August 15, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The Langham London is legendary as the birthplace of Afternoon Tea, that quintessentially British institution. The luxury hotel opened in 1865 and began serving this "afternoon snack" favored by Anna Russell, 7th Duchess of Bedford, as a way to ward off hunger pangs between lunch and dinner. The Langham continues to serve up this indulgent ritual in Palm Court, garnering multiple accolades in the process. Recently The Langham announced an exclusive new tea, created in collaboration with the renowned jewelry designer, Stephen Webster. Inspired by Webster's latest collection (called "Murder She Wrote"), Executive Pastry Chef Cherish Finden has designed some glittering pastries that are almost too beautiful to eat: the Crystal Clear Diamond, a Guinness macaroon with blackcurrant jelly; the Poison Apple, a red peppercorn and dark chocolate shortbread; and a roasted green pistachio Chantilly with airy meringue sponge inspired by Stephen Webster's Armadillo ring. The Stephen Webster Bijoux Afternoon Tea is priced at £49 per person (approx. US $79), inclusive of VAT, and is available from September 1, 2011 - March 31, 2012 in the Palm Court.
August 10, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Did you know you can get a room at Manhattan's Hotel Plaza Athénée just for the day? Yup, the Upper East Side hotel, located just one block from Central Park, is the ideal spa retreat for New Yorkers looking to disconnect from their blackberries and unwind in luxury. Get ready for some head-to-toe pampering. The package includes a 50 Minute Signature Plaza Athénée Massage, a 50 Minute Valmont Signature Facial or Detoxifying Body Treatment, and a manicure and pedicure. After blissing out in the spa, relax in your guest room for the day, as the "Spa Retreat" package comes complete with day use in a Classic guest room from 10 am - 7 pm. Rates are $700 for the first guest, $500 for each additional guest. Subject to availability. Gift certificates are also available.
Additional articles about the Hotel Plaza Athénée:
August 9, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
There's a lot to love about a city break in Brussels. You can scarf down the best chocolate in the world, trace the trail of famous Belgian beers, get up close with Tintin at the fabulous Comic Strip Center, marvel at Magritte at the surrealist's namesake museum, and of course go have a peek at Manneken Pis. Take advantage of the "Family Summer Break" at the Conrad Brussels and you'll benefit from a special 40% discount on the bed and breakfast BAR rate (Best Available Rate) in a Queen Premium room (for two adults and two kids). Also included: an extensive buffet breakfast in Café Wiltcher's, Playstation and Wii games in the room, and in-room amenities for the little ones. Offer valid through November 6 (must book by September 7, 2011), subject to availability.
The annual Geneva Festival is in full swing, a 10-day extravaganza of concerts, sporting events, lakeside games and good eats. The best part of all is on August 13th, when thousands of spectators will be privy to one of the finest fireworks displays in the world. Lucky guests staying at the Hotel President Wilson, recently emerged from a full renovation in 2009/2010, should consider reserving a picnic basket to nosh on gourmet treats while taking in the spectacular light show over the lake and Mont Blanc! The luxury hotel, the choice of traveling dignitaries and celebs, offers chic picnics during the summer months. The "traditional" version features a tomato mozzarella delight, grilled artichokes with black olives, club sandwiches, lemon rice salad with tuna, fruit salad, chocolate bars, chocolate cookies, and four drinks per person. (Cost: CHF 45 per person.) There's also an "oriental" version with hummus, tabouli, tomato meatballs, Lebanese desserts and more... (Cost: CHF 50 per person.)
Australia's Hayman Island-- oft described as one of the most stunning resorts in the world-- was severely damaged by cyclones earlier this year, and had to close for repairs. Now it's back, and better than ever. The five-month renovation, explains The Sydney Morning Herald, "touched almost every aspect of the Great Barrier Reef resort, starting with a 16-hectare garden landscape created by horticulturalist and TV star Jamie Durie." A new botanical garden centerpiece showcases 33,000 new plants and 327 new species; the landscaping alone cost A$4 million.
Lucky guests who check in now will experience a top-to-bottom refurbishment. And when you book the "Hayman Reopening Offer," you'll score an A$400 Resort Voucher to enjoy during your stay. This reopening offer is basically the "Hayman Escape" package which includes twin share accommodation and daily beachfront breakfast at Azure, along with the bonus resort voucher. Hayman Escape packages start from A$885 per person for 3 nights, and are available for sale until August 31, 2011 for travel from October 1, 2011- June 30, 2012. Valid for new bookings only, and subject to availability.
