LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
March 28, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
At Deer Valley, 300 inches of snow annually and only 6,500 tickets sold each day means a noncrowded paradise for skiers. Add to that the excellent attention to service and cuisine, which have really distinguished the resort above and beyond the other greats. Outside Traveler magazine rated Deer Valley the Best Luxury Mountain 2007:
A swarm of uniformed employees (one for every four ski-resort guests) greet your car in the heated driveways and carry your skis to the slopes; the on-mountain cafeterias are appointed with silver service, marble cash-register stands, and brass-trimmed carving stations...
Where to stay? America's most celebrated ski-in, ski-out resort: The Stein Eriksen Lodge. There's a reason this place is AAA five-diamond and Mobil four-star rated. The legendary lodge is the ultimate year-round luxury destination, with a gorgeous outdoor pool and fitness facility, head-to-toe pampering at the spa, and ski attendants who provide warmed up boots and a hot drink upon your return from the slopes. And starting April 1, 2007, the resort's "Value Season" kicks in, which means rooms for a steal starting at $400.
March 27, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Ahh, The Biltmore: the sprawling national historic landmark which showers guests in a good dose of nostalgic elegance right outside Miami. Step into the lobby and you'll catch my drift. Marble columns, massive arches, painted ceiling, colorful Oriental rugs, and of course, High Tea. Guest rooms are likewise luxurious (spruced up after the hotel's big renovation). Grandiose and majestic, The Biltmore is world-famous for its facilities: enormous health club, on-site golf course, and the largest hotel swimming pool in the continental U.S. As recently featured in Luxury Spa Finder magazine, The Biltmore is also the spot to find a spa experience that's "high luxe at half off:"
For $750 (taxes included) the Biltmore Spa Splendor package seems too good to be true: a junior suite for two nights and a $250 spa credit.
Located on the seventh floor, the Spa is an oasis of water cascades, flowing rivers, fountains, and bamboo floors. Treatments run the gamut-- from massages to rejuvenating body treatments, deep cleansing facials to Terme Spa baths.
Stay 4 nights, play 4 free! Enjoy all the fun of Orlando's action-packed theme parks and relax at the AAA four-diamond award-winning Loews hotels onsite at Universal Orlando. Book four or more nights at Loews and receive two free tickets for unlimited admission to Orlando's top attractions. Book a stay at Portofino Bay Hotel and enjoy the Mandara Spa, three themed pools, Campo Portofino children's activity center, and the festive harbor piazza filled with Italian sports cars and Vespas. Or choose the Hard Rock Hotel and check out the 12,000 square foot pool with sand beach, massive slide, and underwater stereo. Or escape to the Royal Pacific Resort and enjoy its Polynesian themed pools, restaurants, and entertainment.
4 nights= 2 free tickets to both Universal Orlando theme parks.
5 nights= 2 free tickets to the Universal theme parks, plus 1 free ticket to Wet 'n Wild.
6 nights= 2 free tickets to both Universal Orlando theme parks, Wet 'n Wild, and SeaWorld Orlando. Available April 15-June 6, 2006.
As recently featured in the New York Times, Mont Tremblant offers mountain chic just 80 miles from Montreal. Second-home owners are attracted to this beautiful ski resort, fashionable but not overly glamorous; the NYT raves:
Tucked into the Laurentian Mountains less than 80 miles north of Montreal, Mont Tremblant is a stunning Quebec ski town perched at the southern tip of Lake Tremblant. It somehow manages to blend the kitsch of a Disney-like ski resort, the elegance of a small cosmopolitan city and the serenity of fir-and-pine-covered mountains.
The place to stay is the Fairmont Tremblant, situated in the heart of the picturesque village at the base of the majestic Laurentian peaks. Here, you can climb aboard a high-speed chair lift directly at your doorstep. The facilities at this award-winning hotel are state-of-the-art: heated outdoor and indoor pools, spa and health club, golf, excellent culinary options, and beautiful guest rooms.
March 23, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The Book-Cadillac Hotel will soon return to its former splendor. Detroit is going through a renaissance, and the $180 million renovation and reopening of the famous hotel is the ultimate symbol of Detroit's rebirth. Rising from the ashes of decline and neglect, the once-luxurious hotel will-- once again-- dazzle as the Grande Dame of the city. As described in a recent AP article:
The Book-Cadillac Hotel was the epitome of glamour when it opened its doors in 1924. The world's tallest hotel, it boasted an opulent, Italian Renaissance-inspired design. Over the years it hosted presidents, Hollywood stars and infamous gangsters.After standing vacant for more than two decades -- the gilded interior stripped by scavengers, the ballrooms exposed to the elements -- the Book-Cadillac is poised to again become Detroit's ultimate luxury destination.
