January 5, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The tiny island of St. John-- accessible only by boat or ferry-- is the least developed of the US Virgin Islands: a paradise of tropical forests, white sandy beaches, and turquoise waters teeming with tropical life. Nestled within the Virgin Islands National Park on St. John, the exclusive resort of Caneel Bay has been celebrated as one of the finest in the world since it was founded by Laurance Rockefeller. Caneel's accommodations have been artfully constructed to blend into the landscape-- the seven secluded beaches and 170 lush acres surrounding the property. Here, Rosewood Hotels and Resorts will host the newest chapter of its exclusive Hot Type Author Series with world-renowned writer Adam Gopnik, author of Paris to the Moon and The King in the Window. From January 27-31, 2007, Gopnik will host a series of private dinners where guests will have the exclusive opportunity to discuss his past works, his adventures in Paris as well as his most recent book, Through the Children's Gate: A Home in New York. The Hot Type Author Series Program debuted at Las Ventanas al Paraiso, A Rosewood Resort, with Michael Gross, and has been praised by Andrew Harper's Hideaway Report as the "most unique hotel amenity" of 2005.
Renowned French architect Gilles Saint-Gilles has transformed his bold vision into sublime reality with the beautiful Villa Camilla, which opened on Panama's idyllic Pacific coast in December 2005. "I want to live a refined lifestyle that doesn't compromise my childrens' future,” so says the architect, who has created a luxurious, exclusive retreat in harmony with the spectacular natural surroundings of lush green hills and sparkling Pacific. With a team of European craftsmen, Gilles built on-site workshops to train local artisans who have designed virtually every component of the guesthouse and private homes on-site: teak doors and shutters, bamboo ceilings, terra cotta brick floors, Chiriqui stone walls, and parquet floors patterned from purpleheart wood mixed with French oak wine caskets-- the ultimate mix of the Old World and New. This attention to detail has also been focused on the natural environment, as Gilles' team has restored the Tropical Dry Forest eco-system that originally existed in the province, providing wildlife habitat for the future. Villa Camilla (and its aesthetically magnificent guest rooms) is just one aspect of this elegant oceanside community; it is possible to purchase one of 71 lots and Saint-Gilles will custom-design the home to build on it.
It's here. The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston's first new art museum in nearly a century, opened on December 11, 2006 on Fan Pier. The architectural centerpiece of Boston's waterfront, this vibrant cultural institution integrates the city's HarborWalk into the museum's design and showcases harbor views throughout the interior. In honor of the new museum, Langham Hotel is offering a special getaway package. Situated less than a mile from the museum, the Langham boasts its own collection of art, including two restored murals by N.C. Wyeth, paintings by artist Kenneth Maryanski, and a collection of antique cartographic materials and maps of New England and Atlantic Canada. Once the Federal Reserve Bank, the Langham Hotel is an elegant national landmark, a fusion of historic charm and urban sophistication. The luxurious guest rooms overlook the gardens of Post Office Square and the Boston city skyline. The AAA four-diamond hotel is home to the award-winning brasserie-style restaurant, Cafe Fleuri, where delicious Mediterranean cuisine is served under a lofty glass atrium ceiling. The Langham's ICA Package includes overnight accommodations, two tickets to the Institute of Contemporary Art, continental or buffet breakfast for two in the sky-lit Cafe Fleuri, use of Langham Hotel's Health Club and indoor pool, and a welcome gift from the Institute of Contemporary Art. Priced from $215 per room per night. Valid through March 30, 2007.
Hot off the press. You can now own a piece of the Telluride icon, the Peaks Resort and Golden Door Spa. The resort's about to undergo a $60 million transformation into a condominium-hotel with exclusive Colorado homes and vacation condos available to a privileged few. 174 guest rooms will be converted into studio, one- and two-bedroom suites, available for individual ownership, priced from $500,000 each. Ideally located in the center of Mountain Village with ski-in/ski-out access, The Peaks embraces the spectacular mountain landscape that surrounds it. Condo owners will receive all the benefits of the five star resort: the impeccable personalized service, privileges at the Telluride Ski and Golf Company championship golf course, ski-in/ski-out access, Ski Valet to heat and tune boots and assist with equipment storage, four restaurants and 24-hour in-room dining, daily housekeeping, garment care, tennis, VIP Concierge to coordinate travel, arrange dining reservations and provide detailed information on the area's vast array of activities, and access to the Golden Door Spa, now available exclusively to members, residents, and guests. The best of both worlds.
Enjoy the tranquility of this luxurious English Country House retreat, ranked as one of Britain's top twenty hotels by Tatler magazine. Set amidst beautifully manicured English country gardens in the picturesque village of Evershot in Dorset Downs, Summer Lodge offers its guests a range of country pursuits, from horseback riding to shooting. But perhaps the most splendid part of the hotel is the 3 AA Rosette award-winning restaurant, where Chef Steven Titman's extravagant cuisine is matched by the fine wines chosen by Eric Zwiebel, UK Sommelier of the Year. (Indeed, Wine Spectator bestowed its Best of Award of Excellence in 2006 for the outstanding wine list.) The famous Summer Lodge Wine Dinners, held on the first Tuesday of every month, are memorable evenings where guests are spoiled with a four course dinner and a selection of five fine wines from a specific wine region. Guest speakers showcase the wines. The program for 2007 begins on March 6, 2007 with an evening dedicated to the best small family-owned domains in the Rhone Valley, France. (The dinner is priced at GBP 65.)
