LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
Chocolate chip cookies with milk, Frette robes, "mocktails"… Dublin's luxurious five-star Merrion Hotel has unveiled the "Miss and Master Merrion" program, where young guests are welcomed with a slew of complimentary amenities (and pampered alongside their 'rents). While children are delighted by the in-room milk and cookies (note: healthier options are available), babies receive complimentary products such as baby wash, moisturizer, talcum powder, and bottles. Frette children's robes and slippers are available in-room, and also at the Tethra Spa. Special children's menus include delightful homemade options including real chicken nuggets, chicken noodle soup, homemade pizza, and pigs in a blanket. And the bartender at No. 23 or The Cellar Bar can even prepare "mocktails" for kids to enjoy alongside their parents. (There's a wealth of family entertainment in Dublin-- from the Dublin Zoo to the Lambert Puppet Theater--easily arranged by the Merrion concierge.)
You are invited to a special culinary event at the Chateau Elan Winery and Resort, Georgia's celebrated French-style Chateau with a full-production winery renowned for its award-winning premium vintages. On November 3, 2006, the Chateau will host a fun-filled evening of exquisite cuisine and fine wine in the Cask Room, with Executive Chef Marc Suennemann and Winemaker Dan Baldwin. Enjoy a beautifully-prepared Five-Course Dinner for Two, luxurious overnight accommodations, a specially labeled bottle of Chateau Elan wine, and breakfast for two the following morning at Versailles. Seating is limited and the cost of the two-person package is $469 (excluding tax). Situated just 40 minutes north of Atlanta, the Chateau Elan is surrounded by 3,500 acres of picturesque vineyards. In addition to the winery, the resort boasts a fabulous spa and dining establishments.
Music City is home to many lively restaurants, bars, and nightlife where famed entertainers first made their mark. But Nashville's also full of museums, exciting attractions, culture, and art (try symphony, ballet, opera…) And the city positively comes alive during the holiday season. Visitors to Nashville can enjoy the Ray Charles exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame, Broadway's The Lion King at the Tennessee Performing Art's Center, Victorian Holiday Tours at Belle Meade Plantation, and the Titans vs. Patriots game on New Year's Eve. Book a room at the AAA five diamond award-winning Hermitage Hotel and experience the exceptional personalized service and first-rate facilities cited by the Robb Report when naming it one of the world's best luxury hotels. After a $19 million renovation, the historic Hermitage hotel shines as the city's finest, with its exquisite stained glass lobby ceiling, marble columns and staircases, and Russian walnut paneling. The elegant hotel is offering festive packages for the holiday season.
October 12, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Talk about a Grand Slam. Kiawah Island Golf Resort has been racking up the awards lately. It's been selected as the Best Golf Resort in the US by Travel and Leisure Golf. Readers of Travel and Leisure Family recently rated Kiawah as the Top Family Resort in the East. Golf Digest awarded the Ocean Course a perfect 5 stars rating in the "Best Places to Play," and Golf Magazine ranked the Ocean Course as No. 3 in the "Top 100 You Can Play," ahead of Pinehurst and Torrey Pines. And Tennis Magazine ranked Kiawah as the number one resort. Wow.
After $177 million in renovations since 1997, including the addition of the gorgeous luxury hotel The Sanctuary, Kiawah has dazzled its guests with gracious hospitality and superb facilities. Families are attracted to the excellent recreational activities, including beach, biking, tennis, and fabulous children's programs. And golfers are lured to the five world-championship courses, including the famed Ocean Course, recently redesigned by Pete Dye with a $4 million overhaul (the 18th green is now right next to the ocean). There's a brand new, 24,000 sq-foot Club House in the works, with wrap-around porches overlooking the dunes, slated to open in May 2007 in time for the PGA Senior Open Championship. Kiawah has a number of excellent Fall Golf Packages, which include three nights accommodations, breakfast and dinner, and all greens fees for three rounds of golf. Starting from $313, per person, per night.
The moment we've all been waiting for. Come October 14, 2006, the first in a series of exhibits from the Musee de Louvre in Paris opens at Atlanta's High Museum of Art. The unprecedented three-year partnership, dubbed simply Louvre Atlanta, will begin with the Royal Collections, a dazzling array of paintings, sculptures drawings from master artists, that once belonged to the kings of France. The opening day celebrations include art-making activities for children, live music in the Piazza, theater, the French Poodle Parade, classic French mime, and other special performances. The two area Ritz-Carlton hotels have organized a Louvre Atlanta package for visitors to enjoy the fantastic exhibit. The package includes one night's luxurious accommodations, full breakfast for two, valet parking, and a pair of tickets to the museum exhibit. Available through December 2006. Starting at $249 at the Ritz-Carlton Atlanta, an elegant address in the heart of downtown, and $299 at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead, located uptown across the street from the acclaimed Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza shopping malls.
