November 9, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The five-star, five-diamond Ritz-Carlton Resort Naples has got it all: seven different restaurants, world-class spa, pool and beach activities, golf, tennis, kids programs, and a wide selection of water sports. It's no wonder The Robb Report lists The Ritz-Carlton Naples as one of the "100 Best Places to Stay in 2006" (May 2006). But now there's another reason to check out the beachfront resort: the Beach House. Located on the pristine sand of the Gulf of Mexico, the $4.5 million beach house is a 3,000 sq ft, two-storey, multi-use facility for weddings, private dinners, business functions, or parties. (It can host 120 people for a sit-down dinner or 150 for cocktail receptions.) The Beach House sports mesquite hardwood floors, Caribbean wicker ceiling fans, plantation shutters, state-of-the-art technology, and a full service kitchen for on-site catering needs complete with black granite bar. And of course there are remarkable views overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.
Since 1950, Jamaica Inn has consistently been ranked one of the top resort hotels and vacation destinations in the Caribbean. In the November 2006 Issue of Conde Nast Traveler, the Readers Choice Awards ranked Jamaica Inn as the number 6 Resort in the Caribbean and the number 1 resort in Jamaica. At the World Travel Awards in September, Jamaica Inn was named the "Leading Hotel in Jamaica." Simply put, the resort epitomizes elegance. Situated on a stunning private white sand beach, Jamaica Inn features 47 rooms and suites, each of which has a private balustraded balcony or verandah with full sized sofa, breakfast table, writing desk, and coffee table-- overlooking the sea. Though you may not want to leave your exquisite guest room, there are plenty of activities for those so inclined: complimentary use of snorkeling equipment, sunfish, kayaks, tennis, croquet, spa...
The Winter Honeymoon Plan (7 days/6 nights) at Jamaica Inn promises the honeymoon of a lifetime, with unrivaled accommodations paired with lots of activities and extra amenities. Package includes accommodations in an Ocean View Deluxe Verandah Suite, full breakfast daily, gourmet dinner nightly including one private candlelight dinner on your own verandah, private car transfers to/from the airport, bottle of champagne upon arrival, two massages (half hour each), a "touch" experience with the dolphins at Dolphin Cove, Dunn's River Boat Trip, a Jamaica Inn candle, complimentary welcome drink and daily Planters Punch on the beach, and nightly entertainment. Available December 15, 2006 to April 15, 2007. Rates from $4,780 per couple. Not applicable during the month of February.
Situated on Orcas Island in Puget Sound, Rosario Resort and Spa is blessed with a privileged location to experience the unparalleled beauty of the Pacific Northwest. The waterfront resort is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, its centerpiece the 1906 Moran Mansion, which houses the restaurant, spa, lounge, music room, library and museum. The 116 guest rooms are spread out on the hill overlooking Cascade Bay and the lush evergreen forest of Orcas Island. (Some feature gas fireplaces, sunken Jacuzzi tubs, and private balconies.) There is an abundance of activities on the island and Puget Sound (whale watching charters, kayak tours), though some guests prefer to relax at the Avanyu Spa, with its two pools, fitness room, sauna, Jacuzzi, and host of pampering and rejuvenating spa treatments. Celebrate Thanksgiving with a traditional feast and some pampering at Rosario Resort and Spa. The all-inclusive Thanksgiving package includes two nights accommodations, breakfast, Thanksgiving dinner for two, welcome amenity, and complimentary use of Avanyu Spa facilities. Starting at $359 in a Gardenside room, based on double occupancy. Two-night minimum stay required. Available for travel November 22-24, 2006. Package prices include all taxes, resort fees and gratuities.
Skiers rejoice! The Rocky Mountains continue to receive record snowfalls and many resorts, including Keystone, are opening earlier than expected. It's a winter wonderland out there and Keystone Lodge is offering a fantastic ski package to celebrate. Surrounded by majestic peaks and thousands of acres of national forest, Keystone Lodge is an AAA four diamond destination. The elegant mountain lodge features a spa, outdoor swimming in heated pools and whirlpools, and fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment. Plus, the resort is committed to 100 percent wind energy (how cool is that?) The Early Season Ski package starts at $101 per person per night, and includes nightly accommodations and daily lift tickets for two to Keystone Resort. Valid until December 16, 2006. Rate is per night based on double occupancy, not inclusive of taxes and resort surcharge.
A Toronto landmark since 1927, the Windsor Arms Hotel is a fashionable contemporary boutique hotel, the favorite hideaway for celebrities visiting the city. Sophisticated and luxurious, this destination hotel embodies the elegance of a bygone era. Located in the heart of Toronto's fashionable Yorkville district, the Windsor Arms is very much part of this lively scene--designer boutiques, trendy restaurants, art galleries-- but tucked away in a haven of calm. The Windsor Arms is celebrated for its exceptional level of service; behind the beautiful century-old facade are 28 newly appointed luxury suites with 24-hour butler service.
But perhaps the best thing about the Windsor Arms Hotel is the luxurious Darphin spa, conceived as one of its kind in all of North America. Situated on the 4th and 5th floors of the hotel, the full-service spa offers a full range of world-class aesthetic services for both men and women. The spa boasts a magnificent pool with grand fireplace, sauna, steam room, gym, hair salon and individual treatment rooms. During the month of November, the spa is offering some excellent specials. Enjoy any detoxifying body wrap treatment and receive in addition a revitalizing mini facial during the treatment (valued at $170, for only $100). Also, when you book any massage/facial package Monday to Thursday, receive complimentary Spa Lunch. Lastly, during the month of November, book any facial and receive a manicure just for $20.00 (regular price is $35).