Back in May, the Langham Hospitality Group launched a special offer called "Linger Longer for Less." Available through August 31, 2011 at Langham hotels worldwide (including Pasadena, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Shanghai), the promotion translates to real savings: stay two nights and get 10% off, stay three nights and save at least 15 percent with complimentary breakfast, linger four nights and save at least 20 percent with free breakfast and internet access. If you stay five nights, you'll get even more benefits: room upgrade included!
As part of this "Linger Longer" campaign, Langham recently announced a global social media campaign on Facebook, Twitter and Weibo to search for top travel tips in key Langham cities. The prize? A free night's stay. To enter the contest, simply answer the question “If I could linger longer in a city with a Langham hotel, what would I do?” and email it with a photo (optional) to firstname.lastname@example.org. The most popular answer based on the most likes, comments and shares will win a free night’s stay in the Langham of the nominated city.
For more information, head over to Langham's Facebook page.
The Corinthia Hotel's launch in London has not been a quiet affair. Over-the-top in every way imaginable, the opulent new hotel opened a spa in July that's been the talk of the town. The latest spa by industry leader Sue Harmsworth MBE, the ESPA Life at Corinthia is the largest spa in the U.K.- measuring over 37,000 square feet and covering four levels. It's also the worldwide flagship for ESPA, and the first location to offer the brand’s new ESPA Life concept, an integrated wellness approach that incorporates complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) into a luxury spa environment. There's an entire floor devoted to thermal and wet areas including an indoor pool, black mosaic steam rooms, and an amphitheater sauna. Treatments include new age-defying facials and a ‘Rush Hour Beauty’ menu.
Beat the heat with cool drinks and a soak in the pool on the rooftop of the Liaison Capitol Hill, An Affinia Hotel. "No matter the temps," says Washington Flyer, "the rooftop at the Liaison Capitol Hill is one of the best spots in town." They've got the requisite cabanas, DJ, delicious bites (from Art and Soul) and shimmering pool for guaranteed fun and the sun. For early risers, rooftop yoga takes place at 7:30 am for sun salutations overlooking the nation's capital. (Reservations required.) Enjoy this cool retreat with the "Dive In, Chill Out" package, starting from $169 per night. Here's what you get:
* Access to the rooftop pool
* Breakfast for two at Art and Soul
* Complimentary Yoga on the Roof classes daily
* A "Sun Yourself" kit with sunscreen, lip balm and bottled water
* A comfortable Affinia room personalized to your preferences
Available until September 4, 2011.
The highly popular Kings Cup Elephant Polo Tournament is celebrating 10 years this year. The charitable event-- always a smashing success-- is a major event on the Thai tourism calendar, raising money for the country's National Elephant Institute in Lampang. 2011's event is extra special, marking a decade of polo excitement on and off the pitch. Save the date! The 10th anniversary event takes place from September 4 - 11 on grounds adjacent to Anantara Hua Hin Resort & Spa, a Thai village-style resort located on 14 acres of beachfront gardens and lagoon pools facing the Gulf of Thailand.
A 3,000 seat stadium is being built for the occasion, and entrance is free for everyone. New editions include Chang Noi Children’s Day, an opening parade with army brass bands, Thailand’s last elephant spirit men, and traditional dancers to entertain the crowds. Anantara has currently launched a contest for the "Roving Elephant Reporter," aged between 7 - 15 years, who will become the star of the elephant polo circuit as they deliver news coverage from a VIP seat!
Fun fact: All the elephants playing have been rescued off the streets and enjoy a week-long holiday with free veterinary check-ups and sumptuous elephant feasts.
August 2, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance
Rekindle your romance on the tiny island of Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos, voted the "top beach destination in the world" on TripAdvisor. The West Bay Club is paradise on earth: sitting directly on the white sands of the Turks and Caicos' most famous attraction, Grace Bay Beach. Blending Caribbean charm with contemporary chic, The West Bay Club features luxurious ocean-front suites with vast living areas, full kitchens or kitchenettes and outdoor terraces to enjoy the cooling breezes. All 47 suites boast breathtaking views of the famous white sands and aquamarine waters of Turks and Caicos.
To let you linger longer in the Caribbean, The West Bay Club is offering a 4th night free all summer long and into the fall. Available for travel until December 20, 2011, this offer also includes daily European breakfast! (This offer is not valid on studios; valid for new reservations only; limited number of rooms available; not combinable with other promotions.)
Recently recognized as a 2011 Fodor’s Choice selection, the family-friendly West Bay Club is ideal for any type of island getaway-- from group events and corporate outings to weddings and honeymoons. Amenities include a beautiful pool nestled in lush gardens, a full-service restaurant, free use of the Hobie Cat and other nonmotorized water sports, a well-equipped fitness center, a manager’s reception on Wednesday evenings and a kitchen stock-up service prior to guests' arrival. Complimentary wireless Internet throughout the resort is a nice perk, too.