October 11, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The moment we've all been waiting for. Come October 14, 2006, the first in a series of exhibits from the Musee de Louvre in Paris opens at Atlanta's High Museum of Art. The unprecedented three-year partnership, dubbed simply Louvre Atlanta, will begin with the Royal Collections, a dazzling array of paintings, sculptures drawings from master artists, that once belonged to the kings of France. The opening day celebrations include art-making activities for children, live music in the Piazza, theater, the French Poodle Parade, classic French mime, and other special performances. The two area Ritz-Carlton hotels have organized a Louvre Atlanta package for visitors to enjoy the fantastic exhibit. The package includes one night's luxurious accommodations, full breakfast for two, valet parking, and a pair of tickets to the museum exhibit. Available through December 2006. Starting at $249 at the Ritz-Carlton Atlanta, an elegant address in the heart of downtown, and $299 at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead, located uptown across the street from the acclaimed Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza shopping malls.
That's right. The InterContinental Hotels Group has partnered with TurnHere to create a series of local video guides narrated by the concierges of Intercontinental Hotels across the United States. First up: the insider's guide to the nation's capital, brought to you by Robert Watson, the lovely concierge at the Willard InterContinental Washington DC, the grand historic landmark known as the "Crown Jewel of Pennsylvania Avenue." The free video is lively, informative, and a fun (and free) overview of the city's neighborhoods, sites, and restaurants. Plus you'll get the inside scoop on the locals' favorite haunts and stomping grounds. Check it out.
The folks at Daily Candy uncovered this "worthwhile getaway" from Kor Hotels. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the Kor Hotel Group will reflect this theme all month long with their Think Pink Campaign. Stay at any of the Kor Hotel Group's glam properties (like the Viceroy Santa Monica and the Tides South Beach), choose the "Think Pink" rate, and they'll donate 10 percent of your bill to the Revlon/UCLA Breast Cancer Center. For an additional price of $40, guests receive a special Think Pink gift bag (valued at $120) which includes a Glamour Pink Tee designed by Kelly Wearstler, gift certificate for a Pink Martini, Shaken not Stirred, Pink Martini CD, "Breast Cancer 101" (a handbook on cancer research, history and treatment), and a classic pink ribbon, to display prominently and show your solidarity to the cause.
Move over, Trump. The Miami Heat center recently announced the formation of The O'Neal Group, a real estate firm that's set to take on the Miami market with a $1 billion project that will feature a five star luxury hotel, 1,100 residential units, a Whole Foods Market, a 24-Hour Fitness franchise, office space, condominiums and restaurants. At 866 feet, this is the tallest tower south of the Big Apple. According to FoxSports:
Shaquille O'Neal now is dead serious about helping big skyscrapers in downtown Miami far bigger than himself and literally becoming South Florida's biggest real estate mogul…He realizes the positive impact he can make. Between making money for his family, he can also continue the revitalization of what was a horrendous downtown area into a renaissance trumping the problems of decades.
There's nothing finer than Fall in New York. (And if you choose to visit in November, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is a must: with fabulous floats, giant balloons, and 2.5 million folks in attendance.) The place to stay in Manhattan is The Carlyle, of course, the elegant landmark on Madison Avenue and favorite haunt of world leaders and numerous celebs since its debut in 1930. A timeless classic, The Carlyle is like a stately private residence, welcoming its guests with the most exacting and refined service. Enjoy sweeping views of Central Park from your sumptuous suite, appointed with the finest fabrics, rugs, boudoir chairs, Frette linens, and original Audubon prints. The hotel's perfect location offers easy access to the Upper East Side galleries as well as the nearby Museum Mile. Celebrate Autumn in New York with special seasonal rates at The Carlyle. With this special, a decadent Deluxe Room can be booked for $750 (usual daily rates are $825).
