LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
An American landmark since 1895, The Jefferson is one of only 23 hotels to hold both the Mobil Five Star and the AAA Five Diamond ratings. This crown jewel is a charter member of Historic Hotels of America, celebrating its historic details and distinct architecture. Located in the center of downtown Richmond, The Jefferson is a luxurious haven of old-world charm and personalized service. Signature features include the antique furniture, tapestries, faux-marble columns, the 70-ft ceiling with stained-glass skylight, and the sweeping staircase that looks straight out of Gone With the Wind. The 264 guestrooms are opulent, with high ceilings, tall windows, and custom-designed furnishings such as mahogany armoires and beautiful carpets. Facilities include a fitness center and pool. The Champagne Brunch on Sunday is not to be missed: this Richmond tradition is served in the Rotunda lobby amidst the columns-- the buffet is lavish with freshly made omelettes, waffles, carving station, seafood, imported cheeses, signature spoonbread and desserts.
Take advantage of the exceptional "Twice as Nice" package, where guests can score 1 room for 2 nights, or 2 rooms for 1 night. Superior accommodations are $299, and deluxe are $339. Valid until September 4, 2006. The Jefferson is also offering the "Summer Bed and Breakfast Package" which includes buffet breakfast for two in Lemaire (the hotel's AAA five-diamond restaurant) and accommodations. Superior is priced at $215 per night, and deluxe at $235 per night.
How's this for a romantic retreat: a weekend at the legendary Lodge at Sea Island devoted to cooking classes and culinary delights (of course there's superb golf and relaxing spa treatments, too!) The award-winning resort-- rated number one small hotel and number 1 for top dining in the 2006 Zagat survey top US hotels, AAA five-diamond award, Mobil five-star award three years in a row-- pampers its guests with genuine Georgia hospitality and unparalleled personal service. This summer, The Lodge at Sea Island has plans for great food, fine wine and good times with its weekend Cook Together Package. The package includes luxury accommodations for the weekend, private reception and dinner with Chef Johannes Klapdohr in The Lodge Wine Cellar, Cooking School with lunch prepared by the participants, "How To's" of wine tasting with Lodge sommelier Jane Rate, and monogrammed Chef's jackets. The July Cooking School Themes are Grilling and Smoking, including barbecue shrimp and fallen'-off-the- bone baby back ribs, on July 8-9, and Summer Soups and Salads, featuring heirloom fruits and vegetables, on July 21-22. From August 2-5, the theme is Grilling and Smoking. And on August 18-19, the class focuses on Tailgating Octoberfest Style, with lessons on cooking schnitzels, sourbraten, spatzle and more. Cook Together Package starts at $825 per room per night, with a two-night minimum stay required.
July 3, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Just 17 miles from the Vegas strip, the AAA five-diamond Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas is close enough to enjoy all that Vegas has to offer, and yet far enough away to experience the beautiful seclusion of the Nevada desert and surrounding mountains. The Tuscan-inspired lakeside resort has a breathtaking setting; its 349 guestrooms enjoy panoramic views of the high-desert mountains. The facilities are in a category all their own: 36 holes of championship golf designed by Nicklaus and Weiskopf, the award-winning spa and fitness center (one of the top in the country), beach and lake sports, indoor and outdoor dining, heated outdoor pool, lakeside entertainment and concerts, excellent kid's program and activities. This is the ultimate family retreat, with something to please the whole family. From now until September 4, 2006, the luxurious resort is offering an unbeatable Vegas Family Vacation Package. Starting at $249 a night, the package includes complimentary breakfast and lunch for kids under 12, 50 percent spa savings for parents, and a fourth night free of charge. (Kids under 12 can share a room with their parents with no extra cost.)
