Dining at The Ritz becomes even more exciting this summer with the launch of our new Executive Chef's Masterclass, an Italian Wine Week and our limited edition cocktails in The Rivoli Bar for the start of Wimbledon. Also, in this edition, to celebrate the beginning of summer we give you details of two special programmes for you to enjoy.
This summer, Executive Chef John Williams will be presenting a series of Masterclass events, a unique interactive cooking and dining experience.
Each programme begins with a welcome Champagne Reception and a tour of the legendary Ritz kitchens.
The interactive demonstrations are held in the banqueting kitchens, and then each course is served in one of the magnificent 18th century private dining rooms in William Kent House.
Groups of 8 to 10 people can make reservations at £200 per person, to include the welcome reception, 4 course dinner and accompanying wines.
FINE ITALIAN WINES BY THE GLASS
THE RITZ RESTAURANT
Monday 16th to Sunday 22nd June 2008
To welcome in the summer and to complement the seasonal menus in The Ritz Restaurant, Head Sommelier Thomas Sorcinelli has chosen six superb Italian wines to be offered during the week of Monday 16th June.
Available by the glass, these magnificent wines have been cleverly matched to provide the perfect accompaniment to any of the dishes on the daily Du Jour and Summer A la Carte menu.
Spend summer in the heart of beautiful London with The Ritz's Open Air Theatre Programme.
This delightful evening begins with your arrival at The Ritz, where you can relax in the hotel's sumptuous surroundings before enjoying a three course pre theatre dinner in the magnificent Ritz Restaurant, one of the most romantic dining rooms in the world.
After a transfer to Regent's Park, take your seats in the Open Air Theatre for a production of one of Shakespeare's finest tragedies 'Romeo and Juliet', surrounded by the heady scent of roses, lies the most magical of venues. As dusk deepens and the fairy lights twinkle, the theatre is transformed into an unforgettable theatrical experience.
Return to the hotel and retire to your exquisitely and individually decorated room for the night, followed by a traditional English breakfast the following morning.
For many years the restaurant at the Connaught has been one of London’s greatest gastronomic experiences. Now, Hélène Darroze, one of France’s most distinguished chefs, has been named Executive Chef and the Connaught’s love affair with gastronomy is about to enter a new, exciting phase.
Hélène currently holds two Michelin stars at her restaurant ‘Hélène Darroze’ on the Left Bank in Paris and when the restaurant opens on July 14th 2008 it will be known as ‘Hélène Darroze at the Connaught’ which, like the Coburg Bar, will be designed by Parisian designer India Mahdavi.
Hélène is inspired by authentic regional and seasonal flavours, with roots in her native Landes region of South West France. With cooking in her DNA, she worked as Alain Ducasse’s right hand woman at the Louis XV restaurant in Monte Carlo and went on to win her first Michelin star in her own restaurant in 2001, followed by a second star in 2003.
Hélène will oversee all cuisine at the Connaught, including the Gallery, private dining and, when it reopens in the Autumn, the legendary Connaught Grill.
Why not take advantage of The Ritz's special guaranteed US Dollar rates that start from just $570?
Rates are from
Superior Queen or King Room $570
Executive King Room $825
Deluxe King Room $940
Junior Suite $1,100
Superior Suite $1,640
Deluxe Suite $2,960
Deluxe Two Bedroomed Suite $3,600
Overnight accommodation for single or double occupancy
Value Added Tax included
Reservations must be pre paid at the time of booking
Pre payments are non refundable in the event of a cancellation or amendment
Rates are subject to availability valid until 31st December, 2008 for residents of North or South America only.
Las Vegas Restaurant Consultant Delivers CIA Commencement Address
Elizabeth Blau, founder and chief executive officer of the successful consulting firm Blau & Associates, was commencement speaker at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) on Thursday, May 22, 2008.
"Developing your passion is the next step toward culinary greatness," Ms. Blau told 83 recipients of associate degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts. "It's about continuing to be inspired and finding your niche."
Ms. Blau's company, based in Las Vegas, develops restaurant concepts that have helped establish that city as a top culinary destination. She was instrumental in bringing Le Cirque to the Bellagio and was responsible for developing the restaurants for the MGM/Mirage Resort properties. She later worked with Steve Wynn on the opening team of Wynn Las Vegas, serving as his vice president of restaurant development and marketing. Ms. Blau has also partnered with CIA graduate Kerry Simon '81 on several projects, including the award-winning Simon kitchen + bar at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Steve Wynn has "set the standard" for luxury casinos.
The Wynn Las Vegas resort has been named the most prestigious luxury casino in the US following a customer satisfaction survey.
Researchers from Luxury Institute interviewed more than 1,600 millionaires about their experiences at 29 leading casino resorts across the country.
The Steve Wynn-backed complex was found to be the one with the highest approval rating among the wealthy clientele, who described it as plush, sophisticated and luxurious. Its Tom Fazio-designed golf course was also popular.
Milton Pedraza of Luxury Institute said the findings showed that Wynn Las Vegas's star ratings were all deserved.
He added: "In difficult times for the gaming industry, wealthy consumers tell us that the competitive spirit of Steve Wynn has created a new standard for casinos in the US."
Fellow Las Vegas casinos Bellagio and The Venetian finished in second and third positions respectively in Luxury Institute's league table.
The study comes just a month after a Market Metrix report suggested Atlantic City's casinos offered higher levels of customer satisfaction than their rivals in Las Vegas.
The FINANCIAL -- The Parisian parfumeur Blaise Mautin has created fragrances for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts since 2001, successfully launching scents for Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme, Park Hyatt Washington and Park Hyatt Dubai.
Mautin says that the fragrance for the Paris hotel, for example, features the warm notes of patchouli, while the Washington property has the tender scent of violets.
Mautin’s latest creation is dedicated to the modern Park Hyatt Zurich.
“Fresh lemon is the smell of Zurich,” says Mautin of the dynamic new fragrance. The composition of the new scent, which will be used for shampoos, conditioners, shower gels, soaps and scented candles, includes bergamot, orange, lemon and grapefruit as top notes, ylang-ylang and Chinese geranium as middle notes, and base notes of thyme and patchouli. The design of the packaging for the latest products also reflects Park Hyatt Zurich, with its straight lines and dynamic urban touch.
As from May 2008, the new products will be an integral part of Park Hyatt Zurich’s bathrooms and a whiff of lemon will greet all guests.
The Coburg Bar, in the Connaught Hotel, Mayfair, has been crowned best place to drink in London by Time Out.
The bar, opened just six months ago, was rated top of the survey on quality of drinks, service and ambience from a list of 650 pubs and bars.
Mitchells & Butlers pub the White Horse in Pasron's Green ranked second in the list.
Gordon Ramsey's pub, the Warrington in Maida Vale, was ranked 10th.
"The Coburg is everything you could hope for in a smart hotel bar," said Time Out food and drink editor Guy Dimond.
"The cocktail list is a fascinating read, as it charts the origins of the cocktail from sours up to the modern day, and the wine list is exemplary."
"London has an ever-growing, ever changing bar scene.
"Some people prefer an honest pub with great beer, other people prefer the glamour of a fashionable lounge bar, and some people prefer the discreet decor and pampering of a good hotel bar."
The top ten were:
1. Coburg Bar, The Connaught Hotel, Carlos Place W1
2. The White Horse, Parsons Green SW6
3. Hawksmoor, Commercial St E1
4. Milk & Honey, Poland St W1F
5. Lonsdale, Lonsdale Rd W11
6. Mandarin Bar, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Hotel, Knightsbridge SW1X
7. Vinoteca, St John St, Farringdon
8. Shochu Lounge, under Roka restaurant, Charlotte St, W1T
9. The Rake, Winchester Walk, SE1
10. The Warrington, Warrington Crescent, W9
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Tourbillon Byblos watch is a new limited edition timepiece, which pays homage to the famous Hotel Byblos in Saint-Tropez. Offered in a series of 48 pieces, this sporty Jaeger-LeCoultre tourbillon watch features a case in a combination of titanium and platinum, a distinctive textured dial with sporty yellow accents, sapphire crystals on both sides, and a compression crown.
Jaeger-LeCoultre's manufacture caliber 978B ticks securely inside the water resistant case. Self-winding, with a 48-hour power reserve, this movement incorporates a one-minute tourbillon with an extremely lightweight titanium carriage. Other notable complications include a 24-hour GMT indicator which can be set to a second time zone, and a pointer date display with a unique jumping function that prevents the tourbillon from being obscured from view.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Tourbillon Byblos watch is completed by a leather strap whose texture and stitching mirrors the dial elements.
THERE'S nothing quite as chic as a spot of afternoon tea, especially when it comes complete with creations from legendary designer Emanuel Ungaro.
And that's exactly what you can expect to find on June 28 at Hotel Le Bristol in Paris.
Synonymous with Haute Couture since the Sixties, sit back, relax and indulge with its Fashion High Tea, which includes a special dessert created by Laurent Jeannin, a choice of 15 teas, a selection of sandwiches, and the best bit, an exclusive viewing of the forthcoming Emanuel Ungaro collection.
Touring Soho, Covent Gardens, Westminster, and Mayfair
If it’s your first time in London, you’ll want to at least walk or take a bus past Buckingham Palace (open to the public only two months of the year) and check out one of the newest tourist sites, the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park.
Don’t leave London without experiencing the time-honored tradition of afternoon tea. If you want the best London has to offer, make reservations at The Dorchester, which was awarded the prestigious "Top London Afternoon Tea 2007" award by The Tea Guild.
The lush setting of The Promenade at The Dorchester is the perfect backdrop for a restful break from all your sightseeing.
Just a girl from the Provinces, Helene Darroze did a spell in Monte Carlo under Mssr. Ducasse himself, then proceeded to charm her way into the Parisian-chef boys club with her stylish eponymous restaurant in the 6th. Now the newly legendary culinary wizard takes on London, which is, bizarrely, the most competitive food city on the planet at the moment. She’ll get a good head start in taking those Gordons and Jamies and Fergus’s (more boys, of course) by taking over the restaurant at the recently chic’d up Connaught Hotel -- still basking in the glittering glow of a glorious $70 million makeover.
Darroze’s new foodie temple, opening in June in a swish new contemporary-classical interior by British designer India Mahdavi, will introduce Brit epicures to her haute but fervently authentic cuisine inspired by her native Southwestern France. It’s almost poignant, at a time when the two EU stalwart nations seem at endless diplomatic loggerheads. It may not end all that shameful British-French bickering, but we’re quite sure it won’t hurt.
Special summer offer for the Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin
Summer special for Virtuoso clients, valid: June 1 - August 28, 2008:
*GUARANTEED UPGRADE to the next room- or suite category
*GUARANTEED EARLY CHECK-IN
*The Adlon Cookbook
*500 Delta miles credited to your client's frequent flyer account
*Plus the regular amenities: American Gourmet Breakfast Buffet & Daily Newspaper
-all guaranteed at the time of booking
Please note that this special promotion is only valid during the dates listed above and is not subject to bookings already made prior to today's date for the time period June 1 to August 28, 2008. The special guaranteed Virtuoso amenities are not valid for groups (more than 10 rooms per night).
Earlier this year, I was asked to come up with a list of the 10 iconic foods of Paris, the tastes a visitor, perhaps a first-timer, shouldn't miss in the city, and it turned out to be a tougher assignment than I'd imagined. Being a Paris part-timer for over a decade, I've written dozens of lists, but when I looked at the current ones, there wasn't much on them I could use. The lists I make include my favorite bistros and wine bars, food shops, markets and, of course, patisseries, as well as places I want to try, but this list was meant to be a kind of meta-list, a categorization of culinary musts that would save a visitor from that horrible moment when he's returned home and is recounting what a great vacation he's had, only to have someone say, "I can't believe you were in Paris and didn't have a macaron!"
It took me a while to pare the gustatory pleasures of Paris down to a top 10, no time at all to come up with a list of places to taste them, and then more time to pare down the places - there are so many places for great food in Paris. (To read my original article, go to Diversion Magazine.)
So here, to kick off the vacation season, is my list of must-try Paris foods. Please, please, if you've got others to add, don't keep them a secret; ditto if you think any of my suggestions are off base.
BAGUETTES: While the baguette just about symbolizes La Belle France (to say nothing of la belle vie), it's a completely Parisian creation, one recognized by its length - it should be about two-feet long (the better to hold under your arm?); its caramel-colored crust that should break into a million little pieces; and its soft innards sporting lots of odd-shaped air pockets. I know it's heretical, but my favorite baguette doesn't really conform to these rules - it comes from Eric Kayser (he's got shops all around town, but the mother house is at 8 rue Monge, Paris 5) and it's topped with lots of crunchy seeds. For a more classical loaf, there's Le Boulanger de Monge (123 rue Monge, Paris 5). And, even though the shop doesn't have a baguette, you can't leave Paris without going to Poilane (8 rue du Cherche Midi, Paris 6) and trying the big, heavy, dark brown, dense and delicious sourdough round. Poilane is the most famous bread shop in Paris and it deserves every bit of its celebrity.
CROISSANTS: Like a baguette, a croissant is a messy affair, and, like a macaron (see below), it inspires fierce loyalty among its appreciators. A cross between bread and pastry (they belong to a class of preparations called viennoisserie), croissants can be found in both boulangeries (bread shops) and patisseries (pastry shops). I'm partial to pastry-shop croissants (it's probably the extra butter), specifically the ones from Pierre Herme (62 rue Bonaparte, Paris 6), Laduree (16 rue Royale and other locations) and Gerard Mulot (76 rue de Seine, Paris 6), who also makes a terrific sour-cherry clafoutis, but that's another story.
MACARONS: Again, here's something that's known throughout France, but most treasured in Paris, where pastry chefs' reputations are made and ruined on the quality of their macarons. Macarons (it's the French spelling of macaroons) - a pair of light, puffy almond-meringue cookies sandwiching fillings like ganache, caramel and buttercream - have reached cult status in Paris and locals will crisscross the city to get their favorites or the mac of the moment. Moi, I just have to walk down the street to Pierre Herme (62 rue Bonaparte, Paris 6). I'm not alone in thinking that Herme makes the world's best macarons - for sure he makes the macs that are most copied around the world.
CHEESES: Since there is no way you're going to be able to taste all the cheeses of France (of which there are more than 365 - now there's an idea for a year-long blog), the way I see it, you might as well taste the best, which means you've got to go to a place where the cheesemonger is wildly fussy. For impeccable cheeses that are fussed over with skill, passion, precision and affection, head to Fromagerie Quatrehomme (62 rue de Sevres, Paris 7), where Mme. Quatrehomme is a Meilleur Ouvrier de France (best artisan of France) and does most of the final aging in her own caves. In addition to Quatrehomme, I often buy cheese at the shop that's closest to my apartment, Fromagerie 31 (31 rue de Seine, Paris 6) and I always buy cheese from Philippe Gregoire of Elevage du Corbier every Sunday at the organic market on the Boulevard Raspail.
ICE CREAM: I know ice cream isn't the first food that jumps to mind when you think of Paris, but it would be a true pity if you went all the way to Paris and missed a scoop from Berthillon (31 rue Saint-Louis-en-l'Ile, Paris 4). No one knows how Berthillon does it (and they're not telling), but they make ice cream with the deepest, truest flavors ever churned. Getting ice cream from the shop is a pleasure - when the shop is open: for reasons unfathomable, Berthillon closes in August, the peak of ice-cream season. Luckily, many shops sell Berthillon and they're so proud to do so that they post signs on their doors saying it's their scoop of choice.
PLATEAU FRUITS DE MER: Whenever I see a big metal platter with a mound of crushed ice and a pile of oysters, clams, shrimp, langoustines and other precious shellfish, I imagine that I'm in Paris in the 1920s with Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Picasso. I think part of the rason that I can indulge this culinary hallucination so easily is because my favorite place to enjoy this luxury - and is it ever a luxury (especially now with the dollar so weak) - is at Le Dome (108 boulevard du Montparnasse, Paris 14), a Montparnasse brasserie that was a favorite hang-out for the lights of the Lost Generation. But if you're not up for a whole plateau, have oysters and a glass of Sancerre either at Le Dome or at my favorite oyster bar, Regis Huitrerie (3 rue de Montfaucon, Paris 6).
CREPES: A classic Paris street food, crepes are traditionally spread with butter and sugar, slathered with Nutella or sprinkled iwth cheese, but the ones that star chef Yves Camdeborde makes at his creperie (9 carrefour de l'Odeon, Paris 6) are as hearty and original as the food he serves at his next-door bistro, Le Comptoir - they're definitely filling enough to have as a meal (and so chockablock with ingredients that eating them on the run is a challenge). For crepes you can sit down and eat (like the ones pictured at left), I go to Breizh Cafe, the Paris outpost of the famous creperie in Cancale. Here the lacy crepes are made with organic ingredients and the fillings can be plain or fancy, sweet or savory. There's also a terrific (and terrifcally long) cider list.
STEAK-FRITES: To my mind, the best version of the classic steak-frites dish is found at Bistro Paul-Bert (18 rue Paul-Bert, Paris 11), which is a good thing for me because the place is also one of my hands-down favorite bistros, and you can't beat the combination of having the iconic dish in a setting that's Parisian through and through. It also doesn't hurt that Bistro Paul-Bert has a remarkable wine list.
CROQUE MONSIEUR AND MADAME: A croque monsieur is essentially a grilled ham sandwich on white bread, topped with a creamy, cheesy sauce Mornay and run under the broiler; monsieur's madame gets an extra topping: a sunny-side-up egg. My favorite croques are not so traditional - they're open-faced, built on solid country bread and found at Le Mabillon (164 boulevard Saint-Germain, Paris 6), a cafe with a rock'n'roll attitude and good salads.
CHAMPAGNE: I know that Champagne isn't typically Parisian, but Paris is the kind of city where you want to order une coupe de Champagne on a whim. I think it's as much fun to have Champagne in a busy cafe - I'd opt for the Cafe de Flore (172 boulevard Saint-Germain, Paris 6), where Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre once clinked glasses - as in a ritzy bar. And no bar is ritzy than The Ritz Bar (Hotel Ritz, 15 place Vendome, Paris 1), which is devoted entirely to Champagne. Other cool bars where Champagne would be the perfect splurge are The Bar at The Plaza Athenee (25 rue Montaigne, Paris 8) or the stylish lounge at l'Hotel (13 rue des Beaux Arts, Paris 6), the hotel where Oscar Wilde famously died above his means.
Feeling Great Again – The latest workout at Park Hyatt Zurich
May 28, 2008 // Franchising.com // Zurich, – Ideally located in the heart of Zurich, across from the Congress Center and steps from the Lake, Park Hyatt Zurich introduces YogaAway for those who want to start off their morning invigorated or for those who need to recuperate at the end of a long day.
YogaAway's approach is unique - designed to offer accessible, easy-to-use programs in the privacy of the hotel's Suites. In the luxurious Suites of Park Hyatt Zurich, guests may use a specially designed yoga mat, three DVD's with various exercises, a Martin Case produced Music CD and the book "Emotional Yoga" from Bija Bennett. The YogaAway program offers 45-minute of yoga routines, available in three categories, namely The Workout: Feeling Great Again; Stress Reduction: Feeling at Home; and Finding Focus: Feeling Clarity of Mind.
Conference of European Hotel Managers Association in St. Moritz goes green
The European Hotel Managers Association gave ample proof of its vitality at the General Meeting recently held in St. Moritz, chaired by its president Johanna Fragano, General Manager of the Hotel Quirinale in Rome. The conference was organized by a committee led by Hans Wiedemann in two hotels, the Badrutt’s Palace and the Kulm Hotel St. Moritz. It was a “green” three days, during which the hotels ran entirely on alternative energy. It was a demonstration of how sustainable tourism is a priority of the EHMA, not only because of its intrinsic importance but also because of the ever-increasing number of “green customers”, customers who prefer companies which respect the environment.
"I’m very happy with the enthusiastic participation of our members at St. Moritz, which created an atmosphere bursting with positive energy," commented Johanna Fragano, EHMA President and General Manager of the Hotel Quirinale in Rome. The results that we are achieving in spreading our values – peace between peoples, protection of the environment, safeguarding of our professionalism – provide the clearest evidence of our members’ interest in our initiatives, even in the countries that are less well-represented, such as Russia. I am truly grateful to all those who responded to our appeal.”
Sport, nature and snow were the dominant themes of the event. Taking advantage of St. Moritz’s climate, which blessed the conference with a beautiful blue mountain sky and powdery snow under the spring sunshine, many of the programmed activities took place outdoors, with a grand finale of fireworks at an altitude of 3000 metres. The al fresco Welcome Cocktail for the over 400 participants began with a welcome from the president of the Organizing Committee, Swiss delegate Hans Wiedemann, and from the city authorities and the Grigioni canton. A whole day was devoted to intriguing team games in the snow. The sumptuous gala evening at Badrutt’s Palace which concluded the conference was also the occasion for the presentation of the “Hotel Manager of the Year” award to 51-year-old Austrian Kurt Dohnal, CEO and Executive Vice President of the Kessler Collection Europe.
The activities of the EHMA involve various sectors, creating synergies and fostering close international relationships. Last November saw the study tour to China, organized as a result of contacts with the ECHMEC (Europe China Hotel Management Experts Council, www.echmec.org), a non-profit organization based in Brussels, which offers itself as a link between Europe and China for the hotel industry. The EHMA also supports the IIPT, the International Institute for Peace through Tourism.
