May 8, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Insiders know that the best panoramic views of Barcelona (and the Mediterranean Sea) are from Gran Hotel La Florida, the sexy urban resort located just 25 minutes outside the city. Filled with contemporary master works of art and beautiful sculptures, this spectacular hotel boasts every possible amenity. For a truly unforgettable stay, choose one of the Design Suites- like the Sky Terrace Suite, which-- as its name suggests-- features sweeping mountain and city views. Book your stay with Five Star Alliance and you can find rates as low as EUR 175 this summer. Five Star Alliance guests staying at Gran Hotel La Florida will receive a room upgrade based upon availability at check-in, late check-out at 2pm and a bottle of specially customized Gran Hotel La Florida extra virgin olive oil. Plus, you get free wireless Internet and access to the ZenZone Spa including Sauna, Steam Bath, Pressure Showers, Ice Fountain, Jacuzzi, Hydrotherapy and treatment cabins.
May 8, 2008
By: Courtney W. May
Centrally located on the famed Sunset Strip, the Sunset Tower Hotel is only minutes away from Beverly Hills and Hollywood - guests can stroll to the Sunset Plaza with its boutiques, bookstores, and outdoor cafes. Spend Memorial Day Weekend savoring the best that Los Angeles has to offer with the Sunset Tower's Memorial Weekend Special. Stay a total of three nights between May 24 and May 27 (inclusive) and get 50% off the rate of your third night.
As a reminder, guests making reservations at the Sunset Tower Hotel through Five Star Alliance will receive a complimentary 30-minute Turkish Hammam at the hotel Spa, room upgrade based upon availability and a late 2 pm check out. In addition, a 20 percent discount on Spa and Salons services is offered to all Five Star Alliance guests during their stay. As always - please reserve your Hamman session in advance prior to arrival.
By: Courtney W. May
The latest luxury resort to open on the Med is the Mövenpick Resort & Thalasso Crete. After an extensive, two-year renovation, the upscale resort opened its doors on the northern coast of Crete along Amoudara Beach. This is the first property for Mövenpick in Greece. What's in store? "An exquisite combination of typical Greek hospitality and the traditional Swiss passion for efficiency, reliability, punctuality and precision," touts the hotel. We are most excited about the Aegeo Spa Center. If it's anything like the Zara Spa at the Mövenpick on the Dead Sea, spa-goers are in for a real treat. Mövenpick has an impressive portfolio of specialized spa resorts, and this Greek oasis is a beautiful addition. Sized at 4,500 square meters, the Spa Center offers classic wellness services including Thalasso and beauty therapy. The large seawater spa complex has various baths as well as a sauna, sanarium, solarium, whirlpools and steam rooms. Other resort facilities include a fitness center, two floodlight tennis courts, table tennis, squash, billiards, beach volleyball, and a wide variety of water sports. And of course all the 285 guest rooms offer divine sea views.
The place to stay in New Zealand's City of Sails is The Langham Auckland. Situated in the heart of NZ's largest city, The Langham is within walking distance to the dazzling waterfront. A member of the Leading Hotels of the World, The Langham epitomizes the elegant design and innovative hospitality for which the brand is famous. Guests have full access to the health club with heated rooftop pool, sauna, jacuzzi and gym. All 410 guest rooms have large business desks and Internet access, while the Langham Hotel Club offers exclusive privileges: access to the comfortable Hotel Club lounge with complimentary evening drinks and canapés, the pressing of three items on arrival and a complimentary shoe shine as well as access to the business centre and butler service. And the best part of all? A luxury experience at The Langham Auckland is a great value, as the dollar is still strong against the NZ dollar. So guests can take advantage of the "Passionate about Prada" package and get overnight accommodations with a complimentary upgrade to an Executive Room, a 50ml bottle of Prada Parfum, and an indulgently late checkout of 1 pm-- all for just NZ$299 per room. Or choose the "Five-Star Fling" and get luxury accommodations, buffet breakfast for two people in the SBF Brasserie, a complimentary bottle of Méthode Champenoise, and a late checkout of 1pm-- for just NZ $239 per room. Or the equivalent of USD187!
Chef Eric Ripert's sexy new restaurant is the talk of the town, its debut awaited by foodies for months. The genius behind Manhattan's celebrated Le Bernardin is slated to open 10 Arts by May 20th. (The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia is located at 10 avenue of the Arts-- get it?) The City of Brotherly Love can't stop talking. Housed in the Ritz-Carlton's marble rotunda, the restaurant is modern and sophisticated, set against the hotel's grand traditional background. The cuisine will be American with an emphasis on the organic and utilization of products from local farmers and the Chesapeake. We also like the sound of the Perfect 10 cocktails.
