LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
After a few delays, the W Hotel is ready to make its debut in the desert oasis of Scottsdale. The construction project has lasted 2.5 years, the Scottsdale Insider tells us, and now the long-awaited W Hotel will open its doors for real on August 1, 2008. Scottsdale graced the pages of the New York Times "31 Places to Go This Summer," because-- as the venerable paper points out-- "Downtown Scottsdale is turning into a desert version of Miami's South Beach. No ocean of course, but plenty of late-night partying and a buzzing hotel scene." The W promises to be both a hot spot and cool retreat-- with lots of natural water elements incorporated into the design. What else is in store? A Bliss Spa, 1,100 square foot fitness center, humongous pool area with private cabanas and a Sushi Roku restaurant. Here's how they're touting the rooms:
It's no mirage-- our 224 rooms are a perfect balance of luxury and comfort, featuring stunning views of the desert landscape, the signature W bed, fully wired technology, delightful Munchie Box, Bliss Spa sinkside six and fabulous entertainment.
The patio has re-opened at the Hotel De Crillon, the majestic palace hotel located on the world-famous Place de la Concorde in the very heart of Paris. And the picnic baskets are once again in season. The new 2008 picnic comes in two "flavors." Choose "Chic" and you'll be delighted by dishes like a Duck confit foie gras sandwich, Bellevue salmon with sauce verte, strawberry and rhubarb charlotte-- all the flavor sensations created with Chef Jean-François Piège's composed chic. On the other hand, "Choc" will awaken flavors from your childhood: Sardine/Vache Qui Rit, the famous Egg Mimosa and Petit Lu biscuits with Nutella and rasberries. Kids will have a mini-picnic of their own, consisting of ham/Russian salad, cold chicken with mayonnaise, potato chips and an ice cream cornet. Plus, they'll get a surprise gift from the Crillon. On the Patio, you can also enjoy the summer creations of the hotel's head barman including milkshakes and tasty, fruity cocktails. During the summer months, there is also an ice cream trolley at the Hotel De Crillon, ready to satisfy your sweet cravings!
The Bay area's newest luxury destination, the InterContinental San Francisco, has been causing quite a stir since its debut earlier this year. Towering over the South of Market district (SOMA) on the corner of Howard and Fifth streets, the 32-storey sparkling glass building boasts striking views from the floor-to-ceiling windows in all 550 guest rooms. Available for a limited time, the Fourth of July holiday rates (June 29-July 7) are only $129 per night- which is a steal in a city known for its exorbitant room rates. Instead of bunking down at a Motel 6, you could enjoy the 8,000 square foot I-Spa, 24-hour fitness center, and lavish room amenities at the InterContinental San Francisco for the same price!
We're counting down the days til the August 19, 2008 debut of the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, the first hotel from the new SLS luxury hotel collection created by SBE Entertainment Group in collaboration with Philippe Starck and the award-winning chef José Andrés. Managed by the Luxury Collection for Starwood Hotels and Resorts, the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills will offer the plushest of guest rooms and most stylish and vibrant public spaces (like The Bazaar, billed as "a hotel lobby as fete extraordinaire"). With this soft opening date, insiders tell us that the guest room floors will be available, along with the Guest Lobby and a few of the restaurants (not all five outlets). The pool, ballroom and other facilities will open later in the fall. The official opening date is December 1, 2008 and the SLS Hotel promises to make a splash on the Los Angeles luxury hotel scene. To quote the design guru himself, the hotel has been created "to bring happiness in an elegant way."
The Caribbean isle of Anguilla is often overlooked as a beach destination, but this small, 16-mile island has 33 beaches and the poshest of upscale resorts. The annual Summer Festival runs from July 31-August 10 and promises a whole lot of fun in the sun. This is the ideal time to pamper yourself with a stay at a fancy Caribbean resort, as both Malliouhana Hotel and Spa, and the world-famous Cap Juluca resort have slashed their rates to lure summer travelers. Packed in the winter peak season, these fancy hideaways can be booked at more than half off their high season rates. Malliouhana is perched atop a bluff overlooking the azure Caribbean waters and white sand of Turtle Cove and Meads Bay. As elegant and sophisticated as properties found on the French Riviera, Malliouhana has nightly rates of just $455 per night in a beachfront room, as opposed to the $1,005 peak season rates. Cap Juluca offers unparalleled luxury on 179 secluded acres of beachfront. This summer you can get a seventh night free, with room rates starting at $495 per night (vs. $825 in the winter).
