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Dec 12, 2007 Team X Hotel & Spa Rosa Alpina, San Cassiano
.Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes fly 230 miles - just to have lunch
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes flew 230 miles - just to have lunch, it has been claimed.The Top Gun star whisked wife Katie and daughter Suri, one, off in a helicopter to eat at an Italian hotel because he loves the food there.A source said: “They took a helicopter ride from Milan.”The family ate Italian and German foods at the Rosa Alpina Hotel & Spa in Badia on December 1, it was reported.Hotel spokeswoman told a US magazine:
“They were a pleasure. They make a cute couple and Suri was so playful.”It comes amid reports that Cruise, 45, wants wife Katie, 28, to change her name to Katie Cruise.The couple have reportedly argued over the issue several times as the actress refuses to the actor’s last name
Dec 12, 2007 Sugar Inc. Hotel-Casino Palais de la Mediterranee, Nice
Secret Santa number 7 from LolaMora
I want to give you a vacation to a NICE place in the Mediterranean: NICE, France. Palais de la Mediterranee:
A 1930' elegant oceanfront hotel restored to its Art-Deco style. Your suite: Relax:
Dec 12, 2007 The Wall Street Journal The Dorchester Hotel London
Once Found in the Top Haunts
In 1979, workers renovating London's Dorchester Hotel opened a wall in its bar and were surprised to find a metal cocktail shaker standing in a small cavity. Inside the shaker was a set of five corked phials, along with a scroll explaining the contents of the glass tubes -- cocktails. One contained a Martini, another a Manhattan, and a third a Sidecar -- drinks nearly as well-known today as they were in their prime. Two others, however, were concoctions that, by the '70s, had disappeared almost entirely -- the Bronx and the White Lady. Both remain obscure, even though the latter was the most famous invention of the most famous bartender of the jazz age, Harry Craddock.
According to an oft-told story, on Jan. 16, 1920, Craddock mixed the last legal cocktail in New York just before midnight -- and Prohibition -- struck. A veteran of such essential Big Apple watering holes as the Hoffman House and the Holland House, Craddock hopped a ship to London, where he found work and then fame at the Savoy Hotel's American Bar. Throughout the '20s and into the '30s, U.S. newspapers would recount Craddock's exploits behind the mahogany. In 1926, the New York Times reported the "exiled bartender" was "ready to come back 'when wanted' with 280 kinds of drinks." A 1925 wire story about racy "freak dinners" being thrown by Americans in London quoted Craddock saying that his countrymen were "still the greatest connoisseurs of cocktails." The audience for these accounts wasn't looking to enjoy drinks vicariously through reports from abroad -- there was, if anything, more boozing during Prohibition than before it. What appealed was the elegance and panache of walking into a swanky hotel for a drink instead of skulking down an alley to slip into a speakeasy. Craddock cultivated an image of refined professionalism: With his tall forehead, high collar and starched white jacket, he would not have looked out of place as a university chemist. This is the Craddock who was captured in numerous publicity stills, and whom Al Hirschfeld caricatured in a 1936 drawing for London's Daily Express. And his repertoire came to define the modern bartender's skill set. His 1930 "Savoy Cocktail Book" remains an essential text of the cocktail canon. In 1938, the Dorchester lured Craddock from the Savoy and built a gorgeous new bar for him to helm. To christen it, Craddock mixed up those five cocktails, interring them in the wall as a time-capsule of the most popular drinks of the day. He was not wrong to include his own invention, the White Lady, made of two parts gin to one part each Cointreau and lemon juice. "All women like White Ladies," wrote romance novelist Maysie Greig in her 1938 "Men as Her Stepping-Stones." Explaining the cocktail's appeal to distaff drinkers, she said that "they appear mild, but they're potent." And she suggested that this was an aesthetic tendency with wide application for women: "She wants a thing to appear mild, but it must have a definite kick to it." But the White Lady -- and the whole Bright Young Things aesthetic of London between the wars -- aged poorly. By the mid-1960s, Punch magazine looked back at those days with bemusement: "Can anyone remember the terrible taste of gin-and-cointreau? Or whether it was a Sidecar or a White Lady? Or how excited the papers got when Bertie the Barman shook up something new and fancy-named?" Then the magazine shifted from bemusement to disdain: "Is there anything more naïve than yesterday's sophistication?" True enough -- but before we write off the White Lady as an embarrassment, let's recall that the sophistication of that Punch critic's particular moment included such things as Nehru jackets and winklepicker boots. The White Lady's time is long enough gone that it is no longer a faded fad but a cultural artifact waiting to be rediscovered. But can it be revived? There are problems with the drink. The name doesn't exactly invite men to share an enthusiasm for the cocktail, even though it's no girly-drink. And there's the potential that the moniker might be perceived as having racial overtones, though it comes from the British phrase for a female ghost. But perhaps the most significant difficulty is that Punch magazine had a point about the taste of gin-and-Cointreau. The White Lady may have been a natural variation on the Sidecar theme, but gin doesn't blend as harmoniously as brandy with Cointreau and lemon juice. Even so, there isn't anything wrong with the White Lady that a little tweaking can't fix. I like what can happen when white rum and gin are put together, and so I added some rum to the White Lady. It was better, but still not good enough. After a few hours of kitchen-sink chemistry experiments, I found that the addition of a little bit of simple syrup and orange bitters did the trick. It turns out that the Menlo Club (a 1940s San Francisco poker palace) had a house cocktail of striking similarity to our revised White Lady. I suggest we adopt the Menlo Club Cocktail as the worthy successor to Craddock's original. If you'd like to visit the original, though, it's again hidden somewhere inside a wall of the Dorchester bar, a ghost of the days when Harry Craddock was the "Cocktail King."
Dec 12, 2007 Andalucia Travel Guide Marbella Club
SPEND YOUR HOLIDAYS IN MARBELLA AT THE HOTEL PUENTE ROMANO IF YOU WANT FIVE STAR LUXURY ALL THE WAY If you want to spend a really special Holidays Marbella then the five star Hotel Puente Romano offers much more than a fabulous hotel in a great location on the beachfront surrounded by wonderful tropical gardens, as it is a place where you can really relax and unwind. It is a member of the exclusive Small Leading Hotels of the World and has been voted one of the top hotels in Spain.