May 6, 2008
By: Courtney W. May
The exclusive and prestigious Hotel Raito is located at the beginning of the Amalfi Coast among the blue sky, sea and lush green mountains embedded between vast citrus plantations and intense scents of lemon. Recently renovated with elegance and refined furnishings, Hotel Raito will make your stay unique and unforgettable with its enchanted view overlooking the Bay of Salerno and the Faraglioni in Vietri sul Mare. This summer, enjoy the Amalfi Coast with Hotel Raito and their special Summer Break package for 5 or 7 nights. The Summer Break package includes: 5 or 7 nights in a double room, Buffet breakfast, dinner (daily menu, beverages excluded), 1 free SPA entrance per person (indoor swimming pool, turkish bath, sauna, relax area, emotional showers), and 10% reduction on SPA treatments.
By: Courtney W. May
Since 1927, the Windsor Arms Hotel has been a favorite hideaway for celebs and discerning international clientele looking for discreet, personalized service and utterly luxurious guest rooms in Toronto. Ideally located in the city's vibrant Yorkville district, this contemporary boutique hotel has a Darphin spa (one of a kind in North America) with a magnificent pool. Taking tea at the Windsor Arms has long been an afternoon tradition, an elegant indulgence. The High Tea is an absolute must. Enjoy a welcoming flute of sparkling wine or a glass of sherry as you settle into one of the plush seats or comfy sofa. Indulge in dainty sandwiches featuring the likes of baby greens with asparagus, cucumber salsa, and chive cream cheese-- or you might choose from such delicacies as goat cheese and caramelized shallot tart. Finally, give into a seductive selection of pastries and sweets, each hand-crafted. Traditional tea is served every afternoon at 1:00 pm and 3:30 pm. Twilight Tea is served Thursday - Sunday at 5:30 pm. Psst. The hotel offers an "Afternoon Tea" package which includes overnight accommodation in a Yorkville Suite, afternoon tea with a glass of sherry or white port and continental breakfast served in the tea room.
The falling dollar soured your mood? Don't let it deter your summer travel plans. There are deals to be had out there-- from the Maldives to Scottsdale. Thanks to the LA Times Travel and Deal Blog for pointing out this fab compilation of bargains at hotels worldwide. Looking for some sun and sand? You can get 20 percent off with the "Fall for Jamaica Inn" package at the elegant Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios. Or how about an exotic escape? Score a savings of 48 percent in the Maldives at the exclusive One&Only Reethi Rah. A weekend getaway Stateside? Get a fourth night free from the fabled Virginia resort, The Homestead, with the "Hot Springs Holiday" package. You can also get 20 percent off at the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain with the "Sonoran Sanctuary" package, which includes spa treatments. A European getaway? How does 20 percent off sound- at Edinburgh's finest hotel: Rocco Forte's The Balmoral? Choose the "Scotland Summer Spa" package and get three nights in a Classic room with an automatic upgrade to an Executive room based upon availability; full Scottish breakfast; and unlimited use of the spa, including the sauna, relaxation suite, yoga and pilates classes.
For over 160 years, Baur au Lac has been the top address in Zurich, playing host to royalty and international celebrities. Notably, Baur au Lac is one of the few hotels in the world owned by the same family for six generations. Set in its own park on the shore of Lake Zurich just a short walk from the Paradeplatz, the hotel is celebrated for its elegant rooms, unequalled hospitality, and stellar restaurants. And now, this luxurious haven, one of the founding members of the Leading Hotels of the World, is getting a facelift in mid-July. Throughout its history, Baur au Lac has stayed ahead of the game by anticipating the needs of its international clientele and updating and modernizing the hotel accordingly. What's in store with the planned CHF 40 million renovation? 25 rooms will be converted to create 15 new suites and junior suites on the lakefront and canal facing side of the hotel. All rooms are slated for completion in spring 2009, and the hotel will be kept open at the hotel with inconveniences to guests kept at an absolute minimum. The gourmet restaurant Le Pavillon and the summer favorite La Terrasse will be redesigned by the famed restaurant and hotel architect, Pierre-Yves Rochon, starting in October. (He’'s the man behind the George V in Paris and a few of the Michelin-starred Joel Robuchon restaurants).
May 5, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Virginia's rolling Piedmont is home to a magnificent country estate called Keswick Hall. Managed by Orient-Express, this decadent hideaway epitomizes the best of the "good life." Overlooking the Blue Ridge foothills not far from Thomas Jefferson's historic Monticello estate outside Charlottesville, Keswick Hall offers a horizon edge pool, Arnold Palmer-designed golf course, spa, gym, outstanding restaurant, and myriad country pursuits. This summer, take advantage of the "Ultimate Break" special offer and you can get the resort's best promotional rates-- starting at $225 in a Signature Room (or $195 in a Hall Guestroom). Available Sunday to Thursday, July 1- September 15, 2008.