LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
Now accepting reservations for July 1, 2008 arrivals, the new Four Seasons Hotel Firenze will knock your socks off. One of the hottest hotel openings of the year, the 117-room hotel is housed in two historical masterpieces: the Palazzo Della Gherardesca (a 15th century palace) and the Conventino (a former convent dating from the 17th century). It's only fitting to discover the birthplace of early Renaissance art and architecture while staying in this art-filled city sanctuary with abundant original frescoes and sculptured reliefs. Just a stroll away from Michelangelo's David, the Duomo, and the wonders of the Uffizi, the Four Seasons offers an open-air pool, sumptuous spa, and a tranquil private park-- one of the largest private gardens in Florence. Rooms blend Renaissance artistic details with high-tech comfort. For the ultimate in luxury, book the Della Gherardesca Suite (Royal Suite), touted as the "most desired accommodation in the city." Located in the nobles' quarters of the Palazzo, the suite boasts beautiful frescoes, painted vaulted ceilings, and an original Capodimonte Maioliche-style ceramic floor by Ignazio Chiaiese in the gallery. Like the other guest rooms, 21st century amenities are standard: iPod docking stations, flat-screen TVs, and spacious bathrooms.
January 22, 2008
By: Lucy LeTourneau
Upon entering The Carlyle, as I did during a late evening arrival last week after a harrowing cab ride from New York's Penn Station that coincided with the end of a Rangers hockey game, I was immediately soothed by the simple but elegant surroundings and the friendly and welcoming hotel desk staff. A guest representative escorted me to my room, a Deluxe Suite on the 10th floor and gave me a quick tour. The suite was beautiful and felt very homey with hardwood floors and area rugs, vs. wall to wall carpeting we've come to expect in most hotel rooms. Even though my suite was directly across from the elevators, the rooms were amazingly quiet. Although I wasn't in the hotel long enough to enjoy the world famous Bemelmans Bar or Café Carlyle, this leaves a great excuse for less-harried return visit.
Scoop: The Carlyle is currently offering guests who book through FIVE STAR ALLIANCE a complimentary in-room continental breakfast daily.
By: Lucy LeTourneau
What’s On at Langham Melbourne: Spa Specials, Ice Cream Afternoon Tea, and the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival
Reflecting the spirited essence of Melbourne's cultural life, The Langham is the city's finest five-star hotel, your gateway to all the urban excitement. Situated on the south bank of the Yarra River overlooking central Melbourne, the sophisticated 387-room hotel is renowned for its panoramic views, impeccable service, comprehensive facilities, and award-winning cuisine. Hit the chocolate bar at ARIA for the ultimate chocolate experience. It's summertime down under, so why not indulge in the delicious Ice Cream Tiffin at ARIA, a special twist on the traditional afternoon tea? Each three-tired tea stand features ice cream cookie sandwiches, miniature ice cream cones, chocolate dipped ice cream skewers, scones with jam and cream, and savory finger sandwiches. (Available Monday- Friday, 10:30 a.m- 4:30 p.m., $39 per person). Until March 31, 2008, take advantage of a special offer at the stunning Chuan Spa. Indulge with an exclusive 60 minute treatment (and bring a friend!), and your friend will get their treatment at half price! And on March 1st and 2nd, 2008, The Langham will play host to the Melbourne MasterClass as part of the city's annual Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. Celebrated food and wine experts from all over the world will share some of the hottest gastronomy tips over two inspirational days. During the festival, guests will also enjoy Souffle Soirees at The Langham, showcasing delectable canapes and souffles from 6- 9 p.m.
January 22, 2008
By: Courtney W. May
The Fifteen (XV) Beacon Hotel in Boston, MA has finally acquired the parking garage next door after years of trying! In 2 years, the hotel will be expanding from 60 rooms to 100 - after construction begins in the winter of 2008. They hope to have 30-40 new rooms available in the winter of 2009 - some with kitchenettes to accommodate longer stay guests. Currently, XV Beacon features a rooftop terrace with hot tub - after finishing construction on the new addition, the hotel will expand their outdoor space to include a roofdeck pool.
