LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
December 21, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Escape from the busy holiday season and plan the perfect beach vacation in paradise. Destination: Sun and Sand-- where you can dip your toes in the warm Caribbean, recharge in an otherworldly spa, laze on the picture-perfect white beach, and try your hand at numerous water sports. At the elegant Maroma Resort and Spa, guests are spoiled with fab inclusive amenities like daily breakfast, a welcome cocktail, and snorkeling trip to the extensive coral reefs just offshore. Surrounded by a 200-acre nature preserve on the Yucatan Peninsula just south of Cancun, this secluded hideaway serves up the best kind of barefoot luxury. Choose the "Stay Another Day" package and you can stay for four nights, but only pay for three.
Las Ventanas al Paraiso, Rosewood's world-renowned resort in Los Cabos, has been leading the pack when it comes to personalized service and fabulous amenities. Where else can you find a post-dinner Bath Menu? Private beach dining by the glow of a warming bonfire? A pet's luxury program with special menus and pampering massages for your furry friend? Enhanced poolside service that includes sunglasses cleaning? By far the finest resort on the peninsula of Baja California, if not the continent, Las Ventanas al Paraiso has recently introduced an olive oil tasting menu showcasing oils from Valle de Guadalupe. Guests will delight in dishes like Panela cheese with hot chili fougasse bread (La Cetto Vineyard oil), beef and organic vegetable stew (Misión Porvenir oil), and homemade linguini with red snapper (Adobe Guadalupe Vineyard oil). There's even a dessert with olive oil ice cream.
The time to visit the postcard perfect Baltic States is now. Think ahead to a summertime jaunt to Lithuania. One of the most exciting cities in Europe, Vilnius is situated at the crossroads between Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, and Western Europe. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Lithuania's vibrant capital is chock full of fascinating attractions. The splendid architecture on display in the old town manifests Baroque, Romanesque, Renaissance and Jugendstil influences. The place to stay is the Stikliai Hotel, the city's best luxury digs, housed in an elegant 17th century residence in the heart of historic old town. The hotel's name is derived from Stikliu Street, on which many craftsmen had their workshops in the 15th and 16th centuries. (Stikliai means "glass blower" in Lithuanian.) A member of the prestigious Relais and Chateaux collection of luxury hotels, the Stikliai boasts an acclaimed restaurant, ornate winter garden, and refined guest rooms. Charming and full of warmth, the Stikliai Hotel is praised for the remarkable hospitality of its hosts.
Book a stay at a participating Fairmont Hotel by December 31, 2007, and you'll get the third night free with Only One Way Winter rates. Or you can earn double airline miles with the Only One Way Winter rate until April 15, 2008. Hurry, now's your chance to get the best of winter with memorable experiences, fabulous rates (starting from $189 in D.C.!) and free third nights in Washington D.C., Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, Vancouver, Santa Monica, and Newport Beach.
Half Moon has been delivering the picture-perfect vacation for over fifty years. And recently, Half Moon has been the talk of the Caribbean with the opening of its dreamy Fern Tree Spa. Celebrate the good life in a magical setting: sandy crescent beaches dotted with palms, white washed cottages surrounded by fragrant gardens. Stretching across 400 lushly landscaped acres, the resort boasts top-notch facilities: a championship, 72-par Robert Trent Jones, Sr. golf course, 18-hole putting green, 13-lit tennis courts, a full range of water sports, an exclusive natural Dolphin Lagoon, six gourmet restaurants and over half a dozen informal snack bars, and shopping village.
Book the Winter Escape package and receive big-time resort credit: $1,000 resort credit for a 5-bedroom villa, $1,200 for a 6-bedroom villa and $1,400 for a 7-bedroom villa to be used at restaurants, activities and other services at the resort. The package includes daily breakfast and round-trip airport transfers. The villas offer a grand home away from home for your friends and family-- with a personal staff of a butler, housekeeper and a cook, private pool, 2 golf carts, and all the amenities of a luxury resort. The Winter Escape package is also available for guests staying in any of Half Moon's 201 hotel rooms and suites and offers $200 in resort credit. 5-night minimum stay required. Valid for stays January 5- April 15, 2008 with blackout dates Feb. 14- 22, 2008.
