LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
April 23, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Sunshine seekers, botanists, landscape lovers: pay heed. The LA Times Daily Deal Blog has highlighted an excellent getaway for visitors to SoCal. Discover the rugged beauty of the spectacular Desert Garden at Huntington Botanical Gardens in Pasadena. Celebrating its 100th birthday, the Desert Garden showcases magnificent cacti and rare specimens, some of which are no longer found in the wild. Shack up at Pasadena's landmark hotel, the splendid turn-of-the-century Ritz-Carlton Huntington, and take advantage of the Ritz-Carlton Cultural Escape Package, starting at $305. Available through December 28, 2007, the package includes accommodations for one night, breakfast for two on the Terrace, complimentary valet parking, and tickets to either the Huntington Library & Botanical Gardens or the Norton Simon Museum.
April 20, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
As if you needed an excuse to plan an escape to Hawaii. Four Seasons Lodge at Koele has announced a spectacular special: Get a fourth night free when booking three consecutive nights until December 19, 2007. Luxuriate in style at this opulent outpost surrounded by gardens and reflecting pools, ancient pines bordering expansive greens, and a magical orchid greenhouse. Hidden within the central highlands on Lana'i, The Lodge at Koele is the place to be to savor Hawaii's natural beauty. In addition to the spectacular golf courses, pool, and in-room spa services, the resort offers a slew of activities-- from archery to horseback riding. Rooms start at $295 per night.
Has the Grand Bar kept its cool? The Soho Grand opened in 1996 (the first hotel to go up in stylish Soho in over a century) and its glamorous lounge took off as the hip place to be. It appears that this joint still epitomizes all that is trendy in Manhattan's downtown. Amber-hued lighting, copper tables, plush chairs, creative bar drinks, and oversized windows overlooking West Broadway. And indeed, it seems the Grand Bar and Lounge is the hot spot where celebs are both getting it on, and breaking things off.
For frequent travelers to Washington's lovely Dulles airport (will they finish the construction already?!), there's good news on the horizon. The DC suburbs-- aka "Virginia's high-tech corridor"-- are growing a mile-a-minute. Starwood's announcement yesterday is part of this incredible regional development. The new luxury hotel on the block will be the Westin Chantilly, a 211-room hotel to be built within the Commonwealth Centre development about three miles from Dulles. Outfitted with Westin's signature services and amenities (including the brand's Heavenly Bed and Bath), the new hotel will be open in Spring 2009. Guests can look forward to the "Westin signature sensory welcome"-- white tea scent and mood music, anyone?-- along with Unwind: A Westin Evening Ritual. (Looks like Westin's even branded their happy hour cocktails.)
April 18, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Get your game on at Kiawah, selected as the "Best Golf Resort in the US" by Travel and Leisure Golf. (The awards list isn't exactly short.) Golfers flock to Kiawah for unmatched play on the five championship courses designed by Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Fazio, Gary Player and Clyde Johnston. The world-famous Ocean Course-- ranked third in the "Top 100 You Can Play" by Golf Magazine-- recently got a $4 million makeover. Plan a girl's getaway and enjoy some of the best golf in the world as well as the beautiful beach, fantastic spa, shopping and natural beauty that has made Kiawah such a sought-after destination. The two-night Golfing Gals Bootcamp is designed for two people and includes ocean-view accommodations, champagne and chocolate covered berries on arrival, daily breakfast, dinner at Jasmine Porch, round of golf (not the Ocean course), half day golf school, nine holes of on-course instruction (for three people), and two Kiawah visors. Kiawah's team of instructors will cater the package to suit every skill level-- from beginners to pros looking to refine their game.
How do we love Sierra Mar restaurant? Let me count the ways. Awe-inspiring views of the California coast above the craggy cliffs of Big Sur. The innovative prix fixe menu with four courses of heavenly, seasonal fare. 4,000-label wine list. All glass dining room, all the better to contemplate that amazing seascape. Located at the numero uno hotel in Cali-- according to Travel and Leisure's Top 500 (January 2007)-- the award-winning Sierra Mar restaurant offers one of the most memorable dining experiences on the West Coast.
Please note: Until July 30, 2007, Post Ranch Inn's superb restaurant has moved to a custom designed Rancho Sierra Mar building next to the swimming pool while the original kitchen is remodeled. Guests can expect the same incredible grub, while enjoying a special private exhibit of eight large-scale powerful sepia toned photographs by Canadian born artist Gregory Colbert.
Mom'll love this place. Just a few blocks from the historic Plaza in the charming city of Santa Fe, La Posada de Santa Fe Resort and Spa offers luxurious adobe-style accommodations in a garden setting. Many rooms feature kiva fireplaces along with original artwork from local galleries. (Psst. It's the best place to stay in town!) Treat Mom to a special getaway and celebrate Mother's Day in style at La Posada de Santa Fe. The two-night package includes accommodations, welcome amenity, dinner for two at Fuego restaurant, and serious pampering at Avanyu's indigenous spa with one 50-minute treatment and one 80-minute treatment (choice of body treatments/facials includes Rolling Thunder, Dancing Wind or Flowing Water, and the Essential, Timeless or Renewal Facials). Rates start at $418 per night in a Classic Room, available for the month of May 2007.
April 16, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Discover an elegant French-style chateau just 40 minutes north of Atlanta. Surrounded by 3,500 acres of rolling vineyards, Chateau Elan Winery and Resort makes for a sublime weekend getaway (spa, good eats, and wine, oh my!) The largest producer of premium wines in Georgia, the resort has been recognized by Wine Spectator for its fine vintages. Enjoy a special evening tour of the Winery with Winemaker Dan Baldwin over the weekend of April 20, 2007. The package has limited availability, and includes two nights stay, candle lit tour of the winery, followed by a wine and cheese tasting. The two-person, two-night package is priced at $299.
Treat yourself to a luxurious getaway weekend at The Jefferson. History buffs will nerd out over this one. Richmond's swankiest hotel is offering a special weekend package to coincide with the city's commemoration of America's 400th anniversary. A replica of the colonists' 17th century vessel, Godspeed, will sail from Jamestown to Richmond to celebrate the big birthday. Take a tour of the Godspeed, spend the day at the festival area on Richmond's river front, enjoy a musical performance and even a fantastic fireworks display - all free events for Richmond Region 2007. The Jefferson's Godspeed Memorial Day Weekend package includes luxurious accommodations, full American breakfast buffet, two tickets to Virginia Museum of Fine Arts "Rule Britannia!" exhibit, and transportation to all museum and Godspeed events. Starting from $225 nightly in a Superior Room (taxes not included). Available May 24-May 27, 2007 only.
At long last, the hotel we've been dreaming about since last November has opened its doors. The newest member of the Starwood Luxury Collection, The Resort at Singer Island is shaking things up in Palm Beach County. Billed as "one of the most expansive oceanfront destinations on the Eastern seaboard," the $210 million resort is a 21-storey goliath of luxury on the beach. Amenities include beach and pool butlers, 24-hour room service, workout facilities, business center, two Presidential Suites, 4,000 square feet of meeting space, a wedding gazebo, three restaurants and a coffee bar, an 8,500 square foot wellness retreat and spa, a lap pool with private cabanas and a lagoon-style family pool. To quote the press release:
The opening of this resort signals the renaissance of Singer Island, which was founded in 1920 by the scion of the sewing machine dynasty, into one of the most dynamic oceanfront destinations on Florida's prestigious Gold Coast.
To celebrate the opening, The Resort at Singer Island is offering a special $315 per night introductory rate including breakfast through May 2007.