February 13, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
In London, luxury hotels abound. The Draycott, occupying three red-brick Edwardian homes just round the corner from Sloane Square, stands out for its pedigree and personality. A stay here is like traveling back in time to when Number 22-26 Cadogan Gardens was a private home. Every detail combines to convince guests that they are at home, invited to enjoy the finest standards of hospitality in a grand yet friendly setting. Steeped in Edwardian splendor with high ceilings and real working fireplaces, the 35 suites are theatrically themed and adorned with Victorian antiques. Each room contains something of its theatrical namesake- be it Sheridan, Coward, Grenfell or Ashcroft.
Here's what to expect:
*24-hour concierge service to arrange your chauffeur transfers to the airport, the perfect choices for restaurants and entertainment, a tour of historic Chelsea, etc.
*Complimentary afternoon tea and biscuits served at 4 p.m. in the drawing room, followed by champagne at 6 p.m. and hot chocolate before bed.
*Complimentary wireless Internet in all areas of the hotel
*The finest Sea Island cotton sheets in a luxuriously large bed, especially made to Draycott Hotel's own specification and designed for perfect rest.
Choose The Draycott's Theatre Galore package and you'll enjoy a bottle of champagne in-room, a pair of tickets to the show of your choice each day, and a full English breakfast. Priced at just GBP 425 per person for the two-night package.
Just an hour from Prague, a 17th century chateau-turned-luxury-retreat could possibly be one of the most exclusive venues in Central Europe. The Chateau Mcely's been turning heads since its opening in May 2006 after a major renconstruction. The setting is simply magical: a lush parkland surrounded by the Czech Republic's beautiful St. George Forest. The manor is touted as the first five-star "green" and eco-chic hotel in the Czech Republic. Over the weekend of February 29- March 2, 2008, Chateau Mcely welcomes guests for its Chocolate Degustation, where generous tastings are accompanied by cooking demonstrations and stories. Learn how to prepare some of the tempting and unusual chocolates-- filled with pink peppercorns, curry, pistachio, and other unusual ingredients-- from the Chateau's own domestic recipes. (Note: The chocolate tasting is included in the price of accommodation.)
P.S. For a delightful take on why to visit Prague in the off-season, check out this NYT piece.
February 12, 2008
By: Christina Vasquez
Get your morning fuel for free at the Hay-Adams in Washington, DC and start your day off right before exploring the nation's capital. Reservations booked at the Hay-Adams through Five Star Alliance will receive complimentary continental breakfasts for two and a special gift upon arrival. The Hay-Adams will also extend a guaranteed 4 p.m. late check-out for reservations booked through Five Star Alliance. You can use the extra time to check out major Washington, D.C. landmarks, such as the White House, located across the street, and the National Mall just a few blocks further!
February 12, 2008
By: Lucy LeTourneau
Located just steps from the Mississippi River in downtown Memphis's award-winning Harbor Town Community, the River Inn's 28 luxurious guest rooms and suites are situated in two buildings; a four-story and a three-story, divided by a narrow street surrounded by tasteful landscaping. The Inn offers a rooftop terrace with sweeping River and skyline views; 24-hour concierge and valet services; library-style sitting areas on each floor; port wine and chocolate truffle service during evening turn-down; a full complimentary , gourmet breakfast; and a modern fitness center. Six different accommodation packages are available, ranging from standard rooms at $245 to penthouse suites at $595. Book the River Inn at Harbor Town through Five Star Alliance and receive a room upgrade at check-in, based upon availability as well as a glass of champagne or wine upon arrival.
By: Lucy LeTourneau
Ahhh, Venice, the "open-air museum" of architectural treasures, grand palazzos with frescoes and romantic canals. From La Galleria dell'Accademia to the Peggy Guggenheim collection, the city is simply brimming with artistic masterpieces. And fine restaurants and shopping means Venice could be the perfect European destination. The hotel of choice is the exquisite Hotel Gritti Palace situated directly on the Grand Canal with incomparable views. Built in 1525 as the residence of Andrea Gritti, the Doge of Venice, the award-winning hotel is part of Starwood's Luxury Collection. And with gold-trimmed ceilings, marble tiles, and the finest Venetian antiques, it's really no wonder the Hotel Gritti Palace is considered one of the world's best hotels. Dine at the Club del Doge restaurant and fall in love with the views while getting spoiled like royalty. Choose the Room with a View Special and get great rates for a mid-week stay, including a bountiful buffet breakfast. Valid from Sundays- Thursdays until March 31, 2008, the offer is priced at EUR 459 per night. And if you reserve three consecutive nights at Hotel Gritti Palace (during the months of March, April, July and August 2008), you'll receive the best available rate plus your fourth night for free!
February 12, 2008
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
Look beyond a refined facade and peel back the elegant cloak to expose the edgy dark side of Ivy San Diego.
