LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
June 21, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Now you can stay next door to Vladimir Putin's summer house on the Russian Riviera. When he's not hazing the new French president, Vlad hangs out here in Sochi, the historic seaside resort on the Black Sea. Stein Hotels opened Grand Hotel and Spa Rodina in May 2006 and the media's been abuzz ever since. Set within 15 hectares of gardens that lead down to a private beach club, the hotel has dramatic views of the snow-capped Caucasus Mountains, sandy beaches of the Black Sea, and Putin's official summer residence. Joseph Stalin originally created the resort in the 1950s as a retreat for the party elite. For over two centuries, the country's rich and powerful flocked to these shores, now also known for its annual film festival held in June. The subtropical climate-- the most northernmost like it in the world-- means lush terrain and lots of leafy palms. (You can swim from April through October, and hit the ski slopes from October into May.) Discover the magnificent botanical gardens, the only tea plantations in Russia, and the magnificent canyons and waterfalls of the nearby Caucasus mountains.
Grand Hotel Rodina is an exclusive property of only 42 rooms and suites, some with private terrace Jacuzzis. Soak in the oversized swimming pools (the best in the area), catch a flick at the private cinema, dine al fresco on the rooftop terrace, stake your claim to a piece of paradise at the exclusive Beach Club. The facilities are truly presidential, with tennis and basketball courts, a helicopter pad, boathouse, billiard room, and fully-equipped gym and spa. The best part of all? The cigar room located in the 50 year old bomb shelter.
Rooftop bars abound in Manhattan; outdoor boozing is a favorite urban pastime when the mercury rises (and that blanket of humidity shrouds our favorite city). For the best views in New York, head downtown to the Ritz-Carlton Battery Park to cool off on the Rise Bar & Terrace, located on the 14th floor. After all, this high-energy hot spot was chosen by Zagat as the Best Rooftop Bar in NYC. Sample a cocktail and the tasty small plates while gazing out at the Statue of Libery and New York Harbor. This extraordinary location means that the Ritz-Carlton Battery Park is the only luxury waterfront hotel in the city.
You can't beat this London location. Overlooking Hyde Park, within easy reach of Knightsbridge's famous stores, The Berkeley is mere moments from London's acclaimed museums and landmarks. For over a century, the storied hotel has retained its elegance, charm, and popularity with its distinguished clientele. The Blue Bar, the hotel's drinking spot, has made a name for itself in dozens of glossies around the globe. The rooftop pool is one of only two in London; it has a retracting roof and beautiful views over Hyde Park. Marcus Wareing's Michelin-starred Pétrus restaurant has secured The Berkeley as one of the world's leading gastronomic hotels. Stay Friday, Saturday or Sunday night between now and December 31, 2007 and enjoy a welcome bottle of chilled champagne, full English breakfast and late check-out at 4 p.m. the following day. Prices for Weekend Chic start from GBP 259 per night in a Superior King-bedded room.
PS. Don't miss the fashionista's favorite afternoon tea at The Berkeley, Prêt-à-Portea.
The legendary QE2, launched by Great Britain's Queen Elizabeth II in 1967, has been sold to Dubai's Istithmar company for a mere $100 million. The longest serving vessel in Cunard's history, the ocean liner crossed the Atlantic more than 800 times and carried more than 2.5 million passengers. Now the ship will become a must-see tourist attraction in Dubai (where else?)-- where it will be converted into a luxurious floating hotel at the Palm Jumeirah. After an extensive refurbishment program to recreate all the original interior décor, the QE2 will reopen in 2009 in its new permanent home: a pier at the Palm Jumeirah, the world's largest man-made island.
Get lost in luxury at New Zealand's Matakauri Lodge, just a short distance from the alpine wonderland of Queenstown, the "Adventure Capital of the World." Nestled on the shores of Wakatipu Lake, this luxury lodge is a serene retreat with world-class facilities, including the Spa Pavilion with sauna, hot tub, and two therapy rooms, where guests indulge in an exclusive program of tailor made Holistic therapies with organic products. Adventure-seeking explorers can go bungy jumping, white-water rafting, heli-skiing in the Remarkables mountain range, or jet-boating. Exciting thrills abound. But for those pining for a more restful holiday, there's wine tasting at the local vineyards, strolls through historic Arrowtown, and shopping and dining in Queenstown.
