LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
March 14, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Forget mildewed tents and crummy sleeping bags. Today's luxury travelers are opting for glamorous camping experiences, called "glamping" in a recent AP article. As I've oohed and ahhed about before, Four Seasons has opened a tented camp in the Golden Triangle of Thailand, where lucky guests are pampered with wifi and multi-line phones in their "tents," seductive spa services, five-course dining, and a free-form pool. Another example of this trend in "rustic luxury" travel: glamping it up at Clayoquot Wilderness Resort in British Columbia, where tents are outfitted with Persian carpets, down duvets, antique dressers, pressed-glass oil lamps, heirloom accessories, and-- in addition to wireless Internet-- a remote-controlled propane wood-stove.
March 14, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
Visit the Maroma Resort & Spa within 20 miles south of Cancun's international airport and 45 minutes from Cancun on the Mexican Caribbean, at the Riviera Maya and enjoy the 25 acres of jungle preserve this secluded, luxurious hideaway sits on.
Included in all Maroma room rates are:
- Full daily a la carte breakfast in the resort Restaurants or Room Service
- Welcome Margarita cocktail upon arrival (the famous Maroma Margarita)
- High-speed internet access in all the rooms
- One snorkeling trip per guest, per stay, to the world's second largest barrier reef
- Round-trip airport transfers for two (private transportation can be arranged at additional cost)
- Use of fitness center
Keep in mind (whether you have children or avoid them), that no children under 12 are allowed at the property year round, and between January 1 to April 30 and December 22 to 31, no children under 16 are allowed on property.
If you make reservations with Five Star Alliance, in addition to the amenities above, you will also receive a welcome fruit basket upon arrival and a surprise departure gift.
March 13, 2007
By: Courtney W. May
"I have a hobby. I have the world's largest collection of sea shells. I keep it scattered on beaches all over the world. Maybe you've seen some of it." - Steven Wright Coastal Living Magazine has come up with their list of the top 10 shelling beaches in North America - "Winter storms stir up a bounty of prize specimens. Here's where to hunt." See if you agree with their assesment:1. Sanibel Island, Florida2. Ocracoke Island, North Carolina3. Bandon, Oregon4. Galveston, Texas5. Tunnels Beach, Kauai, Hawaii6. Flag Ponds Nature Park, Lusby, Maryland7. Cumberland Island National Seashore, Georgia8. Eleuthera Island, The Bahamas9. Great Peconic Bay, Long Island, New York10. Stinson Beach, California Read more about each location over at Coastal Living or leave us your own thoughts below.
By: Courtney W. May
Charleston Place, the stunning Orient-Express property located at 205 Meeting Street in historic Charleston, is easily one of the world's finest hotels. Elegant guest rooms and warm Southern hospitality evoke the ambience of a private residence straight out of the Old World. Consistently ranked in the "Top 10 Hotels in North America" by Conde Nast Traveler, Charleston Place offers the sumptuous European-style Spa, clay tennis court, heated horizon edged swimming pool, and the Charleston Grill, one of the best restaurants in the country. And now Charleston Place has devised a special value-added package for business travelers. Amenities include complimentary Continental breakfast in the Palmetto Cafe or through in-room dining, local phone calls and long-distance access, valet parking, shoe shine, daily newspaper, and business center services including faxing, copying, and use of on-site personal computers and clerical support. The package, with deluxe accommodations for Sunday through Thursday night stays, is available for $378 per night. Subject to availability.
March 12, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
The Hay-Adams is almost exactly a mile from the Cherry Blossoms at the Tidal Basin and on the walk over you'd get to pass 1) The White House, 2) Old Executive Office Building, 3) Washington Monument and 4) The National World War II Memorial. This year, the predicted peak bloom will be April 4th (although they start to bloom around March 30th).The Hay-Adams "Cherry Blossom Package" includes a minimum of 2 nights, Cherry Blossom Fesitval information, a special amenity, and complimentary parking (normally $35.84 per night with the valet). Rates start at $369 for the package and will sell out quickly (check real-time availability here). Other packages available to welcome back spring to the area include "Spring Break" (low rates, breakfast and accommodations) and the "Sake Dinner Package" (five-course Asian influenced dinner, 5 different Japanese sake, breakfast, free parking, and of course the room). If you live in the area or are visiting and not staying at the Hay-Adams (shame on you) but want to partake in the "Sake Dinner" the night before the Cherry Blossom Parade and Festival, the cost for two is $150 plus tax and gratuity. Call the Lafayette Room at 202-220-4853 to make reservations - 6:30 pm Reception, 7:30 pm Dinner.
See the nation's capital at its best, when the famous cherry trees are abloom. The National Cherry Blossom Festival, the annual citywide event featuring daily cultural performances and special events, celebrates the 95th anniversary of the Japanese gift of the cherry blossom trees and the ongoing friendship between the citizens of the United States and Japan. This year the festival will be held from March 31-April 15, 2007, with a parade on April 14, 2007. The Madison, A Loews Hotel, celebrates the spring season with a special Cherry Blossom Package, from just $229 per night, based on double occupancy (excluding taxes). The package includes overnight accommodations for two in a Deluxe guest room, complimentary parking, and a special turn-down amenity.
