LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
April 14, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
With all the Olympic buzz, the world's gaze has shifted to China. You may not be heading to the games in Beijing this summer, but a trip to China, ranked one of the top international destinations by the World Tourism Organization, may be on the horizon. An absolute must is a visit to Xian, an ancient capital of China and the terminus of the legendary Silk Road, home to the Terracotta Warriors, one of China's most renowned archaeological discoveries. Described as a "Natural History Museum," Xian is simply brimming with relics and sites. The city is also an important part of the economic revival of interior China, a bustling modern city. The place to stay is the Shangri-La Hotel, Xian, situated within easy reach of the top tourist attractions and the city's business and entertainment districts. The only luxury hotel located in the Gaoxin hi-tech development zone, The Shangri-La has choice guest quarters and an impressive service team including IT butlers. Also on site: four trendy designer restaurants, the largest meeting and banqueting facilities in Xian, and a fully-equipped health club with heated pool.
British colonials flocked to the hill towns of northern India for the cool climate and incredible scenery, and the region continues to lure folks looking for trekking, rafting, and pampering. In the midst of this mindblowing landscape of pine forests, terraced hillsides and snowcapped peaks, Wildflower Hall promises an unforgettable stay in alpine India. It's managed by Oberoi Hotels and Resorts (the company behind the No. 1 resort in the world)-- an indication of the level of luxury offered here in the mountains. Situated at an altitude of 8,250 feet, 45 minutes outside Simla, the resort boasts a teak-paneled lobby, spa by Banyan Tree, heated indoor pool with mosaic floors and chandeliers, and an outdoor deck where you can soak in the whirlpool while checking out the views.
Of course there are a slew of adventure sports on offer, and from now until June 30, 2008, you can take advantage of a "Himalayan Adventure" package, which includes a variety of activities: a three-hour rafting trip down the white-water rapids of the Sutlej River (with gourmet lunch on the riverbank included), mountain-biking the picturesque trails around the forests of Wildflower Hall with an experienced guide and all-terrain bikes, and full spa treatments to soothe the body and mind after a day of adventure. Starting from INR 61,000 (double occupancy), the offer includes: 4 nights stay for two in a Premier room, daily Breakfast, one 3 hour white water magic rafting trip, one 60-minute spa treatment, daily Yoga and meditation sessions, tennis or ice skating in the rink (weather permitting), complimentary use of indoor swimming pool and health club, and choose either 1-hour Mountain Biking trip or a 3-hour hike with a naturalist.
Situated between the Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo, Hotel de Russie is a stylish retreat in the very heart of Rome. Celebs flock to de Russie for its picturesque terraced gardens-- a true rarity in a bustling city-- and fine health club with hydropool, Jacuzzi, sauna, gym and Turkish steam bath. Don't miss the martinis served with caviar at the elegant Stravinskij Bar. For a truly unforgettable stay, book the Nijinsky Suite, the most exclusive Presidential Suite in the Eternal City. Sprawling over the sixth and top floor of the hotel, the Suite boasts a large terrace overlooking the butterfly garden and the rooftops of Rome. Lounge in the comfortable sitting area, surrounded by flowers. Too much sun? Adjust the electric movable canopy. Inside the Suite, you'll find a king bedroom, spacious dressing room, marble and mosaic bathroom with tub and separate shower, steam bath, living area with plasma TV, kitchen, and dining room with separate bar area.
Until April 30, 2008, take advantage of the "Living La Dolce Vita" offer-- a 2-night stay in the unparalleled Nijinsky Suite which also includes the following:
• Daily Buffet Breakfast
• Oysters and Louis Roederer Champagne in room upon arrival
• Transfer from and to the Airport by private sedan
• Early morning private tour of the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums
• 2 hour ride around the glamorous shopping district of Rome with the De Russie Mobile (electric car)
• Romantic Dinner for two at Le Jardin de Russie Restaurant (beverage not included)
• 50 minute "Colour Massage" for two in the exclusive "Double Room" of the De Russie Wellness Zone
Priced at EUR 6,900.