LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
October 1, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Skiers, rejoice. North America's number 1 ski resort, the epic Whistler Blackcomb, has just gotten even better. It has the biggest vertical rise in North America, the most terrain, and come December, Whistler will boast the new Peak 2 Peak gondola connecting both Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. Lucky skiers can save time, and experience unbelievable views from the "highest distance in the world above a valley floor," by traveling between British Columbia's two mighty peaks. The 2.73-mile ride takes 11 minutes, and travels the world's longest unsupported span.
October 1, 2008
By: K. Clare Johnson
Milan's Carlton Baglioni Hotel is offering an unusual package from now through the end of the year. The hotel will drive you to Lake Como (about 40 km), where you can visit the tiny lakeside town that George Clooney has made famous. Once there, you'll enjoy an exciting trip by seaplane or by helicopter to discover the secrets of the beautiful islands near Como. After your aerial adventure, you'll be given lunch in an Italian restaurant with a panoramic view of the lake. The rest of the package includes:
* 2 nights accommodation in Deluxe Room or Junior Suite
* Welcome drink for 2 people, bottle of Champagne, and fruit basket in the room upon arrival
* 3 course dinner at il Baretto al Baglioni (wine excluded)
* Intensive Body Therapy the ultimate body sublimation from head to toe with Guerlain's specialty mask and skincare concentrate massage. Coupled with an invigorating Vichy shower body polish, this therapy promises to leave your skin feeling toned, soft, and replenished.
Leave the in-laws at home and jet to the Caribbean for Thanksgiving. Biras Creek will be serving up an indulgent Thanksgiving feast of homemade apple mash potatoes with a cranberry-orange sauce, wild mushroom salad, and two-day marinated turkey filled with a homemade stuffing featuring spices, apples, celery and raisins. Don't care for the traditional stuff? You can eat your heart out with a non-traditional meal as well, and skip the homemade pumpkin pie. At Biras Creek, you can enjoy all this with a side of Caribbean sun and sand. The 31-suite resort offers swimming, snorkeling, tennis, boating and white sandy beaches galore...
The London NYC, touted as "an amalgam of both its namesake cities," where glamour is "livable," has created quite the stir since its opening. Folks flock to this worldly urban hideaway for a taste of Gordon Ramsay's talked-about cuisine, as The London NYC marks the American debut of the Michelin-starred British chef. The London NYC club is a luxurious fitness concept, and the hotel has partnered with Quintessentially, the exclusive concierge service, to ensure that all guests get the star treatment. For the pinnacle of luxury in Manhattan, both literally and figuratively, A-listers choose the London Penthouse, the 2,500-square-foot pad that soars over the city and offers 180 degrees of the city from bay windows on three sides, so you can gape at Central Park, the Hudson River, and sparkling Manhattan skyline. (The best perch is from the rotating daybed located in one of the bay windows.) As pointed out by our friends over at Luxist, this is also the highest suite in the city, located on the hotel's 53rd and 54th floors. The amenities-- private dining by Chef Ramsay's team, well-stocked bar, iPod docking stations and flat-screen TVs-- are just as spectacular as the views. The price tag? $15,000 a night.
Discover the best of the desert at the AAA Four Diamond Westin Kierland Resort and Spa. Dedicated to "going green" with a commitment to protecting the environment and preserving natural resources, this upscale resort has it all: from a waterpark for the kids to 27-holes of championship golf. Scottsdale has become a haven for foodies, and the Westin Kierland is no exception; there are no less than eight unique dining experiences at the resort. The Agave Spa focuses on traditional native treatments utilizing indigenous flora such as the agave plant. As to be expected at a Westin, the accommodations are supremely comfortable with Heavenly Bed and Bath. Until December 30, 2008, you can enjoy a third night free when you book a two-night stay. Arrive Thursday, Friday or Saturday at this award-winning resort, and let the fun begin.
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.