'Tis the season... for leaf-peeping at New England's splendid fall foliage, and savoring the scents of autumn (like warm spiced cider). Head to Boston, one of the world's best walking cities, for a private guided tour through the city's historic heart, soaking up the last days of summer warmth and enjoying mild temperatures. Fifteen Beacon Hotel, the luxury landmark standing at the crest of Beacon Hill, has an enticing package to help you get the most out of the season. Book "Only in Autumn" and you'll enjoy homemade spiced cider and donuts, a private tour of Boston (the most historic city in America) for prime leaf-peeping and historic sightseeing, and an upgrade upon arrival, based on availability. Please book at least two weeks in advance. Rates starting from $800. Blackout dates may apply.
We've tossed back our share of scary libations (oh Jägermeister, how you warm the hardest of college-age hearts)... But never have we seen anything quite like this. The Langham in London is getting in the Halloween spirit by serving up “Tarantula and Scorpion Cocktails” at its Artesian bar. (This swank watering hole has garnered all kinds of awards, including “World's Best Cocktail Menu" at this year's Spirited Awards.) Artesian's mixologist Alex Kratena created the drink with Courvoisier punch infused with oven baked tarantula and scorpion which is said to “add notes of wood and tobacco to the cocktail.” Staying in London for Halloween? The Langham is offering its annual October package for £333 (the same number as The Langham's most haunted room) including overnight accommodation for two persons, a Tarantula Cocktail for two in Artesian, a Jack The Ripper Walking Tour and a complimentary history book (complete with ghost stories) of The Langham, London from The Langham Book Butler.
It's our favorite time of year. Sunny days with a slight chill in the air... And Oktoberfest is here! Planning to hit up one of the world's biggest parties in Germany? (Munich is calling your name.) Do it right and don a custom-made dirndl for the occasion. The Charles, a Rocco Forte hotel, has partnered up with Schatzi Dirndl, the well-respected Bavarian costume designer, to dress its guests in style. Not only that, but the hotel will hook you up with beer spa treatments! Reserve the ‘Wiesn Warm-Up Spa Treatment’ and you'll be indulging with a beer footbath, a hops and salt scrub and a revitalizing back-and foot massage, followed by a refreshing Bavarian wheat beer. Did we mention the "Hangover Massage" for post-Oktoberfest recovery? Book the Oktoberfest Package, available from now until October 4 and priced from 925 euros for two nights, and you'll get: accommodations with breakfast for two, one personalized dirndl by Schatzi Dirndl, transfers to and from Schatzi Dirndl for fitting, Bavarian gift in room upon arrival, an welcome drinks.
September 19, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Calling all you insomniacs out there... Sometimes even a Hästens mattress wrapped in 300-thread-count sheets and feather duvets is not going to cut it. You need tips from a specialist to ensure a "sound sleep experience." Enter The Milestone Hotel and Apartments, the award-winning property in Kensington. According to London Hotels Insight, the boutique hotel launched a package this summer which includes a luxurious night’s stay, a private, one-hour consultation with sleep therapist Tej Samani, treatments in the hotel’s spa therapy room and an assortment of aromatherapy oils, eye masks and other helpful aids to help you drift off. Get this: You can even take advantage of the Alpha Sleep Pod, "a matchbox-sized machine with earphones that pump out audio to match your sleep dilemma, whether you can’t fall asleep, can’t get back to sleep or just want a power nap." Starting at £976 per room per night based on two people sharing a Deluxe King room.
September 16, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Foodies won't want to miss this special opportunity at the Four Seasons Boston: a weekend culinary extravaganza this fall that includes apple picking, cider making, and cooking with the Executive Chef. With the Farm-to-Table getaway, a group of six has a fun-filled, food-themed weekend both on the farm and at the luxury hotel. Here's what the weekend looks like:
* Friday - Arrive and savor special welcome amenities from Chef Vosika followed by a festive dinner at Chef's favorite Boston restaurant outside of the hotel.
* Saturday - Breakfast in The Bristol Lounge before departing for a local farm to select fresh produce and go apple picking. In the afternoon, the cooking begins. Venture inside the kitchen at Four Seasons Boston, don chef's hats and aprons and use a cider press to make apple cider from scratch. Then, cook up festive fall indulgences ranging from Chef’s favorite apple cider donuts to warm apple pie. You'll also taste a range of light bites and sip homemade wines from Chef’s personal label, Sawkill Creek. Dinner is a custom menu in The Bristol Lounge incorporating the farm-fresh, seasonal ingredients selected during the day’s outing.
* Sunday - Celebratory Sunday Breakfast Buffet in The Bristol Lounge. Each participant will receive Chef's personal recipes plus a basket of homemade goods to take home.