June 30, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
In the heart of Chicago's financial district, the Conrad Chicago is one of the most prestigious addresses on the Magnificent Mile. Within walking distance of The Loop, The Merchandise Mart, and Lake Michigan, the Conrad is a perfect urban oasis, with the best restaurants and shopping experiences at its doorstep. The luxury hotel offers 311 guestrooms with incredible views over the city skyline. Decorated in a classic contemporary style, the spacious rooms feature state-of-the-art technology, such as three dual-line phones, complimentary high-speed Internet access, CD player with clock radio and premier luxury amenities. The Conrad Chicago also offers 12,000 square feet of technologically advanced meeting and conference facilities, a fitness center, stylish bar and signature restaurant. From now until the end of the year, take advantage of the luxurious "Business Retreat" package at the Conrad Chicago. From just $235 per night, enjoy a host of added amenities, including complimentary coffee with wake-up call, complimentary dry cleaning for one suit, complimentary one-hour administrative services, a choice of one book from the New York Times bestseller list, and a personal shopper to find a gift for loved ones at home.
The newest chic spot on Mexico's Riviera Maya, Esencia is a small boutique hotel which was once the home of a European duchess. Located on one of the best white sand beaches on the Yucatan, Esencia has been recognized for its elegant cuisine, personalized butler service and modern amenities. The 29 rooms and suites offer exquisite views, private gardens and pools, and in-room bathtubs. The luxurious Aroma Spa prides itself on its organic focus, with plant extracts and botanical essences used in the treatments. From now through August, Esencia is offering a five-night "Family Fun in the Sun" package with discounts of more than 30 percent. The package includes a garden suite with plunge pool, daily breakfast and transfers, for two adults and one child under age 12. Starting at $1,725. (Nightly rates usually start at $475) Via Washington Post "What's the Deal?"
The Pan Pac Whistler Mountainside, nestled in the beautiful mountains of British Columbia, is a tempting destination in both winter and summer. Excellent skiing is complimented by sunshine-filled days of hiking and swimming during the summer months. The luxurious boutique hotel has recently launched its Desperate Housewives Package, a clever and fun summer getaway designed for women seeking a little r and r with their girlfriends. To quote the Pan Pac:
For women who find work, the kids, the spouse or any other of life's challenges making them desperate for the ultimate girlfriend getaway, Pan Pacific Whistler has designed the perfect solution... the property's 2006 "Desperate Housewives" package.
Valid until November 23, 2006, the package rates start from CAD$375 (US$325) per person (based on quadruple occupancy), and includes accommodations in a luxurious Two Bedroom Valley View Suite as well as the following components: Beauty Boot Camp for four women at Vital Spirit Spa which includes a 45-minute massage, 30-minute Essential Facial and mini manicure and mini pedicure; breakfast for four in the guest exclusive Pacific Suite; welcome martini basket; and complimentary Mountain View upgrade when available.
Let the countdown begin. The Tour de France is set to kick off in July, and all eyes are on this year's post-Lance race, the exciting 93rd Tour. And for the best vantage point to view the finish of the Tour de France at the Place de la Concorde, the Hotel de Crillon is the place to be. Overlooking the finish line in the heart of Paris, the legendary Crillon is a unique historical monument offering an exceptional five-star hotel experience in the City of Light. The best views, of course, are from the posh Presidential Suites, and for this momentous occasion, the Hotel de Crillon has created an exclusive package. "Tour de France 2006" includes two nights accommodation (Saturday July 22 and Sunday July 23), afternoon tea served in one of the grand Presidential Suites while watching the race on giant screen televisions, American buffet breakfast and access to the Fitness Center. The package rate is from EUR 1,210 for a Superior Room, subject to availability, inclusive of taxes and service. Other room categories are also available.
Located just minutes from Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the Fearrington House Country Inn is situated on an 18th Century Dairy farm surrounded by acres of stunning gardens. Each of the 33 guest rooms are distinctively decorated with European antiques, Southern artwork, rich fabrics, canopied beds, hand-painted mantels, and pine flooring. The bathrooms are luxurious and comfortable, with marble vanities, plush robes and slippers, Molton Brown bath products, and heated towel racks. Guests enjoy traditional southern hospitality and fine dining at the restaurant. Stroll the expansive grounds and admire the water sculptures and manicured English gardens, browse the unique Village shops, or relax on the front porch in a rocking chair gazing at the pasture full of cows. Traditional English afternoon tea with finger sandwiches, delicate pastries and scones, and a full gourmet breakfast-- with hearty choices such as shrimp and grits and eggs bendict-- are included in the room rate. The Fearrington House Country Inn has devised some exciting Summer specials. The "Summer Getaway" package includes one nights accommodations, English afternoon tea, gourmet dinner for two, hearty breakfast, and a $25 gift card. From $295, limited availability through August. And with the "Fearrington Escape Package", stay two nights and receive the third for free! Includes daily English tea, daily hearty breakfasts, a bottle of chilled Champagne in the room for arrival, gourmet dinner for two, casual dinner at The Market, a picnic in the Gardens, two one-hour massages. From $895.
