LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
We're constantly scouring the earth for the best luxury hotels. When we stumble across hotels with views this breathtaking, this heartstoppingly beautiful, we can't help but get lyrical about them.
Amangani, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Ranked among the top après-ski destinations in the world and also consistently voted the nation's best spa by readers of Conde Nast Traveler, the ultra-luxurious Amangani is set atop East Gros Ventre Butte, offering panoramic views of the snow-capped peaks around Grand Teton National Park.
Hotel Caruso, Amalfi Coast, Italy
Soaring 350 meters above the sea, hugging the cliffside over the Mediterranean, the Hotel Caruso commands the ultimate location. White stucco houses draped with brilliant bougainvillea, this is sun-kissed Italy at its most charming. With views like this, the infinity pool is easily among the most beautiful in the world.
Oberoi Udaivilas, Rajasthan, India
Sitting high above Udaipur's fabled lake, the Oberoi Udaivilas looks across to the floating City Palace, gleaming white in the sunshine, and Aravalli Hills beyond. Named the best hotel in the world in Travel and Leisure's 2007 reader's poll, the Oberoi Udavilas has rooms fit for a maharajah in India's romantic desert city.
The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo, Japan
Occupying the top nine floors and the first three levels of the 53-story Midtown Tower, the tallest building in Tokyo, The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo features 360-degree panoramic vistas of the city and Mount Fuji. When it debuted in April 2007, the hotel dazzled Tokyo with its over-the-top service and amenities (like the $16,000 Diamonds-Are-Forever Martini with its very own Bulgari diamond).
Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, California
Along the stretch of mythic California Highway 1, Big Sur enchants visitors with its awe-inspiring landscapes. Smack dab in the middle of this dramatic coastline, the Post Ranch Inn offers rustic elegance and incredible views. Dine above the Pacific at the award-winning Sierra Mar restaurant, guaranteed to be one of the most romantic dining experiences of your life.
Hayman Island Resort, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Located on the southwestern side of Hayman Island just beside the Great Barrier Reef, Hayman Island Resort boasts an idyllic setting surrounded by coral fringed beaches and the lapping waters of the Coral Sea. The resort has a style as special as its setting, and boasts the largest swimming pool in the southern hemisphere.
Jumeirah Essex House, New York
The Grande Dame of New York is uniquely situated at the southern base of Central Park, just across the street from 843 acres of parkland. An internationally renowned urban oasis, the Jumeirah Essex House has an excellent location right in the heart of midtown Manhattan.The 515 guest rooms and suites-- fresh from a $70 million renovation-- boast breathtaking views of Central Park. Plus, the hotel has a camera on the roof which scans the city and broadcasts live to a channel in the guest rooms.
Twelve Apostles, Cape Town, South Africa
Situated where earth, sea, and sky meet, Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa is poised above the Atlantic, flanked by Table Mountain and the majestic Twelve Apostles range, just minutes from the glorious oceanfront city of Cape Town.
Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro
Looming over the world-famous Copacabana beach, the Copacabana Palace is legendary, a glamorous piece of Rio's history. Like a sumptuous white wedding cake on the sand, the hotel has hosted royalty, film stars, and world leaders.
Cap Estel, Eze-Bord-de-Mer, French Riviera
Located between Nice and Monaco in the charming clifftop village of Eze-Bord-de-Mer, Cap Estel is situated on its own four acre peninsula overlooking the Mediterranean with a 180 degree view of the coastline. All the guest rooms at this renowned 19th century hotel have a balcony or terrace with a sea view.
Heralded as the "first major hotel to open in Hong Kong in 15 years," the sleek Four Seasons opened in September 2005. Easily the top location on Hong Kong Island, the hotel is located on the waterfront of the Central neighborhood, with the Star Ferry just steps away. Its 399 spacious guestrooms have wall-to-wall windows offering views of the Harbour, Kowloon and the Peak. From the outdoor infinity pools, heated in winter, guests enjoy sweeping Harbour views.
Hotel Hassler, Rome
The Eternal City's most luxurious and romantic hideaway, the Hotel Hassler is perched above the Spanish Steps in an unbeatable location. Hands down the best views over Rome (while working out at the health club, you can check out St Peter’s Cathedral!)
The Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge is the only hotel located adjacent to the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas, one of the world's major heritage sites. Managed by Orient-Express, the luxurious Sanctuary Lodge can arrange visits to Machu Picchu with experienced guides.
Escape the family get-together (or take the fam with you) to the fabled city of Venice, where you'll lose yourself in its sparkling perfection. The uber-luxury palaces, Bauer Hotel and Bauer Il Palazzo, have put together an excellent package deal which includes one complimentary night, a five-course Thanksgiving feast, piano concert, and full buffet breakfast daily. Valid from November 22- November 25, 2007, the Venice Thanksgiving Getaway starts at EUR 1,740 per room for a four-night stay at the Bauer Il Palazzo. For a suite at the legendary Bauer Hotel, which has its own private dock on a small canal, the getaway is priced from EUR 2,160 per room.
PS. Check into the spellbinding Bauer Il Palazzo, one of the year's hottest new hotels located on the exclusive island of Giudecca, and buzz around to Venice's other islands in a solar-powered boat.
Get lost in luxury at the Hix Island House. There's been a lot of buzz about this eco-chic hideaway on the nature lover's island delight of Vieques. Formerly the home of environmentally-minded architect John Hix, the spacious lofts of Hix Island House showcase mind-blowing views of sea and sky. Set on 13 acres, the concrete building was designed to reflect the gray granite boulders of the island. The hotel does a lot more than blend gracefully into the surrounding environment; Hix Island House champions eco-friendly practices. Solar heated outdoor showers return water to the gardens, and the swimming pool is kept clean without the use of excess chemicals. From now until December 19, 2007, take advantage of the Fall Escape Special. Stay two nights and take a third night at half off. Stay three nights and get your fourth night for free. (Excludes the Thanksgiving holiday, November 19- November 25, 2007.) Now is the time to GO! (Any doubt in your mind-- just check out the reviews on TripAdvisor.)
