LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
Overlooking the Miles River by the Chesapeake Bay, the Inn at Perry Cabin is an elegant circa-1816 manor house located on 25 scenic acres. An Orient-Express Hotel, the Inn at Perry Cabin is only a short stroll from the Victorian resort town of St. Michaels on the Eastern shore of Maryland. Steeped in history, the award-winning hotel offers 80 guest rooms with stunning water views, private terraces, in suite fireplaces and oversized bathrooms. This is the perfect hideaway to warm up the winter evenings. From now through March 31, 2007, enjoy savings of 40 percent with a special offer of 3 nights for the price of 2 at the Inn at Perry Cabin. In addition to the great savings, guests enjoy fun added amenities: board games by the fire at Purser's Pub or delivered to your room on the first evening, DVD movie of your choice delivered to the room on the second evening, and candlelit turndown service, cordials in room and a bubble bath on the third evening. And let's not forget the freshly-baked cookies with each evening's turndown service. The package is priced at $540 for three nights based on double occupancy in a Signature room.
Look out, South Florida; St. Regis is coming to the beach. Scheduled to open on May 1, 2007, the new St. Regis Fort Lauderdale is bringing a whole new level of luxury to Florida's Gold Coast. With signature St. Regis Butler Service and exceptional facilities, St. Regis Fort Lauderdale promises ultra-luxury for guests: whether pool-side, beach-side, at the spa, golfing, or fishing. Celebrated interior designers Hirsch Bedner Associates have created an indulgent haven of seaside elegance; the 166 guest rooms, including 8 oceanfront and 20 Intracoastal suites, were designed "to evoke the glamorous era of vintage yachting and luxe travel," and showcase sweeping views of the Atlantic and the Intracoastal Waterway. The hotel will feature a state-of-the-art fitness facility, 8,500 sq. foot exclusive St. Regis Spa, pristine outdoor pool area, private cabana terrace, business center, and dazzling dining room.
Smack in the middle of "the world's most absurd adult playground" (to quote Aarib Gulley in "Double Down," Outside Traveler's Winter issue), amidst the glitz and all that nonstop action, Canyon Ranch SpaClub provides a quiet haven of tranquility. Located on the fourth floor of the Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino, the spa is a 69,000 square-ft mega-facility complete with health and wellness center, massage, skin care and body treatments, gyms and weights rooms, therapeutic pools, and a three-story rock-climbing wall. Sumptuous massages and treatments truly run the gamut. As described by Fodor's:
The extensive treatment menu here covers any desire, including Tibetan Bowl Healing and an Ayurvedic herbal rejuvenating treatment. The unusual Rasul Ceremony is a Middle Eastern treatment of herbal steam and medicinal mud in a tiled steam chamber -- perfect for couples. The nutrition, wellness, and exercise physiology departments also offer free lectures, Lifetime Nutrition Consultation, and acupuncture. An adjoining café serves healthy cuisine and smoothies.
In an era of premium air travel for the uber-rich, the likes of which has never been seen before, Singapore Airlines proves itself a trendsetter with the launch of its new fleet of Boeing 777-300ER's. As described by ABC News, the "Orient Express of the skies" makes the 20-hour flights seem short:
For a mere $10,000, first class airline passengers can now rest their champagne glasses on mahogany tables as they hunker down in Givenchy sleep suits in 30-inch leather seats that turn into cozy beds.
This is luxury flying at its finest, with the world's widest First and Business Class seats, enhanced personal space, awesome entertainment systems, and tempting cuisine. In addition, Singapore Airlines is scheduled to launch its new 555-seat Airbus 380 in October, which will boast a bar on each deck.
A member of Starwood's prestigious Luxury Collection, the US Grant is an historical classic, built in 1910 by Ulysses S. Grant Jr. to honor his war-hero father. After a $52 million renovation, the legendary Edwardian hotel re-opened in November 2006. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the US Grant blends classic beaux arts architecture with exceptional contemporary design including $6.5 million in newly commissioned art. Walk through the grand entrance on Fourth Avenue, step into the opulent lobby, and experience the era of elegance.
The pinnacle of the 11-story hotel are the two bi-level Presidential suites. These suites offer multi-level residential comfort in the heart of the cosmopolitan city, just steps from the lively Gaslamp Quarter. These enormous suites are comprised of an upper floor private master bedroom and lower level living room and formal dining room, exquisitely furnished. Of course this posh Presidential Suite offers more than creature comforts: the Luxury Collection bed, Italian linens, plush robes, warm slippers, and the latest in audio and visual technology perfect the sumptuous experience.