The hotel is of traditional Andalusian style architecture with elegant décor in either 193 well equipped guestrooms, 81 unique suites distributed among 27 three storey dwellings. Designed to offer complete privacy, each building is named after an Andalusian town and is clearly identified with a beautiful ceramic tile. The majority of the accommodation comprises double superior rooms, but there are also junior suites and suites available, including one royal suite, one presidential suite (with plasma screen TV, fruit basket, Jacuzzi and a marble bathroom with a heated floor), one imperial suite (with Jacuzzi, DVD, CD and private sauna) and one executive suite. All suites and rooms have been recently refurbished and feature air-conditioning, private balconies, direct-dial telephones, hair dryer, satellite color televisions, personal safes, high speed internet connection and a mini-bar. If you want drinks and meals in the privacy of your own room during your holidays in Marbella you can opt for 24 hour room service, or you have the choice of eating at Café El Puente offering a fusion of French and Mediterranean cuisine: Roberto Ristorante which is a great Italian restaurant right by the sea: the Beach Club Restaurant and bar serves a magnificent fish and sea food buffet; Bar La Cascada snack bar by the pool and open air Plaza Romana are open during the summer months. All offer fabulous and unique settings. The Puente Romano stands in large tropical gardens filled with over 400 different species of plants and flowers fountains, palm trees, streams and small waterfalls. There are three swimming pools (2 heated) and guests may also use the facilities at the sister Hotel Marbella Club, including the spa and thalassotherapy and an 18-hole golf club and course which is a 20 minute drive away and is owned by the Marbella Club and Puente Romano Hotels. During the summer season which extends from June to September the Beach Club offers a large selection of water sports including jet skis, kayaks, water skiing, parasailing, catamarans, windsurfing and boat excursions to discover the local coastline. The Puente Romano Tennis and Fitness Club offers tennis or paddleball, aerobics classes, a high tech gym and weights room, sauna, steam bath or professional massage. The club has 10 tennis (8 clay plus 2 hard surface) and 4 paddleball courts, including the central court which plays host to a number of large tournaments and can accommodate up to 3,000 spectators. If you want to go horse riding during your holidays in Marbella the Hotel Puente Romano has its own stables at the Marbella Club Golf Resort and riding and nature enthusiasts can enjoy from one hour to half day guided tours through the surrounding mountains. Private lessons are available and ponies are available for children. During the high season the Puente Romano operates a Kid’s Club where qualified, multilingual staff organize a whole range of games and activities offering fun and entertainment to ensure the younger members of the family have an unforgettable time. As if the above is not enough, during your holidays in Marbella you can also enjoy hotel amenities including a shopping arcade, bank, hairdresser and fashion boutiques , news stand, gift and drugstore, car rental desk, plane and train ticket reservations, laundry and dry cleaning services, babysitting (advance booking only) and in house medical attention. The banqueting and convention centre at the hotel offers capacity for up to 650 guests with a number of smaller meeting rooms equipped with technical and audiovisual resources.
Dec 12, 2007 Boat House Organization The Fairmont Chateau, Whistler
Discount Golf Vacations
Click on your Travel Destination below, then browse our many Travel Deals or use the Search Box to build your own custom itinerary. … You’re first night stay costs $179 and the second night stay costs $18. This deal at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler is only available on select dates through Dec. 20, 2007.
Cheap Holidays - Late Deals - Bargain Holidays - Cheap FlightsNo more trawling the Internet - Let the Professionals do the Job for YOU! We will call you back! *** …
Dec 12, 2007 Hospitality Net SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand
Training for Recognition | Skylofts at the MGM Grand hotel and casino in Las Vegas
Butler Regina Michelle demonstrates how butlers prepare for hotel guests in a one-bedroom suite at Skylofts at the MGM Grand hotel and casino in Las Vegas, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2007. Details such as pronouncing a hotel guest's name correctly, delivering room service within five minutes of the appointed time, and anticipating what guests will want next are crucial to attaining the top ranks from such agencies as Mobil, AAA and Michelin. Higher rankings mean higher room rates for operators. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Dec 12, 2007 Hotel Chatter Bellagio, Las Vegas
The Bank at the Bellagio: A Nightclub Inspired by 'Ocean's 13'?
In the movie Ocean's 13, the Bellagio is prominently featured as its owner (in the film) Terry Benedict is the group's onetime rival but offers to help out in their planned heist of the newest luxury hotel on the strip--The Bank.
The Bank is actually a rip-off of The Wynn and its owner Willy Bank is much like Steve Wynn himself, striving for the most luxurious and opulent hotel/casino around. There was even talk that the movie's premiere would be held at The Bellagio, so the Bellagio and Ocean's 13 are tight. Further proof of that, we looked at their website just yesterday and saw this: The Bank coming in December 2007. Apparently, the Bellagio is getting a new nightclub that is centered around the finer things in life. From the website: Like its namesake, The Bank will be a sanctuary for all things precious-the décor and design are no exception. Attention to detail abounds where combinations of rich textures and modern elements will create a harmoniously paired aesthetic. A resplendent palette of colors will complement the club's intricate details creating a luxurious yet contemporary vibe....Simply stated, The Bank is elegant, exclusive and one of Las Vegas' most desirable places to party. The group behind this is the Light Group who was responsible for the old nightclub Light inside Bellagio. So we are guessing it was out with Light and in with "The Bank." Is it just us or does this remind you of Wall Street in the early 80s?
Dec 12, 2007 Martha Bakerjian Four Seasons Hotel Milano
La Scala Opera House in Milan, Italy
La Scala is one of Italy's most famous opera houses and a must-see attraction for opera fans. The 2007-2008 opera season opened December 7 with Wagner's Tristan und Isolde and Daniel Barenboim making his impressive debut as principal guest conductor. Read more about the opening in the Associated Press report. Symphonies and operas this season include a Christmas concert, Cyrano de Bergerac, and Romeo and Juliet. Find out more about La Scala and other historic Italian opera houses in Top Opera Houses in Italy. Milan's luxury Four Seasons Hotel, a former 15th century convent, is right around the corner from La Scala and makes a convenient hotel if you're going to an opera. La Veranda Restaurant serves an after theater menu, as well as afternoon tea and special multi-course holiday dinners for Christmas and New Year's Eve and Day. By the way, Milan was named by Tripadvisor as the world's number 4 shopping city and Four Seasons has a winter shopping special offer.
Milan, one of Europe's richest cities, is known for stylish shops, galleries, and restaurants. Its Duomo is the largest Gothic Cathedral in the world. Milan is also the home of Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece, The Last Supper. If you plan to see the painting, be sure to book ahead. We have the information you need in Visiting the Last Supper.
Dec 12, 2007 The Northern Chirp The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Life Stripped Back to the Essentials
[Lorraine says] Today I got back from my trip to Vancouver, and I'm so happy to be "home." I'm glad to see John (of course), but I'm also really glad to be back to the quieter rhythms of Iqaluit, and yes, even glad to be back in those fierce howling arctic winds happening right now. No flashing billboards. No video advertisements in bathroom stalls in restaurants. No 40 foot neon signs.