This could be heaven on earth. Surrounded by dramatic mountain landscapes, Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain is a sumptuous boutique hideaway boasting one of the world's most celebrated destination spas. The list of accolades is impressive: Travel and Leisure Top 500, Andrew Harper's Hideaway award winner, Top 10 US Spas (Celebrated Living), and Conde Nast Traveler's Gold List of the World's Best Places to Stay. The intimate Sanctuary Spa is renowned the world over for its Asian-inspired treatments and spectacular setting. The movement studio offers classes such as Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi and Belly Dancing, and the Fitness Center is equipped with state-of-the-art cardio and strength training equipment. The 98 luxurious casitas feature outdoor balconies with breathtaking panoramic views, wood-burning fireplaces, and outdoor soaking tubs enclosed within private patios.
Until December 9, 2006, Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain is offering a fantastic Spa Harmony package, where guests pay for two nights, and receive the third for free. Package includes dazzling accommodations, full breakfast each morning in elements or in-room dining, two 60-minute spa treatments per person, per package from the Spa Menu, access to the Meditation Garden, Vitality Pools and Steam Baths, candlelight turndown service, and newspaper delivered daily. The price averages out to $578 per night in a Mountain View Casita.
Smack dab in the middle of things in the nation's capital, The Madison is perfectly located on M Street, just a short walk from the White House, Mall, Dupont Circle boutiques, and countless museums. A blend of sophisticated, urban luxury and historic tradition, this landmark hotel has hosted every president since John F. Kennedy. The 353 recently-renovated guest rooms and 42 suites pamper guests with plush furnishings and amenities, and the service—as to be expected of a place that has hosted heads of state, international business leaders, and Washington's most notable figures—is fine-tuned, personalized, and genuinely warm. Until February 28, 2007, The Madison is offering guests an upgrade to a luxurious suite for $60 during weekend stays. (Standard room rates start at $159 per night.) Furthermore, if you book your reservation with Five Star Alliance, you'll receive a welcome amenity and possible one category room upgrade based upon availability at check-in.
The Sunset Tower Hotel (formerly the Argyle) has been a Los Angeles landmark since the day it opened in 1929. Elegant, posh, and perfectly located on the Sunset Strip, the Sunset Tower Hotel has been the residence of countless famous actors, musicians, and even the gangster Bugsy Siegel, whose former apartment is now the setting for the Tower Bar, one of the hottest hang-outs in LA. Inspired by the glamour of early Hollywood, the chic Tower Bar was designed by internationally acclaimed decorator Paul Fortune, with walnut-paneled walls, discreet seating and a fireplace. While guests sip cocktails and listen to the playing of famed jazz pianist Paige Cavenaugh in the rose-colored light, they enjoy sweeping views of the city. It's no wonder Los Angeles magazine chose the Tower Bar as its Top City Pick, praising its handsome and rich appointments as a scene reminiscent of private men's clubs.
Rumor has it that the Grande Dame of Boston hotels, the oldest Ritz-Carlton in the United States, is on the market. Located on fashionable Newbury Street and the Public Garden, the 273-room luxury hotel celebrated its 75th anniversary with a major renovation in 2002. As reported by the Boston Herald:
India-based newspapers and at least one TV station reported yesterday that Indian Hotels Co. Ltd., owner of Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, will buy the Ritz for $170 million. But New York-based Millennium Partners, which has owned the Boston hotel for seven years, said it has not reached a deal to sell it.
Apparently, since the last summer purchase of The Pierre in Manhattan, Taj Hotels has been on the prowl for similar properties in gateway US cities "to build a five-star hotel brand under The Pierre flag."
Say goodbye to nasty airline food. Executive Chef Gordon Maybury has designed delicious and healthy menus for First and Business Class menus of Lufthansa outbound flights from the US. Starting in November, passengers will indulge in selections inspired from the hotel's Fives restaurant, including pistachio dusted shrimp with sweet pea tarragon flan appetizer, vanilla thyme roasted halibut with baby bok choy and fondant potato, and wild berry charlotte in its own consommé with sweet cream, and a selection of international cheeses. This culinary partnership will continue throughout 2007, with Lufthansa featuring rotating menus from the chefs at the Peninsula Chicago and Peninsula Beverly Hills in addition to the Peninsula New York.