June 19, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
Billed as the only true "family-friendly resort in the area", the Loews Lake Las Vegas Resort is offering families the opportunity to visit the new luxury hotel on the lake for some fun in the sun. With a club just for kids, two championship golf courses, a pampering poolside concierge, exhilarating water sports on a magnificent desert lake, full-service spa and exquisite dining, the entire family will never want the summer to send. Visit the Loews Lake Las Vegas Resort between May 23rd and September 4th this year to take advantage of the free nights offer. Stay 2 nights and get the 3rd for free, or stay 3 nights and get the 4th and 5th nights for free. The offer is subject to availability and based on consecutive nights stay so check availability for the dates you are interested and book now.
Relax and renew at the Del's new, state-of-the-art spa, just steps from the best family beach in America. When the legendary Hotel del Coronado opened in 1888, the seaside resort was considered a premier vacation and health destination, where the sea air soothed with restorative therapeutic effects. The hotel has a rich and colorful history-- its guests have included Marilyn Monroe and Charles Lindbergh-- and a century later, the hotel has become a living legend, visited by celebs, dignitaries, and countless U.S. presidents. The San Diego spa resort continues to dazzle visitors with its unparalleled oceanfront location and new spa-- which includes 21 treatments rooms, hydrotherapy, relaxation areas for men and women, steam rooms, and an expansive private terrace overlooking the magnificent Windsor Lawn and the Pacific Ocean. Unwind with a summertime Del Spa Package, with rates starting at $350 per night, and get a $175 spa credit per stay. Two-night minimum stay required.
That's right. The wide, open spaces of Mongolia, birthplace of Genghis Khaan, the "great unifier," are getting a luxury edition. Located just 50 kilometers north of the capital city of Ulaanbaatar, Terelj Hotel and Spa is situated on the border of the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, nestled beneath some of the most awe-inspiring scenery in the world: spectacular valleys with eroded rock formations, pine-covered mountains and grasslands carpeted with perennial wildflowers and edelweiss. Scheduled for a soft opening in October 2007, the hotel is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, to boot. Originally built as a summer camp for the Soviets, the resort is reminiscent of an 18th century country palace. A mélange of traditional and contemporary elements, the hotel will be adorned with paintings and sculptures commissioned by Mongolian artists. Discerning travelers will appreciate the comfortable facilities: 52 luxurious suites, a selection of restaurants, a pool pavilion, spa, conference facilities, and a wedding garden. A highlight will be the overnight excursions to the Terelj Camp where guests will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the local culture and cuisine.
The temperatures may be rising but the prices are dropping at luxury hotels in paradisiacal off-season destinations. Case in point: Caneel Bay, the alluring hideaway on the island gem of St. John in the US Virgin Islands, recently ranked number 1 resort in the Caribbean by Tennis Resorts Online. Rates are as low as $315 per night with the Rosewood Escape Summer Special. Give yourself a taste of paradise at a fraction of the cost of high season rates. Since its founding by Laurance Rockefeller fifty years ago, Caneel Bay has attracted a loyal clientele who enjoy the resort's pristine natural surroundings, white sand beaches, and low-key luxury. Caneel Bay, A Rosewood Resort, offers four distinct restaurants, private Wine Room, The Self Centre, fitness center, Turtle Town for kids, and the impressive 11-court tennis complex.
From September 9-15, 2007, Judy Krupp will be hosting a five-day Yoga retreat for all levels at Uma Ubud, the five-star Bali resort dedicated to spiritual well-being. Expect an holistic, cultural adventure at Uma Ubud, highlighted by Asian-inspired therapies and local, organic cuisine. With Judy's Yoga Retreat, five hours of daily practice are complemented by Uma Ubud's substantial wellness facilities and activities program. Currently based at The Yoga Room in Sydney, Judy has over 20 years of experience as a teacher, and frequently runs workshops within Australia and internationally. Prices start from $2,160 (single) or $1,760 (double). Enjoy six nights accommodation in a Terrace or Garden Room, five hours of daily instruction, private return airport transfers, daily brunch on yoga days, and welcome and farewell dinner.