March 30, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Preservationists, historians, sybarites rejoice. The boutique Albergo Diffuso Santo Stefano di Sessanio is Italian living at its finest, in an absolutely stunning setting. An abandoned medieval hill town and castle in Italy's Abruzzi region, a former ghost village, has been restored and guests can book a stay at the magnificent hotel. The entire town's renovation project-- a $5.1 million price tag-- has been sponsored by the Italian-Swedish philosopher-preservationist Daniele Elow Kihlgren. During the restoration, the attention to detail was staggering: the exclusive use of material found in the surrounding area, interiors furnished in the Arte Povera tradition (folk arts and crafts from the Abruzzo mountains), imperceptible modern amenities (like heating beneath the floors). The press has gone wild. Gourmet magazine described it as "pretty enough to be in the movies." Enjoy the fairy-tale of this Italian Renaissance.
March 30, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
Travelling with the family to Venice? Stay at The Westin Europa & Regina before 06 January 2008 and enjoy the following specials: * Accommodations for 2 starting from Euro 410,00 per room/per night in double occupancy, * daily buffet breakfast included in the room rate for 2 adults and free of charge for up to 2 children 0-17 years of age, * extra bed free of charge for up to 2 children 0-17 years of age, sharing the room with their parents, OR, * an additional hotel accommodation reserved for children up to 17 years of age will be eligible for a 50% discount on the room rates paid by the parents.
PLUS, for stays of 3 or more consecutive nights, a 50% discount on one lunch or dinner in the hotel restaurant during the stay. When you visit with your family, keep in mind that each double room is able to accommodate a maximum of 2 adults and 2 children 17 or under.
That's right, starting in June 2007 you can satisfy your soul at the brand new Marley Resort. The Marley family's summer home as been transformed into the Marley Resort and Spa, where the 16 themed suites (Kinky Reggae, Lively Up Yourself, Three Little Birds, Sun is Shining-- you get the picture) feature chic furnishings, tropical rain showers, and high tech amenities. To quote the proprietor Rita Marley:
We are happy to say, The Legend Lives at the Marley Resort & Spa. We invite you to come and experience this nostalgic, mystical piece of paradise we once called home. Come embrace the feeling of One Love and One Heart in only One Place.
Located on famed Cable Beach, the resort also features the luxurious Natural Mystic Spa, oceanfront dining, and nightly island music.
Baseball, yummy SF eats, and stylish summer digs. Forget the notorious fog, what could be better than a summertime jaunt to the City by the Bay? Head to the award-winning Campton Place, San Francisco's celebrated luxury boutique hotel. You can't beat the location on the edge of Union Square in the heart of the city's downtown. Here, superb accommodations are matched by the exquisite European feasts at the restaurant. This summer, take advantage of the City of Giants package and enjoy a game at Giants Stadium (where you can gaze out over the bay while watching Barry Bonds nail another home run). The package includes one night accommodation in a Campton Suite, full American breakfast for two, welcome amenity, two tickets to a Giants game, and a gift card to the Giants souvenir shop for $100. Total price is $750, a savings of 20 percent. Available from April 1- August 31, 2007.
Gridskipper, Beginner's Guide to San Francisco
Utterly unique, Claska is one of the coolest small hotels in the world. Hip Tokyo architects Intentionallies and British design gurus Tomato transformed an old business hotel into the city's cutting-edge boutique hotel. On the first floor: lobby, buzzing café-lounge (with DJ spinning), and DogMan dog salon, the city's coolest place to bring fashionable Fido. The second floor is an art gallery which showcases the newest groundbreaking trends. And on the third and fourth floors: the nine unique guest rooms which are all individually designed, stacked with designer amenities. (One even has an attached terrace, another with a view from your bathtub.) And then there's the rooftop lounge which offers stunning panoramic views of the Tokyo Metropolitan area. Note: You must reserve months in advance to get a room. (It's worth it.) The one setback: the hotel is located in the trendy Meguro neighborhood, not exactly centrally located.