The 35th General Meeting was also a chance to greet the 39 new members. The total number of members is 450, with a good mix of independent hotels and hotels belonging to the big international chains. Affiliation was extended to new countries not previously present, such as Russia and Finland. The association plans to have an even more widespread presence in Europe, where it currently has a presence in 28 countries.
Training at managerial level is an important element and the association collaborates in this sector with the most prestigious international hotel and catering schools, such as the École Hôtelière in Lausanne and Cornell University in the USA, which organized in-depth information sessions during the General Meeting. Many important speakers took part in the seminars, dealing with a number of very interesting and topical issues: economics, hotel management, marketing, technology, and a comparison of hotel chains and independent hotels under a global perspective.
The topics dealt with during the University Day organized by Chris Norton, Director of Marketing & Communication for the École Hôtelière in Lausanne, concerned the need for chains and independent hotels to add or create value, with three workshops: the first was on e-marketing with the title “Reaching the customer” (led by Professor Hilary Murphy), the second on IT strategy, “Creating an information technology-based strategy for the guest of the future” (led by Professor Ian Millar), while the third workshop was on “Strategy put into practice – Real tools for real challenges (led by Professors Demian Hodari, Hilary Murphy and Ian Millar).
The state of the world economy is certainly a very hot topic and the current situation was explained by a true expert, Dr. Sandro Merino, Head of Wealth Management UBS, while the World Economic Forum Report 2008 on global risk and its relevance for the world’s hospitality industry was analysed by Janice L. Schnabel, Marsh Inc. USA, & Martin Pfiffner, Kessler & Co, Zurich. All of us want to know what global trends the future has in store. Nick van Marken, Partner of Deloitte Touche, tried to provide some answers.
Running hotels is the daily bread of hotel managers, and Martin Wiederkehr, Category Manager, TransGourmet Schweiz AG, illustrated the advantages of working with a single supplier.
In regards to marketing, the contribution by Jürg Schmid, CEO of Switzerland Tourism, was a great success. He gave a brilliant overview of the strategies that this promotional body has pursued in order to create a brand, and position and promote tourism in Switzerland in the face of rapid changes in customers’ needs. The construction and management of one’s own credibility, a principal tool in constructing the image of a hotel and customer loyalty, was the topic dealt with by Christof Küng, EurEta, Küng Identità. For conference participants, the clientele mainly consists of “luxury travellers”, whose habits were discussed by Margaret M. Ceres as she presented the results of a survey carried out by American Express on Platinum and Centurion card holders.
Another topic that is close to the heart of hotel management is technology, a sector that is in a state of rapid and continual development. “Cards on the table – security in credit card payment” was the topic considered by Niklaus Santschi, Head of Sales & Marketing, Telekurs Multipay AG, while Leo Brand, CEO of Swisscom Hospitality Services spoke about the management of hotel networks and the future of information technologies in the hospitality industry. Customer expectations are rising daily and Tim Jefferson, Managing Director of The Human Chain, explained how to optimize customer service in the accommodation sector.
A panel of expert representatives, moderated by Ruud Reuland, General Director of the École Hôtelière in Lausanne, discussed the respective problems and opportunities facing hotel chains and independent hotels. The panel consisted of: Innegrit Volkhardt, Managing Proprietor, Bayerischer Hof, Munich, Michael Gray, General Manager, Hyatt International Hotel The Churchill, London Reto Wittwer, President & CEO, Kempinski Hotels & Resorts Emanuel Berger, Executive Delegate of the Board Victoria Jungfrau Collection Vic Jacob, General Manager, Suvretta House St. Moritz.
The EHMA (European Hotel Managers’ Association) is a non-profit association composed of the directors of prestigious 4 and 5 star international level hotels and dedicated to preserving a spirit of friendliness and high ethical standards in the hotel business. The EHMA has a history that goes back thirty-four years, during which the association has grown tremendously. Indeed, at first it consisted of only a few hotel managers, whereas today it has 450 members in 28 countries. In terms of numbers the association represents 360 hotels, 92 thousand rooms, 72 thousand employees and an annual turnover of about 6 billion euros. In terms of quality, the EHMA is first and foremost an association of friends with a shared passion for their work, who are committed to maintaining the high level of individual professionalism and prestige of the establishments they represent. The aim of the EHMA is to create a network, a circuit of ideas, knowledge, experience, problems and results in order to increase the professionalism of the sector. The Italian national delegate and current President is Johanna Fragano, general manager of the Hotel Quirinale in Rome.
Get Hooked in Northern BC: At King Pacific Lodge, the catch of the day might prove a whole lot bigger than you expect. Indeed, for those looking to combine a shine of the line with an adventure or two in the kitchen, an outing with the Chef promises the ultimate angling opportunity to forage and feast. With this Northern BC gem’s own Chef’s Catch experience, it’s all about sampling a bit of outdoor fun before taking it inside to craft something scrumptious.
To start the day, one of King Pacific’s fine chefs will greet guests at the dock before heading out to scenic Barnard Harbour. What’s on the menu? Plenty. Mere metres from the dock, your crew can unearth over 100 edible seafood species. Don’t know where to start? A few finds amid the depths and before you know it, an appetizer of seared flounder with a Dungeness crab and sea asparagus salad topped with salty seaweed crisps has been fashioned. And that’s just one option out of, oh, a whole lot. And with a chef rounding out the crew, you’ll not only discover the bounty in Barnard Harbour’s back yard, but learn valuable techniques and food philosophy key to success in the kitchen. Once you’ve returned to dry land, forget about handing your catch over to the folks in white. Cleaning and prepping your own gilled grab is part of the fun…that is until you get to taste your creation. Set to simmer until September, Chef’s Catch offers three, four and seven night’s all-inclusive packages at a luxury floating resort. Ample opportunity to bait your hook. And add some spice.
SPECIAL VIRTUOSO OFFER AT THE LUNA HOTEL BAGLIONI!!
From 20th May 2008 to 31st August 2008
For a minimum stay of 3 nights starting from Deluxe rooms
we will offer you…
Special voucher for a total of 60.00 $ US Dollar to be used for any service inside the Hotel*
Ticket Entrance for two persons to the famous Casino of Venice on the Grand Canal
10% special discount to any purchase at “Bally” and “La Perla” Boutiques in Venice
Relaxing Tour to the famous Murano Island.
The promotion is valid for a minimum stay of 3 nights, for any new bookings of Deluxe Double Room, Junior Suite and Suites.
Offer valid from May 20th 2008 to 31st August 2008.
Offer not valid for existing bookings and not cumulative with other active promotions.
Promotion valid only for new bookings received starting from this communication dated 19th May 2008, upon Hotel availability.
* 60.00 $ (US Dollar) Voucher is valid for Mini Bar, Room Service, Café Baglioni and Canova Restaurant. Any outstanding balance will be not refunded.
Anyone who has seen Midnight Express, the disturbing late-1970s Oliver Stone flick that told the story of Billy Hayes, the American stuck in a Turkish prison, will remember Sagmalcilar. Dank, dark, frightening, with a terrifying stone room in the basement where prisoner exercise consisted of walking in a small circle (the direction was important as we remember), the prison itself was one of the evil characters in the film. We can't imagine that anyone tried to smuggle anything out of Turkey after that movie was released.
Today, the large stone and brick building has been transformed. Painted bright yellow, with red geraniums stuffed in every window box, even the guard tower has been turned into a cute little perch overlooking the Sea of Maramara. Ladies and gentlemen, today the Sagmalcilar Prison is a Four Seasons Hotel. It is absolutely gorgeous, not to mention expensive.
While the Angeline Division does not have pockets deep enough for a stay at the Four Seasons Istanbul, we did pop in for drinks in the perfectly appointed lounge, just off the perfectly manicured courtyard. Impeccable service, linen bar napkins, antique furniture and rugs, and the first English newspapers we'd seen since arriving in Istanbul, it was certainly the classiest joint we've been in on this adventure. Those drinks also cost nearly as much as one night in the hotel we were staying in located only two blocks away. They were worth it though.
Trained by the legendary Alain Ducasse, Hélène Darroze is one of world's top female chefs. Now the French woman with two Michelin stars is crossing the Channel.
In little under a month, Darroze will be serving her two-Michelin-starred food on these very plates at her new restaurant at the Connaught Hotel in Mayfair, one of London's most prestigious and historic hotels. Expectations are high: Darroze trained with the legendary Alain Ducasse and, at 41, is widely acknowledged as one of the top-ranking female chefs in the world. She is renowned for her innovative take on French rustic classics, shot through with a thread of elegant quirkiness. At the Connaught, she follows in the footsteps of Angela Hartnett, Gordon Ramsay's protégée who won a Michelin star there before the tenancy expired last September.
The hotel has recently undergone a £60-million refurbishment and the suites have been kitted out with lots of sybaritic trinkets - a flat-screen television at the foot of a bath; a finger bowl garnished with a single rose petal - that sort of thing. The restaurant, which is currently a building site populated by purposeful-looking men in fluorescent jackets, is due to open in the third week of June.
With this much pressure bearing down on Darroze's diminutive shoulders, it is no surprise that she wants to get the porcelain just so. Although yet to make her mark in Britain, across the Channel Darroze's seemingly effortless rise to the top of a profession dominated by sweat-streaked, saucepan-battering machismo has made her into something of a culinary celebrity. The cheese course at her eponymous Parisian restaurant ensured its place in the popular lexicon when it inspired a scene in the hit animated film Ratatouille.
For the last few days, a French documentary crew has been shadowing her every move as she prepares for the Connaught launch. So when Darroze eventually walks through the door, she is trailed closely by a blaze of light and cameras. All the wires get in the way, and the sound man jiggles his boom about distractingly so that attempting to shake her hand is a bit like trying to touch the Holy Father through the windows of his Popemobile.
'How does it feel to meet the great Hélène Darroze?' asks a female TV presenter with dangly earrings before I've had a chance to say anything beyond a cursory bonjour. 'Erm, very exciting,' I mutter a bit unconvincingly.
'Oh, you know, I'm just like anyone else,' says Darroze waving her hand dismissively. She blithely ignores the TV crew and perches on a grey-blue armchair, sitting on the edge of the seat like an attentive schoolgirl. She does not look remotely like the sort of steely, ambitious figure one might expect. She has a ready smile and a delightfully easy manner, recalling those friendly patronnes you find occasionally serving double measures of pastis from behind village bars in rural France. Compact and short, she has cropped peroxide-blonde hair and twinkly eyes. She is sweetly pretty, but I get the impression that such trifles do not especially concern her. Her face is bare of make-up, the grey cardigan she is wearing has a hole in one arm that keeps threatening to unravel each time she moves and she wears little jewellery apart from an enormous gold crucifix that dangles almost all the way down to her navel.
She says the porcelain plates she has just chosen will be 'very simple, white and plain, because what's important is the food that's on them', and Darroze herself seems to embody this straightforward ethic, at pains to emphasise that she is not half as interesting as the dishes she produces. She is terribly self-effacing: throughout the interview, she calls herself a cuisinier (cook) rather than a chef. When she mentions the team who work for her in the kitchen, she refers to them as 'collaborators', politely glossing over the fact that they work for her.
Is she apprehensive about making her mark in London? 'For the moment, I'm surprising myself because I'm not too nervous. Everything is very rushed and stressed and there's lots to do before the opening, but touch wood...' she breaks off and taps her fingers against the coffee table, 'I haven't had a single butterfly in my tummy or any anxiety. I know I have to succeed but I feel that if you are sincere and honest in yourself, then everything else will follow.
'I've never been someone who feels the need to cook something because I've been told people like it. I do it from the heart, there's a truth that comes out of my cooking that speaks of me. I can't do anything else, I don't know how.'
In large part, this lack of pretension is influenced by her close family upbringing in Landes, south west France, an area bordered by dense forests and long beaches with a longstanding culinary history. Her cooking is heavily influenced by the region's produce: truffles, foie gras, beef from Chalosse, salmon from Adour and suckling lamb from the Basque country.
It is an area that has a history of producing great chefs - Alain Ducasse hails from the same region and Darroze comes from four generations of restaurateurs: her parents, Annick and Francis, ran the Le Relais restaurant in Villeneuve-de-Marsan that had been founded by her great-grandparents in 1895.
'I was practically born in the kitchen and I always loved being in it. I preferred it to the front of house, but I didn't become a cook immediately,' she says, speaking so quickly that she seems almost to run out of breath at the end of sentences. 'I did well at school and my mother always said I should do my studies and get qualifications.'
She graduated from university with a business degree and, at 25, got a job in the offices of Alain Ducasse's three-Michelin-starred Louis XV restaurant in Monte Carlo. For the first four months her forays into the kitchen were minimal: she was authorised only to rinse the lettuce. After a while, however, Ducasse noticed her potential. 'He helped me so much. He opened my eyes and gave me courage, he said, "I've seen you work, I've seen your passion". I had the opportunity to spend 100 per cent of my time with him and, in three years, I learned what would have taken 10 years anywhere else. I still respect him enormously and I was very influenced by his quest for perfection.'
She returned to Villeneuve-de-Marsan in 1993 to put her new expertise into practice at the family restaurant where she rapidly made a name for herself and was asked to cater for a meeting between Jacques Chirac and Helmut Kohl. Chirac was so taken with her cooking that he ordered a second helping of her stuffed pigeon. She retained her father's Michelin star but, six years later, the restaurant was forced to close for financial reasons and she took herself to Paris, opening the restaurant Hélène Darroze on the Left Bank, a couple of blocks from the Boulevard Saint-Germain.
As always, Darroze was keen to make it a family enterprise: the interior was decorated by her cousin and her wine-maker brother provided advice on the wine list. She started experimenting with the stalwart dishes of her repertoire. Instead of serving duck confit with its traditional accompaniment of lentils or white beans, she paired hers with caramelised carrots as a foil for the fat. Her oyster tartare comes with a velouté of haricot beans and caviar. In less than a year, the restaurant earned Darroze her second star. In France, it made her one of only two women to achieve such a feat - the other, Anne-Sophie Pic, won her third star last year.
'Of course, it is a very difficult profession for women because you need both psychological and physical force - all those long days are not easy,' she says. 'But I've never suffered from sexism. I grew up around male chefs and they were always very kind to me.'
Unusually for a woman who has spent most of her life knocking down sexist preconceptions like skittles, Darroze does not consider herself a feminist. 'No, not at all,' she says, gently horrified by the thought. 'I have never seen myself as a feminist. I feel very feminine and I'm very proud to be a woman.
'I'm not ashamed to say that men have qualities that we don't have and, like in a marriage, you have to work with both. We're not made in the same way. When I can't lift a big pan, I ask a man to help me.'
Her restaurant at the Connaught, like her Parisian venue, will have two separate menus - one for men with prices and one, for women, without. She shrugs her shoulders when I ask why. 'It's not an issue for me. Generally, the menu with the prices is given to the person who invites. It is not a question of man or woman.'
She says that she has little time for the abrasive, explosive touch of a Gordon Ramsay or Marco Pierre White, instead preferring a more feminine style of 'concentration' in the kitchen. 'I explain all the time to my collaborators that you talk with your eyes. Everyone calls me Hélène. I don't like being called "chef", it's more natural for me to use my name. The respect they give me is through the quality of their work. It's rare to hear shouting in my kitchen.'
She possesses, it is clear, an innate determination and rock-solid sense of self. Her father never wanted her to become a chef, preferring instead to hand over the restaurant to her younger brother, Marc. 'Well, it didn't work out like that,' she says with a mischievous smile. 'You have to ask them [my parents] if they're proud of me. I think they are happy for me and that's more important - I don't like the idea of pride.' And although she has never married, last year she went to Vietnam for 15 days and came back with a newborn adopted daughter, Charlotte, who is now a year old. That was brave, I say.
'Really? Why?' Because it must be difficult to balance the unpredictable hours of a demanding profession and a new baby as a single mother. She thinks for a few seconds. 'It was very important for me to be a mother. I would have felt a failure as a woman if I hadn't had a child.'
Few high-ranking professional females would feel entirely comfortable making such an admission but it is clear that Charlotte brings Darroze an undiluted joy that she could never have found in the kitchen - however passionately she loves her job.
'It's easy to be the mother of Charlotte. She's full of joie de vivre, she adapts to every situation and leaves a trail of happiness wherever she goes. Of course, yesterday, when I started work at 8.30 and didn't get back till 7.30, I felt guilty. That's only normal. But I'm lucky that we live so close and that if I have a spare 20 minutes I can pop back, or Charlotte can come to the Connaught.'
Darroze, who has been in the UK for just under a month, intends to split her time between Paris and London, never spending more than 10 days away from either restaurant. Her menu at the Connaught, where she will also oversee room service, will contain many of her signature dishes as well as some new British-inspired cuisine like Dover sole and wild Scottish salmon.
Over the last few weeks, in between recruiting kitchen staff and overseeing the restaurant renovations, her new employers have been taking Darroze out to sample the crème de la crème of London's gastronomic fare. 'I've been to Tom Aikens, the Square, Scott's, which is just next door and which I liked a lot.' It is quite a change from her formative experiences of English cuisine - when she came over as a 15-year-old exchange student, she remembers being served endless plates of peas and boiled meat. But now, when pushed, she is extremely diplomatic about everyday English food.
'I'm sure that when I get a chance to have fish and chips it will be delicious. I don't think France has a monopoly on good cooking. Today industrialised countries are so open to each other's cultures that one isn't better than the other.'
But the regular dining out has taken its toll and Darroze, naturally petite, admits she's currently on a diet. 'Lots of protein and vegetables cooked in water,' she says, rolling her eyes. 'For me, it's very difficult to stay thin. I have low resistance levels. So if you put a good plate of cheese in front of me or a dessert, I can't resist it. Certainly, at the moment, with all the stress, I just want to go and eat comfort food.
'The biggest challenge of my job is that there aren't enough hours in the day. But I don't find it difficult. I am very, very happy about the adventure that's unfolding for me now. As soon as I start finding it difficult, I will stop doing it.'
Anyway, she has to go and have her hair and make-up done for the photoshoot ('I don't have any stockings on, does that matter?' she asks anxiously) and then there are kitchen workers to recruit and more plates to order and dishes to invent and television crews to speak to and new suppliers to be found and a one-year-old baby to bring up and carrots to caramelise.
Before she rushes off, a whirring dynamo of kinetic vigour, I ask her which dish she most resembles. 'Either a soft-boiled egg or a roast chicken,' she answers, without hesitation. It is a perceptive answer: both dishes, like Darroze herself, are comforting, uncomplicated and almost universally popular. 'But it has to be French chicken, it has to come from Landes and it has to be roasted on a rotisserie, basted in duck fat and served with fat chips.' It is a typical Darroze twist on tradition. In food, as in life, she is unable to resist the final indulgent flourish.
Ferry ride to fun: Visit glorious gardens, drink a spot of tea on Vancouver Island
VICTORIA, B.C. - My vacation itineraries usually are determined by the fact that I am a lone woman traveling with three guys: my husband and two sons. If I want their company, then cooking classes, spas and quilt shows are out.
Every now and then, the guys throw me a bone. A day spent on Vancouver Island in British Columbia was one of those gifts. I had tea at the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria, then toured Abkhazi Garden and the Butchart Gardens, two places I had always wanted to see.
The day began with a ferry ride. We rose e arly for the two-hour drive from Seattle to the Canadian border, followed by a 20- minute drive to the BC Ferries terminal in Tsawwassen, on the mainland. We took a 90-minute cruise to Vancouver Island.
Vancouver Island can't be confused with Vancouver, the biggest city in British Columbia and host for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. With more than 2 million people in its metropolitan area, the city of Vancouver is a booming, futuristic place, with a downtown full of gleaming skyscrapers and nattily dressed young professionals chatting on their cell phones.
Vancouver Island feels like a step back in time to an era of leisurely afternoons spent sipping tea and admiring roses.
Victoria, the biggest city on the island and the provincial capital of British Columbia, has a population of less than 80,000. It was settled in 1843 and named for England's reigning queen. Charming streetscapes, the picturesque Inner Harbour and blooming gardens attract more than 3.5 million visitors annually. Much of the distinctive architecture dates to the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The Fairmont Empress Hotel is among those historic buildings, celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Reservations for tea are recommended, but I took a chance as a walk-in and felt lucky to get a table.
My menfolk declined to join me, opting instead for a movie at the National Geographic IMAX Theatre in the Royal BC Museum, conveniently located across from the hotel.
Sure gambling is the big draw to Las Vegas, but what else is there to do if you don't gamble? Plenty!
Try The Wynn Las Vegas.
that is data recovery service hotel that defines luxury. Even the standard room is 640 square feet which is plenty big home financing bad credit features many luxury amenities such as full TV and films.
Many hotels skimp in that area because they want you on the gaming floor and not holed up in a room with your face glued to the tube. The staff at the Wynn is well trained to answer your every question. While you are staying a the Wynn, don't miss La Reve, a show with that Cirque du Soleil flavor. La Reve was created by Franco Dragone, Cirque's creator, and is receiving enthusiastic reviews. Wynn has the restaurant chef on premises, so you can enjoy any of the on-location restaurants, such as Wing Lei, Bartolotta, Alex, Red 8, Okada, SW Steakhouse and Daniel Boulud.
The Encore at Wynn Las Vegas is the latest ultra-luxury resort in town, and will be opening in late 2008. Located on the north side of the Wynn casino property, Encore is a virtual replica of the Wynn tower, turned at a 90 degree angle.
