LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
September 23, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The coolest place to stay in Berlin, Germany's capital of cool, is the new Hotel Concorde. Sleek and stylish, the hotel is housed in a striking limestone building that's 17 storeys tall. Home to the most spacious guest rooms in Berlin, the Hotel Concorde is characterized by understated design and minimalist interiors graced with dazzling contemporary artwork. Located just off the fashionable Kurfuerstendamm in the heart of the City West, the Hotel Concorde mixes French style and savoir-faire (found at its brasserie Le Faubourg) with celebrated German design (renowned Berlin architect Jan Kleihues is responsible for the hotel's cutting edge look). Wait til you get a glimpse of the two-storey lobby, where the lighting is concealed in the silver-leaf covered ceiling. Guests adore the sophisticated amenities and excellent location-- just 100 meters from the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, and within walking distance of the Zoologischer Garten. Note: If you book your stay with Five Star Alliance, you'll receive a 15 percent discount voucher for Food & Beverage in the Brasserie Le Faubourg as a welcome gift.
September 23, 2008
By: K. Clare Johnson
Christmas has come early at The Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel. The luxury hotel has just introduced a new program for Americans visiting London during the Christmas holidays. Pay before you leave in US dollars and then you won't have to settle up in pricier pounds sterling before you leave England.
The offers costs $259+VAT per guest room per night and $324 per deluxe room based on two sharing. Price is valid on stays from Thursday to Monday inclusive and is valid until the end of February 2009. The package is subject to availability and excludes 17.5 percent VAT and a discretionary 5 percent service charge. To qualify, guests must have a valid USA address. Full payment in advance is required.
Just because the exchange rate is less than ideal, doesn't mean that US travelers need to skimp on luxury.
By: K. Clare Johnson
After a string of bad luck, Boston's new residential-hotel complex Battery Wharf has some good news to share: Fairmont Hotels and Resorts will open a hotel in December 2008 (the property that Regent abandoned back in July). The uber-luxe complex has been called "star-crossed" despite the sales slogan promising "utopia engineered," but Fairmont's recent announcement means a turn for the best. After all, Fairmont is a true leader in the global hospitality industry, and its luxurious properties are world-renowned. Residents of the Battery Wharf condos will surely be thrilled about the amenities at the Fairmont, Boston's newest waterfront hotel. Right next to the historic North End, the hotel will have 150 guest rooms including Fairmont Gold, the top-notch offering marked by personalized service, private reception and a comfortable guest lounge. Straight from the horse's mouth:
Fairmont Battery Wharf will offer 6,000 square feet of meeting space, making it ideal for small corporate groups, as well and intimate social events. The property will also feature a restaurant, designed with guidance from three-star Michelin Chef Guy Martin, and lounge with harbor views and water taxi service to Boston Logan International Airport.
Soon the Colorado mountains and valleys will be ablaze with fall's shimmering display of color. Head to Aspen, America's most famous mountain town, where the legendary Little Nell has put together a "Planes, Trains and Automobiles Package" so you can get out there and see the autumn leaves. Perched on the slopes, the only ski in-ski out property in Aspen is also a fashionable year-round destination. You can't beat a fall getaway for lower rates and excellent recreational options. And at The Little Nell, "stuffy" is not part of the vocabulary. The "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" package is a three-night getaway in a swanky suite; the deal includes train transportation and private car service to see the fall foliage, a return flight to Denver with limo transfer, a guided mountain hike, lunch for two, daily breakfast at Montagna Restaurant, and keys to a luxury Audi A8. Starting at $3,740, available until October 17, 2008.
"Could the grand hotel of yesteryear be dead?" So begins Sunday's article in the New York Times Travel magazine, describing the plethora of new hotel brands to hit the scene recently:
At a time when travelers are spoiled for choice, the one-size-fits-all approach of traditional big-hotel service is giving way to ever more tailored experiences. And hotel companies are adapting not by making themselves over but by introducing new brands: 40 in about as many months, including offshoots of major players like Hyatt, expansions from the likes of Gansevoort and the Fountainbleau, and fledgling chains like SLS and Missoni.
