LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
April 1, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
From the folks who brought us the deliciously swanky Setai hotel in Miami- comes a brand new hotel housed in a crazy architectural masterpiece in Philly's Center City. (To be located on 12th and Chestnut Streets.) Designed by Winka Dubbeldamm, the 27-story Unknot Tower in all its space-age coolness will be home to a branch of L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon restaurant and a 145-room hotel managed by GHM Hotels. The ambitious project is slated for 2010.
Less than two hours from Sydney, the Blue Mountains is a stunning wilderness area known for its distinctive blue haze (created by the sun's rays merging with drops of eucalyptus oil from the millions of eucalyptus trees). Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort and Spa is the place to stay while exploring the region-- the luxurious gateway to the breathtaking surroundings. Set amidst two acres of manicured gardens, the resort is a European-style country house managed by Orient Express. Lilianfels is happy to arrange a number of unique customized experiences for its guests, whether you're craving a little extra indulgence (think Gourmet Picnic for two, Moet and Chandon and Strawberries in-room) or adrenaline-pumping activity in the Blue Mountains (like private rock climbing, four wheel drive eco-tours, and abseiling). The "Blue Mountains Escape" package includes accommodations, delicious Australian breakfast for two served in the Tre Sorelle restaurant, access to the Spa and Fitness Center with its beautiful indoor pool, complimentary daily newspaper, and undercover valet parking. Rates start from AUD 389 per night.
San Diego's red-hot Ivy Hotel, celebrated for its fabulous restaurant and nightlife venues, recently rolled out Ivy Enticements-- special daily events which allow guests to try a new activity each day of the week to help you "keep your Ivy on." All events are free and open to the public, but advance ressies are required. What's on the agenda?
Monday: Savor the Experience-- Chef demonstration in Damon Gordon's Quarter Kitchen. Roll up your sleeves and prepare one of the exceptional dishes from the executive chef himself. 6 pm.
Tuesday: Taste the Nectar-- The award-winning sommelier invites you for an intimate wine tasting experience in the wine cellar at the Quarter Kitchen. Learn some of the secrets to successful wine and food pairing. 6 pm.
Wednesday: House of Cards-- Learn when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em at the weekly card game on Eden Rooftop led by local poker aficionado, Bill Moniz. 6 pm. Fashionably Late Wednesdays: Sip signature martinis in the Ultra Lounge while checking out fashion shows from some of the hottest local boutiques. Two Wednesdays a month enjoy rooftop movie screenings.
Thursdays: Claim Your Pole-- Enjoy the health and fitness aspects of pole dancing with lessons on Eden Rooftop taught by local dance instructors From Mind to Body. 7 pm. Spin It Around: Learn techniques from Envy Nightclub's master spinner, resident DJ Este, with DJ lessons at the Ultra Lounge. 7 pm.
Friday: Mix It Up-- Cocktail mixing demos at Envy Nightclub presented by the head bartender, Antonio Gonzales. 7 pm.
Saturdays: Relax with Yoga-- Rejuvenate the body and mind with Yoga on the Eden Rooftop at noon.
Sundays: Group Fun-- Video game night on Eden Rooftop. New Sony PlayStation games are available before they hit the stores. 6 pm.