LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
What will $1,000 buy you? A pretty fantastic deal at New Orleans' most luxurious boutique hotel. Situated in the heart of the romantic Old Quarter, Soniat House exudes Old World elegance. Here, there are honor bars stocked with premium liquors, and daily breakfast is a favorite tradition: Creole café au lait and hot southern biscuits slathered with homemade strawberry preserves. The historical hotel, comprised of three large and gracious townhouses, is filled with striking antiques and the warm hospitality of an excellent staff. Imagine: spiral stairs, balconies, patios, and lush courtyards filled with olive, magnolia, guava, and ginger. Not just one of the best hotels in New Orleans, the award-winning Soniat House is considered one of the best in the world. After all, this spot is listed in the book 1,000 Places To See Before You Die, which describes the hotel as quintessential New Orleans, the most beautiful hotel in town. The Thousand Dollar Escape package at Soniat House includes three nights accommodation in a premier room, complimentary breakfast each day, dinner for two at a famous New Orleans restaurant and champagne on arrival. Minimum three nights stay required; the $1,000 rate does not include tax.
Slackers rejoice. It's not too late to plan a special something to celebrate Saint Valentine. Omni Hotels to the rescue, with the excellent Sparkling Encounters package designed for couples to indulge in romance for Valentine's Day. Escape to any of Omni's 40 hotels in February-- like Houston's high-tech, AAA Five-Diamond hotel or San Francisco's perfectly-located hotel-- and enjoy a bottle of Moet & Chandon White Star Champagne, delectable champagne truffles from Teuscher Chocolates from Switzerland, and luxurious champagne-scented Bubbling Bath Salts, Massage and Body Oil and Body Cream from Bath Bloomers. As an added perk, guests will also have the option of upgrading their room for as little as $20. Available from February 1-25, 2007.
In the Bahamas, the mega-resort of Atlantis, modeled after the mythical Lost Continent, offers a resort experience like no other. Gargantuan casino, enormous water-parks, 11 swimming areas, and a marine park stocked with 50,000 sea animals. Certainly not for everyone's taste. But now the behemoth of resorts is going upscale, with the stylish, suites-only Cove at Atlantis, set to open on March 15, 2007. Situated between two beautiful beaches, The Cove Atlantis will have a beach club, adults-only pool with beach concierge and plush daybeds, and balmy open-air lobby. Each of the 600 suites will offer French balconies with ocean views and enormous bathrooms (as befits the grandaddy of resorts). The beach and poolside cabanas will be equally as tech-savvy, equipped with flat screen TVs, wireless Internet, Bose 321 system, Private bathrooms and custom-stocked service bars. The folks at Atlantis are promising a "seductive and indulgent experience" at The Cove.
What's so special about the Grand Hyatt Atlanta? The largest guest rooms in Atlanta's fashionable neighborhood of Buckhead, for one. A convenient location near many of Atlanta's top attractions (try the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, Zoo Atlanta, and Atlanta History museum). A tranquil Japanese Garden setting. The top meeting facilities in the city, awarded the Best of the South Award and named "Georgia's Leading Business Hotel" by the World Travel Awards. (There's a whopping 30,000 square feet of function space, including 17 meeting rooms and three outdoor terraces). A successful kosher kitchen (the city's best). And, drum roll please... HY Tea every Saturday from 2 to 6pm. Here, guests can indulge in the memorable Atlanta tradition, replete with dainty finger sandwiches, scrumptious tarts, tea, and signature Grantinis. The menu includes such delights as pomegranate-blueberry cream on date nut bread, smoked duck prosciutto wrapped caramelized green apple, warm molten chocolate cake, and caramel-raspberry crème brulee. Served in the elegant Onyx Bar overlooking the garden waterfall, priced at $29.95 per person. Now that's a hotel.
Leave it to Hotel d'Angleterre, one of the finest hotels in Europe, to plan a scrumptious Easter getaway package sure to delight the whole family. Enjoy a spring jaunt to Geneva and set up shack at the lakeside boutique; from your guest room balcony, the views of Lake Geneva, the Jet d'Eau and Mont Blanc aren't too shabby. With only 39 rooms and 6 suites, the historic hotel provides impeccable personal service in pampering guests with true luxury on the lake. (And Windows restaurant, recognized by the Gault and Millau guide as one of the top city restaurants, isn't so bad either.) Celebrate Easter in Switzerland and indulge in the world's finest chocolates with the Easter Follies package at Hotel d'Angleterre. The package includes two nights accommodations, daily buffet breakfast, a chocolate-making lesson and trip to a traditional chocolate maker, and the cocktail of your choice at the fashionable Leopard Lounge, named Hotel Bar of the Year by Andrew Harper's Hideaway Report. Easter Follies is available from April 5-April 15, 2007 and starts at CHF 530 per night.