Here's some good news for smart luxury travelers: the launch of the new site 14Trips.com, which brings you the best five-star travel deals out there. Their motto: Luxury Travel at Smart Prices. 14Trips seeks out exceptional offers from respected online travel resources and brings them together in one place-- over 1,000 deals on luxury hotels and resorts, upscale cruises, and full service tours.
There's a nifty Thursday email alert, so you can get their hand-picked deals delivered straight to your inbox. And the best news of all: 14Trips launched a new blog on November 1. You'll find the Deal of the Day, interviews with industry insiders, and daily explorations in the world of luxury travel.
Announcing British Columbia's hottest new mountain resort. Leave it to Outside Magazine to get the skinny on Revelstoke, where world-class skiing and fresh powder can be found everyday-- whether by lift (there's a high-speed quad traveling 2,073 vertical feet in 6.3 minutes), snowcat (for the impressive off-piste slopes), or helicopter (where guides take avid skiers to secluded spots in the Selkirk and Monashee mountains). Situated on Mount Mackenzie, Revelstoke Mountain Resort offers 500,000 acres of skiable terrain. The place to stay will be the swanky Nelsen Lodge, located just steps from the lifts and heli-center. There's a heated pool and four-bedroom penthouse, to boot. (Opening date for the hotel not yet announced.) The lifts open on December 22, 2007.
Pretty soon you'll be able to book a posh room at the New York Public Library. Orient-Express, that esteemed hospitality group of luxury trains, cruises, and hotels, has purchased the Donnell Branch in Midtown for $59 million. This means big-time renovations for the building, which desperately needs them. The five-storey building on W. 53rd Street will be razed. In its place will sprout the 150-room luxury hotel with a new, state-of-the-art library on the first floor. The spa-hotel will connect to the existing '21' Club, the famed restaurant/bar (the most celebrated of speakeasies during the Prohibition Era), already owned by Orient-Express. Orient-Express plans to market the new hotel with the '21' brand name. In 2001, let the luxury begin.
The Nordic-style Indigo Patagonia is easily one of the most exciting new hotels of the year. Overlooking the Fjord of Last Hope in the maritime passage of Puerto Natales at the entrance to the Torres del Paine National Park, the hotel opens out on one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world: the sweeping sea and sky, mountains and glaciers, that come together to create the grandness of Patagonia. The Indigo Patagonia is a triumph of contemporary design, an exemplar of architectural sophistication with natural materials and a neutral color palette. The 23 rooms and 6 suites are outfitted with luxurious details: delicate sheets, blankets of pure hand-heaved wool, wireless Internet. And there are windows, windows, everywhere so that guests can always contemplate the surrounding grandeur. Unwind in one of the thermal pools in the blissful rooftop spa and just try to tear yourself away from the views.
The historic Alexis Hotel just emerged from a big renovation and guests can't stop singing its praises. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the century-old hotel has been a fixture on Conde Nast Traveler's Gold List for six years. But as if that weren't enough, Kimpton Hotels decided to inject $10 million for the hotel's makeover. The recently unveiled masterpiece is praised as "a work of art in itself." Located in the heart of downtown Seattle, the hotel has become an arts mecca; guest rooms and public spaces are decorated with original pieces that showcase the city's thriving arts community. The new rooms constitute a marvelous variety-- each of the 121 guest rooms is individually decorated with classic furniture and antiques. Some suites have wood-burning fireplaces and two-person jetted tubs. Guests enjoy complimentary wireless Internet access, the legendary hosted wine reception each evening, complimentary on-site fitness center, steam room, and 24-hour business center. Plus, the Alexis Hotel is entirely smoke-free.
Celebrate the holiday season in the magical surroundings of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Get cozy by the roaring fireplaces with a cup of hot cider or homemade hot chocolate, soak up the views, and enjoy spectacular seasonal decorations. Keswick Hall is the ideal home away from home during the festive season. The resort has arranged an abundance of traditions for your friends and family to enjoy during the month of December. First up: The Lighting of the Holiday Tree on December 1, 2007 with holiday carolers and an appearance by Santa in his sleigh. Throughout the month, enjoy the Sunday Champagne Holiday brunch, Holiday Family Photo Sessions, and Traditional Afternoon Tea for the Generations in the beautiful setting of the Hall's Villa Crawford (think delectable tea sandwiches, clotted cream, and scones with homemade marmalades and lemon curd). And of course there will be Christmas Eve carols and a magnificent Christmas lunch. From December 2- December 27, 2007, book the Home for the Holidays Escape and enjoy rates as low as $265 per night (Sundays-Thursday).
PS. Look out for the mistletoe!
Talk about a room with a view. This could be the best hotel room in Paris. Perched high atop the Palais de Tokyo-- that wonderfully quirky space for contemporary art-- the Hotel Everland is a transportable capsule hotel created by two Swiss artists, Sabina Lang and Daniel Baumann. It already spent 18 months at the Gallery for Contemporary Art in Leipzig, and will stay in Paris until the end of 2008. This one-room hotel is also an art installation, so overnight guests actually become a part of the artwork. The luxurious suite includes a marvelous bathroom and 24-hour room service. Prices vary from around $560 per night on the weekdays to $700 per night on the weekends. Note: Guests book online and stay only for the night after the museum's closing. Museum visitors can check out the one-room hotel during the day.