Sick of heart-shaped chocolates, rose petals, and cupids? Not feeling the love? Valentine's schmalentine's, says The Sutton Place Hotel in Vancouver. The elegant European-style hotel-- situated downtown against a marvelous backdrop of mountains and sea-- is retaliating against this "Hallmark Holiday" with the "Be My Anti-Valentine" Single Ladies Package. They're promising a fun-filled girl's night with nary a "stupid cupid" in sight. (And no Kenny G playing in the background.) Straight from the horse's mouth:
Here’s to ‘All You Single Ladies’ who still enjoy an excuse to celebrate but don’t need the romance – and who better to do so with than your best gal pal! So this Valentine’s Day, let’s put friend’s first and men last! Starting from $219 per night, the package is based on double occupancy and includes:
• Overnight accommodation
• Complimentary Porterage for your ‘excess baggage’
• Two specialty drinks in the Gerard Lounge
• ‘Build Your Own Sundae’
• Voodoo Doll
• One black rose
• Unlimited in-room movies
• Breakfast for two in-room or in the Fleuri Restaurant
• 2pm Late Check Out
Good news for all the luxury aficionados out there: The Peninsula Hotels group has brought back its popular "Winter Escapes" offer to its hotels worldwide, doling out value-added benefits to the delight of guests. Available until March 31, 2011, the special package combines great value on gorgeous guest rooms with a range of personalized benefits, ranging from room upgrades, spa treatments, culinary choices, airport transfers, and more. For example, at The Peninsula Hong Kong, choose between an upgrade to the next room category, one-way airport transfer, or holistic body massage for two at The Peninsula Spa by ESPA. Also included: daily American-style breakfast for two in The Lobby restaurant, complimentary wired and wireless Internet, and free local calls. "Winter Escapes" is available at The Peninsula Hong Kong, The Peninsula Shanghai, The Peninsula Tokyo, The Peninsula Beijing, The Peninsula New York, The Peninsula Chicago, The Peninsula Beverly Hills, The Peninsula Bangkok and The Peninsula Manila.
February 2, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Political junkies visiting Washington D.C. should consider checking into the Ritz-Carlton in Foggy Bottom. The hotel just released a special package to celebrate the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's inauguration. Available January 20, 2011 for 1,000 days (the length of JFK’s “Camelot Presidency”) and starting from $329 per night, the package highlights the tenure of the 35th President. Here's what's included:
* Deluxe guest room accommodations
* Copy of best selling book Portrait of Camelot: A Thousand Days in the Kennedy White House (with DVD)
* Two tickets to the Newseum, a 250,000-square-foot museum of news, with exclusive brochure highlighting the wide array of fascinating photos, artifacts, videos and stories that depict JFK’s biggest news-making moments
* Copy of historic Life magazine, JFK: The Run for the White House
Washington's second Ritz-Carlton, located in Georgetown, is also honoring JFK with the "Camelot at Dawn" package, starting from $399 per night. The package includes:
* Overnight guest room accommodations
* Walking tour of homes JFK and Jackie lived in before moving into the White House
* VIP reservation at Billy Martin’s Tavern in the booth where JFK proposed to Jackie
* Camelot at Dawn: Jacqueline and John Kennedy in Georgetown, May 1954
Whether you're craving a little beach time or looking to orchestrate a romantic jaunt for Valentine's Day, the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Resort in Cancun has what you're looking for. The AAA Five Diamond resort-- boasting ocean views from the terrace of every suite-- is running a promotion for Valentine's Day that's available for the entire month of February. Here's what you get for $995: two nights accommodation in a Master Suite, a welcome amenity, a 30-minute in-room couples massage, Champagne breakfast buffet for two, dinner at the AAA Five Diamond award-winning restaurant (Basilic), and a romantic bath tub set-up with rose petals, aromatherapy bubbles, and candles. The resort has a location smack dab in the heart of Cancun's entertainment district-- meaning easy access to restaurants and bars on the beach. If you can tear yourself away from the pool or shady palapa on the beach, you'll find a one-of-a-kind spa that's based on the healing power of gem stones.
The special Valentine's Day offer at Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Resort is subject to availability, and not combinable with other offers. Book an additional night for $395.
Now there's another reason to love The Mark Hotel in New York. (Recently named one of the "World's Top Business Hotels," the beautifully-renovated hotel has a restaurant by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, plush guest rooms featuring private bars and custom-made beds, an impressive contemporary art collection, and salon services by famous hairstylist Frederic Fekkai.) The Mark recently announced a 24-hour check-in policy, so whether you're arriving on an overnight flight from Brazil or the red-eye from L.A., your room will be ready- guaranteed. Just send The Mark your arrival time! (Note: The 12:00 pm check-out time still applies on your departure date.) What's more: The Mark has unveiled a new courtesy car service for their guests and tenants. Get a lift to any address from 95th street to 50th street and from East to West, from 5 pm- 8 pm Mondays- Saturdays, and from 12 noon to 3 pm on Sundays. (Subject to availability; only drop-offs allowed.)
January 31, 2011
By: Katie Tandy
A sexy new sleeping spot has opened on the corner of Hollywood and Vine in Los Angeles, the Redbury Hotel, the latest addition to the sbe Hotel Collection.
The decor is downright divine, featuring a kaleidoscope of colors, materials and eras - the eclectic energy is just right. While crimson is the predominant hue of the property creating a boudoir-esque flair, playful armchairs, throws and helter-skelter framed ephemera counter it perfectly.
Be sure to swing by Redbury's new bohemian-cum-chichi restaurant Cleo as well, which is serving up traditional tapas, nibbles from the raw bar, and creative cocktails. (We've heard the Lotus Flower with crushed blackberries or the Honey Citrus Sidecar with Jack Daniels whiskey and agave nectar are downright delicious.)