If you haven’t been to the Wynn, you really need to check it out. It has some of the most luxurious shops anywhere, a GREAT buffet, and amazing waterfalls and lakes.
When Encore opens, it will effectively double the room capacity at the Wynn. The casino has its own golf course, some amazing in-house banquet, convention, and wedding facilities, and, of course, a beautiful and huge casino.
It’s also across the street from the Las Vegas mall and the Venetian/Palazzo, so there is plenty to see and do in the immediate vicinity. I’d put the Wynn on my must-see list when in Vegas, especially with the opening of Encore.
Michael de Cozar is the head concierge at the Ritz hotel, London. Nominated by human resources manager Nina Lam, he has been working at the iconic hotel for 35 years. He spoke to Kerstin Kühn
Why did you nominate Michael?
Nina Lam Michael de Cozar has been head concierge of the Ritz London for 35 years, which is a fantastic achievement. Everyone at the hotel is proud to have him as part of the team, and with his wealth of knowledge and experience, nothing is too much trouble. He is a great ambassador for the hotel and a walking/talking Yellow Pages. Michael always goes the extra mile, and consistently he provides above and beyond the expectations of clients at the Ritz.
Michael de Cozar I am very excited and feel really honoured to have won this award. But it's not just an achievement for me but also for the Ritz hotel and my entire team. I'm really passionate about the hotel industry and feel very proud to have been recognised in this way.
Why do you think you were nominated?
MC I am very passionate about the Ritz. Having worked here for 35 years, I am the longest-serving head concierge in the hotel's history and it's been an incredibly important part of both my life and my family's. My father worked at the hotel for 27 years and my brother for 23 years, and now one of my sons is doing work experience. I'm really committed to my role and believe that every guest should be treated the same. No matter who you are, when you come to the Ritz you'll be treated like royalty.
What has been the biggest highlight of your job?
MC Meeting Prince Charles was probably the biggest highlight. He was guest of honour at a mutton dinner that was held at the hotel and he was really charming. Also, being featured in the film Notting Hill was very exciting. Sadly, though, I only got to meet Hugh Grant and not Julia Roberts.
What has been the most unusual request you have had?
MC On Christmas Day in 1977 an American guest rang reception. He told me that his family was from Brighton and that he fancied having a bath in seawater. He said he had a bunch of canisters in his room and that he wanted us to drive down to Brighton and fill them up for him and bring them back to fill up his bath. It took a few hours, but we did it, and he gave each of us a $100 tip. I've had many other unusual requests over the years, but that was probably the strangest.
What will you do with the money?
MC I will give it to charity. My wife suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS), so I will donate half of it to an MS charity and the other half to the victims of the recent disaster in Burma.
Four Seasons is opening its second hotel; Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus in summer 2008. The new hotel is located along the banks of the strait that divides the continents Europe and Asia.
This unique property is a combination of a 19th Century Ottoman Palace and two contemporary buildings. With its spectacular vistas of old and new Istanbul, the new Four Seasons, is a complement to its sister hotel located in historical side of the city, Sultanahmet.
Nearly a quarter of the 166 guest rooms - including 25 suites – open to waterfront view, and the rest face beautiful garden and city scenes. Guests will get a true taste overlooking the Bosphorus when the Aqua fine dining restaurant showcases Mediterranean cuisine with Italian and Turkish specialties. The hotel offers extensive meeting and banquet facilities with a seating capacity up to 800 plus full technological support from high-speed internet access, teleconferencing facilities, digital wall displays, state-of-the-art sound and light controls. With its pampering treatments, the world-class Urban Spa and Turkish bath and indoor and heated outdoor pool have been carefully designed for the guests who would like to relax. The glamorous Wedding Garden provides a spectacular locale for cocktail receptions and outdoor occasions. Visitors to Istanbul now benefit from two Four Seasons Hotels with a private ferry service between the city’s most exclusive locations.
Four Seasons guests visiting Istanbul will not only appreciate the culture the current property offers at historic Sultanahmet, but they will also be pampered by a glamorous retreat on the waterfront at the Bosphorus with thoughtful Four Seasons care and same assurance of perfection.
Four Seasons is dedicated to perfecting the travel experience through continuous innovation and the highest standards of hospitality. From elegant surroundings of the finest quality, to caring, highly personalised 24-hour service, Four Seasons embodies a true home away from home for those who know and appreciate the best. The deeply instilled Four Seasons culture is personified in its employees – people who share a single focus and are inspired to offer great service. Founded in 1960, Four Seasons has followed a targeted course of expansion, opening hotels in major city centres and desirable resort destinations around the world. Currently with 74 hotels in 31 countries, and more than 25 properties under development, Four Seasons will continue to lead the hospitality industry with innovative enhancements, making business travel easier and leisure travel more rewarding.
Although Turkey still totters dizzyingly between the EU and its latent Muslim conservatism, the opening of the city’s second Four Seasons hotel definitely confirms its status as an officially scorching destination-of-the-moment. And never mind about Kipling -- at the new Four Seasons at the Bosphorus, the twain absolutely do meet, and quite magnificently so, we must say. The converted 19th-century Ottoman palace has 166 bright, contemporary rooms and features both Turkish and Mediterranean restaurants, a stylish lobby lounge, and a haman-equipped spa. Positioned on the European bank of the river, it’s a short trip to the Hagia Sophia, one of the world’s most grandiose architectural wonders.
In Europa’s other great cathedral city, ever-glorious Firenze, the luxe hotelier opens its first Central Italy property in the (what else?) art-filled 15th-century Della Gherardesca Palazzo, originally built by that old-world star-architect Antonio da Sangallo. Renovated under the strict direction of the Ministry of Fine Arts & Culture, its 117 rooms are done up in dazzling neo-classical style, and the Il Palagio restaurant features dramatic, vaulted ceilings and a serene garden courtyard. Perhaps a neo-neo-Renaissance is in order, then. Both hotels open in mid-July.
One of the pleasures of being away from home is the shopping and there are designer label stores within the Vancouver Fairmont Hotel, including Louis Vuitton and Gucci.
Many guests like to keep fit and the hotel has a complimentary health club and indoor pool. Dining is another pleasure at the hotel and there are a variety of venues. Griffins Restaurant is a bistro design and provides a tasty buffet. The 900 West Lounge offers the perfect night out with good food and live jazz. Weddings and honeymoons are popular here and there are other packages, including Romance, Bed and Breakfast and Winter Rates.
Gwyneth Paltrow Goes to Rome, Donates to Food Bank
Continuing along on her European promotional run, Gwyneth Paltrow joined co-star Robert Downey Jr, along with director Jon Favreau, at the Iron Man photocall at Hassler Hotel in Rome on Wednesday.
“Iron Man” (opening May 2nd Stateside) isn’t the typical Paltrow project, in fact she says her friends and family weren’t sure what to think when she announced her involvement in the film.
She told press, “A lot of people were really confused when they heard I was doing Iron Man. They thought I was doing an Ironman triathlon.”
In related news, Gwyneth also recently “donated $75,000 of her own money to the New York Food Bank charity after attending a gala over the weekend.”
A guest at Saturday night’s Food Bank benefit, Paltrow reportedly told fellow guests: “I’ve been thinking about all the crap my children have and how much food we throw away. We have to do better.”
Vegas casino, DA say Barkley has paid $400,000 gambling debt
LAS VEGAS (AP)—Former NBA star Charles Barkley has retired his debt to a Las Vegas Strip casino that sued him after he failed to pay $400,000 in gambling loans.
But the civil lawsuit remains open, and it’s going to cost Sir Charles $40,000 more to get out of the legal doghouse.
Barkley, a basketball analyst for Turner Network Television, said in a statement released Tuesday by TNT that he didn’t know about the district attorney’s $40,000 processing fee, but intends to pay it.
“True to my word, I sent a $400,000 cashier’s check overnight to Wynn Las Vegas, which they confirmed they received,” Barkley said. “I was unaware of the additional 10 percent processing fee from the district attorney’s office and will make restitution on that promptly.”
Jennifer Dunne, a spokeswoman for Wynn Las Vegas, said it received a check Tuesday afternoon from Barkley and sent it to the district attorney. The resort filed a civil complaint May 14 in Nevada state court alleging Barkley failed to repay four $100,000 casino markers, or loans, received last Oct. 18 and 19.
“We’ve been paid in full,” Dunne said. “The rest is the district attorney fee.”
In this May 15, 2008 file photo, retired basketball star Charles Barkley is shown during an interview with local media during the Regions Charity Classic Pro-Am golf tournament in Hoover, Ala. A Nevada prosecutor and a Las Vegas Strip casino say Charles Barkley hasn't settled his $400,000 gambling debt, despite what he said on television.
Clark County District Attorney David Roger said the case will remain open, with Barkley facing possible criminal prosecution until he pays the fee.
“We’ve been in contact with his representative,” Roger told The Associated Press. “We expect a check for $40,000 within the next few days.”
Barkley said during a pre-game show Monday that he was to blame for the outstanding gambling debt.
“I screwed up and didn’t pay them in a significant amount of time,” Barkley said. “Could they have handled it differently? Yes. But it was my fault.”
The 45-year-old Barkley also said he would stop gambling, at least for a while.
“For right now, the next year or two, I’m not going to gamble,” he said. “Just because I can afford to lose money doesn’t mean I should do it.”
Roger had promised to file felony theft or bad check charges if Barkley didn’t pay the Wynn debt. A theft conviction could carry a penalty of one to 10 years in state prison. A felony bad check conviction could bring one to four years.
Barkley played 16 NBA seasons for the Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets, and played on the USA Olympic “Dream Team” in 1992 and 1996. He was an 11-time NBA All-Star and was league MVP in 1993.
He has talked openly about his gambling, estimating during a May 2006 interview with ESPN that he’d gambled away about $10 million over the years.
We’d never advocate people running up huge gambling debts and then not paying. If you sign a marker, you’re promising to pay back what you borrow, the same as any other loan. So we think that ex-NBA star Charles Barkley should make good on the $400,000 debt he owes to the Wynn Las Vegas.
(The Clark County District Attorney’s office is now involved, too, having opened a criminal case in the bad check unit, since gambling markers are considered checks under the law. The DA wants the money repaid, plus a 10 percent fee to the unit, or $40,000. We think that’s a little ridiculous, especially since Deputy District Attorney Bernie Zadrowski is also the chairman of the Clark County Republican Party, and the Republicans are well known for their deep, abiding sympathy for the rich. Isn’t there a member of the working poor they can zing for a bounced grocery store check instead?)
Anyway, here’s the thing about the story we find a little odd: Barkley has been upfront about the fact that he has a gambling problem. He told ESPN about it in 2006, estimating that it had cost him $10 million. And this could not have been news to the people at Wynn Las Vegas, who gave him two $100,000 markers on Oct. 18 and Oct. 19 for a total of 400 large.
What’s up with that? We thought that Nevada casinos didn’t cater to problem gamblers. Didn’t we hear American Gaming Association Chairman Frank Fahrenkopf going on about that the other day in the pages of CityLife?
Could it be that the industry was … what’s the word … lying when it says problem gamblers aren’t welcome in their casinos? Color us shocked.
It seems clear what should happen here: If a casino extends credit to a player who has acknowledged a gambling problem — as Barkley clearly has — then it should not be entitled to collect anything from that player, either civilly or criminally. Problem solved, since no casino would ever loan money it has no hope of recovering. (Dirty little secret: As much as the industry goes on about providing an “entertainment experience,” they’re really just in the business of separating suckers from their cash.)
That’s what should happen, of course. What will happen? Well, the legal eagles in Zadrowski’s shop will prosecute the only crime that matters in this situation — defrauding the casino. As for taking advantage of people who have admitted a gambling problem? They’re on their own.
Welcome to Las Vegas.
The Bellagio Hotel is home to the fabulous and famous Cirque du Soleil show "O". And this is just the start of your Las Vegas vacation fun as the Bellagio Hotel has so much more to offer. The style of this luxury hotel is taken from the theme of a Roman extravaganza. It sits at the edge of a 10-acre man-made lake which provides you with a host of activities. There are also some 20 restaurants and cafes on site, a 65,000 square foot spa and salon and a numerous other attractions
The hotel was featured in the movies, Oceans Eleven and Oceans Thirteen, which featured George Clooney and Brad Pitt as part of a gang intent on robbing casinos. A fictional vault of the Bellagio Hotel Las Vegas was indeed robbed in the story! The hotel was opened in 1998 and cost a staggering $1.6 billion to build. The interior is luxuriously furnished with fountains and the lobby ceiling is decorated with colorful hand blown glass flowers.
The grounds are lovely too and the 18 acre artificial lake at the front of the hotel is the venue for the much loved Fountains of Bellagio display of music and lights. The musical extravaganza is repeated thoughtout the day and features a variety of music, including Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Aaron Copland and Handel. The natural world is also on show at the Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, which has free admission and the gardens are open 24 hours a day.
Guest's rooms contain a flat screen television with pay per view movies, mini bar and in room safe. There are a number of up market stores in the Bellagio Hotel Las Vegas complex, including Tiffany and Chanel. Guests can enjoy the use of six different swimming pools. There are several restaurants, including the award winning Le Cirque, a French cuisine experience by the lake. Japanese and Chinese restaurants are also first class and there is a traditional steakhouse.
At the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art there is a small but quite impressive display of dozens of works by masters such as Picasso, Monet, van Gogh and others. You tour is aided by an audio presentation. Art lovers will certainly find this to be a must visit spot on their Las Vegas vacation.
In addition to the major attractions, Bellagio has an extremely large casino offering all the games you can imagine with limits to suit all gamblers. There is also plenty of shopping at Via Bellagio, a world-class spa, several nightclubs, over 20 restaurants for all tastes and budgets including the award-winning Le Cirque, and a spectacular pool area to work on your tan at.
Today we will do a little walk in the mountains near where I live. This is the Aerie Resort in the Spring. It goes well with the post I did on the Malahat Scenic Drive.
The Aerie Resort is located in the mountains just outside of Victoria. It takes about thirty minutes to drive there along the Malahat Drive. It is a Mediterranean style mansion on 85 acres of wilderness. Great for bird watching or just getting away from it all. I like to photo the scenery there and have been there many times just to look at it. It has a five star restaurant and I aim to go to it one day. It has been considered one of the finest places to stay in the world. Here is a link to my previous post on the Aerie in the snow with some interesting pictures. After our visit to the Aerie we went on to a lake.
Below is Spectacle lake which is not far from the Aerie and we always hit both spots on our trips up island. Spectacle Lake is great for bird watching, fishing and swimming and even skating in the winter. It has a trail all around the lake which is really pretty and even more breath taking in the snow.
$ 30 Million Renovation earns Crete's Elounda Village the coveted Boutique’s Diamond Status
Boutique Hotels&Resorts International® announced today that the Aquila Elounda Village Resort on Crete has achieved Diamond Collection™ status in the worldwide network of genuine boutique hotels. “We are proud to appoint Elounda Village to a very elite group of hotels that can be considered among the absolute best hotels in the world, Boutique’s Diamond Collection™”, said Martin Buehler, Boutique’s Chairman.
Elounda Village Resort has completed a $30 million renovation, re-furbishing and re-designing guest rooms and suites, restaurants, bars and public areas over the entire resort of 50,000 square meters. Custom-designed to spotlight its singular Cretan location, local style, and unparalleled romantic nature, Elounda Village is the cream of a select crop of world-class boutique resorts.
“Boutique’s Diamond Collection™ has been our goal, and this accomplishment speaks volumes about our commitment to being not just the best boutique hotel on Crete, but among the best boutique hotels in the world. Elounda Village is dedicated to providing the best experience to our guests, helping make memories to last a lifetime”, commented Dimitrios Tsounis, Managing Director of Aquila Hotels& Resorts, and the mastermind behind the project. “Our team has worked hard to attain this status, and this recognition, and our guests are the fortunate ones who will enjoy the fruits of our labors.”
Buehler continued, “Elounda Village has always been a unique resort gem, with amazing views, exceptional service and a true sense of romance, an outstanding luxury resort. As a member of the Diamond Collection™, Elounda Village now takes its place where it belongs, a Boutique Diamond and one of the world’s crown jewels.”
Boutique Hotels&Resorts International® awards a distinct identity to boutique hotels around the world that is recognized by travelers and travel professionals for a genuine boutique lodging experience. To member hotels Boutique is a full service strategic alliance featuring inventive marketing and the very latest in reservation and global distribution technology that gives independent boutique hotels the ability to compete with the major hotel giants. These unique, individual boutique hotels and resorts are showcased in three distinctive Collections: The Diamond Collection™ (discreet world class service), The Emerald Collection™ (the very best in their destination) and The Sapphire Collection™ (distinctive style and décor of locale). Make online reservations and find more information at www.boutiquehotelsandresorts.com.
Aquila Elounda Village Resort is located on the famous Mirabello Bay, on a secluded beach on Crete’s eastern coast. Seemingly the birthplace of romance, the property feels more like an exclusive luxury village, with four swimming pools, including an infinity pools sporting a waterfall in three levels, 208 luxurious guest rooms, suites, bungalows with shared pools and Maisonettes with private pools.
The Las Vegas Strip is famous all over the world for its glamorous hotels and casinos. The Bellagio Hotel Las Vegas is one of the most elegant complexes, having been inspired by the Italian resort of Bellagio by Lake Como. Gambling, entertainment, dining and accommodation are first class at the five diamond establishment.
There are 3,241 rooms and 512 suites inside the Bellagio. This casino also includes a 45, 000 square foot Grand Ballroom, 22, 000 square foot Bellagio Ballroom and 14 meeting rooms. There are tonnes of shopping that can be done inside the Bellagio, 10 shops to choose from. All the shops are located in the Via Bellagio. If you want to just relax and unwind there is a 65,000 square foot Spa. This spa offers multiple types of massages and services in its 56 treatment rooms. This casino has world class dinning, with tones of restaurants to choose from. Some restaurants you can dine at are; Jean- Philippe, Pali Pronto, Picasso, Sensi, Jasmine and many more.
The main visual attraction this casino is known for is the stunning fountains located in front of the premises. There is no cost at all for the show and the times run from Monday-Friday, 3 p.m.- midnight, Saturday and Sunday, noon-midnight. The fountains run every half-hour until 8 p.m. and every 15 minutes after that until midnight. However, the fountains are occasionally closed during high winds.
Guest’s rooms contain a flat screen television with pay per view movies, mini bar and in room safe. There are a number of up market stores in the Bellagio Hotel Las Vegas complex, including Tiffany and Chanel. Guests can enjoy the use of six different swimming pools. There are several restaurants, including the award winning Le Cirque, a French cuisine experience by the lake. Japanese and Chinese restaurants are also first class and there is a traditional steakhouse.
The Spa and Salon offers a range of treatments for guests of the Bellagio Hotel Las Vegas, including facials, yoga and water massages. There are also fitness equipment and weight machines for a good workout. A personal instructor is on hand to give advice.
If you are looking for a show to see while in Las Vegas, Bellagio is home to a Cirque du Soleil show simply called O. In Italian, O means water and that is what this show is all about with 85 acrobats and swimmers performing in and above a 1.5 million gallon pool of water.
Location: Claridge’s Brook Street, Mayfair London, W1A 2JQ
Contact Numbers: 020 7629 8860
Business Hours: Mon - Sat 11am to 11pm, Sun 4pm - 8.30pm
Claridge’s Bar is every bit what you would expect from one of the crème de la crème when it comes to hotels in London. It is bursting with elegance and sophistication. The hotel’s contemporary twist from Davis Collins the designer adds spice to it.
The bar presents its guests with private and lush settings to take pleasure in while sipping their exceptional champagnes and fine wines which you have the option to avail by the glass. The cocktails on the other hand are immensely wonderful. Their Bellinis are nothing short of being world-class and is worth its valued price at £12.50. This is especially true after bearing in mind the very classy and stunning backdrop. The service is also outstanding.
The bar gives you a fascinating menu and will even offer some of the most prestigious cigars found in London. I must also warn you about the bar’s scrumptious nibbles, particularly the grilled cheese strips that is partnered with rosemary. Once you pop it inside your mouth, it seems impossible to stop. So if you are seeking for a glamorous place with a pinch of fierceness, Claridge’s Bar is one that just might satisfy your style and taste.
Berlin's Adlon Kempinski Hotel, the original Grand
BERLIN -- Resorts from Mackinac Island to Point Clear, Ala., have adopted the name.
But Berlin's Adlon Kempinski, which sparkles anew while celebrating its 100th birthday this year, was the inspiration for the 1932 Oscar-winning best picture "Grand Hotel," starring Greta Garbo. In 1990, a Broadway adaptation, "Grand Hotel: The Musical," won five Tony Awards.
A signature line in those productions goes like this: "Grand Hotel -- always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens."
Ah, but this Berlin landmark -- situated steps from the Brandenburg Gate at the geographical heart of the city -- has experienced countless happenings.
And as for the people who come and go ...
The Adlon's guest list has included Albert Einstein and Penelope Cruz, Enrico Caruso and Halle Berry, Charlie Chaplin and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Dalai Lama and Roger Federer, Thomas Mann and Brad Pitt, the Aga Khan and Michael Jackson.
Remember those images of Jackson dangling his infant son, whose head was covered with a towel, over the rail of a hotel-room balcony? That was the Adlon.
Adlon historians would just as soon forget the 2002 Jackson episode. They point proudly instead to visits by two U.S. presidents named Roosevelt and two named Bush; to stays by Bill Clinton, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev and hundreds more world leaders.
German emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II officiated at the 1907 opening of Lorenz Adlon's creation. And for almost 40 years, this was a center of Berlin social life: Grand orchestras filled the Adlon's public rooms with music while elaborate restaurants satisfied the most demanding palates. Legend holds that Marlene Dietrich was discovered in the Adlon's lobby.
The Adlon survived World War II largely intact, but much of the hotel was destroyed by fire in the spring of 1945. Only one wing remained of the original structure -- located just inside the boundaries of what became East Berlin -- and it was shuttered for two decades. In 1966, that wing reopened first as a small hotel, then as a youth hostel, but in the early '80s it was razed.
But like the city, the Adlon has made a remarkable recovery. After the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, the Adlon family and Kempinski Hotels & Resorts plotted its resurrection. And on Aug. 23, 1997, this Grand Hotel reopened.
Enter a spacious lobby through the Adlon's front door on fashionable Unter den Linden boulevard, and you are all but overwhelmed by the elegance. Beneath a mosaic glass dome, a harpist plays soothing music as an accompaniment to afternoon tea.
The Adlon's most celebrated eatery is Lorenz Adlon, an intimate Michelin-starred retreat where chef Thomas Neeser creates seven-course "menu degustations" for $395 per person with corresponding wines.
The hotel's 100th birthday celebration includes several special promotions.
Certainly the pejorative is deserved for the half-thawed clams, bronze peas and yesterday's rolls of some accommodation eateries.
But blanket condemnation's unfair.
Restaurant L'Espadon at the 109-year-old Hotel Ritz in Paris remains a mega-star in the gastronomic epicenter of the world. Dining at its finest thrives at august hostelries from The Peninsula in Beverly Hills to The Four Seasons in Palm Beach...
James Bedding makes the most of the city's most stylish hotel, the Widder.
In the Old Town, two minutes' walk from the jewellers, chocolatiers and Swiss banks of the celebrated Bahnhofstrasse.
The city's most stylish hotel is a thoughtful conversion of eight historic houses. Frescoes, painted ceilings and other original features uncovered during 10 years of planning and construction are fused with modern touches - as in the elegant lobby, with its ancient beams interspersed with girders of steel, framed in granite and glass, or the ultra-modern see-through lift that slides up a medieval wall.
Throughout there's antique and contemporary furniture and art by Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Andy Warhol, Alberto Giacometti and many more.
The nearby church bells, which peal exuberantly at around 9.45am on Sundays, 7am on weekdays: charming, maybe, but impossible to ignore, even with soundproofing in the rooms. The intriguing warren of passageways and stairs linking the floor levels of the old houses are an obstacle for less mobile guests.
The 42 rooms and seven suites (some of the latter with private roof terrace) are individually designed and furnished, but follow a house style: Haus zum Pferch is 17th-century Baroque; others are Art Nouveau, Biedermeier or Bauhaus, for example. Rooms have Bang & Olufsen hi-fi and flat-screen TVs, purpose-designed halogen lighting and spacious bathrooms of polished stone.
Innovative international modern fare at the formal Widder Restaurant (and the Turmstübli, for smokers); bistro-style cuisine at the Wirtschaft zur Stund; breakfast in a glassed conservatory or in the quiet courtyard. The bar, stocked with more than 130 whiskies, stages regular jazz evenings.
The other guests
Couples on cultural city breaks; business guests treating partners and families.
Attentive but unstuffy, thanks to a young and cosmopolitan staff.
The Rocco Forte Collection (Rocco Forte & Family Plc) is an exclusive collection of 5* luxury hotels owned by Sir Rocco Forte, son of the late hotel magnate Charles Forte, Baron Forte.
Rocco Forte Hotels is building a collection of 5* Deluxe properties in Europe.
Sir Rocco Forte personally leads the management team at the corporate office in London.
Rocco Forte Hotels sales offices are located in London, Rome, Frankfurt, Moscow, Madrid, New York City and Los Angeles.
The group currently owns 10 hotels around Europe, with three more preparing to open. The Chateau de Bagnols in Beaujolais, (which was a management contract) France, has been sold by Lady Hamlyn to Principal Hotels, along with the St David's Hotel in Cardiff.
List of Hotels
Hotel de Rome - Berlin
Hotel Amigo - Brussels
The Balmoral - Edinburgh
Hotel Savoy - Florence
Villa Kennedy - Frankfurt
Le Richemond - Geneva
Brown's Hotel - London
The Lowry Hotel - Manchester
The Charles Hotel - Munich
St. Thomas Hotel - Prague (opening spring 2008)
Hotel de Russie - Rome
Verdura Golf & Spa Resort - Sicily (opening summer 2008)
Hotel Astoria - St. Petersburg
Marrakesh (opening summer 2009)
I saw this and HAD to post it! I think I will just paste the description below for all to see…how interesting! I want this book!
Afternoon tea is the English meal-time institution, a social as well as a culinary event. It is precisely this atmosphere which is embodied in the Palm Court Tearoom at the Ritz in London, which for many years has been one of the most delightful and traditional place to take tea.
The London Ritz Book of Afternoon Tea captures the essence of this traditional British occasion and provides the reader with all the Ritz expertize in the ceremony as well as over 50 recipes, illustrated with passages from Dickens to Oscar Wilde and charming drawings.
Mayfair, Mayfair Oxford St West End, London Central
Sophistication and Classic English style are the hallmarks of the legendary Brown’s Hotel and has undergone a recent multi-million pound refurbishment. Set in the heart of Mayfair on Albemarle Street, Brown’s is one of the most historic hotels in London. Within a short walk from exclusive Bond Street shopping and West End theatres. All 117 bedrooms have been individually designed with a sophistication that has become the trademark of Rocco Forte hotels, as has the warm and personal service. All of the air-conditioned rooms have dual-line phones, voice messaging, broadband Internet connections and digital flat-screen LCD televisions with interactive video on demand, minibar and safe.
TRAVELERS: Ken Maher (left), wife Dr. Diane Sino and San Francisco artist Sidney Mobell, whose "Jeweled Objects of Desire" were on display at Louisiana State Exhibit Museum here through July 25. The Shreveporters ran into Mobell serendipitiously at the Grand Hotel Europe in St. Petersburg, Russia, while on a Baltic cruise.
THE SITE: Maher/Sino took the cruise to the Scandinavian capitols. They started in Copenhagen, sailing to Tallinn, Estonia; St. Petersburg; Helsinki, Finland; Stockholm, Sweden; Arhus, Denmark; and Oslo, Norway. They were aboard the Holland America cruise ship, MS. Veendam.
SOME SIGHTS TO SEE: Tivoli Gardens in Denmark; quaint cobblestone streets in Arhus, which take you to Danish handicraft boutiques; the Rock Church, Sibelius Park and Pipe Monument in Helsinki; and Gamla Stan, the Old Town in Stockholm, founded in the 13th century; Russian Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Estonia.
DON'T MISS: In St. Petersburg: Hermitage Museum at the Winter Palace, Peter the Great's Summer Palace at Peterhof and Church of the Resurrection (Church on the Spilled Blood.) Also in St. Petersburg, the travelers enjoyed a gala evening at Yusupov Palace. Cocktails and canapes were served and live music enjoyed before attending a performance by the St. Petersburg Opera Co.
BEST MEAL: traditional wienersnitchel in Tivoli Gardens.
BEST TIME TO GO: late June.
Space trip to Greece drawing attention WASHINGTON - Rep. Zack Space defended a congressional trip he plans to take next week to his family's homeland of Greece as a visit to boost economic ties and focus on national security issues.
Under scrutiny for the costs associated with the trip, the Dover Democrat said Friday he was asked to go because of his Greek heritage. He also said the State Department organized all the logistics of the trip, which will be headed by Rep. Albio Sires, D-N.J., a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
The Washington Post this week reported the lawmakers would stay in Athens at "the lovely Hotel Grande Bretagne, which styles itself as 'surely the most luxurious establishment in Greece,' with a terrific rooftop restaurant and a view of the city."
The Columbus Dispatch reported on Thursday that Space was trying to find a "more economical" hotel than the $400-per-night Hotel Grande Bretagne, but Space spokesman Matt Thornton said Friday that plans for staying at a less expensive hotel were still up in the air.
"We haven't been able to make alternative arrangements, but we are in the process of investigating our options," he said. Space, a freshman lawmaker, won his seat by campaigning against the corruption that had embroiled his predecessor, former Rep. Bob Ney, now jailed for accepting free trips and other gifts from lobbyists. Space vowed not to accept any privately funded trips. The visit to Greece is considered an official trip and would be paid for by taxpayer dollars.
About a half dozen lawmakers from both parties were planning to take the trip, which would include visits to Athens and Cyprus, where they plan to meet with Greece's prime minister, foreign minister and other officials.
"Greece and Cyprus have long been valued partners both economically and strategically in the war on terror, and due to my Greek lineage, I believe I am in a unique position to further that relationship," Space said in a statement.
Thornton said he did not know if Space planned to bring a family member with him on the trip, something that is allowed.
The trip, scheduled for Nov. 26 to Dec. 2, would be Space's first to Greece. His grandfather immigrated to the United States and fought in World War I, Thornton said.
To paraphrase the ancient proverb, “All wolves and no Chardonnay make Jack a dull boy.”
So the management of King Pacific Lodge, in the wilderness of the Great Bear Rainforest on Princess Royal Island, British Columbia, offers its well-heeled guests a balance of the two. And infinitely more.
Besides the world-class fishing and wolves, bears, eagles and humpback whales that practically pose in front of your lens, you can try heli-yoga (yoga in extreme places, like snowy mountain tops, reached by helicopter), kayaking, hiking and heli-hiking.
There’s spa pampering, too, high-powered telescope star gazing, and world-class cuisine centered on salmon, scallops and other bounty from the sea.
The lodge is every sportsman’s dream, without sacrificing the posh. All 17 rooms and suites are sublime, but when none but the best will do, go for the two-level Princess Royal Suite, with views of the wilderness, the ocean and a waterfall.
Rock fireplace, slate-lined Jacuzzi… need I really go on? Seven nights all-inclusive: $28,000. www.kingpacificlodge.com.
Wynn Resorts reports the addition of a convention center to the Las Vegas property is in the preliminary planning stages. Renderings for the new convention space featuring two new hotels and nearly 2 million square feet of exhibit space were started a couple of months ago.
According to Steve Wynn, chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts, the new facility will be built on the site where the golf course is now located, and that it would extend “2,000 feet to Paradise Road, from an area approximately 550 feet east of our villas, so that there will be a large lake with fountains like Bellagio that will entertain both hotels and the convention and meeting space.”
Wynn hopes to leverage the property’s ideal location between the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) and Sands Expo. He believes the new facility will help alleviate some of the issues the convention industry in Las Vegas currently faces including long taxi lines and daily traffic jams in and out of the LVCC. [TSW]
Source: TradeShow Week
A rather unique gift offering from the Plaza Athénée in Paris
Surrounded by the luxury boutiques of the Avenue Montaigne, the Plaza Athénée is the place where fashion, business and celebrity crowds meet to beautiful effect. At its heart lies the peaceful, creeper-hung Cour du Jardin, around which are arrayed its stylish rooms, including the gorgeous Royal and Eiffel Suites. Now the hotel is recognising its younger guests with a rather unique offering in its gift collection… a collector’s edition model BMW 328 in Plaza red! If you’re wanting to spoil your little one stupid, then the 6/10 replica car, with a speed limit set to 12kmph for safety reasons, will set you back a mere 15,000 euros.
Anna Chancellor - the best hotel you've stayed in?
I was filming in Paris and stayed at the Hotel Le Bristol with my daughter Poppy, who was then eight. It was lavish and unexpected and being there with Poppy felt like something out of the book Eloise in Paris...
By Adrian Mourby
Tuesday, 6 May 2008
The Grand has seen a great deal in its 130-year history. Not just the start of the Bolshevik Revolution, which began just round the corner, but George Bernard Shaw dining with Maxim Gorky, and the composer Tchaikovsky contemplating suicide on his disastrous honeymoon.
Over the years, writers such as Turgenev, Dostoevsky and HG Wells have boarded here, as well as a raft of composers from Johann Strauss II and Debussy to Igor Stravinsky and Elton John. The Grand is also the hotel of choice for visiting politicians.
So famous is The Grand, in fact, that it featured in the 1995 James Bond movie GoldenEye, though a “stand-in” was used for the exteriors; according to the cast list, the part of The Grand was played by the Langham Hotel in London.
Conspicuous consumption is the keynote of the hotel today. This is an expensive venue in an expensive city but many will say it's also the best.
Track it down
Positioned on the intersection of Nevsky Prospekt, St Petersburg’s most splendid avenue, and Mikhailovskaya Street, the former Hotel Evropeiskaya is in the centre of the artistic district of St Petersburg and within walking distance of both the Russian Museum and Mussorgsky Theatre.
Transfer time to the hotel takes approx 45 minutes from Pulkovo-2, St Petersburg’s International airport and a taxi can cost as little as Rbs700 (£15) to Rbs1,500 (£32), depending on traffic. Hotel transfers from the airport can be arranged in one of a fleet of BMW limousines. These beautiful beasts are upholstered in natural leather and wood and are fitted with seat warmers. But you’ll have to budget Rbs3,000 (£64) per journey.
The marble-and-gilt décor and sweeping staircases of the lobby were installed by Friedrich Lidval and Leon Benois, the Russian-born grandfather of Peter Ustinov. Just before the First World War these two men imposed the new Franco-Belgian style “Art Nouveau” on the hotel.
Reception staff speak Russian, English, French, Italian and German. The hotel also offers “Speedy VIP” check-in at its own discretion. Fortunate guests are met and led to the guest relation desk. Here drinks and canapés are offered while the check-in is completed and priority is given to luggage. There is also a “Special Guest Check-in” which is carried out in the guest’s room.
Room to manoeuvre
There are 301 rooms, all conspicuously plumped with cushions and scattered with elegant reproduction furniture. Even the most basic Classic Rooms feature an entrance hall, marble tiles with underfloor heating and a seating area in the bedroom.
Terrace Rooms are located on the fifth floor and, as you might expect, enjoy terraces overlooking the city. The best are these that face Arts Square and the Church of the Spilt Blood.
Moving up the price list, Duplex Rooms are decorated with modern Russian paintings and have a bedroom upstairs with lounge and working area below. There are three kinds of suite; “Belle Chambre” Junior Suites, which deliberately recall the hotel’s 19th-century origins, plus Classic Suites and Executive Suites, both of which feature lounges and extra washrooms or bathrooms. Top of the range are the two Presidential Suites, which are big enough for meetings, or the occasional international summit.
Soaps, body lotion, shampoo, conditioner and shower gel are by Molton Brown with additional amenities by Bulgari and Lady Primrose.
High-speed internet connection is available in all guest rooms, conference and public areas. Rates are per Rbs350 (£7.50) per hour, Rbs960 (£20) per 24 hours and Rbs2,400 (£51) per 72 hours.
There is a Business Centre on the ground floor near the hotel reception, which can provide secretarial assistance, interpreters and translators at a rate of Rbs850 (£18) per hour. It also offers a private meeting room, which can double as a temporary office. Postal and courier services can be arranged and there are the usual fax and internet connections costed at Rbs5 (10p per minute).
There are numerous rooms for meetings and conferences, including the spacious Kryscha Ballroom on the hotel’s top floor, the Kryscha Terrace and the Lidval Room. The Billiard Room and Museum Room are both ideal for private dining. The three Tchaikovsky Rooms will combine to make a large conference room, while the Gorky Room is good for formal receptions.
The Planet Health Club is on the Mezzanine Café level and offers all the standard cardiovascular exercise machines plus a sauna and plunge pool. Open weekdays, 7am to 10pm, weekends and holidays, 9am to 9pm.
Raid the minibar
From Russian beer at Rbs180 (£3.85) to Romanov Classic Champagne at Rbs2,800 (£60) this is a well-stocked bar. A half-bottle of red wine costs Rbs1,600 (£34) and white Rbs1,800 (£38). Imperial Vodka and Bombay Sapphire Gin miniatures both check in at Rbs400 (£8.50). Use of the corkscrew Rbs500 (£10.50). You picked a very good week to give up alcohol!
Prices are cheaper in the bar downstairs, with a shot of vodka costing as little as Rbs125 (£2.70), but it can quickly climb to Rbs1,500 (£32) per measure depending on the vodka.
Breakfast is served from 7am to 10.30am in L’Europe Restaurant on the Mezzanine. Go for the buffet which is pretty extensive and caters for most needs at Rbs1,200 (£26). Continental Breakfast is also available at Rbs900 (£19). Breakfast in your room can be ordered from the room service menu.
The hotel now has five restaurants and two cafés. L’Europe specialises in French and European cuisine in Art Nouveau surroundings and is recognised as one of the best restaurants in St Petersburg. Rossi’s Restaurant offers Italian fare in more relaxed surroundings. Next door, Chopsticks provides Cantonese and Szechuan cuisine. The Caviar Bar and Restaurant is another Art Nouveau setting, this time offering Russian food and vodka. The Mezzanine Café is the ideal spot to enjoy fresh breakfast pastries in the morning, traditional afternoon tea and light snacks all day long. The hotel’s other café and restaurant are in the nearby Philharmonic building. The hotel’s Lobby Bar provides live jazz and blues in the evening .
A Classic Standard Room starts from Rbs12,000 (£255) per night room only. Junior Suites start at Rbs18,900 (£400) and Presidential at Rbs66,100 (£1,400) per night.
Grand Hotel Europe, Nevsky Prospekt Mikhailovskaya Ulitsa 1/7 St Petersburg, Russia (00 7 812 329 6000; grand-hotel-europe.com).
Deep underground in one of Vancouver's most renowned hotels bustles an army of employees serving the guests who stay for a meal, stay for a night -- and each other.
Denise Ryan, Vancouver Sun
Published: Saturday, September 01, 2007
Enter the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, walk its luxurious carpeted hallways and you'll get what you pay for -- a deluxe stay in the style of what's called, in the industry, "grand hotel."
It's probably as close as any of us will ever get to experiencing how the other half lives.
Polished surfaces. Triple-sheeted beds. Staff.
"Housekeepers" (they used to be called chambermaids) in black uniforms with crisp white aprons that discretely fold your discarded clothes, replace your towels and fluff your pillows.
Dinners that magically appear in your room on trolleys draped in white linen and served on plates covered in silver domes.
Every need and want discretely serviced.
But nothing is ever quite as it seems. Along with the famed ghost, the "lady in red" who is said to haunt a certain elevator, the hotel has its secrets.
In the elevator, you won't run into a room service trolley or the huge carts that haul the sweaty bed linens, old newspapers and candy wrappers away from your room.
You won't see the houseman delivering a baby's crib to the suite where new parents have just checked in.
Staff come and go almost as invisibly as the ghostly lady in red.
Call it upstairs/downstairs, or front end/back end, there are two halves to this old-style hotel, and what you don't see is, in some ways, more interesting that what you do.
Inside the hotel is another world -- a maze of hidden hallways, rooms and elevators that is part command centre, part community centre. It's a place employees call "the inner city."
The inner city dips three levels below Burrard Street, houses, clothes and feeds up to 450 employees daily, and comes complete with its own private elevators, offices, change rooms, showers, lounges, kitchens -- even a restaurant.
It is here, behind the scenes that the hotel really lives.
Its interior corridors hum with staff, and private service elevators lead to hidden doors that open discretely to the quiet halls of each floor.
The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver's remarkable exterior face has been a fixture in the city since its completion in 1932 -- a green roof made of oxidized copper, and carvings of griffins, flying horses and gargoyles adorn its walls. It was, until 1972, Vancouver's tallest building.
And, like its facade, the hotel's massive city-within-a-hotel design is something -- mostly due to the premium cost of space -- newer hotels simply don't have.
A full 35,100 square metres (390,000 sq. feet) are set aside for staff operations.
The hidden community
The way into this world is through a separate entrance close to the breezeway where the valets take guest car keys and usher them into the hotel's "upstairs."
At the bottom of the steps that lead to the "downstairs," a huge billboard displays snapshots staff have taken of themselves celebrating holidays, birthdays and anniversaries.
In this subterranean world, the hallways are worn from the traffic of hundreds of feet. There is no plush carpeting. But there is something just as welcoming -- a display of flags representing the 25-plus countries from which the staff hail.
Like domestic "downstairs" staff at an old manor, most of the workers, many of whom are immigrants, are more or less invisible. Guests only experience the comforts they provide. But in the colourful world behind the scenes, everyone has a role and no one is invisible.
Handpainted on the wall above the staff doorway is a sign that reads Through these doors the nicest people pass.
The day staff arrive each morning in two waves, one at 6 a.m., another at 11 a.m. For everyone on shift, the first stop is the uniform room.
known as "Queenie," presides over the large shop stocked with sewing machines, industrial presses and laundry.
Taped to the countertop is a friendly note asking staff to please not jump over the counter to grab their uniforms.
Rolling racks of crisp black dresses, white aprons, chef's jackets, waiter's black-and-whites and manager's suits wait to be claimed, fitted or pressed.
In any given day Queenie, who immigrated from Saigon 20 years ago, will sew up a hem on a manager's skirt, fix a stray button, even do a quick repair for a hotel client.
Queenie's whole career has been conducted here, below ground and behind the scenes; she services those who service the guests, and she's happy to do it.
