In the very heart of the French Quarter, Hotel Monteleone is a historic gem, with a long history of exemplary Southern hospitality and a vibrant contemporary flair. Family owned and operated for over a hundred years, the newly-renovated hotel has earned a reputation for excellence in its extraordinary accommodations, world class cuisine, rooftop pool, fitness center, Carousel bar with live pianist, and private spa, Aria. Visit New Orleans before September 30, 2006 and take advantage of the hotel's "Suite Summer Deal." Book a suite for two nights, and the third night is free, with rates starting at $265 per suite, per night.
According to Zagat anyway. "There aren't enough superlatives to describe it," Zagat gushes about this elegant Grande Dame located in the Hotel Adolphus in downtown Dallas. The ambience of this French-American restaurant is decidedly romantic: with hand-blown crystal chandeliers and a soaring 18 foot high ceiling with hand-painted frescoes. The $72 fixed price, three-course dinner menu is spectacular, and features seared tuna, roasted Colorado rack of lamb, and vanilla and raspberry creme brulee. Jacket required.
August 31, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Escape to the private Hawaiian island of Lana'i at the new Four Seasons Lanai, The Lodge at Koele, a gracious retreat situated in the island's dramatic central highlands amidst manicured gardens and Hawaii's incredible natural beauty. After an extensive renovation, the resort will reopen on November 15, 2006. Guests enjoy activities such as horseback riding, hiking and world-class golf on two courses, including the new Greg Norman-designed championship course overlooking mountains, lush greens, and cascading waterfalls in awe-inspiring landscapes. Watersports, and a full service spa, are available at the companion resort, Four Seasons Resort Lana'i at Manele Bay, so pampered guests on Lana'i can experience the best of both worlds: highlands and ocean. Savor peaceful tranquility at the pool, surrounded by rolling hills and landscaped gardens, where Four Seasons poolside services include ice water, Evian spritzes, and chilled towels offered by pool attendants. The 901 square foot fitness center is state-of-the-art, with weight room, spa treatment room, and men's and women's lockers. Now taking ressies.
August 29, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The hottest, trendiest place on the So Cal coast, Tower 23 opened in July 2005 to much fanfare and celebration. Overlooking long stretches of golden sand, the three-storey all-glass hotel is a stylish, contemporary urban resort, taking its name from the Lifeguard Tower 23 positioned on Pacific Beach in front of the hotel. Billing itself as San Diego's "only luxury, lifestyle hotel on the beach," Tower 23 is a celebration of contemporary architecture and design. The 44 guestrooms reflect the oceanfront setting—the environment of sun, sand, surf, and sky—with minimalist design, private balconies and patios to contemplate the sea, and teak furnishings. (And with names to match; the rooms are divided into three types: Spirit, Sky and Surf Pads.) Of course the rooms are brimming with all the latest technology: LDC flat-screens, XBoxes, wifi Internet, and Tempur-Pedic beds. Hipsters flock to Jordan, the sleek restaurant and bar (pictured) where fresh California cuisine is served in a happening environment.
The posh canvas tents at The Resort at Paws Up are more akin to a five-star hotel than camping out. And with the resort's superior five-star amenities, this is the way to experience Montana's epic wilderness in style. Opened in June 2005 on 37,000 acres in Blackfoot Valley, just outside of Missoula, The Resort at Paws Up is surrounded by some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world. Outdoor enthusiasts rejoice in this slice of heaven: saddle up and go horseback on the hundreds of miles of trails, take your best shot at the sporting clays course, cast a fly with an expert guide with the best kind of Montana fly-fishing experience, or go swimming in the lake, boating, hiking, mountain biking, rafting, or play a round at the nearby championship golf course. This is the ultimate wilderness adventure playground. After a day enjoying the country, return to a sumptuous in-room spa treatment. Soak up the rustic elegance at Tent City, with featherbeds, fine linens, and all the modern conveniences offered at the resort's other luxury vacation homes, overlooking the grandeur of the Montana wilderness. The Resort at Paws Up offers a truly unique western experience.
