November 17, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
One of the most hotly anticipated hotel openings for 2007. Banyan Tree Desert Spa and Resort, Al Areen, Bahrain will be the only all-villa private pool resort in the Arabian Gulf and one of the Middle East's most luxurious hideaways. Located next to Al Areen Wildlife Park, a conservation area for many indigenous wildlife species, and in close proximity to the Bahrain F1 Grand Prix track, the new Banyan Tree boasts incredible private villas and indulgent spa pampering. The villas embody the magic of the Arabian Nights: azure swimming pools, jet pool courtyard and private garden, sprawling master bedroom with high ceilings, an elegant ambience with all contemporary amenities. This sensual oasis of pampering is surrounded by Bahrain's intriguing cultural and historical landscape: well-preserved forts, excellent museums, and the oldest mosque in the Gulf, Al Khamis. The resort is a complete body wellness center offering up-to-date sporting facilities set against the Arabian Desert backdrop. The spa is otherworldly. There are outdoor vitality pools, a hammam, fountain courtyard, and deluxe spa treatment pavilions with relaxation rooms, sunken baths, Rain Mist treatment, steam and private treatment room. The hydrotherapy area is lavish: Rain Mist Shower, Self Scrub area with private cabins, Sanarium, Storm Shower, Grotto sauna, Ice Igloo, Afusion Shower, Rhassoul with single and double rooms, Foot Spa station, Bucket Drench Shower, Tropics Shower, Herbal Steam Room, Cold Rain Mist Corridor, Brine Light Room and Warm Rain Mist Corridor.
Rated North America's only AAA five diamond bed and breakfast, the Simpson House Inn is a luxurious and serene hideaway, only a five-minute walk from Santa Barbara's restaurants, theaters, museums and shops. Located in a lovely and historic neighborhood of Santa Barbara, the Simpson House is private and secluded, set behind tall hedges in an acre of English gardens. The landmark Victorian estate, considered one of the most distinguished homes of its era in SoCal, features 15 rooms, suites, and cottages each individually appointed with antiques, exquisite decor, and generous amenities. Guests enjoy European spa services in the comfort of their own room.
The Simpson House Inn has created some whimsical Celebration of Romance Packages, which include Flirt (the romantic getaway), Love Story (the anniversary plan), Enchanting Proposal (for popping the question), Fantasy Elopement (for getting hitched), and Passion (the honeymoon package). Passion is priced at $3,500 for five nights, and promises "all the romance of the American Riviera." Choose a Garden Cottage or Historic Barn room with wood burning fireplace. Guests are pampered with champagne, chocolate cheesecake hearts and a dozen roses on arrival. During the stay, guests enjoy two massages, complimentary bathrobes, and a framed photo taken at the Inn. The package also includes a day in the Santa Barbara Wine Country with car, driver and picnic lunch, and a custom itinerary with scenic hikes, shopping and dining suggestions, beach walks, and theater picks.
In a city of traditional hotels, Kimpton's Hotel Palomar is a welcome addition. Known for distinctive, modern hotels (with lots of color and personality), Kimpton has opened this luxury boutique hotel in the trendy Dupont Circle area. Stylish and vibrant, the Hotel Palomar Washington DC is inspired by the modern elegance of 1930s French Moderne designers, decked out with geometric marble flooring, exotic wood, and bold artwork. The 335 guestrooms and suites are touted as some of the most spacious in the nation's capital. Guests enjoy flat screen TVs, complimentary high-speed WiFi Internet access, complimentary evening wine reception, complimentary morning coffee and tea in the living room, and an on-site fitness center and outdoor lap pool. The hotel is proud of its pet-friendly status, and spoils Fido and Kitty with luxurious amenities (there's a pet concierge, and Bark Bar, the three-tiered water bar for dogs outside the hotel). Even with seven hotels in the metropolitan DC area, Kimpton is apparently scouting out more locations in the area.
Set to open in Winter 2006/2007, the Gran Bahia Principe Jamaica takes "all-inclusive" (the concept that the Bahia Principe hotels helped pioneer) to another level. This Jamaican playground promises a frolicking, rollicking, rip-roaring good time. We're talking meals, snacks, drinks, and cocktails available 24 hours a day, along with towel, parasol and hammock service at the beach and pool. The Gran Bahia Principe Jamaica is a funland of remarkably comprehensive facilities: six restaurants, five bars, four lake-type swimming pools, kids clubs, shopping center, wedding gazebo, large solariums, amphitheater for night shows, tennis courts, gym, spa, social lounges, and 757 guest rooms (all Junior Suites). If you want your very own exclusive "zone," head to Club Golden Principe, a private club with separate, lavish facilities. Warning: you must wear a different-colored identification bracelet on the premises.