"The people here are like family," she says, her face splitting into a huge grin. "Better than my real family."
That may be why, even after retirement, many employees return regularly to dine in the hidden interior restaurant, The Chattery, which is reserved just for staff.
The Chattery, run by its own full-time staff, serves up breakfast, snacks, coffee, hot and cold lunches, and dinners daily. At the Chattery, housekeepers, doormen, housemen, supervisors and managers break bread together.
There are monthly lunches themed to the staff's different nationalities.
When there's been a particularly good banquet upstairs, unfinished delicacies are brought down for staff.
Younger members of the 425-strong daily team chill out on leather sofas in a lounge beside the Chattery with a plasma TV and a couple of wired up computers for checking e-mail and surfing the Net.
There is even an internal daily newspaper listing events, VIP guests, weather, staff birthdays.
On the walls of the long hallways that snake maze-like through the subterranean city, a series of bright murals depict employees in all their aspects.
The murals were created by Peter Teo, who worked in the kitchen as a cook for 20 years, retired in 2005 and returned in 2006 to paint the walls.
Smiling broadly in the mural is executive chef Robert Le Crom.
Le Crom, who comes from France, is proud of all the kitchens he runs at the hotel -- three main kitchens, plus prep areas -- but the pastry kitchen where racks of cinnamon buns cool and a machine churns melted Callebout chocolate for the hand-dipped chocolates, is his pride and joy.
"Pastries are expensive to produce," he explains, and his hotel is one of the only ones in the city that doesn't outsource its cakes, croissants and chocolate.
"When you go outside, it all tastes the same, it's mass production," says Le Crom.
"Not only do we do it all ourselves, we do volume. Sometimes for a banquet, we do 800 creme brulee. It takes two people all afternoon to blowtorch the sugar on them."
Le Crom sticks his finger in a chocolate mousse that's been set aside for him.
"I taste everything. You've got to love food," he says.
Like the rest of the staff, you won't see Le Crom when you stay here.
Le Crom gestures around the huge kitchen where a chef cracks fresh lobster claws. "You won't find a back-of-the-house like this one anywhere in the city. Space is too costly now. Staff have barely anywhere to move in the newer hotels."
Le Crom oversees the 2,500 meals that are served in the hotel each day -- he needs the space.
From the downstairs hallways, a private bank of elevators runs the staff up to each floor.
Each staff lift bears a nameplate over the door, and two are named for former staff members.
Louie's Express is named after Louie Barillaro, a room service captain who started with the hotel in 1947, and retired in 1992.
Over his 45 years, Barillaro delivered 30 room service orders a day, five days a week. He died in 2006.
The Lady Frances is named for Frances Katrina Kay, the licensed operator of the elevator for 32 years, back when it was a manual system.
During her time as the elevator operator, Kay made at least 118,800 trips up and down her elevator car.
These staff elevators truck up the housekeepers and housemen, the room service attendants and the banquet waiters, letting them off at the hidden passageways that connect to the main hallways on each floor.
Irma Bazan, the assistant housekeeper, has worked at the hotel for 19 years, and hails from Peru. Bazan rides the elevators and walks the hidden corridors every day as she supervises all 40 room attendants, ensuring each room is spotless.
It's one of the hardest jobs in the hotel, and one in which workers are more prone to injury. A 2006 study commissioned by the University of California at San Francisco showed that 75 per cent of hotel room keepers experience work-related pain.
Repetitive stress injuries are an issue for all hotel workers, says Laura Moyes, organizing director for Unite Here, Local 40, which represents 5,000 hotel workers, though not the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver's employees.
"Higher thread-count sheets can add a pound per sheet; multiply that by three sheets per bed and 15 rooms per shift," says Moyes. "There are more injuries to hotel workers than coal miners."
Moyes says that muscular-skeletal disorders are common, and "housekeepers knees" can leave workers with permanent, painful blackspots on their knees.
Strength in numbers
Janice Yuen has been turning down bedsheets as a housekeeper for nine years since coming to Vancouver from Hong Kong.
"It's a good job," she says, "but not an easy one. I lost 20 pounds my first six months."
Burnout is a problem among housekeepers, who truck trolleys laden with fresh towels, linens, toilet paper and cleaning supplies down the down the hallways.
Three times per shift a strong-armed houseman empties the linens from their trolleys, but even so, it's a hard job, made easier by the occasional dollar bill slipped under a pillow by a customer.
Tips are less than they used to be, at least among Americans since 9/11, but for Yuen, it's not all about tips.
"When I finish the room nicely, I feel very satisfied," she says.
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In banquets, it's not unusual to find servers like Helen Cranage setting up to 1,000 tables for a dinner. After 17 years, prepping for and serving a dinner for hundreds or thousands doesn't faze her.
"I've served Bryan Adams, Diana Krall and her family, Bill Clinton."
She blushes at Clinton's name.
"He was very, very charming, very charismatic," she says.
Serving celebs is one of the perks, says Cranage, who never expected she'd stay so long with the hotel.
But there there seems to be something that keeps the "downstairs" staff of this hotel coming back to work year after year. It may be the ultimate irony that in a hotel, where the visitors upstairs are transitory, the staff is enduring.
The answer could well lie within the walls of the "inner city," a secret of our city, a place where whole lives are conducted, while upstairs, the guests come and go and eat and sleep, blissfully unaware.
Latest news from Canadian ski resorts, UK ski tour operators and new winter routes for airlines. You haven’t skiied until you’ve skiied Canada.
WHISTLER: BUILDING A LEGACY
The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympics Winter Games (VANOC) are preparing for the games that are just 3 years away. Construction is ongoing at Whistler with investments of $17.6 million being made on snowmaking infrastructure as well as the construction of a sliding centre for bobsleigh, luge and skeleton events. The facilities are guaranteed to impress for the event and will leave a lasting legacy for Canadian winter sports athletes and enthusiast a like.
Construction is well underway on one of Whistler Blackcomb’s landmark projects the Peak to Peak Gondola. Supported by only four towers the gondola will travel 4.4 Kilometres in just 11 minutes-reaching its highest point of 415 m above Fitzsimons Creek….A world record. And with a free span distance measuring 3.02k Kilometres between two of the towers it takes top prize here as well!
This Just in….The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says winter 2007/2009 will be a La Nina year (cold weather phenomenon caused by ocean-atmosphere temperatures) which means Whistler will have all the right ingredients to kick of a fantastic skiing/boarding season.
In celebration of Whistler Blackcomb’s incredible 2006/2007 season the Fairmont Chateau Whistler is offering outstanding stay and play packages. The 46 FEET OF SNOW Early Bird Package includes accommodation, lift passes, tube pack and Fresh Tracks access AND they get their 5th and 6th night of accommodation for free! This amazing package priced from $ 274 pp is available form January 1, 2008-March 30, 2008 (subject to availability when booked by October 15, 2007).
USA Today - Other shows in the Cirque empire include the aquatic wonder O at Bellagio, the sultry cabaret of Zumanity at New York-New York ... is faring well at Wynn Las Vegas, but a sure thing may arrive this spring with Jersey Boys at the new Palazzo Resort-Hotel ...
For prime freshwater fishing for Pacific salmon, anglers head to the western coast of Canada in British Columbia. The area is reachable by floatplane only and is surrounded by the Great Bear Rainforest, mountain streams and lakes. Here, both Coho salmon, a more elusive fish, and pink salmon, which is found in schools of 400, swim the streams.
Anglers often choose to stay at The King Pacific Lodge, a Rosewood Resort in British Columbia, Canada. The lodge flies guests in a helicopter to spots such as the Kootz River. At day's end, anglers bed down in one of hotel's 17 guest rooms--each has a king-size bed and a deep soaking tub. The grounds also boast hiking trails and streams for kayaking.
The Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas is a non-gaming oasis on the Strip, located on floors 35 to 39 of the Mandalay Bay building but with its own amenities. The hotel is home to an elegant spa that has just introduced four specialized spa packages for brides:
* The Celebration Package offers an ancient Moroccan wedding ritual including an exfoliation and wrap called Veil of the Sultans as well as a choice of massage, champagne and chocolate squares.
* The Honeymoon Package is designed with a couple's massage, facials and chocolate-covered strawberries.
* Something Borrowed Package gives brides a customized massage in the comfort of your own room.
* The Calm Package combines three of the Spa's most relaxing treatments.
Almost every aspect of the Bellagio is upscale and classy. Some of the highest stakes in poker are played almost daily at this casino. This casino has a reputation for offering big games. Any other facet of this casino is truly elegant and visually inspiring. This is a casino for high rollers and those that are of more modest means. The rooms and food are what you would expect from a classy gambling facility. There are times of the year that a stay here for a night or two can be reserved at lower than usual rates. Look on the Internet to see what specials they are promoting at the time of your visit.
A visit here and a stay could be something special for a couple celebrating an anniversary or their honeymoon. The Bellagio will not disappoint the most discriminating customer. Their service is like the casino, classy in all respects...
Fine dining in Tofino has always been synonymous with The Pointe, the wonderful restaurant at the Wickaninnish Inn. But the tourist boom in Tofino created an explosion of fantastic new places in this remote corner of Vancouver Island. Check out Shelter for its youthful vigor and absolutely fresh and authentic flavors; everything is right off the boat or just off the land.
The chandeliers sparkle, but does the food? Zoe Williams finds it all a bit over-elaborate at a Knightsbridge hotel
One day, C says, he's going to go to Rome, find the poshest hotel, set up an English restaurant in it and have the waiters hover about, saying, 'This is a simple dish you might find in the villages around Leeds or Macclesfield, where we take the lard, and we drizzle it over the traditional British mix of flour and yeast, which we have first fashioned into what we call bread…' And then, he continues, 'I'm going to see how they like it.'
You get the picture, I'm sure - Aspley's occupies a phenomenally plush room of the Lanesborough, dressed to the highest velvet-everywhere standards of international hoteldom, finished off with an oil mural on the back wall so fashionable and so blindingly opulent that I couldn't tell whether it was a Nazarene conversion scene or a Kylie concert.
I started with the calf's head salad with shallots and capers (£9.50), which is as traditional as the Pope, and arrived thusly: thin slices of head, topped by thicker, deep-fried slices of head; the capers battled all that fat pluckily but were no match for it. If you're going to get squeamish about the cut, then you've no business ordering it. It wasn't the uncanny chewiness of it, nor the delicate unfamiliarity of the flavour of the meat; it was just professional without being delicious.
C had the San Daniele ham with Montasio cheese (£13), which came in a generous, appetising heap and didn't disappoint. I cannot tell you how much the waiter approved our primi choices - my clam soup with tomato and fregola (£8) was an excellent decision; C made the very wise choice of wild boar ragù with handkerchief pasta (£11.50).
The soup was lovely; meaty clams with eeny-weeny pasta, in a very intense, summery tomato sauce; the ragù was powerful and earthy. Makes you realise what an indifferent name Ragú has given actual ragù. I wonder if Italy could sue…
Onwards, to my beloved's new-season lamb with wild garlic (£26). I will spare you the waiter's endless number about how simply lamb is eaten on the hillsides of Italy. This meat did not taste of very much. How can that be? Sure, sometimes chicken can be a bit self-effacing, and pork is touch-and-go, but lamb always tastes of something. You would struggle to find a piece of lamb you couldn't taste through the most bog-standard, jack-booted curry. I was aghast. Am I being melodramatic? Blame the mural.
But then on the other hand, my veal sweetbreads with peas, broad beans and mint (£19.50) was out of this world. I think for once they'd shaken off the yoke of authenticity and let their hair down with a very small amount of flavour innovation, and it was remarkable; the dense, buttery, mouth-filling sweetbreads worked beautifully with the freshness and pep of the vegetables. It looked gorgeous, too.
I made the unadventurous choice of a tiramisù (£8.50), I'm afraid. It was lovely, but who could mess this up? (Actually, I have seen it messed up, by a friend who made the mascarpone too soggy and it ended up a tiramisoup.) But as perfect as this was, sleek and silky and incredibly moreish, it was no more than you'd expect from a professional kitchen. C had the cheese, four genuine pieces of genuine Italian (£8.50), oh yes, and very nice they were, too, all in fine condition, well chosen to cover all cheesy bases. The Taleggio was particularly good.
The food had its ups and downs - bits you could call magnificent, other bits verging on poor. But the pantomime of Italianness was just too much - if someone told these guys that Sicilian waiters traditionally stabbed themselves through the pancreas at the end of a particularly fine service, they probably would, or at the very least they would tell you they were about to. Maybe this sounds improbable, but I finished up thinking that the food itself tasted of ridiculousness.
In an interview with Steve Friess (of TheVegasPodcast.com), Steve Wynn announced that the Golf Course will be converted to a "spectacular", 1.5-million sq. ft. convention center (presumably along Paradise Road) flanked by two major hotels with a total of 5,200 rooms. This would bring the room total to 10,000+ for the whole of Wynn's domain.
A 20-acre lake (twice the size of the lake at Bellagio) with special effects, will fill the gap between the convention and the existing hotels. The Exhibition hall and ballroom will be on the lake.
With the Las Vegas Convention Center to the east and the Sands Expo new plans to the south, there will be over six million sq. ft. of convention space concentrated within that area.
My introduction to the mountains came very early. When I was four, my parents took my brother Martin and me to the Cairngorms for a summer holiday, and enjoyed the experience so much they decided we should go back in the winter to learn to ski. And I’ve been doing that – skiing – pretty much ever since...
BEST FOR SYBARITES
The family-owned but highfalutin Rosa Alpina (00 39 0471 849500, www.rosaalpina.it; doubles from £150, B&B), in San Cassiano, is the place to stay – home to Norbert Niederkofler’s St Hubertus restaurant, which has recently won a second Michelin star. Just as exciting as the food is the wine – the locally grown pinot noir and lagrein are superb. Fly to Innsbruck with EasyJet (www.easyjet.com) or Lauda Air (www.laudaair.com). Pick up a hire car at the airport: economy car rental with Hertz (0870 599 6699, www.hertz.co.uk) starts from £202 a week.
These other day, I’ve tasted a peche melba macaroon ! ! wow ! ! De-li-cious recipe ! Did you know that the Peche Melba is a romantic recipe ?
I must say that the peche melba macaroon was created by one of the best French pâtissiers, Christophe Michalak, the pâtissier of the Plaza Athénée in Paris. So, I immediatly ran to buy ‘c’est du gâteau’ , his book in order to have this Peche melba macaroon recipe.
Well, a de-light !! So many unsual macaroons to prepare for my friends, this Christophe Michalak is a genius!! So if you have the chance to come to Paris, I recommend to you the romantic package at the Plaza Athenee hotel. It’s fabulous!!
It’s a great occasion to talk about the romantic history of the pêche Melba. For some time in France, the romantic feeling has been especially glorified. For instance, in the Middle Ages they thought it possible to live love outside marriage but only a chaste one ! This is something which always surprised me, doesn’t it you ?
This romantic love was named ‘amour courtois’. How it works ? Well, a knight devotes himself completely to a Dame (a woman). He has to satisfy all her needs and to court her with grandeur. A married woman was allowed to give her heart to another man than her hubby. But she had to act indifferent for many weeks and sometimes many months!
I know some people who’d enjoy this! no??
This unattainable love, with no reciprocation, has generated both happy and melancholic feelings that they named joï. This poor knight was waiting for only one thing…that she tell him she loves him! When I stay in Provence, I still hear some elders talking about the history of Petraque, the poet. Dating back to 1327, Petraque expressed an ‘amour courtois’ for Laure de Noves, the daughter of a knight. Petraque dedicated a lot of poetry to her. They say in Provence that this style of love is the truest and the deepest one that a man can feel for a women.
The grand French Chef, Auguste Escoffier as well, felt this ‘amour à la joï’. He admired so much the Australian singer Nelly Melba, that he created the Peche Melba recipe to symbolize this romantic feeling. Maybe he too, he was waiting for a sentence, a sweet word, a smile from Nelly Melba. I’m sure his only thoughts were : « tell me you love me !! ».
There, I’ve said it : tell me you love me !! It remind you of something, eh?
I suppose it’s the most spoken and thought of sentence by women in the world, isn’t it ? Could you tell me how many times you say or think this sentence per week? I’m curious to know !!
I was reading a study that says about 40% of American women would like their hubby to be more attentive and romantic. So if it is the case for you, if your lover acts disinterested, if you feel an ‘amour à la joï’, that is to say a love with no reciprocity, if the tenderness is dwindling or even if all the ‘I love you’’s can be counted on one hand, it’s maybe time to send him a little message with my romantic recipes and this recipe of the Peche Meljoï.
Maybe the explication of this recipe will a good way to hint at your own feelings – in a deliciously sweet way- to say that it’s time for him to come back to love. Because, yes, love is a full time job!! Try my method and leave me your comments !
Tell me if it’s a success or if it has passed unnoticed.!!
If it hasn’t worked, don’t worry, I have something else for you, spiced up!! Something that the French women often cook –in a more… cold and more… spiced way – when they are disappointed, angry or feeling alone and when it’s time to say stop!! I will explain more later. Subscribe to my newsletter to not miss this secret recipe !
So dear sirs, if you see one day this recipe on your plate, take care to put very quickly your relationship into question. Maybe your wife has read this article before you!! Ah ah!!
I modified a little bit the classical recipe of the pêche Melba to reflect more the Pêche Alexandra recipe, created in 1894 by Auguste Escoffier. I have added the so delicious rose petal confit of the patisserie gaufillier. For decoration, I chose a swan to place strawberry ice cream and peach between the wings.
I can’t wait to share this elegant, romantic and typically French recipe, the peche Meljoï, with you!!
Peche Meljoï with roses
You can vary the recipe coming back to the classical Peche Melba with the vanilla ice cream . Cut the roses in your garden. Don’t buy them in a store to avoid chemical agents, or be sure they are naturally treated.
strawberry ice cream
vanilla ice cream
organic rose petals (optional)
Peal the fresh peach (in season).
Poach the peaches for 10 mn with the rose water in the cane syrup.
Cut the peach in two and slip out the pit.
Pour the rose confit in an ice cream dish, then lay a slice of strawberry ice cream, a slice of vanilla ice cream and the poached peaches. Pour another layer of rose confit and the syrup.
Sprinkle with chopped almonds or with pink and white crystallized organic roses.
How to prepare the crystallized rose petals : glaze rose petals with egg whites. Dry out the rose petals at room temperature. Roll the petals in the sugar.
After a long day of sightseeing the last thing you need is a dud meal, so the website for Food & Wine Magazine has come up with a list of the top 10 restaurants where the food is as good as the nearby sights.
3. The Goring, London (Buckingham Palace)
The Goring was recently made over by the Queen's nephew, designer David Linley. Now it's glitzy, with handmade cabinets and Swarovski crystal chandeliers, but the traditional English food is still terrific, and the cellar one of the best in London....
Food Of The Week: If your bodyclock's in a spin, it must be time for brunch
Got up too late for breakfast but can't wait till lunchtime to eat? There are plenty of brunch options available around the globe for the hungry traveller.
Take 'Brunch du Monde' in the beautiful double-Michelin-starred dining room of Les Ambassadeurs restaurant at the Hôtel de Crillon, 10 place de la Concorde, Paris (00 33 1 44 71 16 16; crillon.com), where chef Jean-François Piège serves an international menu that includes scallops cooked Normandy-style – in their shells with butter....
British Columbia: Tucked into a harbor on Princess Royal Island in northern British Columbia, the King Pacific Lodge floats amid the Canadian wilderness. Come aboard for a rustic yet refined adventure, which could include kayaking near orcas, fly-fishing or bear viewing, any of which can be followed by pampering in the lodge’s spa.
Idaho: Pull into the Dog Bark Park Inn outside Cottonwood, Idaho, and you’ll be greeted by the world’s largest beagles, Toby and Sweet Willy. While Toby is a 12-foot-tall wood carving, Sweet Willy is literally a dog house — a comfy, modern and kitschy place to crawl into and lay your head for the night. As Dog Bark Park artists and owners Dennis Sullivan and Frances Conklin write on their Web site, “At Dog Bark Park Inn, sleeping in the doghouse is a good thing!”
Chile: Elqui Domos is a collection of geodesic domes in the Elqui Valley of Chile’s Coquimba Region. The valley is renowned by astronomers for its arid, rarefied air, which is why a number of top-notch international observatories are located there. The night sky is what endows Elqui Domos with its magic; each of the seven domes with detachable roofs is equipped with a telescope as well as astronomical charts and books.
Netherlands: The Harlingen Harbor Crane stands on spidery legs next to the Wadden Sea in Harlingen, Netherlands, a testament to what technological creativity can accomplish. Once used to offload timber, the crane now serves as a sleek and modern lodging for two. A unique feature is the guest-controlled view: Stay in the Harbor Crane and you’ll be able to turn thousands of pounds of steel to rotate the crane in the direction of your choice.
Turkey: The Anatolian Cave Suites are located in the heart of the fantastic canyonlands of Cappadocia, home to some of the earliest Christian communities. Since prehistoric times, humans have burrowed into the soft, volcanic rock near Goreme-Nevsehir, Turkey, creating complex structures that honeycomb the earth. Today, travelers can stay in unique luxury, surrounded by art and history in well-appointed cave suites.
Kenya: Ngong House in Nairobi, Kenya, is a former hunting lodge built among the verdant, rolling hills that provide the setting for Karen Blixen’s novel “Out of Africa,” written under the pen name Isak Dinesen. The lodge is airy and warmly welcoming, and despite being secluded in the bush, it’s only a short drive from the heart of the capital city. Note: Recent violence in Kenya has sharply reduced the number of tourists visiting the country; be sure to check the State Department’s Web site for the latest information.
