LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
There's a new wine tasting venue in the Eternal City. The award-winning Westin Excelsior Rome, situated in the celebrated Via Veneto district, has introduced a new spot dedicated to fine wines paired with a selection of Italian cheeses and gastronomic specialties. VIN-ORVM was designed by Michael Stelea HDC architecture studio and thereby recalls the hotel's ORVM BAR. The 60-square-meter space is distinguished by oversized pots with orange branches and parquet and walls designed with warm wood accents. An enormous wrought-iron gate separates the tasting room from the cellar, boasting over 150 different labels of red and white wines. This is the ideal spot for an exclusive wine tasting, and the VIN-ORVM is open as well to external guests, with parties of a minimum of ten people for lunch or for dinner.
May 28, 2008
By: Madelyn Giblin
Experience Cork, Ireland in the fast lane, and book Capella Castlemartyr's Dream Car Getaway. A two night stay in one of the exquisite Capella Rooms includes the breakfast buffet, a bottle of Roedere Christal Champagne in the room upon arrival and a picnic basket for two prepared by Executive Chef Roger Olson. But guests also receive an Aston Martin DB 9, Bentley GT, Bentley Flying Spur or Porshe 911 C4 for the duration of their stay to drive around Cork. The car is available for take over upon arrival at the airport, and you can speed off into the sunset in a plush ride-- to the elegant resort located in close proximity to a 1000 year old Irish castle. This heavenly getaway at Capella Castlemartyr is available for Euro 1,950 during high season, and Euro 1,500 during low season.
By: Madelyn Giblin
Get ready to go hog wild. Bikers are gearing up for the red-hot opening of the Iron Horse Hotel. This is truly a boutique hotel like no other. Touted as the "first luxury hotel in the U.S. with accommodations for business travelers and motorcycle enthusiasts," this new Milwaukee gem will debut across the bridge from the Harley-Davidson Museum in July 2008, just blocks from the Midwest Airlines Convention Center. To quote the web site:
A stunning display of architecture in an historic building. An inviting place to gather, work or relax. A clever mix of sexy booths and bar dining, serving comfort food with attitude. And a mingling of business suits and biker leathers for the best people watching. It's all here. This is The Iron Horse Hotel, and you have arrived.
The downtown warehouse-turned-luxury hotel is promising unparalleled amenities (including "never-before-seen rider amenities") in its 102 loft-style guest rooms. Original mixed-media murals will adorn entire walls in the guest rooms. The best part of all? The Iron Horse is shooting for the "style and service found at a NY or LA boutique hotel, delivered with our famous Midwestern friendliness." The hotel will be managed by Miami-based Desires Hotels, which manages other independently-branded modern boutique hotels, including the Sagamore in Miami, the Hotel Mela in New York, and the Water and Beach Club in San Juan.
Now's the time to hop down to Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands for a little r & r. Rik Blyth, General Manager of the luxurious Biras Creek Resort, tells us that "May is a great time to be in Virgin Gorda as the cruise passengers from Tortola are no longer crowding the Baths, the North Sound is usually as flat as a pond and crystal clear and it is typically one of the months with the least amount of rain." Pleasant breezes off the ocean waves and deep colorful sunsets are an added draw. Only reachable by boat or helicopter, Biras Creek is recognized as one of the top luxury destinations in the Caribbean. The 31-suite resort is set amidst three distinct bodies of water (the protected lagoon of North Sound, the open Atlantic Ocean, and the Caribbean) and offers a swimming pool, tennis courts, private white sand beach, watersports including sailing and snorkeling, hiking trails and cycling.
Book your island escape by May 31, 2008 and you'll benefit from some last minute travel packages. If you reserve a stay for June 1- June 30, 2008, you'll get 7 nights for the price of 6 in an Ocean suite. The same special is available for stays between August 1-31, 2008. Or choose the Family Summer Escape for travel between August 1- 31 and you'll get a 20 percent discount for five nights or more on two ocean or garden suites. These offers must be booked by May 31, 2008 and exclude other packages, and the Grand and Premier Suites. For new reservations only.
Guests booking through Five Star Alliance Guests will receive a complimentary 30 minute massage for one person during their stay.