For 25 years, International Expeditions travelers have been observing the natural wonders of the Amazon on riverboat expeditions in Peru. The Amazon is the mightiest river in the world, surrounded by pristine rainforest which shelters the most diverse ecosystem on the planet. On the 10-day expedition, travelers voyage along the Amazon's tributaries and see incredible wildlife: monkeys, birds, sloths, pink and gray dolphins, and more. The expedition travels deep into the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, the largest wetland reserve in the world. Expert local naturalist guides accompany each expedition. Despite the remote rainforest locale, guests enjoy fine accommodations-- state rooms are elegant, the bathrooms, spacious-- and delicious cuisine. For a limited time, take advantage of a special offer and enjoy savings of $500 per person. Explore the Peruvian Amazon on a 10-day journey with International Expeditions departing January 5, 2007 and get a real deal (It's often hard to persuade people to travel anywhere the first week of January, and thus there are still some spots remaining for this voyage. IE is rolling back the prices as a special inducement to fill the spots.) Lower deck cabins are priced at $2,398, and upper deck cabins for $2,498. Hurry! Just a few spots left. Call 1-800-633-4734 for reservations.
The award-winning Equinox Resort and Spa is cooking up a delicious, New England style Thanksgiving feast. Escape to Manchester Village, Vermont for a fall getaway and celebrate Thanksgiving with a free night. Situated on 2,300 acres between the Green and Taconic Mountains, the Equinox dates back more than 200 years. Enjoy deluxe accommodations, a recently renovated Avanyu Spa, and year round outdoor activities. The Thanksgiving package includes four nights accommodations for the price of three, daily breakfast, daily dinner, complimentary use of the Avanyu fitness spa, and Thanksgiving dinner in either the Colonnade Dining Room or the Marsh Tavern. The four-night package is $918.50 per person, based on double occupancy. Available November 22-November 26, 2006.
After the recent earthquake in Hawaii, the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows has devised a perfectly delicious Shaken, Not Stirred Package, to tempt wary visitors to return to the islands. In the quake's aftermath, the AAA five-diamond luxury property is undamaged (and everything is a-ok), but lucky guests can now score rates of up to 40 percent off. Located on the Big Island's Kohala coast, Mauna Lani is surrounded by a lush volcanic landscape chock full of waterfalls, rainforests, active lava flows and even snow-capped mountains. The beachfront resort is recognized worldwide for its 25,000 sq ft spa, two championship Hawaii golf courses, top tennis facilities at the Sport and Fitness Club, and three miles of white sand beach, where guests can witness the whale migration just offshore. This is easily one of the most romantic spots in the world.
With the Shaken, Not Stirred Package, "discover first-hand that the tranquil beauty of Mauna Lani has not been stirred." Package includes two pineapple martinis, daily buffet breakfast for two, daily use of snorkeling equipment, access to the Mauna Lani Sports and Fitness Club, nightly Hawaiian entertainment, tours of Mauna Lani's historic fishponds and petroglyph fields. Rates start from $390 per night, available until December 19, 2006.
The Jefferson is simply brimming with good cheer this holiday season. An American landmark since 1895, The Jefferson is one of only 23 hotels to hold both the Mobil Five Star and the AAA Five Diamond ratings. Located in the center of downtown Richmond, The Jefferson is a luxurious haven of old-world charm and personalized service. The fun-filled holiday events begin with the annual Grand Illumination on November 27 at 6pm in The Rotunda, when the 45-foot Christmas tree is illuminated with thousands of twinkling lights and ornaments. (Rumor has it that Mr. Claus will be there.) Throughout the month of December, The Jefferson will celebrate the season with Music at Midday, as gifted music makers from the Richmond area will perform at the hotel, starting with the Collegiate Strings on Wednesday, December 6. Of course there are exceptional dining experiences offered this holiday season; the Thanksgiving feast is a glorious affair with excellent Virginia specialties (lunch and dinner at TJ's, and a Champagne Brunch is available in The Rotunda). Christmas and New Year's seatings are likewise extraordinary events. The New Year's Eve Celebration includes a four-course prix fixe dinner at TJ's, dancing to the music of the Skip Gailes Quintet in The Palm Court, and a champagne toast at midnight. And there are excellent Holiday Packages available at The Jefferson. For example, the New Year's Eve Bed and Breakfast Package, priced at $255 for superior room, includes champagne upon arrival and full American breakfast.
Eager skiers are anxiously counting down the days until the November 23, 2006 opening day of ski season at Whistler Blackcomb. The biggest ski resort in North America may also be the best-- judging by the number of accolades it's racked up recently. According to Conde Nast Traveler's annual readers' choice awards, Whistler hotels are the best in Canada: the Pan Pacific Mountainside, Four Seasons Whistler, and Westin are the top three. Luxury Spa Finder magazine ranked the The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Whistler as the third best spa in the world. Australia's Luxury Travel Magazine (Summer 2006) named Whistler the best overseas ski resort, and Forbes Traveler (along with Skiing Magazine) voted Whistler Blackcomb as the number one resort in North America. With the biggest vertical rise in North America (a whopping 5,280 feet) and the most terrain (8,171 acres), it's little wonder why Whistler has swept up the awards.