January 19, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The AAA five-diamond Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua is Hawaii's premier golf resort. Surrounded by sweeping greens, a historic pineapple plantation, and the rolling blue of the Pacific, the resort is Maui's finest. (It's home to the season-opening, champions only, PGA TOUR event: the Mercedes-Benz Championship.) The facilities take your breath away: six tennis courts, a basketball court, a 10,000-sq-ft three-tiered swimming pool, two outdoor whirlpool spas, nine-hole putting green, croquet and bocce ball lawn, shuffleboard, the 7,000-sq-ft fitness room and spa, and a secluded beach. As if this wasn't enough, the celebrated resort has just announced plans for a big-time transformation. The detailed renovation will feature enhanced dining restaurants, upgrades to the Spa, additional children's activities, 363 renovated guestrooms, and 107 full-ownership Residential Suites. Inspired by the natural beauty of the islands, the interior design concept will use indigenous materials (such as coconut and shells) and feature traditional Hawaiian artwork. Construction kicks off on July 2 and is scheduled for completion by the Holiday Season 2007.
Situated on the shores of Lake Placid, this elegant Adirondack hideaway is beloved for its warmth and gracious hospitality. For decades the traditional inn has delighted its guests with its beautiful setting, excellent facilities, and impeccable service. The Mirror Lake Inn has been a place where memories are made and traditions begin. The inn has been a part of guests' marriage proposals, anniversaries, birthdays, family reunions, quiet romantic weekends and other memorable events. In light of this fact, the inn is now running a Memory Contest... Submit your best memory for a chance to win a free weekend for two at the inn, including dinner at The View, spa treatments, and breakfasts. Second and third place winners will receive Mirror Lake Inn gift certificates. Share your Mirror Lake Inn Memory by April 16, 2007, when the staff will choose three finalists.
Thus far, many of these submissions are decidedly romantic, illustrating Mirror Lake Inn as the place to be for Valentine's Day. The Gallery of Memories is a collection of first-person testimonials which describe the inn as an unforgettable spot for a honeymoon, engagement, or Valentine's Day getaway. The inn is now offering two special Valentine's Day escapes. The Mirror Lake Inn Valentine's Day Package includes overnight accommodations in an elegant Marcy Room, Champagne and chocolate covered strawberries, dinner for two at The View, and breakfast for two. Available February 11-15, 2007, priced at $300 per evening, per couple. For a more lavish getaway, opt for the Valentine's Day Indulgence Package, which includes overnight accommodations in a Noonmark Room, Champagne and chocolate covered strawberries, special dinner menu prepared by Chef Sorgule, and a Swedish massage for two. Available from February 11-15, 2007, priced at $450 per evening, per couple.
Get this. Loews has launched an awesome contest where you can win a luxurious weekend escape at any Loews Hotel of your choice, including the hot new Lake Las Vegas Resort. Submission is easy. Tune in to The Apprentice on January 21, 2007 on NBC. Log on here. Answer a question about the show, and receive a compilation CD of ten number 1 songs, and you'll also be automatically entered to win one of five long weekend stays at any Loews Hotel of your choice.
Only the finest five star hotels can become members of The Leading Hotels of the World, the world-renowned collection of 430 of the world's best hotels. These small luxury hotels, resorts, and famous stately hotels offer unparalleled luxury and first-class service for a discriminating few. So when LHW announces its annual award winners, travelers (and, indeed, the whole world of luxury hospitality) pays attention. The 2006 International Convention was held in Barcelona, where LHW announced its new Commitment to Excellence Awards, acknowledging hotels like Uppal's Orchid in New Delhi and One Aldwych in London for their exceptional community service programs. And (...drum roll please) taking the Gold for the Leaders Club Awards was the Hay-Adams Hotel in Washington DC, the historic landmark which offers guests the most prestigious address in the nation's capital. Overlooking the White House, Lafayette Square, and St. John's Church, the Hay-Adams has long been the choice of Presidents and international dignitaries who enjoy the hotel's famous personalized service, plush accommodations, and one-of-a-kind amenities.
The highest rated ski resort in New England, Topnotch Resort and Spa is nestled in the rolling Green Mountains of Vermont on 120 wooded acres. In addition to excellent skiing at Stowe, the four season luxury resort offers an abundance of recreational pursuits including mountain biking, snowshoeing, hiking, sleigh rides, heated swimming pools and cross-country skiing. After a day on the slopes (the Ski Concierge will deliver lift tickets directly to your door), relax in the critically acclaimed Spa (choose from 120 treatments and luxury services), before taking in the extraordinary views at the resort's signature restaurant, Norma's. Because the snow's been scarce this winter, the resort is offering some incredible special offers to entice travelers for a sophisticated getaway. Lock in great rates and valuable perks by booking a winter stay at Topnotch Resort and Spa, an excellent place to enjoy the season, whatever the weather. With the Topnotch In-Season Special, enjoy a $150 Resort Credit for every night of your stay from Sunday through Thursday, to be used toward incidental charges at on-site restaurants, in-room dining, Topnotch Spa and the Tennis Center. Available through March 31, 2007. With the Bed and Breakfast Special, enjoy a newly decorated Deluxe Room at Topnotch for just $299 per room, per night (based on double occupancy), including Full American Breakfast for two daily, hot tea and homemade cookies served every afternoon in Topnotch's fireside living room, and Spa access. Available through March 31, 2007. Advance reservations required.
