LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
August 29, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
There's been a lot of buzz about Napa Valley's latest: the 89-room Solage Calistoga resort, which welcomes pets, boasts a mud bar at the spa, uses solar power, and serves fine, locally-grown produce. Enlightened, chic, and utterly fabulous, Solage Calistoga is located on the northern edge of Napa Valley. Rooms are named from stars in the night sky (how cool is that?), designed with natural materials and warm local woods. All of the accommodations feature outdoor private patios, a pebbled-stone shower, flat-screen TV, desk with high-speed WiFi Internet, DVD player, and iPod docking station. A pair of cruiser bikes is provided for your use during your stay, so you can go for a spin through the resort's beautiful 22 acres. Have a ball (bocce) on the classic courts, or take a dip in the beautiful pool. Energize yourself at the Spa Solage with a full-body mud "cocktail" at the Mud Bar. After dark, gather around the fire pits and savor a cocktail before enjoying the restaurant's delightful cuisine.
Since September 1999, Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita has wowed its discriminating clientele with its unrivaled facilities and level of personal service. Not to mention the breathtaking setting at the edge of a white sand beach lapped by the blue Pacific. This is a magical place, oozing romance. It's only natural that a spot like this one should put together the ideal romantic escape for couples seeking a little r & r. The sparks will fly with the "Fall For You" package, where guests receive a $100 resort credit for each day of their stay, with which they can indulge in a slew of romantic resort activities. Enjoy a sunset cruise on the resort's private yacht, sipping champagne and feasting on gourmet aps. Choose a nighttime, after-dark spa experience, like a poolside Watsu massage with a butler served, candle-lit dinner in a private cabana; an oceanfront Thai massage and picnic of gourmet finger foods; or chocolate-themed body treatments in the spa couple's suite followed by champagne and chocolate fondue. Indulge in nightly champagne and caviar at the Tamai Pool Bar, as the sun sets over the Pacific. And don't miss Dinner on The Rock, a private dinner on a grassy outcropping overlooking the waves. Consult with the chef to create your very own personal menu served under the stars. The "Fall For You" package is available at Four Seasons Punta Mita until December 15, 2007.
It's official. The Venetian Macao Resort, the sprawling, $2.8 billion, 3,000-suite mega hotel from the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, opens today at 7:18 p.m. Special introductory rates start from just HK 1,088-- about $140 per night! This is just the beginning for the Sin City of China, which will see a bumper crop of luxury hotels sprouting up in this former Portuguese enclave on the mouth of the Pearl River, including a St. Regis, a Shangri-La, a Raffles, and a Conrad. And let's not forget the Wynn, which opened last year in this booming gaming capital.
Escape to a secluded beach outside Waikiki and live the legend at the Kahala Hotel and Resort, where Charles Lindberg, Muhammad Ali, Frank Sinatra, and Princess Diana (to name a few) have vacationed in paradise. Situated just ten minutes from all the Waikiki action, the legendary resort offers five stylish restaurants, a world-class spa, fitness center, myriad leisure facilities, and a private lagoon with resident dolphins. Stay three nights and receive a complimentary breakfast buffet for two guests at Plumeria Beach House and a $200 resort credit. And if you stay for four nights, you get the fifth night for free. Available until December 19, 2007.
A former 15th century monastery, the storied San Domenico Palace is now the most luxurious hotel in Sicily-- with sweeping views of snow-capped Mt. Etna and the Ionian Sea that were described by Goethe in 1767. Perched on the hills of Taormina, the palace has long attracted patrons like Wagner and Guy de Maupassant who found inspiration in the fragrant gardens of jasmine, bougainvillea, lemons and oranges. Guest rooms are distinguished by splendid historical details: vaulted ceilings, cloisters, courtyards. Lounge by the outdoor swimming pool, while soaking in the views of an ancient Greek theater and the smoldering volcano in the distance. Hit the 24-hour fitness center, followed by a relaxing massage. Delightful dinner options include Les Bougainvillèes for traditional palace cuisine, Principe Cerami for gourmet dining (seasonal), the Pool Restaurant "Giardino dei Limoni" for seafood and Sicilian specialties (lunch only, seasonal), and the Lounge Oratorio dei Frati for light meals and cocktails with live entertainment.