Going to downtown Vancouver, directly from Iqaluit, was a sensory shock, to put it mildly. To exacerbate the situation, my meetings were at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, a five star downtown hotel with stores like Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany's in the lobby, and long queues of BMW's and Lexuses waiting for the parking valets. The pace and the dripping, ostentatious displays of wealth, and the weird high-end luxury vibe (along with the sensation of being surrounded by a million downtown department stores) was jarring. (OK, it was a little fun and fascinating, like when I realized the hotel had "professional" golden lab retrievers, complete with little Fairmont jackets, waiting at the concierge desk in case you wanted to walk a dog. And I loved spending an afternoon drifting around the market stalls at Granville Island with my friend Elizabeth. And not only could I get a latte, but the lattes were excellent plus the barristas knew how to pour them so that the espresso made patterns like snowmen or trees in the milk froth. Cool.). But I missed the "stripped back" simplicity of life of Iqaluit. It made me realize that what has always attracted me to the north (and to deserts, for instance) is the stark, basic simplicity that makes you see forms and colour at their most basic and most beautiful. And that, in turn, liberates me psychologically to drill down to focussing on what really matters to me. (Maybe that's my prairie roots showing through ....) I'm glad to be home.
Dec 12, 2007 The Travel Wizard The Fairmont Chateau, Whistler
.4th Night FREE at Fairmont Chateau Whistler! Travel + Leisure's 2006 'T+L 500' list of the world's best hotels praises this plush, ski-in/ski-out resort at the foot of Blackcomb Mountain, citing its quiet setting and the heated pools that face the mountain. Guest rooms and suites are designed to blend with the alpine setting, and they overlook the mountain, valley, or Whister Village. Book by 03/30/2008 Valid for Travel: 12/01/2007-04/02/2008
Dec 12, 2007 koktayl Bellagio, Las Vegas
The Bellagio
Bellagio Villas $6,000 per night We were surprised that the most expensive hotel room in Las Vegas--a private villa at the Bellagio--is only $6,000 a night, but hotels in Sin City are always lower than average since hoteliers know the real money will be blown on gambling. The Bellagio has nine separate villas in a quiet corner of the property.
Each villa has a private terrace and pool, which is surrounded by topiary shrubs, chaise lounges and outdoor tables. Every villa has a private butler service and private limousine entrance. Not that anyone actually sleeps in Sin City. kitchen, dining room and fully stocked bar according to guests' preferences. The master bathrooms have his-and-hers bathrooms and steam showers and are stocked with Hermes bath products. Whoever designed the guest-to-bathroom ratio, as well as guest-to-telephone, had excess in mind. The two-bedroom suites have five bathrooms and 11 telephones, while the three-bedrooms have seven bathrooms and 12 telephones. Two-bedroom villas are $5,000 per night, while the three-bedrooms are $6,000. Bellagio Hotel 3600 S. Las Vegas Blvd. Las Vegas, Nev.
Dec 12, 2007 M.E.N. media Rocco Forte Brown's Hotel, London
Holiday reviews
AH, temptation. As the third glass of Bollinger began its insidious invasion I contemplated that I could be in Brussels quicker than back in Manchester. Dining out in that sneakily surreal city. Troughing on mussels, frites and devilish Duvel. Then, as a tease, a sleek Eurostar express slid in right beside us, close enough for us to see our pallid reflections in its gleaming windows. Inside were well-nourished, sophisticated `Eurocentrics', gathering their Louis Vuitton holdalls and cashmere accoutrements to face the creeping London gloom. The seats will still be warm for you, the Bolly daemon whispered.
The longest champagne bar in Europe has obvious attractions and many folk had the same impulse as us and rushed to the new St Pancras. 300ft with table heaters, the bar is tremendous fun. A 200 per cent mark-up on the champagne was an ouch factor, but there were compensations. Gaze below the platform level of the restored European terminal and you see teeming shopping and eating opportunities in the former Bass beer storage undercroft. Look above and it's William Henry Barlow's stupendous soaring engine shed roof, while on the city side there's the splendour of George Gilbert Scott's Midland Hotel, itself careering towards a titanic rebirth. Icon St Pancras is London's first 21st century icon - the railway station as tourist destination in its own right, with all the romantic, brief encounter allure of New York's Grand Central. I had friends on a jolly to Paris once who never ventured beyond the Gare du Nord. In more seemly fashion, people-watching paradise St Pancras could occupy many a waking hour (and if the hotel lives up to expectations, sleeping hour) beyond its purpose serving the £5.8bn Channel Tunnel rail link, High Speed 1. We lingered by the statue of John Betjeman, who saved the station from demolition in the Sixties. I think the late Poet Laureate would have approved of the street theatre and brass bands trumpeting our pride in revitalising so grandiose an asset. With Barcelona only six hours' high-speed journey time away, boarding Eurostar here will beat hanging around a congested airport. Just gawp around. The old shell of the Midland, long fallen into disuse, was often used as a film location, most recently by Batman and there is a Gotham Gothic element to it. Its full-on Victorian bluster of soaring turrets in orange-red brick and granite feels appropriately European, like some great town hall. But just as impressive is the `crystal palace' stone iron girders behind it, the largest engine shed of its time. It has been grit-blasted, re-glazed, re-painted sky-blue and extended sympathetically with steel, aluminium and glass. Revamped It seemed appropriate to stay in a hotel that has also been revamped with immense concern for its colourful history - and Brown's in Mayfair fitted the bill. It's part of the Rocco Forte Collection, like our own Lowry, but is quite different. It was refurbished two years ago in gorgeous contemporary style while retaining some traditional features in what was the capital's first hotel, founded by Lord Byron's butler in 1837. It was also the first London hotel to open its own restaurant and today's The Grill puts a modern spin on English crab, roast beef, grouse and the like. Many of the suites are named in tribute to the larger than-life-characters associated with Brown's. Winston Churchill frequented it, the two American presidents Roosevelt honeymooned here, Napoleon III and Haile Selassie in exile stayed here, while it was the place where Rudyard Kipling wrote The Jungle Book and Agatha Christie a whodunnit set in a hotel, naturally. I'd be happy to be in permanent exile in The Terence Donovan Bar, where, surrounded by the famous photographer's work, you can sip some of the best martinis in London. Before leaving for the Continent, of course. FACTFILE Brown's Hotel, Albemarle Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 4BP (020 7493 6020, Brown's is offering a special January Sale Shopping Package between January 4 and February 4 - rooms start at £299+VAT per night, subject to availability and it includes breakfast and a spa treatment.
Dec 12, 2007 Miles McWeeney The Lanesborough London
Bite-sized burgers with a touch of spice
There's something of a revolution happening these days, in that no longer do we have to sit down to a three-course meal when eating out. Increasingly, restaurants and bars are offering a menu of "small plates", from which we can mix and match. Bite-size eating isn't a new idea, of course. It has its roots in some of the world's greatest cuisines; think of the tapas of Spain, the antipasti of Italy, the dim sum of China and the sushi of Japan. Paul Gaylor, executive chef of the Lanesborough, London, has come up with a brilliant cookbook called The World in Bite Size -- tasty morsels from all over the world.
