LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
Word on the street is that Budapest (as cosmopolitan a metropolis as it is) was blown away by the debut of the Four Seasons Gresham Palace. Easily the poshest hotel on the block, this palatial property is a masterfully-restored Art Nouveau landmark offering panoramic vistas across the mighty Danube to the hills of Buda. You will not be disappointed with accommodations that have been likened to the finest in the world (the original architectural details are a nice touch). As to be expected in a city renowned for its thermal hot springs and spa heritage, the Four Seasons spa is not-to-be-missed. Situated on the top floor of the hotel, the spa features Vichy showers, sauna, steam rooms, and treatment rooms where you can luxuriate with a therapeutic massage. With the "Experience More" Package, available until December 1, 2008, you can indulge a little more with a EUR 65 spending credit to be applied towards food or spa charges. Room rates start at EUR 340.
Kids like luxury just as much as adults. So The Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago offers everything little travelers need when checking in to a luxury hotel. The "Trump Kids" program offers pint-size guests children's books, board games, and movies, kid's robes and slippers, PlayStation, Xbox, and MP3 Players with kid friendly music. There's also a kiddie menu, which includes old favorites like PB and J, and whole wheat penne and fat free cheddar or edamame for more adventurous eaters.
Mini-moguls will enjoy "Trump Kids" business cards printed with their name, and kiddie cocktails like The Panther (pink grapefruit, ginger ale, pomegranate juice, peach nectar, and a sugared rim). Kids also get complimentary use of the pool, and for the tiniest tycoons, baby monitors, cribs, and babysitters are available.
Get ready to tee off at Westin La Cantera. Winner of a slew of awards for golfing (Golf Magazine's 2006-2007 "Silver Medal Award," Conde Nast Traveler's 2007 "Gold List" and "Top 100 Golf Courses"), Westin La Cantera has two courses to choose from. There's the 18-hole Resort Course at La Cantera - home of the PGA Tour's Valero Texas Open at La Cantera, and the 18-hole Palmer Course at La Cantera, designed by golfing legend Arnold Palmer. Those wanting a little brush-up can attend the on-site Golf Academy.
Book their Golf Package between now and the end of the year, and you'll get:
* 1 Night Stay Deluxe Guestroom
* All American Breakfast for 2 in Brannon's
* 1 Day Unlimited Golf for One Player
* 1 Golf Amenity
The price range is from $359 to $419.
The Los Angeles Times calls it the "Soap Wars." Hotels are competing over toiletries in the "newest bid to up the luxury quotient," and getting quite innovative in their quest to deliver the most exclusive products to their A-list clients. Molton Brown? Kiehl's? So yesterday. Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles just announced the newest offering: products by the Australian company Halcyon Blue (Caveat: You cannot buy these products anywhere else in the U.S.) The custom-formulated Halcyon Blue line is made with enriching essential oils and fresh scents, packaged in tubes (as opposed to bottles). Retail price? You can snag a set in the gift shop for $115.
Hotel Le Meurice chef-in-residence Yannick Alleno has recently been awarded a third Michelin star for his work at the hotel's Restaurant Le Meurice. But when he's not winning awards, he's devising a innovative new menu at Le Meurice's Le Dali restaurant. The clever and entertaining menu at Le Dali reflects the whimsically absurd artist it is named after. Dishes are divided into into two categories: Indulgence or Abstinence (Or for those who speak French, Sans and 100 percent). Chew on Chasteness, (Sea bass with balsamic vinegar and pan-fried vegetables) or Coolness (Tomato gazpacho with mustard ice cream). Taste Taboo (Oscetra Royal Caviar), or dine on Delicacy (Strawberry tart with pistachios from Sicily.)
Hunger (Chocolat and caramel dome) never tasted so good.