Sweden: Fulfill your desire to have your own little house on your own (tiny) private island with a stay in the Utter Inn. Sleep soundly while surrounded by fish almost 10 feet below the surface of Lake Mälaren, in Västerås, Sweden. Be like the inn's namesake, the otter — dive in and frolic in the water and explore all that the lake has to offer.
New Mexico: 70 feet below the ground near Farmington, N.M., is a luxurious burrow called Kokopelli's Cave Bed & Breakfast. The cave may be underground, but it is also 280 feet above the La Plata River, a setting that affords expansive vistas of the entire Four Corners region and the surrounding mountain ranges.
Florida: Jules’ Undersea Lodge in Emerald Lagoon, Key Largo, Fla., is described as being like a comfortable clubhouse on the bottom of the sea. The lodge, originally a submerged research station in this mangrove lagoon, embodies a balance between adventure and relaxation. The main benefit of sleeping under the waves is the plethora of marine life that serenely swims or sways outside the porthole windows. Guests who wish to scuba dive can take advantage of an unending supply of air for their tanks, and even order a pizza that can be delivered from the surface.
Sri Lanka: If seclusion and romance are what you crave, it doesn't get much better than a fabulous Palladian-style mansion set on 2.5-acre Taprobane Island, the only privately owned island in Sri Lanka. Wade through the surf like the many statesmen, artists and adventurers before you to reach the airy, octagonal abode and the tranquil, lush gardens that surround it.
For our ”Big” night out in Las Vegas we decided to dine at Picasso which is located in the Bellagio Hotel. Mike had always wanted to go. Picasso named after artist Pablo Picasso serves elegant French cuisine with a Spanish influence and is prepared by chef Julian Serrano. The award winning restaurant has paintings and ceramic art by Picasso throughout the dining room. When we arrived for our 6pm reservation (the first seating of the night) we were offered the option to sit outside on the terrace. Since it was a gorgeous night (mid 70’s, no wind) we said yes. I love dining al fresco. We were ushered to a 4 table balcony overlooking the Bellagio Fountains. Every 30 minutes we viewed an amazing water/light show as relaxing music played throughout the night. If you ever have the opportunity to dine at any Bellagio restaurant and sit on the terrace…go for it. It really is an experience to remember. As we sat and enjoyed the view we opened the menu and SURPRISE we saw 2 prix fixe menus.
One with 4 courses the other with 5. We didn’t realize you only have two menu options. After we made our selections we were promptly served an amuse - bouche which included potato leak soup and a smoked salmon spear. It would be a waste of time for me to go through all 8 dishes that followed and describe what we liked because we loved everything. ALL the food was fantastic and prepared perfectly. The service was impeccable. The only negative thing we can think of is the wine menu. It is EXTREMELY pricey. One of the cheapest half bottles was $70 and a glass was $22. When you are having a dinner like this you have to have wine. It really enhances the flavors of the food. The wine in conjunction with the 4 courses is what actually made this the most expensive meal of our lives, but well worth it.
Since we sat outside we didn’t get to see much of the art so as we left we quickly checked out the paintings inside. After completing our 2 hour excursion I don’t regret making the decision to come to Picasso and if I am in Vegas, and I hit the jackpot, I will go again! As we left the hostess handed us a gift box. Inside were 2 cinnamon pastries. I am not sure why we were given this but they were great in the morning and a little reminder of our fantastic night.
Check out the slideshow of our evening below. Cue the Andrea Bocelli music…
Ken’s past post about Vegas on the Cheap, got me musing nearly my inalterable trip-up to Las Vegas, where instead of flash, I went for quite a the opposite, a case of sumptuousness. I’m not conversation screwball high wager machine lounging VIP bottle service kind of opulence, but the kind that most orthogonal people strength go inwards for territorial dominion a treat, disbursal a couplet c bucks on a real precise day inwards Vegas. So territory a attention to miser Knowing I speech act upward a story on my ace day of Vegas decadence!
Crazy lights at the Wynn
The Lovely Lights of the Wynn Las Vegas
And where does our day of Las Vegas wealth take position? At the Wynn of action. Let’s glaze over that I got a mythical online wood (airfare from SFO and single night at the Wynn for $333). I landed mid-day, wealth squirt setters doh not conscious inwards case for the early time period flights.
One can, course, spend some instance playing at the very lovely and very pricey Wynn cassino tables, but I, alas, modulation not a adventurer by nature. I’d sort of lose my money at the Wynn hotel. After checking inwards I presented myself at the hotel desk and pored over the options. On that point ar many choices, but territorial dominion a lover of all things coconut, I went for the Pacific Paradise direction, a coconut body scrub, with a close, moisturizing chocolate butter wrap.
The advisable component of the Wynn hotel, and this you can enjoy with a day notch if you’re not staying at the Wynn, is the hotel facilities. Technically there’s two hotel facilities, i for men and unity for women, both ar article of clothing optional. I can only when speak for the women’s hotel, but I think the men’s is fundamentally the same. The outer hotel region is immense lounging region with snacks, teas, fancy water with cucumber vine hospital room citrus, magazines, a niche and gorgeous Rajasthan tapestries from, I assume, the Wynn’s artistic creation assembling. The inward hotel has a steam bath, swimming pools, and the greatest jacuzzi I wealthy person e’er seen. There’s a bank of buck private showers and pretty often every pleasantness you penury to spruce upward. I would highly recommend a stay to the hotel to rejuvenate if you square measure on a long layover inwards Las Vegas (and Vegas spas area unit wide-open unpunctual, commonly until 8 hospital room 9modulation). The high standards of Wynn service equal apply inwards the hotel, without asking a Wynn employee popped into the steam room to refill my water glass.
Relaxed, and sensing a little like the tropics, I headed from the hotel to the theater for a performance of Le Reve. Eastern samoa a lover of all transmitting aerial and acrobatic superior skill I was enjoyably entertained by Le Reve. I’ve sensed it said that Le Reve isn’t district angelic district Cwm du Soliel, but I’ve seen Basin shows that weren’t eastern samoa beatific, I’ve also seen ones that were advisable, so I think it has national leader to doh with personal sense datum than the magnificence of the show. Was it charles frederick worth seeing? Dead. I nearly headed ace theater over to Spamalot, but, for some grounds I can’t quite a explain, acrobatic feats seemed a case national leader voluptuary than Monty Python.
Time to eat! The Wynn has a assemblage of choices for yummy food for thought, and plentitude of Steve Wynn dirtying, I sat ace table over from him on a early flub at the Italian eating place, Corsa Cucina. This case I saw him time feat a pre-show ice toilet article snack at Sugar and Ice. If you only when eat at unity position inwards the Wynn, elite upward a cone cell of their home made ice toiletries, its awing and the advisable single fact I wealthy person eaten at the Wynn. I modulation not joking.
I opted for some seafood, so I headed to Arrangement, far from the maddening cassino crowds. A precise green salad, a integrated seafood platter, a glass of champagne, and yes, dessert (it is opulence day!) topped off the eve. Eating asocial can be form of soft, but it was a easy night and my restaurant attendant was kinda sweetly loving, I nearly welcomed him to sit down.
I could pretending I partied all night VIP communication, but real I animal skin deceased watching The Day-to-day Show inwards my very homely Wynn bed. And frankly, for me, that’s pretty luxurious.
For sheer size and extravagance, Las Vegas is one of the great spa destinations in the United States. The spa facilities are as flashy and lavish as the hotels they’re in. But it's not all show -- the city attracts excellent therapists. Here’s a list of the best spas in Las Vegas, with some of the facilities and treatments they provide.
Best Spas in Las Vegas
1) Spa Bellagio at The Bellagio, Las Vegas
Spa Bellagio recently had a makeover that doubled its size to 55,000 square feet and 54 treatments rooms. One signature treatment is watsu where a therapist cradles you in a special pool of water heated to your body temperature. The hotel is styled after a Tuscan town, with an extravagant fountain timed to music out front a colorful Dale Chihuly sculpture in the lobby. www.bellagio.com
2)Canyon Ranch SpaClub At The Venetian, Las Vegas
Even in the heart of Las Vegas there’s a true spa retreat where you can eat a healthy meal, scale a 40 foot rock-climbing wall, hear lectures on nutrition AND get a great massage, Canyon Ranch style. The hotel has an indoor shopping area modeled after Venice, complete with canals and gondolas, and restaurants by top chefs like Emeril Lagasse.
3) Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas. The Four Seasons is an elegant oasis on the upper floors of the Mandalay Bay building, and guests have full use of those facilities. The Four Seasons has its own spa with 16 treatments rooms and a large steam room facility. Its specialty is JAMU, a meditative massage that combines Hindu, Chinese and European techniques. Choose your own exotic oils – Island Fruits, Island Spice or Island Flowers. www.fourseasons.com
4) Spa Vita di Lago, The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas This 30,000 square-foot spa has 24 treatment rooms and is known for its “Spa 101” package, a four-treatment sampler and gentle spa-going tutorial for the “spa shy.” It also offers guided programs in stargazing, hiking and mountain biking. It is the only spa in the U.S. with "La Culla” a multi-sensory steam cocoon treatment. www.ritzcarlton.com
5) The Spa at Wynn Las Vegas, Las Vegas
6) Aquae Sulis Spa at JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa, Las Vegas
If you want gambling AND golf, try this lavish resort that’s 20 minutes from the Strip. The 40,0000 square-foot Aquae Sulis Spa has a water theme, with an outdoor warm water Jacuzzi so big you can swim in it. The Aquae Sulis Signature Massage and Facial both start with a soothing foot bath. Read the review of JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa or visit the website at www.jwmarriottlv.com
7)Spa Mandalay at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas
Mandalay Bay has an opulent Indian theme, and Spa Mandalay specializes in Ayurvedic body treatments like Shirodhara. But you can also get all your favorites at the 30,000 square-foot spa – Swedish, hot stone, and salt glows. Filled with aquariums, this resort is perfect for water lovers. Four swimming pools (including a wave pool) and 11-acre beach are out back. www.mandalaybay.com
8) Paris Spa by Mandara at The Paris, Las Vegas The theme here is, you guessed it, French. Check out the reproductions of the Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower, as well as in-house parfumerie. The 25,500 square foot Paris Spa specializes in treatments based on Balinese therapies. In warm weather you can have a massage in one of the cabanas by the hotel’s huge rooftop pool. The French caviar facial is a signature treatment here. www.paris-lv.com
9)MGM Grand Spa at MGM Grand Hotel, Las Vegas
Taking its inspiration from Hollywood, the MGM Grand has 45-foot-tall brass lions out front – and real ones inside. The 30,000 square foot spa is a soothing oasis with some interesting treatments, including an Ayurvedic massage called Nirvana and the Morning After Arabica -- a body scrub with ground coffee, peppermint and rosemary oils. www.mgmgrand.com
10 Spa Moulay at Hyatt Regency Lake Las Vegas Resort, Spa & Casino Situated on the shores of Lake Las Vegas just 17 miles from the Strip, this resort has gambling, spa and golf – and a kid’s camp. Spa Moulay is inspired by Morocco, and signature treatment Harem's Blend Wrap features fresh spices, citrus, oatmeal and essential oils. Poolside massage in cabanas lakelasvegas.hyatt.com
11) Qua Baths & Spa at Caesars, Caesars Palace, Las Vegas Caesars was the first of the mega-resorts and still one of the most popular. The theme is ancient Rome, with statuary, fountains and the odd centurion. Qua Baths & Spa at Caesars is a new 50,000 sq. foot spa with Roman baths. www.caesars.com/Caesars/LasVegas
Gwyneth Paltrow Goes to Rome, Donates to Food Bank
Continuing along on her European promotional run, Gwyneth Paltrow joined co-star Robert Downey Jr, along with director Jon Favreau, at the Iron Man photocall at Hassler Hotel in Rome on Wednesday.
“Iron Man” (opening May 2nd Stateside) isn’t the typical Paltrow project, in fact she says her friends and family weren’t sure what to think when she announced her involvement in the film.
The perfect year-round resort, Four Seasons Whistler delights in both summer and winter. In winter, the resort offers easy access to the slopes of Whistler Blackcomb, site of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games! And summer is the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors with hikes or a myriad of other outdoor activities.
Rooms and suites are decorated in a elegant alpine residential style, with gas burning fireplaces and fantastic views of the surrounding mountains and forests. Residential suites are a nice option for those who plan on staying a little longer, and come with private terraces. The full service spa offers the perfect opportunity for relaxation, with eucalyptus showers, ice showers, as well as all the standard spa and shower amenities.
The resort is offering some wonderful special promotions, including the "Third Night Free", and the Family Package, which allows you to pay only 50% on a second room.
3-Bedroom Skylofts at MGM Grand, Las Vegas - 10 of the Coolest Hotel Suites in the World
3-Bedroom Skylofts at MGM Grand: Sitting atop the largest hotel in the world, the 3-bedroom Skyloft is a 2-story suite that truly embodies what luxury is meant to be. The £5,000 per night Skyloft suite is the most expensive of all the Skylofts at MGM Grand. Along with the 3 bedrooms, this luxurious suite features 3.5 baths, in-room spa, large foyer, huge living room, beautiful dining area, bar, billiards room, media room, and even a personal butler.
It seems like almost every room in this Skyloft has at least one flat screen TV in it. While you stay at the Skylofts at MGM Grand, you can even take advantage of the 24/7 chauffeur to take you anywhere you want, and oh yeah; you’re escorted in a $430,000 Mercedes Maybach car. Check out the video for a short tour through the 3-bedroom Skyloft at MGM. The video isn’t the best quality, but it will give you a good idea of the luxurious feel of the 3-bedroom Skyloft Suite.
A Sneak Peak at Summer in St. Moritz with Special Getaways from Badrutt’s Palace Hotel
Summer in St. Moritz with several ways to save at Badrutt’s Palace Hotel. This summer take advantage of the multiple packages the luxury hotel in the Alps has to offer. Enjoy a two night package with the “Alpine Summer Feeling” which includes two night accommodation for up to two people in a Superior room, with complimentary breakfast and one set meal at “Chesa Veglia” and a Palace Restaurant, as well as free tickets on all mountain railways, cable cars and public transportation. The room also comes with a complimentary mini-bar, daily newspaper, movie channels and internet access. Rates start at 640 CHF for single occupancy.
For the more globally conscious guest, enjoy the “Go Green in St. Moritz” package, treating guests to a three night stay in a Superior room, along with a horse driven carriage ride to the Roseg Glacier, tickets to a self guided Clean Energy Tour, and a tour of the ecologically conscious heating system in Badrutt’s and hiking map of local trails to try out. The package also comes with dinners at Chesa Veglia or Palace Restaurants and an organic picnic lunch basket. Rates start at 1,440 CHF for single occupancy.
Enjoying a family vacation to the Alps? Make sure to book Badrutt’s “Family Summer Indulgence”, a seven night stay in one of the hotel’s Superior rooms with free tickets for all mountain railways and cable cars, child care services, a complimentary picnic basket for each adult, a boat ride on Lake Sils, horse drawn carriage ride into Fex Valley, and dinner at Chesa Veglia or a Palace Restaurant. Rates start at 2,040 CHF for double occupancy.
This summer, guests may also enjoy the “Golfy Delight” package, a three night stay in one of the hotel’s Superior rooms, which comes with a complimentary golf gift upon arrival and two green fees at either the Zouz Madulain or Samedan golf courses. Package comes with complimentary breakfast, and dinner at either Chesa Veglia or a Palace Restaurant, and free tickets for all mountain public transportation. Rates start at 1320 CHF for single occupancy.
Maybe it doesn’t make all the headlines like receiving a Pulitzer or an Academy Award, but winning the prestigious Tea Guild’s Top London Afternoon Tea Award, is one of the highest accolades awarded in the world of tea. So hat’s off to the The Lanesborough for winning the 2008 award.This was due to The Lanesborough’s renowned tea selection and their ascribed tea sommelier, Karl Kessab, who offers you the best in service, selection and setting.
Guests can enjoy the award-winning afternoon tea in the luxurious surroundings of the hotel’s new restaurant Apleys. They can converse with Kessab about the merits of the various teas, which are delivered to the table in Samovars (a traditional Russian water heating device.) In tribute to this award, The Lanesborough has created a new green tea blend, named Rose of the Orient – this rich in anti-oxidant tea is a blend of some of the world’s finest green teas including Sencha, China Wu and Pai Mu Tan, flavored with jasmine, cornflower blossoms and rose buds.
Afternoon tea is served from 3:30 p.m. until 6.00 p.m. in Apsleys when you can selection from more than 30 of the finest teas from around the world personally recommended by Kessab.
About The Lanesborough: The Lanesborough is one of the most celebrated properties in the world. The Lanesborough, ideally situated in London’s Hyde Park Corner, is an iconic property that distinguishes itself with residential-style service and elegant, historic accommodations. A member of the St. Regis Hotels & Resorts group, The Lanesborough is home to 95 guestrooms, including 43 suites, as well as the renowned Apsleys, Library Bar and Spa Studio.
After turning down her first chance to take her Teen Vogue magazine internship from the City of Angels to the City of Light, aspiring fashion designer Conrad wasn't about to decline an unexpected second opportunity. And MTV wasn't about to let her leave Los Angeles without its cameras coming along, so her unscripted series resumes its third season with new episodes Monday. Music superstar Mariah Carey will mark the "premiere event" by performing in New York.
Co-worker Whitney Port joins Conrad overseas to help handle the elegant Crillon Ball for debutantes. Her escape from L.A. gives Conrad a temporary break from certain troubles: her undefined relationship with sometimes-beau Brody Jenner; and her fractured friendship with Heidi Montag, who when last seen had split from fiance Spencer Pratt, a thorn in Conrad's side.
"It's funny," Conrad reflects. "I want to be really excited when I talk about (Paris), but it happened awhile ago. It was a good trip, but it was also a rough trip, just dealing with the time change. We really did wake up and work until we went back to sleep, so we were a little disappointed. We didn't get to shop much, only in a chocolate shop. And that's because we were running an errand for a photo shoot."
Viewers shouldn't fear they won't get the "vive la France!" spirit at all, though. Conrad confirms "it was definitely glamorous, and it was an amazing experience just to be there and see how beautiful it is. It wasn't really a vacation, though."
Still, Conrad and Port made the requisite tourist trip to the Eiffel Tower. "That was all I wanted to do when I got there," Conrad says. "You do get to see some of the night life, but most of the time, we were too tired to go out. We had the option to, of course, but we were so sleepy that we would just go back to the hotel room and pass out."
Indeed, Paris showed Conrad even more of what her work life will be if her internship blooms into a full-fledged career. "In Los Angeles, we go into that internship once or twice a week, but this was every day. It was a lot more demanding. We were that much more tired, but we had to look nice because we were dealing with the Crillon Ball, so there was a lot of pressure on us."
The first time Paris was dangled in front of Conrad, she opted to remain in California with then-boyfriend Jason Wahler, a fellow alum of MTV's "Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County." Teen Vogue's senior West Coast editor, Lisa Love, proceeded to hold the decision over Conrad -- who maintains that getting another chance at France was a true shock.
"(Love) had made it clear that because I gave it up once, there wasn't going to be a second chance. I really didn't expect it. A part of me knew that maybe I didn't deserve it, but I was just so excited, I didn't care."
Conrad reports the Paris segments make up only the first couple of the eight new "bonus episodes," as MTV terms them. It doesn't take long for her to reunite with friend and roommate Audrina Patridge, nor for the Heidi-and-Spencer matter to enter her thoughts again.
"I just needed to get away," Conrad says, "and what better place than Paris? One of the biggest things I got there was perspective. When you go to a new country, it reminds you how many opportunities there are in life. It made me re-evaluate a lot of situations."
As fare for audiences, those situations have kept "The Hills" one of MTV's highest-rated shows. "Some of us don't really understand it, but we're grateful for it," says Conrad, who now has been a reality star for more than four years between "Laguna Beach" and "The Hills."
How much longer does she foresee riding that wave? "It depends on when you ask me," she says. "I love the show and I love working on it, but there are times when you do get overwhelmed and it's difficult. We can't really live normal lives right now, which can be good and bad. We get a lot of amazing opportunities we wouldn't have otherwise, but we also have to deal with the downside of being in the public eye."
At least Conrad's high profile is keeping her in lucrative side activities. Besides being a cosmetics spokeswoman, she is visible through a clothing line named -- what else? -- Lauren Conrad, inspired by her personal style.
"It's been so much fun," she says of having her name on fashions, "but it's also been a lot of work."
As was Paris, so Conrad claims she's happy to be stateside again.
"Luckily, a couple of the crew members spoke French, but Whitney and I were often thrown into situations where there was such a language barrier and a cultural barrier, we found ourselves kind of lost. It was over before I knew it, but I was ready to come home."
Ken’s recent post about Vegas on the Cheap, got me musing about my last trip to Las Vegas, where instead of cheap, I went for quite the opposite, a bit of luxury. I’m not talking crazy high stakes limo lounging VIP bottle service kind of luxury, but the kind that most normal people might go […]
Ken’s recent post about Vegas on the Cheap, got me musing about my last trip to Las Vegas, where instead of cheap, I went for quite the opposite, a bit of luxury. I’m not talking crazy high stakes limo lounging VIP bottle service kind of luxury, but the kind that most normal people might go in for as a treat, spending a couple hundred bucks on a really nice day in Vegas. So as a foil to cheapskate Ken I offer up a report on my one day of Vegas decadence!