Paul's recipes are genuinely easy to prepare. They are also very healthy. It is fine to double up the ingredients in the recipe to make it a light supper for four. Mini Chicken Tikka Burgers with Mint Chutney Ingredients 1 tablespoon tikka paste 1 tablespoon natural yoghurt 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon ground cardamom 1 tablespoon chopped coriander 2cm piece root ginger, peeled and grated 1 garlic clove, crushed 400g minced chicken breast A little oil 4 small naan breads For the Mint Chutney 1 small bunch fresh mint 2cm piece root ginger, peeled and grated 1 small green chilli, chopped Juice of 1 lime 1 teaspoon sugar 1 teaspoon ground coriander 1 small onion, finely chopped A little natural yoghurt, to blend, but water is fine too Sea salt and black pepper Method Place all the ingredients for the burgers (excluding the oil and bread) in a bowl and mix well. With wet hands, mould the mixture into 12 small burgers. Refrigerate for an hour. Meanwhile, make the chutney by placing all the ingredients in a blender with enough yoghurt or water to blitz to a thick consistency. Season. Preheat a grill pan then cook the burgers, brushed with a little oil, for three to four minutes on each side, until cooked through. Meanwhile, cut each naan bread into three wedges and toast until crispy. Top each wedge with a cooked burger and spear with a skewer.
Dec 12, 2007 Outer Dimension Enterprises Bellagio, Las Vegas
Bellagio Resort and Casino in Las Vegas
The Bellagio Las Vegas exudes Old World Romance in the classical setting of a Mediterranean Villa. World-famous fountains, Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, Gallery of Fine Art. Of course the big attraction in Las Vegas Hotels is The Casino. Place your bets and get ready for action on the most opulent casino floor in Las Vegas. Whether you are interested in serious or light-hearted play, Bellagio offers an ace array of table games and slots to satisfy.
Accommodations: Enjoy deluxe guest rooms and enjoy every exquisite AAA Five Diamond Award-winning enhancement and the sophisticated, residential character of each distinctive suite. Book Online for Best Rates! The Mandalay Bay also boasts a choice of marvelous Dining Venues, including Prime, Circo, Picasso, Michael Mina, Jasmine and others Bellagio Spa is a 30,000 square foot, world-class Spa Mandalay created to ensure that every detail provides you with an unparalleled experience. Among its Entertainment Venues are Cirque du Soleil - "O", Light, Fontana, Caramel Bar & Lounge, Petrossian Bar and other lounges. Get Married at Bellagio! in Las Vegas. Begin your journey to "happily ever after" with an elegant wedding set in the midst of one of Bellagio's richly adorned Chapels. Located in the center of "The Strip" Bellagio Resort promises you an awesome experience!
Dec 12, 2007 OMNIA OFFICE sas Luna Hotel Baglioni
Carnival Opening Opera at the Luna Hotel Baglioni
Don’t miss the special evening at the Luna Hotel Baglioni to celebrate togheter the traditional Opening of the Venice Carnival! The appointment will be at 6.30 pm in the warm atmosphere of the Fireplace Room for our Welcome Cocktail: just in front of the warmlighted-on fireplace you will savour the typical Venetian Canapès while sipping the renown Bellini and Rossini Cocktails, created for you by our Chef Carlo. During the cocktail you will be entertained by a special funny Opera: “Il Barbiere di Siviglia”. The famous Opera of Gioacchino Rossini will be performed by top-level artists, prouded boast the stage of the most famous Italian and International Theatre.
Starting from 8.00 pm the refined Buffet Dinner will be served in the elegant ambience of the Marco Polo Ballroom, with original frescoes by the Pupils of the Tiepolo School.. The Marco Polo Ballroom is in fact the perfect setting to experience the real Carnival of Venice and you will have the chance to parade your Venetian Carnival costumes and traditional Masks! Our Chef Carlo will surprise you with a special carnival menù and with the exquisite Venetian typical desserts: frittelle and galani! We will make you dance till late with Dance Music of our Disk-Jockey: international covers, rock, group dances, music by ‘60s and ‘70s… A sparkling and exciting evening is waiting for you in the elegant ambience of our Luna Hotel Baglioni to celebrate in the most unforgettable way the Opening of the Venice Carnival! Dress Code: Carnival Costume (Costume d’Epoque or Cloak with Mask) Rate: 180,00 Euro per persona (VAT and Wine from Canova Selection included) Cancellation Policy: by 12.00 p.m. of 20th January 2008, with the whole rate as penalty. On the second floor of the Luna Hotel Baglioni the special Carnival Atelier “Venice Atelier” will be organized during Carnival period, in order to rent and buy Costumes d’Epoque, Masks and Cloaks. Partecipation costs: Euro 180 Euro
Dec 12, 2007 natalie The Lanesborough London
From London With Love...
The elegant and fashionable Lanesborough Hotel is nestled in the swanky Knightsbridge neighborhood (and conveniently located near Harrod's - Christmas shopping, anyone?) Its Library Bar is one of the most acclaimed in the British capitol, and known for its trend-setting cocktails.
One of their holiday recipes caught my eye as it features calvados (apple eau de vie) and aperol (bitter orange liqueur), both of which currently enjoying a lot of play on cocktail menus, worldwide. Christmas Martini 4cl Calvados 2cl Chambord 1cl Aperol 2cl Raspberry puree Shake all ingredients, with ice. Strain into chilled glass. Garnish with three raspberries with a spring of mint
Dec 12, 2007 Hotel Principe di Savoia Milano
Unique Italian Travel Gifts
You can give the gift of travel while helping out children around the world through Condé Nast Traveler Five and Alive Fund at Charity Folks online auction through December 14. One of the travel gifts on auction is an exclusive stay at the Hotel Principe di Savoia Milano in Milan, Italy for 2. Hotel Principe di Savoia is a luxury five-star hotel on Piazza della Repubblica in central Milan. See our Milan Travel Guide for more about Milan.
Know someone who'd enjoy owning an Italian sheep? There are several programs that let you adopt a sheep, an olive tree, or a grape vine in Italy. In return, you'll get things like cheese, wool socks, olive oil, or wine and you can even participate in the harvest if you want. Wandering Italy has information on some adoption programs in Italy. Now that's a unique gift idea.
Dec 12, 2007 The New York Times The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow
From Russia With Luxe
PRINCE ALBERT of Monaco was still eagerly expected, but already a thick throng of Moscow's clubbing elite and dolled-up wannabes was trying to claw its way into the Dyagilev Project nightclub. Dressed as if fresh from a Dolce & Gabbana year-end sale, the crowd pushed, pleaded and shouted the name of the doorman — “Pasha! Spasiba, Pasha!” — in hopes of entering.
