The capital of tech gets its own snazzy Four Seasons. Rooftop pool, walls of contemporary art, floor-to-ceiling views, full-service spa and of course the signature Four Seasons doting service. Welcome to East Palo Alto, the edge of suburban sprawl and office park strip malls just minutes from the ivory towers of higher learning at Stanford. The 200 room hotel is "the centerpiece of the prestigious new University Circle complex" (or is this just a euphemism glorifying another Office Park?) But if you're on business in Palo Alto, what could be better than the classic luxury of Four Seasons with a high tech touch? Where in-room and poolside spa treatments are available after a long day of meetings. And guestrooms are spacious, full of light, and loaded with technology.
Four Seasons Silicon Valley, Official Site
Four Seasons Silicon Valley, Five Star Alliance
Party like a rockstar, or just get pampered like one, at the Sunset Marquis Hollywood hotspot, that's not exactly below the radar, but very much a hidden sanctuary in a tree-lined street just off Sunset Strip's main drag. Where else could you relax in your own magnificent Mediterranean style villa in the heart of the City of Angels? And surrounded by lush gardens, private landscaped terraces, and heated pools, to boot? As befits the hotel of choice for the international jet set and music industry clientele, villas and suites are bountifully equipped with oversized whirlpool tubs, fireplaces, private fax lines and high-speed internet access. And of course there's the on-site private recording studio and buzzing LA hotspot Whiskey Bar (talk about a rock n roll social scene).
Sunset Marquis Hotel and Villas, Official Site
Sunset Marquis Hotel and Villas, Five Star Alliance
The biggest, baddest party of the year (leaps and bounds better than Mardi Gras) has been announced, and this is the year to go. Proudly emerging from reconstruction efforts after Hurricane Katrina, NOLA is as enticing as ever, though there's still a long way to go. And tourism's the ticket to get there. Following its historic tradition, 2006 Jazz Fest promises to be an awesome show, with Fats Domino already signed on to the line-up of legendary musicians. In fact, organizers have announced the show will take place over two weekends, April 28-30 and May 5-7. Advance tickets are $30 per day, and if you act fast, there might still be room at the stunning Windsor Court, consistently awarded as one of the world's finest hotels.
Windsor Court Hotel, Official Site
Windsor Court Hotel, Five Star Alliance
The cat's out of the bag. The ladies are flocking to the AAA five diamond Greenbrier for the March 8-12 scheduled Women's Wonderful Weekend, a relaxing four-day weekend designed just for women. The 4th annual event features an array of talented speakers, including authors Gail Sheehy and Christine Martinello, who lead sessions covering a range of topics (women's health issues, spiritual and mental growth, women in leadership roles, techniques to reduce stress, finance, fashion and beauty, etc). And of course besides the motivational discussions and reflection on personal growth, there's a birthday bash dinner party, "Not So Extreme Makeovers," and plenty of opportunities to divulge in the superb Greenbrier Spa. Rates are on the Modified American Plan (includes breakfast, dinner and a $50 spa voucher) and start at $380 per night single occupancy and $325 per night double occupancy.
The Greenbrier, Official Site
The Greenbrier, Five Star Alliance
February 3, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
TripAdvisor reviews are pretty shameful, resounding with sentiments of disappointment about the overpriced little rooms and office park location. Has the hotel slipped since it lost its Four Seasons identity? Or have the negatives always plagued this place? Though certain trademarks—awesome eats, exquisite balcony views (over the Fashion Island shopping mall, the Pacific shimmers in the distance), superior service and a damn good spa—have stuck around, despite the management change. Besides, where else is there to stay in the OC?
February 2, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Brokeback Mountain was filmed in Canada? (Ang Lee pulled a fast one on us with this Hollywood cost-cutting maneuver.) This fact doesn't seem to deter the hundreds of callers who have contacted the Wyoming tourism office, who want a little piece of that scenery. The phones are ringing off the hook and callers don't seem to give a hoot when they learn the truthful location for the set. The mountains and rugged wilderness of the "cowboy state" are just too tempting. Do you too want a piece of that scenery? The elegantly rustic cabins of the Jenny Lake Lodge, set beneath the glorious Teton range, are a good bet; satisfy your inner cowboy with trail rides, flyfishing and hiking around the Old Western style ranch. Of course you could always take it up a notch at Jackson Hole's Rusty Parrot, which is one of the country's great luxury stand-outs.
You can't beat the Washington Post "What's the Deal?" for superlative Weekly Travel Specials—this week's highlight a much needed Winter Spa Renewal package in the heart of California's magical Sonoma wine country. The elegant Hotel Healdsburg, set on the historic town plaza, is the setting of the much-acclaimed Dry Creek Kitchen, where famed chef Charlie Palmer goes Sonoma-fresh with local, organic ingredients. Enjoy this brilliant cuisine, gardens and pool with jacuzzi, luxurious spa, and the tranquility of Sonoma's surrounding wine country with discounts of $220 for a two-night stay. The Winter Spa Renewal package includes two nights accommodations, $500 worth of spa treatments, and breakfasts. A steal at $876 for two people, available Sunday-Thursday through March 31.
Hotel Healdsburg, Official Site
Hotel Healdsburg, Five Star Alliance
Head west from the Cancun airport, away from the glass and glitz of Mexico's cheesy Caribbean resort capital, and colonial Mexico will hit you smack in the face. The less touristed towns of Merida and Campeche—with cobblestone streets lined by palms and colorful pastel facades and ornate wrought-iron lampposts—are just a few hours drive from the more crowded Disney-esque capital of booze, surf and sun. Here you can discover the exquisite culinary delights (tacos al pastor are my absolute fave), rich history and stunning and secluded Mayan ruins of the Estado de Campeche. The ruins at Palenque and the jungle-shrouded Calukmul are empty compared to Chichen-Itza and sea-facing Tulum. Where to stay? The Hacienda Uayamon is a gracious colonial masterpiece, its ten villas and two suites complete with terraces overlooking the lush jungle gardens, stone plunge pools and day-beds for dreamy afternoon siestas.
The Hacienda Uayamon, Official Site
The Hacienda Uayamon, Five Star Alliance
January 27, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
From Hans Bruland, General Manager, The Hay-Adams Hotel A note from our friend at this historical hotel in Washington, DC:
Our four-month restoration in 2002 involved an expenditure totaling over $20 million, adding guestroom comforts, luxuries and advances in technology for a superb new presentation. Modern amenities such as high speed Internet access and component audio systems now complement the hotel's traditional luxury.And in case you missed the Commander-in-Chief with Geena Davis last fall:
As we continue in our quest to update the Hotel whilst maintaining the timeless elegance, the Hay-Adams has recently undergone a $1 million upgrade including a modern luxurious business center that meets the needs of the global traveler.
The Hay-Adams was mentioned twice in the second episode "First Choice" of the ABC drama about a female President in the Office.It pays to be the only hotel which overlooks The White House. The Hay-Adams, Official Site The Hay-Adams, Five Star Alliance
January 27, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
At long last, the new, fabulously improved Getty Villa Malibu opens on Saturday. After extensive renovations—this was the original home of the Getty Museum—the Villa will reopen as an educational center and museum dedicated to ancient Greek and Roman art and culture. How to score tix? The process for free admission is the same as the stupendous Getty Center that we know and love (I admit it: I've lured friends and family to the top of that hill just to walk the grounds and gape at the architecture, gardens and view. Forget the art, this is the best vista in all of LA!) Advance, timed tickets are required for each individual and can be obtained online or by calling (310) 440-7300. Parking is 7 dollars a car. (Take note: the Villa is closed on both Tuesdays and Wednesdays.)