Tucked away on the 2nd floor of the Willard InterContinental, Washington's historic luxury hotel, the I Spa offers guests a rejuvenating and luxurious spa experience. The full spa menu features 25 treatments, including both traditional and specialized massage (try the Willard Chardonnay Massage or Hot Stone Massage) and body treatments using products designed by Jurlique, Algotherm and June Jacobs. But this isn't just the preferred pampering place for bridal parties and couples on lingering weekend afternoons. Thanks to the Express Menu, lucky guests can enjoy a quick revitalizing treatment when they need it most: midweek, between the stress of meetings and a long commute.
As recently featured on Daily Candy, the Express Menu offers the best kind of pick-me-up for those with limited time to spare:
...thanks to The I Spa, which now offers an express menu. In just 30 minutes you can rejuvenate with an exfoliating microdermabrasion facial, firm up with a collagen and elastin eye mask, or loosen tight muscles with a good old Swedish massage. You'll even get to squeeze in a quick spa lunch in the VIP suite before rushing off.
What a relief.
Situated on a cliff top rising above the ocean, the Hotel Albatroz offers the best of the Portuguese Riviera, only 35 kilometers from the Lisbon airport. Formerly a royal summer retreat, Hotel Albatroz is now one of the top boutique hotels in Portugal. Composed of three historical buildings-- including the Duke of Loulé's Palace-- the hotel is a bastion of true luxury and elegance. From the swimming pools and sun terrace, enjoy panoramic views of the bay. From the excitement of the city to the serenity of the sea, Portugal offers an excellent getaway. Explore the historical riches of Lisbon, challenge yourself with a round of golf on five nearby championship courses, enjoy an endless array of water sports, take in the sunset from the bar, and dine on traditional seafood specialties at the popular hotel restaurant, where guests gaze at the jagged coastline of Cascais and Estoril from the stunning beach setting. A winter break at Hotel Albatroz is a steal with their One More Night promotion. Book three nights, and get the fourth night for free! Rates start from EUR 124 (single), EUR 157.50 (double), per night, which includes buffet breakfast and all taxes. Valid until March 31, 2007; subject to availability.
The Chinese New Year is upon us. (And according to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, the Year of the Pig is associated with fertility and virility. So get your groove on! It's considered quite auspicious, and very fortunate, to have children in this year.) Discover the Lunar New Year Celebration at Peninsula Hong Kong and enjoy panoramic views of the spectacular fireworks over Victoria Harbour from the Sun Terrace on the 7th Floor, while sipping a complimentary glass of champagne. Special set dinner menus will be served at the hotel's excellent restaurants on February 19, 2007.
PS. Ready to explore the sites (and watch all the New Year's festivities) in Hong Kong? A stay at the Peninsula means exclusive use of their fleet of Rolls-Royce Phantoms. The 14 new cars were designed to the hotel's specific requests: burr walnut veneers complemented with luxurious leather, a cool box for chilled hand towels, customized tread plates, incredible in-car entertainment, and a new, larger luggage compartment.
The sun is shining. The Jardin des Tuileries beckons for a stroll. The grands magasins (not to mention all the fashionable boutiques) have marked down their merchandise by an extraordinary amount for the twice-yearly Soldes. The Louvre's most famous painting, the Mona Lisa, is yours for the viewing. You can stand and gape to your heart's content with nary an elbow-pushing tourist in sight. And with airfares available for a song, now is the perfect time to visit the City of Light. Head to the elegant Hotel du Louvre for its excellent location, surrounded on all sides by famous Parisian landmarks. (The Opera Garnier, the Comedie Francaise, the Place du Palais Royal, and of course the Louvre Museum itself.) Choose the glamorous Pisarro Suite and stay where the famous Impressionist painter took up residence in the late 19th century and created some of his great paintings of Paris. From the floor-to-ceiling windows, the Suite offers an inspirational view of the Opera House, which was reproduced on canvas by the master painter. Or check out the view from your own Jacuzzi and hammam in the white Carrara marble bathrooms.
February 1, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Desperate to shake the winter blues? Escape to the Stein Group's luxury hotels in Europe for a little rest and relaxation. Stein Hotels and Resort has designed a special package which offers three nights for the price of two across all its properties. So whether you're craving some retail therapy (shopping in London) or Riviera sunshine (Amalfi Coast, the Cote d'Azur, or across the Med, on the lovely Spanish isle of Mallorca), Stein's got the answer for a soothing escape in a luxurious resort sanctuary. There's the legendary 19th century hotel, Cap Estel, situated directly on the sea at the charming French village of Eze-Bord-de-Mer. Or the two boutique gems on Mallorca: Gran Hotel Son Julia, housed in an exquisite 15th century mansion not far from Palma de Mallorca, and Gran Hotel Son Net, the 17th century hacienda-turned-hotel surrounded by olive groves. Or the elegant London hotel, The Cadogan, located just off Sloane's Square and just a few minutes from the international fashion houses in Knightsbridge, and London's most famous department stores, Harrods and Harvey Nichols. Take advantage of the Stay Another Day package and indulge in luxurious amenities sure to lift the spirits.