For those lucky enough — or lovely enough, or loaded enough — to be allowed inside, the reward was a teeming, Moulin Rouge-like fantasyland of gilt, velvet and spectacle. On a catwalk positioned just over the heads of the dancing crowd, a strange glittering being in a purple robe did tai chi movements with a glowing sword. It was replaced by a creepy harlequin in an “Eyes Wide Shut” mask, who performed a vaudevillian soft-shoe. By the time the bikini-clad robots battled one another with flashing lights on cords, the crowd was gyrating on the banquettes of the $1,000-a-night tables and ricocheting around the $20,000 V.I.P. boxes like superheated, Champagne-fueled molecules. Sitting in his backstage office, the club's artistic director, Sinisha Lazarevich, enumerated the list of the boldface names who had graced the belle époque-style interiors in the past: Shakira, Elizabeth Hurley, Naomi Campbell, Vincent Cassel, the Black Eyed Peas. “Last night in the club we had Christina Aguilera, Tokio Hotel and the Pussycat Dolls,” he went on, as a dance troupe in black fetish wear ran about in anxious preparation for its set. “We make clubs for people who don't want to be out of date, who are always buying the new collections, the new cars, who are always getting the new girls, and who want new emotions.” It's not only Dyagilev. Throughout the formerly gray and workaday streets, Moscow is renewing itself with a vigor and opulence seen in few other places on the planet. Everywhere, Socialist-era edifices, former state stores and even onetime academic institutes are being purged of their pasts and transformed into hot spots glimmering with Italian furniture, French chefs, European fashions and D.J.-spun music. Few cities have sloughed off as much leaden history to reinvent themselves. Only 16 years ago, the Soviet Union, the grandest political experiment of the 20th century, sputtered and drew its final breath. Even in the late 1990s, the idea of Moscow as a fast-money style center would have seemed like the twisted punch line to a Yakov Smirnoff joke. The anemic ruble was on the verge of collapse, and the erratic Boris Yeltsin seemed equally rickety. When the cosmic jalopy known as space station Mir began falling to pieces, its woes seemed an apt metaphor for those of the nation. But a decade on, the oil boom has helped remake the former global headquarters of Communism and cold-war politics. Now the world's most expensive city for expatriates, Moscow is home to 30-odd resident billionaires, the greatest concentration anywhere outside of New York City. And while a walk along Tverskaya Street, Moscow's Cyrillic-lined Broadway, reveals plenty of people and places untouched by the city's new fortunes — low-paid police officers in green uniforms, stubbly cabbies driving beat-up Brezhnev-era Ladas, stooped babushkas, ashen concrete apartment blocks — 21st-century Moscow is nonetheless a much more diverse, energetic and multidimensional place than ever before. “Moscow is one of the fastest-growing cities in terms of opening restaurants, cafes, bars and so on,” said Konstantin Chernozatonsky, former editor of the Russian editions of Playboy and Premiere magazines, as he sipped a mojito in a lounge whose name translates as the Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie. “And it's the same with luxury, the same with cars, the same with real estate. Everything is booming.” AS a summer sun arcs slowly over Red Square, a hum of activity echoes throughout the city's heart. Behind a high scaffolding hung with a massive Rolex billboard, grinding power tools herald the construction of a Four Seasons hotel. Not to be outdone, work teams across the street hustle to complete an enormous Ritz-Carlton hotel in time for its inauguration gala. Inside the majestic 19th-century Manege exhibition hall, a cologned and perfumed crowd in its best prêt-à-porter is eagerly browsing the thousands of masterworks on display for the fourth annual Moscow World Fine Art Fair. Valued at over $1 billion, the collection of old master canvases, Impressionist oils and abundant antiques wouldn't look out of place in the Louvre. But as the quietly fingered credit cards and checkbooks remind, the fair is the city's most sophisticated home décor sale. It's also a top gala on Moscow's expanding social calendar, a kind of cultural counterpoint to the annual Millionaire Fair, which caters more toward demand for diamond-encrusted cellphones, gold coffee pots and private islands. In the stall for Moscow's Marat Guelman Gallery, the burly owner holds forth on Moscow contemporary art to some bespectacled academics who peer at four small coffins containing child-size statues of Andy Warhol. Just next door, in the XL Gallery's expo space, visitors try to decipher a red L.E.D. ticker whose corporate stock quotes suddenly morph into phrases from “Hamlet.” Both of the galleries are in the hottest new address for art in Moscow, a factory-turned-cultural-complex called Vinzavod. Surveying the scene, one transplanted New York gallery owner waxes effervescent about her recent decision to try her luck in Moscow. “The first exhibition that we had, we sold over 80 percent of the show in the first two weeks,” says Luba Mosionzhnik, a veteran Park Avenue dealer who earlier this year moved to Moscow and opened the Gallery Shkola. “I thought if we sold a work or two I'd already be ahead of the game.” Nearby, some Champagne-sippers mull her gallery's offerings, which include paintings by Picasso and Renoir. If she's homesick for Manhattan, she's not showing it. “There is more service here than anywhere else in the world that I've been,” she says of her adopted city. “With money, you can get anything you want.” The dinner hour at Turandot brings further proof that the Russian taste for Old World opulence didn't perish with the Romanovs. Led by hostesses in 18th-century-style silk gowns, businessmen in suits and deep-pocketed couples make their way across the grand marble courtyard and into a domed and colonnaded dining room that looks airlifted from Versailles. Adding to the ambience, a harpist and harpsichordist conjure classical melodies, which mingle with the delicate clatter of Arthur Price silverware on Bauscher porcelain....
Dec 12, 2007 Wisdom Digital Media. Wynn Las Vegas
Webber Pens Song for 'La Reve' at Wynn Las Vegas
musical theatre composer, Andrew Lloyd Webber, has penned a song for Le Reve after seeing the water-spectacular at the Wynn Las Vegas. "Le Reve, presented exclusively at Wynn Las Vegas, offers breathtaking performances in an intimate aqua theater in-the-round. The show features aerial acrobatics, provocative choreography and artistic athleticism," explain press ntoes. "Lord Webber is a helluva guy and we've become friends. He wrote a theme song for me. I'm gonna get an orchestration. He just said to me, 'Here, Steve, after seeing Le Reve, this melody reminds me of Le Reve' and he sent it to me on a tape," said Wynn.
Hotel mogul Steve Wynn plans to have the Webber song inserted into the show soon. The two have reportedly become friends, though have not been discussing bringing a Webber show to Wynn or Encore.
Dec 12, 2007 The Moscow Times The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow
Beyond the Bedroom, With a Personal Touch
Nowadays, it seems that it's about more than just a good night's sleep. From vodka sommeliers to ballrooms, Moscow's hotels are offering guests an increasing array of eye-catching, high-priced services. For the uninitiated, the battle for the hearts and pockets of the super-rich can sometimes border on the bizarre. The Ritz-Carlton is unrivaled in that respect, offering well-heeled guests complete relaxation and pure indulgence. On its stylish rooftop lounge, Ritz-Carlton entertains guests with unforgettable experiences, such as its champagne sabrage -- a ceremony originating with French officers in the Napoleonic era, in which guests are allowed to open a champagne bottle with a saber.