The landmark Hay-Adams Hotel, the residence of choice while visiting the nation's capital, has scored another award to add to its impressive list. Winners of the 2007 Condé Nast Johansens Awards for Excellence were announced by Cindy Crawford on February 5 at LA's Hotel Bel-Air:
The awards are given annually to those properties worldwide that represent the finest standards and best value for money in luxury and independent accommodation, as chosen by its readers, hotel guests and Condé Nast Johansens inspection teams.
And the winner for Most Excellent Hotel (USA and Canada) is... DC's supremely luxurious Hay-Adams. Can't really say that I'm surprised. This hotel has serious bragging rights: a location just across Lafayette Square from The White House, warm service, impeccable style, and an impressive history.
According to the US Department of Transportation, there are more than half-million pets which fly each year. But navigating the rules and regs for flying with Fido can be tricky. Which airlines boycott pugs? When are fees required? Which airlines ban pets from the cabin? What if Fido needs his Prozac? CNN's got the skinny, with a list of helpful hints about the different airline policies. A sampling: pets must be considered "healthy" (with health certificates sometimes required to prove it), Southwest bans pets altogether while American and Northwest charge $80 for pets to fly in the cabin, and of course, no snakes are allowed on the plane. (Tip: "Do not feed or give water to your pet two hours before departure.")
February 14, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Headed to Sonoma wine country? Forget trying to score a reservation at French Laundry. Head to Cyrus, the gem of a restaurant nestled just off the square in Healdsburg, housed in the superb Les Mars hotel. Rising Star Chef Douglas Keane and Maitre d' Nick Peyton offer contemporary cuisine in a flexible prix fixe format of three to five courses selected from any section of the beautiful menu. The ingredients are luxurious, the best from California's enormous bounty. Devour the terrine of foie gras with plum-ginger compote; corn, chanterelle and pancetta pansotti with cranberry beans, arugula and nage; or rack of lamb with eggplant ragout, fregola and stuffed squash blossom. Bartender Scott Beattie creates drinks to match, like the Creole Watermelon, a blend of vodka, crushed red watermelon, lime juice and Fresno chile rings, garnished with a triangle of watermelon rubbed with lime juice, kosher salt and chili powder. And if cocktails aren't your thing, Sommelier Jim Rollston's extensive wine list has over 750 world class wines, with a special focus on Sonoma appellations.
February 13, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The hottest "new" hotel in Manhattan, the most talked about hotel opening of 2006, Gramercy Park Hotel is Ian Shrager's latest masterpiece. With the bold redesign of the classic Manhattan icon, Gramercy Park Hotel has emerged as the luxurious hideway for the "new haute bohemian." Artist Julian Schnabel has created the gorgeous, sensual interior, which features art exhibits including works by Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Lucky guests can imbibe cocktails under the stars at the Private Roof Club and Landscaped Garden, opening this spring. But perhaps the best part of Gramercy Park Hotel: guests receive a key, upon check-in, to the exclusive, gated Gramercy Park. Take advantage of a fantastic offer at this gem in NYC. For a limited time, receive a complimentary room upgrade for stays from February 25-March 18. Available with online bookings only. Upgrade is not available for suites, and blackout dates may apply.
February 12, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
At the Restaurant at the Setai, trans-ethnic cuisine is crafted from the finest, freshest ingredients in an impressive exhibition kitchen. This is the pinnacle of haute dining in South Beach, the new "Vegas by the Ocean," so called by NYT critic Mark Bittman. The article “Is South Beach Growing Up?" identifies The Setai's restaurant as "visually stunning," with "competent, and actually warm, service":
The sheer scale of the Restaurant at the Setai-- South Beach's most opulent dining spot, and perhaps one of the most interestingly and arguably perfectly designed restaurants in the world-- is astounding. An enormous courtyard is dominated by a huge reflecting pool, and there are 20-foot ceilings, domes of 500 tightly grouped roses and an elaborate array of materials used to build the minimalist but intricate walls and floors: pressed metal, carved wood, imported antique brick, slate, stone, tile and fabric. Down the hall is a strikingly long bar, whose top is mother-of-pearl.
The price tag? A mere $120 per person with the prix fixe tasting menu.