LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
November 27, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Most luxury resorts in the Caribbean have been booked solid for months. But there are still a few rooms available at the gorgeous romantic hideaway of Anse Chastenet, located in the lush mountain paradise of St. Lucia. With 600 acres of tropical foliage, the soaring peaks of Petit Pitons, and extraordinary beaches, this is paradise on earth. And these days, St. Lucia is the new Turks and Caicos (according to the NYT, anyway), with swank hotels situated on perfect sandy stretches of coastline. The Anse Chastanet Resort offers the renowned SSI Platinum Pro/PADI dive facility, beautiful rooms (some boast luxurious "showers with a view"), art gallery, panoramic dining, the beachside Kai Belté spa, and activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, tennis, sunset sailing, jungle biking, "kool kayaking" or a nature walk among the ruins of a colonial plantation. The Tropical Tranquility Package includes includes seven nights of accommodations, breakfast and dinner, two spa treatments per person, a sunset celebration with champagne and appetizers in-room, snorkeling, kayaking, windsurfing and more. Rates start from $4,288 per couple, until December 31, 2006. But hurry! There are only a few rooms left for the holidays. (One beachside deluxe room from December 22-January 3, One Beachside Deluxe Room until December 28, Two Hillside Deluxe rooms with check-out December 27, One two-bedroom suite until December 26, Two Superior rooms with check-out December 28.)
November 21, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Bangkok's newest member of Small Luxury Hotels is an extraordinary all-suite masterpiece in the heart of Bangkok. At lebua at State Tower, each suite boasts a wall of windows with dazzling views of the city skyline and Chao Phraya River. The spacious suites are luxurious and comfortable, stacked with contemporary conveniences (like two flat-screen TVs, DVD players, in-room broadband Internet connectivity, workstations, and fully-equipped kitchens). The Dome at State Tower features myriad dining options with glass balconies, sexy lighting, terraces, and city viewing galleries. Located on the 63rd floor of The Dome at State Tower, Sirocco is the world's highest al fresco restaurant stunning views of Bangkok. The dramatic deck appears to be suspended in the middle of the sky, frozen in space. Descending onto the deck is a beautifully lit stairway leading to one corner where the hip Sky Bar takes center-stage.
With the Sky Night @ Sky Bar package, enjoy the very best that Bangkok has to offer from high atop State Tower. The package includes daily full breakfast, complimentary local calls and high-speed internet access, complimentary use of the fitness center facilities and swimming pool, welcome amenity of flowers and handmade chocolates, one Sky Bar drink per person, and one bottle of wine in-room upon arrival. Starting at $140 per one bedroom suite through December 21, 2006. $150 per one bedroom suite until March 31, 2007. Two night minimum stay required.
This could be the best hotel in Europe. Dating from 1872, the lakeside pied a terre is adored by the world's royalty. The Hotel d'Angleterre offers only 39 rooms and 6 suites, so that each distinguished guest is provided the utmost in personal service. Balconies provide heart-stopping views over Lake Geneva, the Jet d'Eau and the towering peaks of Mont Blanc. Windows restaurant, recently recognized by the prestigious Gault and Millau guide as one of the top restaurants in Geneva, also looks out over the lake to Mont Blanc. Experience luxury on the lake at Hotel d'Angleterre with the Winter Fantasy Package, overflowing with goodies to see and do in Geneva. Take a cooking class with the Pastry Chef, discover Geneva's specialty designer shops on the world famous Rue du Rhone and the enchanting Christmas market with the help of a personal shopper, enjoy an excursion on a mountain train to a chalet to indulge in traditional cheese fondue overlooking the snow-capped Jura Mountains, sip cocktails by the fire, and delight in a gastronomic four-course dinner at Windows accompanied by Switzerland's finest wine. The Winter Fantasy Package includes all these activities, two nights in an elegant classic room, daily buffet breakfast, welcome gift of a handcrafted tree ornament and a basket of Biscome, CD of traditional Swiss Christmas Carols, "Mont Blanc 4807" cocktail for two in the Leopard Lounge, and for those staying on Christmas day-- a stocking stuffed with seasonal goodies on your doorknob. Available from December 10, 2006 to January 15, 2007. Minimum two-night stay required. Priced at CHF1,810.
