August 2, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Ski with the wind! Vail Resorts announced on Tuesday that it is switching to wind power. By purchasing 152,000 megawatt-hours of wind energy, Vail Resorts will offset 100 percent of its company-wide energy use. According to the New York Times:
The announcement makes Vail the second-largest corporate buyer of wind energy in the nation, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, after Whole Foods Market Inc., the big supermarket chain that went to all wind power earlier this year.
Vail Resorts will buy their wind power credits from a Boulder company called Renewable Choice Energy. Vail is leading the pack in bringing alternative energy to the mainstream. Other resorts, like the Aspen Skiing Company, are following suit. And with global warming threatening to reduce much of the mountain snowpack in the West, this is excellent news.
One of the busiest airports in the world is getting an overhaul. The Los Angeles International Airport closed one of its four runways last weekend for eight (count em, eight!) months. This is part of a two-year, $333-million modernization project, and has LA natives fearing for the worst. With 25 percent of the capacity shut down, and LAX serving18.7 million passengers this summer (that's 200,000 more than last year), there are bound to be delays. What's the deal? According to the LA Times:
Its second-longest runway is being demolished and rebuilt 55 feet away to improve safety and accommodate the new jumbo Airbus 380 planes arriving next spring. Although it's still too soon to tell how this will affect the airport's 1,800 daily flights, some carriers are wary.I'll say.
Ahhh, the Hotel Bel-Air. Discriminating Los Angeles hot spot, Mobil five-star award winner, the most prestigious address in the city, and the embodiment of Hollywood glamour and luxury. Celebrating its 60th anniversary, the Hotel Bel-Air has recently completed a $20 million, four-year renovation to several public areas and private guest suites. These upgrades include a new technology-equipped boardroom, state of the art equipment in the fitness center, new banquettes on The Restaurant's Terrace, new teak furniture at the pool, and in-room workstations for those workaholics who set up camp in their suites. The most interesting new feature? The customized suites for long-stay guests, who often stay at the hotel for several months of the year, and consider it their home away from home (lucky ducks). Specific examples include The Chalon Suite (150)—with hardwood flooring, custom-painted mural on the ceiling, new lighting, different color scheme for the bedding, drapery and upholstery, and a wet bar—and the Herb Garden Suite (264)—with reupholstered furniture, a new color scheme for paint, wallpaper and drapery, lighted make-up mirrors in the bathroom, new carpet in the living room, and hardwood flooring in the foyer. Fourteen of these rooms and suites were updated with suggestions by Hotel Bel-Air's long-stay guests.
July 31, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
French formal dining at its best. The award-winning Le Fountainebleau is a San Diego treasure, its focus on attentive service and artfully conceived menus incorporating fresh seasonal ingredients. The dining room is elegant, full of antiques and beautiful floral arrangements, with a grand piano setting the mood with background music. Named San Diego's most romantic restaurant by the San Diego Reader, the restaurant is also beloved for its Friday night seafood buffet. The Seafood Soiree features over 30 items: a sumptuous display of oysters, caviar, lobster, mussels, gourmet sushi and other favorites. Located in the Westgate Hotel.
Named to Fodor's Top Ten Luxury Resort Spas, the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort and Spa sits high on a bluff overlooking the Pacific, halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego. This beautiful resort is a sun-kissed landmark, inspired by the architecture of Tuscany. With its private beach club, world-class spa, oceanfront golf course, and personalized (ever attentive) service, this is the ideal spot for a luxurious escape. For a limited time, stay four nights but only pay for three! If you book three consecutive nights by December 15, 2006, your fourth night is on the house. This offer is available every day of the week.
