LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
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).
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.
Location, location, location. The five-star Hotel Savoy has an unbeatable address in the heart of Florence, not far from the famous Duomo, Uffizi Gallery, and the Ponte Vecchio. The stylish hotel offers 88 rooms and 14 suites appointed with carefully chosen ceramics, artworks and fabrics. You'll find beautiful mosaics in the marble bathrooms. Brimming with luxury and style, Rocco Forte's Hotel Savoy promises impeccable service (how about guaranteed tix to the Uffizi?) and the highest standards of cuisine at L'Incontro Bar and Restaurant where you can dine alfresco on the piazza. Hotel Savoy has put together a special summertime package for when the Summer Sales start on July 14, 2008. They run until the first week of September, and this is your chance to secure some great bargains at the most fashionable boutiques. Starting from EUR 315 in a Classic Double room, the offer includes Daily Buffet Breakfast, a welcome gift by a renowned Italian designer in the room, and an after shopping aperitif at the fashionable L'Incontro Bar.
Looking for an over-the-top getaway in the heart of Dubai? Look no further than Raffles Dubai, the stunning 19-storey pyramid that has become a landmark on the city's skyline since its debut at the end of 2007. Easily one of the hottest hotel openings of the year, Raffles Dubai has it all: an extraordinary location in Wafi City, Dubai's ultra-exclusive lifestyle complex (read: shopping like you've never experienced), blissful pampering at the RafflesAmrita Spa, the one-hectare 'Raffles Botanical Garden', depicting the four 'Elements of Life' (earth, wind, fire and water). Don't miss Khan Murjan in Wafi City, a recreation of a 14th century souk where artisans and craftsmen display stunning gold products. Luxury abounds at Raffles Dubai, but for the ultimate indulgence, book the Royal Suite, a palatial 650 square meters of sheer opulence. You'll enjoy two separate "his and her" en-suite bathrooms, a huge master bedroom with four-poster bed, an elegant dining room, featuring a separate kitchenette with a discreet access for butlers, and an entertaining room with a gentlemen's bar. The best part of all? A terrace boasting sweeping views over Dubai.