Beirut's most luxurious hotel, Le Royal Beirut, has recently opened. Situated on a hill overlooking the city, just 15 km from the International Airport, the five-star hotel is blessed with beautiful views of the azure Mediterranean from its 231 guest rooms and rooftop restaurant. Guests can now enjoy the hotel's excellent restaurants and bars, state-of-the-art health club (with personal trainers), outdoor pool and terrace, and the exclusive Royal Spa, spread out over four floors with panoramic vistas. The Spa offers lavish treatments, including the famed Dead Sea Mud Baths. The Dead Sea Mud Bath Package includes one night's accommodation in a Deluxe Sea View room, breakfast at Le Jardin du Royal, Dead Sea Mud Bath (45 minutes), late check-out, and complimentary access to swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna, and fitness facilities. Priced at $250 for two persons.
January 1 means new diets, dreams and well-intentioned goals aplenty. Leave it to Omni Hotels to help their guests uphold their New Years resolutions, with a slew of new services for the new year. Aiming to drop those extra lbs packed on during the holiday season? Omni's gotten in gear to help guests with their physical health with state of the art fitness facilities, running maps (and complimentary iced bottled water and towels offered for a cool-down), Get Fit Kits (two-pound dumbbells, a floor mat, stretch cords, and a mini radio headset for the ultimate in-room work-out) and Get Fit Guest Rooms, which come with their own treadmills, Get Fit Kits, and mini bars stocked with healthy snacks and drinks. Not only that. Omni's chefs are busy crafting menus that will be trans fat-free by the end of the first quarter. (Special dietary concerns? Just ask the chef. Omni's chefs are willing to accommodate any special dietary need.) And Omni hasn't forgotten about their guests' mental health. The music and scents in the hotel lobbies are designed to ensure a positive frame of mind, and Omni's signature in-room Sensation Bars include items such as CDs, pillow sprays, mini zen gardens, and eucalyptus bath salts to sooth the mind and body.
Plan a winter escape to the sandy white beaches and azure waters of the Caribbean and enjoy spectacular savings at the brand new Westin St. Maarten, Dawn Beach Resort and Spa. Just minutes from the Princess Julianna Airport, the new resort features a full-service spa, fitness room, fully-equipped dive shop, Vegas-style casino, and the largest freshwater infinity pool on the island, including a swim-up bar and hot tub. Of course the 308 luxurious guest rooms are appointed with Westin's signature Heavenly Bed and Heavenly Bath. With the Grand Opening Special Offer, stay four nights, and receive 25 percent off. (Valid from January 2- April 16, 2007; black-out dates are from February 16-February 22 and April 6-April 12.) In addition, guests can take advantage of the January Resort View Special and enjoy rates from $199 per night when you stay four nights between January 2-January 21, 2007.
PS. Don't forget the new passport requirements as of January 2007. For air travel to and from the US and Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean, travelers will be required to have a passport to re-enter the US.
Amanresorts is synonymous with luxury, its worldwide collection of boutique resorts spoiling guests with indulgence and idyllic surroundings. Indeed, the 2006 Zagat Survey named Amanresorts the world's leading international hotel group. Aman's flagship, Amanpuri, is located on the island of Phuket overlooking the turquoise Andaman Sea. Interspersed throughout coconut groves, the guest pavilions boast outdoor terraces and private pools. The Spa is simply sublime, its individual treatment rooms complete with steam showers and outdoor lounge areas. So what better place for supermodel Kate Moss and her long-time rocker boyfriend to tie the knot? The Daily Telegraph has all the rumored deets on the New Years Day ceremony:
At 1:30pm Thai time the Babyshambles singer and Moss exchanged vows in the picturesque private gardens of their five-bedroomed GBP 4,500-per-night villa at the Amanpuri hotel. Wearing a white Galliano shift dress and her blonde hair loose, Moss reportedly looked on adoringly at her groom, who was dressed in an all-black linen suit and his trademark pork pie hat. For the ceremony, the gardens and villa were decorated with flower petals, fragrant jasmine, orchids and a floral archway. White and pale pink lotus flowers decorated the pool. With security at a maximum, staff guarded the perimeter of the villa, preventing any uninvited guests from wandering in.
Post-holiday blues? Escape to London to hit the January Sales and take in the latest shows. The Maybourne Hotel Group, which manages a trio of super-luxury London hotels, has put together a tempting Winter Heaven package, starting from just GBP 239 per night. These London properties are some of the most renowned hotels in the world, each defined by a distinctive personality. The art deco jewel Claridges is the epitome of grand English style, adored by celebrities and illustrious families for over a century; The Berkeley, situated in fashionable Belgravia, is home to the Michelin star rated Petrus restaurant and trendy Blue Bar; The Connaught is located in the heart of Mayfair at one of the world's most distinguished addresses. The Winter Heaven package includes accommodations, a bottle of champagne upon arrival, and English breakfast each morning. Prices start at GBP 239 at The Connaught, GBP 249 at The Berkeley, and GBP 259 at Claridges. Available until January 14, 2007.