LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
Hot off the press. Morgans Hotel Group-- which owns and manages fabulously hip properties like Delano and Shore Club in Miami, Clift in San Francisco, and Mondrian in LA and Scottsdale,-- has just released a statement about plans for an all-new Mondrian in Chitown. Expected to open in 2010, the Mondrian Chicago will be located on the existing site of the Cedar Hotel in the Gold Coast region. What's in store? 200 guest rooms (some with views of Lake Michigan), luxury amenities, restaurant, bar, cutting edge design, and a hip, energetic vibe. No doubt the hotel will be the sexiest thing around. This will bring the grand total to five Mondrian hotels (there are other properties currently in development in Vegas and Miami).
When in sunny Palm Springs, do like the pleasure-seeking LA-crowd and head to the plush Parker Palm Springs, transformed by New York designer Jonathan Adler into a fabulous and funky hot spot with lots of contemporary flair. (Despite the colorful interiors and zebra-print rugs, the Parker's exterior building still seems to date from the Rat Pack-era.) The glamorous resort du jour-- what the NYT called "a kind of dandy Betty Ford clinic for those who overdosed on the W Hotel's much-copied sleek and minimalist vibe"-- is clearly the steamiest spot in the desert, attracting the young, hip, and fashionable for weekend getaways. Formerly the Givenchy Resort and Spa (and before that era, California's first Holiday Inn!), the Parker Palm Springs features lush desert gardens, the chic Mister Parker's restaurant, fire pit, 16,500-square-foot spa, four pools, clay tennis courts, and two petanque courts.
June 4, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Father's Day is just around the bend and Mandarin Oriental New York, Manhattan's Mobil Five-Star award-winning hotel located in the Time Warner Center, has announced some fun packages in partnership with Gotham Dream Cars. Treat Dad to a weekend of luxurious accommodations plus Dad's choice of a Dream Car Tour (customized test drives of six high-performance sports cars) or private use of a Ferrari or Lamborghini for the entire weekend. This Father's Day weekend (June 16-17), check Dad into a lavish suite above Central Park's treetops where he'll appreciate serious five-star service above the sparkling NY skyline.
Dad's Dream Car Tour package, priced from $2,075, includes one night accommodation along with Gotham Dream Cars's adrenaline-pumping Dream Car Tour, where Dad’ll have the opportunity to test-drive six exotic sports cars. The Father's Day Road Warrior Weekend package, priced from $5,750, includes two nights luxury accommodations, Dad's choice of high performance vehicles for the weekend, custom maps with suggested driving routes, and complimentary late check-out to give Dad as much driving time as possible.
Get busy inside the kitchen this summer at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, where the seasonal culinary series, Inside the Kitchen, showcases the best celeb chefs, cookbook authors, and sommeliers of the industry. Learn tempting recipes while indulging in some tasty dishes and fine wine. (Plus, the Ritz-Carlton even donates a portion of the proceeds to Meals on Wheels.) From June 1 through August 31, 2007, the AAA Five Diamond resort offers an array of themed weekends with cooking classes, dinners, and seminars.
The summer's instructors include Elizabeth Falkner of Citizen Cake, Marcel Vigneron of Bravo's Top Chef, Jairemarie Pomo of The Hog Island Oyster Company, and Gayle Pirie and John Clark of Foreign Cinema. First up: Treasures of Asia: Far East to West on Friday, June 1 with Tim Luym of Poleng Lounge, named Rising Star Chef 2007 by the San Francisco Chronicle. Next: High Style in Lowcountry on Saturday, June 9 with Kevin Johnson from Anson restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina, described as the "the city's best example of high class Lowcountry cooking" by Wine Spectator.
Weekend package rates at the Ritz-Carlton start at $759 per night for one night accommodation and registration for two to any class.
