The Shedd opened on May 30, 1930 as Chicago's first stand-alone aquarium, launched by the retired president of Marshall Field & Company, John G. Shedd. Today the popular attraction houses nearly 22,000 aquatic animals representing some 1,500 species of fishes, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, birds and mammals from waters all over the world. Experience the historic Shedd Aquarium, a.k.a., "The World's Aquarium," with a special package from The Blackstone Hotel. Priced from $179 per night, the Aquarium Escape! includes two VIP non-timed/non-dated tickets to the Shedd Aquarium (read: no waiting in lines!) along with your overnight accommodations at The Blackstone. What's more, you'll be given a complimentary upgrade to a "View Room." Based on availability Thursday - Sunday only; valid through December 31, 2011.
Thomas Crown strikes again... This time at a five-star hotel. Last Saturday, a Rembrandt drawing valued at more than $250,000 was stolen from a private exhibition at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Marina Del Ray. Called "The Judgment" the pen and ink etching was made in 1655, one of 700 drawings by the Old Master. The police say the heist was carefully orchestrated; an accomplice distracted the curator while the thief made off with the drawing in a matter of minutes. Rembrandts are favored by art thieves, says The Telegraph, recalling the 1972 theft of three paintings from Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardiner museum.
August 15, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Get a load of this. The Setai Fifth Avenue-- the luxurious, Capella managed hotel in Midtown-- now offers guests private tours of the MoMA. Before New York's world-famous Museum of Modern Art opens its doors to the daily hordes of tourists and art enthusiasts, hotel guests can get a private viewing of "the greatest collection of modern art in the world" (to quote The New York Times).
This distinctive offering is part of "The Connoisseur" package, which also includes swank overnight accommodations and a complimentary breakfast delivered to the room. "The Connoisseur" is available at a starting rate of $1,046. All guests of The Setai Fifth Avenue also enjoy signature Capella Hotels and Resorts amenities such as the attention of personal assistants; complimentary snacks, water and soft drinks stocked and replenished in-room daily.
August 9, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
You've heard about Marina Bay Sands and it's sky-high infinity pool and plant-filled Sky Park... Now here's your chance to see it with your very own eyes, and tell all your friends back home about one of the sexiest new hotels on the planet. Located along the Marina Bay waterfront, Marina Bay Sands opened in 2010 and has already become a premier entertainment destination in Singapore. It has a lotus-inspired Museum, countless retail stores, trendy restaurants by celebrity chefs, theaters and happening night clubs, and a Las Vegas-style casino. Stay anytime til September 30, 2011 and you can take advantage of the "Sandsational Summer" package which includes:
* Two complimentary drinks from Ku De Ta—in the iconic Sands SkyPark.
* A S$50 nett destination credit per day. (Simply charge to your room and they'll waive the first S$50nett daily.)
* A 10% discount off Disney's musical "The Lion King" for all categories except Platinum
* A 23% discount off admission for two at ArtScience Museum.
Book now to enjoy this package from $339 per night on weekdays, and $399 on weekends. Does not include daily breakfast nor the 10% service charge and 7% GST.
August 1, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The Old Post Office has gone through some hard times. Identified as "under-utilized" by the government, the iconic building-- listed on the National Register of Historic Places-- will be redeveloped and given a second lease on life. The Washington Post reports that the General Services Administration has begun soliciting proposals, and none other than Trump has leapt to the rescue.
"Trump Hotel Collection, the luxury lodging brand that bears the name of the New York real estate magnate, has proposed transforming the historic Old Post Office Pavilion into a nearly 300-room luxury hotel complete with conference meeting space, a spa and museum."
No doubt the D.C. property would be as swank as sister properties in Chicago, New York, Vegas, Waikiki, and Panama, where the new sail-shaped Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower is the tallest skyscraper in Latin America. Possible competition for Trump for this prime piece of D.C. real estate? Park Hyatt...
July 29, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance
The James New York brings luxury liberated from tradition to Soho. Located on the corner of Thompson and Grand, the newly built property was conceived and designed as a locally inspired, community focused and environmentally thoughtful hotel. Unique outdoor spaces include an Urban Garden and rooftop pool.
