On December 15th, a fire ravaged the historic Adirondacks landmark, destroying the main building. The Lake Placid Lodge has been an exclusive mountain retreat since 1882, prized for its rustic elegance and awesome views of the lake and mountains. The hotel is temporarily closed, but we're ecstatic that the owners are already getting in gear to rebuild.
This is it-- the big daddy of skiing competitions. On January 20-22, the world's top skiers attempt the gnarliest of downhill courses, staged by the Kitzbühel Ski Club. The 66th International Hahnenkamm Races include the Super-G and downhill on the Streif run, along with the slalom on the Ganslern course. Witness the incredible speed of downhill—up to 90 mph!—and the super-skills of the Hahnenkamm champion, who must outperform on both the downhill and slalom courses. (Past champs include Franz Klammer, who won this race four times.)
December 26, 2005
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
We're on break for a few days, but will be back soon with lots of hotel recs and special luxury travel offers for the new year. (For anyone who can guess where I'm taking this hiatus, I'll publish your hotel/travel story! Can anyone guess the charming locale?)
The Ritz in London is commemorating its centenary in 2006 with lots of celebrations. Starting with an over-the-top Grand Gala Dinner Dance on New Year's, complete with seven course gourmet dinner, Laurent-Perrier Grand Siecle Champagne, fireworks and the Central Band of the Royal Air Force regimental marching band and a lone Scottish piper.
In honor of this special year, the Ritz has ordered a brand new 2006 Rolls Royce, "Ritz blue" in color with custom fitted interiors in smoke grey leather and walnut trimming. Equipped with the latest satellite navigation system, two DVD screens and crested door handles, the car will be driven by Rolls Royce trained chauffeurs and available as a guest service throughout the centennial celebrations.
Starting in January, guests can book the Centennial Celebration Package, from GBP 1,500. Includes two nights lux accommodation, airport transfers in that bad-ass Phantom, complimentary membership to The Ritz Club, theater tickets to a London production of the guests' choice, and dinner in the classic Ritz Restaurant.
Too bad the hotel couldn't go the extra mile with their new spa addition, a paltry treatment room on the hotel's seventh floor, with just one full-time therapist. Guests can choose a range of beauty treatments including massages and facials, but this isn't exactly a full-service spa.
The Ritz in London, Official Site
The Ritz in London, Five Star Alliance
Starting in July, flights leaving France will be taxed an additional EUR 40. Chirac's measure will raise an estimated EUR 200 million a year for developing countries, to fight AIDS and support health programs, mostly in Africa. Via IHT
The Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica is the site of some of Central America's last remaining lowland tropical rainforest. It is also the site of the 1,000 acre private nature preserve of the Lapa Rios resort. The rainforest resort is not only a model Ecotourism Project, it is also a fixture on CN Traveler's Gold List and winner of Andrew Harper's Hideaway Award. This isn't exactly roughing it. The main lodge and bungalows are built 350 feet above the sea, with breathtaking ocean vistas, the structures designed in complete harmony with the surrounding landscape. Enjoy rainforest wilderness adventures in Corcovado National Park, appreciate the incredible biodiversity of Costa Rica, while indulging in gourmet dining, superb spa services, plush accommodations and a sparkling pool…
Check out this nifty new site. TripConnect is all about exchanging travel advice with your friends and their network of acquaintances. So you can get travel advice from people who understand what you like! Friendster cum TripAdvisor-- how cool. With TripConnect, folks are able to link to their friends and acquaintances, and see where their friends have traveled. Need a rec for Milan? Consult your network, read the reviews of destinations written by others in your network, or ask that friend of a friend who went 2 weeks ago. Genius.
Smack in the middle of London's fashionable Mayfair district, the Athenaeum is privately-owned and family-run, and it shows. The family atmosphere, reinforced by a long-standing staff, ensures impeccable service. Pleased guests are known to return time and time again, tickled pink by their luxurious experience at the Athenaeum (40% returning clients is pretty impressive). Easily one of the top hotels in London, featured on the CN Traveler Gold List, the Athenaeum launched a special promotional rate this past year, which has been wildly popular. The Pound for Dollar rate is a savings of more than 40% on the hotel's luxurious accommodations. The good news for us? The hotel has decided to continue this rate into the spring season and beyond.
The Athenaeum Hotel and Apartments, Official Site
The Athenaeum Hotel and Apartments, Five Star Alliance
December 21, 2005
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
T and L just released their eagerly-anticipated Top 500 list. Number one in the US is Jackson Hole's Rusty Parrot, while the top in Europe goes to the Château Les Crayères in France. The coolest web feature? You can idle away the hours checking out bird's eye views of the hotels on Google Earth. Via Gridskipper