Helmed by executive chef Daniel Elmaleh, guests can nosh on everything from tuna tartar and grilled octopus to moussakah and pumpkin salad - satisfying delicate omnivores and toothy carnivores alike.
'Cleo' echoes the famous 1917 film starring Theda Bara as the kohl-eyed Cleopatra, whose giant crimson-colored photo peers out over the bar countered by more rustic wooden floors, sage green velvet armchairs and a bistro-esque chalkboard touting the daily specials.
By: Katie Tandy
January 31, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
There's a new "high-style, lower-price" hotel brand on the block, reports the Los Angeles Times, and it's pretty sweet. Called "Modo Hotels," the global lifestyle chain will be all about the music. Not just memorabilia, but a full immersion in music; think turn tables and music downloads for guests. To quote the Los Angeles Times:
With a mix of high-energy public spaces, moderate room rates ($90 to $150 per night) and tech-heavy room design, the full-service, 150-room Modo hotels may seem like a mash-up of Hard Rock Hotels and Starwood Hotels’ affordable Aloft brand. The chain will feature Bauhaus-inspired décor. Hotels will include a restaurant, large lounge area, gym, courtyard and the centerpiece: a music center where guests may spin vinyl albums, CDs or download MP3s. On the Modo website, you can already download selections from the collection of independent musicians who will be featured in the hotels.
Modo Hotels will first open in major Brazilian metropolises-- like Sao Paulo, Campinas, Curitiba, Vitoria and Manaus-- and gateway cities in the U.S. such as L.A., NYC, Kansas City, and Miami.
January 28, 2011
By: Daniel L. Moses
A few months ago near my home in Washington, DC, I was sitting at the bar of the luxuriant W Hotel downtown. I started a conversation with another patron, both of us enjoying finely crafted cocktails which have become a signature of the worldwide chain. I eventually noted to my new companion that I was reviewing the hotel and would like his feedback. After a stream of consciousness endorsement that ran on for nearly 5 minutes, he paused, looked up at me and asked, “What exactly does The W stand for anyway? I was thinking Washington at first, since we’re in DC, but then all of them are called that.” I looked back, thought for a moment, and replied, “The W stands for luxury and excellence.” Truly there is no better answer, for wherever one finds the Starwood brand hotel, the accompaniment to each stay is just that, luxury and excellence.
The trouble with having such high expectations is living up to them. In the hotel world, I’ve often been disappointed by an inferior extension of the brand. Yet for the W hotels, this has NEVER occurred. Case in point: The W Hotel, in Montreal. Just as I found in Washington, DC and New Orleans, and Santiago, Chile, and everywhere else, The W Hotel in Montreal was magnificent. My check list is long, but I can sum up for you here. Luxury rooms, check. Great dining, check. Excellent spa, check. Amazing service, you betcha. In fact, after a visit to the spa, I was led to the bar for a string of stellar cocktails, something I always take the time to do at The W Hotel. I don’t know how they find such excellent mixologists, but they always do. When I’d had one too many, I slept peacefully in my quiet, well-appointed suite. It all proved to me that The W Hotel in Montreal, just like all the rest, once again stands for luxury and excellence.
By: Daniel L. Moses
January 27, 2011
By: Meagan Drillinger
Luxe beach bums rejoice! Mandarin Oriental, Miami is unveiling a brand new private beach experience (think luxury beach cabanas, bespoke amenities, weekly happy hour…should we go on?).
With the opening of the new Oasis Beach Club, sun bathers are flocking to the luxury hotel for a taste of the sand, sun and sea. The new furnishings include chaise lounges, cocoon daybeds, hammocks and cabanas that are outfitted with the latest technology.
The private cabanas are available to rent for half or a full day and include a personal beach butler, welcome oshibori towels, Evian bottled water and fruit platters. Guests can choose the following packages:
Mo Family Cabana includes welcome MO Cooler Drinks; a choice of beach game; pool floating devices; two beach cocktails for parents; choice of two tapas from the Oasis Beach Club menu; handheld video games for day use; and an assortment of Ben & Jerry ice cream bars.
Spa Serenity Cabana includes an Aromatherapy massage for two; green iced tea; spa lunch bento box for two; cold towels and cool mist services throughout the day.
SoBe Cabana experience includes a bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne; a sushi platter and sake tasting; and a chef's choice snack.
January 27, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Leave it to Morgans-- the luxury hotel group behind hip properties like London's Sanderson and the Mondrian in West Hollywood-- to come up with an innovative new offering to stretch guests' minds. As reported by The Independent, Morgans has partnered with The School of Life, an organization that runs programs to increase personal fulfillment, to "ensure that the minds of its guests are as well exercised as their bodies." They're unveiling something called the "Minibar for the Mind," like a Pandora's box filled with items to unleash your creative spirit and intellectual curiosity. Described as a "midnight feast of intellect, inspirations and ideas," the Minibar for the Mind includes "a box of 250 conversation starters, a volume of columns written by faculty at The School of Life, "Reading Prescriptions" designed to evoke moods of relaxation or seduction and a notebook and pencil set." Here's the skinny from The Independent:
The set costs $56 (suggesting, perhaps, that minibars are extortionate whatever you put in them) but guests who don't want to shell out for the product will also be treated to a "Daily Aphorism" with their turn down, with insights from some of the world's great literary minds.
Over dinner, guests at Morgans' Hudson (New York), Ames (Boston) and Sanderson restaurants will also be offered a Conversation Menu, which features "conversation prompts" to help diners participate in a chat that "moves beyond the domain of the weather and the price of gas."
School of Life faculty members will also be conducting a series of talks in Morgans' hotels, covering topics such as conversation, reading, travel, romance and culture.