December 22, 2005
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
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: Guest Writer
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.
By: Guest Writer
Let the countdown begin. With Christmas a week away, a few-days escape may be the highest priority on your wishlist. Look no farther than The Setai, the eight-story art deco landmark in South Beach. Set amidst tropical gardens and exquisite pools, The Setai has a spa like no other, with luxury suites to match. Black granite baths, rainwater showers, espresso coffee-makers, and equipped with cutting-edge technology. Christmas rates start at $900, including breakfast.
The Setai, Official Site
The Setai, Five Star Alliance
The creme de la creme of ski resorts, Amangani was voted first for its spa programs by Conde Nast Traveler readers, and ranked as the top apres-ski destination in the recent December issue of Men’s Health. This place oozes luxury in every detail-- from the Pacific redwood paneling to suites with deep soaking tubs and panoramic views to the gorgeous outdoor swimming pool warm enough to be enjoyed year-round. The setting? The 40-suite resort is set on the cliff of a butte, with a cedar roof that blends in with the surrounding natural outcropping. Conveniently located just below the Teton village’s Bridger Gondola, at the base of Rendezvous Mountain, Amangani enjoys sweeping views of the Teton peaks and the Snake River range and provides easy access to some damn good skiing. Amangani’s Ski Lounge is staffed with a ski valet to assist with rentals and other details, and provides boot and glove warmers, ski racks, baskets for ski gloves, mittens and goggles to ensure that all equipment stays dry and comfortable. Of course warm and cold drinks are available all day, and a complimentary ski shuttle can whisk you back to Amangani’s award-winning facilities at the drop of a hat.
Amangani, Official Site
Amangani, Five Star Alliance
December 16, 2005
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
We've got the skinny on new Vegas hotel openings. There's the hotly-anticipated Las Ramblas, positively aglow with star power, which I've been prone to drool over. The Cosmopolitan Resort and Casino will squeeze onto the Strip right next door to the Bellagio, its condos and hotel ready in 2008. Steve Wynn's ambitions get more grandiose with the construction of Encore at Wynn Las Vegas, the 2,000-suite second tower which will be ready for 2008. And what a big year for Sin City! Loews is planning to open its first resort in Nevada; Loews Lake Las Vegas Resort will have 400 rooms, two outdoor pools with cabanas, restaurants galore, and a destination spa. Not to be outdone, the lovely Venetian will be dolled up with the addition of the Palazzo Casino Hotel, a new hotel and retail tower connecting to the classic Vegas hotel. Look out Wynn: Mr. Trump is developing a hotel sin casino right next door, scheduled to open next year. Lastly, W is joining the fray, opening its first hotel with casino in the Harmon Corridor in 2008. Just how big can the sprawling neon funland get?
December 14, 2005
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Sitting gloriously above the Spanish steps, the Hotel Hassler reigns supreme over the Eternal City. Hands down the best views over Rome (while working out at the health club, you can check out St Peter's Cathedral!) And in a city that breathes antiquity, the hotel swims in it: walls decorated with original paintings by Titian and Tintoretto Schools, antiques in every room, large bathrooms finished in precious Italian marble and 23-carat gold plated faucets, walls covered in frescoes. One of the finest hotels in the world, in one of the most romantic cities in the world: the ideal honeymoon destination. The Special Honeymoon Package includes room with a view, breakfast buffet (served at restaurant or in the room), airport transfer in private car, wine in room upon arrival, daily fresh fruit in room, special gift from management, and upgrade based upon availability. EUR 726 per room, per night.
Hotel Hassler, Official Site
Hotel Hassler, Five Star Alliance