March 10, 2008
By: Madelyn Giblin
When in Rome... shop! With the Villa Spalletti's "Shopping in Rome" package, make the most of your proximity to some of the best shopping in the world while enjoying a luxury 3 day stay in one of the Villa Spalletti's fantastic Romantic Rooms, with welcome gift and bowl of fruit upon your arrival. During your stay you may enjoy a full buffet breakfast, as well as dinner at the Sala Papier Paint on the first night of your stay. On the second day, guests are treated to a full three hour shopping trip along with a personalized shopper and chauffeured car into the city. Guests also have access to the hotel's various services, such as a complimentary spa treatment, a discount on other spa treatments, access to the Gym and Relax room, Turkish baths, Hammam/Energy bar, and Tepidarium. Make your trip to Rome an extravagant and trendy experience.
The sexy "Jewel of Baja"-- easily one of the best hotels in the world-- will temporarily adjust its room count from 172 to 122 rooms starting in May 2008. Once the favorite hideaway for the likes of Hemingway and Harlow, this elegant, ocean-facing oasis, the One & Only Palmilla, will continue to provide signature special touches which are the hallmark of One & Only hotels. But during this enhancement period, certain areas of the resort will be closed including the Vista Pool (adults-only pool), Breeze Restaurant, and C Restaurant breakfast service. All other areas are fully operational.
The New York Times has the scoop on some thrilling hotel deals in April. Because Easter falls early this year, spring break is shorter than usual and most travelers-- especially those whose spring break plans are determined by school holidays-- have planned their holiday for the month of March. Rates for hotels and flights may be through the roof in March, but April is incredibly cheap. Normally peak season, April is proving to be a boon for travelers who have a little flexibility with their travel plans. Luxury resorts with inventory on their hands have slashed their rates as the shoulder season has been moved up by a month. Case in point: the exclusive Caneel Bay resort on the Caribbean island of St. John has beachfront rates as low as $675 in April (as opposed to $975 in March). Jumby Bay on Antigua has also cut their rates-- by 25 percent starting April 1. Parrot Cay in the Turks and Caicos Islands is actually offering a $200 resort credit. And Anguilla's gorgeous Cap Juluca resort-- usually booked solid, as the NYT points out-- actually has availability in April.
The best thing about the Pan Pacific Singapore's new multi-million dollar renovation? Custom-tailored traveler technology. Tech-savvy guests will be thrilled with the new enhancements. In each room, a sophisticated Audio-Visual Portal was installed to offer integrated audio-visual output solutions via the Flatscreen LCD TVs. Translation: You can connect your laptop, digital camera, video camera, and iPod to the TV. Of course Wifi is available throughout the hotel. And 38 suites in the hotel were fitted with Bose Home Entertainment Systems (3-2-1 GS Series II) with radio, CD and DVD functions. Guests can enjoy home theater sound delivered via two advanced Gemstone speakers. Rooms also boast electronic remote-controlled Roman drapes and sun filters framing the full-length window views of the city or harbor. You can control lighting, air conditioning, and bedside clock functions via an all-in-one bedside table panel.
Recognized as one of the Top 50 Asian Hotels by Condé Nast Traveler, Pan Pacific Singapore is one of the world's finest business hotels. Indeed when the Executive Center opened on level 22 in 2005, it was the first hotel business center to occupy an entire floor. (And there's a round-the-clock Business Concierge to take care of innumerable requests.) Situated in the heart of Marina Bay and linked via skybridge to three shopping malls, the Pan Pacific is 37 floors of luxury with awesome views of the city. The hotel boasts the tallest Atrium in SouthEast Asia, to boot. In January 2008, the recent renovations unveiled 778 contemporary rooms with new furnishings, bathroom fixtures, and ergonomic chairs and large work areas. Guests also enjoy a multitude of award-winning dining and entertainment options and leisure facilities at the Wellness Village including a gymnasium, spa, swimming pool and tennis courts.
Luxury seekers looking for an unparalleled experience in the Greek Isles will swoon over Mystique. Built on Oia's famous cliffs overlooking the dazzling blue Aegean sea and volcano, Mystique is a member of Starwood's Luxury Collection. The resort offers 18 stylish rooms and villas handcrafted from wood, local stone, and glass. Relax in a sun bed by the outdoor infinity-edge pool surrounded by some of the world's most beautiful scenery. Take off on mountain bikes to explore Oia at your own pace, then enjoy a massage in the privacy of your own suite. Sip a sunset cocktail or Secret wine cave, then sup at the Charisma gourmet restaurant-- the best kind of al fresco dining experience with panoramic views over the sea. Mystique is located only 18 kilometers from Santorini airport and 20 kilometers from Athinios Port.
March 7, 2008
By: Madelyn Giblin
After extensive renovations, Les Trois Rois has opened once again, maintaining its long-standing reputation as one of the finest luxury hotels in Europe. Located along the Rhine, the hotel offers exceptional views of the river and surrounding countryside from its rooms, and from the restaurant and bar. The renovations have given Les Trois Rois a more modern look while still retaining its age-old splendor. While each guest room is fully equipped with modern luxuries such as heating air conditioning, television, radios, all individually controlled by a touch panel, as well as high speed wireless Internet.