From August 2-6, 2006, Rockland, Maine is transformed into a lively playground of gourmet tents serving delicious Maine seafood (loads of succulent lobster), with lots of entertainment and events. The world's largest lobster cooker is a sight to behold. During last year's Lobster Festival, a whopping twelve tons of lobster were prepared and consumed. (That's over 25,000 lbs, folks!) And if you tire of lobster, stuff yourself with steamed and fried clams, fried Maine shrimp, shrimp cocktail, steamed mussels in wine and vegetable sauce, and endless dishes of traditional Maine summer fair food. Other festival highlights include the coronation of the Sea Goddess, Lobster Crate Race (sprint along a string of partially submerged lobster crates before falling into the freezing Atlantic), Cooking Contest, Fine Art Tent (with works by local artists in oil, watercolor, photography, etc.), Craft Tent, and Parade down Rockland's Main Street on August 5th, which draws an audience of over 25,000.
Four Seasons has got shopping on the brain. Another fabulous shopping package brought to you by the luxury hotelier… The Four Seasons Vancouver has teamed up with Holt Renfrew, Canada's leading fashion specialty department store for men and women, to design the Shopping for all Seasons package, which includes a $100 Holt Renfrew gift card. Rising above the 200 fine shops of Pacific Centre, the hotel boasts a perfect location to check out the hottest looks and trends, with easy access to Holt Renfrew through a private entrance in the hotel lobby. Break for lunch at the Garden Terrace, a favorite city oasis for urbanites, where a delightful informal menu is served to diners amidst a garden of trees, ferns, and flowers. And after you shop til you drop, relax with a cocktail in the elegant Terrace Bar, which features a circular copper-topped bar padded with leather, while silk pendants from Italy (studded with Murano glass beads) are suspended overhead. Starting at CAD 205.
Since its opening in downtown Chicago in 1852, Marshall Field's has earned a reputation as one of the premier department stores in the United States. The store is an architectural landmark; its Tiffany Ceiling is the largest glass mosaic of its kind and the Great Clock at the corner of State and Washington streets, over a century old, was painted by American artist Norman Rockwell. Four Seasons Chicago has put together an exclusive shopping experience designed to celebrate the legend of Marshall Field's while pampering its customers. The "Celebrate Marshall Field's" package, an exclusive weekend offer, runs from August 4 - September 4, 2006 and features a variety of amenities and special services including: a specially created and complimentary Frangotini served by the hotel's famed Martini Man, a complimentary manicure with purchase of the Shopper's Foot Indulgence at the Spa, Marshall Field's personal shopper to cater and service your special buying needs, as well as an exclusive gift from Marshall Field's. Starting from $360.
Just a few more days until one lucky winner is chosen. Enter our luxury hotel Giveaway for a chance to win a two-night stay in a fabulous Junior Suite at the historic Hay-Adams hotel. It's totally free to enter (simply sign up for our free monthly newsletter), and the prize is valued at $2,400. So what are you waiting for? Enter the contest!
Situated in the heart of Napa Valley wine country, the Harvest Inn is an intimate luxury retreat in St. Helena, California. Surrounded by rolling vineyards and a distant mountain backdrop, the Inn is an inspiring Napa hideaway amidst lush gardens and winding pathways through redwood groves. Guests enjoy the cottages with handcrafted fireplaces, intricate woodwork, and private terraces with intimate spa tubs. The heated outdoor pools and Jacuzzis are nestled within the gardens. This year, the Harvest Inn has partnered with Magnum Tours to offer guests a unique Napa experience with its Napa Confidential Package, allowing guests access to winemakers in the area's smaller, family-owned wineries. Included in the package are personal wine tasting tours at three such estates, chosen by the guest booking the package, as well as a picnic lunch with one of the winemakers. Additional amenities include one bottle of Schramsberg Blanc de Noir wine, Woodhouse Chocolate Truffles, and an arrangement of red roses, two outdoor spa treatments in the Redwood Cove adjacent to the vineyard or in the privacy of the guestroom, and two personalized, monogrammed Harvest Inn robes. The two-night package is priced at $2,269 for Friday and Saturday night stays and $1,799 for Sunday through Thursday night stays.