This lakeside luxury resort grabbed top honors at the 13th annual World Travel Awards, held in Turks and Caicos this year. Named "Asia's Leading Resort," the Oberoi Udaivilas is romantic, glamorous, and utterly enchanting. Resembling one of the grand palaces for which Rajasthan is fabled, the resort boasts stunning views over Lake Pichola to the City Palace and the Aravalli Hills beyond. Set amidst landscaped gardens, courtyards, fountains, and reflection pools, the 87 guest rooms are royal-- featuring large private terraces, private swimming pools, marble bathrooms, walk-in closets, and butler service. In addition, the resort offers a gym, two large pools, fine dining, and a luxury spa offering a range of therapies.
Mirror Lake Inn may be one of the top three ski resorts in North America, but it's also recognized as one of the "best resorts for non-skiers" (MSNBC.com) because of the excellent facilities. Enjoy winter activities such as ice skating, skiing, snow-snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, followed by afternoon tea in front of a crackling fire or a hot stone massage at the spa. Situated on the shores of Lake Placid, this elegant Adirondack hideaway features an exquisite indoor pool and Jacuzzi with panoramic views of the lake and mountains beyond. This traditional inn, relaxed and gracious, is celebrated for its warmth and hospitality. Escape for a One Night Ski Package and get incredible savings. Starting from just $260 per room, the package includes overnight accommodations, a one day ski pass to Whiteface Mountain for each adult, and breakfast in The View for two. Not valid during December 22, 2006 to January 7, 2007.
November 17, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
One of the most hotly anticipated hotel openings for 2007. Banyan Tree Desert Spa and Resort, Al Areen, Bahrain will be the only all-villa private pool resort in the Arabian Gulf and one of the Middle East's most luxurious hideaways. Located next to Al Areen Wildlife Park, a conservation area for many indigenous wildlife species, and in close proximity to the Bahrain F1 Grand Prix track, the new Banyan Tree boasts incredible private villas and indulgent spa pampering. The villas embody the magic of the Arabian Nights: azure swimming pools, jet pool courtyard and private garden, sprawling master bedroom with high ceilings, an elegant ambience with all contemporary amenities. This sensual oasis of pampering is surrounded by Bahrain's intriguing cultural and historical landscape: well-preserved forts, excellent museums, and the oldest mosque in the Gulf, Al Khamis. The resort is a complete body wellness center offering up-to-date sporting facilities set against the Arabian Desert backdrop. The spa is otherworldly. There are outdoor vitality pools, a hammam, fountain courtyard, and deluxe spa treatment pavilions with relaxation rooms, sunken baths, Rain Mist treatment, steam and private treatment room. The hydrotherapy area is lavish: Rain Mist Shower, Self Scrub area with private cabins, Sanarium, Storm Shower, Grotto sauna, Ice Igloo, Afusion Shower, Rhassoul with single and double rooms, Foot Spa station, Bucket Drench Shower, Tropics Shower, Herbal Steam Room, Cold Rain Mist Corridor, Brine Light Room and Warm Rain Mist Corridor.
November 16, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Rated North America's only AAA five diamond bed and breakfast, the Simpson House Inn is a luxurious and serene hideaway, only a five-minute walk from Santa Barbara's restaurants, theaters, museums and shops. Located in a lovely and historic neighborhood of Santa Barbara, the Simpson House is private and secluded, set behind tall hedges in an acre of English gardens. The landmark Victorian estate, considered one of the most distinguished homes of its era in SoCal, features 15 rooms, suites, and cottages each individually appointed with antiques, exquisite decor, and generous amenities. Guests enjoy European spa services in the comfort of their own room.