Yet the historic icons of the hotel, including the facade, the figures of the Three Kings, the Salle Belle Epoque ballroom, atrium and main staircase, and the Napoleon Suite, remain intact, preserving the rich history of the Basel area. Les Trois Rois continues to be a member of Swiss Deluxe Hotels, a collection of the finest five-star hotels in Switzerland. With the grandeur of the guest rooms, the gourmet food offered at the restaurant and the spectacular views from the hotel grounds, it is no wonder Les Trois Rois continues to be one of the finest hotels in Europe.
Next time you check into a luxurious Langham Hotel, you can rack up the points with Royal Orchid Plus, the frequent flyer program of Thai Airways, a founding member of the Star Alliance. You can earn 750 miles per qualified stay. Langham Hotels International has partnerships with 15 leading airlines, and guests can also redeem Award Stay certificates on Langhamhotels.com. Langham also recently signed a partnership with China Southern Airlines, China's largest passenger airline, offering 1,000 km for stays at any of Langham's portfolio of hotels, including Auckland, Boston, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Pasadena, and Koh Lanta-- the brand spanking new resort which opened in Thailand's Krabi Province this January. The partnership with China Southern is especially cool given that the first of Langham's new hotels will open this summer at Beijing's Capital Airport.
The media's been abuzz since The Stoneleigh Hotel and Spa recently debuted in Dallas after a $36 million, 14-month renovation. First opened in 1923, The Stoneleigh-- once the tallest hotel west of the Mississippi-- is listed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation's "Historic Hotels of America." Back in the day, The Stoneleigh was a society hotspot for Hollywood A-listers and played host to celebs like Judy Garland, Frank Lloyd Wright, Andy Warhol and Elvis Presley. And management is hoping that the "Hotel to the Stars" will now enter a second age of splendor. New amenities include a full-service spa, Bolla restaurant (featuring Modern Italian cuisine prepared by Chef David Bull, an Iron Chef Challenger and 2007 James Beard nominee for "Best Chef in the Southwest"), dramatic Penthouse suites and The Heritage, an adjacent luxury high-rise with custom homes. Designed by ForrestPerkins, the sumptuous new interiors are all about the 1930s-era Art Deco glamour. The restoration left original historic details intact (like the 300-year old wood-paneling in the "Grape Room"), and the hotel now features a collection of artwork honoring Texas' best artists. Nota bene: the hotel's nine "Tribute Suites" are named for famous guests like Elvis and Judy Garland.
Desperate for some sun? Steal away to the private island of Cayo Espanto, located three miles offshore from San Pedro in the calm Caribbean waters of Belize. This private piece of paradise, a favorite retreat for the discriminating few, is offering serious savings-- up to 57 percent off-- until March 15, 2008. Usually priced from $1,895 to $2,295 per night, the villas (3 of the island's 6) are going for $995 per couple. This includes a personal butler and all your meals, drinks, and transfers, so this is a real deal. Three-night minimum stay required.
March 6, 2008
By: Madelyn Giblin
For lovers of classical music and Italian culture, the Carlton Hotel Baglioni Milan, recently named the "Hotel of La Scala Theatre", is the place to stay. From January through October 2008, Carlton Hotel Baglioni is offering an amazing package that allows guests to enjoy a private, guided experience of the world renowned theater and the Filarmonica Orchestra, as well as the many luxuries the hotel has to offer. With reservations under the package, guests are picked up in a private limousine at the airport and whisked away to the Hotel, where they will find their room supplied with fresh juices and sweets, and an in-room breakfast during each morning of the minimum two day stay. On the second day, guests are taken by private limousine to the Theater, at which awaits a private guided tour of the legendary Theater and a chance to sit in on a private rehearsal by the Filarmonica Orchestra. After this, guests are then taken to view Da Vinci's "Last Supper" and treated to a two hour spa treatment at the luxurious Guerlain Spa. Guests may also enjoy a three course lunch or dinner at the Hotel's fantastic "Il Baretto al Baglioni" restaurant during their stay. Aside from the many attractions included in the package, Milan offers plenty of other activities, including shopping and sight- seeing. And should you desire to extend your stay an extra night, the Hotel is pleased to provide you with free tickets to attend the official performance at the Teatro alla Scala in the Hotel's private balcony. Rates begin at €3,700.00. Remaining Concert Schedule below- after the jump: March 9th Director: Valery Gergiev Music: Igor Stravinskij, Sergej Rachmaninov March 16th Director: Riccardo Chailly Music: I. Stravinskij, G. Rossini March 30th Director: Myung-Whun Chung Music: L. van Beethoven, P. Cajkovskij April 27th Director: Semyon Bychkov Music: D. Glanert, D. Sostakovi May 11th Director: Gustavo Dudamel Music: L. Bernstein, G. Mahler May 25th Director: Daniel Harding Music: A. Berg, S. Sciarrino, L. van Beethoven October 19th Director: Philippe Jordan Music: R. Strauss, G. Mahler, R. Strauss