LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
February 23, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The line-up for Jazz Fest is looking good. Who's not going to be there? Dr. John, Rod Stewart, Van Morrison, Norah Jones, Brad Paisley, Jill Scott, Irma Thomas, Ludacris, Bonnie Raitt, Jerry Lee Lewis, Pharoah Sanders, Lucinda Williams, Soulive, Harry Connick Jr., Steely Dan, ZZ Top, John Legend, Allen Toussaint, Counting Crows, New Edition, George Benson, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Allman Brothers Band, Better Than Ezra, Joss Stone, Stephen Marley featuring Jr. Gong, Taj Mahal... (And the list goes on, and on.) Scheduled for April 21-29 and May 4-6, 2007, New Orleans' Jazz Fest draws tens of thousands of fans annually. Celebrate the rebirth of the Big Easy and enjoy ten stages of simultaneous music programming complemented by an unparalleled Food Fair with 100 varieties of authentic Louisiana cuisine (jambalaya, anyone?) Head to New Orleans for Jazz Fest and shack up at The International House, the stylish, contemporary boutique hotel just two blocks from the French Quarter. "If New Orleans is the best place in the country to party, then International House is the best place to sleep it off," says Travel and Leisure about this hip spot.
Get a load of this fantastic offer at the Whiteface Lodge. Stay three nights at the special rate of $395 per night for two people, and receive a $300 credit towards your room rate at check-out. Now pick that jaw up from the floor, and call 1-800-903-4045 to make reservations. Available March 1-May 24, 2007, subject to availability, one bedroom suite only. Nestled in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains in Lake Placid, the luxurious Whiteface Lodge offers the rustic sophistication of the Adirondack Great Camps with refined service and contemporary amenities. "The whole place radiates rustic good taste," says the Conde Nast Traveler Hot List. Indulge your inner epicurean at the celebrated Kanu restaurant, and enjoy Chef Brian Moyers' culinary creativity at the Exhibition Kitchen. Relax at the premier spa, the only spa on the East Coast to offer 24-hour treatments in the Spa Suites. Exciting resort activities include The Canoe Club, health and fitness center, year-round heated swimming pool, year-round ice skating rink, movie theater, family game room, ten-pin bowling alley, platform tennis, and hiking and cross-country skiing trails.
Modern decadence meets old world charm at the Windsor Arms Hotel, Toronto's favorite boutique hotel. At this luxurious hideaway-- a favorite host for fashion shoots and exclusive parties-- guest rooms are inspired by a 1920's French style, with custom mahogany furnishings and cozy fireplaces. The hotel is home to The Courtyard Café, a star on Toronto's culinary scene, which recently debuted a brand new menu. Get ready to drool. Start with some scrumptious, tasty delights including Dungeness crab and chorizo sausage rice cakes, sweet potato gnocchi with roasted oyster and Portobello mushrooms in asiago-saffron cream sauce, wok-friend mussels, or wild salmon and scallop sashimi "salad." For your second plate, choose from date-crusted Australian lamb with mango-coconut chutney, duck confit with roasted fennel, winter squash, and pearl onion risotto with truffle essence, slow braised Ontario venison shank with northern white bean-leek cassoulet, porcini mushroom demi and shaved black truffle, or miso-maple black cod with soba seaweed salad and shimeji mushroom tempura. Mmmmm.
Overlooking the Miles River by the Chesapeake Bay, the Inn at Perry Cabin is an elegant circa-1816 manor house located on 25 scenic acres. An Orient-Express Hotel, the Inn at Perry Cabin is only a short stroll from the Victorian resort town of St. Michaels on the Eastern shore of Maryland. Steeped in history, the award-winning hotel offers 80 guest rooms with stunning water views, private terraces, in suite fireplaces and oversized bathrooms. This is the perfect hideaway to warm up the winter evenings. From now through March 31, 2007, enjoy savings of 40 percent with a special offer of 3 nights for the price of 2 at the Inn at Perry Cabin. In addition to the great savings, guests enjoy fun added amenities: board games by the fire at Purser's Pub or delivered to your room on the first evening, DVD movie of your choice delivered to the room on the second evening, and candlelit turndown service, cordials in room and a bubble bath on the third evening. And let's not forget the freshly-baked cookies with each evening's turndown service. The package is priced at $540 for three nights based on double occupancy in a Signature room.