"Guests always sit at our O2 Lounge and watch as the corks and bottle tops of disrobed champagne bottles fly several feet into the air against the heart-stirring views of Red Square and the Kremlin," said hotel spokesman Sergei Logvinov. "It is a spectacular and popular pastime, especially in the summer." But for a taste of the ultimate, Logvinov suggested that well-off guests and power-diners check out the Tsar's Breakfast, which costs a royal $1,400 per person. The meal includes a Kobe beef steak, a truffle omelet, and foie gras au torchon with caramelized apple and pain brioche, Beluga caviar with blinis, sour cream and quail eggs, freshly squeezed juices and a bottle of Cristal champagne. Drink aficionados can consult the hotel's vodka sommelier for advice on which of the more than 400 vodka labels to sip while savoring local delicacies. On top of this, the hotel has dedicated shoe, bath, technology and nightlife butlers. The last's job is to guide guests wishing to visit popular nightspots and restaurants. Equally sophisticated butler services can be found at the Marriott Royal Hotel, which also aims to distinguish itself in the competitive hospitality industry by providing specialized services. "We have a butler for practically every job a guest wants done," said Valentina Starova, the hotel's director of communications. "Whether guests want to send a fax, arrange business meetings, have the laundry done or buy tickets to the theater, our butler offers our guests personalized services on top of standard services in the hotel," Starova said. Personalized butler services come with extra charges, to the tune of about 21,000 rubles ($860), she said. To attract more guests, personalized services have also been extended to the hotel's gym and swimming pool, which are open 24 hours a day. At the snap of a finger, a personal trainer is always standing by to attend to guests' fitness needs. It is a different approach at the regal-looking Metropol hotel, with administrators appearing to operate on the philosophy that the shortest way to a guest's heart is through his or her stomach. Every breakfast in the hotel's Boyarsky restaurant is accompanied by a harpist playing songs that transport guests back in time, said Yekaterina Yegorova, spokeswoman for the hotel. "Apart from the invariable attributes of Russian cuisine, namely, sturgeon, stellate sturgeon, sterlet, suckling pig and salted foods, the guests are offered exclusive dishes which can be hardly found in any other restaurant," Yegorova said. The menu reads: hare liver with rucola in a cherry decoction, brains meuniere on wheaten toasts, Pozharsky cutlets, pancakes Romanov style with lobsters and split quails. The cuisine testifies to the pastiche of antiquities, Yegorova said, and guests are offered old-fashioned Russian cuisine enjoyed by the nobility. But lovers of authentic Armenian cuisine -- from Achot, garlicky farmer's cheese with walnuts, to Anoushabour, Christmas pudding -- have to turn to the Ararat Park Hyatt, which imports all of its ingredients directly from Armenia. The hotel is not limited, however, by its culinary peculiarity in the struggle for hearts and pockets. "In addition to baby-sitting services offered to family guests by prior arrangement, specialized services are offered in our unique Quantum Health Club, that offers the traditional Russian banya with branches as well as aroma and thalassotherapy," said Maria Losyukova, the hotel's marketing communications manager.
Dec 12, 2007 Duane Wells La Residencia - Mallorca, Spain
Subtle Sophistication
Some of my most memorable recent travels began in Spain’s beatific Balearic Isles at Palma de Mallorca. A favored mooring place for the mega yachts of the fabulously rich like Microsoft honcho Bill Gates and über fashion designer, Valentino, in addition to being the preferred getaway of the fabulously famous like Michael Douglases and the late Diana, Princess of Wales, Mallorca is a city whose charm surprisingly lies in its subtle sophistication and lack of pretense rather than in its showiness. Even the luxurious La Residencia in Deia - host to royalty and high profile celebrities and formerly owned by British billionaire Richard Branson - has a certain unassuming elegance that can only be associated with the utmost in good taste. Sure, La Residencia has a tri-level, four bedroom villa with a private pool overlooking the Mediterranean that can cost as much € 8,000 per week, but that is discreetly tucked away in a nook just a few minutes walk from the main property. Positively exquisite.
Cultural visits to the Palma Cathedral and the Es Baluard Contemporary Museum aside, one of my most memorable moments in Mallorca took place at Restaurant Flannigan’s in Puerto Portals, which I later found out was a favorite of King Juan Carlos of Spain. Now how’s that for a recommendation? With a dockside terrace peering out onto a marina, a paella so fresh that one can taste the Mediterranean in each bite, and a well-heeled crowd of regulars, Flannigan’s is one of Mallorca’s unparalleled treasures – bar none. To get a flavor for the nightlife I ventured out to a few highly recommended gay nightspots, like the bar at the gay-owned Hotel Rosamar (, where the drinks were strong and the boys smooth. Needless to say, when my time in Mallorca came to an end, all I could say of it was "muy bien." It’s amazing how well-versed one can become in the language with a few good . . . 'tutors,’ is it not? While in the Balearics I also ventured over to Ibiza where one morning I boarded a ferry to the shockingly unspoiled isle of Formentera located just 11 miles off the coast of the clubby island. Legendary architect and interior designer Philippe Starck has maintained a residence on the island of Formentera for over four decades and supermodels including Elle MacPherson and Kate Moss have also developed an affinity for the island in recent years. An hour or so after having arrived, I can honestly say I shared their enthusiasm for the place. After a little snorkeling expedition, the boat transporting me and my party pulled up to a ramshackle dock leading to Es Moli De Sal, a restaurant with breathtaking ocean views situated in a converted windmill high atop a jagged corner of the island. Not only was the experience surreal, but Es Moli De Sal’s signature dish Fideau, a paella made with noodles and fish stock was life altering. I could have sworn that for an hour or so I had been transported back to a simpler time.
Dec 12, 2007 Badrutt's Palace Hotel
Badrutts Palace Hotel - St. Moritz, Graubunden, Switzerland
Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, situated amidst breathtakingly beautiful and unspoiled scenery, has long been hailed as a landmark in the center of St. Moritz and is the ultimate expression of the Swiss Alps region. Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, is a favorite of celebrities and royalty alike since its opening in 1896. The hotel offers 159 guestrooms and 47 suites with stunning views of the Swiss Alps. Badrutt’s Palace Hotel is a celebration of style, sports, cuisine and fashion, with discreet service and traditional elegance evoking an atmosphere of pampered luxury for all. An ideal destination in both winter and summer, the hotel is located in one of the most challenging ski areas in the world and offers a host of summer alpine activities.
The hotel offers 159 comfortable rooms in four categories according to size and location, inclusive of 47 suites and junior suites. Each room is individually decorated and appointed for comfort. Standard Rooms are somfortable and traditionally furnished guestrooms facing the village of St Moritz and the Engadin mountains. Superior Rooms are newly appointed, comfortable guestrooms facing the village of St. Moritz and the Engadin mountains. Deluxe Rooms are newly appointed spacious guestrooms with Italian marble bathrooms facing the lake or the village of St. Moritz. Grand Deluxe Rooms are newly appointed large guestrooms with Italian marble bathrooms facing the lake of St Moritz. Le Restaurant is the Grande Dame of the restaurants at the Palace, where people enjoy glamorous nights in this unique setting. Conservative, requires dress code at dinner, maintains international and traditional French cuisine throughout the season. Nobu @ Badrutt’s Palace (only during Winter) consists of one bar area, two dining areas as well as one private function room and a walk in wine cellar. The Grand Hall is the hotel’s greatest asset in terms of architectural design. The Douglas wooden roof and the views over the lake deliver the best ambience for people to sit and meet or just enjoy caviar and champagne or home made pastries served with the best selection of teas in town.