June 26, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The award-winning, classic Dukes Hotel, tucked in its own courtyard in a quiet corner on St. James's Place between Mayfair and Green Park, is offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the special exhibition in honor of the Queen's 80th birthday. On display at the Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace in honor of Her Majesty's birthday, the extensive exhibit showcases the Queen's evening dresses (80 of them! from the 1940's to the present) and personal jewelry, including private gifts and historic pieces, such as the Vladimir Tiara, the Cambridge Emerald Necklace, two brooches set with stones from the famous Cullinan Diamond, and a pair of Boucheron aquamarine and diamond clip brooches given to then Princess Elizabeth by her father, King George VI, for her 18th birthday. Visitors to the exhibition see the Palace's 39-acre garden, and appreciate rare views of the Palace's garden façade and the 19th-century lake. As part of Her Majesty's Birthday Celebration, Dukes Hotel is going over the top (try this for British pomp and pageantry) with a special package. "Her Majesty's Birthday Celebration" includes a two-night stay in a Classic Double room including daily breakfast and afternoon tea and two tickets to the "Special Exhibition" with entrance to Buckingham Palace. Priced at GBP 525, inclusive of VAT, available from July 26 to September 24, 2006.
(Guests will also enjoy Duke's luxurious spa and the world-famous Dukes Martini at the bar.)
June 23, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Alexis Hotel is a luxury boutique hotel as committed to its history as it is to the contemporary Seattle arts scene, displaying original pieces throughout the guestrooms and public spaces. The Alexis offers elegance mixed with a lot of whimsy smack dab in the middle of it all in downtown Seattle. Guestrooms also feature beautiful antiques, wood burning fireplaces, and two person tubs. The Library Bistro is known as one of the best restaurants in Seattle-- its ambience reminiscent of a 1940s supper club with faux lizard skin high back booths and dramatic lighting, and serving new American cuisine with an emphasis on locally grown vegetables and fresh seafood. Now at the Alexis Hotel, enjoy "The Art of Celebrity Living, Seattle Style," featuring a weekend of pampering and sampling of the city's hot art scene with the centerpiece, a chartered helicopter trip to a concert at The Gorge Ampitheatre, the top outdoor concert venue in the United States.
Here's the skinny:
Arrive via chauffeured limousine; accommodations for two in luxuriously appointed suite complete with a gorgeous floral arrangement, a pair of emerald earrings from Turgeon-Raine Jewellers, and a local eyewear boutique will pay you a visit with a selection of "rock star" designer sunglasses to choose from; following a scrumptious breakfast in bed, you will have your choice of "Seattle Style" experiences: a private glass blowing class, coupled with your choice of either a private art gallery tour led by Barbara Shaiman (the Alexis' own art curator) or a behind-the-scenes tour of the acclaimed DoubleTake fine art exhibit at the Experience Music Project (EMP); take a chartered chopper for a trip over the Cascade Mountains to attend a concert at The Gorge Amphitheater, arriving just in time for sunset; the Alexis' executive chef, Tim Ferguson will prepare a special "Cristal and caviar" picnic dinner for you to enjoy during the concert; finish off this rock-star weekend with a mimosa brunch at the Alexis' Library Bistro; as a special memento, the complete Alexis bedding set will be shipped to your home along with a CD collection of the artist you've just seen at The Gorge.
The Art of Celebrity Living package is priced at $10,000 and is valid until September 3, 2006.