August 29, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The hottest, trendiest place on the So Cal coast, Tower 23 opened in July 2005 to much fanfare and celebration. Overlooking long stretches of golden sand, the three-storey all-glass hotel is a stylish, contemporary urban resort, taking its name from the Lifeguard Tower 23 positioned on Pacific Beach in front of the hotel. Billing itself as San Diego's "only luxury, lifestyle hotel on the beach," Tower 23 is a celebration of contemporary architecture and design. The 44 guestrooms reflect the oceanfront setting—the environment of sun, sand, surf, and sky—with minimalist design, private balconies and patios to contemplate the sea, and teak furnishings. (And with names to match; the rooms are divided into three types: Spirit, Sky and Surf Pads.) Of course the rooms are brimming with all the latest technology: LDC flat-screens, XBoxes, wifi Internet, and Tempur-Pedic beds. Hipsters flock to Jordan, the sleek restaurant and bar (pictured) where fresh California cuisine is served in a happening environment.
The posh canvas tents at The Resort at Paws Up are more akin to a five-star hotel than camping out. And with the resort's superior five-star amenities, this is the way to experience Montana's epic wilderness in style. Opened in June 2005 on 37,000 acres in Blackfoot Valley, just outside of Missoula, The Resort at Paws Up is surrounded by some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world. Outdoor enthusiasts rejoice in this slice of heaven: saddle up and go horseback on the hundreds of miles of trails, take your best shot at the sporting clays course, cast a fly with an expert guide with the best kind of Montana fly-fishing experience, or go swimming in the lake, boating, hiking, mountain biking, rafting, or play a round at the nearby championship golf course. This is the ultimate wilderness adventure playground. After a day enjoying the country, return to a sumptuous in-room spa treatment. Soak up the rustic elegance at Tent City, with featherbeds, fine linens, and all the modern conveniences offered at the resort's other luxury vacation homes, overlooking the grandeur of the Montana wilderness. The Resort at Paws Up offers a truly unique western experience.
This award winning, glass-walled restaurant is, by far, the ritziest resort restaurant in Carmel. Terraced on an ocean bluff overlooking the dramatic seascape of the Big Sur coastline, at the Highlands Inn Park Hyatt, Pacific's Edge provides incomparable ocean vistas. As guests dine on spectacular French-New American fare and savor bottles from the 1,700-label wine list (a perennial Grand Award winner from Wine Spectator), they can watch whales and sea otters playing just offshore, and the sunset dip below the Pacific's horizon at the most picturesque spot on earth. And to top it all off—the staff is elegant and attentive, ensuring a fantastic dining experience.
Halfway between Miami and Key West in the heart of the Florida Keys, Tranquility Bay is a 12-acre hideaway of palm-dotted white sand beaches overlooking the sparkling waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Opened in January, the resort features 87 charming two-story cottages on the ocean, surrounded by lush landscaping and towering coconut palms. The pristine sandy beach is one of the largest in the Keys, with endless watersports and activities (including Hobie Cats for rent), and the nearby Tilden's Scuba Center outfits divers keen to explore the sunken Thunderbolt wreck. Other fantastic Keys attractions are also nearby, including Bahia Honda state park, convenient shopping, great dining, and awesome sports fishing outlets. Pamper yourself at Island Spice Private Spa, or relax by the lagoon-style pool, tropical drink in hand. In addition to the luxurious accommodations, beach houses are also available for rental and ownership.
For a taste of France in your own backyard, Montreal is a treasure trove of beautiful boutiques, boulangeries, and bistros. And amidst the bustling business district of this sophisticated city, the Loews Hotel Vogue is an enclave of sumptuous luxury. The 126 guestrooms and 16 suites are comfortable and plush, with down duvets and pillows, a whirlpool bath and separate glassed-in shower, and a workstation with a two-line cordless phone and high-speed internet access. Experience the city's rich French heritage and joie de vivre at its finest at this award-winning hotel, where the knowledgeable and attentive staff attends to your every whim and desire. Loews Signature September rates start at an unbelievably low $200 a night. And guests making reservations at the Loews Hotel Vogue through Five Star Alliance will receive complimentary in-room high speed Internet as well as a one category room upgrade based upon availability.
