LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
We thought the Eiffel Suite was luxe. The Hotel Plaza Athénée is also home to the lavish Royal Suite, 4840 square feet of serious opulence. The four-bedroom suite is situated on the 5th floor, overlooking the Avenue Montaigne and the courtyard. Furnished with splendid antiques, drapes embroidered with three different gold threads, and the finest silks and fabrics, the Royal Suite is like an elegant Parisian home-- a truly exceptional one at that. Bathrooms are decked out in Italian marble, with steam showers and Jacuzzis. To be expected, the suite offers the utmost in state-of-the-art technology: plasma TV screen in each room, glass video projecting screen in the master bedroom, WiFi Internet access, telephone with eight lines, fax, music library with 5,000 titles, and incredible security (digital finger print entry on each door of the Suite, four electronic safes...)
Of course you don't have to be a member of the royal family to stay at the legendary Plaza Athénée. Make like Carrie Bradshaw and book a room at the most famous hotel in the City of Light (with our without the "lovah" in tow). Recently renovated and scented with a unique amber fragrance, the hotel's spacious guest rooms showcase French style at its best.
Luxuriate in blissful peace at Auberge du Soleil's sister property, Calistoga Ranch in Upper Napa Valley. Tucked into a private canyon just outside the historic town of Calistoga, the luxury resort is an oasis of ancient oak groves and rolling vineyards. In such a majestic natural setting, it's only appropriate that the resort offers guests the ultimate experience of indoor and outdoor spaces. (Even the fitness facility is open-air, taking full advantage of the setting, so you can work out while gazing out over the vineyards.) For a taste of the good life, plan a summertime escape to the 46-cottage Calistoga Ranch. Settle into a lounge chair near your very own indoor-outdoor fireplace. (The free-standing guest lodges are outfitted with natural cedar interiors-- with entertainment centers, high speed Internet, and all the latest technology.) Dine at the private restaurant which celebrates the rich culture of Napa Valley wines and cuisine. Indulge in a rejuvenating spa treatment at The Bathhouse, where you can also "take the waters" in the natural thermal baths which have enticed visitors for over a century.
With the dollar at an all-time miserable low, travelers to Europe experience serious sticker shock when checking out of their hotels. But with the guaranteed £ for $ rate at the renowned Athenaeum Hotel, visitors to London can enjoy luxurious accommodations and all the best the city has to offer-- and breathe easy. Your three-night stay will be priced at $310 per night with the Summer in the City promotion; hotel rates won't go soaring through the roof with fluctuations on the currency markets. The package includes priority check-in, free Internet access, and a ten percent discount on food and beverages at the hotel. Located on London's Piccadilly overlooking Green Park, the family-owned Athenaeum Hotel and Apartments is surrounded by all the excitement of Central London. Added bonus: the hotel has recently completed a sumptuous renovation of the ground floor, with tempting dining and drinks available 'til late.
Turkey's most popular seaside destination, white-washed, bougainvillea-drenched Bodrum, just got a luxury addition. The exclusive five-star Movenpick Resort Bodrum opened its doors at the beginning of July. From its vantage point on a hilltop overlooking Gumbet Bay and the Aegean Sea, the Movenpick offers breathtaking vistas over the harbor. Known for its happening nightlife and its historic sites (including St. Peter's Castle and the Mausoleum), Bodrum is also a yachtsman's dream, a jumping off point to discover the myriad small islands along Turkey's incredible Aegean coastline. In fact, the Movenpick has a sailing yacht which can be chartered by up to 18 people. The resort's 92 rooms are decorated in a Mediterranean style with light wood colors and Spanish shutters. Guests can take in the spectacular sunsets from the private balcony or terrace. Facilities include two outdoor swimming pools, one indoor pool, restaurant and bar, Fitness Center, and a Wellness Center, where guests can relax in the Turkish hammam and sauna. Take advantage of a limited time special offer for the hotel's grand opening: rates start from just EUR 122 until September 1, 2007. Three night minimum required.
The Setai, South Beach trendiness incarnate, is moving beyond the confines of Miami-Dade county. The famed hotel will be opening another branch in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter, arguably the country's hottest real estate market. (We're waiting with bated breath for the Setai brand to jump into other metropolises.) Formerly called The Diegan, the new five-star condominium hotel is billed as a mecca for world-class dining and entertainment, where a "handful of ultra-luxury penthouse residences" will have the city swooning. Both the House of Blues and the newest Sky Bar will be located here. According to the New York Times, more than half of the units, priced from $500,000 to $3.8 million, have been sold. Expected to be completed by the end of the year, these residences will have Italian furniture, flat-screen TVs, and wifi access. Also in store: a fourth floor pool deck with cabanas, spa, fitness center, screening room, and recording studio.
