LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
In honor of the launch of the iPhone, Omni Hotels across the country are "apple-izing" with Apple-tini's, Apple Ice Sculptures, and best of all-- a huge giveaway whereby lucky winners across the U.S. will take home Apple iPhones (approximate retail value of $499.) Entries will be accepted at all participating Omni Hotels in the U.S. from 8 a.m. local time on Monday, July 23 until 6:30 p.m. local time on Wednesday, July 25. (You can also register online.) The winner of each hotel's sweepstakes will be selected in a random drawing at or around 7 p.m. local time on Wednesday, July 25 at each participating Omni property, and the winner of the online sweepstakes will be selected on or about the same date.
Recently named to the Conde Nast Traveler "Hot List", Herons restaurant is a culinary gem located in the new Umstead Hotel and Spa, steps away from the beautiful walking and jogging trails of Umstead State Park just outside Raleigh, North Carolina. (The Umstead Spa was also named to the Hot List, the only spa in North Carolina to earn this accolade.) Steve Eudy, the Herons Sommelier, has assembled a magnificent wine list representing 500 wines that will delight even the most sophisticated connoisseur. They've even stocked away some North Carolina wines. Sip a glass on the terrace on Thursday evening, while chowing down on the outdoor "all-grilled" menu, a memorable outdoor dining experience for picture-perfect summer evenings. Enjoy grilled meat and seafood prepared by Executive Chef Phil Evans along with new fresh fruit cocktails, live outdoor music and breathtaking panoramic views of the lake and surrounding gardens. (The Terrace will be hopping on Thursday evenings until September 28th, 2007, weather permitting.) Come check out what everyone's been talking about. During the month of July, when you reserve a guest room at Umstead, you'll receive a $50 gift certificate to use in the restaurant or spa.
Eloise may not like the new condos, but she'd be pleased to see her hotel back in business. Rumor has it that the fabled Plaza Hotel, New York's landmark luxury hotel, will reopen this fall to coincide with the property's 100th anniversary. Fairmont Hotels and Resorts has gone ahead and announced the appointment of the new General Manager, Shange Krige, who hails from The Mansion on Turtle Creek, London's historic Grosvenor House and Ritz-Carlton properties in Washington D.C.. Towering over Central Park West, the 19-storey Plaza Hotel has completed a $400 million renovation which now includes private residences. Those who mourned the end of an era with the hotel's closing will rejoice at the makeover. The 282 guest room and condo-hotel units have been updated for the modern traveler, but still pay tribute to the hotel's illustrious history as a treasured symbol in Manhattan.
Uptown, the city's chic, tourist-popular enclave, will welcome a new Ritz-Carlton on August 15, 2007. This is the first Ritz-Carlton hotel to open in the U.S. in four years, and little wonder Dallas is the lucky destination; the city is touted as the most accessible setting in the continental U.S.-- less than three hours by air from nearly every point. The hotel will be walking distance to the American Airlines Center, home to myriad sports and entertainment events. As to be expected at a Ritz-Carlton, the Dallas hotel will have elegant, spacious guest rooms (with lots of sleek technology), an opulent 12,000 square foot spa, and the city's largest luxury ballroom, along with numerous meeting locations. The best part of all is Fearing's Restaurant with its interactive display kitchen. Headed by charismatic celebrity chef Dean Fearing who specializes in Southwest cuisine, the restaurant will celebrate a farm-to-market philosophy. Expect menu stand-outs like Barbecue Shrimp Taco with Mango-Pickled Red Onion Salad and Smoky Citrus Vinaigrette; Prime Cut Rib Eye Mopped over Live Mesquite with Cauliflower Twice Potatoes and Crispy Asparagus; Griddled Day-Boat Scallops on Wilted Brussels Sprout Leaves and Smoked Kentucky Ham with Tangerine Essence; Caramelized Peach and Almond Crisp with Mascarpone Ice Cream and Ginger Peach Sauce.
From the captivating entertainment of the Blue Man Group to authentic gondola rides along the quarter-mile Grand Canal, from the fabulous new Venetian Poker Room to the on-site Guggenheim Hermitage Museum, The Venetian has got it all. Smack dab in the middle of the action on the Las Vegas Strip, the all-suite luxury resort offers the romance of Italy and the pinnacle of luxury in a city known for mind-boggling excitement. Experience the "Suite Life" from just $179 per night! Even the standard rooms at The Venetian are twice the size of the typical Vegas room. (With 700 square feet of pure indulgence, there's nothing standard about them.) Book this special package at The Venetian, the world's largest four-star resort, and you'll also receive two Canyon Ranch SpaClub Passports, ten percent discount off spa treatments, twenty percent off fine dining at Postrio or Pinot Brasserie, and two complimentary drinks at the Blue Man Bar with purchase of performance tickets. Two night minimum stay required. Valid through December 30, 2007.