Crazy lights at the Wynn
The Lovely Lights of the Wynn Las Vegas
And where does our day of Las Vegas luxury take place? At the Wynn of course. Let’s glaze over that I got a fabulous online deal (airfare from SFO and one night at the Wynn for $333). I landed mid-day, luxury jet setters do not awake in time for the early morning flights.
One can, naturally, spend some time playing at the very lovely and very pricey Wynn casino tables, but I, alas, am not a gambler by nature. I’d rather lose my money at the Wynn spa. After checking in I presented myself at the spa desk and pored over the options. There are many choices, but as a lover of all things coconut, I went for the Pacific Paradise treatment, a coconut body scrub, with a warm, moisturizing cocoa butter wrap.
The best part of the Wynn spa, and this you can enjoy with a day pass if you’re not staying at the Wynn, is the spa facilities. Technically there’s two spa facilities, one for men and one for women, both are clothing optional. I can only speak for the women’s spa, but I think the men’s is basically the same. The outer spa area is huge lounging area with snacks, teas, fancy water with cucumber or citrus, magazines, a fireplace and gorgeous Rajasthan tapestries from, I assume, the Wynn’s art collection. The inner spa has a sauna, plunge pools, and the biggest jacuzzi I have ever seen. There’s a bank of private showers and pretty much every amenity you need to spruce up. I would highly recommend a visit to the spa to rejuvenate if you are on a long layover in Las Vegas (and Vegas spas are open late, usually until 8 or 9pm). The high standards of Wynn service even apply in the spa, without asking a Wynn employee popped into the sauna to refill my water glass.
Relaxed, and smelling a little like the tropics, I headed from the spa to the theater for a performance of Le Reve. As a lover of all aerial and acrobatic artistry I was pleasantly entertained by Le Reve. I’ve heard it said that Le Reve isn’t as good as Cirque du Soliel, but I’ve seen Cirque shows that weren’t as good, I’ve also seen ones that were better, so I think it has more to do with personal taste than the impressiveness of the show. Was it worth seeing? Absolutely. I nearly headed one theater over to Spamalot, but, for some reason I can’t quite explain, acrobatic feats seemed a bit more luxurious than Monty Python.
Time to eat! The Wynn has a lot of choices for yummy food, and plenty of Steve Wynn spotting, I sat one table over from him on a previous trip at the Italian restaurant, Corsa Cucina. This time I saw him while getting a pre-show ice cream snack at Sugar and Ice. If you only eat at one place in the Wynn, pick up a cone of their home made ice cream, its amazing and the best single item I have eaten at the Wynn. I am not joking.
I opted for some seafood, so I headed to Tableau, far from the maddening casino crowds. A nice green salad, a mixed seafood platter, a glass of champagne, and yes, dessert (it is luxury day!) topped off the evening. Eating alone can be sort of dull, but it was a slow night and my waiter was rather sweetly doting, I nearly invited him to sit down.
I could pretend I partied all night VIP style, but really I fell asleep watching The Daily Show in my very comfy Wynn bed. And frankly, for me, that’s pretty luxurious.
Its exterior is uninspiring but the Luna Baglioni is top of our list because of the good reviews it receives from past guests. It's very close to the Grand Canal, St. Mark's, Harry's Bar and some of Venice's most expensive designer clothes stores. Ideal for a smart break in the tourist heart of Venice; the hotel can be your luxurious retreat from the hubbub of the lanes and waterways. The hotel has a private jetty for arrivals by water taxi; it's also very close to the Vallaresso (San Marco) waterbus stop.
This is probably the one we'd choose, for its combination of attractive features: a Grand Canal location with views and a waterside terrace, old-fashioned luxury, a historic setting, compact size and favourable reviews.
WHISTLER – NORTH AMERICA’S #1 RATED SKI RESORT
If you ski, you may have heard of Whistler, Canada. For 10 years Whistler has been voted as North America’s top ski destination. You may be thinking, “Why do I care about a ski resort when I’m thinking about a golf vacation?”
WHISTLER – CANADA’S #1 RATED GOLF RESORT
There are 4 championship golf courses in the resort. Big Sky Golf & Country Club (Cupp Design) is a stunning 20 minute drive North of Whistler on a meandering mountain highway. Nicklaus North Golf Course (Nicklaus design), The Fairmont Chateau Golf Club (Trent Jones Jr. design) and The Whistler Golf Course (Palmer design) are all located within minutes of the compact pedestrian village.
SKI & GOLF ON THE SAME DAY
Whistler also rates as Canada’s top Golf destination. And for the month of May and into early June you can ski and golf – on the same day! You must be thinking that this is a novelty. Don’t make that mistake! You can ski over 3,000 feet of vertical until early June! That’s as high as Vail or Aspen.
The top of the mountains here are over a mile up. There is a wide temperature difference between the top of the mountains and the bottom. Depending upon the weather, you may want to get an early morning tee time and then go skiing at noon. The next day you may want to start your day with skiing and tee it up at noon.
WHERE IS WHISTLER?
Whistler is a 5 hour drive north of Seattle. There are direct flights to Vancouver International Airport (YVR) from major American cities including; Atlanta (Delta) Houston (Continental), Dallas-Fort Worth (American Airlines), San Antonio, Los Angeles (Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, United Airlines), San Diego (Air Canada), San Francisco (Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, United Airlines)
LUXURY SKI IN/OUT COURSE SIDE ACCOMMODATIONS MAKE IT EASY
We offer a number of accommodation options that can make this holiday a trip of a lifetime. Both the Fairmont Chateau Whistler and the Whistler Hilton Resort and Spa will make it incredibly easy to enjoy the ski/golf combination.
RELAX AND LEAVE THE PLANNING TO US
Eagle Tours has been offering ski and golf holidays to Whistler since 1997. We are based in Whistler year-round and know the resort and how to enjoy it! Our full service holidays allow you to relax knowing all the details are taken care of…before you arrive!
Toilets at This Grand Hotel Not Quite As Luxurious As You Expect Them To Be
Where is it?
Across the hall from the hotel's Lobby Bar. From the main entrance, enter the hotel. When you reach the first cross way of hallways, turn left and go up the carpet-covered stairs. At the top of the stairs, you'll find the Lobby Bar will be on your left and a sunken hallway on your right. Enter that sunken hallway to find the toilets.
What's it like?
This high-end luxury hotel located on the heart of Nevsky Prospekt, St. Petersburg's main tourist drag, is often cited as being one of the 50 best hotels in the world. Having stayed here, I can say that it's a very upscale place, with comfortable, ornately furnished rooms, a helpful staff, a great location that puts you within walking distance of many of the city's big sites, and some terrific dining options.
Given that, you would expect the public restrooms here to be something that rivals the quality of the toilets at, say, the Bellagio or even the Luxor in Las Vegas. Sadly, they're not quite in that league, showing neither the creativity or opulence of those locations. Instead, they are better than average facilities with a few unique design touches and little else.
What's neat about the place is that it fits into a sort of irregular heptagonal shape, instead of being merely a round or rectangular room. The toilets, each in roomy stalls that barrier you completely from the rest of the bathroom (thanks to floor to ceiling stall doors), are found on the left side of the toilets. Opposite them are a stretch of three urinals, each separated by thick tiled dividers that only go up waist high (so that they merely mark territory instead of offering privacy as well -- something I didn't care for, despite the pretty look of the design).
In between the commodes and urinals are a set of three sinks, each of them fitted along the angular curve of the room's heptagonal shape (the room's most impressive design flourish, I must say). The sinks are all pedestal models with bronze fixtures. Ornate mirrors hang over each of the three sinks, respectively, with ornamental lighting (turn-of-the-century in style but also with a touch of modernity to them) interspersed between. A wicker waste basket sits to the right, below the paper towel dispenser.
White tile covers the walls, and a single sheet of black linoleum covers the floor. No wall hangings or other decorations are found on the walls (a complete contrast to the immensely ornate lobby outside, which looks like an extension of the nearby Hermitage Museum). Some art inside the bathrooms would have been appreciated, I think. Not to the extent of Savannah's Mansion on Forsyth Park, mind you, but at least a little to extend the mood of the lobby some, which really is very impressive.
Cleanliness-wise, the place is also a little hit or miss. Overall, it's very clean, but one of the urinals was leaking pretty badly and floor below it was drenched in water. Also, there was a slight-but-noticeable smell of urine in the air, which could have been avoided with some air fresheners.
Marks out of 10:
7. It's a nice bathroom with some neat design flourishes -- a worthy pit stop to make while strolling Nevsky Prospekt. But it's certainly not up to par with the rest of the hotel.
Comments to the Management:
The key here is to make the bathroom an extension of the hotel's grandiose lobby. That doesn't mean carpet the whole thing, or include marble statues in the free spaces, but at least put some effort into it. Don't just leave it as white tile, black linoleum and a wicker basket. Add some art or classic Russian-royalty-inspired items to the mix -- and keep it clean and odor-free. Your hotel is often cited as being one of the best hotels in the world, and you're public bathroom should live up to that hype as well, I think.
Looking Down From The Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas
This five-star, plush hotel sits right on top of the Mandalay, occupying its top four floors. Guests receive reciprocal privileges, most popular of which is the use of the award- winning water park at Mandalay Bay.
While staying at The Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas, you will be assured of receiving the white collar treatment from a staff that is both professional and friendly. There are 338 guest rooms and 86 suites, all containing either L’Occitane or Bulgari bathroom amenities.
There is high tea offered every afternoon in the lovely Veranda. With your private entrance away from the tourists, you are able to come and go in the privacy you deserve.
Where To Go and How To Get There
You will find the following information most useful if this will be your first trip to Las Vegas. The first three casino hotels discussed are connected to a free monorail system that is located right out front to the east of the Four Seasons Hotel, right on the strip. People movers glide you toward the casinos after you get off the monorail.
A must see is the coral reef exhibit that puts you underneath the seas up close to the killer sharks and stingrays. The reef is just a short walk from the Four Seasons Hotel.
This gigantic black pyramid, with its Egyptian theme, has a huge beam of light coming out of the top headed for outer space. Take the free monorail.
This is the last stop of the free monorail. Ride the people mover inside where you will see people sitting and eating, with their bare hands, while watching jousting matches below in the sunken pit with the Knights of the Roundtable at the Excalibur Casino and Hotel.
New York New York
Located right across the pedestrian walkway to the north, the entire front side of this building is made up of skyscrapers, and a huge rollercoaster running through and around it. Go on, ride that roller coaster if you are not to weak-kneed.
This giant green complex is located right across the street on the northeast corner of the intersection. Walk over the pedestrian skybridge, enter the casino and take the escalator down where you will be greeted by wild lions lounging on giant boulders separated only by a very thin piece of glass.
Sitting on the southeast corner of the intersection, this is Las Vegas’ oldest casino. Make sure you enter from the top after you have crossed the skybridge. There sits a giant slot machine that you receive a free pull on. Then head down into the casino to either view the live shows or the museum.
By now, it’s time to return to the Four Seasons Hotel. Cross that skybridge and take that free monorail home. That should be enough activity for the first day.
Good Luck on your stay at the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas.
Two new packages from the Mandarin Oriental, Prague promise guests an unforgettable experience in springtime Prague - whether it’s the romance of the city or the music at the Prague Spring International Music Festival (12 May - 4 June) that brings travellers to this beautiful city.
The Perfect Kiss package is a two-night romantic getaway. While staying in a specially selected room or suite (either with a view or unique features like ancient roof beams, vaulted ceilings or a sunken bathroom), guests are pampered with the following special touches:
• 80 minutes’ customised massage for two at the Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Prague (or two massages for one)
• Choice of gourmet picnic in one of the beautiful gardens nearby (a detailed map is provided; basket delivery is optional) or afternoon tea for two served in the hotel’s stunning Monastery Lounge
• One romantic evening turn-down service with candlelight, flowers, champagne, delectable finger food, and chocolate-dipped fruit
• Special booklet describing Prague’s ‘Ten Best Places to Kiss’, including a map and directions
• Return airport transfers in style via Mercedes S-class limousines.
Rates start from EUR 639 per night in a Superior Historic room, for double occupancy; there is a two-night minimum. The package is valid until 28 December 2008.
Many concerts of the Prague Spring Festival have already sold out, but music lovers visiting Prague still have a chance to hear this year’s most celebrated performers courtesy of the Prague Spring Festival package featuring prime tickets to selected performances. The two-night package includes:
• luxury accommodation with daily breakfast
• one three-course dinner at the hotel’s Essensia restaurant (pre- or post-performance)
• transfer to the concert of guests’ choice
• special music-themed amenity
Festival tickets, ranging in price from EUR 40 to EUR 95 depending on the event, can be arranged. Among the performers featured are renowned orchestras such as the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Czech Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the Budapest Festival Orchestra, as well as extraordinary soloists like Alfred Brendel, Rudolf Buchbinder, Julia Fischer, Edita Gruberova, Nigel Kennedy, Dagmar Peckova, and Andras Schiff. The package starts at EUR 392 per night for single occupancy on selected dates in May and June. Early bookings are recommended to secure your preferred events.
The Mandarin Oriental, Prague is an intimate hotel located in a former Dominican monastery set amidst the palaces and gardens of Prague’s historic Malá Strana district. With a former Renaissance chapel housing the award-winning Spa, global delicacies in the Essensia restaurant.
The fabulous St. Regis Grand Hotel in Rome is offering exclusive rates from 420 Euros per night.
Located in the heart of the city center, the hotel completed a $35 million dollar renovation and shortly thereafter was named to Conde Nast's Gold List. This hotel is for the most discriminating of travelers.Decorated in a melding of Empire, Regency adn lousi XV styles, the hotel never forgets it is in the heart of colorful, vibrant Rome.
Each guest room is specially named for a Roman landmark, and features a mural representing that landmark, and each room has its own Murano glass chandelier, as well as all of the special luxurious amenities of a five star hotel.
Perhaps you will wish to stay in the new Bottega Veneta suite, just revealed in October of 2007! Featuring three bedrooms and three baths, this suite is the epitome of quiet luxury.
And don't forget about the St Regis butlers, available to service your every need!
And of course, this is a Virtuoso property; Virtuoso amenities (which are only available by booking with a Virtuoso travel consultant) are as follows:
Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
Full Breakfast for up to two in-room guests, in restaurant
Express Lunch for two (beverages excluded)
These perks are only available by booking with your Virtuoso travel consultant.
The world famous Claridges is a very popular wedding venue in London for people looking for a more formal wedding in a top hotel.
Tim and Terri were married at Chelsea Old Town Registry Office and then traveled by bus to Claridges where they had a wonderful reception and wedding breakfast at Gordon Ramsey’s restaurant
If you plan to see Monty Python's Spamalot at Wynn Las Vegas, you don't have much time.
After their contract ends July 13, the show will close and in February 2009 will be replaced with Las Vegas stalwart impressionist Danny Gans (formerly of Mirage).
When it goes dark, Spamalot will have performed over a year to 519 shows. A 2005 Tony Award winner for Best Musical, it continues playing on Broadway, in London, and a national tour. Wynn held an exclusive contract with the show, and after July 13, Spamalot rights will open up, enabling a productions in California.
Before Spamalot, another Broadway show Avenue Q was in its place for 9 months. The theater was entirely reconstructed for both shows.
Musical theater has not performed as well as expected in Las Vegas, with some prematurely dubbing our neon city as Broadway West.
The longest running Broadway musical on the Strip has been Mamma Mia!, a certified hit at 2,300 shows, but even that's expected to close at the end of this summer.
Hairspray at Luxor lasted less than 4 months and The Producers at Paris lasted a year.
That hasn't daunted casinos unable or unwilling to launch yet another Cirque du Soleil extravaganza - there are rumors of more Broadway musicals on the horizon, including a custom show helmed by Wes Craven.
In the meantime, locals can get 2-for-1 tickets to Spamalot by purchasing at the box office with the code word ANNIVERSARY and showing Nevada I.D. Tickets can also be purchased at (702) 770-9966.
Regular ticket prices are $69 to $99. The discount is good for shows through May 31.
3Fs. That’s what described Jenn & Eric’s wedding at the Wynn Las Vegas - Family, Friends, FOOD!
We’ve been waiting for this wedding since we shot their engagement session! Jenn & Eric’s wedding vibe was relaxed and untraditional. They got ready together in a super-swank suite. Eric even helped with the dress. We then explored the beautiful hotel before the ceremony. Afterwards, the whole group enjoyed the rest of the evening at world-renowned chef Daniel Boulud brasserie savoring multiple courses of delicious food.
Congrats again, Jenn & Eric. You two are truly awesome and we’re privileged to call you friends.
Welcome dinner at Corsa the night before
Exclusive hotel package deal at luxury Brown’s Hotel London
To celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Ian Fleming’s birth and the launch of the Imperial War Museum London’s new exhibition, “For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming and James Bond”, Rocco Forte’s Brown’s Hotel is offering a special hotel package, The Ian Fleming Centenary stay .
There’s nowhere more appropriate than Brown’s Hotel in which to pay homage to one of literature’s great characters; John Gardner liked the hotel so much he included it in his Bond novel ‘Icebreaker’ and the sexy and stylish Donovan Bar offers a wide range of decadent Bond cocktails.
Now guests can sample the Bond lifestyle for themselves with this stylish weekend get-away…
Things have certainly been shaken, and perhaps a little stirred, since the recent £24 million renovation of Brown’s Hotel; its re-launch was a decidedly glamorous affair with even famed Bond actor Roger Moore in attendance.
...Location: Lanesborough Hotel Hyde Park Corner, London, SW1X 7TA
Contact Number: London, SW1X 7TA
Business Hours: Mon - Sat 11am - 11pm; Sunday 12pm - 12am
Have you ever had this weird feeling that all bars seem to be the same wherever you go? So whilst the retro-minimalism is still very much a two a penny and the fact that the NY trend for graffiti and cracked den bars have yet reached London, the necessity for a little bit of consistency for a moment of classic drinking should be a prerequisite.
Enter the Library, the “lion’s den” in Lanesborough. This place invokes drinking that is similar to a men’s club reminiscent of times where wall to wall books cover high ceilings. The only difference here is that you won’t hit upon old lords snoring in some isolated corner and you will come to encounter a certain customary service that is unheard of from the time of the colonial days.
This bar is a tad bit more expensive if you happen to compare it to other bars. Many still consider this as a very classy and sophisticated bar that makes good and delectable drinks. The ambiance is still pretty fantastic but may be a bit pricey for the taste of others.
Landmark London Caters for Spa-Going Business Women
The Landmark London has introduced an innovative idea that is being well-received by the capital’s female visitors; The Landmark Lady is a large collection of items most frequently requested by travelling business women during their stay at the hotel.
The box, which will be placed in the female business travellers room before arrival, has been created to enable working women to travel light whilst staying at the famous five-star Landmark London hotel.
The Landmark Lady will contain first-class products, but can also be easily adapted in the future according to a guest`s requests. Business women will be provided with items such as: Aromatherapy Spa Body Wash; Soothing Eye Lotion and 24-hour Eye Complex from E`SPA - the products used in The Landmark Spa; Thermal Foot Wraps; Facial Therapy; Relax Your Eyes - eye pack; natural honeycomb sea sponge; a strong hairdryer; curling tongs; nail polish remover and manicure set.
Originally built in 1899, The Landmark London houses a large Health Club & Spa with 15-m heated, semi-ozone pool, spa bath, saunas and steam rooms. It has won many accolades for its outstanding service and facilities, and has once again been awarded the AA`s top accolade of Five Red Stars and the prestigious Gold Ribbon Award from the RAC in 2003.
Visit the World`s Best Spas Virtually
Assistant Head Concierge, 5 hotel, The Connaught, Mayfair, London
The Connaught, in the heart of Mayfair, is one of the most distinguished addresses in the world. Its discretion, impeccable taste and inimitable levels of personal service have set it apart from other London hotels.The hotel opened its door on 14th December after a six month multi-million pound restoration programme, with its timeless elegance restored, ready to welcome back guests who regard it as their home away from home.
We anticipate that the ideal candidate will have worked in a similar role within a 5 hotel.
Skills that will need to be demonstrated include:
o Polite and sophisticated manner with an excellent command of the English language, both spoken and written.
o London attractions and other related knowledge
o Knowledge of Concierge Assistant software
o Supervisory skills
Scope and Purpose
As an Assistant Head Concierge you willprovide a courteous and efficient service to all guests and maintain the levels of service to the highest standards throughout each shift.
You will be responsible for deputising in the absence of the Head Concierge. You will also be responsible for the supervision and development of the Luggage Porters, Doormen, Chauffeurs, Pages and Concierges.
You will be required to keep up to date a level of knowledge about The Maybourne Group and London in general.
o 28 days paid holiday during each holiday year including Bank Holidays
o Company Pension Scheme
o Many financial incentives
o Free meals whilst on duty
o Uniform and free laundry service for most positions
o Season ticket loan after 6 months service
o Excellent employee recognition programmes
o 1,500 for recommending someone into the organisation
o Preferential room rates for you and your family
o Guest hotel experience for employe Location: United Kingdom, South East, London+*
We giggled at the blurb for the new restaurant at Le Meurice...."Between pleasure and greed, the new culinary concept of the restaurant Le Dali – signed Yannick Alléno – undresses French cuisine, designed around a menu that is without and 100% (indulgence or abstinence)."..... it's definitely been a direct translation from the original, but it somehow doesn't come over in quite the same way in english..."between pleasure and greed"?
