LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
January 21, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
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.
Until February 21, 2008, receive up to $1,000 off your stay at Miraval for donating to your favorite charity. Giving back is a big part of the Miraval philosophy, and now Miraval wants to thank those folks who've helped others in the last year. Just book a reservation for a stay between now and Feb. 21, and Miraval will deduct the amount of charitable contributions you made in the past year. (Up to $1,000. Valid for stays four nights or longer.) There's no place quite like Miraval, Life in Balance. Nestled in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains in Southern Arizona, surrounded by the natural beauty of the Sonoran Desert, the award-winning luxury resort offers serene privacy and a healthful focus for the body, mind, and spirit.
Planning a trip to the "Mile High City"? Looking for a lively hotel with friendly staff and loads of cool amenities? Consider the Hotel Monaco, situated in the center of bustling downtown Denver near the Colorado Convention Center and LoDo entertainment district. You'll enjoy the nightly complimentary wine hour with a chair massage and special treats from the hotel's famous restaurant Panzano. The concierge is on call 24/7 to create an action-packed itinerary for you- from clubbing to skiing (this is the gateway to the Colorado Rockies). Wireless Internet is complimentary, of course. Room service is round-the-clock. And there's always a cup of steaming hot java awaiting you in the lobby. Housed in two renovated landmark buildings, the Hotel Monaco is sophisticated and stylish, and lots of fun (think leopard print robes and pet goldfish in-room). PS. There's a full-service Aveda Spa and Salon.
When the Don Cesar debuted in 1928 on St. Pete Beach, high society flocked to "Florida's Pink Palace." F. Scott Fitzgerald, Clarence Darrow, Lou Gehrig, Al Capone and America's pampered elite fancied this Gulf playground-- built to resemble the Royal Hawaiian in Waikiki Beach for $1.2 million (but came out 300 percent over budget!) Today, the rose-colored sandcastle continues to dazzle with its sugar-white beaches, fabulous dining, renowned children's program, and newly-renovated pool deck with fresh landscaping (Canary Island Date Palms and tree-formed Oleander) and open vistas of the Gulf. You'll be tickled pink by this news: The Don Cesar will open a new spa this Spring. Spa Oceana will feature 16 treatment rooms, rooftop garden, and fire pit, with a gorgeous views of the Gulf of Mexico.
Cool shoes, hip hotel. The Camper brand doesn't just mean hipster footwear... There's a luxury boutique hotel situated in Barcelona's vibrant, arty El Raval district, within walking distance to Las Ramblas, and rumor has it that there will be a whole chain of them on the horizon. Housed in a restored historic building, Casa Camper has 25 guest rooms: simple, contemporary, and stylish. Each is painted vivid green or red, while bathrooms are gleaming white. Across the hall, you'll find your own sitting room with a flat-screen TV and hammock strung on the balcony. Perks: Snacks are on the house all day long, service is friendly and personalized, amenities include wifi and pillow menus, and there's a roof terrace with beautiful views over the rooftops.
Guess where President Bush stayed last weekend on his Middle East trip? The oil-rich outpost of the United Arab Emirates boasts the most extravagant luxury hotels in the world, like the seven-star Burj Al Arab where aquarium walls full of tropical fish line the escalators, and the world's largest fleet of Rolls-Royces is available for guests.
President Bush, arriving in Abu Dhabi over the weekend, stayed in one of the basketball-court-size "Ruler's Suites" at the Emirates Palace, which bills itself as the world's costliest hotel. At $3 billion, with 300 rooms, that comes out to $10 million a room.
In this spare-no-expenses kingdom, the opulent Emirates Palace stands out because of its brand new Anantara Spa. You'll find an enormous private treatment complex, Vichy shower suite, hammam with heated marble beds, and intricate architectural details: Moorish tile floors beneath a glowing domed ceiling. Return to your room, sauntering down the hallways shimmering with gold mosaics, and enjoy private butler service and Hermes bath amenities.
P.S. We hear the hotel's best suite is the 1,185-square-foot Khaleej Suite, overlooking the Persian Gulf.
Talk about "foie gras with a view!" Celebrity chef Alain Ducasse-- renowned for his fine dining restaurants at the Hotel Plaza Athénée in Paris and the Dorchester in London-- recently opened a new restaurant on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower. After a four-month refurbishment, the Jules Verne restaurant showcases nifty glass windows that allow diners to gape at the view even when it's nighttime and the lights are on in the room. With 16 Michelin stars under his belt (and 20 eateries around the world), Ducasse is the very symbol of haute cuisine. His goal with the new Jules Verne? Create a "shop window for French cuisine." Lunch goes for $108 and dinner costs $223.
This summer, the Czech capital will welcome a stunning new hotel from the Rocco Forte Collection, housed in a complex of five historical buildings including St Thomas's Monastery which dates from the 1400s. Smack dab in the heart of Prague, just a stone's throw from the glorious Prague Castle, the 101-room property will be designed by Olga Polizzi, Rocco Forte's sister, who has added impressive design touches to the other Collection hotels. Expect contemporary amenities in a picturesque setting of courtyards and tranquil garden squares. In fact, the practicing Benedictine monks will continue to meditate in certain areas on site! Of course key historic features-- cloistered terraces, beamed ceilings, stone arches, and wine vaults-- will be celebrated in the hotel design. The Augustine's Tower Suites will boast incredible panoramic views across the Prague rooftops.
Washingtonians, take heed. A blissful spa weekend is just a pleasant drive away- in the quaint Victorian town of St. Michaels on Maryland's Eastern Shore. The Inn at Perry Cabin is an idyllic hideaway, with a stunning spa which opened last summer to much acclaim. With signature treatments like the Linden Ritual and the Five Flower Solace, which incorporate local medicinal plants, the Linden Spa has proved itself worthy of all the buzz. Book the "Suite Dreams" package and get your second night at 50 percent off! Plus, you'll get a bottle of wine on arrival, and two tickets to the famed Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. Starting from $495 (for the first night).
January 16, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Bracing for a blizzard? Why not high-tail it south of the border to check out the brand new Mandarin Oriental on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula? Take advantage of a special opening offer and get a free fourth night when you pay for three! This is peak season in the tropics, but with this special, you'll be saving about 25 percent off Internet rates. Lounge on the beach, relax in the 25,000 square foot spa, bar-hop in the buzzing beachfront town of Playa del Carmen just 10 minutes away. This special is available until April 30, 2008, with black-out dates on February 14-17 and March 20-24.