From Zanzibar to St. Lucia, the March issue of Travel and Leisure has found some incredible beach hot spots, including the DR's Sivory Punta Cana, which I've waxed poetic about before. In their words:
How do you know when a destination hasn't been trammeled by Americans? When it's a challenge to find locals who speak English. Such is the charm of the Dominican Republic, which has long been on the radar of A-listers (Oscar de la Renta, the Clintons); now, with low fares on JetBlue, it's even easier (and less expensive) to get to. The Sivory Punta Cana, a 55-suite property open since December and situated on a long expanse of untouched beach, offers visitors a low-key hideaway.
Your favorite tunes on the stereo. Room at exactly the right temp. The minibar stocked with your daily dose of wheat grass shots. As the IHT reports:
At the Mandarin and other high-end hotels, new computer systems which connect individual rooms to network servers can now keep track of guests' preferences and change the room conditions automatically.Big brother profiling or the perks of refined technology?
The art deco landmark and oceanfront South Beach destination is surrounded by tropical gardens and turquoise pools overlooking the Atlantic. Originally built in the 1930's as the Dempsey Vanderbilt Hotel, Adrian Zecha's Setai opened to much fanfare in 2005. In the hot South Beach scene, The Setai stands out for its intimacy, impeccable service, and elegant Asian touches. 75 guestrooms and 50 suites are detailed with exquisite amenities: espresso machines, in-room bars, Bose surround-sound DVD/CD systems, deep soaking tubs and rain showers, luxurious bath amenities, and flat screen LCD and plasma TVs. Enjoy a deep therapeutic massage at the luxurious spa overlooking the sand and sea, and then savor the gastronomic delights at the Crustacean restaurant. With the South Beach Spring Special, take advantage of special rates starting at $675.
The Setai, Official Site
The Setai, Five Star Alliance
This is for private citizens we're talking about. No joke. Space Adventures, Ltd. is a privately owned company in Arlington, VA working hard to open the space frontier for (rich) people from all over the world.
Their mission statement doesn't exactly lack ambition:
Space Adventures will fly tens of thousands of people in space over the next 10-15 years and beyond, both orbital and suborbital, around the moon, and back, from spaceports both on Earth and in space, to and from private space stations, and aboard dozens of different vehicles; and by continually providing newly available space experiences and improving existing space experiences.
An Orbital starts at just $20,000,000—one week at the International Space Station orbiting the Earth. Includes six months of intense training, roundtrip transportation to the ISS, and a weeks lodging in space. Sounds like a steal to me.
You can make a reservation by calling the toll-free number at 1-888-85-SPACE. Easy as pie. Don't know about you—but I've flown an aging Russian jet (a Moscow-born friend confided that though Pulkovo's planes are aging and rickety, the pilots are all ex-fighter-pilots, so if the plane goes down, you're in good hands), and the idea of boarding a jet at Zhukovsky Air Base outside of Moscow, Russia isn't exactly appealing.
With white sand beaches, crystal clear waters and lush, green landscapes, Maui has always appealed as a picture-perfect paradise and renowned destination for honeymooners and families alike. Thus we've been eagerly anticipating the April opening of the Wailea Beach Villas: its elegant private residences offering the intimacy of private homes, but with all the facilities and amenities of a grand resort. Daily housekeeping, concierge assistance, swimming pools, and a spectacular beachfront location overlooking the West Maui mountains. The villas are stocked with fine linens, signature bath amenities, and fabulous gourmet kitchens. And of course the island paradise offers a bounty of activities: scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing, boating, kayaking, surfing, fishing, horseback riding, jeep and helicopter tours.
The only complaint? In a tropical island paradise like Maui, is a gated community-- touting serious 24 hour security and surveillance-- absolutely necessary?