It's no wonder the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club is the recipient of the coveted AAA five diamond award, one of only 30 such resorts in the United States. With its opulent accommodations and top recreational facilities, this 300 acre oceanfront resort leaves nothing to be desired. Miles of windswept Florida beaches. 36 holes of golf. 15 hydro tennis courts. Four heated pools. Bicycling, boating, and fishing. Excellent restaurants and lounges. Children's Playground and Nursery... Truly a landmark in American hospitality, the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club has indulged three generations of guests since its celebrated opening in 1928. To quote Zagat: "rooms and service are rated extraordinary to perfection."
But now Ponte Vedra Inn and Club has improved on perfection-- with the November opening of its new, sophisticated spa. At 30,000 square feet, the state-of-the-art facility is the region's largest. Situated on three acres amidst signature waterfalls and water sculptures, the spa offers an extensive menu of over 100 services including the Lomi Lomi Massage, Fiji Tropical Isle Coconut Scrub, Rose Hydrating Cocoon, Hydra Pure Hydration Facial, La Stone Therapy, Body Polish, Hot Paraffin Manicures, Pedicures, and Hair Care. There is even a Men's Barber Shop on-site. Escape to Florida's sunshine and indulge in some luxurious spa treatments at Ponte Vedra Inn and Club. For a limited time, guests can take advantage of the Spa Getaway Package, which includes lodging and a pampering spa service, from just $269 a night (based on double occupancy). Available through February.
January 16, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
When Cunard unveils its newest ship, Queen Victoria in December 2007, three ships will sail together under the Cunard banner for the first time ever. The ships-- Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth 2, and the Queen Victoria-- are part of a legacy of ocean-crossing that symbolizes the refinement and elegance of a bygone era, when trans-Atlantic journeys were civilized events for the privileged few. These glorious voyages continue today with ocean liners that are "floating palaces of art deco splendor and Edwardian excess." Cunard pampers guest with every comfort and elegance in the ultimate luxury travel experience. The maiden voyage of the Queen Victoria is scheduled for December 11, 2007. Amenities include the dramatic three-tier Grand Lobby, Winter Garden (with glass roof), Royal Court Theater, a two-story library, and a Todd English Mediterranean style restaurant. Sweeping staircases, soaring ceilings, and elaborate chandeliers will dazzle the passengers. 86 percent of the 1,007 guest staterooms will be outside, and 71 percent will have a private balcony.
January 15, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
This Valentine's Day, hit the slopes at Aspen and indulge in a stay at the quintessential Aspen hotel. Opened in 1889 at the height of Colorado's silver boom, this luxurious boutique hotel has become a symbol of Aspen itself. Surrounded by the majestic Rocky mountains, Hotel Jerome is just minutes from downtown Aspen. The hotel features 92 sophisticated guest rooms which have been individually decorated with luxurious amenities. Guests enjoy exquisite American cuisine, excellent service, year-round heated pool and two Jacuzzis, and ski resort transfers. Hotel Jerome has created the Be My Valentine Package for the perfect Valentine's getaway. Available from February 13-15, 2007, the package includes deluxe room or suite accommodations, Champagne and a special treat prepared by Pastry Chef Heather Campbell in your room upon arrival, daily lift tickets for two, candlelit dinner for two in the Century Room, nightly bath butler service, and daily continental breakfast buffet in Jacob's Corner. Rates start at $595, two nights minimum stay required.
Head to the Winter Blues Festival at Coeur D'Alene Golf and Spa Resort and ditch those winter blues. The idyllic landscape at the resort's lakeside setting may be cure enough for the inevitable wintry blahs (not to mention the luxurious accommodations, spa treatments, and sumptuous cuisine). But this award-winning destination resort has designed an added enticement: the Winter Blues Festival on the weekend of February 16-18, 2007. The Northwest's preeminent blues artists will be showcased at this inaugural event, including Seattle's Lloyd Jones Struggle and "Blueswoman of the Year" Nicole Fournier (& Her 3 lb. Universe). The lineup features nine bands playing the blues for some 15 hours over the three evenings. All the musical events will take place at four intimate music venues conveniently located inside the resort, including two stages inside the newly remodeled Conference Center as well as an exciting Blues Cruise on the lake Saturday after dark. Take advantage of the special Winter Blues Festival Package which includes accommodations and access to all the music venues for the weekend. Packages begin at $149 per person nightly. Daily tickets are $10 Friday and Sunday, and $35 on Saturday.
This is one of the best restaurants in the Pacific Northwest. Hastings House prides itself on incorporating the finest regional ingredients into its pris fixe menu. Each day, Chef Marcel Kauer designs a new menu to reflect the freshest local products: herbs, greens and fruit from the kitchen garden and orchards, fresh seafood from nearby waters, and meat, poultry and game from Salt Spring Island farmers. These constantly-changing menus, an effortless balance of texture and taste, revolve around what is fresh and in season from the "Organic Gardening Capital of Canada" (aka Salt Spring Island.) Winner of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for its remarkable wine list, the restaurant is a culinary delight as much for its food as for its excellent service and spectacular views of Ganges Harbor. The four-course menu, with amuse bouche and palate cleansing sorbet, is priced at $95 (three courses is $85). Note: Now you can take a little piece of the kitchen home with you with the Hastings House Country Estate cookbook. The elegant 96-page hardcover blends colorful history with a passion for food. Great recipes are interspersed with fascinating anecdotes and stunning photography.