December 21, 2005
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Nope, that's not the White House, folks. The stately architecture on display is the historic Greenbrier Resort, its estate set on 6,500 scenic acres in the Allegheny mountains of West Virginia. Habitual winner of the AAA five diamond award, named the "resort of the century" by the Andrew Harper Hideaway Report in '99, the Greenbrier is the essence of opulence. The all-inclusive resort offers over 50 recreational activities including three championship golf courses, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, and a 40,000 square foot spa. And for this New Years, the Greenbrier is celebrating with an unforgettable party. (They've even planned a special dinner just for kids.) Evening concerts and live entertainment, a 50's buffet dinner dance, two New Year's Eve Galas featuring the Gene Donati Orchestra and The Gentlemen and Their Lady, noisemakers, hats, balloons, and of course the champagne toast at midnight. Followed the next day with an extraordinary New Year's Day champagne brunch. All this—including luxurious accommodations and daily meals-- is included with your New Years Package. Rates start at $329 per person, per night, double occupancy.
The Greenbrier, Official Site
The Greenbrier, Five Star Alliance
December 20, 2005
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The legendary pink palace, once the playground for celebs like F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a self-contained wonderland of pampering and exceptional service. Located on Florida's Gulf Coast, the Don CeSar, a Loews hotel, embodies the grandeur of America's traditional beach resorts. More than seven miles of gorgeous beaches, oodles of watersports, including daily sailing and waverunning clinics, seaside massages, the stunning pool, and of course, blissful accommodations. And from now until January 5, take advantage of mind-blowing specials, and the magical holiday ambience at the Don. The "Treasured Holiday" Package includes one night's accommodation in a Partial Gulfview room, breakfast buffet for two in the Sea Porch Cafe, and a 2006 Don CeSar calendar. Starting at $228 per night.
The Don CeSar, Official Site
The Don CeSar, Five Star Alliance
December 19, 2005
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Let the countdown begin. With Christmas a week away, a few-days escape may be the highest priority on your wishlist. Look no farther than The Setai, the eight-story art deco landmark in South Beach. Set amidst tropical gardens and exquisite pools, The Setai has a spa like no other, with luxury suites to match. Black granite baths, rainwater showers, espresso coffee-makers, and equipped with cutting-edge technology. Christmas rates start at $900, including breakfast.
The Setai, Official Site
The Setai, Five Star Alliance
December 16, 2005
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Cupid's (or Hallmark's?) big day can't get better than this. The Library Hotel in New York—possibly the single coolest themed hotel on the planet—is organized by the Dewey Decimal System (the archaic library classification system that has boggled more than a few student brains), thus the collection of 6,000 volumes is spread out in uniquely decorated guestrooms by topic. Social Sciences, Literature, Language, The Arts, Technology, you get the idea. The best Valentine's guestroom in the nation? Why room 800.01! Wholly devoted to Erotic Literature, it's packed with intriguing, erotic classics and furnishings. And now for the icing on the cake: The Library Hotel is offering a unique Erotica Package for $650 per night, based upon availability. Special gifts include: champagne on arrival, one dozen red roses, strawberries and whipped cream, Kama Sutra Love Essentials Package, Kama Sutra Massage Therapy Kit, Erotic Dice, a box of Godiva chocolates, Tantric Massage Video, two plush Library Hotel robes (for keeps!), and of course a volume of Erotica to take home with you.
Better jump on this: absolutely fabulous weekend packages at the Conrad Bangkok. This towering haven of contemporary luxury has got a fabulous fitness center featuring rooftop jogging track, outdoor swimming pool and floodlit tennis courts. And pretty awesome meeting rooms, with all the latest technology. $139 per room per night gets you a lotta goodies, like: buffet breakfast, 30-minute Season Spa massage, late check-out (5 pm is generous!), one-day BTS Skytrain pass with complimentary shuttle bus to BTS station, Guide to Bangkok map, and a Chinatown walking tour map. Valid on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights until January 30.
Sitting gloriously above the Spanish steps, the Hotel Hassler reigns supreme over the Eternal City. Hands down the best views over Rome (while working out at the health club, you can check out St Peter's Cathedral!) And in a city that breathes antiquity, the hotel swims in it: walls decorated with original paintings by Titian and Tintoretto Schools, antiques in every room, large bathrooms finished in precious Italian marble and 23-carat gold plated faucets, walls covered in frescoes. One of the finest hotels in the world, in one of the most romantic cities in the world: the ideal honeymoon destination. The Special Honeymoon Package includes room with a view, breakfast buffet (served at restaurant or in the room), airport transfer in private car, wine in room upon arrival, daily fresh fruit in room, special gift from management, and upgrade based upon availability. EUR 726 per room, per night.
Hotel Hassler, Official Site
Hotel Hassler, Five Star Alliance
Record lows (prices, that is) at the Boulders Resort, with winter specials from $249 a night. Discover one of America's top golf and spa resorts, located on 1,300 acres of pristine Sonoran desert. Book one of 160 unique adobe casitas, overlooking red-rock boulders, enormous cacti and the wildlife of the Southwestern desert. Or choose one of 55 Pueblo Villas, with one to three bedrooms, and private patios. The 32,000 sq. foot Golden Door Spa offers 24 treatment rooms, Movement Studio (Pilates, etc.), private locker rooms with saunas, steam rooms and Japanese baths. The full spa menu includes Native American wraps and therapies.
Boulders Resort and Golden Door Spa, Official Site
Boulders Resort and Golden Door Spa, Five Star Alliance
Low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines just announced a new version of its Big 'S' Sale with prices starting at $19 each-way for domestic and Caribbean travel. Though serious restrictions apply, and the lowest fares are available for midweek winter travel, Smarter Travel investigated and still found savings of more than $300.
Fly to Mexico on American from $198 R/T. Destinations include Cozumel, Cancun, Los Cabos, Monterrey, Puerto Vallarta and Mexico City. Valid through March 31, book by December 15. This sale is hot!
Ahh, the Hotel Ritz Madrid. Favored residence of royalty, heads of state, and fashionistas alike, upon their visits to Spain's culture-saturated capital. The divine result of King Alfonso XIII's desire to build a luxury hotel to rival the Hotel Ritz in Paris. In the heart of the city, located in the center of the "Triangle of Art," the Hotel Ritz evokes the pomp and grandeur of the Royal Madrid of old. And from now until December 20, save 20 percent! The "Art in Madrid" package includes accommodations for three nights; entrance to the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Prado and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia; a five-course dinner at the hotel's highly-acclaimed Goya restaurant; afternoon tea in the lounge (one per person); airport transfers; and champagne and fruit in your room. The rate is $900 per person, double occupancy.
Hotel Ritz Madrid, Official Site
Hotel Ritz Madrid, Five Star Alliance