LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
On the elegant and exclusive island of St. Barts, Le Sereno is a beautiful hideaway designed by famous Parisian designer Christian Liaigre in a modern, minimalist style. Located seaside on the Grand Cul de Sac Beach, the fashionable hotel is an intimate and stylish refuge of only 37 suites. Formerly the Sereno Beach Hotel, Le Sereno reopened to much applause from discriminating travelers and press in late 2005. The makeover was exquisite: rooms are minimalist masterpieces with bare white walls and dark wood floors, and feature beautiful gardens with large daybeds, private terraces, private bars, and ocean views. As expected technology is superb: wireless Internet, plasma TV, two-line phones, personal iPods and iPod docking stations, and the amenities are luxurious: robes and towels especially made for Le Sereno by D. Porthault, Ex Voto Paris amenities, 310-Thread count linens. Enjoy the Beach Club, located on the hotel's 600 feet of palm-dotted white sand beach, and relax by the beachfront freshwater swimming pool. Or for those feeling more adventurous, numerous water sports are available, along with a fitness club. The Spa is currently under construction.
The Plaza Athenee's dazzling Eiffel Suite could be the best in Paris, with a 180 degree panorama of the city's skyline. Located on the 8th floor of the hotel, facing Avenue Montaigne, the suite boasts incredible views of Paris' most beloved landmark. The suite's 1,410 square feet are composed of a large bedroom, living room including enormous corner sofa, a bar and sitting room-- graced by two separate entrances. All rooms feature large picture windows with views of the Eiffel Tower—even the bathroom has a wall of glass to allow the magnificent view (though it can become opaque if desired, for complete privacy). By far the best part of the suite is the 301 square foot terrace, situated on the roof of the hotel just above the suite's living room. From here, lucky guests enjoy unsurpassed 360 degree views of the City of Light.
Escape to the private Hawaiian island of Lana'i at the new Four Seasons Lanai, The Lodge at Koele, a gracious retreat situated in the island's dramatic central highlands amidst manicured gardens and Hawaii's incredible natural beauty. After an extensive renovation, the resort will reopen on November 15, 2006. Guests enjoy activities such as horseback riding, hiking and world-class golf on two courses, including the new Greg Norman-designed championship course overlooking mountains, lush greens, and cascading waterfalls in awe-inspiring landscapes. Watersports, and a full service spa, are available at the companion resort, Four Seasons Resort Lana'i at Manele Bay, so pampered guests on Lana'i can experience the best of both worlds: highlands and ocean. Savor peaceful tranquility at the pool, surrounded by rolling hills and landscaped gardens, where Four Seasons poolside services include ice water, Evian spritzes, and chilled towels offered by pool attendants. The 901 square foot fitness center is state-of-the-art, with weight room, spa treatment room, and men's and women's lockers. Now taking ressies.
August 30, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The beautiful Basque city of San Sebastien—situated on two sweeping beaches bathed by Atlantic surf—is a glorious combination of natural landscapes and urban treasures. Green mountaintops (one crowned by an enormous statue of Jesus, reminiscent of Rio de Janeiro) look down upon an awesome crescent of boat-dotted harbors and grand boulevards with tall art nouveau architecture. The Parte Vieja, its narrow alleys lined by packed tapas bars and beautiful boutiques – promises the liveliest and most entertaining nightlife in Basque Country (and possibly, in all of Spain.) Where to stay? The Hotel Maria Cristina—part of Westin's Luxury Collection—is a five star masterpiece overlooking the Urma River just minutes from the beach. Guest rooms boast ocean views from balconies, fine furnishings, marble, and all the modern amenities you'd expect in a world-class luxury hotel. After all, the Maria Cristina is a prominent fixture on the Conde Nast Traveler Gold List and Reader's Choice Awards. The spa is superb.
The posh canvas tents at The Resort at Paws Up are more akin to a five-star hotel than camping out. And with the resort's superior five-star amenities, this is the way to experience Montana's epic wilderness in style. Opened in June 2005 on 37,000 acres in Blackfoot Valley, just outside of Missoula, The Resort at Paws Up is surrounded by some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world. Outdoor enthusiasts rejoice in this slice of heaven: saddle up and go horseback on the hundreds of miles of trails, take your best shot at the sporting clays course, cast a fly with an expert guide with the best kind of Montana fly-fishing experience, or go swimming in the lake, boating, hiking, mountain biking, rafting, or play a round at the nearby championship golf course. This is the ultimate wilderness adventure playground. After a day enjoying the country, return to a sumptuous in-room spa treatment. Soak up the rustic elegance at Tent City, with featherbeds, fine linens, and all the modern conveniences offered at the resort's other luxury vacation homes, overlooking the grandeur of the Montana wilderness. The Resort at Paws Up offers a truly unique western experience.