Houston's decadent urban resort, brilliantly located in the Museum District, has established quite the following, welcoming dealmakers, fun-lovers, trendsetters, and romantic couples to a glamorous, sybaritic paradise. Celebrated for its gracious and attentive service, the Hotel Zaza Houston takes pleasure in the details, like the Magic Carpet (a.k.a. complimentary car service to neighborhood locations), butler pantries located on each floor, in-room grab & go gourmet refreshment bars, Italian linens and down-filled pillows, and the happening poolside retreat and outdoor bar with private cabanas. Did we mention the Peep Show (ZaZa's twist on a gift shop)? And pets are most welcome.
But the best part about the Hotel ZaZa is the Magnificent Seven, the most exquisite of the hotel's luxury accommodations. These suites come with all the lavish excess and little ZaZa surprises you'd expect at ZaZa. The names say it all: Rock Star, Fatal Charms, For Your Eyes Only, Outlaw, Tycoon, Black Label, Bella Vita. They come with whirlpool tubs, amazing views, balconies, and private access to the twelfth floor. And get this: you and 25 of your best friends can actually take over the entire twelfth floor and all the Magnificent Seven suites! The 18 Karats package is pure indulgence. Imagine: gourmet dinner including wine and champagne for 26 people prepared by the ZaZa chef and served in the Rock Star Suite, breakfast for 26 served in Black Label, valet parking, 3 private cabanas at Urban Oasis pool, 26 ZaZa robes for lounging, complimentary bath butler service, and candlelit turn-down. All for just $18,000.
Escape the winter blahs and discover paradise just off the northern tip of Phuket Island. Nestled on a stunning stretch of white sandy beach on Thailand's Andaman coast, the Aleenta Resort is a serene hideaway that promises a seductive tropical experience. It's the ideal base to discover Phang Nga Bay National Park, a geologic wonder filled with islets, sunken caverns, and startling limestone rock formations rising from the sea (pictured). An idyllic retreat by the sea, the Aleenta Resort and Spa Phangnga opened after the incredible success of the first Aleenta hotel in Hua Hin (praised in the New York Times). The 15 suites come with infinity pools, private decks, wireless Internet, and all kinds of high-tech amenities. Here you can embark on a culinary adventure with Thai cooking classes, revitalize with pampering spa treatments in an unparalleled spa setting overlooking the sea, and sip some sunset cocktails in "The Living Room" lounge and open-air bar.
From the luxury hotel that brought you Chocolate Sushi as a nightly turndown amenity (nothing like some sweet sushi between the sheets), comes the most delectable, mouth-watering Valentine's Day feasts you can imagine. At the stylish Palm Court, there will be a Chocolate Bar dessert buffet with a wide selection of both savory dishes and sweet desserts. Each table will also be served a chocolate fondue; you can choose from the "chocolate menu" with selections ranging from 40.5 percent Ghana Cocoa to 75 percent Tanzania Cocoa. Priced at HK$268 per person. Or for a seriously romantic venue, choose The Bostonian, The Langham's upscale steak and seafood restaurant. The special 5-course Valentine's Day dinner includes such items as Oscietra Caviar Tian with Durham Pikelets, Foie Gras Parfait with Crushed Raspberry and Balsamic Jelly, Oyster and Brie de Meauz Champagne Soup, and choice of Butter Poached Maine Lobster or Fillet of Angus Beef with Truffled Potato Gratin. Priced at HK$1,888 for two people. Or head to the award-winning T'ang Court for a romantic, 8-course Chinese Dinner.
February 8, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Secluded on the powder-white sands of Jimbaran Bay on Bali's southern coast, the InterContinental Resort sprawls over 14 tropical hectares of ornamental ponds and winding lagoons. The 418-room resort showcases traditional Balinese architecture with modern lifestyle facilities, and is an alluring hideaway for both couples and families. The resort's Club InterContinental is perhaps the island's best kept secret, a real luxury value. Designed as a resort within a resort, the Club InterContinental takes guests on a journey of unprecedented luxury. With prime terrace views, spa-like bathrooms with Aveda toiletries, espresso machines and high-tech amenities, the accommodations were created to anticipate every possible need of the seasoned traveler. Club InterContinental offers guests total privacy and an array of indulging privileges: Airport Lounge with priority Immigration clearance, unobtrusive 24-hour Butler service, a private Club Pool, and exclusive access to the 24-hour Club InterContinental Lounge for breakfast, complimentary refreshments, high tea, sunset cocktails, late night supper and all-day snacks. Other entitlements include late check-out benefits and preferential seating at every restaurant throughout the resort.
Choose the Club Dreams package at the InterContinental Bali and you'll get a bunch of cool extras. Upon arrival, you'll be driven to the resort in a top of the line Jaguar. Once in your room, a chilled bottle of Moet Chandon, chocolates and a soothing flower bath await you. Experience a sunset boat tour around Jimbaran Bay in a traditional outrigger. Then enjoy a romantic dinner in a private tent by the sea. Priced at just $1,100, this three-night package also includes all Club InterContinental privileges. Valid until March 31, 2008.