Before the Summer Olympics, we heard a lot about the hotel building frenzy in Beijing and all the new hotel openings. But this one is so special, says the LA Times, and promises to be so sought-after, that its debut will occur next month, well after the world's Olympians have come and gone. The latest luxury offering from Amanresorts, The Aman at Summer Palace is a sight to behold, housed in a series of historic dwellings (which hosted those awaiting an audience with the Empress Dowager Cixi at the turn of the last century) just a stone's throw from one of the most legendary sites in China. Fittingly, the hotel exudes a sense of tranquility throughout. There will be only 18 guestrooms and 25 suites, outfitted with furniture pieces inspired by the Ming Dynasty. You can try Peking duck at the restaurant, and sip drinks at the bar overlooking a traditional Chinese pond and garden. There will also be a nine-room spa with an indoor pool, gym, and dedicated pilates/yoga room.
Now there's another reason to love The Milestone Hotel and Suites, ranked No. 1 hotel in London by both the Travel and Leisure Top 500 and the Conde Nast Traveler Gold List. The Milestone Hotel has created a "Well-Being Package" for guests who like to maintain their fitness training even when they're on the road. As part of the tailor-made package, guests can organize a one-hour training session with a personal trainer to help keep those motivation levels up, and a one-hour body massage post training to aid recovery and relaxation. (After all, central London is full of good reasons to neglect your usual health routine!) But there are also plenty of ways to stay fit: miles of walks and jogging trails in the nearby parks, and the beautiful Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park right at the hotel's doorstep. On-site, the hotel offers an in-house gym with a resistance pool that guarantees a great workout. At the hotel's Cheneston's restaurant, you can choose items from a specially-created well-being menu. The "Well-being Package" also includes a non-alcoholic fruit cocktail on arrival and fresh fruit and mineral water daily. Minimum two-night stay required.
You no longer have to trek to Niagara Falls to see waterfalls in the state of New York. Now until October 11, you can visit the acclaimed public art installation The Waterfalls of New York City. The brainchild of Danish artist Olafur Eliasson, the exhibit features four man-made waterfalls 90-120 feet high. There are two waterfalls in Brooklyn, one in Lower Manhattan, and one on the Governors Island. You can beat the crowds by booking The Loews Regency Waterfalls Package. This special offer gives guests advance tickets to Circle Line Downtown Cruise Tours. The Cruise Tours feature two options, one of the four waterfalls and the other including the Statue of Liberty.The Loews Regency special rate starting from $850 (excluding taxes and gratuity) includes a one night stay in a luxurious one bedroom suite, breakfast at the hotel's famed 540 Park, tickets for viewing the Waterfalls aboard a breathtaking cruise, and car service to and from the cruise, complete with a basket of Perrier and chocolates to take along for your ride.Special Offer from Five Star Alliance: Guests making reservations at The Loews Regency through Five Star Alliance will receive a bowl of fresh fruit and bottled water upon arrival. Guests booking a Suite also receive a 25 percent discount on any spa treatment or personal training with Verve.
For some excellent leaf-peeping close to Manhattan, head to Lake Placid to indulge in award-winning accommodations in a pristine setting on the lakefront. Known as both a family friendly destination and a romantic escape, Mirror Lake Inn is a great escape with every possible activity for all four seasons. You can take advantage of the Inn's complimentary canoes and kayaks to enjoy the fall colors from the lake, ringed by the Adirondack Mountains.
Mirror Lake Inn has put together the "Park our Car and Leaf It" package, with rates starting at $245 Sunday-Thursday, available September 29-30, and October 26, 29-31. The package includes accommodations in a Classic Room with a private balcony and partial lake and mountain views, breakfast daily in the Four-Diamond restaurant, The View, as well as a $50 credit per day for you to use in the spa or in any of the three restaurants.
Pint-sized globe-trotters are treated like full-size royalty at Sinbad's Kid's Club. Located on the 18th floor of Burj Al Arab, the Kid's Club (which is constantly supervised by an attentive staff) is for the 1-12 set. There's a cot and a crib for the littlest travelers to sleep off their jet lag, and the spacious playroom has a plethora of toys, board games, and bean bags for lolling. Plasma screen TVs show Disney Channel favorites, and PCs offer computer games. Old-school kids will enjoy a wide selection of books to bury their noses in.
When the tummies start rumbling, Burj Al Arab caters delicious and nutritious cuisine for the children. And all younger guest are granted complimentary access to the Sinbad's Kid's Club at the nearby Jumeirah Beach Hotel, which offers a wide choice of outdoor activities. Some kids have all the luck.