This award winning, glass-walled restaurant is, by far, the ritziest resort restaurant in Carmel. Terraced on an ocean bluff overlooking the dramatic seascape of the Big Sur coastline, at the Highlands Inn Park Hyatt, Pacific's Edge provides incomparable ocean vistas. As guests dine on spectacular French-New American fare and savor bottles from the 1,700-label wine list (a perennial Grand Award winner from Wine Spectator), they can watch whales and sea otters playing just offshore, and the sunset dip below the Pacific's horizon at the most picturesque spot on earth. And to top it all off—the staff is elegant and attentive, ensuring a fantastic dining experience.
Halfway between Miami and Key West in the heart of the Florida Keys, Tranquility Bay is a 12-acre hideaway of palm-dotted white sand beaches overlooking the sparkling waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Opened in January, the resort features 87 charming two-story cottages on the ocean, surrounded by lush landscaping and towering coconut palms. The pristine sandy beach is one of the largest in the Keys, with endless watersports and activities (including Hobie Cats for rent), and the nearby Tilden's Scuba Center outfits divers keen to explore the sunken Thunderbolt wreck. Other fantastic Keys attractions are also nearby, including Bahia Honda state park, convenient shopping, great dining, and awesome sports fishing outlets. Pamper yourself at Island Spice Private Spa, or relax by the lagoon-style pool, tropical drink in hand. In addition to the luxurious accommodations, beach houses are also available for rental and ownership.
For a taste of France in your own backyard, Montreal is a treasure trove of beautiful boutiques, boulangeries, and bistros. And amidst the bustling business district of this sophisticated city, the Loews Hotel Vogue is an enclave of sumptuous luxury. The 126 guestrooms and 16 suites are comfortable and plush, with down duvets and pillows, a whirlpool bath and separate glassed-in shower, and a workstation with a two-line cordless phone and high-speed internet access. Experience the city's rich French heritage and joie de vivre at its finest at this award-winning hotel, where the knowledgeable and attentive staff attends to your every whim and desire. Loews Signature September rates start at an unbelievably low $200 a night. And guests making reservations at the Loews Hotel Vogue through Five Star Alliance will receive complimentary in-room high speed Internet as well as a one category room upgrade based upon availability.
An intimate luxury hotel in the heart of Houston's business and nightlife district, The Lancaster is a legend among guests who return again and again for the stately elegance and excellent personal service. The hotel enchants with its European charm and grand tradition of hospitality. The Bistro serves scrumptious regional American cuisine, and the popular Bistro Bar, rated one of the top ten bars in the county by Food and Wine magazine, is a favorite among trendy locals. The handsomely appointed rooms feature dark wood two-poster beds topped with down duvets and feather pillows, marble bathrooms, and state-of-the-art technology. With the Romance Package, enjoy an unforgettable evening at The Lancaster. Your room or suite will be meticulously prepared for your arrival with chilled champagne and chocolate-dipped strawberries presented on a silver tray. The following morning, enjoy a romantic American breakfast for two served in the room or Bistro. Starting from $229.
August 23, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Since its grand opening in March, the newest destination hotel in Indiana's capital has soothed business travelers with its luxurious facilities, excellent spa facilities, and fine dining. (And of course all that cool technology: 42 inch flat screen TVs with satellite, high speed wireless internet, spacious work areas, three telephones and fax.) For a limited time, the Conrad Indianapolis is promoting a special offer that may just lure leisure travelers to the hotel as well. Enjoy premium in-room amenities, including rose-petal turndown service, a complimentary aromatherapy candle, a melodic jazz CD and a sinfully delicious chocolate sampler, and late 1 pm check-out (subject to availability), starting from $279 per room per night. But hurry! This offer is only valid until August 31, 2006.