Look out, South Florida; St. Regis is coming to the beach. Scheduled to open on May 1, 2007, the new St. Regis Fort Lauderdale is bringing a whole new level of luxury to Florida's Gold Coast. With signature St. Regis Butler Service and exceptional facilities, St. Regis Fort Lauderdale promises ultra-luxury for guests: whether pool-side, beach-side, at the spa, golfing, or fishing. Celebrated interior designers Hirsch Bedner Associates have created an indulgent haven of seaside elegance; the 166 guest rooms, including 8 oceanfront and 20 Intracoastal suites, were designed "to evoke the glamorous era of vintage yachting and luxe travel," and showcase sweeping views of the Atlantic and the Intracoastal Waterway. The hotel will feature a state-of-the-art fitness facility, 8,500 sq. foot exclusive St. Regis Spa, pristine outdoor pool area, private cabana terrace, business center, and dazzling dining room.
Smack in the middle of "the world's most absurd adult playground" (to quote Aarib Gulley in "Double Down," Outside Traveler's Winter issue), amidst the glitz and all that nonstop action, Canyon Ranch SpaClub provides a quiet haven of tranquility. Located on the fourth floor of the Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino, the spa is a 69,000 square-ft mega-facility complete with health and wellness center, massage, skin care and body treatments, gyms and weights rooms, therapeutic pools, and a three-story rock-climbing wall. Sumptuous massages and treatments truly run the gamut. As described by Fodor's:
The extensive treatment menu here covers any desire, including Tibetan Bowl Healing and an Ayurvedic herbal rejuvenating treatment. The unusual Rasul Ceremony is a Middle Eastern treatment of herbal steam and medicinal mud in a tiled steam chamber -- perfect for couples. The nutrition, wellness, and exercise physiology departments also offer free lectures, Lifetime Nutrition Consultation, and acupuncture. An adjoining café serves healthy cuisine and smoothies.
In an era of premium air travel for the uber-rich, the likes of which has never been seen before, Singapore Airlines proves itself a trendsetter with the launch of its new fleet of Boeing 777-300ER's. As described by ABC News, the "Orient Express of the skies" makes the 20-hour flights seem short:
For a mere $10,000, first class airline passengers can now rest their champagne glasses on mahogany tables as they hunker down in Givenchy sleep suits in 30-inch leather seats that turn into cozy beds.
This is luxury flying at its finest, with the world's widest First and Business Class seats, enhanced personal space, awesome entertainment systems, and tempting cuisine. In addition, Singapore Airlines is scheduled to launch its new 555-seat Airbus 380 in October, which will boast a bar on each deck.
A member of Starwood's prestigious Luxury Collection, the US Grant is an historical classic, built in 1910 by Ulysses S. Grant Jr. to honor his war-hero father. After a $52 million renovation, the legendary Edwardian hotel re-opened in November 2006. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the US Grant blends classic beaux arts architecture with exceptional contemporary design including $6.5 million in newly commissioned art. Walk through the grand entrance on Fourth Avenue, step into the opulent lobby, and experience the era of elegance.
The pinnacle of the 11-story hotel are the two bi-level Presidential suites. These suites offer multi-level residential comfort in the heart of the cosmopolitan city, just steps from the lively Gaslamp Quarter. These enormous suites are comprised of an upper floor private master bedroom and lower level living room and formal dining room, exquisitely furnished. Of course this posh Presidential Suite offers more than creature comforts: the Luxury Collection bed, Italian linens, plush robes, warm slippers, and the latest in audio and visual technology perfect the sumptuous experience.
The landmark Hay-Adams Hotel, the residence of choice while visiting the nation's capital, has scored another award to add to its impressive list. Winners of the 2007 Condé Nast Johansens Awards for Excellence were announced by Cindy Crawford on February 5 at LA's Hotel Bel-Air:
The awards are given annually to those properties worldwide that represent the finest standards and best value for money in luxury and independent accommodation, as chosen by its readers, hotel guests and Condé Nast Johansens inspection teams.
And the winner for Most Excellent Hotel (USA and Canada) is... DC's supremely luxurious Hay-Adams. Can't really say that I'm surprised. This hotel has serious bragging rights: a location just across Lafayette Square from The White House, warm service, impeccable style, and an impressive history.
According to the US Department of Transportation, there are more than half-million pets which fly each year. But navigating the rules and regs for flying with Fido can be tricky. Which airlines boycott pugs? When are fees required? Which airlines ban pets from the cabin? What if Fido needs his Prozac? CNN's got the skinny, with a list of helpful hints about the different airline policies. A sampling: pets must be considered "healthy" (with health certificates sometimes required to prove it), Southwest bans pets altogether while American and Northwest charge $80 for pets to fly in the cabin, and of course, no snakes are allowed on the plane. (Tip: "Do not feed or give water to your pet two hours before departure.")