LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
March 6, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Never say never. Disney and Four Seasons have just announced a partnership in Orlando. Eagle Pines and Osprey Ridge golf courses (a mere 900 acres) will be converted into a luxury resort and golf community that will include a Four Seasons hotel. So side-by-side with the timeshare homes and a sprawling retail development, Four Seasons will entice guests to check into serious luxury. Slated to open in 2010, the new hotel will be situated in the northeast region of Walt Disney World. Apparently, this project will be comparable in size to Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park. Let the magic begin.
Announcing the hottest new restaurant in South Beach: LA's trendy, celebrity-beloved Table 8 has moved in on Miami's dining scene (recently profiled in the NYT by Mark Bittman). Bon Appetit raved, "It's hard to find a place where the scene is hot, the chef is hotter, and the food is actually worth the hype..." Celebrity chef Govind Armstrong, who launched his career at the tender age of 13 with Wolfgang Puck at Spago, recently opened a branch of his LA hot spot in The Regent Hotel South Beach. The restaurant features a main dining room, private VIP dining room, and a wine room. There is also a cool 40-seat lounge situated beneath the hotel's glass-bottom pool. Be sure to order the salt-roasted Porterhouse Steak, hailed by the Robb Report as the Best of the Best (2004).
Manhattan's chic Bryant Park, midtown's first luxury designer hotel, is stylish, contemporary, and utterly fabulous. The Bryant Park suites are the essence of sophistication: French doors separate the living and bedroom areas, hardwood floors are adorned with Tibetan rugs, Travartine marble bathrooms are outfitted with both deep soaking tubs and separate showers, the technology is state-of-the-art (Bose Wave Music system, iPod docking station, etc). And of course the views from the hotel, housed in the Gothic-Revival-style American Radiator Building, are stupendous. Enjoy a weekend jaunt to NYC and score a fantastic rate with the Suite Escape package at Bryant Park. The package includes luxurious accommodations in a Bryant Park Suite, Raymond Hood Suite, or The Penthouse, chilled champagne and chocolate covered strawberries, full American breakfast for two served in-room daily, welcome amenity upon arrival, and complimentary late check-out at 1 pm. The package, excluding taxes, is priced from $659 until June 24, 2007; $599 from June 25-September 2, 2007; $699 September 5-December 31, 2007.
An American institution that has hosted almost every U.S. president since Franklin Pierce, The Willard InterContinental was recently listed as one of the most iconic buildings in the US. The Empire State Building and the White House topped the list of America's Favorite Architecture, according to a public poll of the 150 best works of architecture conducted by Harris Interactive and the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The only DC hotel on the list, The Willard dominates the Pennsylvania corridor between the White House and the Capitol and was originally built in 1901 on the site of an older Willard property. At that time, Joseph Willard Jr. decided to create one of the city's first skyscrapers to "out-dazzle" anything else on the Washington horizon. The hotel's style? French Second Empire Beaux-Arts, distinguished by vast proportions and great columns, with an interior marked by huge chandeliers, inlaid mosaic marble tile floors, elaborate plaster work and painted and carved ceilings. Truly majestic. The newspapers of the day raved that The Willard was "The Handsomest of Washington Hotels," and today, guests are still dazzled by the hotel's architectural magnificence.
The Monday Night Chef's Table continue to dazzle diners at the ultra-cool Café Zuzu, located at Scottsdale's hip urban resort, Hotel Valley Ho. Since the hotel's opening in late 2005, Café Zuzu has been racking up the awards. Critics swoon over the stylish American comfort food, hand-crafted cocktails, and fun retro setting. The next Monday Night Chef's Table: The Great White-- Rediscovering Chardonnay on Monday, March 5. A note of explanation from the witty chef:
A few months ago, a Monday night theme was ABC (Anything But Chardonnay), a sentiment shared by some wine lovers in the '90s when overly oaky, flabby and overpriced renditions of the grape were emerging from California. It's not that we have anything against chardonnay; we simply wanted to expose our guests to some alternatives. The truth is though, when chardonnay is poorly done it's extremely difficult to pair with food. We do enjoy a well made chard however, so we thought it was high time to rediscover this extremely popular varietal and design a menu around it ("The Great White") just in time for summer.
