September 5, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
What could be better than this? Experience the very best of England with a five day break for two in both cosmopolitan London and the gorgeous English countryside around Dorset. You can have it all with this new package from Red Carnation Hotels, which combines three nights at the five-star Milestone Hotel overlooking Kensington Palace in London with two nights at the beautifully restored Summer Lodge, an enchanting haven surrounded by a village of thatched cottages in the heart of Thomas Hardy country. Enjoy gracious hospitality and a wealth of attractions and activities. Also included: a full English breakfast and three-course feast at Cheneston's restaurant while staying at The Milestone Hotel and Apartments, a car transfer to London's Waterloo train station for first-class rail travel to Dorset, and a cozy English pub lunch for two at the historic Acorn Inn in the heart of Evershot village. Package cost is GBP 2,119 for two people. Valid until April 30, 2008.
At the foot of Mount Rigi and the beautiful Swiss Alps, the turrets of Park Hotel Weggis rise magically from the shores of Lake Lucerne. The enchanting setting of the lakeside resort town of Weggis is paradise for vacationers who discover the delights of the Park Hotel, the pinnacle of Swiss luxury. The sophisticated rooms showcase fabrics from the Designers Guild, lighting designed by Philippe Starck, widescreen TVs with Bose sound systems, and designer furniture. (Free-standing tubs in the Adara suites are a nice touch, too). Overall, there's a meticulous attention to detail that will have you swooning. The Restaurant Annex, awarded 15 GaultMillau points, serves market-fresh seasonal cuisine paired with marvelous wines from an impressive cellar. The newly enhanced spa boasts wellness facilities for cosmetic treatments, fitness, massages, and other therapeutic treatments. Also on-site at Sparkling Wellness & Cosmetics: six spa cottages, an outdoor pool set in black natural stone, relaxation lounge and Tibetan room.
Here's some good news to cure the post-summer blues. Starwood recently announced that it will open a new W Retreat & Spa in Bali in 2009. This will be the fourth such Retreat for the brand, after the successful launch of the Maldives property which opened in September 2006. The atoll had never before seen such pampering and indulgence-- a luxury playground like no other. (The W Retreat will also open in Vieques next year, followed by the Koh Samui retreat in 2009.) Bali is one of the top-rated resort destinations in the world, and the new W Retreat will no doubt make a splash for honeymooners seeking something unique. Situated in the Seminyak area of the island, the 152-room resort will be surrounded by rustic villages, rice terraces, and beaches. 80 villas will be designed with traditional Balinese courtyards and private pools. Of course the W Retreat experience wouldn't be complete without a poolside destination bar and the signature Whatever/Whenever concierge service.
The Vegas building boom is simply not slowing down. The hotels that used to be the center of the action are facing a lot of competition; 40,000 new hotel rooms are being built over the next five years! So hotels like the Hard Rock Las Vegas Hotel-- home of the notorious Rehab pool parties on Sunday-- are injecting lots of capital. Like $750 million worth, in a massive expansion and renovation that will preserve the hotel's classic party image but lure a more upscale clientele. Purchased by Morgans Hotel Group in February, the hip Hard Rock Las Vegas Hotel is going to go even edgier, with the addition of two new towers, spa, celebrity-designed deluxe suites, and European style (a.k.a. topless) pool. The most notable addition? Wasted Space, the tattoo-parlor-inspired lounge.
September 3, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Wishing you a wonderful long weekend from all of us at Five Star Alliance. We'll be back soon with the latest deals and news from the best luxury hotels around the world.
Follow your bliss to Brazil, where a stylish eco-retreat on Bahia's Câcao Coast is making waves with its incredible setting and chic rooms. Fourteen bungalows-- outfitted with decks, gauze-netted beds, and sun terraces with open-air showers-- are surrounded by 1,500 isolated acres, overlooking an unspoiled, white sandy beach that stretches as far as the eye can see. Set within a large coconut palm plantation, Fazenda da Lagoa offers mesmerizing sea views or sunset vistas over the mangroves. There's AC, a direct dial phone, and a TV with DVD and CD player, so isolated paradise doesn't mean you have to kiss goodbye technology. Bathrooms have Casa Granado brand soap, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion-- all biodegradable products. Relax with a massage or spa treatment at the Wellbeing Lounge, where mineral-rich rainforest clays are used in special treatments like the Rainforest Mud Mask. Leisure activities include treks on the Maroin river and kayaking the lagoon, but you can always just lounge by the beautiful pool.
For those seeking a special hideaway in the French capital, look no further than Relais Christine, a secluded luxury boutique in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Pres within a stone's throw of the Louvre and Notre-Dame. Tucked in the end of a narrow street, this delightful haven is housed in a former 13th-century abbey. Through the gates of Relais Christine, discover a cobbled, flower-filled courtyard and 51 lovely guest rooms decorated with authentic Louis XIII décor and fine antiques. Some rooms have private terraces overlooking the garden. Breakfast is served in the vaulted room that was once the abbey's kitchen. There's an honesty bar where you can help yourself at any time. And spa treatments are available on the lower level. Special Fall rates at Relais Christine start at just EUR 340 in a Standard room, which includes breakfast, one ticket to the Louvre, free access to the fitness center, and free parking. Valid from September 1- November 30, 2007.
The Dorchester is one of the most desirable places in the world to stay. For 75 years, this gracious London establishment has welcomed celebrities, world leaders, and society with style and hospitality. Looking across the soft green lawns of Hyde Park-- the city's largest royal park-- The Dorchester boasts a premier London address in the heart of exclusive Mayfair. Here, guests enjoy spacious rooms with great charm, fabulous dining, an indulgent spa, and exceptional service. From now until December 31, 2007, take advantage of the Martini Cool package at The Dorchester, and receive special rates for two with full breakfast, plus two complimentary cocktails, created specially by the Bar Manager, along with a a beautiful set of Dorchester Collection cocktail mixing cards with the Martini creations from all five hotels. Starting from GBP 385 per night.
Summer is fast approaching in sunshine-soaked Sydney. Stake your claim to some stylish digs on the Wharf at Woolloomooloo, where BLUE Sydney showcases fun and modern accommodations, including 36 stunning Loft Rooms. Managed by Taj Hotels, BLUE enjoys beautiful views of the Sydney Central Business and Shopping District, the harbour and Royal Botanical Gardens. Housed in a historic wharf building, the boutique hotel retains all the charm and authenticity while offering all the latest in luxurious comfort and cutting-edge technology. The Ultra Loft Suite boasts a spacious lounge with sofa downstairs with a deluxe bathroom and King bed upstairs. Located on the 5th floor, the two Ultra Loft Suites have unimpeded Bay and City views.
Coming this winter 2007: the hotly anticipated Guerlain Spa at the sophisticated Regent Bal Harbour Hotel. With this spa opening, The Regent Bal Harbour unveils a new spa brand in the U.S.-- one which exclusively offers Guerlain therapies and products in a luxurious environment. Located near the prestigious Bal Harbour Shops in North Miami Beach, the oceanfront luxury hotel features exquisitely appointed rooms, outdoor pool with private cabanas, and two gourmet restaurants. Boasting a beautiful oceanside location, the 15-room, 10,000 square foot Guerlain Spa joins other notable destinations in Milan, Paris, and Shanghai and utilizes the complete line of Guerlain's world-renowned skincare products in its customized treatments. Upon arrival at the Guerlain Spa, guests will be asked to complete a comprehensive Spa Therapy Questionnaire, which therapists use to create a personalized beauty and wellness strategy. Plus, the questionnaire's results are transferable to any Guerlain Spa worldwide so clients can continue their well-being journey anywhere in the world.