The Ritz-Carlton Suite at the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong's spacious living room features expansive views of Hong Kong Victoria Harbour. Photo credit: Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong
To some travelers, luxury knows no limits. Hotels around the world have upped their luxury status over the years, building out expansive penthouse suites (the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong's Presidential Suite has Mother of Pearl walls) and bringing gold-plated amenities (like the iPads at the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai).
According to CNN.com, the Royal Penthouse Suite at Geneva's Hotel President Wilson is the most expensive hotel room in the world, pricing out at $83,200 a night. The hefty price tag includes 12 bedrooms and 12 marble bathrooms, a wraparound terrace with views of the Alps, and a private butler, chef, and personal assistant to be at your service during your stay.
Upping its historical luxury status, the New York Palace Hotel last year unveiled its new specialty suites - the Jewel Suite and the Champagne Suite - as part of its $140 million makeover. The results are nothing short of stunning.
So, between the grand pianos, the decadent bath products and the 24/7 private service, what makes a hotel the most "luxurious"? Simply put: the price tag.FULL ENTRY
Forbes Travel Guide unveiled its 56th list of Star Rating recipients worldwide, including some new star properties in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
The White Elephant Village in Nantucket and The Chanler in Newport, Rhode Island, both earned Four Stars and join the hundreds of other hotels, restaurants and spas around the world in displaying this prestigious honor.
The 2014 Forbes Star Ratings welcomed 15 new Five-Star hotels, 16 new Five-Star restaurants and five new Five-Star spas. the United States, Canada, London, Beijing, Hong Kong, Macau, Shanghai and Singapore. This year’s list includes newly-opened hotels as well as hotels that recently completed renovations. Of course, restaurants and spas are also included.FULL ENTRY
To kick off 2014 on a healthy note, the Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco, launched a series of heart-healthy promotions and special offers for guests checking into the hotel in January and February.
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco, Brasserie S&P, and the hotel has travel packages, spa treatments, cooking classes, healthy dinners and weekly evening runs through San Francisco with the General Manager, Mr. Donald Bowman. The 2-month "Hotels with a Heart" campaign, which benefits the American Heart Association, includes:
- Healthy cooking classes for kids
- Winemaker dinners
- A variety of wine and beer classes
- Heart healthy spa treatment and products
- Fitness classes to encourage lifestyle change
- Weekly running sessions
You can find dates and details of special events on the Mandarin Oriental website.FULL ENTRY
Photo courtesy of Abercrombie and Kent
'Tis the season for giving, and better way to show you care than with the ultimate in luxury travel gift. It's the gift of all gifts for the luxury traveler in your life, and it will cost you a cool $1.5 million.
Passport to the World, the newest collaboration between private-jet company Flexjet and luxury travel outfitter Abercrombie & Kent, is providing a premier opportunity to see the world by private jet in 14 days.
The trip takes you and seven of your closest friends to seven cities onboard a Challenger 605 aircraft. You'll pick the people you travel with and the dates you travel - no pre-set itineraries or people you don't know (save for the captain and crew, who I'm sure you'll become close with within minutes onboard this luxury aircraft).
Your business jet features roomier seats that transform into beds, state-of-the-art audio and video systems, and global Wi-Fi. Your seven stops include cities in Japan, China, Turkey, France, and India. You'll dine at Michelin-star restaurants, shop at one-of-a-kind designer boutiques, enjoy private sunset cruises, after-hours access to art museums, and so much more... all you have to do is ask.
The way of luxury suites is getting more luxurious. Last week I told you about the new signature suites at New York's The Plaza Hotel, and this week comes the debut of another Manhattan hotel suite: Mandarin Oriental, New York's Suite 5000.
The Mandarin Oriental, New York's newest signature suite, Suite 5000 spans 3,300-square-feet on the hotel's 50th floor. The theme of the suite is that there isn't just one theme. The hotel will work with various partners in the city’s finest art, fashion and design industries to customize each stay from start to finish.
