March 25, 2012
By: Christopher Roney
Like many people, it's difficult for me to avoid a good case of vigilantism, and while this strikes me as being a little more pointless and undirected than, say, glitter bombing, it did happen at a hotel, and Kim Kardashian is probably the most famous person to be covered in a fine layer of cooking flour this weekend. Ms. Kardashian was heading down the red carpet at The London West Hollywood to launch her new perfume called True Reflection. In this case, the image reflected would be a pastry white. Although this does lead me to consider my own line of perfumes, styled after various baked goods. There's really nothing that can match the allure of a batch of fresh chocolate chip cookies.
Events were barely interrupted by the light dusting, and I'm sure all remnants of the flour will be cleaned up by your next stay at the London West Hollywood. Although you might want to be careful; it is frequented by a number of Hollywood's rich and famous, and you never know when the next half-baked avenger might strike. Collateral damage of flour bombing can be high, especially if they use the self-rising kind. Because if you put it in an oven it might bake a little more softly? I don't know, jokes about flour are kind of hard. Anyway, should you wish to brave the trenches of the great battle between our nation's bakers and the celebrities they happen to loathe, the London West Hollywood is a lovely hotel, and you should most definitely check it out.
March 23, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky
We understand that no one aims to come in second place; there is no recognition for mediocrity. We at Five Star Alliance understand better than anyone the importance of offering the most luxurious resorts in the world, so we notice what’s going on in the industry, and it matters to us, because it matters to you. We work hard to offer you the best in the industry, and we’d like to welcome you to our second blog series where we feature the best and most luxurious resorts in the world. But don’t take our word for it. These resorts have been recognized as the best in the business and have made the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012.
The Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012 is the eighth of their annual lists, and the hotels chosen by their team of editors and experts are the best for service, food, location, rooms, leisure facilities, ambiance and design.
The Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino, Canada is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for leisure facilities. This luxury hotel is located on Vancouver Island’s beautiful west coast, on a rocky promontory, surrounded by ocean on three sides. Each of its 46 guest rooms and suites provide ocean and beach views, soaking tubs, fireplaces, and private balconies. This beautiful boutique hotel offers a mix of sandy beaches and old growth forests, providing its guests with almost too many things to do! Take advantage of the fishing, whale watching, golfing, hiking, scuba diving, shopping, and a whole lot more. This is a year-round resort where you can witness a beautiful snowfall, a hot summer day, and everything in between. Be sure to explore the photos and room options at the Wickaninnish Inn for a scenic and exciting escape from the norm.
March 21, 2012
By: Christopher Roney
Maybe you've got a really big family or you're just traveling with a person you can't stand and you want a plausible way to get away from them under the guise of giving them the very best. Well, there's not a lot of hotels that offer full two-bedroom suites, but there are at least two in the Los Angeles area that offer an affordable option for the opulent traveler. The Sunset Tower Hotel and the Chateau Marmont both offer great choices around the Hollywood area.
Sunset Tower's two-bedroom suite comes with two king beds, a full two bathrooms and spacious living room area. Classy, modern decor accentuates the roomy common area and the sheets are only the finests Egyptian linens. The hotel itself is right on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, and a heated outdoor pool deck gives loves views of the surrounding city. A 7,000 sq ft salon and spa offers a getaway from the city, and you can dine very well indeed at the critically acclaimed Tower Bar.
Nearby Chateau Marmont is a much-needed getaway from the bustle of the City of Angels. The smaller boutique hotel is fashioned after a French countryside castle and boasts a Gothic flair that hints at its more decadent side. As Harry Cohn once said, "If you must get in trouble, do it at the Chateau Marmont." The great variety of rooms at the Chateau let you make trouble in just the way you'd like, too. Starting with the two-bedroom suite with queen and twin beds, large living room and a full kitchen, you've already got a home-away-from-home. And it only goes up from there. Their hill- and poolside bungalows are the perfect way to get a whole building all to yourself. Up to three bedrooms offer enough room for either a very large family or a party of bachelors, and with the poolside bungalows, you even get direct access. It's perfect for the adventurous types who want to get away from the city while staying in the city.