July 18, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
Between now and October, the three Mid-Atlantic Loews Hotels - the Loews Philadelphia, Loews Annapolis, and the Madison a Loews Hotel - are partnering with Nordstrom department stores to make getting ready for school fashionable and fun. Guests will stay in style and look stylish with the "Back to School" package that features overnight accommodations, a Nordstrom gift card and a "piggy" bank with a Presidential dollar coin to get a head start on education savings. The complete package includes overnight deluxe accommodations, a $25 gift card which can be used in the store or on-line, a personalized "piggy" bank with Presidential gold dollar coin, lunch for two at Cafe Nordstrom, use of a fashion stylist to assist in selecting the hottest fashion trends, and a Nordstrom catalogue.
Rates start at $244 for the "Back to School" package and will be subject to availability through October 31st, 2007.
The best hotel in the world? That honor-- according to Travel and Leisure's 2007 reader's poll-- is the Oberoi Udaivilas in India's romantic desert city of Udaipur. There's been a lot of buzz about this award-winning hotel, which commands one of the most beautiful settings in the world-- high above Rajasthan's fabled lake, with views across to the floating City Palace and sloping Aravalli Hills. Guest rooms are truly fit for a maharajah, with large private terraces, private swimming pools, walk-in closets, and butler service. The grounds are as stunning as the suites: 30 acres of landscaped gardens, courtyards, fountains, and reflection pools.
We're a little star-struck over the Bottega Veneta suite which debuted last fall in the St. Regis New York. The swanky seventh-floor suite, dolled up with pieces from Bottega Veneta's furniture line, goes for $6,500 a night. (Guests have become so taken with the woven-leather pillows, fragrances, and cashmere throws, they've been known to head out to Bottega Veneta's store, right next door.) But Bottega Veneta's not the only designer checking in to the St. Regis. Christian Dior and Tiffany have likewise outfitted designer suites in Manhattan's fashionable establishment. Pictured above right: the view of Central Park from the Orient Designer Suite.
A refreshing addition to the South Beach dining scene, La Marea offers innovative Mediterranean cuisine overlooking the ocean. The recently redesigned Tides South Beach, the flagship property of Kor's new Tides brand, just launched this spectacular new restaurant, overseen by Executive Chef Pietro Rota, former Il Sole standout and a new culinary star to South Florida. Dishes are created with seasonal ingredients and accented with Northern Italian flavors and flare; menu samples include Littleneck Clams with Chorizo, Basil, Chilies and Garlic; Duck Confit on Warm Lentil Salad with Foie Gras Essence; and vast selections of fresh fish. The interior was designed by Kelly Wearstler, accented with theatrical hooded armchairs, antique brass touches and wall décor of faux tortoise shells. Dine al fresco on the terrace overlooking Ocean Drive and the beach, immersing yourself in the sexy energy of South Beach. This place is poised to become one of South Florida's premier dining destinations. The summer's 2007 Miami Spice Restaurant Month is the perfect chance to experience La Marea. From August 1 through September 30, prix fix three-course lunches are only $22 and three-course dinners are $35, Monday through Thursday.
July 16, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Exotic, beautiful, emanating an indelible aura of mystique, Morocco has long captured the imaginations of travelers. But in recent years, Morocco has achieved celebrity status on the traveler's "it list", with a slew of luxury hotel openings, including Sir Richard Branson's Kasbah Tamadot. In this new world hot spot, Angsana Resorts and Spas-- the sister hotels to acclaimed Banyan Tree Resorts-- has announced a new property for the third quarter of 2007. In the exuberant city of Marrakech, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site virtually unchanged since medieval times, the new Angsana Riads Collection will dazzle visitors with its traditional hospitality and rich, restored architecture. The collection will include seven different traditional Moroccan houses known as riads, along with the award-winning Angsana Spa. Six of the riads are located in the preserved medina in Marrakech, within walking distance of each other. The seventh, Riad Bagdad, is located in the coastal city of Essaouira. Each riad is assigned a dedicated resident host who attends to guests' needs with a truly personalized guest program.