LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
May 16, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
We've been known to swoon over the haute cuisine served at Restaurant Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace. And the tasty treats at Payard Patisserie and Bistro (like the three-course all-chocolate meal?) Bring it on! But there's another reason to love Caesars Palace-- besides the tricked-out pool villas suites, Garden of the Gods pools and gardens, and incredible Qua Baths and Spa. At the 20-seat Bubble Bar at Restaurant Guy Savoy, you can nibble on the chef's marvelous creations in tiny bites for a petite price, and choose from eight champagnes by the glass. Or, if you should choose a bottle, there's a list of over 2,200.
We aren't the only ones who can't stop talking about Capella Hotels and Resorts, the six-star hospitality group launched by Horst Schulze, the guy behind Ritz-Carlton's success and "whose name is synonymous with visionary hotel-building" (to quote Travel + Leisure). Guest service is truly an art form at these new luxury hotels. Travel + Leisure loves 'em just as much as we do:
Before leaving New York for Schloss Velden, in southern Austria, and Capella Castlemartyr in County Cork, Ireland... Benjamin and Iona called, identifying themselves as my private assistants. Was there anything they could do for me or needed to know about me before my arrival-- dietary don'ts, transfers, reservations, specific things I wanted to see or do? Wow, I thought. Lots of hotels send "thank you for staying with us!" notes after you check-out, but such exhaustive pre-calls are rare.
At Castlemartyr, the 100-room, ultra-luxe hotel situated on 220 lush acres in County Cork, Capella's team of private assistants, "defined as proactive concierges" can handle any request. (Macrobiotic meals? No prob.) This summer, experience this already-legendary service with a fantastic "Dollars for Euro" promotion for stays booked through July 31, 2008. U.S. residents will be allowed to pay the room rate with dollars (even though it's listed in Euros). Considering the exchange rate is hovering around $1.55, this is a deal.
May 15, 2008
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
With Sex in the City being set in New York, and the movie first opening in London, Chicago didn’t want to be out of the loop! The Four Seasons Hotel Chicago has created a Manolos and Martinis Package in honor of the new Sex in the City movie coming out in the U.S. on May 30th. Guests will start off their luxurious hotel stay by enjoying chocolate-covered strawberries and the latest issue of Vogue magazine. Then, the hotels famous Martini Man will bring his traveling martini cart to the room for your own personal cosmo cocktail hour. A 700 USD gift card to Barneys New York on Oak Street will be provided so that one lucky lady can pick out a new pair of Manolo Blahniks- Carrie's stiletto of choice! Also, a 50 USD gift card will be given to be used at the 900 shops along Oak Street and the Magnificent Mile where all the favorite stores of Carrie and the girls can be found. Later, unwind with complimentary desserts in Seasons Lounge and a night out at the movies with tickets arranged by the hotel concierge. All the fun starts at 1830 USD per night (based on double occupancy).
There's been a lot of talk about Washington D.C.'s new Newseum, and some media folks suggest that the "decided Page Six-type buzz" has more to do with the museum's on-site restaurant, The Source, the first fine-dining D.C. establishment from original celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck. Tinseltown adores Puck (A-listers flock to his L.A. steakhouse, The Cut, and he's been the official chef of the Academy Awards for 14 years). Plus, he is the only cook never to have lost on Iron Chef (even beating out Masaharu Morimoto on a Battle of the Masters show). It looks like Pennsylvania Avenue is the latest "it" spot in the nation's capital, where diners can sample modern Asian dishes and gaze out the floor-to-ceiling windows from the three-level restaurant.
Indulge yourself with a stay at the sumptuous Peninsula Hotel, the landmark building on Fifth Avenue and 55th Street in the heart of Midtown, and get all kinds of add-ons. With the "Summer Splendour" package, you can choose a value-added benefit: upgrade to next available room category, bottle of champagne and canapés at The Bar at Fives, or overnight valet parking. Plus you get a slew of free stuff included: daily Continental breakfast for two via Room Service or at Fives restaurant, welcome amenity with daily local newspaper, complimentary in-room wireless high speed Internet access, daily replenishment of complimentary in-room Water Bar, and complimentary local telephone calls. Starting from $675 per night in a Superior Room, available until September 1, 2008. The Peninsula New York is celebrating its 20th anniversary with another special package: book one night and you'll get the second night for $20, plus a welcome amenity of Champagne and flowers, Continental breakfast for two daily via Room Service or in Fives restaurant, and a one-hour carriage ride through Central Park. Friday or Saturday arrival, starting from $1300.