Enjoy an R&R retreat at the rooftop pool located on the hotel’s 18th floor. This unique rooftop retreat in New York City, surrounded by inspiring skyline views, boasts a concrete “halo” roof that frames the pool deck, teak decking, an outdoor shower and plush chaise lounges. Available for hotel guests to relax and soak up the sun, visitors can take in the 360 views of the Manhattan Bridges, New Jersey and The Freedom Tower to The Empire State Building.
The Urban Garden is an artistically-inspired multi-tiered outdoor escape, featuring sculptures made from recycled and reused materials, and rustic furnishings surrounded by park-like landscaping.
More than just a green space, the Urban Garden is a venue for entertainment, cultural events and fine cuisine. With activities including Tribeca Film Festival screenings, video art program, spa services, croquet and more, the Urban Garden is a hub for creative communities to gather and interact. Guests can enjoy outdoor yoga classes, one-on-one fitness sessions with celebrity trainer Oscar Smith and spa services at Urban Spa Cabana. In addition, this space features a 130-seat David Burke Garden restaurant and bar as well as a working herb garden.
The Queen's on her annual visit to Scotland, so why not take a jaunt to London to soak up the grandeur of Buckingham Palace? The most famous palace in the world opened its doors to the public this past weekend, so the State Rooms are yours for the ogling. Book a stay at the Egerton House Hotel, situated in the heart of fashionable Knightsbridge, and you'll swear you're staying at the mansion of a friend (albeit a wealthy one). The hotel gets rave reviews for its hospitality, beginning the moment you walk through the door and are greeted with a glass of Champagne or steaming pot of tea. Rooms are personalized with thoughtful touches: fresh fruit, your favorite music, and welcome notes. Take advantage of a special offer at the Egerton House Hotel and get three nights for the price of two when staying in one of the luxurious suites. Don't want to splash out for a suite? You can also get an exceptional value with the regular room categories. The hotel also has a "One More Night" offer-- where every fifth night is complimentary. (Note: Blackout dates may apply.)
The temperatures may be rising, but Boston's swank Fifteen Beacon Hotel is dropping rates for July bookings! With the "Summer Sizzler," you can get 25% off the Best Available Rate through July 2011. Why not cool off with an aquatic adventure to the New England Aquarium? Experience more than 70 exhibits, including a colony of penguins and a poisonous fish tank. Or indulge with ice cream on Newbury Street. Too hot to think? Leave your vacation planning to the well-connected concierge team; Fifteen Beacon is known for its stellar personal guest services and attention to detail. Need a table at a booked restaurant? Tickets to a ballgame? No sweat. They've got you covered. (No wonder they get so many repeat guests.)
July 22, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
In honor of the 54th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, running until November 27, 2011, we're traveling to Venice, Italy today... daydreaming of this lavish luxury landmark. Perennially ranked one of the best hotels in the world, the Hotel Danieli is a real showstopper. Three ancient palaces were turned into a luxury hotel outfitted with hand-made Murano glass chandeliers, hand-carved marble columns, and original antiques. The best part of all could be its location, just steps away from the Piazza San Marco and the best Venetian attractions.
Not to be missed: a meal at Restaurant Terrazza Danieli on the top floor of the Danieli Excelsior Palace. This romantic spot affords some of the most exclusive views in Venice, the same viewpoint from which Venetian nobles used to watch the arrival of merchant ships from the Far East.
July 20, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
There's a lot going on in Manhattan this summer. And The James New York-- right in the thick of things-- puts the best of the city at your doorstep. A champion of the arts, this hot hotel offers three summer-long programs in the outdoor Urban Garden. Running through September, the film series features selections from the 2011 TriBeCa Film Festival. On the garden's outdoor wall, videos are projected from the best up-and-coming international artists in the "Moving Image Art Fair." The hotel also hosts a series of film screenings and art showings followed by discussions with the artist and/or their galleries. Book the "See Art Soho" package at The James New York and check out the neighborhood's hidden talent from the perspective of the Art Curator, Matt Jenson. Return from your walking tour and head straight to the Urban Garden for a massage in-- check this out!-- the Urban Spa Cabana, the hotel's newest feature. (In-room spa treatments are also available seven days a week.)