LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
April 16, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Here's the scoop from one of the finest luxury hotels in the City of Light, "the intimate palace" located on the fashionable Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. After closing in January 2007 for work on a new extension, Hotel Le Bristol has recently debuted a lavish makeover. Guests have long adored the hotel's glass enclosed roof-top swimming pool and expansive, beautiful garden. What's new? 22 redecorated rooms (including the Penthouse and Panoramic Suites), new welcome desks for Concierge and Reception, more spacious fitness room, brand new Hammam, and a new 460 square meter kitchen for Chef Éric Fréchon to continue to dazzle diners. And it only gets better. The hotel has acquired an adjoining building which will open in November 2007 with 23 new rooms and four new suites and a restaurant and grill room accessible directly from the Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré.
PS. With the new VIP Welcome for Children, Hotel Le Bristol is paradise for the kiddies. Since April 1, 2007, children receive a special welcome at Hotel Le Bristol with a personalized book at reception, and the Hippolyte bunny (named after the hotel founder) along with a selection of complimentary bunny-shaped cakes waiting in-room. A hotel scavenger hunt and special activities can also be arranged. Not to mention the take-home goodies.
The hotel trend in Bangkok these days is going "mini," according to a recent Travel and Leisure article. Smaller boutique hotels are setting the standard for affordable luxury and authentic experiences. Smack dab in the middle of the bustling cosmopolitan city (amidst soaring skyscrapers, a maze of traffic, and Sky Trains), the Baan Thai Wellness Retreat is a tranquil oasis in the Sukhumvit area of downtown Bangkok. Sprawling across a royal estate of five two-storey Thai teak homes transported from Ayutthaya (the ancient Thai capital), the hotel is straight out of the Old World, but wrapped in contemporary luxury. Rooms are outfitted with sumptuous Thai silk, antiques, and elegant teak furniture. Choose a suite with private pool, or opt for a spa suite with outdoor massage table and private treatment room. The Spa itself is a luxurious hideaway with a full menu of spa services. Three night packages start from $770 per person (double).
Treat yourself to a luxurious getaway weekend at The Jefferson. History buffs will nerd out over this one. Richmond's swankiest hotel is offering a special weekend package to coincide with the city's commemoration of America's 400th anniversary. A replica of the colonists' 17th century vessel, Godspeed, will sail from Jamestown to Richmond to celebrate the big birthday. Take a tour of the Godspeed, spend the day at the festival area on Richmond's river front, enjoy a musical performance and even a fantastic fireworks display - all free events for Richmond Region 2007. The Jefferson's Godspeed Memorial Day Weekend package includes luxurious accommodations, full American breakfast buffet, two tickets to Virginia Museum of Fine Arts "Rule Britannia!" exhibit, and transportation to all museum and Godspeed events. Starting from $225 nightly in a Superior Room (taxes not included). Available May 24-May 27, 2007 only.
At long last, the hotel we've been dreaming about since last November has opened its doors. The newest member of the Starwood Luxury Collection, The Resort at Singer Island is shaking things up in Palm Beach County. Billed as "one of the most expansive oceanfront destinations on the Eastern seaboard," the $210 million resort is a 21-storey goliath of luxury on the beach. Amenities include beach and pool butlers, 24-hour room service, workout facilities, business center, two Presidential Suites, 4,000 square feet of meeting space, a wedding gazebo, three restaurants and a coffee bar, an 8,500 square foot wellness retreat and spa, a lap pool with private cabanas and a lagoon-style family pool. To quote the press release:
The opening of this resort signals the renaissance of Singer Island, which was founded in 1920 by the scion of the sewing machine dynasty, into one of the most dynamic oceanfront destinations on Florida's prestigious Gold Coast.
To celebrate the opening, The Resort at Singer Island is offering a special $315 per night introductory rate including breakfast through May 2007.