Created by Robert Redford, Sundance Resort is an intimate preserve that balances art, nature, and community. Situated at the base of 12,000 foot Mount Timpanogos, the resort consists of 95 luxurious guest cottages and 6,000 acres of pristine mountain wilderness to explore. Though rooms may be all booked for the celebrated Sundance Film Festival (January 18-28, 2007), superb winter packages entice guests to indulge in a luxurious hideaway at Sundance. Dine in the highest Zagat-rated fine restaurant in the state of Utah, the Tree Room. Pamper yourself at the Native American-inspired spa, which utilizes all organic products in its sumptuous treatments. Take a class at the artisan center: jewelry making, photography, painting, pottery, and recycled glass blowing demonstrations. And explore Utah's beautiful terrain with a vast array of mountain activities including biking, hiking, fly-fishing, horseback riding, skiing, snowboarding, snow-shoeing, and cross-country skiing. For a limited time, enjoy a one-night escape at an amazing value, starting at $160.25 (based on double occupancy). Package includes a luxurious night in one of the mountain cottages and a full American breakfast for two in the Foundry Grill. Available until December 7, 2006. Sundance Resort offers another excellent package: Stay 3 Ski Free. If you book three or more nights in a cottage suite, enjoy two all day lift passes per day. Also includes breakfast for two. Package starts at $927 based on double occupancy.
Surf's up. Welcome to San Diego, where it's always sunny and seventy degrees, and the leading luxury resort-- the AAA five diamond Four Seasons Aviara-- has a surf concierge. That's right. This concierge dude hangs out in a poolside surf shack and relays the latest wave conditions and ocean temperature to interested guests. A Surf Shuttle departs from the resort daily at 10:30 am to transport guests to Moonlight Beach, one of San Diego's top surf spots, where lessons are held. The surf concierge-turned-instructor gives personalized two-hour lessons, which includes wetsuit and board. (Never fear: s/he's a professional, and life-guard-certified.) The ultimate goal of the surf concierge: help you catch your first wave.
A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, the Art Deco Hotel Montana is-- you guessed it-- a celebration of everything Art Deco. Since its opening in 1910, the stylish hotel has dazzled guests with its vistas and fun bravura design. Originally built as a palace hotel, the Art Deco Hotel Montana is within walking distance to the picturesque city center of Lucerne. The 62 guest rooms and suites are individually designed with flair: salmon, turquoise, and sienna yellow bathrooms on the 2nd and 3rd floors, original art deco bars and spiral staircases in the Tower Suites, bold and modern touches throughout. From your balcony, enjoy fantastic views across Lake Lucerne to the Swiss Alps. (There's even a cable car from the lobby to the lake promenade.) This New Year's, escape to Switzerland for a fun end-of-year bash, and welcome in 2007 in style. The Art Deco Hotel Montana is hosting a celebration with a Hula Hoop theme, so grab a hula hoop and hit the dance floor. Package includes three nights accommodations, breakfast, and five-course gala dinner plus entertainment on New Year's Eve. Rates starting from CHF 1,386 per room inclusive of tax and service charge. Minimum three nights stay, available from December 30, 2006 to January 5, 2007.
It’s really no wonder The Belvedere is so good. It's located in the only hotel in So Cal to earn the distinction of an AAA Five-Diamond and Mobil Five-Star rating for 13 consecutive years. Its sophisticated ambience, impeccable service, and outstanding American cuisine have distinguished The Belvedere as one of the finest restaurants in LA. In fact, readers of Travel and Leisure recently voted it the "Best Hotel Restaurant in the Continental US and Canada." Star chef Sean Hardy has created a beautiful menu which includes signature items like the famed "Macaroni and Cheese", Elbow Pasta with Taleggio Cheese, Shaved Truffles, and a Parmesan Tuile, or Potato-Crusted California Sturgeon. Guests can dine on the patio and soak up the California rays while indulging in the exemplary cuisine. One can even get their food to go (*gasp*) with the Pen-Air menu, originally designed to accommodate guests on their flights home. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. The Sunday brunch is especially popular.
Palm Beach County's newest luxury resort, smack on the oceanfront on Florida's Gold Coast, is a member of Starwood's Luxury Collection. The 239 elegant suites are mammoth, ranging in size from 800-2,100 sq ft, outfitted with high tech kitchens, marble baths, and modern decor. And then there's the view. From the expansive suite terraces, guests can take in breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway. Resort facilities include an 8,500 sq ft spa, two swimming pools, beach and pool cabanas, luxury collection kids club, and exquisite dining. (There's even a temperature-controlled wine room available to store private wine collections.) And of course butler service, valet attendants, and a full-time concierge will dote on guests' every need. Now accepting reservations for arrival on or after February 1, 2007. PS. It's totally smoke-free.
"Berlin is Europe's new cultural and entertainment powerhouse," says Frommer's. And with three opera houses, 150 performance stages, 200 art galleries, 170 museums, and more bars than any other German city, Berlin easily lives up to the hype. The dynamic capital is a hip and exciting European destination, with myriad five-star hotels to boot. The latest luxury hotel on the scene is Rocco Forte's Hotel de Rome, which opened recently in the fashionable Mitte district. Housed in the historic bank building, the EUR 70 million hotel features spectacular panoramic views of the city's best attractions. The hotel retains the classical style of the original 1889 building-- mosaic floors, the bank vault now converted into a pool-- while showcasing edgy, contemporary design from Tommaso Ziffer, who also designed the Hotel de Russie in Rome. The 146 guest rooms are modern, comfortable, luxurious, and feature all the latest cutting-edge technology, including Broadband Internet and interactive flat-screen television. Book the 120 square meter Presidential Suite and enjoy the incredible full-length terrace overlooking Bebelplatz.