By: Courtney W. May
The New York Times has the skinny on the fate of small Alpine ski stations in the face of melting snows brought about by global warming. Recently, Bruno Prior, a British entrepreneur, snatched up the ski resort of Ernen for one Swiss franc. After suffering heavy losses (and no snow), the Ernen ski-lift company was forced to shut down the four ski lifts. In an act of desperation, Ernen decided to give away the lifts to the investor who could best assist the village. With plans to invest as much as $45 million to build new hotels and lifts, Prior saved the small village from an uncertain fate.
For an utterly decadent hotel experience, head to Sao Paulo, where the Emiliano pampers guests with the most fabulous five-star treatment. No joke-- this is some of the best service and amenities we know about. Frommer's says it best: "The Emiliano is a bargain compared to what a room like this would cost in New York or Paris." Think welcome massages, private butlers to unpack bags, personalized pillow selections (why not try 6 different ones?!), mini-bars stocked to your liking, and bathrooms the size of small spas (with customized toiletries). Oh, and there's private helicopter service to the airport. This is a true sybarite's delight, where rooms are beautifully designed, the restaurant is renowned for its haute cuisine, and the rooftop boasts a pool and spa.
Now there's another reason to love this award-winning hotel nestled in the Adirondacks. You can make your reservation carbon neutral! The Whiteface Lodge-- the magnificent rustic lodge fashioned after the Great Camps of the early 20th century-- recently announced its participation in the Leading Hotels of the World's Green Initiative, a carbon off-set program to encourage greener travel. Indulge yourself in a luxurious spa weekend or ski getaway,* while feeling good that your carbon footprint has been offset with carbon-neutral accommodations.
*Luxury translates into the details: 24 hour services including in-suite dining and concierge services, plus loads of in-room delights: jetted tubs, pillow-top beds, cast iron gas fireplaces and LCD, high-definition televisions. Plus, The Whiteface Lodge is the only luxury resort in the region to offer private jet service to guests as well as charter plane transportation to and from all major airports directly into Lake Placid.
Choose the 3 Night Winter Stay Package (priced at $395 per night for three consecutive nights in a superior or deluxe one bedroom suite) and get breakfast for two each day, plus a $300 room credit at the end of your stay. Available until March 31, 2008.
Football on the brain? Where will you be on February 3 when the Giants take on the Patriots in Arizona? The next best place to watch Super Bowl XLII (besides the University of Phoenix Stadium) is Caesars Palace Casino. You can place bets on the game-- legally. With yummy eats and an animated crowd, Caesars is going off! To quote Hemispheres Magazine: "diehards start claiming the 250 seats and tables around 6 a.m.; by game time, another 2,000 or so guests crowd into standing-room space." Plus, Caesars Palace has lined up Jerry Seinfeld for the biggest football game and the biggest laughs of the year! Over the Super Bowl weekend, enjoy a night of comedy at The Colosseum-- February 1 and 2, 2008-- with one of America's best-loved comedians.
Listed by National Geographic's Journeys of a Lifetime as one of the "Top 10 Food Pilgrimages," the Hotel Sacher Vienna is home to the world's most famous chocolate cake. Sachertorte-- rich chocolate torte with thin layers of apricot jam, accompanied by lots of whipped cream-- was created by Franz Sacher in 1832. This divine piece of patisserie is as much a part of Vienna as the State Opera, the Lipizzaner Horses, and the Hotel Sacher itself, built by Franz's son in 1876. Enjoy a stay at this legendary hotel, just opposite the Opera, and immerse yourself in the charms of the Hapsburg Monarchy. The tasteful rooms simply ooze luxury, adorned with original oil paintings, precious rugs and silk wall coverings. And get this: the Sachertorte is available for worldwide delivery!
A decadent Valentine's experience awaits at the newly-renovated Tides South Beach, the glamorous icon on Ocean Drive. Luxuriate in style and get romantically inspired. Book the "Return to Romance" package and you'll enjoy an opulent Oceanfront Suite, a dozen long stem roses, a bottle of champagne in-room, two Chocolate Chili Martini cocktails on La Marea's terrace, a lingering five-course dining experience in whatever setting strikes your fancy, and playful in-room extras (wink, wink). Total price is based on room choice, starting at $395 in the Ocean Front Studio suite. (The Tides Suite is priced at $5,000). This is a 30 percent savings! Available February 1-29, 2008.