There's a few more days to take advantage of this cool offer. During the month of December, when you book a flight for travel completed by February 29, 2008, you can score triple award points valid on any airline, anytime. This is yet another reason to fall in love with the "flying boutique hotel" which handed out Nintendo® Wii™ video game systems to passengers who booked flights this fall between New York and London Stansted. With just 48 seats and premium service, Eos is the "all-business class" airline that has everyone talking. Globetrotters actually find flying to be fun. The airline's Class 48 is a frequent flier award program like no other. You can redeem points for travel on all major airlines, including Eos, with no blackout dates. There are also awards beyond air travel: luxury items and gift certificates to top retailers like Harrods and John Lewis.
PS. Look out for routes between Newark and Stansted, and JFK and Paris, starting in 2008.
Bangkok's all-suite luxury property presents dramatic views of the city from every single room. The world at your feet, gaze out over the pulsating city and the distinctive loops of the Chao Phraya River meandering around skyscrapers. lebua at State Tower is the only place in the city to offer this incredible bird's eye view. What's more-- the hotel's balconies are the highest in the city, so you can step out of your suite to enjoy the breeze and drink in awesome sunsets. Dine on the 63rd floor at Sirocco, the world's highest al fresco restaurant, or hit up the trendy Sky Bar. Retire to your room, where the glass wall of window continues the evening's theater of bright lights, big city. In-room, you'll find Bvlgari bath amenities, 330 thread count linens, Petrossian amenities in the mini bar, and all sorts of high tech gadgetry. There's even an in-suite cooking class option with the hotel's superb chefs.
Since its inauguration in 1911, the world-famous Hôtel Plaza Athénée has symbolized Parisian glamour. This is the chic hotel of choice while staying in the French capital, ideally situated between the Avenue des Champs Elysées and the Eiffel Tower. Add a touch of magic to the winter season with a jaunt to the sparkling City of Light, and enjoy the private ice-skating rink opened in the hotel's courtyard. Starting from EUR 695 in a Superior Room, the Plaza Festive Offer combines the most opulent accommodations with special amenities: American breakfast for two, access to the ice rink plus skate rental, a EUR 40 gift voucher to the Plaza Athénée Red Line Gift Collection, and an in-room gift from the pastry chef. Available until January 31, 2008, two-night minimum stay required.
Why limit the hearts and flowers to Valentines Day? Spread the love throughout the whole month of February with Red Carnation's luxury hotels in London. It's a tough choice picking just one of the fabulous boutique properties for an indulgent overnight stay. There's "41" opposite Buckingham Palace; The Milestone by Kensington Gardens; The Egerton House in Knightsbridge; The Montague in Bloomsbury; The Chesterfield Mayfair and The Rubens next door to "41." The Valentine Romance break (starting at GBP 280 per night) includes luxurious accommodations, half a dozen red roses, a box of luxury chocolates, candles around the bath and petals within, and last but not least-- a book of poems to read to each other in bed. Or choose the Valentine Indulgence package (starting from GBP 365 per night) and get all of the above and more! Extras include a bottle of Champagne, a hibiscus flower, and a "Love Hamper with fruits, love hearts, bath salts and body lotion."
Since its debut in 2006, the Conrad Indianapolis has been racking up the awards. In fact, the Conrad received the Monumental Award from Keep Indianapolis Beautiful Inc.-- presented for the project that most enhanced the city in 2006. And the November 2007 issue of Conde Nast Traveler listed the Conrad Indianapolis as one of the Top 100 "Best in the World." The first true luxury hotel in the "circle city," the Conrad is located at one of downtown's most prominent intersections. (A sky bridge provides an uninterrupted path from the hotel's ballroom and meeting rooms to the Arts Garden, Circle Centre Mall and the Indiana Convention Center.) The 23-story towers boasts 241 guest rooms, 10,000 square feet of meeting space, the Spa Chakra, and the Vitesse Lounge. It's no surprise that a hotel of this high caliber indulges mothers-to-be with complimentary turndown amenities. Conrad's pregnant guests can monitor the baby's heartbeat, kicks and hiccups with a prenatal listening system. Internet access allows moms-to-be to email the baby's sounds back to loved ones at home. Plus, pregnant guests will enjoy extra pillows for elevating legs and unlimited bottled water. Nightly rates for classic accommodations start at $279 per night. Or choose the "Indulging Mothers-to-Be" package, priced from $319 per night, and enjoy a 60-minute Prenatal Massage in addition to the complimentary amenities.