No joke. America's favorite slow-poke of a train, Amtrak, has announced plans to bring back the luxurious train journeys of old. This Fall, Amtrak will launch a three month test of luxury service on three different train routes: Amtrak's Silver Meteor (Washington to Miami through West Palm Beach), the Southwest Chief (from Los Angeles to Chicago), and the California Zephyr (from Chicago to San Francisco). What's in store for passengers? Seven vintage Pullman cars, richly decorated in the manner of the great Pullman trains of the 1920's, will be attached to the back of these Amtrak trains. In addition to serious pampering, passengers will enjoy a lounge car with live music and a dining car that offers five-course meals. Amtrak hopes that the new luxury service will allow discriminating travelers to slow down, enjoy the journey, and escape the hassle of peak time holiday travel.
It's here. Toronto's Festival of Arts and Creativity, Luminato, will take the city by storm starting tomorrow. From music concerts to film spectacles, from theater and dance performances to stunning visual exhibits, the inaugural festival promises to knock your socks off. Over 100 innovative events are scheduled, many of which are free. Book a room at the city's seductive boutique hotel, Le Germain, and watch celebrated artist Carlito Dalceggio create a fantastic live event each evening between June 1-10, 2007. The artist will transform a massive outdoor canvas, mounted to the outside of the hotel, into a work of art. Check out the daily video updates of the canvas's transformation on the blog (and leave Carlito a note of inspiration). To complement this visual feast of the senses, Chef David Chrystian of the hotel's Chez Victor will be offering guests a delightful appetizer every evening between 5 and 6 p.m., inspired by the work of Carlito. The main ingredient will change as the artist's oeuvre develops.
Spend a special Father's Day weekend at the Omni Interlocken Resort, the four-diamond retreat nestled against the Rocky Mountains outside Denver. Enjoy luxurious accommodations, an outdoor barbeque lunch for the family on Saturday, and a special gift for Dad: two Fat Tire beers, two Fat Tire glasses, and a sleeve of golf balls. (The local brewery, Fat Tire, is adored for its Belgian style brews.) All for just $199 per night, available June 17, 2007. At the Omni Interlocken, there's a wealth of activities: championship golf with striking scenery, two beautiful pools with panoramic mountain views, and a fabulous spa.
May 30, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Travel and Leisure raves, "Minneapolis's exuberant Chambers Hotel is taking Midwestern design to a whole new level." Forbes Traveler has named Chambers as one of the sexiest hotels in the U.S. Indeed this David Rockwell-designed boutique, the sister hotel to New York's famed Chambers hotel, is easily the hippest hotel in Minneapolis. Billed as the "Luxury Art Hotel," Chambers is housed in two landmark 20th century buildings located in the heart of downtown's historic theater district. The minimalist design aesthetic is complemented by the $7 million contemporary art collection of 250 works displayed throughout the public spaces. There are 60 modern guest rooms with "rain-sky" showers, the penthouse level outdoor terrace and bar, and stellar restaurant, where super chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten (the visionary behind Jean-Georges in the Trump International Hotel and Mercer Kitchen in The Mercer Hotel) has devised the delicious Asian-themed menu.
...brought to you by the good folks at Travel and Leisure, who just published their "It List" of hot new hotel properties. Of the 25 chosen elite, the luxurious newbies include Trailblazers like Frank Gehry's architectural masterpiece, a sparkling mass of twisting metal in the midst of the Rioja's celebrated vineyards, Beachcombers like Vietnam's gorgeous Nam Hai hotel, New Urbanists like the dazzling Mandarin Oriental in Prague, and Healers, like the swanky Bauer Il Palladio Hotel & Spa in Venice and our favorite Four Seasons Westlake Village, created in partnership with the California WellBeing Institute.
California residents will love this one. The City by the Bay is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Summer of Love, and lucky Cali residents can score an exclusive hotel deal for a three-night stay in SF during the month of June. Stay three nights for the price of two when you book online and provide a billing address in California. In total, 16 hotels are participating, including luxurious icons like The Palace, host to presidents, royalty, and giants of industry.
Pictured: The renowned Garden Court restaurant at The Palace Hotel, which features a beautiful domed ceiling of stained glass-- designated a historic landmark by the city of San Francisco in 1969.