Escape Overnight in the NEW Premium Guestroom at the Sutton Place Hotel in Vancouver, Home of the 2010 Winter Olympics
February 28, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
From Kostas Christopoulos and Don MacCorquodale, Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver
So you just finished watching the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy and you are thinking forward four years to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games (good for you thinking ahead). The Vancouver Organizing Committee announced that "in association with the regional tourism associations and hotel associations, thay are in the early stages of an accommodation plan for spectators that will be traveling to Vancouver and Whistler for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver. More information on how and when reservations can be booked will be available in late 2006." So before then, we recommend you take a trip to Vancouver and visit the luxury hotels that will be the first to fill up and experience the awesome city of Vancouver to understand why it was chosen for the Games. Our favorite? The Sutton Place Hotel with 46 Executive and Grand bedroom suites in addition to the luxurious 350 guestrooms.
Check out the detals of the Sutton Place five million dollar renovation and new premium guestrooms from Mr. Christopoulos and Mr. MacCorquodale at the hotel below ...
Don't just "stay" overnight ...
Escape overnight in the NEW Premium Guestroom
Guests that reserve a Premium Guestroom at The Sutton Place Hotel, experience a stay unlike any other. Located at the top of the world, the 21st floor at The AAA Five Diamond rated Sutton Place Hotel - Premium Guestrooms offer a combination of luxury and European style, all set against a majestic backdrop of one of the world’s most beautiful cities.
In addition to the already stunning five million dollar renovation on all guestroom floors, our "Premium" guestrooms offer travellers breathtaking cityscape or mountain views and the total body experience in our new signature Serenity Sleeper Bed which has a delicate feather and cotton down comforter, twill weaved, 250 thread count, and the finest natural cotton sheets. Each Premium Guestroom also features a full Entertainment Center with Flat Screen Television, our Rain Showerhead for a shower that will invigorate your senses and Gilchrist & Soames London Collection amenities.
The Sutton Place Hotel, Vancouver, Official Site
The Sutton Place Hotel, Vancouver, Five Star Alliance
Thrilled by your last tropical getaway? Found the perfect romantic inn? Or sleek and stylish business hotel in Asia? Terribly disappointed (God forbid!) by a stay at a luxury-hotel-chain? Let the world know! Send us your stories, recommendations, critiques and complaints...
Opening in April of this year, Kempinski's first hotel in Dubai has an extraordinary location: overlooking the much-hyped Ski Dubai Alpine themed indoor snow resort, and attached to the biggest shopping mall outside of North America. The luxurious and spacious guestrooms (some of the country's largest) include 15 Ski Chalets with superb views of the indoor ski resort. All are equipped with cutting-edge technology: large flat plasma screen TVs with 40 international satellite channels, in addition to DVD and multi media player. The hotel also features a health club, Ayurveda wellness center, swimming pool and tennis court. The ultimate Alpine experience in the heart of Dubai, Kempinski's five-star hotel is set to become a central landmark in the hottest destination on the planet.
Now is the time to plan a holiday to India: to discover the colorful culture and mythical history of the desert-state of Rajasthan, the pulsing nightlife of New Delhi, and get pampered like a maharaja staying at the glorious Taj Hotels. It doesn't get much better than this with Taj Royal Escapes. From May 1- September 30, stay at any participating Taj luxury hotel, in any combination, and the benefits are extraordinary. Stay for 6 nights, pay for 3; stay for 10 nights, pay for 5; stay for 14 nights, pay for 7. Hotels include Taj Mahal Palace and Tower (Mumbai), Taj Mahal Hotel (New Delhi), Rambagh Palace (Jaipur), Umaid Bhawan Palace (Jodhpur), and the most romantic and magical hotel in the world: the Taj Lake Palace, which appears like a brightly lit castle floating on water in Udaipur.
From the New York Times to shiny glossies and guidebooks, the media is brimming with good tips about cruisin'. I've compiled some recent newsworthy articles for your planning pleasure: Conde Nast Traveler, Reader's Poll, The World's Best Cruise Ships 2006 Fodor's Travel Wire, "The Best of Cruising" Forbes, The World's Most Expensive Cruises Travel and Leisure Hot Deals, "Cell Phones at Sea" The New York Times Travel, "Bon Voyage to the Three-Bean Salad" The New York Times Travel, "Extreme Makeover: Taking High Style to the High Seas" The New York Times Travel, "Oman Anyone? More Ships, More Ports of Call" The New York Times Travel, "Mystery at Sea: Who Polices the Ships?"