The glamorous desert boutique resort is known for its sexy vibe and playful attitude. Where else can you sip a Popsicle Tini? (Yup, that's a watermelon martini with a popsicle.) Or indulge in a chocolate sun spray tanning? Or jump start the circulation with a dip in the icy plunge pool? The fun never stops at this fabulous desert oasis. In addition to the summer's Film Noir Summer Series (al fresco movies galore), the Viceroy Palm Springs has introduced the Ice Haus--an extension of the full-service Estrella spa-- for a wonderful summer cool-down. This new open-air, outdoor treatment room (for one or two people) is set up for a "do it yourself" one-hour treatment. Start with a detoxifying full-body clay mask (painted on by yourself or your partner), take 20 minutes to recline on your private chaise lounge to set the mask, then follow with a full-body ice exfoliation. Shower off with the seaweed scrub bar, spritz your on-fire skin with spearmint misters, then finally sooth and cool with Estrella's house-made all-over body lotion. 60-minute treatment: Single-- $85; Double-- $125.
It's not too late to plan a Labor Day escape. Soak up the sunshine rock 'n roll style at that most sophisticated West Hollywood hideaway: the Sunset Marquis Hotel and Villas. Contemporary elegance with no attitude in a totally unique environment: no wonder the rock stars camp out for weeks in the swanky Mediterranean-style villas. Sure the on-site private recording studio is cool, but the heated pools and gorgeous landscaped terraces are even more exciting. After all, this is a hidden oasis just steps from all the Hollywood action. Guests are also stoked about the warm and attentive personal service. This place is unique, even by Hollywood standards. And from now through Labor Day weekend, the longer you stay, the more you save. So try 10 percent off for three nights, 15 percent for four nights, or 20 percent off for five nights. And rates are truly a steal, starting at $350 for a Junior Suite.
The summer's winding down, which means it's time to start making plans for a winter getaway. Wyoming's Amangani is easily one of the most sought-after destinations on the planet, its ski and spa experience unparalleled on the North American continent. Perched atop a butte 7,000 feet above sea level outside Jackson Hole, Amangani is surrounded by a magnificent panorama of the snow-capped peaks of Grand Teton National Park. Amangani's Ski Lounge is conveniently located at the base of the Bridger gondola in Teton Village and some of North America's most acclaimed ski-runs at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. A private meeting and resting place with racks for storing skis and warming boots, Amangani's Ski Lounge also provides complimentary snacks, hot beverages, wash rooms and concierge service-- all designed to keep Amangani's guests on the slopes longer. After a great day skiing, unwind with a mulled wine or ginger tea before the large wood-burning fireplaces of Amangani's Lounge, the two-storey window wall offering beautiful views of the Snake River Range. Or hit the open-air heated pool and whirlpool, where you can soak your muscles while contemplating the gorgeous views. The Amangani Ski Experience includes five nights accommodations, airport transfers, daily continental breakfast, a four-day ski pass and a 60-minute massage. Available December 4, 2007- April 6, 2008, priced from $3,700.
August 24, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
Here's a challenge to test your luxury travel savvy. Do you know this hotel? Take a guess, leave us a comment letting us know which hotel you think this photo belongs to, and check back next week for the answer and new image.
Helpful Hints: Stylish Innovation, 87+, All Seasons ...
Congrats to Lana who correctly guessed our Previous Hotel Contest:
The Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Town, South Africa
The Maldives is almost bursting at the seams with swanky hotels. From the One & Only to the W Retreat and Spa, The Maldives are the islands du jour. Now Conrad has announced an exciting rebranding of the Hilton Maldives Resort & Spa Rangali, which will move under the Conrad umbrella of luxury hotels starting December 18, 2007. Renowned for its attentive service and breathtaking natural beauty, the resort is an idyllic piece of paradise, situated on two islands enclosed by a coral reef and lagoon. Spa aficionados will be thrilled by the spas-- as there are two, one on each island, with different product ranges and philosophies. Experience sophisticated barefoot luxury at this romantic retreat. Dive and snorkel the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean, take Pilates and yoga classes, plan an excursion island hopping on the resort's private yacht.