July 19, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Luxuriate in blissful peace at Auberge du Soleil's sister property, Calistoga Ranch in Upper Napa Valley. Tucked into a private canyon just outside the historic town of Calistoga, the luxury resort is an oasis of ancient oak groves and rolling vineyards. In such a majestic natural setting, it's only appropriate that the resort offers guests the ultimate experience of indoor and outdoor spaces. (Even the fitness facility is open-air, taking full advantage of the setting, so you can work out while gazing out over the vineyards.) For a taste of the good life, plan a summertime escape to the 46-cottage Calistoga Ranch. Settle into a lounge chair near your very own indoor-outdoor fireplace. (The free-standing guest lodges are outfitted with natural cedar interiors-- with entertainment centers, high speed Internet, and all the latest technology.) Dine at the private restaurant which celebrates the rich culture of Napa Valley wines and cuisine. Indulge in a rejuvenating spa treatment at The Bathhouse, where you can also "take the waters" in the natural thermal baths which have enticed visitors for over a century.
July 18, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The Setai, South Beach trendiness incarnate, is moving beyond the confines of Miami-Dade county. The famed hotel will be opening another branch in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter, arguably the country's hottest real estate market. (We're waiting with bated breath for the Setai brand to jump into other metropolises.) Formerly called The Diegan, the new five-star condominium hotel is billed as a mecca for world-class dining and entertainment, where a "handful of ultra-luxury penthouse residences" will have the city swooning. Both the House of Blues and the newest Sky Bar will be located here. According to the New York Times, more than half of the units, priced from $500,000 to $3.8 million, have been sold. Expected to be completed by the end of the year, these residences will have Italian furniture, flat-screen TVs, and wifi access. Also in store: a fourth floor pool deck with cabanas, spa, fitness center, screening room, and recording studio.
July 18, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
Between now and October, the three Mid-Atlantic Loews Hotels - the Loews Philadelphia, Loews Annapolis, and the Madison a Loews Hotel - are partnering with Nordstrom department stores to make getting ready for school fashionable and fun. Guests will stay in style and look stylish with the "Back to School" package that features overnight accommodations, a Nordstrom gift card and a "piggy" bank with a Presidential dollar coin to get a head start on education savings. The complete package includes overnight deluxe accommodations, a $25 gift card which can be used in the store or on-line, a personalized "piggy" bank with Presidential gold dollar coin, lunch for two at Cafe Nordstrom, use of a fashion stylist to assist in selecting the hottest fashion trends, and a Nordstrom catalogue.
Rates start at $244 for the "Back to School" package and will be subject to availability through October 31st, 2007.
We're a little star-struck over the Bottega Veneta suite which debuted last fall in the St. Regis New York. The swanky seventh-floor suite, dolled up with pieces from Bottega Veneta's furniture line, goes for $6,500 a night. (Guests have become so taken with the woven-leather pillows, fragrances, and cashmere throws, they've been known to head out to Bottega Veneta's store, right next door.) But Bottega Veneta's not the only designer checking in to the St. Regis. Christian Dior and Tiffany have likewise outfitted designer suites in Manhattan's fashionable establishment. Pictured above right: the view of Central Park from the Orient Designer Suite.
A refreshing addition to the South Beach dining scene, La Marea offers innovative Mediterranean cuisine overlooking the ocean. The recently redesigned Tides South Beach, the flagship property of Kor's new Tides brand, just launched this spectacular new restaurant, overseen by Executive Chef Pietro Rota, former Il Sole standout and a new culinary star to South Florida. Dishes are created with seasonal ingredients and accented with Northern Italian flavors and flare; menu samples include Littleneck Clams with Chorizo, Basil, Chilies and Garlic; Duck Confit on Warm Lentil Salad with Foie Gras Essence; and vast selections of fresh fish. The interior was designed by Kelly Wearstler, accented with theatrical hooded armchairs, antique brass touches and wall décor of faux tortoise shells. Dine al fresco on the terrace overlooking Ocean Drive and the beach, immersing yourself in the sexy energy of South Beach. This place is poised to become one of South Florida's premier dining destinations. The summer's 2007 Miami Spice Restaurant Month is the perfect chance to experience La Marea. From August 1 through September 30, prix fix three-course lunches are only $22 and three-course dinners are $35, Monday through Thursday.