LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
Here's a decadent deal. Stay just two blocks from the White House over Labor Day weekend at the magnificent St. Regis Washington D.C., and score rates as low as $208 per night- a whopping 60 percent off the regular rate. In January, the hotel emerged from a $53 million, 16-month renovation and now all 175 rooms and suites, distinguished by the original Palladian windows and Italian Renaissance Louis XVI chandeliers, have been transformed with custom-designed furnishings and modern amenities. The hotel was built in 1926, and President Coolidge cut the ceremonial grand opening ribbon. Since then, every American president has visited this top-notch D.C. establishment. Guests can expect excellent service through the legendary St. Regis butler. The prestigious hotel will launch the much-anticipated Adour Restaurant, sister resto to the New York property opened by Alain Ducasse, in September 2008. A designer spa will follow in early 2009.
Where else can you sail across the bay to Angel Island, hike in the Redwoods, bike across the Golden Gate bridge, eat like a king with celebrity guest chefs, and get pampered with luxurious spa treaments? Cavallo Point, The Lodge at the Golden Gate, opened on July 1 outside Sausalito to much buzz and excitement. The resort itself is nestled on 50 acres of Fort Baker in the Golden Gate National Recreational Area, a former military base. We hear the restaurant's pretty good, too. As recently featured in the Washington Post:
The resort aims to offer something for everyone: stone massages and a basking pool for those who wish to be pampered; guided hikes and horseback and bike rides through the surrounding 75,000 acres of parkland; culinary and wine excursions into San Francisco and the nearby wine country; and fitness "boot camps" for those who need more of an adrenaline rush. Cavallo Point presents a curious mix of Outward Bound ambition with Canyon Ranch amenities.
Cavallo Point may be ambitious, but it's off to a great start.
That honor goes to hotels in Hawaii, Vegas, and Walt Disney World-- according to the Fodor's Forums. Hawaii may boast incredible beaches, but the pool attractions are just as jaw-dropping. Case in point: the five acres of meandering lagoons and pools at the Grand Hyatt Kaua'i Resort and Spa, set within beautifully landscaped gardens. Kids go gaga over the water slides, waterfalls, whirlpools, and neat, 1-acre free-form pool. (They'll also love the koi fish feeding and hula lessons at Camp Hyatt.) You can even kayak in the salt-water lagoon. Nestled on the south side of Kaua'i, Hawaii's Garden Isle, the oceanfront resort also has a full tennis complex and Anara spa. You can play a round of gold at the Poipu Bay Golf Crouse, home of the PGA Grand Slam, right next door.
The chic Parisian hotel on the avenue Montaigne is known for going the extra mile for guests. Even your kids get the star treatment at the Hotel Plaza Athénée, where coddled VIPs carry kid-sized umbrellas for strolls around Paris, and get comfy in slippers and bathrobes made specially for them. The luxurious hotel from the Dorchester Collection recently added a collectors-edition Cabriolet roadster (pictured) which will surely delight your little ones. What an indulgent gift for Christmas, polished in Plaza Red and emblazoned with the Plaza Athénée logo! It has classic chrome wheels and black leather seats. Inspired by BMW's 328 model created in 1936, the 6/10-scale replica is a BMC & De-la-Chapelle masterpiece with a 6.5HP gas engine, speedometer, headlights, horn, hydraulic brakes and maximum speed of 12 mph. Don't worry-- it's pedal powered.
Anguilla has been in the press a lot these days. The Caribbean island in the British West Indies has remained pristine because of regulated development, and only three resorts have graced its beaches: Cap Juluca, CuisinArt, and Malliouhana. But 2009 will see the debut of two spanking new hotels: the Viceroy, which we noted last year, and the Baccarat Resort and Residences at Temenos. As described by Travel + Leisure in the September 2008 issue, this uber-luxe resort is being developed by Barry Sternlicht, the "mastermind behind Starwood's W, St. Regis, and Luxury Collection chains." There will be a Greg Norman golf course, a David Bouley restaurant, and world-class spa and fitness center. Plus, guests and residences will enjoy "signature Baccarat aesthetics" from the premier luxury brand. Like lots of crystal chandeliers in the lobby.
