January 5, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Bye, bye Fairmont Kansas City. Intercontinental's taking over the AAA four-diamond property. Consistently rated as KC's best hotel, the name-in-transition hotel is opening soon as the Intercontinental Kansas City at the Plaza. The team at IC hotels group has planned all sorts of marvelous upgrades to the property, including room renovations, which will take place throughout 2006 and 2007. It's got a kick-ass location in the Country Club Plaza area, just minutes away from the city's entertainment district with outdoor museum and oodles of boutiques and restaurants. Additionally, the hotel boasts a fantastic fitness center with spa treatment rooms, outdoor pool, fine dining at the Oak Room, and balconies on all 366 guestrooms.
Have some romantic recs for Valentine's Day? (Don't be jaded, now....) Bursting at the seams to share your favorite romantic destination, story or restaurant? We'd love to hear 'em. Send in your stories or hotel suggestions and we'll publish them here or in our monthly newsletter.
January 4, 2006
By: Guest Writer
By Luxury Larry of World Extravagant
One of the biggest movies to hit the screens this year will surely be the Da Vinci Code, based on the best selling novel, starring Tom Hanks and directed by Ron Howard. Many people do not know, but the chateau which is featured extensively throughout the book, Chateau de Villette, actually exists and parts of the upcoming movie were filmed on location.
Only 35 minutes outside Paris, Chateau Villette does exist and is one of the most historical chateaux in all of France. The property was built in the late 1700s by Jules Hardouin Mansart, and has 17 bedrooms each with its own private bathroom on 185 acres of gorgeous grounds which were landscaped originally by the Sun King's personal gardener, Andre Le Notre, complete with lake, swimming pool, tennis court, and hunting grounds.
Even though you feel as if you were in the 17th century, there is a modern telephone system accessible from each room, in addition to wireless Internet connection. The chateau is a spectacular location for family vacations, weddings, seminars, product promotions, business meetings, elegant parties and other special events.
By: Guest Writer
Thank God for the Washington Post, which put together this sweet list of global happenings for the new year, including the Turin Olympic Winter Games and the centennial of the San Francisco Earthquake.
Since 1766, The Homestead has provided a luxurious escape for Princes, heads of state and sports fanatics. Located in Virginia's Allegheny mountains, the National Historic Landmark is now ranked among the world's top Spa and Golf resorts. (The Spa is still fed by the bubbling hot springs that have attracted travelers since the 1700s!) In the winter months, The Homestead is transformed into a winter wonderland, with ice skating, sledding, snow-mobiling, cross-county skiing and lots of downhill and snowboarding. From now until March 31, kids ski free! The "Perfect Winter Days" package includes accommodations, lift tickets for the kids, bountiful breakfast daily, traditional afternoon tea, and nightly movies in the historic theater. $119 (Sunday through Thursday), $159 (Friday and Saturday), per person, per night. Up to two children stay complimentary in same room with adults. Travel by January 24, and receive a complimentary upgrade to deluxe accommodations.
The Homestead, Official Site
The Homestead, Five Star Alliance
So it may be impossible to score a room for the most fabulous of film festivals—alas! the Stein Eriksen has been booked for months—but what about planning a jaunt to the fabulous, legendary lodge for the next year? Let this be a lesson, and book early at America's most celebrated ski-in, ski-out resort. The AAA five-diamond, Mobil four-star rated Stein Eriksen is the ultimate luxury ski destination. We're talking immediate access to some of the best slopes in the world at Deer Valley (with warmed up boots and a hot drink awaiting your return), champion service, gorgeous outdoor pool and fitness facility, and head-to-toe pampering at the Spa. Hurry up and get on it!
Stein Eriksen Lodge, Official Site
Stein Eriksen Lodge, Five Star Alliance
Take that, Amanresorts. Fairmont Hotels and Resorts announced yesterday a new luxury hotel opening in 2009. The Fairmont Turks and Caicos will include 150 condos, along with 150 luxurious guestrooms. Also planned: a championship golf course, tennis courts, marina, and the signature Willow Stream Spa. Looks like the Turks and Caicos is fast becoming where it's at in the Caribbean.
Those in the know have booked rooms well in advance of the March 1st opening of Amanyara in the Turks and Caicos Islands. This is the newest of the Amanresorts, and the company's first luxury hotel in the Caribbean. Preliminary reports are more than enticing: 40 private villas and pavilions overlooking dreamy secluded beaches on a 2,025 hectare nature and wildlife reserve. Enjoy easy access to the reefs of the Northwest Point Marine Park just offshore for some of the best diving anywhere. Or soak up the sun on the pristine beach, grab a Hobie Cat for an afternoon sail, followed by a spa treatment in the privacy of your own villa. Excellent golf is available 30 minutes away at the Providenciales Golf Club, rated among the top ten in the Caribbean. It's just a short hop from Miami for spring break in Paradise...
Amanyara, Official Site
Amanyara, Five Star Alliance
Named to Luxury Travel Magazine's "Top 10 New Caribbean Resorts," Carlisle Bay is the essence of chic. The owners of the award-winning One Aldwych in London have succeeded in bringing contemporary luxury to the Caribbean. Since the hotel's opening in 2003, enraptured guests have raved. A stunning beach. Enormous ocean-view suites. To-die-for restaurants. An outstanding Spa with state-of-the-art gym. A tantalizing array of water sports and boat excursions. And the only private screening room in the Caribbean (with movie showings nightly). How's that for the perfect winter getaway?
Carlisle Bay, Official Site
Carlisle Bay, Five Star Alliance
Now open. The Mandarin Oriental scores a perfect location in downtown Tokyo, in the historical district of Nihonbashi, within walking distance of the Ginza entertainment and shopping district and the Imperial Palace. Why does this hotel rock? Let me count the ways. A 38th floor Sky Lobby with vistas of the city behind a sheer wall of glass. Guestrooms that are some of the largest in Japan. A kick-ass spa: 9,500 sq ft devoted to luxurious relaxation through Heat and Water Experiences. 9 treatment rooms, 5 luxurious private Spa suites, steam and sauna, vitality pool and bubble pool, and the Ice Fountain arctic refresher. Superb gourmet dining in several establishments. And highly sophisticated technology: widescreen TVs with surround sound, connected to multi-standard DVD players (you can output your laptop onto the LCD TVs), and 100 Mbps broadband data network that delivers high speed Internet access and high-definition digital video.