The Best of England’s Town and Country: Egerton House, London and Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, Dorset
Enjoy the best of both worlds with a stay in cosmopolitan London where you can shop at Harrods or Savile Row, catch a show in the West End, and visit the British Museum, followed by a relaxing jaunt to the magical English countryside. Red Carnation Hotels has devised the ultimate five-night package for you to enjoy the finest English hospitality in two vibrant locations. The "Town and Country" package starts with three nights at the five-star Egerton House Hotel, the lovely 30-room property situated in the heart of Knightsbridge, where guests enjoy a full English breakfast each morning, an Egerton afternoon tea for two and a famous Antonio Martini on arrival. On the fourth day, guests are transferred by private Bentley to London's Waterloo station for first-class rail travel to Dorset in Thomas Hardy country, where the charming villages showcase thatched cottages and beautiful gardens. Guests will relish two nights in a Presidential Suite at the award-winning Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, including an English breakfast each day, a traditional English pub lunch in the historic Acorn Inn in Evershot, and a sumptuous "picnic to go" on the return journey home. Here you'll find all the best English country pursuits-- from croquet to horseback riding. Priced at GBP 1560 for two people; valid until September 30, 2008.
The hip James Hotel is Chicago's finest designer boutique hotel-- with a star-studded guest list to prove it. Luxurious amenities include free WiFi, an iPod-ready stereo, Kiehl's bath products, huge, spa-like bathrooms, and a gym packed with Cybex machines. Not to mention 24-hour concierge service. What else would one expect from a partnership involving Brad Wilson (former V.P. of Operations for the W Hotels) and Danny Errico (founder of Equinox Fitness Clubs)? Opened in 2006 to much hype, the James is the flagship location for a new hotel chain, with additional locations to follow in NY, Miami and LA. Don't miss a meal at David Burke's Primehouse, and drinks at J Bar.
Hit up the Lollapalooza music festival this summer and enjoy three days of music therapy while staying at the swanky James Hotel. They've put together two unique packages, so you can check out Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, Kane West, Wilco, and the rest of the bunch over the three-day weekend (August 1-4, 2008). With the Lolla-Getaway Weekend, you'll receive two General Admission tickets to Lollapalooza for all three days, Continental Breakfast for two each morning, and a choice of one headliner CD (Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine, Kanye West, Nine Inch Nails, Wilco or The Raconteurs). Rates start at $1099. The VIP Package means you can experience the festival like a rockstar with LollaLounge access (perks include unlimited beer, wine, water, specialty libations, delicious lunch and dinner buffets, relaxing mini spa treatments, air conditioned restrooms, and elevated viewing platforms close to main stages). The James has thrown in car service to the festival for this VIP package in addition to the other amenities, and rates start at $2299 for the three-day show.
Fans of Four Seasons will be thrilled to learn that the luxury hotel company is bringing its signature service and sumptuous accommodations to Seattle. Now accepting reservations for November 17, 2008, the Four Seasons Seattle is designed to reflect the spectacular setting: where the urban meets the sea and the mountains. The pool exudes elements of the Pacific Northwest; the landscaping around the infinity pool seems to flow directly into Elliott Bay. And the outdoor fireplace is reminiscent of a campfire overlooking the Olympic Mountains. Rooms offer floor-to-ceiling windows with views of both the buzzing cityscape and the natural beauty of Elliott Bay, Puget Sound, and the mountain peaks. The location isn't half-bad either: just five minutes from the Seattle Art Museum, concerts at Benarova Hall, and Pike Place Market. In true Four Seasons fashion, there will also be a cutting-edge Fitness Center and Spa.
Now's your chance to summer in your very own castle in the picturesque Irish countryside. Once the home of the Guinness family, the 13th century Ashford Castle is situated on 350 acres on the shores of Lough Corrib, Ireland's second largest lake. Enjoy the resort's very own 9-hole golf course, fly a hawk in the school of falconry, take a picnic in the walled garden, or go fishing for wild salmon or trout in the beautiful lake. This distinguished property is a favorite of celebrities the world over. To entice American guests who may avoid long-distance travel because of the falling dollar, Ashford Castle is offering guaranteed rates for American guests for stays of two nights or more. Available through September 30, 2008, these rates start at $595 per night- almost 50 percent savings off the normal nightly rates.
June 23, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
We've got the skinny on yet another Caribbean bargain. The world-renowned Half Moon resort, nestled on two crescent-shaped beaches dotted with palm trees near Montego Bay, Jamaica, is offering a five-night Summer Escape package with nightly rates starting at just $250 per night. In addition to daily breakfast for adults and round trip airport transfers, each room will receive a $150 resort credit to use towards the guests' resort experience of choice. Like swimming with dolphins, horseback riding at the Equestrian Center, or indulging with spa treatments at the sublime Fern Tree Spa. This is a great value for families as well, because kids under 12 stay free when sharing a room with their parents, and get 50 percent off any meal plan. Valid on all room categories, available until December 14, 2008.
Pssst. Teens up to 18 years old stay free at Half Moon this summer when they stay in the same suite as their 'rents.