Dec 12, 2007 The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow
A Million Dollar phone at Moscow’s Millionaire Fair
The Venue: Ritz Carlton Hotel Moscow; The Event: Third Annual Millionaire Fair; Top Items Flaunted: A $ 1 million mobile, undoubtedly a perfect event for the riches to cherish and for us to write. We just sport the name while the ones who live it were there at Moscow’s third edition of the Annual Millionaire Fare where a $1 million mobile was amongst the other items that openly flaunted the opulence of the event and the venue.
The $1 million mobile had a Sim card which would give you unlimited local calls for your life, anywhere in the world, this through a Russian mobile phone operator’s courtesy. To match the competence of the phone was a $1.2 million phone which was gold plated and diamond encrusted. The official website of the event is as luxurious as the event was, never mind the irritating music, the only sad part was that I couldn’t find that millionaire’s mobile phone, thus I had to content myself with the Hotel’s flick but that wasn’t much hurting either for even the location used was fabulous and full of splendour. Only a few managed to call the atmosphere tacky, probably because they had a fewer millions at their disposal or the Russian opulence was too heavy to acclimatize too, for otherwise the ultimate gathering of the riches was a mammoth event with money doing the talking throughout.
Dec 12, 2007 Old Shoe Woman Bellagio, Las Vegas
Route 66 thru Texas in Bellagio's Conservatory - Las Vegas
On Tuesday, June 5, 2007, Jim, Carl, and I enjoyed the sun on the patio at our timeshare. Late afternoon we took the shuttle to the strip. We ate at Bellagio and took a gondola ride at The Venetian.
Dec 12, 2007 Marbella Club
A Brief Guide To The Holiday Resort Of Marbella
Marbella has a reputation as being one of the chicest holiday resorts in Spain. The seaside town on the Costa del Sol started to become popular in the 1950's when one of its residents, the exotically named Prince Alfonso von Hohenlohe of Liechtenstein, bought 10 hectares of farmland next to the beach. He built a small hotel and some holiday bungalows on the site and named it the Marbella Club. The prince's wealthy friends started holidaying here and Marbella, which actually means beautiful sea, began to develop a reputation as an exclusive resort. Famous celebrities such as Frank Sinatra, Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida, along with rich Arabian oil barons, all became regular visitors. In the 1980's the resort fell into decline, although a major facelift during the 1990's reversed this trend. Today, Marbella remains a popular holiday destination.
Sightseeing In the centre of Marbella, to the north of the Avenida Ramon y Cajal, is the picturesque Casco Antiguo or Old Town, with its narrow streets, pretty little squares and quaint whitewashed homes. At the heart of the Old Town is the lovely Plaza de los Naranjos, which dates back to the late 15th centruy. To the east of this square is the Barque-style Iglesia de la Encarnacion with the remnants of the town's old Islamic walls situated nearby. Art lovers should visit the Museo del Grabado Espanol Contempraneo, which houses prints by Joan Miro and Pablo Picasso, among others. Marbella's main beach next to the town centre is the pleasant, but unremarkable, Playa de Venus. The best beaches are found slightly to the west of the town centre. These include the 2km-long Playa de Casablanca and the Playa de Nagueles, both of which have lovely golden sand. Another popular activity in Marbella is shopping, with numerous designer boutiques situated within the Old Town and along the the town's main thoroughfare, the Avenida Ramon y Cajal. Getting to Marbella Marbella is about 55km (33 miles) from Malaga's international airport. There is a direct bus service from the airport to Marbella bus station which takes around 45 minutes. For more information, visit Taxis from the airport to Marbella cost around 60 euros.
Dec 12, 2007 Ammar Abd Rabbo Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Mediterranee
Former Miss Germany and Miss Europe 2005 Shermine Shahrivar poses with Lebanese model Karen in Cannes, France, at the Martinez Hotel terrasse, wearing Elie Saab and jewels by De Grisogono.
Dec 12, 2007 Hotel Chatter Hotel & Spa Rosa Alpina, San Cassiano
Dining al Fresco in the Dolomites
In this edition of Hotel Habits of the Rich and Famous... Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, quite the European couple these days, went back to the scene of their nuptials, Italy, this past weekend to belatedly celebrate their one-year anniversary which was Nov. 18th. We're told that Tom, Katie and Baby Suri hit up the Rosa Alpina Hotel & Spa in the Dolomites in the Italian Alps for a quick lunch. Chef Norbert Niederkofler from the hotel's St. Hubertus restaurant served a special five-course lunch al fresco for the Cruises who were joined by the spa director and namesake, Daniela Steiner, before they did some snowmobiling.
Alas, the famous family did not spend the night. They had a helicopter chopper them back to Milan where they did what they do best, some shopping.
Dec 12, 2007 Travel Theory The Stafford London
Christmas in London at the Stafford Hotel
The most perfect Christmas holiday in London: a stay at the Stafford hotel for a traditional Christmas. There's a Christmas tree in every room and Santa visits each room with presents! While the Stafford's executive chef Mark Budd prepares dinner, you can relax and enjoy the warmth of the open fires in the lounge, or cozy up in the American Bar with a cup of the Stafford's secret recipe mulled wine.
Before dinner, guests and staff will gather in the 380 year old wine cellar (fabulous and historic!) to listen or join in with carol singers - song sheets provided should you want to carry a tune or two. Then it's off to dinner in the Stafford's award-winning restaurant, or in the cozy American bar. The Christmas Eve menu includes foie gras, wild smoked salmon with caviar, Welsh lamb and wild woodland mushrooms, with an iced bitter chocolate parfait and sorbet for dessert. Vegetarian alternatives are always available. On Christmas day, you might choose to sleep late or take a jog in Green Park...meanwhile the chefs are preparing a beautiful Christmas lunch for you, served at 12:30 p.m. Lunch will include Scottish lobster, warm tomato consomme, traditional roast Bronze turkey, and home made Christmas pudding (of course!) with brandy butter or brandy sauce. Vegetarian alternatives available, should you desire. Lunch is interrupted for the Queen's speech at 3:00, and then the rest of the day is yours to relax and enjoy. Should you decide to stay over New Year's (yes, you should!), the restaurant offers a lovely six course menu, a quiet affair. The dinner shall include Aylesbury duck, sole quenelle, Welsh lamb, and for dessert an iced Champagne parfait with strawberry compote. New Year's Day you might enjoy breakfast in bed, or join us in the restaurant for a fully serviced meal. Accommodations at the Stafford are beautiful and luxurious. For a gorgeous traditional English guest room, stay in the main part of the hotel in a deluxe room. For a modern twist, stay in the newly restored Mews suites - these are utterly fabulous and comfortable as well. The fabrics are divine and the baths exquisite - some of the best showers I have ever seen. All junior suites in the Mews are interconnecting and have a sofa-bed, perfect for families travelling together. You might even take your own entire floor in the News, with two master wuites and two interconnecting junior suites. An exclusive arrangement at a very special price. In sum, the Stafford is the perfect, cozy, elegant and wonderful way to spend Christmas in London.
