January 3, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Your coordinates: 27º09 south latitude and 109º26 west longitude, 3,800 km from the central coast of Chile in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The closest inhabited island is Pitcairn, 1,900 km northwest. Your destination? The mythical Easter Island, home to the gigantic moai sculptures erected by a people whose origins and evolution are still unknown. This beautiful and mysterious place recently welcomed a chic hotel hideaway: explora en Rapa Nui , Posada de Mike Rapu. Located on a hill facing the endless sea (5.6 km from Hanga Roa, the island's only town), the hotel provides the ideal base to explore this incredible destination. Fly from either Santiago, Chile or Tahiti (Papeete) and you will be greeted by explora staff who will whisk you away to this stunning spot. The island's native volcanic rock was used in the hotel's construction. Thirty guest rooms spiral out from the central areas that house reception, the bar, and dining areas. Adjacent to the lounge, Casa de Baños Hare Vai boasts a pool, massage salon and open-air Jacuzzis.
January 3, 2008
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
The Chairman of Five Star Alliance (also known as the Cal Simmons of The Informed Traveler) recommends O.A.R.S. which provides Whitewater rafting with experienced professional guides and top notch equipment since 1969. Cal has run rivers with the owner, George Wendt, in Africa, Fiji, Idaho, California and The Grand Canyon. According to Cal their Grand Canyon camping is even better than a luxury hotel.
For almost 40 years, O.A.R.S. (Outdoor Adventure River Specialists) has been a leader in the adventure travel industry. The California-based, eco-conscious organization provides exceptional, award-winning customer service, friendly, experienced and safety-conscious guides, comfortable and clean camping equipment, undeniably delicious and hearty meals and an ideal environment for a traveler to experience the outdoor vacation of his or her dreams. Some vacations include catered camping and rafting excursions through one of six national parks, lodge-based outings with comfortable beds and hot showers, multi-week expeditions, half-day escapes, weekend retreats close to home or private chartered trips specifically and uniquely designed for a given client's needs.
New to O.A.R.S.' vacation menu in 2008 includes rafting on the Apurimac River, the source of the Amazon and lodge-to-lodge trekking to Machu Picchu, 15 or 16 days.
Read More about O.A.R.S and their 2008 schedule here:
Meet The Venetian's new neighbor. Las Vegas' newest, most hyped destination resort has opened its doors on The Strip-- at the "power corner" on Las Vegas Boulevard and Spring Mountain Road. Developed by Las Vegas Sands Corporation as part of the largest hotel and convention complex in the world, The Palazzo is the $2 billion stand-alone resort that has everyone talking. The Palazzo is home to 3,000 plush suites, the world-famous Canyon Ranch SpaClub and fitness center, JERSEY BOYS, and the 450,000 square foot retail space, The Shoppes at The Palazzo, anchored by the flagship Barneys New York (the ultimate mecca for the fashion forward!) Celebrities and trendsetters will soon be flocking to the biggest names in fine dining, as culinary superstars from all over the world have opted to open a variety of new restaurants at The Palazzo. And Las Vegas' newest nightspots are also coming to The Palazzo, starting with a new concept from the creators of Tao. Be among the first to experience a new era of luxury with special rates starting from just $199 per night (weekdays).
P.S. Over the weekend of January 17-19, 2008, the Grand Opening Event "Luminaries and Legends" promises to be a dazzling extravaganza, featuring a performance by Diana Ross.
There's been lots of buzz about "the next Croatia": the small, sun-soaked country wedged between Bosnia and Albania on the Adriatic coast. Montenegro is one of those jewels that tops 2008's hotlist of the "next destinations." In fact, Amanresorts is currently pumping millions into the restoration of the resort island, Sveti Stefan, a former haunt of movie stars which will soon open as an exclusive private-island resort. Dating from the 15th century, the island's picturesque dwellings and cobblestoned streets are encircled by golden crescent-shaped beaches. Sveti Stefan is in fact connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus (pictured). Formerly a glamorous hideaway for all sorts of A-listers, the island fell into decline during the 1990s. But now Montenegro is on the tourist map once again and Amanresorts luxury playground will soon begin wooing well-heeled travelers to its magical shores.
