May 4, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Ahh, Florence. Fabled Tuscan city in the wine-growing hills of Chianti, home to magnificent Renaissance architecture and formidable art museums, the jewel of Italy. It may be packed with tourists in the summer, but Florence is still a premier destination, a treasure for art lovers. (After all, UNESCO estimates that 60 percent of the world's most important artworks are in Italy, with more than half located in Florence.) Rocco Forte's Hotel Savoy, located in the very heart of the city showcasing breathtaking, panoramic views over the Florentine rooftops, is offering a special package to celebrate the spectacular Cézanne exhibition at the historical Palazzo Strozzi. The Celebrate Cézanne package includes room upgrades upon availability at time of check-in, daily breakfast, entry to the exhibition and a copy of the official exhibition catalogue. Valid until July 29, 2007, with a minimum two-night stay required, rates start from EUR 480 per night in a Classic double room.
Save the Date! Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation, the country's finest and largest culinary event supporting the Fight to End Childhood Hunger in America, is coming to Phoenix. On Saturday, May 12, 2007, eat, drink, and make a difference at this unique event with the region's top chefs. Epicurean offerings will be presented by the Valley's finest group of culinary talent; award-winning chefs include Michael Cairns of the Arizona Biltmore, Jon Frazier of The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Charles Wiley of Cafe Zuzu (at the Hotel Valley Ho), Mel Mecinas of Acacia at The Four Seasons at Troon, and Jon Paul Hutchins of the Scottsdale Culinary Institute. This evening under the stars, with fireside cooking and plenty of fabulous libations, will take place at The Phoenician. Reserve your tickets today!
Just in time for the Olympics, Langham plans to open its first hotel in China, the five-star Langham Place Hotel, Beijing located in the Chao Yang District, close to Chang An Avenue. Known for its swanky hotels in London, Melbourne, Boston, and Hong Kong, Langham strives for elegance in design and genuinely warm service. The new 26-storey hotel will provide 440 guest rooms for business and well-heeled leisure travelers, 5,000 square meters of function space, five restaurants/bars, and the Chuan Spa based on Traditional Chinese Medicine.
The most luxurious Canadian wilderness lodge is also the most ecologically responsible. King Pacific Lodge, A Rosewood Resort, offers guests a truly carbon-neutral vacation. In addition to offsetting the carbon emissions of all lodge operations, the resort also offers to offset the carbon emissions of guests' round-trip air travel in its plan to reduce its carbon footprint by half. This is truly revolutionary. Located on Princess Royal Island in British Columbia, King Pacific Lodge offers an unparalleled wilderness experience. Designed for absolute comfort, the floating fishing lodge is positioned to capture incredible views of the landscape. Open from May to October, this fly-in destination offers guests a once-in-a-lifetime adventure vacation that includes fishing for salmon, halibut and more, hiking, kayaking, and helicopter and wildlife viewing in the Great Bear Rain Forest, land of the endangered white Kermode or Spirit Bear. The eco-resort doesn't skimp on the luxury; seventeen oversized guest rooms feature king size beds with down duvets, window seating area with impressive views, and slate-lined bathrooms with deep soaker-tubs.
Berlin's newest boutique hotel is all about aesthetics. High-quality materials are utilized in the sleek, minimalist design of Ku' Damm 101. Located at Kurfürstendamm 101, the famous boulevard in the former West Berlin, this hip luxury hotel is the city's exciting address. The stylish rooms are outfitted with designer furniture and all the latest technology. Breakfast above the rooftops at the 7th floor restaurant, sip a cocktail in the happening lounge bar (check out the cool tunes on Fridays with Urban-Nights), relax with a massage in the on-site spa. This is pure Berlin.
Hot off the press. During its 14th annual international conference, Small Luxury Hotels of the World has announced its "Hotel of the Year": Les Sources de Caudalie, located near Bordeaux in the famed wine-producing region of southwest France. Set within the Château Smith-Haute-Lafitte vineyards at Martillac, this petite luxury hotel has embraced the concept of joie de vivre. It was here that the first vinotherapie spa was pioneered, combining grape extracts with the water from the naturally-occurring thermal hot springs found on site. The treatments are utterly unique. The charming 49-room hotel has mastered the art of haute cuisine; delightful meals are complemented by the impressive wine list featuring 15,000 bottles. With a magical setting and exceptional level of personal service, it's no wonder Les Sources de Caudalie won "Hotel of the Year."
The 26th annual Kapalua Wine and Food Festival promises to be a rip-roaring good time. Wine-tasting seminars with Master Sommeliers, oodles of tastings, cooking classes with celebrity chefs (you can even partake in the cooking class with esteemed chef Michael Mina himself), golf tournaments, seafood fest, and perhaps the best part of all-- the setting at the AAA five-diamond Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, Maui's premier resort. This culinary extravaganza will take place from June 29- July 1, so after four days of foodie bliss, why not stay on for a few more days to take in the fireworks on the 4th? Festival prices run $750 per person. The price for a four-day stay at the Ritz, including two four-day festival passes is about $3,660.
The setting is idyllic-- nestled at the base of Camelback Mountain at Scottsdale's destination resort, The Phoenician-- and the facilities are top-notch. So it's no wonder The Centre for Well-Being was recently awarded four Michelin stars. Town and Country magazine calls it "one of the most healing and nurturing spots on the planet." Indeed, The Phoenician's spa is a peaceful sanctuary and luxurious oasis surrounded by the colorful desert landscape of the Southwest. Facilities include whirlpools, steam rooms, saunas, Swiss showers, Meditation Atrium and Waters Bar featuring complimentary refreshments. Massage therapy, skin and body treatments draw from European and Eastern principles, utilizing plants and minerals indigenous to the region. The range of services is truly exhaustive. But here's a hint: reserve your treatment a month in advance. This place books fast!
As if the recreational options at Loews Coronado Bay Resort weren't enough. (There's tennis, three outdoor swimming pools, gondola rides on the canals, sailboat and motorboat rentals, cycling, the Sea Spa, and surfing lessons-- after all, this is San Diego we're talking about.) But now the Loews Coronado Bay Resort has added yet another activity for adventure-seeking guests. National Geographic Traveler recently discovered the men's Harley Package at Loews Coronado, where guests are encouraged to hit the open road with a 24-hour Harley-Davidson motorcycle rental. Starting at $699 per person, the Wild Hogs package includes two nights accommodations, burgers at a local biker bar, a private tasting of handcrafted beers by the Coronado Brewing Company, and access to the hotel's fitness center, pools, and Silver Strand State Beach. Rental options include Dyna Street Bobs, Soft Tails, Fat Boys, and full-service Touring Bikes complete with decked out sound systems.
On April 30, 2007 Fairmont welcomed a new hotel into its luxurious collection: Hamburg's stately landmark prominently situated on the Inner Alster Lake shore. Formerly the Raffles Vier Jahreszeiten, the award-winning hotel is celebrating its centennial this year. Consistently ranked as one of the best hotels in the world (named to Conde Nast Traveler's 2007 Gold List), Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten features four restaurants, two bars, the Amrita spa, fitness facility and 6,700 square feet of function space. The stunning public areas are chock full of 16th century Flemish Gobelin tapestries, baroque cupboards, Renaissance chests, chandeliers, and marble.
Take advantage of the Welcome to Hamburg package and receive a complimentary third night when staying two consecutive nights. The package also includes complimentary daily breakfast and an evening cocktail at Bar Indochine, complimentary HSIA, access to the health center and welcome amenities. Package rates start from EUR 570 in a Fairmont Room, available until December 28, 2007.
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