilities which provide fun for the whole family to enjoy. Ranked as a top travel destination in North America by Conde Nast Traveler, Kiawah Island offers a slew of lavish accommodations from the fine rooms at The Sanctuary to condos, from private oceanfront homes with private docks to the well-appointed villas with breezy balconies overlooking the sea. And for a limited time, when you reserve a three night stay in the villas, receive an additional night for free! Or stay two nights in a villa, and receive a 50 percent discount on your third night. Both offers includes breakfast for two each day. Valid through December 30, 2006; reserve by September 15, 2006.
August 7, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Imagine… landing on the beach, not at any Heli port, enjoying beach check-in with champagne and cold towel service, and heading straight to your suite, bypassing the lobby. The hottest new boutique hotel in the Caribbean, the Sivory Punta Cana, is offering a free helicopter transfer with a 3-night stay, until December 15, 2006 (book by October 15, 2006). Located on the soft white sand of the eastern top of the Dominican Republic, the 55-room Sivory Punta Cana has nothing but suites: each Balinese-style room opens onto its own private garden, with ocean views. Choose from three different restaurants, inside or out, by the pool, on your own private terrace, or next to the beach. Indulge in a luxurious treatment at the Aquarea Wellness and Spa, relax by the gorgeous infinity-edge pool, or play tennis, scuba dive, mountain bike. This could be heaven. (Free helicopter transfer is based upon the following conditions: 3 night minimum stay, purchase of Sivory Meal Plan, available from Punta Cana airport only, subject to weather conditions.)