Now's your chance to make like Julia Child and try your hand at cooking the French classics. Enroll alongside the best of 'em at the famous cooking school at the Hotel Ritz, named for Auguste Escoffier, the first Head Chef at this Parisian palace hotel. Auguste was hailed as a pioneer of modern cuisine, and it's no wonder: the dude created Peach Melba, for crying out loud. Learn pastry-making, knowledge of wines, flower-arranging, and the secrets to fine cocktails (along with the great plates of modern French cuisine), taught by the talented chefs at the Ritz. Lessons alternate theory with practice and are geared to the different levels and goals of its students. The setting couldn't be more perfect: opposite the great kitchen at the Ritz.
March 28, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
Opening its doors on April 2, 2007, the Cafe du Parc - located in the former Chanel Boutique, next to the Willard InterContinental Hotel, Washington, DC - is overseen by one of Europe's top Michelin-starred chefs, Antoine Westermann, who supervises the menu to ensure that his vision of French cuisine is appropriately transposed in an American setting. Cafe du Parc will be led by Willard Executive Chef Daniel Kenney and Westermann's hand-picked brigade trained by the master in Paris. The restaurant embraces classic bistro cuisine with moderate pricing ranging from $6 to $19, serving dinner, lunch, afternoon "petit plats" (small plates), breakfast and casual takeaway items. An open kitchen highlights the upper level Cafe du Parc and seats 96 people - accessed by a grand staircase and an elevator. Menu items will include items such as "Le pâte en croûte façon Antoine Westermann" (Antoine Westermann's Pate in a crust), "Les paupiettes de veau" (stuffed veal fillet bundles) "Le confit de Canard" (Duck confit) and vegetarian options like "Les tomates farcies aux legumes" (vegetable-stuffed tomatoes.) PS - They are still accepting resumes for all positions as of today ...
At Deer Valley, 300 inches of snow annually and only 6,500 tickets sold each day means a noncrowded paradise for skiers. Add to that the excellent attention to service and cuisine, which have really distinguished the resort above and beyond the other greats. Outside Traveler magazine rated Deer Valley the Best Luxury Mountain 2007:
A swarm of uniformed employees (one for every four ski-resort guests) greet your car in the heated driveways and carry your skis to the slopes; the on-mountain cafeterias are appointed with silver service, marble cash-register stands, and brass-trimmed carving stations...
Where to stay? America's most celebrated ski-in, ski-out resort: The Stein Eriksen Lodge. There's a reason this place is AAA five-diamond and Mobil four-star rated. The legendary lodge is the ultimate year-round luxury destination, with a gorgeous outdoor pool and fitness facility, head-to-toe pampering at the spa, and ski attendants who provide warmed up boots and a hot drink upon your return from the slopes. And starting April 1, 2007, the resort's "Value Season" kicks in, which means rooms for a steal starting at $400.
Ahh, The Biltmore: the sprawling national historic landmark which showers guests in a good dose of nostalgic elegance right outside Miami. Step into the lobby and you'll catch my drift. Marble columns, massive arches, painted ceiling, colorful Oriental rugs, and of course, High Tea. Guest rooms are likewise luxurious (spruced up after the hotel's big renovation). Grandiose and majestic, The Biltmore is world-famous for its facilities: enormous health club, on-site golf course, and the largest hotel swimming pool in the continental U.S. As recently featured in Luxury Spa Finder magazine, The Biltmore is also the spot to find a spa experience that's "high luxe at half off:"
For $750 (taxes included) the Biltmore Spa Splendor package seems too good to be true: a junior suite for two nights and a $250 spa credit.
Located on the seventh floor, the Spa is an oasis of water cascades, flowing rivers, fountains, and bamboo floors. Treatments run the gamut-- from massages to rejuvenating body treatments, deep cleansing facials to Terme Spa baths.
Last fall, the historic Hotel Reina Victoria opened its doors again as the first incarnation of a new breed of contemporary personality hotels, launched by Spanish hotel group Sol Meliá. What's so seductive about this new line of properties? Latin flair, contemporary style, and a whole lotta cool bars designed by Rande Gerber. Located in the Plaza de Santa Ana in Madrid, the ME Madrid Reina Victoria is home to one of the coolest nightspots in Madrid: The Penthouse. This rooftop bar offers the most spectacular views of the city. Sip a cocktail while reclining on a decadent cushioned bed, gazing out over the city's sparkling panorama.
PS. Rande Gerber's After Midnight Company also designed the glamorous ground-floor restaurant and lounge, Midnight Rose, a fashionista hot spot.