We can barely contain our excitement about the appointment of Hélène Darroze, one of France's most distinguished chefs, as the Executive Chef at The Connaught. For the last 18 months, The Connaught has benefitted from a finely-tuned, GBP 60 million renovation and now Phase 1 is complete-- after skilled artisans have labored to restore original features and added a whole bunch of contemporary art and technology. The hotel's priceless London location and coveted legacy have lured connoisseurs of luxury for over a century, and now The Connaught can continue to offer this grand hotel experience to its clients. The hotel's long love affair with gastronomy will continue with Hélène Darroze at the helm in the hotel's kitchen. Trained by Alain Ducasse, awarded with two Michelin stars, Darroze is considered one of the top-ranking female chefs in the world. Slated to open in the third week of June, "Hélène Darroze at the Connaught" will wow diners with Darroze's innovative dishes, inspired by authentic regional and seasonal flavours, with roots in her native Landes region of South West France. To quote the Guardian: "At the Connaught, she follows in the footsteps of Angela Hartnett, Gordon Ramsay's protégée who won a Michelin star there before the tenancy expired last September."
The southernmost point in the U.S. recently unveiled the renovations of two iconic resorts: The Reach and Casa Marina Resort & Beach Club. After a hefty makeover, these two resorts have reopened and offer sophisticated accommodations and stellar service on this tropical island. Originally built by railroad magnate Henry Flagler in 1920, Casa Marina is a testament to Old Key West glamour with a new modern style. Your friends and family will love the vintage flair and gorgeous setting, shaded by towering palms. Couples will adore the intimate boutique style and sassy atmosphere at The Reach Resort. The highlight of the $37 million renovation at The Reach is the debut of Key West outpost of New York's Strip House Restaurant. Both hotels have plenty of luxurious amenities and contemporary conveniences. Situated on the largest natural beach on the island's southeastern edge, the resorts are just a short walk from Ernest Hemingway's house, the Southernmost Point U.S.A. and other premier Key West attractions on Duval Street in historic Old Town.
Both resorts are offering fantastic spring rates from $149 per night. Plus, when you stay at either of these elegant resorts, you can earn credits towards fantastic resort activities including dining, spa treatments, water sports and beach rental. The Summer Escape promo means a $50 resort credit with a 2-3 night stay, and $75 for 4+ nights.
May 27, 2008
By: Madelyn Giblin
Celebrate this Independence Day with a sparkle with Willard InterContinental's Fireworks and Fanfare Package. July 3 through 6th the Willard Hotel offers discounted room rates along with an in room amenity upon arrival, prepared by Willard's pastry chef, gourmet picnic basket from Café du Parc, and festive Fourth of July flags and hats. The picnic basket includes delicious fresh French bread, fresh fruit, assorted cheeses and cured meats, chocolates and beverages. In addition the concierge will be available to direct guests to the very best places in the city to view the spectacular fireworks display on the National Mall. This Fourth of July will surely go off with a bang. Rooms are $589 per room, double occupancy.
By: Madelyn Giblin
It's back! The "Suite Life" promotion at Peninsula Hotels has returned (and it's music to our ears). Peninsula suites offer the absolute pinnacle of luxury in seven cities around the globe-- from Tokyo to New York, from Bangkok to Chicago. You can enjoy these spacious suites, exquisitely decorated and decked out with all the latest cutting-edge technology, for half the price this summer. With the "Suite Life" package, you'll get the second night for free when you pay for the first night. This translates to about $200 for a two-night stay in Manila, $309 in Bangkok, and $423 in Hong Kong. Wow.
Wishing you a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend from all of us at Five Star Alliance. We'll be back soon with all the latest news and hottest deals on luxury hotels worldwide...
The beautifully-redesigned Park Hyatt is a stylish oasis between Dupont Circle and Georgetown. Globetrotting business folks love the free Internet and sumptuous bathrooms, fashionable locals flock to the Blue Duck Tavern, and even kids go gaga over the Adventure Package put together by the Park Hyatt. As the hotel explains, you can "disguise an educational endeavor with an urban adventure"- so kids are having fun and learning, too. This two-night weekend package provides a private tour guide for your child to explore any one of the Smithsonian Museums in Washington, DC.-- from natural history to space exploration. The package includes: two-night stay and upgrade to a signature Park Deluxe room (the largest deluxe room in Washington), a bucket of homemade seasonal ice cream from Blue Duck Tavern, full American breakfast for two adults and one child daily, children's surprise backpack with sightseeing supplies, three hour children's tour guide to take your child on his/her chosen Smithsonian Museum tour, and a chauffeured SUV (4 hours) to drive the family to and from the Smithsonian Museum tour. Valid until September 9, 2008, Friday through Sunday.