April 13, 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: A Hidden Hotel, Royal Mews, and Numerical Boutique
Last Weeks Answer was guessed correctly by everyone (I guess we need to make it a little more difficult):
Now open. The chic island's latest gem is located directly on the sea, a rare commodity on an island adored since Roman times for its stunning Mediterranean views. A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, J.K. Place Capri offers only 22 spacious guest rooms overlooking the manicured gardens and sparkling azure sea. Book the Penthouse and enjoy an enormous private terrace with panoramic views. Dine al fresco or soak up the rays at the beautiful pool. Capri's renowned shopping street, Via Camerelle, is just a short walk away.
In London on business? Head to Hotel '41', the city's intimate and luxurious boutique, where solo women travelers are given the royal treatment. Located just across from Buckingham Palace, the exclusive Hotel 41 has put together an innovative package where women can expect superlative personal service and guest amenities. The Woman Traveling Alone package includes:
* Enhanced levels of security
* Escort to your room and from your car if you are driving
* Foot spa and massage kit in your room
* The item of your choice from a well-being basket
* Selection of magazines and periodicals
* Thoughtful extras to add comfort during your stay including: duvet and soft towels, slippers and robe, hot water bottle, improved lighting for applying make-up, high-performance hair dryer, full length mirror
'41' offers the perfect mix of high technology and classic luxury. A personal butler will assist with unpacking/packing your belongings (though only if you so wish it-- service is thoughtful and discreet). Here, every room is beautifully appointed with handsome black and white decoration, handcrafted furniture, hand stitched mattresses, and working fireplaces. And of course your guest room easily becomes your own personal office as all rooms are wired with state-of-the-art technology.
From the soft sandy beaches of Mexico's Yucatan peninsula to the paved boulevards of Washington D.C., luxury hotels are turning green. Who says luxury travel can't embrace the values of responsible tourism? ForbesTraveler has highlighted the world's best luxury eco-resorts, along with a separate list of America's greenest hotels. These luxury resorts include the Fairmont Washington D.C. and Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, as Fairmont has been an industry leader in transforming their hotels into eco-friendly ones.
Say hello to the newest five-star hotel in Tokyo, housed in the tallest skyscraper in the Japanese capital. Recently opened in the beginning of April 2007, the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo occupies the top nine floors and the first three levels of the 53-storey Midtown Tower. The hotel is utterly dazzling. There are panoramic vistas of the city and Mount Fuji, the magnificent sky lobby, sensational restaurants and bars, the 2,000 square meter Spa by ESPA, and a highly sought-after Wedding Chapel. As reported by the Washington Post, the international brands of five-star hotels are taking Tokyo by storm. The Ritz-Carlton is the fifth after the Mandarin Oriental, the Conrad, the Grand Hyatt and the Four Seasons. These hotels are upping the ante as Japan's own upscale hoteliers sometimes "fail to deliver" for Japan's "New Rich:"
The Ritz-Carlton will make an ice sculpture that holds an engagement ring for a man planning to propose to his girlfriend. It also places playful little cards under beds in hopes of wowing fussy and hypochondriac Japanese guests. The cards say: "We cleaned here too."
The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo is even offering a Diamonds-Are-Forever Martini in partnership with Bulgari. Shell out $16,000 for the cocktail, and you'll find a one-carat Bulgari diamond at the bottom, which you can take it to any Bulgari store in Tokyo and have a ring fitted to the stone for free.
The list of accolades is exhaustive. (No small feat in a region where foodies flock to indulge at the top-notch restaurants.) Head to the Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant to see what all the fuss is about. Nestled in the beautiful Russian River Valley of Sonoma County's famed wine country, Farmhouse wows its guests with its stunning scenery, sublime food, excellent service, and sense of family tradition. (After all, the owners' family has farmed in Sonoma for five generations.) The daily-changing menu is inspired by the incredible artisan bounty which surrounds the Farmhouse in Sonoma: local vineyards, handmade cheeses, free-range livestock, honey from the farm's bee hives, heirloom apples from nearby Bartolomei Ranch, figs and Meyer lemons from the kitchen garden... Bon Appetit raves:
Chef Steve Litke's cooking springs from whatever is fresh at the market that day: salt-roasted pear and parmesan ravioli or double-cut pork chops graced with a honey and bee pollen glaze. Like everything else here, the desserts are sublime.
This is what the good life is all about.