Le Parker Meridien, a hotel in the heart of New York City on West 57th Street is not your typical luxury property. It features 730 luxurious rooms and suites enhanced with cherry and cedar woods, suites will phenomenal views of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline, and a fitness center, two salons, a café, and a brand new spa located in the hip complex known as The Underground. The brand new spa, Moonshine, has just opened and its treatment rooms are uniquely named after Prohibition-era cocktails such as Sidecar, Gimlet, and more. What else is new under Le Parker Meridien New York? The luxury hotel has an updated 15,000 square foot fitness center, a dry bar hair salon that only does blowouts, and a nail salon with an iPad at every manicure station. Be sure to check out this extremely unique and revitalizing hotel on your next visit to the Big Apple!
Photo courtesy of Moonshine Spa Facebook page
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is approaching full bloom here in Washington, DC, and we simply cannot wait for all of the events and activities in store. In 1912, 3,000 cherry blossom trees were given as gifts to Washington, DC from Tokyo, Japan. A century later, the National Cherry Blossom Festival is gearing up for its upcoming festivities, celebrating international companionship and the beauty of nature. This is the 100th anniversary of the cherry blossoms, and the District of Columbia is certainly going all out with its events. Be sure to make your luxury hotel reservations and take part in all of the excitement in our nation’s capital!
The National Cherry Blossom Festival goes from March 20th – April 27th, 2012. A few must-check-out events include the Blossom Kite Festival on March 31st, the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival on April 7th, the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade on April 14th, and Jazz at the Jefferson on April 19th. For more information on these events, visit the official National Cherry Blossom Festival Events page.
For accommodations, we encourage you to explore the 37 luxury hotels we have in the Washington, DC area. If you’re hoping to be located on or near the National Mall and in the heart of all the action, be sure to take advantage of and explore the list of options available to you here!
Photo courtesy of the NationalCherryBlossomFestival.org
March 19, 2012
By: Christopher Roney
There are two things I love: One is a beautiful Renaissance-style Mediterranean hotel. The other is the spaciousness of Florida beaches. Actually, I'm pretty sure there's more than that, but these two seemed the most appropriate for the moment because I'm about to tell you about The Breakers in Palm Beach, FL. One thing about American hotels is that they have a style all of their own, and it's rare to see European sensibilities packed up and smuggled over international waters to find a home in good ole US of A. However, the breakers is a lovely exception to that rule. I'm not sure how they snuck it through customs, but The Breakers brings the Italian Renaissance to Palm Beach, and its 140 acres give that style the room to breathe that it has a little more trouble finding in its native Italy.
On the property, you can find 36 holes of championship golf, 10 tennis courts, a beach club, and an extensive children's club. All this has been registered as a National Historic Place, thanks to its 100+ year history in the hotel business. Fine dining, four oceanfront pools, and a full-service spa are all just an arm's reach away. Not only that, for the family-minded, the hotel can connect up to five rooms together, so you can be perfectly flexible finding the arrangement that works best for your party. As if that weren't enough, take to the seas and the skies with organized water sports, hot-air ballooning, or an air boat tour. It's almost too much take in in just one trip. So maybe you'll have to stay at The Breakers in Palm Beach twice.
March 16, 2012
By: Christopher Roney
There's a very interesting split in the travel industry between business and leisure travelers. And if you're one of the business types, you know well that you're on the road constantly and the things that matter to you, travel convenience, efficiency, and connectivity, are almost the opposite of what a leisure traveler might want. If the word 'secluded' ever appeared in a hotel description, you'd cross it off the list immediately. So I'm here to use some adjectives you might appreciate hearing in describing some of the world's best business hotels. Today? Washington, DC.
"Hey, Adam, where would you stay on a business trip to DC?" a hypothetical man might ask. And Adam, being a good sort and lover of wordplay, would most definitely tell him, "The Hay-Adams Hotel, my good sir." Well, clearly this Adam guy knows the hotel scene in DC pretty well because the Hay-Adams is the iconic DC residence for visiting dignitaries. With almost a hundred years of a history studded with the politically influential, the Hay-Adams does it right. Emulating a distinguished private mansion on Lafayette square, you would have to actually be in the White House to get any closer to the president. And I'm pretty sure there's a few german shepherds who might have something to say about that. 8,000 ft of meeting space ensures that you can have your meetings nearby if need be, and the rooftop terrace can accommodate parties of up to 225. The Hay-Adams Hotel gets my recommendation for the DC business traveler. It's central, connected, dignified, and luxurious, and that's everything I want on a business trip.
March 14, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky
The Huntley Hotel Santa Monica has a few packages that are too good to pass up! Before we dive into the deals and steals, let’s explore the hotel itself. The Huntley Hotel Santa Monica is a unique Southern California urban retreat overlooking the ocean front in the heart of Santa Monica. It is situated one block from the beach and Third Street Promenade, within walking distance from the Pier and incredible dining options, word-renowned galleries, and incredible shopping.