One of the highlights of the article? The Capella Schloss Velden-- where there is a "restaurant that will open for you in the middle of the night." Horst Schulze, visionary behind the new Capella brand, is quoted as describing the "little service processes" that represent the new paradigm of luxury hotels. Guests don't want stiff formality, but they want to be taken care of. An incredible innovation of the Capella Hotels? Doing away with check-in and check-out times, "a notion historically based on what's easy for the hotel." To quote Schulze: "Why do we force the customer to do something that's convenient for us? We should have seen this long ago."
Now's your chance to luxuriate in a splendid urban villa in the heart of Rome for a fraction of the normal price. Surrounded by the world-famous sites of the Eternal City, just minutes from the Trevi Fountain, the luxurious Villa Spalletti Trivelli is centrally located, yet secluded from the city's bustle. Connoisseurs of art are entranced by this historic residence and its Italian garden. The refined interior spaces are just as elegant, furnished with antiques and sumptuous fabrics. The Villa Spalletti Trivelli offers a unique and memorable hideaway in Rome.
Book the Last Minute Offer, valid from today until September 29, 2008, and you can get incredible savings! With a two-night minimum stay, this special offer is priced at EUR 350 per night in the "Romantic" room category, with continental breakfast included. The only catch: this offer must be prepaid and is non-refundable.
W Hotels has cemented its reputation as cutting-edge and cool. The Whatever/Whenever service means your wish is their command, and the hip Living Room Lounges-- the W Wonderland-- puts the wow factor in the guest experience. But now W is raising the bar once again, by commissioning Gwen Stefani to design uniforms for the female bar staff. Starting in December, staff will sport "L.A.M.B.'s wash-and-wear black jersey minidresses with diagonal stitch detailing and a fitted, '80s-chic vibe."
In business on Chicago? Road warriors adore the Conrad Chicago, not only for its prestigious address on the Magnificent Mile, but also because of the special business amenities. Overlooking Lake Michigan or the Chicago skyline, contemporary guest rooms have 500 thread-count Pratesi linens, 42-inch plasma televisions, Bose entertainment systems, iPod alarm clocks with charging/docking station, and complimentary wired and wireless internet access. When you book the "Business Retreat," you'll begin each morning with a thoughtful wake-up call and complimentary coffee. You'll also get dry cleaning for one suite, complimentary executive services, a pillow menu, and your choice of a NY Times Bestseller List book. Priced from $235. In the need for pampering? You can order Bath Butler Service or in-room manicure, pedicure, or facial.
It's hard to imagine a more perfect honeymoon locale than Bora Bora. With breathtaking lagoons and coral reefs, this Polynesian island is as inspiring a backdrop for a romantic escape as they come. The luxurious Bora Bora Lagoon Resort has regal accommodations in overwater bungalows, where you can see colorful fish through the illuminated glass coffee-table, and go swimming directly from your own private deck. Here's what's in store if you choose a 5-night honeymoon experience:
Upon arrival, sip a refreshing beverage before checking out your bungalow where a bottle of chilled Champagne awaits you, along with a Tahitian-style "Bed of Flowers" decorating bed. You'll start off each picture-perfect day with daily American buffet breakfast for two in Otemanu Restaurant. On one morning, breakfast will be delivered via canoe. Luxuriate with a 50 minute Traditional Polynesian massage (though this can't be applied to couples massage). One evening, you'll enjoy a romantic 3-course dinner for two in Otemanu Restaurant, including appetizer or salad, entrée and dessert, Mouton Cadet Rothschild wine and a bottle of Evian. The package also includes motorboat shuttle service between the Resort and Vaitape, Bora Bora, and the use of tennis courts, fitness center and all non-motorized watersports. This honeymoon is priced from EUR 2628 for all 5 nights and the above-listed amenities.
Check into the Sunset Tower Hotel and experience some real "Hollywood Glamour." As befits a hotel that's been an L.A. landmark on the Sunset Strip since 1929, the posh Sunset Tower has dreamed up a "Hollywood Glamour" package where lucky guests can get savings of over 20 percent. You'll get two nights in a Queen suite, and two tix to the Cinefamily (a silent movie theater) for 700 bucks. You can grab this offer until December 31, 2008 and live it up at the hot Tower Bar, the former digs of gangster Bugsy Siegel, who crashed at the hotel along with dozens of famous actors and musicians.