After three years of construction and $350 million spent on resort redevelopment, Georgia's exclusive Sea Island hot spot is ready to dazzle. The elegant 1928 hotel-- regularly hosting royalty and international dignitaries through the 20th century-- was ready for some work, and the new Mediterranean style main building (with the meticulous restoration of the legendary Spanish Lounge) is absolutely stunning. Guests are already shelling out the dough for coveted guest rooms, the summer season promising to be booked solid. And who can blame them? The epitome of Old World elegance, these rooms feature wood beamed ceilings, 500-thread count Italian sheets, Turkish stone baths, Bulgari White Tea toiletries, antiques and original art, and are draped in custom-designed hand-loomed Turkish rugs. Of course, there's also the appeal of the attentive private butler service and impeccable Southern hospitality. Additional developments are in store for this award-winning resort: the construction of a new Spa at Sea Island is slated to open in October, and the Beach Club is expected in Summer 2007.
The Cloister at Sea Island, Five Star Alliance
In a week, Westin is opening the doors to luxury in its first property in the South Pacific. Say hello to the new Westin Denarau Island Resort and Spa, Fiji. A five-star oasis surrounded by tropical gardens and long, palm-graced sandy beaches. The old Sheraton got a $15 million makeover and morphed into a brand-spanking-new Westin, its style and architecture designed to reflect Fiji's cultural heritage. The resort's new Heavenly Spa is the largest in Fiji. Set within a 1,350-square meter meditation garden, the Spa features eight Fijian-style treatment bures and two suites, a Vichy shower treatment room, a hydrotherapy room, a wet-edge lap pool, and Jacuzzi. Hit the gym (Westin's WORKOUT Powered by Reebok fitness center is packed with state-of-the-art equipment), soak up the rays by the three-tier swimming pool, enjoy the beach and extensive water sports program, or play some tennis or golf. The introductory rate of $183 a night is almost too good to be true. The special promotional offer includes luxurious accommodations, full breakfast, a spa credit, complimentary dinner for two, and complimentary champagne in room upon arrival. Available through June 30, 2006. But keep in mind that from April 20-October 2006, the resort is still undergoing minor construction, refurbishing the remaining guestrooms.
April 6, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Follow the likes of Trista and Ryan (of Bachelorette fame) and countless celebs on this elite private island resort that Andrew Harper's calls "as close to heaven on earth as you're likely to get." 500 acres of bliss for only 14 couples at one time, and a staff of 150 to provide for and pamper them. Turtle Island is truly one of the world's finest and most romantic resorts. Settle into your elegant "bure," a traditional hand-crafted thatched cottage with outdoor verandahs overlooking blue lagoons. Rates are all-inclusive, including all gourmet meals, all drinks including alcohol, massage, deep sea fishing, horseback riding, private picnics, scuba diving, and countless other activities. And now is the time to fly free to Turtle Island, as the resort is offering two free coach tickets from Los Angeles and free seaplane transfers, with a seven night stay. Nightly rates start at $1,975 per night, per couple (Grand Bure accommodations). Travel must be completed by May 11, 2006.
Turtle Island, Official Site
Turtle Island, Five Star Alliance
April 5, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
from Mary Phillips, General Manager, Jamaica Inn
Where can you find a beach resort with snorkeling equipment available free to guests; where each suite has a private balustraded balcony or large verandah overlooking the water; where balconies and verandahs come complete with a full sized sofa, wing chair, breakfast table, writing desk and coffee table; and a 700-foot private white sand beach? Ocho Rios and right now you can go for cheap. The Jamaica Inn is offering a last-minute, early April special - summer rates as low as US $255 per room, per night (double occupancy) - starting April 1, 2006.
And if you are trying to decide whether or not you want to book a room for this summer and risk getting stuck at home because of Jamaica's hurricane season, the answer is the Hurricane Guarantee. In the event of a hurricane on the island of Jamaica, and if the hurricane interrupts the use of the all included services at Jamaica Inn - the resort will offer a free replacement vacation. Of course there is some fine print, which you should ask about when you give them a call at 1-800-837-4608 for reservations.