MasterCard Best Offer
With this package, stay 3 nights and get the 4th night free when you pay with a MasterCard. Choose from various room types including a Deluxe City View Room with 1 queen bed or 2 queen beds, or a Premiere Ocean View Room with 1 queen or 2 queen beds.
Suite Dreams Offer
Enjoy the luxurious accommodations of a spacious suite and daily complimentary breakfast for two.
City Breaks Offer
Book a room with this package and receive daily breakfast for 2 and a $15 hotel credit. Choose from various room types including a Deluxe City View Room with 1 queen bed or 2 queen beds, or a Premiere Ocean View Room with 1 queen or 2 queen beds.
Make your reservations and be well on your way to enjoying ocean views, luxurious accommodations, and fun cocktail creations at the Penthouse rooftop restaurant and lounge at the Huntley Hotel Santa Monica!
March 13, 2012
By: Christopher Roney
Quiet! Do you hear that rustling? What is that there in the leaves? Ah, ha! Got it! It's the elusive combo hotel, and I'm showing it to you now, live, on national television for the first time. And what a beauty she is...Look at those greens, those bungalows, I've never seen anything like it. You can tell from the way she lies there that's she cold-blooded, all that lying around in the sun.
Now what exactly is a combo hotel? It's an incredibly descriptive term that I've just now invented to explain the incredibly elusive bungalow hotel that is also a golf resort. Now, normally when you think of bungalows, you get lost in an afternoon of daydreaming, but then you remind yourself that you were actually trying to remember where you might find them, and then you think of the Maldives, the native habitat of the quiet and reserved bungalow hotel. And then you imagine a golf resort, and it carries you across the world to Scotland, or any of the mainland courses from Kiawah Island to Pebble Beach. The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows is a holy union of these two concepts, bungalow housing with breaktaking ocean views and a golf course that hugs the shores like it loves them more than its own mother.
For the gender normative family, Mauna Lani's two championship golf courses give the guys a place to play while the children enjoy the Mauna Lani Camp and disinterested spouses relax at one of the "World's Best Spas" according to Travel & Leisure magazine. A less stereotypical family might send the men to the camp, the women to golf and the children to the spa, but I'm pretty sure that violates some kind of age requirement. Either way, you're sure to have some fun at the Mauna Lani, and I haven't even mentioned the farm-to-table dining at the Canoehouse, their signature restaurant. I better stop now before I get carried away. I've probably already oversold the place, and now they're going to be booked up when I try to reserve. To get in before I do, just head on over here to check availability and learn even more about the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows.
March 13, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky
You read the title correctly. Today we’re not exploring what wine compliments Alaskan Salmon or risotto; we’re bringing you recommendations of which wine goes best with various Girl Scout Cookies. Kris Margerum, the wine director at Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley has gone through the vast 17,000 bottle wine cellar to suggest the absolute best wine-cookie pairings. Check out the pairings below and enjoy the adult, edgy rendition of Girl Scout Cookies.
Savannah Smiles go best with a 2010 Dr. Loosen ‘Bernaksteler Lay’ Riesling-Kabinett. As stated by Kris Margerum and reported on HotelChatter, ““The lemon notes and powder sugar create an amazing match with this off-dry, high- acid white wine.”
Trefoils-Old Fashioned Shortbread go best with the 2007 Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs Sparkling Wine. "The creamy richness of the shortbread is balanced by the fresh lively notes of the Sparkling Wine."
Dosidos-Peanut Butter Cremes go best with a 2009 Schloss Gobelsburg Gobelsburger Zweigelt. "The light bodied and fruity Zweigelt paired with the Do-Si-Dos brings home the flavors of peanut butter & jelly."
Samoas go best with a Graham’s 20-Year Tawny Port. "The coconut is an ideal blend with the oak-aged port, while the Noval Vintage Ruby Reserve Port is rich enough to match the chocolate and mint flavors of the popular Thin Mints."
Tagalongs-Peanut Butter Patties go best with Rare Wine Company’s “Imperial-Old Reserve” Malmsey Maderia, “Nothing goes better with sweet Maderias than chocolate and nuts.”
We certainly encourage you to explore the room types, rates, and photos of the Auberge du Soleil here! Make your reservations today and get ready for an incredible time in phenomenal wine country, cookies and all!
This article originally appeared in HotelChatter.