The Simpson House Inn has created some whimsical Celebration of Romance Packages, which include Flirt (the romantic getaway), Love Story (the anniversary plan), Enchanting Proposal (for popping the question), Fantasy Elopement (for getting hitched), and Passion (the honeymoon package). Passion is priced at $3,500 for five nights, and promises "all the romance of the American Riviera." Choose a Garden Cottage or Historic Barn room with wood burning fireplace. Guests are pampered with champagne, chocolate cheesecake hearts and a dozen roses on arrival. During the stay, guests enjoy two massages, complimentary bathrobes, and a framed photo taken at the Inn. The package also includes a day in the Santa Barbara Wine Country with car, driver and picnic lunch, and a custom itinerary with scenic hikes, shopping and dining suggestions, beach walks, and theater picks.
November 15, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Created by Robert Redford, Sundance Resort is an intimate preserve that balances art, nature, and community. Situated at the base of 12,000 foot Mount Timpanogos, the resort consists of 95 luxurious guest cottages and 6,000 acres of pristine mountain wilderness to explore. Though rooms may be all booked for the celebrated Sundance Film Festival (January 18-28, 2007), superb winter packages entice guests to indulge in a luxurious hideaway at Sundance. Dine in the highest Zagat-rated fine restaurant in the state of Utah, the Tree Room. Pamper yourself at the Native American-inspired spa, which utilizes all organic products in its sumptuous treatments. Take a class at the artisan center: jewelry making, photography, painting, pottery, and recycled glass blowing demonstrations. And explore Utah's beautiful terrain with a vast array of mountain activities including biking, hiking, fly-fishing, horseback riding, skiing, snowboarding, snow-shoeing, and cross-country skiing. For a limited time, enjoy a one-night escape at an amazing value, starting at $160.25 (based on double occupancy). Package includes a luxurious night in one of the mountain cottages and a full American breakfast for two in the Foundry Grill. Available until December 7, 2006. Sundance Resort offers another excellent package: Stay 3 Ski Free. If you book three or more nights in a cottage suite, enjoy two all day lift passes per day. Also includes breakfast for two. Package starts at $927 based on double occupancy.
Overwater bungalows perched over a turquoise lagoon beneath the lush green volcanic peaks of Mount Otemanu. Palm-fringed gardens. Endless stretches of white sand beach. An offshore coral reef, 25 miles long, which hosts a variety of colorful marine life. Welcome to paradise. Hotel Bora Bora is a picture-perfect vacation destination, a luxurious boutique hotel with 54 Polynesian-style bungalows and fares amidst the tropical perfection of French Polynesia. Enjoy swimming, diving, snorkeling, sailing, and deep-sea fishing. Bungalows are outfitted in rattan and bamboo, with Tasmanian oak floors, red-cedar walls, and ceilings of pandanus lashed to beams of Douglas fir. Some feature sundecks, private pools, and outside showers. Until March 31, 2007, take advantage of a special offer at Hotel Bora Bora which includes complimentary breakfast with a stay in a bungalow, plus a complimentary massage for two with a minimum five-night stay. Includes round-trip airport transfers. Starting from $700 in a bungalow.
Escape to the secluded Exuma cays, a beautiful tropical oasis just a short flight from Florida. At the Four Seasons Resort Great Exuma, indulge in luxury while surrounded by crystal-clear Bahamian waters and silky sand beaches. Lounge poolside at the free-form Active Pool, amidst the lush landscaping, while attendants provide iced water, cold towels, and refreshing chilled spritz. Play a round of golf on the breathtaking championship 18-hole course designed by golf legend, Greg Norman, or hit some tennis on one of six Hydro Har-Tru courts (all lit for night play). Or indulge in an indulgent spa treatment at the beautiful open-air spa, followed by relaxation in the tranquil spa garden. The Golf and Spa package at Four Seasons Great Exuma has been designed for couples to make the most of their vacation in paradise. For each night you stay, choose either a 50-minute spa treatment or one round of golf, for the perfect combination of recreation and pampering. Package includes luxurious accommodations and choice of one round of golf (inclusive of cart) and one 50-minute spa treatment (for up to two persons, per room, per night). Starting at $628 per night in a Garden View Room. Valid until December 16, 2006.