The menu looks divine: Smoked Salmon (hearts of palm and garlic cream), Braised Pork Belly (roasted cipollini and foraged mushrooms), Pheasant Breast (truffle gnocchi, English peas and tomato confit), and Peach Tarte Tatin (honey mascarpone cream and blackberry nectar). From 6:30-8pm, priced at $42 per person.
March 1, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
The Loews Regency has just launched a new program that will let those haggard meeting planners forget the freight and just focus on the event. With the VIMP Promotion, meeting planners are eligible for complimentary shipping of meeting materials and related luggage. Additionally, planners are rewarded with a peice of Hartman Luggage when they book their meeting at the Regency over selected dates throughout the year.
The Montreal High Lights Festival is in full swing. One of the best urban festivals of the season, Montreal's fabulous citywide festival includes culinary and wine events, art exhibits, and free concerts and performances. Foodies will be thrilled by the culinary tours, wine tasting events, gourmet dinners, lunches, and cheese-making course. Feast on a five-course gourmet dinner prepared by one of the world's leading chefs, glide under the stars at the ice skating rink, take in a concert, visit an exhibit at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and enjoy the fabulous fireworks. The festival runs until March 4, 2007, so don your scarf and mittens and embrace winter in Montreal!
Where to dine in the trendy, popular neighborhood of Buckhead? Head to the Grand Hyatt Atlanta, where Cassis and Onyx Bar have made names for themselves in a crowded (and distinguished) playing field. Recently featured on Fox 5's "Good Day Atlanta," Executive Chef Billy Skiber has set the gold standard for hotel dining. Cassis is one of Atlanta's most successful kosher kitchens. This is the perfect place to enjoy an extravagant Sunday brunch; the spread includes everything from crab cakes to made-to-order omelets. Dinner is likewise memorable, pleasing palates with eclectic takes on traditional continental cuisine. For after-work happy hours and evening cocktails, head to Onyx Bar, where the extensive bar menu features fine liquors from around the world. Don't miss the elegant HyTea on Saturday afternoons from 2 to 6 pm served in the chic bar overlooking the tranquil Japanese gardens.
Treat yourself to a winter getaway in paradise starting from just $349 per night. Bordered by seven miles of palm-dotted beaches, the Edgewater Beach Hotel is an all-suite beachfront hotel on the Gulf of Mexico. With a chic, newly renovated lobby, new Coast restaurant, and enhanced services, this Naples hotel is all about casual luxury and barefoot elegance. So kick off your sandals and give in to indulgence. The Edgewater features 125 guest suites with private balconies, heated swimming pool and poolside bar, state-of-the-art fitness room, spa services, onsite restaurants, and engaging children's programs.
February 26, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
That's right. The low-fare luxury airline, which offers exclusive, premium class service between London and Newark, is environmentally friendly. The UK-based carrier builds carbon offsetting into the price of every ticket. This mandatory carbon offset contribution is invested by the airline's climate consultancy partner, The CarbonNeutral Company, to ensure that every tonne of CO2 associated with your flight is matched by one tonne saved through climate friendly projects around the world. Examples of projects supported by Silverjet to neutralize its carbon impact are:
Jamaican energy efficient project- subsidises the cost of energy efficient lightbulbs to encourage use. Benefits to the island include less dependence on depleted oil reserves and less power cuts, which in turn promotes the prime industry- tourism. New Zealand wind farm- one of the few gold standard carbon offset projects worldwide, this provides an alternative to non-sustainable power sources. US methane- methane is 23 times more powerful than CO2 as a greenhouse gas, and it leaks from many disused mines. This project captures methane and 'flares' it which converts methane into CO2.
Wow. Now if only the other airlines would follow Silverjet's example.