July 6, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Just in time for the winter holidays, RockResorts will open its latest luxury hotel in this idyllic Caribbean island: The Landings St. Lucia. Nestled on 19 oceanfront acres on Rodney Bay's white sand beaches, The Landings St. Lucia will have lavish accommodations with water views, a Spa, and 80-slip marina. St. Lucia has recently outshined the Turks and Caicos islands as the Caribbean "it" spot, with myriad luxury hotel openings making headlines this year-- Discovery at Marigot Bay, Raffles, Ritz-Carlton, to name a few. To celebrate the opening, The Landings is offering low rates of $329 per night (May 24 - November 1, 2008), while 2007 holiday rates start at $549 per night.
July 5, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Make like Johnny Depp and celebrate the outlaw life with the whole family at Jumby Bay. The exclusive resort-- nestled two miles off the coast of Antigua on a picture-perfect private island-- has devised a fantastic adventure of treasure hunts, pirate movies, and pancake parties for a luxe family-fun getaway. Set amidst a paradise of palms and tropical flowers, Jumby Bay is a secluded hideaway accessible only by boat, known worldwide for its world-class amenities and service. Embrace your inner buccaneer with the Pirate Adventure Package, which includes seven nights luxury accommodations in an Oceanview Suite, all meals, the Burger Mania menu (gourmet speciality burgers for lunch), Pirate Movie Night under the stars, Caribbean Beach Party, Private Island Treasure Hunt, Sunday Pancake Party where kids can make their own pancakes, Sorbet from the "Sorbet Butler" who roams the beach with complimentary refreshments, and Turtle Watching on Pasture Bay Beach. Adults will enjoy the sunset cocktail cruise, Nanny Service for six hours, and choice of two 50-minute massages or tennis lessons. Most activities are complimentary: bicycles, tennis, pool, fitness center, croquet, and non-motorized watersports. Rates for the Pirate Adventure Package at Jumby Bay start at $950 per night, for two adults and one child under age 12 sharing a room (additional rates apply for a fourth person). Available through October 31, 2007.
Go coastal this summer and head south of the border to Acapulco, the oft-overlooked Pacific Coast retreat nestled between the soaring mountains of the Sierra Madre on one side and the crystal blue bay on the other. Book a stay at the premier resort in the area, the Fairmont Pierre Marques, once the private getaway of J. Paul Getty, and enjoy fantastic savings with "Only One Way" summer rates, starting at just $149 through early September. With refreshing infinity pools overlooking the ocean, a state-of-the-art fitness center, tennis, golf, and aquatic sports galore, this landmark hotel offers endless fun in the sun for a real steal. (The hotel's sister property, Fairmont Acapulco Princess, has likewise reduced its summer rates.)
Foodies flock to Whist at Viceroy Santa Monica, ranked in the top hotel restaurants in the U.S. for its fabulous Modern American cuisine. In this stylish hot spot, Executive Chef Warren Schwartz serves up highly addictive bites using fresh local provisions. This summer, Taste of Tuesday transforms Viceroy Santa Monica's famed poolside into a gourmand's mecca; guests can relax by the pool while indulging in tasty treats every Tuesday from 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. Servers circulate small plates to accompany classy cocktails like the Bartinis-- a low carb/low calorie selection of martinis with flavors like blue raspberry, cranberry cosmo, and dessert key lime. In addition, guests at Viceroy Santa Monica can enjoy "Warren's Culinary Journal," a new menu at Whist showcasing recipes from the globe-trotting Executive Chef that he's collected on his extensive travels. Taste your way around the world without leaving the luxurious comfort of the Viceroy.
July 2, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Rumor has it that Las Vegas Sands Corp. is bringing its Vegas-style pool parties to the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau. The 3,000-room Venetian Resort-Hotel, "large enough to hold ninety Boeing 747 jumbo jets," will open at the end of August in the world's gambling capital. The centerpiece of Las Vegas Sands' $11 billion complex of casinos and shops, the Venetian will bring over-the-top luxury to the Cotai Strip. Suites are enormous, decked out with lavish Italian marble bathrooms and sunken living rooms. There will be a V Spa, V Gym fitness center, myriad dining experiences, and of course multiple swimming pools, including the exclusive adults-only pool. Book now and get special introductory rates from HK $1,088.