Buzzworthy: The Westin Princeville Resort recently opened its doors on the north shore of Hawaii's lush, secluded island of Kauai, and they're offering an introductory special offer of $299 per night for a one-bedroom villa. (As the LA Times points out, rack rates are normally $800 per night.) You must book by May 31, 2008, but you can enjoy these special rates for dates through the end of the year. With golf greens designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., shimmering pools, and boundless watersports and activities (whale watching, anyone?), the Westin Princeville Ocean Resort promises a little piece of Hawaiian paradise. Perched 200 feet above Anini Beach, the vacation ownership resort features 173 two-bedroom villas with all the luxurious amenities and services of a Westin Resort, including the signature Heavenly Bed and Heavenly Bath. There's also a world-class WestinWorkout fitness center, steam room and sauna.
May 14, 2008
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
As temperatures rise, so does the price of gas. Recently named to Conde Nast Traveler's Hot List, Hotel Sax Chicago, formerly the House of Blues Hotel, is celebrating this achievement with sizzling summer offers. From May 23rd until September 1st, Hotel Sax Chicago guests can take advantage of the Hotel's One Hot Summer Package - a three night stay in the heart of Chicago along with complimentary free parking during the stay and a $50 value card from BP/Amoco, so even the heat can't stop you from enjoying a fantastic weekend in the city!
Don't Miss: The world famous House of Blues just next door which swings to the rhythm of the city and beckons anyone with a taste for the infinite wonders of live music.
The island resort just outside Charleston, South Carolina is home to five award-wining championship golf courses, hard and clay tennis courts, and a variety of recreational activities-- from kayaking to biking-- sure to please everyone in the family. Rated the No. 2 Golf Resort (T + L Golf Magazine) and No. 2 Tennis Resort in the U.S. (Tennis Magazine), Kiawah Island features inviting accommodations and award-winning dining surrounded by spectacular natural beauty. For a limited time, take advantage of the "Villa Beach and Breakfast Package" and spend quality family time enjoying the warm breezes on Kiawah's ten miles of pristine beach. Starting from just $175 per night in a one-bedroom West Beach Villa, the package also includes breakfast. For a family of four in a two-bedroom West Beach Villa, the price is $247 per night including breakfast. Available until June 5, 2008 with a two-night minimum stay required.
May 14, 2008
By: Madelyn Giblin
Experience the rich culture of Morocco, and relax with the Sofitel Palais Jamai's Wellbeing Offer. Guests will enjoy a well-balanced and varied breakfast featuring traditional Moroccan cuisine, a personal massage at the hotel's spa, free access to the fitness center, and a local fruit or vegetable cocktail. Located in the spiritual and cultural capital of Morocco, Sofitel Palais Jamai was built in 1879 and is exquisitely decorated in traditional Moorish style with keen attention to detail. While enjoying the soothing accommodations and a wealth of things to do in the surrounding city, guests staying at Sofitel Palais Jamai will experience the vacation of a lifetime.
By: Madelyn Giblin
May 13, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Overlooking the sparkling bay of Portofino, the Italian Riviera's glamorous coastal town, Hotel Splendido is an exclusive hideaway for the international jetset. The guest book is filled with VIPs (like the Duke and Duchess of Windsor) who have long sought out the superb accommodations at this 16th century monastery-turned-luxury hotel. The sea views are absolutely stunning, and the hotel can even arrange a chartered yacht or sailboat for you to discover small fishing villages along the coast and the prime beaches only accessible by sea. The Splendido Mare, the recent extension of the Hotel Splendido, is situated in the heart of Portofino overlooking the famous Piazzetta and the waterfront. (It's only a five-minute walk from the main hotel.) There you'll want to sit on the terrace at Chuflay Bar Restaurant for some excellent cocktails and people-watching.
The Hotel Splendido can arrange a wonderful excursion to the Cinque Terre, the five postcard-perfect fishing villages that hug the cliffs of Liguria. The two-day, two-night journey starts with a gourmet dinner in either the Splendido Mare's Chuflay restaurant or in the Splendido's La Terrazza restaurant. The next day, guests will be taken by chauffeur-driven car from the hotel to the railway station at Santa Margherita, where they will board the train for the Cinque Terre (tickets available from the concierge). Upon their return, scheduled for late afternoon, guests will find a car waiting to take them back to the hotel. Prices for two persons in a double room with sea view include flowers, a bottle of spumante in-room, full American-style breakfast and all the activities in the program. Until June 5, 2008 (and from September 15-November 9, 2008), the prices are EUR 1670 at Hotel Splendido and EUR 1315 at Splendido Mare. During high-season (June 6-September 14, 2008), prices start at EUR 1585 at Splendido Mare.