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Forbes Travel Guide announces London hotel, spa star ratings

Posted by Melanie Nayer April 30, 2013 04:27 AM

45parklaneentrance.jpgThe entrance of the 45 Park Lane Hotel, London, a Forbes Five-Star hotel
If you're planning a trip to London in the near future, Forbes Travel Guide has some insight to share. The international star-rating company released its first ever star-ratings for London last week, and the results are nothing short of luxurious.

In total, London brought eight Five-Star ratings to the city, ranking London in the top five cities with the greatest Five-Star concentrations (New York, Hong Kong, Los Angeles and Shanghai round out the top five in the world).

The six luxury hotels in London with Five-Star ratings are:

  • 45 Park Lane
  • Claridge’s
  • Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane
  • The Dorchester
  • The Lanesborough
  • The Savoy


Baccarat plans luxury hotels, spas

Posted by Melanie Nayer April 28, 2013 06:01 AM

baccarat-ny.jpgLuxury is limitless, especially when it blends the best of all words: travel and retail. So when French crystal company Baccarat announced it was planning to open high-end residences, hotels and spas, luxury lovers around the world perked up.

In a statement released by Baccarat, the company plans to open six hotels, resorts and residences by 2016. The locations have been set:

  • Baccarat Hotel & Residences New York (2014, shown right)
  • Baccarat Hotel & Residences at Dubai Pearl in UAE (2016)
  • Baccarat Residences Shanghai in China (2016)
  • Baccarat Hotel Rabat, Morocco (2014)
  • Baccarat Spa Resort Marrakech (2015)
  • Baccarat Resort & Residences Marrakech (2016)

New England Inns & Resorts offer packages for beer enthusiasts

Posted by Melanie Nayer April 23, 2013 07:40 AM

woodstockinn-brewery.jpgSome of America's finest beers are crafted here in New England. To help bring beer lovers together, the BrewInn was created - an opportunity for beer lovers to embrace travel while taste-testing their way through different brews.

New England Inns & Resorts is made up of nearly 250 properties, many of which have their own breweries or pubs, or have tapped into the local craft beer movement in their area. The BrewInn offerings vary by property, but sample packages include:


NYC hotel offers room rates based on your stress level

Posted by Melanie Nayer April 18, 2013 05:20 AM

kimpton-nyc.jpgStressed? Maybe stressed? A little stressed? If you're feeling even the slightest bit off this month, Eventi, A Kimpton Hotel, has an overnight package for you.

April is National Stress Awareness Month and what better place to blow off some steam than in New York City? Eventi, A Kimpton Hotel, is offering stress level reduction packages to help keep your stress levels in check. Depending on where your stress level is - high, medium or low - you can enjoy a tech-free room, aromatherapy or yoga in your room.

Here's a breakdown of the deals:


Airlines, hotels waive fees for Boston travelers

Posted by Melanie Nayer April 15, 2013 07:13 PM

In the wake of the Boston Marathon tragedies, airlines and hotels are waiving cancellation and trip change fees for travelers. If you're in Boston, or you have plans to travel to Boston, here is a list of phone numbers to call for travel changes:


American Airlines: 1-800-433-7300
AirTran: Call 800-AIR-TRAN (800-247-8726)
Delta: 800-221-1212
JetBlue: 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583)
Southwest Airlines: 1-800-435-9792
United Airlines: 800-864-8331
US Airways: 800-428-4322
Virgin America: 1.877.359.8474


Hotels are also waiving fees for last-minute re-bookings. Here's a list of the major hotel groups and their phone numbers:

Fairmont Hotels: 800-527-4727
Four Seasons: 800-332-3442
Hilton Hotels: 800-445-8667
Hyatt Hotels: 800-233-1234
InterContinental Hotels: 800-327-0200
Kimpton: 800-546-7866
Marriott: 800-831-1000
Preferred Hotels: 800-323-7500
Ritz-Carlton: 800-241-3333
Sheraton Hotels: 800-325-3535
W Hotels: 877-946-8357
Westin Hotels: 800-325-3535
Wyndham Hotels: 800-545-5545

The most important thing at this point is your safety.

