LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
The Luxury Hotel Insider
: Exclusive luxury hotel deals, features and special rates from the luxury hotel experts at Five Star Alliance.
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How's this sound for Easter? Hop into The Berkeley and Claridge's between April 6- April 10, 2007 for as little as GBP 199 a night, including scrumptious, handmade Easter Eggs for the whole family. This is a sensational rate at two of the Maybourne Group's super-luxury London hotels. (The Connaught is currently under renovation.) Situated in fashionable Belgravia, The Berkeley is a true London establishment, home to the Michelin star rated Petrus restaurant, uber-cool Blue Bar, and the Caramel Room, where the celebrated afternoon tea (Pret-a-Portea) is a creative indulgence for fashionistas. The art deco jewel Claridge's is located in the heart of Mayfair, adored for its superlative service. It's no wonder Nota Bene calls it "London's most glamorous and celebrated hotel."
Spring is in the air on Lake Geneva. The stunning Beau-Rivage Palace, one of the most beautiful palace hotels in the world, is celebrating the arrival of spring with two special packages. Overlooking Lake Geneva, this iconic landmark boasts the cutting-edge Cinq Mondes Spa, rated by Forbes as one of the most luxurious spas in the world. Escape to Switzerland and frolic in the spring temperatures. With the Spring Promotion, available from April 1-June 30, 2007, guests enjoy a fantastic daily room rate of CHF 450 (double occupancy) which includes breakfast. Or head across the pond for a pampered Easter break, where the kids will go gaga over the elaborate Easter egg hunt. From April 6-April 10, 2007, rates are as low as CHF 395 per night including breakfast.
The Hay-Adams is almost exactly a mile from the Cherry Blossoms at the Tidal Basin and on the walk over you'd get to pass 1) The White House, 2) Old Executive Office Building, 3) Washington Monument and 4) The National World War II Memorial. This year, the predicted peak bloom will be April 4th (although they start to bloom around March 30th).The Hay-Adams "Cherry Blossom Package" includes a minimum of 2 nights, Cherry Blossom Fesitval information, a special amenity, and complimentary parking (normally $35.84 per night with the valet). Rates start at $369 for the package and will sell out quickly (check real-time availability here).
Other packages available to welcome back spring to the area include "Spring Break" (low rates, breakfast and accommodations) and the "Sake Dinner Package" (five-course Asian influenced dinner, 5 different Japanese sake, breakfast, free parking, and of course the room).
If you live in the area or are visiting and not staying at the Hay-Adams (shame on you) but want to partake in the "Sake Dinner" the night before the Cherry Blossom Parade and Festival, the cost for two is $150 plus tax and gratuity. Call the Lafayette Room at 202-220-4853 to make reservations - 6:30 pm Reception, 7:30 pm Dinner.
Tony McHale is the current General Manager at Keswick Hall in Keswick, Virginia - just outside Charlottesville. He took some time out of his busy schedule (you'd be busy too if you had an Arnold Palmer golf course at your office) to answer some of our questions.
Five Star Alliance: How did you come to be General Manager of the hotel?
Tony McHale: I was the General Manager of the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans, also an Orient Express property, and transferred to Keswick following Katrina.
Five Star Alliance: Tell us what you feel is the most distinctive or unique feature of your hotel? What best describes the personality of the hotel?
Tony McHale: Keswick is like a country home. It is intimate and charming with gracious service and hospitality, in a breath taking setting, on a private 600 acre Estate.
Five Star Alliance: What is the best thing about the hotel's location? What is your favorite thing to do in the surrounding area?
Tony McHale: Private, yet just 15 minutes from downtown Charlottesville. Curl up with a book in front of one of the six fireplaces, or enjoy golf on our private Arnold Palmer Championship Golf course. Hot air ballooning, shooting, riding, fishing or biking are one of many pursuits.
Five Star Alliance: Can you share the names of any famous guests who have stayed at Keswick Hall, or perhaps regulars that return on a periodic basis?
Tony McHale: Mic Jagger, James Brown, Michael J. Fox, Sissy Spacek, Morgan Freeman, Robert Duvall, Anthony Hopkins, Julianne Moore, and Paul Newman to name a few.
Five Star Alliance: Which do you consider to be the best rooms in the house? Not just the suites, but also any particular standard rooms that have great views or unusual advantages?
Tony McHale: Balcony State Rooms 9 and 27: Both are corner rooms located on the 2nd floor. They have private balconies and exquisite views overlooking the Arnold Palmer Golf Course. They are requested time and time again by our regular guests.
Five Star Alliance: If you were checking into a standard room at the hotel, which one would you request?
Tony McHale: A favorite Signature Room (standard) would be # 10. It has a full size balcony overlooking the Horizon Edge Pool and Arnold Palmer Golf Course.
Five Star Alliance: Who are your customers and where do they come from?
Tony McHale: Strongest markets are New York and Washington, though people travel from all over including Europe.
Five Star Alliance: If you were considering staying at the hotel as a guest, what would you want to know about the hotel before checking in?
Tony McHale: Check-in/out times, dining options (both on and off property), recreational activities, things to do in the area: shopping, wineries, etc, parking fee, and safety deposit box.
Five Star Alliance: Other than your own, can you share your choices of two or three of what you consider to be the greatest hotels in the world? And why you think they are special?
Tony McHale: Villa San Michele in Florence and the Maroma Resort in Cancun.
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