LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
TripAdvisor and Budget Travel have partnered together to create the first-ever Budget Travel Best Values awards. These are the world's best luxury hotels with an average nightly rate of $250 or less. Winners were selected based on TripAdvisor's Popularity Index, and the average nightly rates were calculated with four different weeks throughout the year, during peak and off-peak periods.
It's not surprising to see the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur on the top 10 list. In a lower priced city like Kuala Lumpur, you'll find a real luxury value at the Mandarin Oriental, where rooms are extravagant, the spa is plush, and the infinity pool has views overlooking the lush 50-acre Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) Park. Plus, this award-winning hotel boasts two outdoor tennis courts and fine dining options galore. And the location is truly unbeatable: at the base of Petronas Towers and linked to the KLCC.
Voted No. 1 hotel in Rome on Travel+Leisure's list of the 500 best luxury hotels in the world, the Hotel Hassler has been wowing visitors for over a century. Perched atop the Spanish Steps, the Hotel Hassler promises an unforgettable stay in an enviable location. Take advantage of some unbeatable special offers available in the Eternal City. When you book the Magic Roma package, you can score rates as low as EUR 410 per night in a Classic Room. Stay over Valentine's Day and you'll luck out with an extraordinary dinner. The menu's got tantalizing tasters like pan-friend scallops with seasoned Cinta Senese bacon and white asparagus, black cabbage ravioli and ginger burrata cheese with hazelnut foie gras, and saffron pasta veils with crab. (EUR 155 per person)
At the end of the month, the Mobil Five-Star, AAA Five-Diamond Inn at Little Washington will celebrate its 30th anniversary. As I've gushed before, this place is-- quite possibly-- America's most celebrated restaurant. Last summer, we checked out the Inn's latest addition: Claiborne House, "a 3,200-square-foot cottage just a stone's throw from the Inn's main building, overlooking a newly-created herb and cutting garden. With two bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, living room, dining room, media room, and library, this "cottage" is quite the hideaway. Above the private garden out back, there's a lovely two-story veranda. Patrick O'Connell, the proprietor and chef, has long championed local, organic growing, and The Inn is now working on becoming a self-sufficient farmstead with a cherry orchard (used for jellies and clafouti desserts in the restaurant), bee colony, and vegetable gardens. O'Connell has developed a network of local farmers who custom-grow vegetables for his kitchen.
January 24, 2008
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
Finding a room in New York is often difficult if you're traveling with three people-- whether with a small child, a girls night out, or with adult children. Often times (more often then not) rooms only accommodate two, or hotels charge quite a bit extra for a rollaway bed. Fortunately for luxury travelers, Mandarin Oriental can add a rollaway bed free of charge to any of their room categories, making it extremely easy for friends and family to travel together. Plus, by staying at the Mandarin Oriental, you get the benefit of being on Columbus Circle-- at the corner of Central Park.
We just checked out the new renovations at the Hyatt Key West, the "Oasis Off Duval," and liked its stylish new design and eco-friendly focus. After an $11 million makeover, this waterfront resort welcomed a hip new watering hole, Blue Mojito, and the fashionable Jala Spa featuring Payot Paris products. Officially the island's first "Green Certified" resort, the Hyatt has an exclusive partnership with the Reef Relief Organization; each time you book the signature "Jala Blue" spa treatment, the resort makes a contribution to Reef Relief. Sip a cocktail at the new bar (the "Blue Mojito" is the signature drink, of course) and watch the pool change colors with ambient lighting. (Notably, the new pool deck was designed with eco-friendly decking and pathways.) Perhaps most appealing is the resort's location facing the Gulf of Mexico, just a short stroll from all the action on Duvall Street.
Montage Laguna Beach is as about as swanky as they come. High on the bluffs gazing out over the Pacific in Laguna Beach, this super-luxury resort has racked up the accolades: one of the "World's Best Hotels," one of the "100 Best Places to Stay," one of the "World's Sexiest Hotels." Steal away for a weekend with your girlfriends to relax and reconnect against a glorious backdrop, and experience the resort's outstanding service and opulent facilities. Relax at the spa (a Mobil Five-Star award-winner!), indulge with some culinary delights, soak up the sun on the white sand beaches. The Montage Memories package is perfect for any bridal shower or girls' weekend, and includes one night accommodation in a two-bedroom suite, breakfast, and a day at Spa Montage with a relaxing spa manicure and pedicure and a one-hour massage with an expert therapist. Priced at $3,300 for three people, valid until December 31, 2008. Each additional person is $565.
The 2008 London Fashion Week is upon us. Just like Milan, NYC, and Paris, London is now a universally accepted showcase for the world's most exciting fashions. Why not "Spring into Fashion" with Red Carnation's luxury hotels? With this special offer, you can enjoy all the excitement of the catwalk (the cream of British designers including Matthew Williamson, Stella McCartney, Ben De Lisi, Armand Bassi, Julien MacDonald and Louise Goldin) while indulging in an unrivaled five-star hotel experience. With full English breakfast, refreshing welcome drinks, and two admission tickets to London Fashion Weekend (February 20- 24, 2008), to boot! The "Spring into Fashion" package is available at all three RCH five-star London properties: Kensington's Milestone Hotel; '41' opposite Buckingham Palace; and The Egerton House Hotel in Knightsbridge. Priced at GBP 365 per room, per night. Valid from February 8- 18, 2008.
How's this for the ultimate personalized package? When you book the new romance package at Omni Hotels, the hotel will work with you to customize the perfect experience. Shortly after you make the reservation, the hotel's concierge will contact you to make arrangements to recreate a special memory-- so couples can relive the memories that matter. Enjoy a picnic in the park with your favorite foods and wines, thrilling helicopter rides, a stroll through a vineyard... the possibilities are limitless. The Déjà Vu guest package is available brand-wide-- from Houston's AAA Five Diamond hotel to San Francisco's plush property perfectly located on the cable car line downtown-- from February 1 - December 30, 2008. Prices vary, from $150-$350, depending on the recreation requested.
Welcome in the Lunar New Year at Singapore's landmark hotel, The Fullerton. Housed in the former general post office, the hotel has an ideal location in the heart of the bustling island-city of Singapore. Don't miss a swim in the breathtaking infinity pool above the Singapore River. You can only imagine what the views will be like for the Lunar New Year fireworks! For February 5-7, 2008, choose to stay in a sea-facing Quay room for the best views (S$388 per night). Book the Lunar New Year holiday getaway package and you'll experience luxurious living in an elegant guest room, a classic Afternoon Tea of sweet and savory treats for two people, buffet breakfast at Town Restaurant for two (a sumptuous spread!), and a late check-out til 6 p.m. All for just S$338 per night. Or take advantage of the Suite Weekends, and get 50 percent off selected suites (unique double-story Loft Suites, one-bedroom Palladian Suites, or Fullerton Suites with large outdoor terraces). Plus, when you stay in a suite, you get to enjoy the privileges of The Straits Club, the hotel's exclusive executive club: champagne breakfast in a private dining room, afternoon tea, afternoon cocktails, and complimentary Internet in the lounge.
We're big fans of the blog from the International Herald Tribune. Where to eat the best seafood in Hong Kong? How do the airports measure up in Zurich and Bangkok? For insider tips and recommendations from the folks who know-- IHT reporters and editors-- check out this invaluable resource. Cities covered include Bangkok, Paris, Hong Kong, Rome, Washington....