January 3, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Now open. The Mandarin Oriental scores a perfect location in downtown Tokyo, in the historical district of Nihonbashi, within walking distance of the Ginza entertainment and shopping district and the Imperial Palace. Why does this hotel rock? Let me count the ways. A 38th floor Sky Lobby with vistas of the city behind a sheer wall of glass. Guestrooms that are some of the largest in Japan. A kick-ass spa: 9,500 sq ft devoted to luxurious relaxation through Heat and Water Experiences. 9 treatment rooms, 5 luxurious private Spa suites, steam and sauna, vitality pool and bubble pool, and the Ice Fountain arctic refresher. Superb gourmet dining in several establishments. And highly sophisticated technology: widescreen TVs with surround sound, connected to multi-standard DVD players (you can output your laptop onto the LCD TVs), and 100 Mbps broadband data network that delivers high speed Internet access and high-definition digital video.
January 3, 2006
By: Guest Writer
By Alex Rose
Would you like to know how royalty is treated? Then make plans to stay at The Peninsula Hotel in the heart of downtown Chicago. You'll notice its distinctiveness as the doorman greets you and you enter the lobby. Once you reach the main level, you'll be welcomed to the hotel lobby by the beautiful mural commissioned to artist Gerard Coltat of Nice, France. The Magnificent Mile provides world-class shopping only minutes away, and at nighttime, you can see the beautifully-lit Chicago Water Tower. For epicureans, treat yourself to some true Chicago treasures such as Everest, Gibson's, Charlie Trotter's, and Japonais. And during your stay, treat that special person in your life to the Peninsula Essential Massage at the Spa. (Note: The internet rates offer a nice discount for online reservations.)
The Peninsula Chicago, Official Site
The Peninsula Chicago, Five Star Alliance
December 23, 2005
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The Ritz in London is commemorating its centenary in 2006 with lots of celebrations. Starting with an over-the-top Grand Gala Dinner Dance on New Year's, complete with seven course gourmet dinner, Laurent-Perrier Grand Siecle Champagne, fireworks and the Central Band of the Royal Air Force regimental marching band and a lone Scottish piper.
In honor of this special year, the Ritz has ordered a brand new 2006 Rolls Royce, "Ritz blue" in color with custom fitted interiors in smoke grey leather and walnut trimming. Equipped with the latest satellite navigation system, two DVD screens and crested door handles, the car will be driven by Rolls Royce trained chauffeurs and available as a guest service throughout the centennial celebrations.
Starting in January, guests can book the Centennial Celebration Package, from GBP 1,500. Includes two nights lux accommodation, airport transfers in that bad-ass Phantom, complimentary membership to The Ritz Club, theater tickets to a London production of the guests' choice, and dinner in the classic Ritz Restaurant.
Too bad the hotel couldn't go the extra mile with their new spa addition, a paltry treatment room on the hotel's seventh floor, with just one full-time therapist. Guests can choose a range of beauty treatments including massages and facials, but this isn't exactly a full-service spa.
The Ritz in London, Official Site
The Ritz in London, Five Star Alliance
The Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica is the site of some of Central America's last remaining lowland tropical rainforest. It is also the site of the 1,000 acre private nature preserve of the Lapa Rios resort. The rainforest resort is not only a model Ecotourism Project, it is also a fixture on CN Traveler's Gold List and winner of Andrew Harper's Hideaway Award. This isn't exactly roughing it. The main lodge and bungalows are built 350 feet above the sea, with breathtaking ocean vistas, the structures designed in complete harmony with the surrounding landscape. Enjoy rainforest wilderness adventures in Corcovado National Park, appreciate the incredible biodiversity of Costa Rica, while indulging in gourmet dining, superb spa services, plush accommodations and a sparkling pool…
Smack in the middle of London's fashionable Mayfair district, the Athenaeum is privately-owned and family-run, and it shows. The family atmosphere, reinforced by a long-standing staff, ensures impeccable service. Pleased guests are known to return time and time again, tickled pink by their luxurious experience at the Athenaeum (40% returning clients is pretty impressive). Easily one of the top hotels in London, featured on the CN Traveler Gold List, the Athenaeum launched a special promotional rate this past year, which has been wildly popular. The Pound for Dollar rate is a savings of more than 40% on the hotel's luxurious accommodations. The good news for us? The hotel has decided to continue this rate into the spring season and beyond.