“Our aim is to showcase the essence and distinctiveness of New York City within Suite 5000, and offer guests unparalleled access to new and enriching cultural experiences,” said Susanne Hatje, General Manager of Mandarin Oriental, New York. “Combined with Mandarin Oriental’s legendary service and style we believe this will provide our guests with a memorable, one of a kind stay,” she added.FULL ENTRY
In the spirit of decadence, and just in time for the holidays, The New York Palace opened the doors to two new suites: The Jewel Suite by Martin Katz and The Champagne Suite.
The suites were part of the $140 million hotel renovations that were just completed. Both suites span 5,000-square feet, take up three levels and sit 53 stories up. Rates for each suite begin at $25,000 per night.
In an effort to help you choose which suite would best suite you, here are the details:
The Jewel Suite by Martin Katz: Designed by jeweler Martin Katz, this suite is adorned in rich fabrics and glittering jewel-inspired tones that ooze luxury and romance. You'll enter on Port Laurent stone floors, run your (clean) hands along the diamond-like wall coverings that are set in soothing jewel tones, admire the 20-foot ?diamond waterfall? chandelier, and gaze into the ?floating? crystal jewel boxes that hold various haute couture jewelry pieces by Katz. The Grand Parlor features floor-to-ceiling windows and a grand piano (perfect if you want to hold your own private concert). On the suite?s third floor is a wood burning fireplace (one of the few still available in a New York City hotel). For the best views of the city, step outside on your private outdoor terrace, where you'll also find your own Jacuzzi spa. Book this suite and you'll receive an original Martin Katz Diamond Microband Ring, worth $2,500.FULL ENTRY
The Caribbean island is just 4 short hours from Boston (thanks to direct flights from Jetblue.) Now that the Ritz-Carlton is open, there's another reason to visit.
Located on Palm Beach, the new Ritz-Carlton, Aruba features 320 oceanfront rooms and suites, four restaurants, a luxurious 13-treatment room Ritz-Carlton Spa, two swimming pools, a 24-hour casino, and one of the largest state-of-the-art meeting facilities in Aruba. Not to mention, the miles of endless white sand beaches and turquoise waters just steps from the hotel.FULL ENTRY
For some, Boston in the winter is a special kind of wonderland. For others, it's the perfect opportunity to escape. If you're in the latter camp – or just feel like fleeing for a long weekend this season – and you love to hit the links, this post is for you.
The folks over at Quinn & Co. rounded up some of the most exotic golf courses from their roster of clients – most of which are just a few hours flight from Boston:
Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort, lguana Golf Course: Located alongside a lush rainforest and several micro-climates, golfers at Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort’s La lguana Golf Course can spot monkeys, macaws and iguanas throughout the greens. The 18-hole, par-72 championship La Iguana golf course offers a challenging Ted Robinson-designed layout with panoramic ocean views that was landscaped to include banana trees, orchids and other exotic native plants.FULL ENTRY
Photo credit: Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, St. Lucia
Not really a fan of winter in New England? If you're looking for a way to beat the winter blues, plan ahead and put in for some vacation time. To help inspire, Forbes Travel Guide release their picks of the top 20 hotels to visit this winter. Here's a look at a few of them:
Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, St. Lucia: Sugar Beach features whitewashed guest rooms situated inside plantation-style buildings (it sits beside an 18th-century sugar plantation, after all). After being outdoors all day, treat yourself to a sun-soother wrap (think lavender, aloe and oatmeal) in the resort’s Rainforest Spa, a nod to the 100 acres of spectacular rainforest that surround the property.FULL ENTRY
To mark the completion of a $1 million renovation of its Lobby Lounge and Bar, the Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis is celebrating with a martini fit for an icon.
The $500 martini, named the Grand XIII, is made from Louis XIII de Rémy Martin cognac, Grand Marnier 150, Veuve Cliquot, and a twist of lemon. Why the high price point? A bottle of the cognac sells for over $2,000. If you're going to drink it, drink it well.
While most of us would shudder at the idea of spending $500 on something we can't keep, there's good news: the Grand XIII martini comes in a Waterford crystal glass that you'll get to take home with you.
If the Grand XIII isn't for you, the Lobby Lounge (rated one of St. Louis' favorite night spots) is well-known for its classic martini and the Gooey Butter Cake martini, a nod to the sugary treat made famous in St. Louis.
According to the hotel, one guest has already purchased a Grand XIII martini. Would you?