September 6, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Helicopter tour of the city? A two-hour "Symphony of Lights" harbour cruise? Plus dinner for two at T'ang Court, rated one of the world's "top ten" hotel restaurants? Bring it on! The stylish Langham Hotel, fabulously high-tech after a lavish renovation, is offering the Decennial Celebration Package to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the mainland. To mark ten years after the historic transfer of sovereignty, the package features ten unique experiences and amenities to showcase the very best Hong Kong has to offer. Available until September 30, 2007 and fittingly priced at $1,997, the package includes: suite accommodation for two nights, airport transfers, a 15-minute helicopter tour, harbour cruise, daily breakfast, dinner for two at T'ang Court, daily HK $600 allowance for laundry, complimentary Internet, and complimentary use of the Langham Club lounge, featuring evening cocktails and hors d'oeuvres.
Back in May, Hotel La Tremoille opened a new restaurant, bar and lounge which has been quite the hit among Americans. Dubbed Le Louis², the restaurant was billed as "the new insider address for those in search of a certain Parisian chic." The menu, created by Chef Frédéric Duca, includes items like lobster brandade, sophisticated salads, and "finger" desserts. Service is available from 12 noon to 11 p.m. (a convenience rarely found in the land of rigid meal times!) Though named for Louis II, grand chevalier of the Renaissance and ambassador of the hotel, the restaurant is designed with splashes of modern chic: embroidered fabrics and luxuriously thick carpets against a backdrop of graphic lines and geometric patterns. While lounging in the comfy sofas or by the fireplace, guests enjoy live music from the piano bar. There's also a sun lounge.
Teach a tutorial on using a new iPhone? Find a cold lettuce bra for a newly breast-feeding mother? It gets better. The folks at Forbes have compiled a list of over-the-top requests that concierges encounter on the job. There's a reason these luxury hotels are noted for their impeccable service.
Steal away to Virginia's hunt country to celebrate summer's end in style at Keswick Hall, the gorgeous luxury hotel managed by Orient-Express Hotels. With the "Ultimate Breaks" special you can score room rates as low as $295 a night this fall. Enjoy some of the country's finest fall foliage and leaf-peeping in the Blue Ridge foothills near Charlottesville and Jefferson's historic Monticello estate. From the horizon edge infinity pool, gaze out over the Arnold Palmer designed golf course and rolling green hills of the Piedmont.
What could be better than this? Experience the very best of England with a five day break for two in both cosmopolitan London and the gorgeous English countryside around Dorset. You can have it all with this new package from Red Carnation Hotels, which combines three nights at the five-star Milestone Hotel overlooking Kensington Palace in London with two nights at the beautifully restored Summer Lodge, an enchanting haven surrounded by a village of thatched cottages in the heart of Thomas Hardy country. Enjoy gracious hospitality and a wealth of attractions and activities. Also included: a full English breakfast and three-course feast at Cheneston's restaurant while staying at The Milestone Hotel and Apartments, a car transfer to London's Waterloo train station for first-class rail travel to Dorset, and a cozy English pub lunch for two at the historic Acorn Inn in the heart of Evershot village. Package cost is GBP 2,119 for two people. Valid until April 30, 2008.
At the foot of Mount Rigi and the beautiful Swiss Alps, the turrets of Park Hotel Weggis rise magically from the shores of Lake Lucerne. The enchanting setting of the lakeside resort town of Weggis is paradise for vacationers who discover the delights of the Park Hotel, the pinnacle of Swiss luxury. The sophisticated rooms showcase fabrics from the Designers Guild, lighting designed by Philippe Starck, widescreen TVs with Bose sound systems, and designer furniture. (Free-standing tubs in the Adara suites are a nice touch, too). Overall, there's a meticulous attention to detail that will have you swooning. The Restaurant Annex, awarded 15 GaultMillau points, serves market-fresh seasonal cuisine paired with marvelous wines from an impressive cellar. The newly enhanced spa boasts wellness facilities for cosmetic treatments, fitness, massages, and other therapeutic treatments. Also on-site at Sparkling Wellness & Cosmetics: six spa cottages, an outdoor pool set in black natural stone, relaxation lounge and Tibetan room.
Here's some good news to cure the post-summer blues. Starwood recently announced that it will open a new W Retreat & Spa in Bali in 2009. This will be the fourth such Retreat for the brand, after the successful launch of the Maldives property which opened in September 2006. The atoll had never before seen such pampering and indulgence-- a luxury playground like no other. (The W Retreat will also open in Vieques next year, followed by the Koh Samui retreat in 2009.) Bali is one of the top-rated resort destinations in the world, and the new W Retreat will no doubt make a splash for honeymooners seeking something unique. Situated in the Seminyak area of the island, the 152-room resort will be surrounded by rustic villages, rice terraces, and beaches. 80 villas will be designed with traditional Balinese courtyards and private pools. Of course the W Retreat experience wouldn't be complete without a poolside destination bar and the signature Whatever/Whenever concierge service.
The Vegas building boom is simply not slowing down. The hotels that used to be the center of the action are facing a lot of competition; 40,000 new hotel rooms are being built over the next five years! So hotels like the Hard Rock Las Vegas Hotel-- home of the notorious Rehab pool parties on Sunday-- are injecting lots of capital. Like $750 million worth, in a massive expansion and renovation that will preserve the hotel's classic party image but lure a more upscale clientele. Purchased by Morgans Hotel Group in February, the hip Hard Rock Las Vegas Hotel is going to go even edgier, with the addition of two new towers, spa, celebrity-designed deluxe suites, and European style (a.k.a. topless) pool. The most notable addition? Wasted Space, the tattoo-parlor-inspired lounge.
September 3, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Wishing you a wonderful long weekend from all of us at Five Star Alliance. We'll be back soon with the latest deals and news from the best luxury hotels around the world.
August 31, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Follow your bliss to Brazil, where a stylish eco-retreat on Bahia's Câcao Coast is making waves with its incredible setting and chic rooms. Fourteen bungalows-- outfitted with decks, gauze-netted beds, and sun terraces with open-air showers-- are surrounded by 1,500 isolated acres, overlooking an unspoiled, white sandy beach that stretches as far as the eye can see. Set within a large coconut palm plantation, Fazenda da Lagoa offers mesmerizing sea views or sunset vistas over the mangroves. There's AC, a direct dial phone, and a TV with DVD and CD player, so isolated paradise doesn't mean you have to kiss goodbye technology. Bathrooms have Casa Granado brand soap, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion-- all biodegradable products. Relax with a massage or spa treatment at the Wellbeing Lounge, where mineral-rich rainforest clays are used in special treatments like the Rainforest Mud Mask. Leisure activities include treks on the Maroin river and kayaking the lagoon, but you can always just lounge by the beautiful pool.