May 17, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Dads will love the oenology package designed by the Relais and Chateaux hotel collection for true connoisseurs. Why not treat Dad to a trip to the Villa Florentine in Lyon, France where he can indulge in the region's celebrated cuisine and fine wines? (The Oenology Package includes a candle-lit dinner and entrance tickets to the Beaujolais museum in Romanèche-Thorins.) Or send Dad to discover the Chablis Vineyards with a swanky chef's dinner at La Côte Saint Jacques. The Menu Gourmand is positively decadent: four courses, cheeses, and dessert accompanied by the greatest Chablis wines from the Domaine LarOche. The guided tour presents vineyards that are a millennium old. Here on our side of the pond, Dad'll love the Indulge: Virginia Wine Package at the beautiful Clifton Inn located outside Charlottesville, surrounded by small, local vineyards. For the adventure of a lifetime, treat Dad to a splurge in South Africa with the First Wines and First Whales package at the Cellars-Hohenort Hotel in Cape Town. The first red wines from the Constantia Wine Route are released just as the first migratory whales are spotted from land at Hermanus. Wow.
Take a jaunt to the "City by the Bay" and score a complimentary night at the beautiful Four Seasons hotel. Located in downtown San Francisco, just a few blocks from Union Square, Four Seasons offers excellent access to all that the city has to offer. Pamper yourself in the Splash Spa, dine in the acclaimed Seasons restaurant, check out the fine shopping and museums just steps from the hotel. With the "Stay Longer" package, stay two consecutive nights and get your third night for free, along with full American breakfast for two daily. Now that's a deal. Available until September 3, 2007.
PS. The hotel boasts the best fitness center facility in the city. The world-renowned Sports Club/LA is stunning.
Plan a summer escape to the heart of the Wild West at Snake River Lodge and Spa, located in Teton Village, Wyoming, at the base of Jackson Hotel Mountain Resort. Awarded AAA four diamonds, the resort is surrounding by the spectacular Gros Ventre Mountain Range. The resort offers a plethora of year-round activities, ideal for the whole family to discover the rugged beauty of the American West. With the Family Float and National Park Package, enjoy the resort's excellent facilities (including the spa and renowned Gamefish restaurant) while exploring the nearby National Parks. Available until September 29, 2007, the three-night package includes one guided scenic float trip for a family of four, one "America the Beautiful" National Park Pass (valid for one year), one boxed lunch for four, and breakfast buffet for the whole family, in addition to the accommodations in a Two-Bedroom Suite. Starting from $1,088 for a family for four; three night stay required.
A fixture on the Conde Nast Traveler Gold List, Hotel Monasterio, managed by Orient-Express Hotels, is the jewel of the historic city of Cuzco. Located in the heart of Cuzco, the 16th century Hotel Monasterio is a magnificently renovated masterpiece, a national historic landmark which has retained its charming characteristics. Here, guests are spoiled with luxurious amenities, beautiful, oxygen-enriched guest rooms, and superlative service, including the indulgent Bath Butler service. (After a long day, soak in a steamy bath, specially drawn for you, with the glow of candles, rose petals, champagne, aromatic bath salts...) High in the Andes, more than 3000 meters above sea level, the former capital of the Inca dynasty is the ideal base to discover the ancient ruins at Machu Picchu, accessible via a spectacular three-hour train journey. Hotel Monasterio has designed the exciting Inca Triangle package, whereby guests can spend a week exploring Lima, Cuzco, and Machu Picchu, including guided tours, transfers and domestic flights, breakfast daily, and some other meals. The seven-night adventure is priced from $3,918 per person.
Mint Juleps and Cherry Blossom Cocktails at Round Robin Bar, Willard InterContinental Washington D.C.
Missed this year's Kentucky Derby? Don't despair. Head to D.C. for a real mint julep at Round Robin Bar, the historic institution in the Willard InterContinental Hotel, located in the "shadow of old Rum Row and the E Street corridor." The mahogany bar is straight out of the Old World; it's rumored to be the venerable spot where Henry Clay first introduced Washingtonians to the mint julep. Here, the capital's characters assemble for good conversation, good cheer, and good drinking. The accomplished bartenders can concoct a long list of classic cocktails, including the best mint julep in Washington.
"At Willard's you adopt the universal habit and call for a mint julep, a whiskey skin, a gin cocktail, a brandymash, or a glass of pure old rye... at any hour these drinks are in request."
