August 14, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The media's abuzz about the latest five-star hotel in Venice. Opened in June, Bauer's magnificent Palladio Hotel and Spa joins the ranks of Il Palazzo and the Bauer Hotel. Housed in a Renaissance building designed in the year 1500, the former convent was converted into a luxury hotel by the world-renowned Bauer Hotels. Located on its own private island across the basin from the other Bauer hotels, the Palladio boasts breathtaking lagoon views. The 50 elegant guestrooms are beautifully detailed with the finest paint decoration and tapestries. The spa is slated to open in September, and will offer a variety of wellness therapies, specialized massages and facials. Beauty treatments will incorporate the Daniela Steiner Skin Care System. This luxury hotel is a rare jewel in Venice, with its secluded location amidst private gardens on Giudecca island.
August 14, 2006
By: Guest Writer
By Alex Rose
Art deco style. Opulent and lavish suites. The nicest bedrooms in London. Slab marble in the bathrooms. All the trappings of luxury. The Dorchester Hotel is London's premier "traditional" hotel. Since 1931, it has a history with world leaders, celebrities, musicians, cultural luminaries, royalty, and the cream of society. But don't let that stop you. If you can get one of the first-class suites, you'll understand why: The Dorchester is striving to be the "perfect" hotel. Once you walk into the hotel, you"ll be treated like an A-lister. And you'll feel like you're at home, only with a staff that's at your beck and call, and a room service that's available 24 hours a day. The hotel itself is located close to Hyde Park, but book some time at the hotel's spa and the gym, and then go shopping and sightseeing. Or maybe take your time at the hotel, and you'll spot one of the current celebrities who stay at the hotel. For dinner, get a group together and reserve The Dorchester's private kitchen room, which allows you to see Executive Chef Henry Brosi and chefs preparing the evening's masterpieces. During your stay, have the Concierge point you to Sadie Coles HQ, The Serpentine Gallery, or the Interim Art galleries. And for your naughty side, Coco de Mer's Erotic Emporium in Covent Garden is the place for couples.
By: Guest Writer
Located in the heart of San Diego, just steps from Balboa Park, the beaches, and the Gaslamp District, the Britt Scripps Inn is one of the finest examples of Victorian architecture in the country. The authentically restored Inn oozes romance, Victorian splendor, and contemporary luxury. Each of the nine elaborately appointed guest rooms has been lovingly restored to reflect the craftsmanship and grandeur of the turn-of-the-century. The Queen Ann style inn is bedecked with a wealth of period antiques, rugs, hand-carved oak staircase, wrap-around porch, and a two-storey original stained-glass window wall. The rooms were created with comfort in mind, and don't skimp on the modern technology, including flat screen LCD TVs, high speed Internet access, heated towel racks, and the very finest in linens-- 1,000 thread count sheets. Complimentary full American breakfast is served each morning and the end of day sees a complimentary artisan cheese and wine gathering in the parlor.
Nestled in the heart of the Beaujolais wine country, set among scenic vineyards, forests and verdant hills, the Chateau de Bagnols is a 13th century property that has been painstakingly restored as a luxury hotel, just 12 miles from Lyon. This castle is the real deal—with towers, moat, and entrance across a drawbridge—and a major historical monument in southeast France. The 21 bedrooms, which include eight apartments, are decorated with rare antiques and beautiful paintings. Enjoy a glass of wine on the terrace beneath the shade of lime trees, overlooking the spectacular countryside, or relax by the heated outdoor pool. The Chateau is now offering cooking demonstrations for private parties: different tables are prepared, each with one cook who prepares special appetizers such as marinated chicken tandoori, beef tartar with aromatic herbs and giant shrimps fried with spices. Also note: the Chateau is offering a special promotion between August 13-25, 2006, with rooms available at EUR 310, including buffet breakfast and a glass of Champagne.
Named best spa by Conde Nast Traveler a good ten times, Canyon Ranch is a destination spa and health resort that offers the ultimate place for pampering and well-being. Surrounded by the beauty of the Southwest desert, Canyon Ranch sits on stunning grounds, where guests take in the dazzling Arizona sunsets from the porch of their Southwestern-style accommodations. With an endless array of fitness and health classes, guests are inspired with a new vitality and fresh perspective at Canyon Ranch. Every day at the Ranch, guests can choose from this extraordinary range of classes geared for all fitness levels and interests, such as: Aerobic Conditioning and Strength Training, Biking, Body Composition Test, Customized Exercise Videos, Fitness Walks, Hiking, Jogging, Personal Training, Pools and Aqua Classes, Raquet courts, Tennis lessons, and much more. More than 40 indoor and outdoor fitness classes and activities are scheduled each day. Of course there's also Golf, the excellent Spa, and numerous pools to relax and unwind. The gourmet cuisine is delicious, and adheres to the highest nutritional standards (all meals are included with your stay). Canyon Ranch is dedicated to total health and well-being, creating the most valuable kind of vacation for guests to achieve a passion for healthy living.