Now is the time to visit Hong Kong. The city is simply hopping with festivals and good times. From October 20-November 19, 2006, the New Vision Arts Festival-- highlighting the connections between East and West-- is a month-long cultural extravaganza of art, modern dance, Chinese opera, theater and ballet. And starting October 25, Hong Kong Winterfest will transform the city into a winter wonderland. A must-see is the newly-renovated Peak Tower. Hong Kong's iconic landmark has undergone a multi-million dollar makeover and is now welcoming visitors to take in the dramatic city views. The entire rooftop has been turned into a viewing platform, high-end restaurants have opened in addition to the fast food joints, and the rooftop Sky Gallery now showcases the work of local artists.
Be pampered in style at the legendary Peninsula Hong Kong, long hailed as one of the finest hotels in the world. Even if an overnight stay's not in the works, you can now enjoy a luxurious Weekday Spa Escape at the hotel. Escape from the hectic pace of city life for the ultimate in rejuvenation. The 'Weekday Spa Escape' includes full use of the Peninsula Spa facilities (including harbor view sauna and crystal steam room, relaxation areas, Asian Tea Lounge and the hotel's Greco-Roman-style swimming pool), an ESPA salt and oil full-body exfoliation (30 minutes), ESPA aromatherapy body massage (1hr 20 minutes), plus a light lunch by the pool, featuring 'Naturally Peninsula' light and healthy cuisine. All for just HK$1,800 per person.
October 10, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The folks at Daily Candy uncovered this "worthwhile getaway" from Kor Hotels. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the Kor Hotel Group will reflect this theme all month long with their Think Pink Campaign. Stay at any of the Kor Hotel Group's glam properties (like the Viceroy Santa Monica and the Tides South Beach), choose the "Think Pink" rate, and they'll donate 10 percent of your bill to the Revlon/UCLA Breast Cancer Center. For an additional price of $40, guests receive a special Think Pink gift bag (valued at $120) which includes a Glamour Pink Tee designed by Kelly Wearstler, gift certificate for a Pink Martini, Shaken not Stirred, Pink Martini CD, "Breast Cancer 101" (a handbook on cancer research, history and treatment), and a classic pink ribbon, to display prominently and show your solidarity to the cause.
October 9, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
There's nothing finer than Fall in New York. (And if you choose to visit in November, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is a must: with fabulous floats, giant balloons, and 2.5 million folks in attendance.) The place to stay in Manhattan is The Carlyle, of course, the elegant landmark on Madison Avenue and favorite haunt of world leaders and numerous celebs since its debut in 1930. A timeless classic, The Carlyle is like a stately private residence, welcoming its guests with the most exacting and refined service. Enjoy sweeping views of Central Park from your sumptuous suite, appointed with the finest fabrics, rugs, boudoir chairs, Frette linens, and original Audubon prints. The hotel's perfect location offers easy access to the Upper East Side galleries as well as the nearby Museum Mile. Celebrate Autumn in New York with special seasonal rates at The Carlyle. With this special, a decadent Deluxe Room can be booked for $750 (usual daily rates are $825).
This could be heaven on earth. Surrounded by dramatic mountain landscapes, Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain is a sumptuous boutique hideaway boasting one of the world's most celebrated destination spas. The list of accolades is impressive: Travel and Leisure Top 500, Andrew Harper's Hideaway award winner, Top 10 US Spas (Celebrated Living), and Conde Nast Traveler's Gold List of the World's Best Places to Stay. The intimate Sanctuary Spa is renowned the world over for its Asian-inspired treatments and spectacular setting. The movement studio offers classes such as Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi and Belly Dancing, and the Fitness Center is equipped with state-of-the-art cardio and strength training equipment. The 98 luxurious casitas feature outdoor balconies with breathtaking panoramic views, wood-burning fireplaces, and outdoor soaking tubs enclosed within private patios.
Until December 9, 2006, Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain is offering a fantastic Spa Harmony package, where guests pay for two nights, and receive the third for free. Package includes dazzling accommodations, full breakfast each morning in elements or in-room dining, two 60-minute spa treatments per person, per package from the Spa Menu, access to the Meditation Garden, Vitality Pools and Steam Baths, candlelight turndown service, and newspaper delivered daily. The price averages out to $578 per night in a Mountain View Casita.
Smack dab in the middle of things in the nation's capital, The Madison is perfectly located on M Street, just a short walk from the White House, Mall, Dupont Circle boutiques, and countless museums. A blend of sophisticated, urban luxury and historic tradition, this landmark hotel has hosted every president since John F. Kennedy. The 353 recently-renovated guest rooms and 42 suites pamper guests with plush furnishings and amenities, and the service—as to be expected of a place that has hosted heads of state, international business leaders, and Washington's most notable figures—is fine-tuned, personalized, and genuinely warm. Until February 28, 2007, The Madison is offering guests an upgrade to a luxurious suite for $60 during weekend stays. (Standard room rates start at $159 per night.) Furthermore, if you book your reservation with Five Star Alliance, you'll receive a welcome amenity and possible one category room upgrade based upon availability at check-in.