This award winning, glass-walled restaurant is, by far, the ritziest resort restaurant in Carmel. Terraced on an ocean bluff overlooking the dramatic seascape of the Big Sur coastline, at the Highlands Inn Park Hyatt, Pacific's Edge provides incomparable ocean vistas. As guests dine on spectacular French-New American fare and savor bottles from the 1,700-label wine list (a perennial Grand Award winner from Wine Spectator), they can watch whales and sea otters playing just offshore, and the sunset dip below the Pacific's horizon at the most picturesque spot on earth. And to top it all off—the staff is elegant and attentive, ensuring a fantastic dining experience.
Halfway between Miami and Key West in the heart of the Florida Keys, Tranquility Bay is a 12-acre hideaway of palm-dotted white sand beaches overlooking the sparkling waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Opened in January, the resort features 87 charming two-story cottages on the ocean, surrounded by lush landscaping and towering coconut palms. The pristine sandy beach is one of the largest in the Keys, with endless watersports and activities (including Hobie Cats for rent), and the nearby Tilden's Scuba Center outfits divers keen to explore the sunken Thunderbolt wreck. Other fantastic Keys attractions are also nearby, including Bahia Honda state park, convenient shopping, great dining, and awesome sports fishing outlets. Pamper yourself at Island Spice Private Spa, or relax by the lagoon-style pool, tropical drink in hand. In addition to the luxurious accommodations, beach houses are also available for rental and ownership.
August 25, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
from Jennifer Ehrman, Old Bahama Bay Resort & Yacht Harbour
Old Bahama Bay Resort and Yacht Harbour is one of only 3 luxury hotels that Five Star Alliance has chosen as the best hotel luxury in the Bahamas. The resort features all beachfront suites, a full-service marina, 3 restaurants, and a host of events and boating activities. In addition to the resort's 67 oceanfront and oceanview junior suites, they offer 6 spectacular oceanfront 2-bedroom suites.
Why You Should Go Now
1. You can make last minute reservations and be there in time for check-in because the resort and yacht harbour is located just 56 miles from the Florida coast, on the westernmost tip of Grand Bahama Island. The 228 acre resort is 26 miles from Grand Bahama International Airport in Freeport which is serviced by American Eagle, Continental Connection, Bahamasair, AirTran, Delta, as well as several charter operations. Direct service to Freeport is available from Miami, Ft Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Orlando, the New York area, Atlanta and Charlotte, NC.
2. Fall into Old Bahama Bay for Free 4th Night Package
Between now and September 30th, 2006 - guests making brand new reservations to stay during this time period will receive a 4th night free on any type of suite or on a dock slip. (This offer cannot be combined with other packages).
August 25, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
An intimate luxury hotel in the heart of Houston's business and nightlife district, The Lancaster is a legend among guests who return again and again for the stately elegance and excellent personal service. The hotel enchants with its European charm and grand tradition of hospitality. The Bistro serves scrumptious regional American cuisine, and the popular Bistro Bar, rated one of the top ten bars in the county by Food and Wine magazine, is a favorite among trendy locals. The handsomely appointed rooms feature dark wood two-poster beds topped with down duvets and feather pillows, marble bathrooms, and state-of-the-art technology. With the Romance Package, enjoy an unforgettable evening at The Lancaster. Your room or suite will be meticulously prepared for your arrival with chilled champagne and chocolate-dipped strawberries presented on a silver tray. The following morning, enjoy a romantic American breakfast for two served in the room or Bistro. Starting from $229.
August 24, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
You'd be hard-pressed to find a better spot in Barcelona. Situated high on Mount Tibidabo, 25 minutes from the city center, the Gran Hotel La Florida features spectacular views overlooking Barcelona and the shimmering Mediterranean Sea. The resort's 74 rooms include eight designer suites with jacuzzis, gardens, and large terraces, designed by world-renowned decorators and architects. The Sky Terrace Suite, for example, sits on the hotel's top floor, with an enormous 80 sq meter terrace with unsurpassed views of Barcelona and the Pyrenees. Designed by Rebecca Horn, the spacious suite consists of a large bedroom and living area, with dining table, sun beds, and awesome bathroom with Philippe Starck bathtub perfectly situated to contemplate the sweeping city views. Other hotel perks: it's decked out with an exquisite art collection; the outdoor scene at Miramar Bar, complete with swimming pool and summertime DJ; and the ZenZone Spa, with Hammam, sauna, caldarium, and fitness center. The Spa's infinity pool is extraordinary, seeming to flow from the side of the mountain down into the city beneath. The Gran Hotel La Florida is the best kind of urban oasis.