Just minutes from Jefferson's Monticello and the University of Virginia, Keswick Hall is an impressive estate managed by Orient-Express. This gorgeous mansion has its own Arnold Palmer Signature 18-hole golf course and a luxurious spa. Surrounded by the spectacular landscapes of Virginia hunt country, Keswick Hall overlooks some of the most beautiful scenery on the East Coast. This region is also famous for its vineyards, and those who retreat to Keswick Hall for some pampering, relaxation, and fresh country air will also enjoy wine tasting at the award-winning wineries. When you book the "Wine Escape Package" at Keswick Hall, you can sample the best of the region. The two-night package includes Sommelier Richard Hewitt's welcome letter and wine amenity, a personal invitation to the 'For the Love of Wine' series, a local wine tour and personalized gift from the featured winery, a five course gourmet dinner once during the stay, and Continental breakfast daily. Valid Sunday-Thursday through November, with rates starting at $1175. Don't miss a wine-inspired indulgence at the Keswick Club Spa: the Vinotherapy Regimen, which uses elements from the grape's vine and seed to infuse the body with anti-oxidants and anti-aging polyphenois.
The hotel, a member of the Rocco Forte Collection, is as exciting and stylish as the Italian capital itself. Smack dab in the middle of it all in the bustling city, situated between the Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo, the luxurious Hotel de Russie is celebrated for its picturesque terraced gardens, health club, and the exclusive Nijinsky Suite, arguably the most gorgeous Presidential digs in Rome, overlooking the hotel's butterfly garden from a sprawling private terrace. But there's another reason to love this five-star gem: The Stravinskij Bar. This fashionable establishment, known for martinis served with caviar, also offers lunch buffets and traditional afternoon tea. It was recently named by Virtuoso and VIRTUOSO LIFE as the Best of the Best (the 10 awards categories include "Best Bar"):
The Stravinskij Bar has earned a cult following for its unrivalled martinis, as well as having been made a full-fledged member of the James Bond Bar circuit for its elegance, impeccable class and cosmopolitan crowd.
Come October 2008, the historic Pier House will begin a new life after a $10 million renovation of all guest rooms. The one-of-kind property in free-spirited Key West has been a choice tropical destination since its renovation into a hotel in the 1960s. No two bedrooms are alike in this vibrant hideaway, now appointed with custom-designed furniture and flat-screen TVs. Bathrooms have been redesigned to offer more space and rain showerheads. Throughout the hotel's history, local conchs, including Jimmy Buffet, have frequented the restaurant and "flagship hotel of the Key West state of mind." The resort has a killer location at the foot of Old Town, steps from Duval Street. But the private pool and lush gardens create a quiet oasis away from the
crazy lively ambiance for which Key West, the southernmost point in the US, is famous.
Visitors to the world's most over-the-top destination can't go wrong by booking the Jumeirah Beach Hotel. The award-winning hotel exalts the pleasures of the good life with every amenity imaginable. In fact, lucky guests will find 20 restaurants to choose from, 4 swimming pools, 7 tennis courts, golf and more. Designed as an enormous wave on the shores of the Arabian Gulf, the hotel boasts uninterrupted panoramic views from all 600 guest rooms. From the private beach, you can enjoy endless watersports, including snorkeling over the purpose-built coral reef just 2 kilometers offshore. Just next door, the Wild Wadi Water Park lures with its exhilarating rides. Until September 30, 2008, you'll get a fourth night for free when you book a suite or villa for three consecutive nights. (Plus, you'll have access to your own private plunge pool when you book a villa.) As Halogen Guides points out, the rate at this luxurious property translates to only $264 per night.
August 21, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Old World elegance + New World opulence= a swanky hotel on Madison Avenue between 50th and 51st streets in Midtown Manhattan. Overlooking St. Patrick's Cathedral, just a stone's throw from Rockefeller Center, the New York Palace has been recognized as one of the top places to stay not only in New York, but also in the world. Just check out the client reviews on Five Star Alliance. Foodies love the Michelin-starred Gilt Restaurant and guests are enchanted with the unrivaled views and the Spa and Fitness Center. And now, this preeminent NYC address, a Manhattan icon, is part of the Dorchester Collection, joining the ranks of legendary hotels like Le Meurice and Plaza Athenee in Paris, and the Dorchester in London. The Collection's plan is to refurbish the New York Palace over the next 3 years with a major redesign of the public areas and guest rooms. Until September 1, 2008, lucky NYC visitors can check out the waterfalls public art project in the city. Internationally-renowned artist Olafur Eliasson created four monumental, man-made waterfalls on the NYC waterfront, contributing to the legacy of New York's large scale public arts projects. Since the best way to view this once-in-a-lifetime exhibit is from the deck of a private tour boat, The New York Palace Hotel has created The Waterfalls Package, including accommodations in a Deluxe Room, American breakfast for two, and an official NYC Waterfalls boat tour for two guests.