Hidden in the tropical forest on the white sands of the Riviera Maya, the Tides is a 30-villa property that epitomizes barefoot luxury. Located just outside Playa del Carmen, this seaside refuge has been touted as "a sexy, eco-conscious hideaway in the jungle" by Travel and Leisure magazine. Taste the award-winning "Yucatecan Cuisine," take a yoga class overlooking coastal splendor, discover nearby ancient Mayan cities, frolic on the seven miles of white sand beach. Here in paradise, the Tides provides unique services and facilities: Temazcal, the stunning Maya-style sauna right on the beach, a "tropical butler" to deliver iced face towels poolside, and a "dine anywhere, anytime" policy. Leave your cell phones behind (they're not allowed here!) and get ready for some serious relaxation, both in your palapa-roofed villa (decorated with sophisticated simplicity) and the full-service holistic spa. If you book the Barefoot Luxury package, you can enjoy four nights at the Tides Riviera Maya along with a private Mayan cooking class or Tequila and Ceviche tasting. Priced at $2,740, includes a departure amenity.
Since its reopening at the end of 2006, the Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa has generated quite a buzz. (In a setting this magical-- private coral island surrounded by the turquoise sea-- it's no wonder visitors are swooning.) The resort's palm-thatched pavilions and bungalows rise above the water, or line the white sand, and boast private plunge pools, over-water decks, and outdoor showers. From the infinity edge pool, one of the largest in the Maldives, you can take in the memorable sunsets, when the sky is painted in brilliant shades of color. Aboard the resort's yacht, The Explorer, you can cruise untouched atolls and discover some of the best scuba diving spots in the world. Until September 30, 2007, book a four-night stay and you'll receive a $250 resort credit for use in the fabulous spa and restaurants.
June 28, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
At the lowest point on earth, where the lapping waters of the Dead Sea are sought out for their curative powers, you'll find an elegant resort with one of the most advanced spa operations in the Middle East. Located at 400 meters below sea level, beside the northern shores of the saltiest sea in the world, Movenpick Dead Sea is a luxurious hideaway designed as a traditional stone village. Where else can you float in the sea while reading your newspaper? Indulge in the legendary therapeutic secrets of the Dead Sea at the ZARA Spa, with its wide range of health and beauty therapies and several saline pools including an indoor Dead Sea flotation pool. The facilities are superb: beach, heated pool, summer beach pool, children's pool and playground, solariums, tennis court, and large fitness room. The Dead Sea is an exciting place to visit, not only because of this blissful spa experience, but also because of the spectacular surrounding landscape and ancient historical sites.
Hot on the heels of the debut of its new St. Lucia hotel, Raffles will open a third Caribbean property in 2010: set on 50 pristine beachfront acres on the northeastern end of Tortola in the BVI. Raffles luxury hotels have distinguished themselves as landmarks in their respective cities around the globe (the flagship in Singapore is world-renowned), so the new Tortola hotel will no doubt bring a high standard of luxury to the secluded white sand beaches of the "sailing capital of the Caribbean." The 100-room resort will feature four restaurants and bars, three swimming pools, a fitness center, two beach clubs, and the signature RafflesAmrita Spa, occupying 15,000 square feet. Cool fact: the resort, though managed by Raffles, is 100 percent owned by British Virgin Islanders.
Ahhh, summer in San Diego, where the surf's up, the breeze is balmy, and the temperatures are just right. Take the whole family (including your doggie) to Loews Coronado Bay Resort for some fun in the sun. The recreational facilities are remarkable: tennis courts, Sea Spa, fitness center, beach and three outdoor swimming pools, private marina, gondola rides on the nearby canals, bicycling, rollerblading, whatever your little heart desires. Your family's teenage jetsetter will dig the Super Suite Vacation package-- replete with surfing lessons, custom-designed INT surfboard, and two spa treatments in the resort's Teen Spa Room designed by Pottery Barn's PBteen. This taste of the suite life, a perfect blend of sun and surf, goes for $2,000 for a two-night stay. Prior to arrival, your teen can select the color and graphics for the surf board. Loews also offers a Su'ruff Camp, where your doggie can get a surfing lesson with Coronado Surfing Academy at Coronado's Dog Beach. The package also includes a Surf & turf room service meal for your pet, board shorts or a surfing bandana for your pup, and a copy of The Dog's Guide to Surfing.