A luxury train ride promised to be epic, and it stank to high heaven? A private jet experience gone wrong? The Times UK weighs in:
They're icons of luxury travel: the Orient-Express, the Queen Mary 2, the private jet. Travel on them and you wave goodbye to the common herd. Sure, they cost a small fortune, but you've got to experience them at least once in a lifetime. Or have you? Are the most prestigious train, boat and plane rides in the world all they’re cracked up to be?The Times sent three writers to find out, whose overwhelming response-- "Damn straight, it's worth it!"-- was a little surprising... Can these icons of luxury travel deliver perfect performances each time? Is there no room for improvement?
No joke. Peak season, perfect city, popular hotel. The Eternal City's most luxurious and romantic hotel, perched above the Spanish Steps in an unbeatable location, is offering the "Early Bird-Lazy Days of Summer Package." Book your stay at the Hotel Hassler by May 15 for a two-night minimum stay between July 17 and September 8, and get more than 50 percent off! Includes daily breakfast buffet, starting at EUR 240. What a steal.
Hotel Hassler, Official Site
Hotel Hassler, Five Star Alliance
Via Washington Post "What's the Deal?"
So what if the hotel spa had racked up a mountain of awards, including #1 in service by Conde Nast Traveler readers? The only hotel in Southern California to score both the AAA Five Diamond and Mobil Five Star awards for twelve consecutive years doesn't get complacent or sit pretty on their laurels. Instead, they inject $7 million in renovations into an already picture-perfect spa. The newly transformed Peninsula Spa opened its doors in Beverly Hills last month; its new look is cutting-edge, characterized by limestone, clear glass and mosaic tile-work. The lavish range of treatments include special treatments for men (that run the gamut from facials, sports, body, hand and foot experiences), and a dedicated skin therapy room overlooking the Hollywood Hills. In addition, there is now a Couples Treatment Room, and Spa robes, wraps and headbands from Frette. Spa technicians are fashionably clad in St. John custom-designed uniforms. And the best part of all: the exclusive Shiffa Precious Gem Treatments, which incorporate Shiffa gem oils containing rubies, emeralds and sapphires (oh my!) to relay the gems' healing powers and create serenity.
The Peninsula Beverly Hills, Official Site
The Peninsula Beverly Hills, Five Star Alliance
March 28, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
From Kim Severini, Red Carnation Hotels
Even though here in the DC area we are celebrating the Cherry Blossoms and first few weeks of spring, the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa in Cape Town, South Africa sent me the friendly reminder that in the Southern Hemisphere they are gearing up for winter and their 'low' temperatures. But low isn't really low when you compare to Northern Hemisphere standards. The cooler winter months have daily highs in the mid 60s F/17-19 C. But you might want to hibernate from the heavy rainfull that does occur in winter when icy northwesterly winds come through in July and August.
One of the more interesting package deals that Twelve Apostles is offering is the 'Man About Town'. In following with the quest to find the best spas for men worldwide (see the Beer Bath from Sungate Port Royal article), you can find Twelve Apostle's details below:
Men all too often get caught up in the fast-paced city lifestyle and pressures of corporate life. Most take it out at the gym but that leaves muscles tired and bodies weary. Now the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa has the perfect solution – the Man About Town Package. The package offers a spectacular 2 nights and 3 days to indulge in the finest of wining and dining, luxurious accommodation and essential pampering. The lucky man will be treated to a chilled bottle of Bouchard Finlayson wine, on ice, upon arrival as well as dining in Azure for dinner and breakfast, wine tasting and stress relieving spa treatments.
The price? 2465 Rand-2917 Rand per person sharing per night. The current equivalent of $393-$465.
Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, Official Site
Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, Five Star Alliance
What a London location. In the heart of the West End, near Regent's Park, and just a hop and skip from Bond and Oxford Street shopping. The Langham Hotel, London is a Victorian landmark dating from 1865, the luxurious flagship property for Langham Hotels worldwide. Join the royal ranks of the pampered clientele who choose the Langham on their London jaunts and reserve the Infinity Suite, the city's ultimate luxury suite. Opened in January 2005, the Infinity is a grand 236 sq meters, with a private entrance lobby, enormous Drawing room with dining table for six, Master Bedroom with four poster bed, second guest bedroom, a pantry kitchen, and elegant bathroom. The suite's plush materials and furnishings are opulent and wonderfully romantic. The best feature? The infinity bath or "sok" in the master bedroom (as featured in the pic)-- a deep soaking bath which constantly overflows in a cascade of falling water filtered through a color spectrum of light.
Langham Hotel London, Official Site
Langham Hotel London, Five Star Alliance
Wine-lovers rejoice; the seasonal grape harvest in the Southern Hemisphere is only just beginning. In Mendoza, Argentina, where the rolling fields of vines are set against a magnificent backdrop of the snow-capped Andes, the award-winning malbec and torrontes varietals are divine. Indulge in copious quantities at the wine-cellar at Cavas Wine Lodge, the region's hottest new hotel. The 14 free-standing guest rooms are spacious, with fireplace, private terrace, plunge pool and al fresco shower. Top-of-the-line technology includes entertainment centers, two-line phones and high-speed internet access. Soak up the breathtaking views by the outdoor pool, indulge in the restaurant's gastronomic delights, or relax with a superb spa treatment. And of course there are (lots of) glasses to be savored, overlooking the surrounding vineyards.
The New York Times, "Peel Me a Grape"
The globe's biggest tele-marking festival is a rip-roaring good time, a week packed full of races, treks through the Alps, a film festival, equipment expos, open-air barbecue, and lots of grub and wine. So toss those bindings and jet to Italy! Formerly known as La Skieda, the festival runs from April 1-8. $170 gets you lift tickets and entrance to all events.
Of course the pampering at The Palms is sublime… In your spa treatment room surrounded by water and towering palms, sample the Mediterranean Marinade (a facial with vitamin boosters, combining reflexology and massage) or the Mediterranean Infusion (a hydrating treatment combining mint, cucumber, Greek yogurt, honey and lemon). But above and beyond this paradise, the Palms has distinguished itself among destination spas (and we beg, and plead, for others to follow suit!) with its new Spa Guest Journey program. From the moment of arrival, guests receive spa-inspired preferential treatment, in-room spa amenities, and products upon check-out to help maintain that serenity and avoid the post-vacation hang-over. At the airport, receive chilled aromatic treatment towels, and upon arrival at The Palms, a complimentary spa product on crushed ice served by spa staff. During your stay, guest rooms are spritzed with "Quietude" aromatic spray from the spa, and Pillow Treats from the spa await on your pillow in the evenings.. In-room spa services include the Sleepy Time Service (hot toddy anyone?) and the Bathing Ritual, where tubs are drawn, sprinkled with rose petals, and the bathroom transformed with candles, music, and aromatherapy spray. In addition, a range of spa inspired food is also available to guests including The Power Breakfast menu. And of course there are all sorts of spa goodies to take with you on your way home...
The Palms, Official Site
The Palms, Five Star Alliance
At last, a luxury destination hotel for business travelers in the heart of Indiana's capital. The Conrad Indianapolis debuts today (and Conrad's been prepping for this opening ceremony for months!) The 241 guest rooms are loaded with technology and amenities for business travelers: 42 inch flat screen TVs with satellite, high speed wireless internet, spacious work areas, three telephones and fax. In addition, the hotel's got ample meeting space (10,000 sq ft. of it), excellent spa facilities, and fine dining. The Vitesse tapas and caviar bar may even lure East and West coasters into the depths of the Heartland's fly-over territory.
March 24, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
That's right. The outstanding cooking school-- Ecole Ritz Escoffier-- at the legendary Parisian palace hotel is now offering the Ritzy Rendez-vous one Friday evening per month, for singles to wine and dine... and cook, of course. The setting couldn't be more perfect, opposite the great kitchen at the Ritz, where gourmands and professional chefs flock to learn the secrets to the best modern French cuisine. (EUR 90)