The Athenaeum Hotel and Apartments, Official Site
The Athenaeum Hotel and Apartments, Five Star Alliance
December 21, 2005
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Nope, that's not the White House, folks. The stately architecture on display is the historic Greenbrier Resort, its estate set on 6,500 scenic acres in the Allegheny mountains of West Virginia. Habitual winner of the AAA five diamond award, named the "resort of the century" by the Andrew Harper Hideaway Report in '99, the Greenbrier is the essence of opulence. The all-inclusive resort offers over 50 recreational activities including three championship golf courses, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, and a 40,000 square foot spa. And for this New Years, the Greenbrier is celebrating with an unforgettable party. (They've even planned a special dinner just for kids.) Evening concerts and live entertainment, a 50's buffet dinner dance, two New Year's Eve Galas featuring the Gene Donati Orchestra and The Gentlemen and Their Lady, noisemakers, hats, balloons, and of course the champagne toast at midnight. Followed the next day with an extraordinary New Year's Day champagne brunch. All this—including luxurious accommodations and daily meals-- is included with your New Years Package. Rates start at $329 per person, per night, double occupancy.
The Greenbrier, Official Site
The Greenbrier, Five Star Alliance
Hot Tokyo architectural firm Super Potato has created a 24-story glass masterpiece of design in the heart of South Korea's capital. The Park Hyatt Seoul's got the largest guestrooms in the city, their entrances flanked by marvelous Korean antiques. These contemporary and stylish spaces offer floor-to-ceiling windows, custom-designed feather beds, 32-inch LCD screen television and internet access, and spa-inspired bathrooms with soaking tubs and rainwater showers. After a work-out or luxurious spa treatment, head to the top-floor infinity pool for panoramic views over the city.
The legendary pink palace, once the playground for celebs like F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a self-contained wonderland of pampering and exceptional service. Located on Florida's Gulf Coast, the Don CeSar, a Loews hotel, embodies the grandeur of America's traditional beach resorts. More than seven miles of gorgeous beaches, oodles of watersports, including daily sailing and waverunning clinics, seaside massages, the stunning pool, and of course, blissful accommodations. And from now until January 5, take advantage of mind-blowing specials, and the magical holiday ambience at the Don. The "Treasured Holiday" Package includes one night's accommodation in a Partial Gulfview room, breakfast buffet for two in the Sea Porch Cafe, and a 2006 Don CeSar calendar. Starting at $228 per night.
The Don CeSar, Official Site
The Don CeSar, Five Star Alliance
By Courtney May
Another future hotel casino scheduled to open in the Las Vegas area is the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa. Scheduled to open in the Spring of 2006 and located at the Intersection of Interstate 215 and Charleston Boulevard in the Northwest Valley section, Red Rock Station claims it is the "Garden of Eden meets Sin City."
This new 70 acre property will feature 414 hotel rooms and 48 suites ranging from 2,000 to 4,000 sq. ft. Additionally, there will be a 3 acre "backyard pool" complex with private cabanas, gardens, and an island. The 20,000 sq. ft. full-service spa will include 25 treatment rooms, a state of the art fitness center, private lap pool and full service salon and barber shop. The casino will be all that you expect in Vegas: 87,00 sq. ft. with 2,800 slots and video poker, 60 table games, state of the art race and sports book, plus a 15 table poker room and 600 seat bingo games. Dining includes 10 full service restaurants, bars and lounges, poolside dining, and a world-class wine cellar. Also on-site is a 16 screen Regal Cinemas, and arcade, childcare facility, and entertainment lounge.
The Resort also boasts a location just minutes from world-class golf courses, desert hiking and horseback riding, the Red Rock Canyon, and cycling-- in addition to the wonderful world of the Las Vegas strip. Thinking of bringing your meetings to Vegas? Red Rock will feature 40,000 sq. ft. of meeting and convention facility space, and offer accommodations for groups from 15 to 1,500. Reservations are currently being accepted for April 22, 2006 through December 30, 2006.
By Courtney May
While in Las Vegas last week for the Luxury Travel Expo, I picked up on a few things that I thought I might share with all those travelers out there who have, will or want to travel to Vegas in the next few years. Between now and 2008, there are a number of new luxury hotels and casinos scheduled to open in Las Vegas. Currently Las Vegas boasts 133,000 hotel rooms and is expected to grow by 2009 to at least 155,000 rooms.
Here is the first example of what is yet to come:
The Trump Las Vegas has already broken ground behind the Fashion Show mall and Frontier Casino. From my room at the Wynn Las Vegas, I could see the starting foundation. The Trump International Hotel & Tower Las Vegas will be 64 gold-plated stories tall, with 1232 hotel condominiums and 50 hotel condominium suites-- ranging from 635 sq. ft. for a studio condo unit up to 3,530 sq. ft. for a three bedroom suite. The rooms feature floor to ceiling windows, euro-style kitchens, Italian marble floored entries and baths, spa tubs, flat screen plasma TVs, and wireless internet. Additional amenities include spa, fitness center, salon, and a heated outdoor pool. But Trump isn't gambling with this one-- parking will be valet only and there will be no casino! Doesn't sound much like the Vegas I know.