This special weekend is offered from Friday, October 14 to Sunday October 16, 2011 by Four Seasons Hotel Boston. The cost is $7,995 per group of six and includes three guest rooms plus the itinerary described; guests must book together.
The off-peak season starting in September is a great time to experience the pink sand beaches of Bermuda. Just a 90-minute plane ride from East Coast cities, Bermuda has a wealth of recreational activities the whole family will enjoy. And at Rosewood Tucker's Point, Bermuda's first all-new resort in nearly four decades, you've got the island's longest private beach right at your doorstep. Take the family on a fall getaway and score 50% savings on a second room for the kids (ages 18 and under). The special is valid now through April 15, 2012. Year-round family-friendly activities make the most of the resort’s Castle Harbour setting in any season. There's the Junior Golf Program on Saturdays, introducing youngsters ages 4-6 to the game with a free half-hour session, complete with refreshments, from 1 – 1:30 p.m., while young intermediate golfers of all ages receive instruction on and off the course from 1:30 – 3 p.m. for $25 per player. There's also a Junior Tennis Program and Rose Buds Children's Program with supervised fun for the youngest guests. Not to mention the four pools, 12,000 square foot spa, children's water park, sailing excursions, and Dive & Watersports Centre, providing you with all you need to dive Bermuda's reefs and wrecks.
Mourning the end of summer? We've got just the cure. Head to southern California for some sun, surf and sand. It's always summer in Santa Monica! The Hotel Shangri-La-- the beautifully renovated Art Deco landmark perched on the bluffs above the Pacific-- has an "Endless Summer Package" that's got your name on it. Running through the end of October, the package features a picnic basket crafted by the Chef de cuisine with organic ingredients fresh from the farmer's market. Not only that, but the package also includes the perfect night cap in Suite 700. There's no better view in town for sunset cocktails! You'll also get complimentary valet parking with your accommodations in a one-bedroom suite with a gourmet kitchen and ocean views. Priced from $375 per night. Subject to availability, and valid through October 31, 2011.
September 14, 2011
By: Christopher Roney
With the bustle of autumn upon us, kids back to school and the summertime lull over, I catch myself daydreaming about getting away to a place where I am treated like royalty. With the Fall Escape at Villa d’Este, overlooking the ethereal Lake Como just north of the historic city of Milan, that fantasy can become a reality. Built in 1568, the Villa D’Este has been the destination spot for noble families ever since, including the Queen of England herself. And it’s no wonder; its 25 acres of gardens and majestic view over the lake have been painted and photographed for centuries. If you saw it hanging in a museum, you wouldn’t believe it was real.
Maintained to preserve its original elegance, each of the Villa D’Este’s unique rooms offers a variation on classical renaissance décor befitting of its status as one of the best in the world. So if you need a place to escape to this fall, don your purple bathrobe and look no further than the Villa D’Este, and prepare to be treated like a King (or Queen!).
The Fall Escape deal includes
• Breakfast at the restaurant or continental served in your room
• Free access to the Villa’s state-of-the-art sporting facilities.
• Free breakfast and bedding for children under seven years of age.
• A substantial discount on room price over a variety of world-class options
September 14, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The Halkin is celebrating 20 years as a glamorous boutique hotel in London with a fun-filled calendar of events this month. Just two days ago, the art publisher ASSOULINE opened an immersive pop-up "Culture Lounge" which will run through November 30, 2011. Visitors can browse gorgeous coffee-table books in a library-style environment, and noted authors will participate in literary events. September will also see The Halkin unveil its new 20th anniversary suites - two COMO Suites and one Belgravia Suite on the second and third floor which have been renovated and now include large balconies overlooking the hotel gardens. Various anniversary packages are available with value-added extras (like milkshakes, cookies, and a Children’s Box of Delights for kids traveling with their families on vacation).
September 12, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Always wanted to plan a getaway to Esperanza in Cabo San Lucas? (Can't say we blame you; this luxury resort is a fave of Hollywood celebrities for its beautifully designed casitas and swank spa.) The property is nestled in 17 lushly landscaped acres beneath the mountains at the tip of the Baja Peninsula- and all rooms have spectacular views of the Sea of Cortez. Book the "Ultimate Escape" at Esperanza-- available until December 17, 2011-- and you'll get the 4th night free when you stay three consecutive nights. You'll also be treated to complimentary daily breakfast at El Restaurante, complimentary round trip airport transfers ($300 value), 2-$50 spa certificates, complimentary yoga classes daily, use of the fitness facility, and complimentary non-alcoholic beverages in the mini bar. Subject to availability.