Discover the paradise island of the North Atoll and the luxury of Banyan Tree Maldives Vabbinfaru, just 20 minutes by speedboat from the airport. On this slice of heaven, 48 villas are perched on the sand, surrounded by nothing but the vast expanse of turquoise ocean. Gaze out at the sea from your own personal sundeck, or step onto the powder soft beach to swim above the untouched coral reef with its vast array of colorful tropical fish. To enjoy these magnificent marine creatures of the Maldives, the Banyan Tree Maldives Vabbinfaru has put together an awesome Wonders of the Sea Adventure package, where certified divers, guided by PADI-certified instructors, discover the sting rays, green sea turtles, dolphins, and white tip sharks in the deep. Available from July 1 to December 19, 2006, the eight-day, seven-night package offers a series of six dives with villa rates starting from $740 per night per couple. Includes half board meals, exclusive accommodation at Banyan Tree Maldives Vabbinfaru and return speedboat transfers between the airport and the resort. At its five-star Gold Palm Resort Dive Center, the Banyan Tree offers the full range of PADI courses. Notably, Banyan Tree employs marine biologists who offer environmental dives and eco-safaris. The Marine Biology Laboratory, the first of its kind to be built by a private resort, works on important conservation and research projects, including Green Sea Turtle and Reef Shark Conservation.
Where to find the best steakhouse in the Wild West? Vegas, baby, Vegas, where The Bellagio features Prime Steakhouse (among all of its many award-winning restaurants). Superstar Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten oversees a superb staff at this gorgeous lakeside establishment, packed with Baccarat chandeliers and plush furnishings. Resembling a 1930's style speakeasy, the restaurant evokes a bygone era. Enjoy a sumptuous meal accompanied by heavenly drink (the wine cellar is brimming with California reds and first growth Bordeaux), followed by a hand-crafted cigar. As always, Zagat says it best: "if the Rat Pack were still around, they'd congregate here" for "marvelous" meat, "martini-centric drinks", "theatrical decor" and "fantastic" fountain views."
Located in Tokyo Shiodome, the luxurious 37-storey Conrad Tokyo offers panoramic views over the Tokyo Bay skyline. Guests enjoy comfortable, contemporary guestrooms equipped with all the latest technology, the largest banquet facilities in Shiodome, and the Spa Mizuki, the largest hotel spa in Tokyo, with ten treatment rooms, gym, indoor pool, sauna and steam rooms. The hotel's highlight is Gordon Ramsay at Conrad Toyko, the first restaurant in Asia for London's legendary three-star Michelin chef. To celebrate its first anniversary, the Conrad Toyko has put together an excellent value-added "Business Plus" package, which includes daily breakfast either at the brasserie "Cerise by Gordon Ramsay" or via room service, high-speed Internet connection, complimentary access to the swimming pool, one complimentary Pay TV program per day, and two bottles of mineral water per stay. Rates start from JPY42,000 for single occupancy ($365), including tax and service. Two-night minimum stay required, valid until December 31, 2006.
We are all waiting with bated breath to learn the name of the winner of our fantastic Giveaway (a two-night stay in a lavish Junior Suite at the Hay-Adams.) Check back here on August 15th to see who won the contest! In the meantime, if you are jonesing for an unforgettable stay at the Hay-Adams, and are eager to check out all the sites in the nation's capital, don't pass up this stellar Summer Offer. Relax and rejuvenate for two nights in your opulent guestroom at this historic hotel, and receive your third night complimentary! Package rates for rooms are from $399 to $639 per night, based on availability and include daily breakfast for two and valet parking. Valid August 1-September 5, 2006.
Get away from it all, while also getting back to it all, enjoying time together with your family at Half Moon. Since 1954, this gorgeous Jamaica resort has played host to discerning travelers from around the world, who delight in the luxurious accommodations and limitless array of excellent activities. And now Half Moon—with its soft, sandy beaches and 50 freshwater pools—is offering an excellent Homecoming Offer for your family to enjoy some pampering and "together time" on Montego Bay, Jamaica. Available for the months of August, September and October, the Homecoming Offer starts at $289, a savings of up to 20 percent off rack rates. The package includes luxurious accommodations, sumptuous daily breakfast, round trip airport transfers, unlimited use of tennis courts and fitness center, Managers cocktail party, and all taxes and service charges. Children under 2 stay free, while children between 3 and 12 pay only $12.50 per child per night when sharing a room with two adults. (Children aged 13-18 pay $25 per child per night when sharing a room with two adults.)