--N Hawthorne (1853)
May 15, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
Heli-Shopping, Mayback tours and sleigh rides in the Alps highlight the five-figure honeymoon package at the Kristiania Lech in Austria. The ultimate, over-the-top 7-night package is priced at 17,115 Euros for the honeymooning couple and includes the following amazing amenities: Traveling by helicopter to St. Moritz; DaimlerChrysler Maybach car tour including spa adventure; sleigh rides; private ski guides; Dom Perignon 1998 champagne with Austrian crystal flutes engraved with the guest names and wedding date; personal chef dinner; a bath butler and a professional photographer to shoot a honeymoon photo album. The new couple will spend their nights in the Alpine Suite, an opulent suite with a working fireplace and as the name implies a stylish terrace with magnificent views of the high peaks surrounding the valley. The Kristiania Lech, a Small Luxury Hotel member, is open December through April each year and is surrounded by 29 towering peaks in the quaint resort town of Lech, which has (so far) produced four Olympic ski champions.
Changes are afoot on the quiet shores of Kaua'i. The legendary Princeville Resort is looking a little weathered and is due for a major overhaul. Starwood Hotels and Resorts to the rescue. The hotel group has announced plans to give the old lady a facelift. After a $60 million renovation, the 20-year old property will emerge as a swanky new St. Regis with a spa and maybe-- as rumor has it-- a celebrity chef restaurant. (Swoon.) Perched on the cliffs overlooking Hanalei Bay, the Princeville Resort is surrounded by lush tropical landscaping and golden beaches. The resort offers just about every activity imaginable and access to the island's spectacular attractions, like Waimea Canyon and the Fern Grotto.
Marvel at an ancient architectural wonder while staying in a thrilling contemporary one. Nestled alongside the Badaling section of the Great Wall (40 miles from Beijing), the Commune is a complex of 12 houses designed by Asia's leading architects, including Japan's Shigeru Ban and China's Yung Ho Chang. Operated as a boutique hotel by the Kempinski luxury hotel group, the Commune is set amidst a breathtaking mountainous landscape. Each of the 12 architects was given a $1 million budget to design a contemporary luxury villa. Kengo Kuma's Bamboo Wall House features a tea room; Shigeru Ban's Furniture House features laminated plywood typical of modular furniture; Yung Ho Chang's Split House is literally split in two. After the additions in 2006, there are now 31 additional villas (replicas of the originals), a fitness center, outdoor pool, private screening room with DVD library, and spa. High-concept architecture is complemented by high-tech amenities and excellent service (private butlers to attend to every need). From the floor-to-ceiling windows, gaze out at the Wall, or simply step out the front door for your own walking adventure upon China's "ancient wonder of the world."
May 14, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
All eyes are on Cannes, the mythical jewel of the French Riviera, for the annual film festival (May 16-27, 2007) where the film stars strut their stuff on the red carpet and one lucky film will nab the prestigious Palme d'Or. The hotels may be booked solid during the film festival, but there is never a bad time to visit the Cote d'Azur, beloved by the Impressionist painters for its mild climate and glorious light. The beautiful Mediterranean coastline is a favorite for sun-seeking sybarites who indulge in exquisite cuisine and nightlife.
The place to stay is the Majestic Barrière, located on the Avenue La Croisette overlooking the sea. (80 percent of the rooms have views of the Med.) This legendary palace is one of the most distinguished addressed on the French Riviera, adored by celebrities for its high level of personalized service. The hotel features the Michelin two-star restaurant, La Villa des Lys, a flower-filled garden, a beautiful heated outdoor pool with solarium, private sandy beach with water sports facilities, and a health and beauty center. This summer, take advantage of the Barriere Preferred Package at the Majestic Barrière and enjoy rates from just EUR 259 per night including breakfast and free access to the beach with airbed, parasol, and beach towels included. If you stay four consecutive nights, the fifth night is free! Available until June 30, 2007.
May 14, 2007
By: Courtney W. May
The Jumirah Essex House is located at 160 Central Park West, just across the street from the 843 acres of Central Park. With 515 guest rooms undergoing a $70 million renovation, some of the top floors are also being converted into 35 brand new luxury condominium residences. Architect Costas Kondylis of Kondylis Designs is creating 1, 2, and 3 bedroom residences which range from 700 to 3,500 square feet and feature 9-foot coffered ceilings. Many feature Central Park views with floor to ceiling windows but all offer the 5-star service associated with Jumeirah.
Read more details and view floor plans at EssexHouseResidences.com.
By: Courtney W. May