If your travel plans are cancelled, or if you need to change your travel plans, rest assured you'll be able to do this with ease.

Watch this space and I'll keep you updated on any more information about travel as it happens. names top 40 "Tastemakers" to watch in 2013

Posted by Melanie Nayer April 15, 2013 09:08 AM

Ever wondered where Chef Daniel Boulud likes to dine in New York? Or what chocolatier Katrina Markoff craves with her desserts? Or, what spices mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim hides in his hidden cocktails?, the online ratings site for Forbes Travel Guide, recently named their top 40 "Tastemakers" to watch in 2013, and the list will have you salivating for more.

What's a Tastemaker, you wonder? These are the people who make travel a little more delicious. They are your favorite chefs, bartenders, pastry perfectionists, sommeliers and all things epicurean. They are also the ones who create the atmosphere and environment that you enjoy - from barstools to lighting and flatware. They are the ones responsible for wishing you were back at your favorite restaurant, bar or hotel.

Who are some of these Tastemakers?


JW Marriott introduces healthy menu for junior travelers

Posted by Melanie Nayer April 8, 2013 01:15 PM

veggies.jpgHealthy eating is a priority for most parents, but how do you keep kids noshing on healthy snacks when on vacation? More hotels are offering healthy food options for kids and families, giving parents a sense of relief when it comes to curbing appetites on-the-go.

JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts just announced its partnership with nationally recognized nutritionist and author Keri Glassman to create a new JW Kids Menu. This kids menu is meant to help kids build healthy eating habits while traveling, said the hotel group.

“With kids’ food choices becoming increasingly diverse, we are looking to create dining options that are fresh, healthy and imaginatively tasty,” said Mitzi Gaskins, vice president & global brand manager for JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts. “These items will not only delight kids from a culinary standpoint, but will also let parents know the JW Marriott brand cares about the well-being of their entire family.”


St. Regis Bal Harbour partners with Neiman Marcus to style guest room closets

Posted by Melanie Nayer April 2, 2013 07:57 AM

NM-BalHarbour.pngThere's luxury travel, and then there's "dreams come true" in luxury travel. This post has a little bit of both.

Imagine walking into your luxury hotel room in the heart of the one of the most fashionable cities in America and finding a closet, pre-stocked, with your favorite designer labels in your size and style. Heaven. In a hotel. All for you.

That's the concept from Miami's newest luxury resort, The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort and Residences, and their partnership with Neiman Marcus.

The new service is a spin on the traditional idea of personal shopping. Neiman Marcus, which is located directly across the street from the resort in the trendy Bal Harbour Shops, will personally style a guest's closet in advance of their stay, with items hand-picked from that guest or chosen directly from a Neiman Marcus personal stylist, based on guests' taste and preferences.


World's most expensive luxury travel package offered at $1.5 million

Posted by Melanie Nayer April 2, 2013 07:36 AM

Naples-beach.jpgWant to travel the world? Have one million dollars to drop? If yes to both, there's a trip waiting for you and it's quite possibly the first of its kind, and the world's most expensive.

Pursuitist, luxury blog dishing about all things opulent, published the details of this trip, which includes a two-year travel package for two people that hits all of the UNESCO’s World Heritage sites for $1.5 million. Here's what the blog had to say:

The luxury trip will take in all of UNESCO’s spectacular 962 World Heritage Sites, including the Taj Mahal in India, the pyramids in Egypt and the Forbidden City in China as well as less internationally known sights such as the painted timber houses in Halsingland, Sweden and Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in the US state of Illinois.

In total the trip will span 157 countries and take two years, during which time the couple will stay in hotels such as Sandy Lane in Barbados, Hotel George V in Paris and The Plaza in New York.

As part of the package, a donation of $7,500 will be made to UNESCO during the trip.

Check out all the details from

Readers: If you had $1 million, where would you travel to?

About the author

Melanie Nayer is a travel writer who spent many years in the newsroom before jetting off to see the world. Her goal is to bring readers the best insider information More »

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