LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
July 17, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
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.
July 16, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Park Hyatt Washington has just announced a seasonal artisanal cheese menu available nightly from 5:30 to 11 pm in the new Lounge & Bar. Decked out with "Capitol Hill" glass-enclosed booths flanking the marble and glass bar, Park Hyatt's Lounge seats 60 people, who enjoy power breakfast, served from 6:30 a.m., full lunch, and evening fare, including oysters, Wagyu burgers and signature crab cakes. Priced at $4 per ounce, the tempting, handcrafted cheeses are presented as a selection of six on a handmade circular wooden cheese board, accompanied by quince paste, raisins on the vine from the Mojave desert, honey, dried fruits, flat bread and a mini-baguette. Sample a vintage from the extensive wine list, recommended by Paula Pereira, Park Hyatt Washington's cheese expert, who is quite knowledgeable about wine and cheese pairings. For summer 2007, the fine cheeses include Bandaged Wrapped Cheddar, which was awarded the 2007 Wyke Farms Trophy and the 2007 World Cheese Award for Best Nature Cheddar in the World, and Humboldt Fog, an elegant and soft surface-ripened goat's milk cheese, from Cypress Grove in Arcata, California.
Relax with an inspired cocktail at one of the best hotel bars around, Bemelmans at The Carlyle. Manhattan may be brimming with fashionable (and thumping) night spots, but The Carlyle has a very real glamour, augmented by its long and fashionable history. Sink into a plush chair in this timeless NY watering hole, frequented by the city's finest for over 50 years. The bar's namesake, Ludwig Bemelman, is best known as the creator of the classic Madeleine books for children, and the bar is fittingly adorned with his whimsical murals. The dapper and knowledgeable barmen will hook you up with some seriously snazzy libations.
Things are heating up in Scottsdale, and the FireSky Resort (formerly Caleo) is the place to be to cool off. Like other Kimpton Hotels, this place has an inspired, boutiquey feel, with lots of fun and whimsical amenities. When night falls, the pool is a happening hot spot, lit by torches. In fact, these elements of fire and water are infused throughout the property. FireSky is located in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale (near Fashion Square), and the beautiful surrounding setting of the Sonoran Desert contrasts with the lush tropical grounds: an oasis with a sandy beach pool, Mediterranean inspired lagoon, and heated outdoor pool surrounded by cabanas and secluded fire pits. Don't miss the Jurlique Spa, the first of its kind for Kimpton, based on the Australian beauty brand. Within the 3,500 square feet of bliss, pamper yourself with a botanical detox bath in one of the deep soaking tubs.
Folks flock to The Pines Lodge for the full-service amenities and award-winning cuisine. (After all, Grouse Mountain Grill serves up the tastiest fish and fowl in the region.) Zagat swoons over the rustic elegance of the joint, while guests go gaga over the views from the resort's stance high above Beaver Creek Village. Accommodations are custom-appointed with rich pine wood, luxurious linens, and Avanyu Spa products. Summer specials abound, including the Hike by Day, Raft by Night package, the perfect combination for an unforgettable family getaway. The three night package, priced from $899, includes a guided day hike on the Royal Elk Trail, a picnic lunch, a nighttime float trip on the Colorado Vision (with special night vision glasses!), and a family fun pack amenity upon arrival. Available through September 30, 2007.
Be among the first guests to experience the spa at the premier resort on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Overlooking the Chesapeake Bay near the charming Victorian town of St. Michaels, The Inn at Perry Cabin-- managed by Orient-Express-- is a calm, luxurious refuge in a scenic setting. The new Linden Spa focuses on pampering, rejuvenation, and wellness. The full range of spa services includes signature treatments like a clay and flowers massage that moistures and balances the skin, and a bio peptide facial that draws on the healing benefits of plants and herbs. Lounge in the indoor or outdoor relaxation rooms, soak in the infinity edge pool, detox in the steam room, relax with a yoga class, or get fit with a personal trainer. Take advantage of the "Romance and Relaxation" package at The Inn at Perry Cabin which includes overnight accommodations and a $200 Spa credit ($100 per person). Starting from $470 in a Signature Room, double occupancy. Available weekdays from Sunday-Thursday only, until September 30, 2007.
A wildly-popular spot for East Coasters, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort is situated on 3,000 scenic acres outside Pittsburgh. The Mobil Four-Star and AAA Four-Diamond resort has a plethora of activities for the whole family to enjoy. Really, there's nothing the resort doesn't offer. Equestrian Center, Kids Club, Shooting Academy, you name it. An integral part of the Nemacolin experience is the game of golf, as the resort boasts 36 holes on its championship course against the backdrop of some of the most breathtaking scenery Pennsylvania has to offer. Due to guest demand, the Stay and Play Golf Package is back exclusively for the month of July. Play the PGA-tested Mystic Rock course for the lowest rates of the season when you book an overnight stay at Nemacolin: choose between the luxury-defining, AAA Five-Diamond Falling Rock or The Lodge, the resort's classic English country inn.
A regular size TV will no longer cut it. The digital revolution during the age of TiVo means business travelers are used to home entertainment systems far superior than the technology found on the road. But now the tide has turned. Luxury hotels are upgrading rooms with high definition TVs, iPod docking stations and a wide selection of programming, personal entertainment systems with movies, music, and games, and more. As reported by the International Herald Tribune, in the hotel industry, the technology race is on. There's been a "paradigm shift more toward the lifestyle traveler." The good news for this new breed of road warriors: with on-demand programming, you'll never miss another episode of Entourage again.
It's been named one of the top 11 luxurious places to lose weight. Spa Finder, Travel and Leisure, and Conde Nast Traveler agree that it's one of the top spas in the world. Green Valley Spa and Resort offers pure, unadulterated luxury in the midst of rugged red rock country. Adventure abounds (mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing), while stress-melting spa treatments promise to restore the body and mind after a long, fun-filled day. This summer, indulge in some girlfriend therapy and spoil yourself with a getaway at Green Valley. The Luxury Adventure Package is a three night/four day stay with three delicious spa cuisine meals per day, decadent spa treatments daily, and sumptuous four-diamond accommodations. Enjoy guided hikes, fitness classes and lectures, and Green Valley's full signature skin care set. The girlfriend package also includes robe, slippers, spa outfit, and flowers, fruit, and bottled water in-room. Book during July or August and get a $300 discount. Rates start at $2,700, double occupancy.
July 10, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
San Francisco's been abuzz with the 40th anniversary of the Summer of Love, and other North American cities have followed suit. Montreal's grandest and most gracious hotel, Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth, reached international fame when John Lennon and Yoko staged their Bed-In during May 1969 and composed the song "Give Peace a Chance" in Suite 1742. The commemorate the anniversary, the award-winning hotel is offering the "Give Peace a Chance" package, so lucky guests can stay in the legendary suite and bring a piece of history home with them. Enjoy one night's accommodation, souvenir Bed-In pajamas similar to John and Yoko's, a bouquet of White Flowers and souvenir white flower petals, a signature tea box with English jam, personalized souvenir menus, full breakfast and dinner as ordered by John and Yoko, a bottle of wine, calligraphied keepsake lyrics to ''Give Peace A Chance'', two souvenir CDs of the Bed-In, framed souvenir picture of the Bed-In, and a limousine transfer from the airport. Available until December 31, 2007. Rates start from CAD 1,969 (how clever).