LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
May 3, 2013
By: Meagan Drillinger
Up and down the Strip, and throughout the downtown area, spas are serious business in Las Vegas. Two of our favorites are located within City Center, Las Vegas' newest complex nestled between Monte Carlo and Bellagio - The Sahra Spa & Hammam at The Cosmopolitan and Spa & Salon Vdara. Our sister publication, Luxury Travel Advisor, recently spelled out their perks.
"The Sahra Spa & Hammam at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas covers 43,000 square feet and has an impressive range of spaces: Think 16 massage rooms, four body treatment rooms—each with private steam showers—six skincare treatment rooms, two hydrotherapy rooms and a series of specialty suites designed for group treatments.
The Hammam has proven to be a popular spot to unwind in for an afternoon. The 1,200-square-foot space can be used individually or by up to four guests, and has separate alcoves for steam and cold water plunge pools. Guests can also relax on the heated stone loungers or get a scrub massage to complete the treatment.
The signature Hammam treatment, the Sahra Journey, incorporates several cleansing, purifying, and exfoliating methods into a 2.5-hour package that also includes the Red Flower Hammam Experience. This unique therapy uses 11 flower oils and fruit essences, including Red Flower Lemon Coffee Blossom Olive Stone Scrub for varied scents and healing properties. A "vigorous scrub" is followed by a purifying clay wrap with essences of cardamom; all the while guests relax on warm stones.
Tops for girlfriends: The Sahra Suite has a living and entertaining area and private spa accommodations. (Perks include a flat-screen TV with DVD player, wet bar, whirlpool tubs, steam room, shower, changing and vanity areas.) Beyond massages and facials, girls can get nail treatments, hair and makeup, and can even order room service for dinner and champagne.
Good to know: Try to book at least a week in advance. Some services are only scheduled once per hour, so the farther out the booking, the better the likelihood of getting the dream treatment.
When staying at the hotel, ask to be booked into Terrace One Bedroom Suites, which have private terraces and deep Japanese soaking tubs (great for continuing the relaxation after spa treatments, we say).
At CityCenter, the three-year-old multifunction city within a city, Vdara has an 18,000-square-foot, two-story spa, salon and fitness center.
The Naturopathica French Lavender Soothing Massage is a specialty treatment offered by the spa, but we hear the signature Bamboo Fusion Massage is tops. This signature treatment uses bamboo for Balinese ritual techniques, such as compression, tapotement, ringing, and skin rolling.
Good for kids: A children's manicure/pedicure is available for anyone under 14 years old. This children's service features a strawberries-and-creme (not "cream") pedicure, which we hear uses "farm fresh products."
Bridal parties are also in luck: Brides should try the "Head Over Heels" pedicure treatment, "Body & Soul" massage package, and Day-of Hair and Make-Up services. Grooms, meanwhile, can get a Men's Cut & Style and MAN-icure. Bonus: After the ceremonies, the couple can join up for a "Happily Ever After" couples massage package.
And at Vdara Pool & Lounge, book one of the six specially designated Spa Cabanas, which have a media unit for television and music, ceiling fans, safety deposit boxes, hand sinks, as well as a refrigerator stocked with mineral water and fresh fruit. Spa treatments can also be booked at the cabanas, including the Cabana Purifying Body Treatment & Massage.
Top Tip: At the hotel, book the Two Bedroom Penthouse Suite, which has two full master bedrooms, spa-style bathrooms and a full kitchen and living room. (Guests staying in the suite get four one-time use Spa Facility passes, so this is an especially good pick for spa-focused vacations.)"
April 26, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance
June 2013 will mark the opening of Jing An Shangri-La Hotel, West Shanghai designed by Kohn Pederson Fox Associates, this is Shangri-La’s third luxury hotel in Shanghai, following the well-established Pudong Shangri-La and the contemporary Kerry Hotel, both located in East Shanghai.
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts' newest flagship hotel will open in the heart of Shanghai. The 508-room Jing An Shangri-La in West Shanghai on the top 29 floors of the 60-storey main tower will envelop guests in a world of luxury and modern glamour befitting one of the most exciting and influential international cities.
The hotel is the cornerstone of the new Jing An Kerry Centre, a 450,000- square-metre integrated complex with prime retail, office and residential space located in the fashionable Jing An District in Puxi, Shanghai. Jing An Shangri-La will present an approachable contemporary design that evokes a strong sense of place complemented by Shangri-La's inimitable heartfelt hospitality.
Every detail of the hotel has been meticulously considered, from the staff uniforms designed by top Chinese designer Han Feng, to over 80 intricate silk lanterns that appear to float magically in the Summer Palace Chinese restaurant, to the commissioning of large-scale artwork from two of the most renowned Chinese contemporary artists - Zeng Fanzhi and Zhou Chun Ya.
Jing An Shangri-La overlooks the focal point of Jing An Kerry Centre - a 3,000-square meter piazza featuring pathways, gardens, water features and al fresco dining. Guestrooms will occupy the top 29 floors of the hotel's 60-storey main tower, while restaurants, offices and retail shops will be located on the lower levels.
The spacious guestrooms' rich yet delicate interiors are a foil for the stunning views of Shanghai visible through nearly floor-to-ceiling windows. All guestrooms will feature bathrooms with heated marble floors as well as LCD TV and digital clock embedded in the bathroom mirrors.