Jamaica Inn, Official Site
Jamaica Inn, Five Star Alliance
April 3, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Of Islands Magazine recent picks of the Best Snorkeling Spots Worldwide, Anse Chastanet in St. Lucia shines as an unspoiled natural paradise with awesome snorkeling right out the front door. Overshadowed by the landmark green peaks--the Gros and Petit Pitons--that provide the lush and dramatic backdrop for this island nation, the resort sits on 600 acres of rolling hills and tropical gardens overlooking the soft sparkling sand of the Caribbean's best beaches. The resort's rooms are each individualized: white-washed cottages with wrap-around-balconies, deluxe suites with enormous interiors and walls opening to extraordinary vistas, other rooms boasting verandahs framed by flowering blossoms, while the premium suites offer sublime showers-with-a-view. Besides the snorkeling on the pristine coral reef just offshore, the resort offers a world-renowned, first class SSI Platinum Pro/PADI dive facility. And after a day on the water (or playing tennis or mountain biking), the therapeutic delights of the Kai Belte Spa await.
Anse Chastanet, Official Site
Anse Chastanet, Five Star Alliance
March 30, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The moment we've all been waiting for. The glorious Sunny Isles beach resort we've been raving about for months, is officially accepting ressies for April 28th arrivals. The setting couldn't be more perfect: 400 feet of gorgeous Florida coastline halfway between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. This luxurious haven features 97 suites, all with private terraces, the Il Mulino New York restaurant, the first ESPA Spa in the US, three swimming pools and the marine biology inspired AcquaMarine children's program. We've been excitedly anticipating this one for months. Enjoy.
Acqualina, Official Site
Acqualina, Five Star Alliance
A luxury train ride promised to be epic, and it stank to high heaven? A private jet experience gone wrong? The Times UK weighs in:
They're icons of luxury travel: the Orient-Express, the Queen Mary 2, the private jet. Travel on them and you wave goodbye to the common herd. Sure, they cost a small fortune, but you've got to experience them at least once in a lifetime. Or have you? Are the most prestigious train, boat and plane rides in the world all they’re cracked up to be?The Times sent three writers to find out, whose overwhelming response-- "Damn straight, it's worth it!"-- was a little surprising... Can these icons of luxury travel deliver perfect performances each time? Is there no room for improvement?
No joke. Peak season, perfect city, popular hotel. The Eternal City's most luxurious and romantic hotel, perched above the Spanish Steps in an unbeatable location, is offering the "Early Bird-Lazy Days of Summer Package." Book your stay at the Hotel Hassler by May 15 for a two-night minimum stay between July 17 and September 8, and get more than 50 percent off! Includes daily breakfast buffet, starting at EUR 240. What a steal.
Hotel Hassler, Official Site
Hotel Hassler, Five Star Alliance
Via Washington Post "What's the Deal?"
So what if the hotel spa had racked up a mountain of awards, including #1 in service by Conde Nast Traveler readers? The only hotel in Southern California to score both the AAA Five Diamond and Mobil Five Star awards for twelve consecutive years doesn't get complacent or sit pretty on their laurels. Instead, they inject $7 million in renovations into an already picture-perfect spa. The newly transformed Peninsula Spa opened its doors in Beverly Hills last month; its new look is cutting-edge, characterized by limestone, clear glass and mosaic tile-work. The lavish range of treatments include special treatments for men (that run the gamut from facials, sports, body, hand and foot experiences), and a dedicated skin therapy room overlooking the Hollywood Hills. In addition, there is now a Couples Treatment Room, and Spa robes, wraps and headbands from Frette. Spa technicians are fashionably clad in St. John custom-designed uniforms. And the best part of all: the exclusive Shiffa Precious Gem Treatments, which incorporate Shiffa gem oils containing rubies, emeralds and sapphires (oh my!) to relay the gems' healing powers and create serenity.
The Peninsula Beverly Hills, Official Site
The Peninsula Beverly Hills, Five Star Alliance
What a London location. In the heart of the West End, near Regent's Park, and just a hop and skip from Bond and Oxford Street shopping. The Langham Hotel, London is a Victorian landmark dating from 1865, the luxurious flagship property for Langham Hotels worldwide. Join the royal ranks of the pampered clientele who choose the Langham on their London jaunts and reserve the Infinity Suite, the city's ultimate luxury suite. Opened in January 2005, the Infinity is a grand 236 sq meters, with a private entrance lobby, enormous Drawing room with dining table for six, Master Bedroom with four poster bed, second guest bedroom, a pantry kitchen, and elegant bathroom. The suite's plush materials and furnishings are opulent and wonderfully romantic. The best feature? The infinity bath or "sok" in the master bedroom (as featured in the pic)-- a deep soaking bath which constantly overflows in a cascade of falling water filtered through a color spectrum of light.
Langham Hotel London, Official Site
Langham Hotel London, Five Star Alliance