March 9, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
Tony McHale is the current General Manager at Keswick Hall in Keswick, Virginia - just outside Charlottesville. He took some time out of his busy schedule (you'd be busy too if you had an Arnold Palmer golf course at your office) to answer some of our questions.
Five Star Alliance: How did you come to be General Manager of the hotel?
Five Star Alliance: Tell us what you feel is the most distinctive or unique feature of your hotel? What best describes the personality of the hotel?
Tony McHale: Keswick is like a country home. It is intimate and charming with gracious service and hospitality, in a breath taking setting, on a private 600 acre Estate.
Five Star Alliance: What is the best thing about the hotel's location? What is your favorite thing to do in the surrounding area?
Tony McHale: Private, yet just 15 minutes from downtown Charlottesville. Curl up with a book in front of one of the six fireplaces, or enjoy golf on our private Arnold Palmer Championship Golf course. Hot air ballooning, shooting, riding, fishing or biking are one of many pursuits.
Five Star Alliance: Can you share the names of any famous guests who have stayed at Keswick Hall, or perhaps regulars that return on a periodic basis?
Tony McHale: Mic Jagger, James Brown, Michael J. Fox, Sissy Spacek, Morgan Freeman, Robert Duvall, Anthony Hopkins, Julianne Moore, and Paul Newman to name a few.
Five Star Alliance: Which do you consider to be the best rooms in the house? Not just the suites, but also any particular standard rooms that have great views or unusual advantages?
Tony McHale: Balcony State Rooms 9 and 27: Both are corner rooms located on the 2nd floor. They have private balconies and exquisite views overlooking the Arnold Palmer Golf Course. They are requested time and time again by our regular guests.
Five Star Alliance: If you were checking into a standard room at the hotel, which one would you request?
Tony McHale: A favorite Signature Room (standard) would be # 10. It has a full size balcony overlooking the Horizon Edge Pool and Arnold Palmer Golf Course.
Five Star Alliance: Who are your customers and where do they come from?
Tony McHale: Strongest markets are New York and Washington, though people travel from all over including Europe.
Five Star Alliance: If you were considering staying at the hotel as a guest, what would you want to know about the hotel before checking in?
Tony McHale: Check-in/out times, dining options (both on and off property), recreational activities, things to do in the area: shopping, wineries, etc, parking fee, and safety deposit box.
Five Star Alliance: Other than your own, can you share your choices of two or three of what you consider to be the greatest hotels in the world? And why you think they are special?
Celebrate Easter traditions at Kiawah and treat your family to a memorable stay at the AAA Five Diamond-rated Sanctuary Hotel or in a spacious private home or villa. The weather is spectacular, the variety of activities is endless, not to mention the fantastic Easter Dining and fun holiday festivities. (Sand sculpting contest, fabulous food and wine bar, live music, Easter Egg Hunt, and a special appearance by the Easter Bunny!)
Take advantage of the Sanctuary Easter Package starting from just $639 per room, which includes one night accommodation in a garden view room, buffet breakfast for two, and the Grand Easter buffet for two adults. With the Villa Easter Package at Kiawah, enjoy buffet breakfast for two, and Easter Buffet at Osprey Point (for two), along with the luxurious accommodations in a one bedroom scenic view villa. Starting from $382 per night, seven-night minimum stay required.
Warm weather, sunny skies and great conditions on the mountains. What could be finer than spring skiing at Vail? Named "Number 1 Ski Resort Hotel in North America" by the readers of Departures magazine, The Lodge at Vail boasts an unbeatable location, in the heart of Vail Village and at the base of the mountain. World-class skiing and snowboarding are right outside the front door. Book the Four-night Ski Package at The Lodge at Vail and enjoy rates as low as $229 per room. The package includes four nights accommodations, a four-day lift ticket for two to Vail and Beaver Creek, and daily breakfast for two at Cucina Rustica.
PS. Rates are so low partly because renovations are currently underway at The Lodge, including the addition of the new Avanyu Spa. Opening in late 2007, the 7,725-square-foot, state-of-the-art spa will feature 11 treatment rooms and world-class facilities.
The luxurious Chateau Elan Winery and Resort, the grand French-style Chateau surrounded by 3,500 acres of vineyards just 40 minutes from Atlanta, is also home to their very own Irish Pub. Paddy's will be hosting their 9th Annual St Patrick's Day Celebration on March 17, 2007. Sponsored by Guinness, the event will feature food stations with all your favorite Irish-fare and live music within the Winery Pavilion and within the Pub til last call. Ticket booths will be setup so all food and beverages will be sold festival-style using tickets. Starting at 12 p.m. After the festivities, retire to your lavish guest room, and cure next day's hang-over with an indulgent spa treatment in the world-renowned 33,000 square foot spa.