The hotel will open its door in late 2008 as a new 455-room Westin hotel, with luxurious residential condos crowning the top of the building.
March 23, 2007
By: Guest Writer
I snuck off to Vegas for a Bachelor's party over the weekend in one of the few JetBlue flights that boarded during last Friday's east coast snowstorm. The 16 of us booked our accommodations at Treasure Island (now called TI) because it was the most affordable option for a big group. TI's facilities were for the most part mediocre but their recently installed spa "Wet" had an impressive layout, great massage options, and a fantastic weight room. Our room at TI was a Premier Suite and it was equipped with two marble bathrooms, a terrific Elite SensaTIonal bed, and a 50 inch flat screen - great for us group of guys.
However, my tastes for entertainment were better satisfied at The Venetian (located directly across the street from TI and recommended by Five Star Alliance) which was currently undergoing some new construction (but only mildly noticeable) to add another building/wing. The addition to the Venetian is nearly complete and when finished, it is proclaimed to be the "Biggest Hotel in the World." I spent a lot of free time in their new poker room - opened in late 2006. It was massive and the poker tables were the nicest I had ever laid my hands on (pun intended). I also made my way to the Venetian's nightclub Tao which is a big celebrity hotspot and deserves to be – it features the new trend of combining fine dining and nightlife into one.
The weekend was dubbed by ESPN (because of March Madness) as "the best four days of the year. It starts at 9 a.m. on Thursday and doesn't end until 7 p.m. on Sunday. It's just a whirlwind. It looks like a frat party from morning 'til night. Those are special days." That's a great way to describe a destination bachelor party in Las Vegas.
By: Guest Writer
March 22, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Escape to the San Diego sunshine for a Spring Break the whole family will enjoy. Consistently ranked as one of the top hotels in the world, Estancia La Jolla is a California Rancho-style coastal retreat surrounded by lush gardens, only minutes from San Diego's attractions and the beaches of La Jolla. At this garden oasis by the sea, indulge in memorable meals, pool-side lounging, and excellent spa services. The world-class facilities and gracious hospitality ensure an extraordinary spring getaway. The Spring Break Getaway, priced from $795 for the family of four, is available from March 30-April 14, 2007, and includes:
*Three nights in a luxurious double queen Verandah room
*Family Picnic Lunch and Beach Bundle For Four (includes sand toys, beach blankets, and umbrella)
*Estancia Classic: 2 hour on-site kid's golf clinic hosted by a Torrey Pines Golf Course Instructor. Available for children 7 and up.
*Flick & Float movie tickets for family movie night by the pool (Each Saturday Night at 6:30pm)
*Complimentary Valet Parking
Enjoy a last winter romp at Whistler, North America's top ski destination. Whistler Blackcomb, the biggest, baddest ski resort on the continent, boasts the biggest vertical rise in North America (a mere 5,280 feet) and the most terrain (8,171 acres). Check into the Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside and enjoy the year-round outdoor heated swimming pool and the hot tubs with spectacular views of the mountains. The award-winning boutique hotel offers 121 well-appointed rooms, a fitness center, spa, steam room, and the popular Dubh Linn Gate Restaurant and Pub.
Play like a pro (or at least feel like one) on some of the top rated courses in the world. The AAA five-diamond Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, the magnificent destination resort which boasts one of the best spas in North America, is offering the Championship Golf Package for avid golf enthusiasts to walk in the footsteps of some of the PGA TOUR's finest players. Now's your chance to take your best shot on what the resort's Golf Concierge calls "the Four Grand Slam Courses" in the Valley. Package includes accommodations, daily breakfast, one round of golf per person (per paid night) at any of the resort's preferred courses, complimentary use of practice facility prior to your round, transportation to/from the courses, and, of course, complimentary Golf Concierge service. Starting from $569 per room, this spring.
These days, we're all about sustainable luxury. And this spot--5,000 acres of raw and gorgeous Colorado terrain-- will take your breath away. Devil's Thumb Ranch is a year-round resort and spa with rustically upscale accommodations, fine dining, year-round swimming pools overlooking the mountains, and winter/summer outdoor recreational activities galore. It's been dubbed "the eco-getaway that leads the way." Outside Magazine applauds the geothermal heating, low-emissions chimneys, and the organic menu with free-range antelope steaks. Located 65 miles west of Denver, the resort ranch sits at the foot of the Continental Divide in the spectacular Rocky Mountains. Thousands of acres of countryside means cross country skiing, snowshoeing, horse back riding, fishing, hiking, downhill skiing, river rafting, and more. After a day exploring this majestic wilderness, relax with a culinary feast and divine fine wines. (Check out the Barrel Room, a hand-crafted wine uncorking room, pictured at right.)