An intimate luxury hotel in the heart of Houston's business and nightlife district, The Lancaster is a legend among guests who return again and again for the stately elegance and excellent personal service. The hotel enchants with its European charm and grand tradition of hospitality. The Bistro serves scrumptious regional American cuisine, and the popular Bistro Bar, rated one of the top ten bars in the county by Food and Wine magazine, is a favorite among trendy locals. The handsomely appointed rooms feature dark wood two-poster beds topped with down duvets and feather pillows, marble bathrooms, and state-of-the-art technology. With the Romance Package, enjoy an unforgettable evening at The Lancaster. Your room or suite will be meticulously prepared for your arrival with chilled champagne and chocolate-dipped strawberries presented on a silver tray. The following morning, enjoy a romantic American breakfast for two served in the room or Bistro. Starting from $229.
August 23, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Since its grand opening in March, the newest destination hotel in Indiana's capital has soothed business travelers with its luxurious facilities, excellent spa facilities, and fine dining. (And of course all that cool technology: 42 inch flat screen TVs with satellite, high speed wireless internet, spacious work areas, three telephones and fax.) For a limited time, the Conrad Indianapolis is promoting a special offer that may just lure leisure travelers to the hotel as well. Enjoy premium in-room amenities, including rose-petal turndown service, a complimentary aromatherapy candle, a melodic jazz CD and a sinfully delicious chocolate sampler, and late 1 pm check-out (subject to availability), starting from $279 per room per night. But hurry! This offer is only valid until August 31, 2006.
August 22, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
As of August 13, 2006, the award-winning Lodge at Rancho Mirage is closed for extensive redevelopment. Honored by Travel and Leisure, Zagat, and Conde Nast Traveler as one of the top hotels in the world, the Lodge at Rancho Mirage is located on top of a 650-ft plateau in the foothills of the Santa Rosa Mountains outside Palm Springs, California. Guests enjoyed tennis, croquet, swimming, access to many of the world's most renowned golf courses, and the Avanyu Spa, the centerpiece of The Lodge. We'll keep you posted on the renovation progress and planned reopening.
Talk about good drives. Eastern Canada's leading destination resort has devised a fun package where golfers experience an off-road adventure through a nature wonderland of over 65,000 acres. Available until October 17, 2006, starting at CDN 415 a night, the package includes daily buffet breakfast, a two-hour Land Rover off-road lesson, and a round of golf for two on a course designed by legendary golf course architect Stanley Thompson. Two night minimum required. Famed for its rustic elegance, Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello is an exceptional resort housed in a stunning red cedar log chateau. The gorgeous surroundings inspire countless recreational activities, including golf, hiking, cross-country skiing, wild bear observation, and hunting and fishing expeditions in the wilderness habitat adjacent to the resort. And the luxurious facilities at the Fairmont—including the stunning indoor heated pool--are heaven on earth.
You are invited to the big birthday bash for Travel and Leisure magazine at the exclusive One and Only Palmilla in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico. Located at the tip of the Baja Peninsula, the luxury beachfront resort is considered the "Jewel of Baja." Situated on a secluded beach overlooking the Sea of Cortez, the One and Only Palmilla features elegantly appointed rooms in hacienda-style buildings, a gorgeous pool with swim-up bar, fitness center, tennis, and world-class golf course. The birthday weekend getaway is October 26-30, and includes a slew of exciting events: Gourmet dinner hosted by celebrity chefs Charlie Trotter and Tetsuya Wakuda (Australia's most acclaimed chef), Golf tournament on a T and L Golf World's Best Resort Course with T and L Golf's Editor in Chief, Tastings with Baja's premier boutique winemaker, Don Miller of Adobe Guadalupe, and expert tequilier Julio Bermejo, Walking tours and kayaking and snorkeling expeditions with a T and L's World's Best Outfitter Butterfield and Robinson, Daily mind-body principles with yoga master Maya Fiennes, Travel conversations with your favorite T and L editors, and Artisan shopping expedition with T and L's Style Director. The four-night celebration is priced starting at $3,250. At one of the world's best resorts, get the inside scoop on luxury travel. This weekend promises to be a fun, stylish, and memorable experience.