Milan has a new high-design hotel from the folks behind Miami's Setai and Vietnam's award-winning Nam Hai Hotel. GHM's unique urban resort, a blend of Western technology and Asian ambiance, is a 250-room masterpiece located in Milan's residential Bovisa district. It's only fitting that Italy's fashion capital should be home to such a stylish hotel, perfumed with a subtle signature fragrance of mandarin and green tea. The Chedi's spacious guest rooms are decked out with Asian artifacts, large limestone bathrooms, and all sorts of high-tech gadgetry. Choose the Chedi Club Lounge Level and you'll enjoy butler service and a dedicated concierge. The exclusive Health Club is a haven of tranquility. You'll find a sauna, hamman, steam room and whirlpool, fully-equipped fitness club, treatment rooms, and-- the best part of all-- a heated indoor swimming pool. One of the largest pools in Milan, the Chedi's pool is flooded with natural light from a magnificent glass rooftop.
Wishing you a happy and healthy 2008 from all of us at Five Star Alliance. Wherever you are celebrating-- from Shanghai to Charleston-- enjoy a fabulous New Year's Eve!
Thinking ahead to the hottest travel destinations for 2008? Think Stone Age in Turkey, with a stay at Anatolian Houses in the heart of the ancient region of Cappadocia. This awe-inspiring volcanic landscape-- like a bizarre moonscape-- has witnessed rule by many different civilizations throughout its rich history. Built deep within the caves, Anatolian Houses is a unique luxury hotel with 19 rooms. But these cave rooms are hardly soot-covered, claustrophobic spaces; in fact, they are upscale suites, equipped with whirlpool tubs, impressive antiques and works of art, fireplaces, and all the latest cutting-edge technology. Relax at the Spa and Wellness Center, take a dip in the pool, sip from the wine fountain. This could be the coolest setting on earth.
Bermuda's classic resort is also one of the most romantic hide-outs in the world. Last year's February relationship menu was such a hit-- private island fine dining, romantic movies by candlelight, cooking classes-- that Cambridge Beaches is again hosting a series of weekend events during the month of February to rekindle the romance. With its 30 acres of private beaches and gardens, the resort alone is a dream come true for couples seeking a little r 'n r. But couples can also look forward to interactive classes led by Dr. Pepper Schwartz, a renowned relationship expert who has been featured on Oprah, The Today Show, and in the New York Times, about how the five senses hold the keys to an improved love life. February's "Come to Your Senses" events will allow couples to explore the five senses-- sight, smell, sound, touch, and taste-- with couples massages, dance, cocktail creating, and more.
Since its opening at the end of November, the Payard Pâtisserie & Bistro has been the talk of Las Vegas. The mastermind behind this new hotspot is the world's foremost chocolatier, François Payard, recognized year after year with prestigious awards from the French Government, Bon Appetit, and Wine Spectator. The third-generation French pastry chef has worked at many Michelin-starred restaurants, including NY's legendary Le Bernardin. With his new pâtisserie, Payard brings a little piece of Paris' Left Bank to the Strip. Located adjacent to Rao's at Caesars Palace, the restaurant offers classic French bistro fare and fresh pastries for breakfast and lunch, while the dinner features a four-course all-dessert tasting menu. And for those on-the-go, there's a retail area where you can purchase chocolates, candies, pastries, and coffee. Taste connoisseurs will be dazzled by the evening tasting menu, where you can choose from four distinct categories: Le Fromage, The Orchard, Coffee, Caramel and Nuts, and Tout Chocolat. Chocoholics will rejoice with the Tout Chocolat menu; the ingredient is served up in a variety of ways: warm chocolate tart with cocoa nibs tuille and gianduja ice cream; devil's food cake with cardamom pot de crème, chocolate pudding and whipped crème fraîche.
The French Riviera's glamorous Art Deco palace is home to one of priciest suites in the world. Overlooking the largest private beach on the Croisette, the Hotel Martinez lures the rich and famous seeking the fanciest digs in the South of France. The room of choice? The Presidential Suite, with its incredible panoramic views of the Bay of Cannes from wrap-around teakwood decks and sunken Jacuzzis. Rumor has it that the price tag is EUR 18,000- EUR 32,000 per night. The 8,000 square foot pad includes two sitting rooms, two dining rooms, four bedrooms, kitchen, hammam and sauna-- not to mention a plethora of high-tech accoutrements and the private butler on call 24 hours a day. But it's really the terrace-- arguably the most fabulous on the Cote d'Azur-- that has movie moguls coming back for more each year during the Cannes Film Festival.