This is not to be confused with the restaurant Le Meurice, overlooking the Tuileries Gardens. Le Dali is fitted out under a monumental canvas painted by Ara Starck, and Papa had SFA to do with her getting the commission she reports.
Ken’s past post about Vegas on the Cheap, got me musing just about my inalterable stumble to Las Vegas, where instead of meretricious, I went for quite a the opposite, a instance of wealth. I’m not conversation screwball high gamble auto lounging VIP bottle service kind of opulence, but the kind that most orthogonal people mightiness go inwards for dominion a treat, defrayal a duad cardinal bucks on a real precise day inwards Vegas. So dominion a attention to miser Knowing I speech act upward a story on my ace day of Vegas decadence!
Crazy lights at the Wynn
The Lovely Lights of the Wynn Las Vegas
And where does our day of Las Vegas opulence take position? At the Wynn of action. Let’s glaze over that I got a mythologic online wood (airfare from SFO and i night at the Wynn for $333). I landed mid-day, wealth spirt setters doh not conscious inwards example for the early period of time flights.
One can, course, spend some case playing at the very lovely and very pricey Wynn cassino tables, but I, alas, modulation not a adventurer by nature. I’d kinda lose my money at the Wynn hotel. After checking inwards I presented myself at the hotel desk and pored over the options. On that point area unit many choices, but dominion a lover of all things coconut, I went for the Pacific Paradise direction, a coconut body scrub, with a near, moisturizing chocolate butter wrap.
The advisable component part of the Wynn hotel, and this you can enjoy with a day location if you’re not staying at the Wynn, is the hotel facilities. Technically there’s two hotel facilities, single for men and unity for women, both square measure consumer goods optional. I can only when speak for the women’s hotel, but I think the men’s is fundamentally the same. The outer hotel region is brobdingnagian lounging region with snacks, teas, fancy water with melon vine surgery citrus, magazines, a niche and gorgeous Rajasthan tapestries from, I assume, the Wynn’s artistic creation grouping. The interior hotel has a steam bath, swimming pools, and the large jacuzzi I wealthy person e’er seen. There’s a bank of enlisted man showers and pretty often every sweetness you impoverishment to spruce upward. I would highly recommend a stay to the hotel to rejuvenate if you area unit on a long layover inwards Las Vegas (and Vegas spas area unit wide-open unpunctual, ordinarily until 8 surgery 9modulation). The high standards of Wynn service equal apply inwards the hotel, without asking a Wynn employee popped into the vapour bath to refill my water glass.
Relaxed, and sensing a little like the tropics, I headed from the hotel to the theater for a performance of Le Reve. Territory a lover of all transmitting aerial and acrobatic superior skill I was enjoyably entertained by Le Reve. I’ve perceived it said that Le Reve isn’t district saintlike eastern samoa Cwm du Soliel, but I’ve seen Cwm shows that weren’t dominion redemptive, I’ve also seen ones that were advisable, so I think it has sir thomas more to solfa syllable with personal sense experience than the excellence of the show. Was it charles frederick worth seeing? Dead. I nearly headed single theater over to Spamalot, but, for some justification I can’t quite a explain, acrobatic feats seemed a case statesman sybaritic than Monty Python.
Time to eat! The Wynn has a assemblage of choices for yummy cognitive content, and teemingness of Steve Wynn dirtying, I sat single table over from him on a early blunder at the Italian eating place, Corsa Cucina. This instance I saw him piece deed a pre-show ice ointment snack at Sugar and Ice. If you only when eat at i situation inwards the Wynn, elite group upward a cone cell of their home made ice ointment, its impressive and the advisable single fact I wealthy person eaten at the Wynn. I modulation not joking.
I opted for some seafood, so I headed to Arrangement, far from the maddening cassino crowds. A precise green salad, a integrated seafood platter, a glass of champagne, and yes, dessert (it is sumptuousness day!) topped off the daytime. Eating reclusive can be form of muted, but it was a tardily night and my dining-room attendant was sort of sweetly fond, I nearly you’re welcome him to sit down.
I could pretence I partied all night VIP communication, but real I animal skin deceased watching The Day-after-day Show inwards my very easy Wynn bed. And frankly, for me, that’s pretty luxurious.
Massage vows and spirtual bodywork at this landmark German hotel's day spa
USP The Adlon day spa offers a mean Lomi Lomi massage. It’s so good they named it twice.
AMBIENCE Since it opened in 1907 the Adlon has been home to royalty, statesman and celebs. A tourist attraction in itself Greta Garbo uttered the immortal lines “I want to be alone” [at the Adlon].
Situated next to the Brandenburg Gate and a few steps away from the Reichstag, the Adlon burned to the ground shortly after the Second World War. It was rebuilt in 1997 when it re-opened as part of the Kempinski chain of hotels.
The spa mixes a few tricks with clever design. A cinnamon scented aroma hits you the minute you step out of the lift into the spa. I waited on sofas that appeared to be covered in crushed beige velvet surrounded by enormous Balinese necklaces sitting in various corners that looked too heavy to pick up let alone wear.
After a 3-hour walking tour of Berlin – the only way to see this fascinating city if you’re time poor – I was more than ready for my massage.
EXPERIENCE I was due to have Lomi Lomi Nui, an ancient massage that my therapist, Antje, insisted was a holy ritual used as a healing tool by Hawaiian shamans. Antje would summon past and future shamans by saying a prayer for me before she started, and I should make a wish. Because the body and soul is combined I might start crying afterwards, I was warned.
Lomi Lomi Nui means “massage from the centre of being”. Being an agnostic in matters of spiritual bodywork I was open to suggestion, but more than a little sceptical.
Jojoba oil was poured onto the massage bed before I lay down and I told Antje that I didn’t want any in my hair so she would have to forego the head massage part.
After 30 minutes of Antje doing what felt like the massaging equivalent of trance dancing all over my body, her slender arms cradling, caressing and sweeping across the full length of my back (minus my head) with long wave-like strokes, I was begging her to mess up my barnet.
I think I was asleep the last time I felt this relaxed. The Lomi Lomi is simply wonderful. Antje doesn’t really know how it works, but says the combination of strokes, music and a dedicated therapist who believes in its power is key.
Then Annina arrived to give me a Skinceuticals Beauty Flash Facial. More? I wasn’t sure I could cope with so much luxury, but of course I managed.
Skinceuticals is an American line geared towards anti-ageing. Annina examined my skin, cleansed, toned, moisturised, and extracted and tidied up my eyebrows. A refreshing mask was left on my face for 15 minutes while Annina gave me a hand massage. The Beauty Flash is a relaxing but standard facial.
A spot popped up on my nose an hour later. Maybe my skin didn’t take to Skinceuticals products or perhaps it was a demon escaping from my past.
FOOD The spa bar located by the pool area serves 12 different types of water, poached pike, lobster sandwiches and various salads, including a tofu one.
Anything you might desire for breakfast is on offer. Choose from traditional cooked, smoked salmon, pastries, fruits, cereals with optional organic soy milk and exotic juices. Champagne and strawberries is also included.
IN-CROWD Time magazine voted the Kempinski Adlon the hotel of the century. It’s most definitely the hotel of choice for any self-respecting celebrity or politician visiting Berlin. The President of Yemen was staying when I was there and Catherine Deneuve and Penelope Cruz graced the historical site during the recent Berlin Film Festival.
WALLET WATCH Lomi Lomi Nui costs £140 for 90 minutes. A Skinceuticals Beauty Flash Facial costs £140 for 90 minutes. A Superior Deluxe Room costs £420. There are special rooms for people with allergies.
"Time to Spa" includes: two nights bed and breakfast, a 90-minute treatment of your choice, an Adlon bathrobe and slippers to take home and a "vital" surprise in your room. Price per person in a double room from £445 per night.
Lufthansa return flights from London City Airport to Berlin-Tegel start from £85. For reservations visit www.lufthansa.com. For personal guided tours contact Sabine Müller at www.visitberlin.net. A three-hour guided tour costs £135.
Luxury Hotels and Resorts Act to Save the Environment with Eco-Friendly Hospitality
...Badrutt's Palace Hotel in St. Moritz, Switzerland, is reducing its carbon dioxide emissions by 1,000 tons per year thanks to an innovative heat pump system. The ecologically sensitive heat pump is a cooperative effort between Badrutt's Palace Hotel and Zurich's "EWZ" power station. Water from Lake St. Moritz serves as the heat source for the hotel's heat pump system as well as that of a neighboring school, but the heat pump has no negative effect on the lake's flora and fauna. With the new energy-efficient heat pump, Badrutt's Palace Hotel saves 400,000 liters of heating oil per season -- a reduction of 80% annually over the previous heating system....
As a renowned London institution, The Goring’s Chief Executive, Jeremy Goring was in Sydney earlier this week to tend to the flock of Australian travellers to his hotel, updating the travel industry with the latest news regarding the luxurious property.
Family owned and run for almost a century, The Goring is London’s only privately owned five star hotel. Situated in the centre of the city, it is the perfect choice of accommodation for both business and leisure travellers.
With 78 guest rooms, The Goring introduced ensuite bedrooms to the world, as well as central heating. Constantly undergoing refurbishments, a quarter of the rooms were recently redecorated by designer Tim Gosling, with further changes to be made throughout the year.
It is also one of the very few hotels in London to operate their own private gardens, allowing for guests a chance to a space of tranquillity amongst the hustle and bustle of the city.
Operating an award winning restaurant, guests at The Goring will be able to bypass the regular three-month wait for a table, and is urged to make a reservation upon arrival.
However, it is the renowned service that sets The Goring apart, which Mr Goring said is nurtured within the institution by its long standing staff.
“We are a traditional and a new hotel. We’ve been around 98 years and we learn about service. We have real human beings working with us, instead of robots,” Mr Goring said.
The sky draped over Tofino is always full of bright stars... as is the kitchen in the Pointe Restaurant. Charles McDiarmid, Managing Director of the Wickaninnish Inn on Vancouver Island, has always been ahead of the curve when hitching his wagon to the rising stars of the West Coast culinary world. Chef Rodney Butters and Chef de Cuisine Andrew Springett are two prime examples of keen young talent with an amazing touch when it comes to food, and who have both graced the Pointe Restaurant in the Wickaninnish Inn with their culinary gifts.
Already a key member of the culinary team at the Wick, John Waller has recently been promoted to Executive Chef. Executive Chef Waller is now leading the team in the Pointe Restaurant and is responsible for all the components of the plates served at the Inn. John started his career in Toronto as one of the youngest Red Seal Certified Chefs in Canada, achieving this honour at 21. He has since worked at some of the best restaurants in Toronto, Vancouver and Victoria, and has also owned 2 restaurants on Vancouver Island. John thoroughly enjoys managing the food program at the Wick, and the local seafood, game and produce suppliers like selling him their organic selections because his giddy pleasure is contagious when shopping for anything food-related. He takes the knowledge gathered throughout his career and works with Chef Nick Nutting to create unforgettable culinary experiences for Inn guests.
The newest culinary star making his mark at the Wick is Pointe Restaurant Chef Nick Nutting, who is responsible for the menu creation and delivery of fine food to guests dining in the Pointe Restaurant. Chef Nutting is currently introducing diners to his newest menu items. His personal favorite on the new menu... Seared Pacific Halibut... Like Andrew and Rod before him, Chef Nick has a passion for food, how it looks, how it is presented, but most importantly, how it dances on the palette. Chef Nutting, much like Andrew Springett, is delightfully humble and rather shy when talking about himself or his food. Nick has an unwavering desire to ensure each guest receives the best he and his brigade have to offer on every plate that makes it way to the tables of the Pointe Restaurant.
Nick graduated on the Dean's List from S.A.I.T.'s Professional Cooking Program in Calgary. He went on to earn top honours at the Knorr CFCC Juniors, and in Chaine des Rotisseurs cooking competitions. Chef Nutting was also a key member of the best apprentice team at Food & Hotel Asia, in Singapore. Nick joined the brigade at the Wickaninnish Inn in 2006 as the Chef de Partie. After a short stint away in Montreal at award-winning Garçon and Restaurant Truffert, Chef Nutting returned to the Inn as the Restaurant Chef and has since been a shining star in the Tofino skyline.
Charles McDiarmid is dedicated to offering his guests charm-infused meals when he welcomes them to the Wickaninnish Inn and the Pointe Restaurant. Knowing the Inn was destined to be part of the prestigious Relais and Châteaux association of fine inns and hotels around the world, Charles knew early on that food would play a key role in the Wickaninnish Inn's success. Charles says, "We always wanted to have the best of the best in our kitchen. Having Chef Rod Butters on the opening team of the Inn truly set the standard of excellence in our food program, standards we continue to follow today. I anticipate a greet deal of excitement and "foodie" chatter once people taste the dishes of our new Chef team. Together, Chef Waller and Chef Nutting bring exciting energy to our kitchen and amazing food to our guests."
Rocco Forte’s Villa Kennedy, Frankfurt, and Golf Club Schloss Braunfels are offering clients golf and massage packages.
The Beginner’s Special includes one night in a Classic King or Twin room, five hours of lessons, lunch in the Clubhouse and a 60-minute Golf Massage at the hotel’s Villa Spa.
The 9 or 18-hole Golf Special features a 60-minute lesson, green fee and golf cart for 18 or 9 holes, lunch and a massage.
Both packages are available 30 May–1 June, 26–29 June, 25–27 July and 29–31 August.
The one thing that must be tried in Vienna is Sacher torte, the famous chocolate cake that makes the perfect mid-afternoon snack...
...The two most famous cafes that serve sachertorte are Café Sacher and Café Demel, though the former eventually won the right to call its cakes the “original sachertorte”.
Housed in the equally historic Hotel Sacher, Café Sacher boasts opulent decorations befitting the Habsburgs themselves, and a brightly-lit covered terrace to enjoy your cuppa and cake.
The sachertorte itself is a slice of beauty, served with a big dollop of unsweetened cream to temper the sweetness of the cake. And sweet it is too – there is an incredible amount of sugar that goes into the chocolate frosting. The cake itself is not that sweet, and the sponge is moist and delectable, but you definitely need some water after finishing all of it.
Philharmonikerstrasse 4, 1st...
...That year, Bernstein had decided to record exclusively Beethoven works during the year and he therefore asked the Staatsoper management to perform “Fidelio’’ instead of “Aida”. As the Staatsoper was in a delicate situation, he said we should meet to discuss the matter, and so we did. They asked me to travel from Budapest to Vienna, where Bernstein was staying at the Sacher Hotel, one of the finest in the city, where he had a huge suite.
I went into one of the rooms where there was a grand piano. Bernstein arrived shortly after, with his open and warm smile and a glass in his hand...
Some hotels have gained their renown through tradition, by hosting significant events or persons, such as Schloss Cecilienhof in Potsdam, Germany, which derives its fame from the so-called Potsdam Conference of the World War II allies Winston Churchill, Harry Truman and Joseph Stalin in 1945.
Other establishments have given name to a particular meal or beverage, as is the case with the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, USA, known for its Waldorf Salad or the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, where the drink Singapore Sling was invented. Another example is the Hotel Sacher in Vienna Austria, home of the Sachertorte or even the Hotel de Paris where the crèpe Suzette was invented.
There are also hotels which became much more popular through films like the Grand Hotel Europe in Saint Petersburg, Russia when James Bond stayed there in the blockbuster Goldeneye. Cannes hotels such as the Carlton or the Martinez become the center of the world during Cannes Film Festival (France).
A number of hotels have entered the public consciousness through popular culture, such as the Ritz Hotel in London, UK ('Putting on The Ritz') and Hotel Chelsea in New York City, subject of a number of songs and also the scene of the stabbing of Nancy Spungen (allegedly by her boyfriend Sid Vicious). Hotels that enter folklore like these two are also often frequented by celebrities, as is the case both with the Ritz and the Chelsea.
In the summer season, in front of the long established Hotel Sacher in Vienna, tourists sit in cafes at tiny round tables and order the same: a piece of Sachertorte accompanied by a Viennese coffee.
Butter, eggs, chocolate, sugar, flour and apricot jam are the ingredients of the noble Sachertorte. Originally created for Count Matternich this chocolate torte turned to be famous after the Second World War when the hotel, suffering financial difficulties, sold the recipe to a pastry chef Demel, who called it Sachertorte...
VIENNA, AUSTRIA From the Hotel Sacher in Vienna, Martin Lindstrom reports on the value of branded rituals. Since 1832, the Sacher Torte, a distinctive chocolate cake, much-copied but rarely replicated, has been synonymous with Vienna, and this tradition has become a key component in the branding of the elegant Hotel Sacher.
A Schuss And A Slide: Dave Hits The Slopes, The Shops And The Sacher Torte
CBS) It was the final All Access weekend, and Dave Price and his merry band of travel elves were determined to make it the best one yet. The recipient of their last All Access pass was Margaret Ward, who recently retired after 34 years as a teacher in the Chicago public schools. Over all those years, she had sent hundreds of kids into the world, but she never had time to see much of it herself. So Margaret's trip took her to Europe for the first time, for a whirlwind tour of Austria.
With a history that dates back 2000 years, Vienna is a city over-stuffed with culture. From its architecture to its food, and everywhere you look, there's something of historical significance.
"You can see the influence of all the great musicians, whether it's right there at the café Mozart, or the music of Strauss, or the fact that Vivaldi lived right there at the Sacher hotel where we're staying," Dave explained to Margaret.
"Unbelievable ... I'm awestruck," she said.
"No," said Dave, "you're Austria-struck."
One of their first stops was Christkrindlmarkt - an annual Christmas market that's been around for 700 years. Margaret bought a souvenir - a cherub ornament for her tree.
On Saturday night, the pair took in "Pique Dame," a Tchaikovsky opera being performed at Vienna's world-renowned 150-year-old state opera house. Margaret's Saturday night's often consist of pizza and a video. But on this night - no pizza, no video, just a somewhat inexplicable plotline and plenty of beautiful voices.
After their day of sightseeing, shopping and culture, Dave and Margaret got a change of pace when they spent the next day in Innsbruck, the Olympic host city nestled in the Austrian Alps.
After some death-defying tobogganing, Dave and Margaret hit the slopes. Margaret, who had never skied before, got some elementary lessons. "I'm skiing in Innsbruck! In Austria!" she called out happily.
"You can't leave Austria without sampling pastries or sweets," said Dave, "so for the final course of our All Access weekend, Margaret and I headed back to Vienna to see how the uber-Austrian dessert - the Sacher torte - is made." The two even tried their hands at smoothing the chocolate glaze over the cake layers, almost as much of an adventure as their tobogganing.
And when it was all over, Dave toasted his traveling companion: "To you Margaret for your sense of adventure, and for being so delightful to spend the weekend with: Danke!"
My last stop on this epic journey was the small town of Freiburg, located in the heart of the Black Forest in the south-west corner of Germany. I stayed there with Christe-Belle, a friend I met through Gaby.
The Hotel Sacher is a very famous place in Vienna, particularly for inventing a cake called the Sacher Torte. It turns out that Salzburg also has a Hotel Sacher, and they also sell Sacher Tortes. The Sacher Torte is THE cake of Vienna, and pretty much everyone who visits the city learns this. Sacher Torte from the Hotel Sacher is the real deal, and is the "purest" form of the cake (lots of people sell Sacher Torte's). I decided to get Christe-Belle a Sacher Torte as a thank-you for offering to put me up in Freiburg for a week. I warned her of my intention by sending her an email making sure she liked chocolate.
I got my response when she met me at the train station. Christe-Belle does not like chocolate. Pretty much the only thing she does like is Sacher Torte!!! Score! I managed to get the only chocolate cake in the entire world that she loves. She told me that I had earned four weeks of brownie points with that one :).
Compared to the other places that I've visited on this trip, Freiburg is pretty small-time. It's only a popular tourist place for Germans and some people from France. They've got a traditional European downtown with the small, old buildings; staple cathedrals that define the skyline; and that's about it. We didn't spend too much time exploring, instead just hanging out and chatting at the residence.
For leaving Freiburg, I needed to take a train to Baden-Baden and catch a bus to the Karlsruhe/Baden airport and then fly into London. I decided to catch the 6:52 am train, then then 8:13 bus, and planned to arrive with plenty of time to spare by 8:40 or so (my flight left at 9:55). It was a comfortable plan that was destined for failure . . . because I missed my train. As I got to the platform I saw the train pulling away from the station. I was so bummed out, because I was worried about missing both my flight to London, but also back to Vancouver. Fixing this probably would have cost a lot of money.
I had to wait an hour for the next train to come, and arrived in Baden-Baden at 8:45. I then had to convince a taxi driver to take me to the airport even though I didn't have any euros left. I had a Visa card and UK pounds, but the cabs in Baden-Baden don't take credit card. The cabbie told me it would cost around 25 euro to get to the airport and I offered him 25 pounds (1 pound = 1.3 euro) because I was quite desperate. He (for some reason) refused my offer, even when I suggested 30 pounds for the trip. The next cabbie took it and I made it by 9:05, 10 minutes before my check-in deadline. The fare was 24 euro, but I paid 25 pound plus 2 euro tip (about 35 euro) because I was so relieved to be there on time. The airport was completely empty, so it was a trivial task to make it through everything to the departure gate. Long story short: it was a miracle that I was able to get home on schedule.