The most spectacular view can be seen from the hotel's Horizon Club Lounge, which takes up the entire 55th floor and offers a 360-degree panoramic view of Shanghai. Horizon Club Lounge access will be available to guests staying in the 62-square-meter Grand Premier Room category and all suites.
Among Jing An Shangri-La's many draws is its array of restaurants and lounges. Shangri-La created a distinct environment for each venue.
The unique destination restaurant, Summer Palace, serves Southeastern Chinese cuisine with Cantonese flair. Inspired by Chinese ink paintings of poetic landscapes, a series of contemporary dining chambers each provide a different dining ambiance and menu. The colorful rooms flow from the casual Pantry Chamber serving dim sum, to the Lantern Chamber with an open kitchen specializing in clay pot cooking, to the exquisite Imperial Chamber for formal dining.
The 1515 WEST, Chophouse & Bar is where old Shanghai film making meets classic American bar and grill decor. Executive Chef Franco Brodini will bring "ranch to table" dining to Shanghai, serving beef from hand-selected cattle raised in Australia specifically for The 1515 WEST. The main dining room features an open-grill kitchen complemented by a raw bar and The 1515 WEST bar, serving signature cocktails from a team of world-class mixologists.
The hotel's two-level Cafe LIANG & mezzanine will add a new twist to the gourmet international buffet dining experience Shangri-La hotels are known to offer. The cafe will feature a "tick box" menu card for main courses, integrating a buffet and table service experience. Main courses can be served family style for sharing, and al fresco dining will be available in the piazza area. A la carte Japanese cuisine will be served on the mezzanine level.
Opposite Cafe LIANG in the piazza is a modern Mediterranean restaurant and wine bar in a striking stand-alone two-storey glass-roof building clad in bamboo.
Also located within the piazza is the home in which Chairman Mao Zedong spent several months in 1920. Preserved amid the Jing An Kerry Centre's gleaming modern towers, the heritage home is currently being restored with the support of Kerry Properties and Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, in collaboration with the Jing An District Government.
Anticipating a need for meeting and event space in the central business district, the hotel offers an unparalleled 4,465 square meters of function space in West Shanghai. Jing An Shangri-La's Event Centre is housed in a five-storey podium block with a direct passage to the hotel tower on the third storey.
Its 1,740-square-metre pillarless Jing An Grand Ballroom is the largest in West Shanghai and boasts a 10-metre-high ceiling. The ballroom is complemented by a roof garden and a 1,039 square-metre pre-function area. In addition, the Event Centre houses a 514-square-metre junior ballroom plus six function rooms covering 659 square metres of space.
One signature event venue will be the Lifestyle Suite. Designed to provide the perfect combination of privacy and exclusivity, the self-contained Lifestyle Suite has its own bar, reception area, living room, dining room and courtyard. It can cater up to 80 guests.
Other offerings at Jing An Shangri-La include Shangri-La's signature CHI, The Spa, a state-of-the-art health club and a 25-metre heated indoor sky-dome lap pool.
The hotel is steps away from the Shanghai Exhibition Centre, Jing An Temple and the famous Nanjing Road shopping street. It sits on a network of public transportation, including Metro Lines 2 and 7. It is a 45-minute drive from Pudong International Airport and a 20-minute drive from Hongqiao Airport via the adjacent elevated Yan'an Middle Ring Road.
The hotel and entire Jing An Kerry Centre development has been awarded the LEED Gold Pre-certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Jing An Shangri-La, West Shanghai is the third Shangri-La property in the city, joining the luxurious Pudong Shangri-La located in the city's financial centre opposite the Bund, and the vibrant Kerry Hotel, Pudong, a luxury lifestyle hotel located near Century Park and the Shanghai New International Expo Center.
April 1, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance
Salamander Resort & Spa, set on over 300 acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains amid Virginia's famed horse country and lush vineyards announced that it is set to open this August. Located in the 18th century village of Middleburg, Salamander Resort is 30 minutes west of Dulles International Airport and an hour from downtown Washington, DC.
Set on 340 acres of farmland, the brand new resort will offer what was said to be "an unparalleled luxury experience in the region" with 168 guest rooms and suites; a culinary program led by Chef Todd Gray of Equinox Restaurant in DC including two restaurants, wine bar, cooking studio and two-acre culinary garden; a spa with 14 treatment rooms and a couples suite; and various activities including an onsite Equestrian program, with a 22-stall barn, practice ring, riding trails and instructional classes.
The property similarly boasts tennis courts and an outdoor pool complex, and guests have privileges at the nearby Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course. Fifty wineries are within an hour's drive of the resort, as are opportunities for whitewater rafting, sporting clays and raceway spectating.
Salamander Resort is also eyeing to be a destination for meetings or events. The property features a 5,000 square foot Grand Ballroom, as well as more intimate settings including a 1,800 square foot Junior Ballroom, Executive Boardrooms and breakout rooms, hospitality suites and 2,000 square foot Presidential Suite with an entertainment balcony.
Indoor and outdoor event facilities at Salamander are eyed to make events stand out, including the Equestrian Barn event room, the Stallion Barn, a, over a hundred year old stone building adjacent to the Grand Lawn, and the Cooking Studio, which may be reserved by groups for private events.