Dec 12, 2007 DonPablo Lapa Palace Lisbon
Quotes from the discussions:
There is no doubt in my mind that, by far, the best hotel in Lisbon is the Lapa Palace…The hotel is surrounded by beautiful gardens, and there are two lovely, warm swimming pools in the midst of all that gorgeous greenery.…We’ve stayed at the Lapa Palace a number of times over the past few years and, every time we return to this wonderful hotel, we seem to enjoy the experience more and more.…The Lapa Palace’s staff is efficient, courteous and extremely friendly. The hotel’s Cipriani restaurant is one of the top dining spots in all of Lisbon. (There is also a wonderful little restaurant adjoining the pool that is open for lunch.)
Dec 12, 2007 The Strip Podcast Blog SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand
The Strip Podcast Blog
It has been brought to my attention that the video peepholes at the Skylofts at MGM Grand of which I was so enamored during this week's podcast have been noted previously by loyal listener and all-around Vegasophile Mike E in a 15-minute video tour he recorded last summer of one of the units. He's surprised the PR folks just got around to showing it off, but I suspect that's because they hadn't finished installing them in all 51 units when Mike filmed this. In any event, it's a terrific review of the entire space, and the video peepholes come up around the sixth minute.
Click here or on the pic below to watch.
Dec 12, 2007 Ellen Barone The Westin Palace, Milan
Last Minute Holiday Travel Packages To Italy... from Starwood Hotels and Resorts Starwood Italy and Central Mediterranean, numbering more than 40 properties in Rome, Milan, Turin, Venice, Asolo, Florence, Rimini, Malta, Costa Smeralda (Sardinia) and Croatia, announces its 2007 holiday packages for Christmas and the New Year. Lovers of Europe can absorb the rich cultures of Italy, Malta and Croatia, during the most joyful time of the year and indulge in European charm and tradition.
Explore Florence’s rich art, literature and history while staying at The Grand Hotel. The Grand Hotel is offering a holiday experience that includes an accommodation in one of the luxurious guestrooms, a daily breakfast buffet, and a special Christmas gift waiting in the room. Rates start from €344.00 in a deluxe double room. The Westin Excelsior is presenting exciting New Year’s Eve festivities in an unforgettable magical setting. Charming buildings and streets shine with lights and decorations to give a traditional feel to shopping and celebrations. Spend New Years Eve at the Westin Excelsior, Florence for €529.00, which includes a daily breakfast buffet, New Year’s Eve buffet dinner and a New Year’s Day brunch. It’s the prefect way to kick-off 2008. MILAN: For fashionistas and trend-setters, stay in Milan and shop this holiday season in the fashion capital of the world. Visit the famous Italian designer’s boutiques, from Versace to Armani and relax at the Westin Palace where holiday rates start from €233.00. The Westin Palace is convenient to the city’s famous shopping and monuments, including The Church of Santa Maria Delle Grazie, which houses Leonardo’s Last Supper. Visit one of the world’s most famous opera houses, The Teatro alla Scala (or La Scala, as it is known), and unwind at the Le Méridien Gallia, located in the heart of Milan’s renowned Piazza Duca D’Aosta, where holiday rates start at €151.00. VENICE: Venice is surely the world’s most romantic destination. See the historic sights of Venice at The Westin Europa & Regina with rates starting from €195.00 a night. Or stay at Hotel Gritti Palace and take pleasure in the historical grandeur. Holiday Package rates start from €419.00 per room per night with an inclusive full breakfast for two. ROME: Celebrate the Holiday season like royalty at the St. Regis Grand Hotel, Rome and experience modern Roman life, within Rome’s ancient city walls. Enjoy a dinner at the famed Vivendo, where traditional Italian dishes are imaginatively interpreted by the St. Regis Grand chef. Rates start from €430.00 and include a luxurious daily breakfast buffet for two and an epicurean Christmas lunch for two. Rejoice in New Years Eve celebrations with a gala dinner, surrounded by the magnificence of the ballroom designed by Cesar Ritz. Located on Rome’s most celebrated avenue, Via Veneto, The Westin Excelsior allows access to the city’s greatest attractions. Take pleasure in the Westin Excelsior this holiday season with rates starting from €400.00, which includes an accommodation in a deluxe double room and a gourmand Christmas lunch for two, created by chef James Foglieni. Make lasting memories at the Sheraton Roma Hotel & Conference Center, where holiday rates start from €172.00. Enjoy the hotels recent full-scale renovation and dine at the Il Vigneto, which serves a delicious buffet of Mediterranean dishes and an à la carte menu including a tempting selection of pizzas....
Dec 12, 2007 Bellagio, Las Vegas
Bellagio Five Diamond World Poker Classic
Five Diamond World Poker Classic continues at the Bellagio Resort on the Las Vegas Strip with entries for this year's Sixth Annual 5 Diamond running ahead of last year's number, a good indicator of the continued popularity of big-time tournament poker. Today's action was a $2,500 + $120 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em event that attracted 237 players. Some well known faces were in the crowd late in the early evening. In addition, the final table of Wednesday's $2,000 + $100 No-Limit Hold'em event was down to four with 2007 WSOP Event #33 winner Alan Smurfit still in the hunt.
This is the last major poker tournament of the year and its always a great time at the Bellagio during the Holidays. Most of the professional poker world is hanging out at the luxury resort making this a prime time to be in Las Vegas as a player or watcher.
Dec 12, 2007 Perfect Escapes Wynn Las Vegas
Michelin (Everyone) loves the Wynn
Michelin Guide recently released their first edition of the Michelin Guide for both Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Of the 157 proud restaurants and hotels in Las Vegas to achieve a listing in the austere guide, the Wynn Las Vegas far out-shined the competition. The Wynn was the only Las Vegas hotel awarded with the coveted Five Red Pavilions rating, Michelin’s highest rating, which only 8 other hotels in the country received. This adds yet another sparkly trophy on the full shelf of Steve Wynn, who has led the Wynn Las Vegas into a all-star year of recognition including the Mobil five-star distinction and AAA five-diamond award.
The grand slam of awards continued for Wynn with its restaurants, 3 of which Michelin also recognized with outstanding achievement. In the 3-star rating system that Michelin follows, one Wynn restaurant, Alex Stratta’s Alex, received 2 stars, and two other Wynn restaurants received 1 star each: Daniel Boulud Brasserie and Richard Chen’s Wing Lei. All three are major accomplishments in that only 3 Las Vegas eateries in the 2008 Guide received 2 stars, and Wing Lei was the only Chinese restaurant in the country to earn a star. Hopefully all of this attention won’t go to the Wynn’s head, but in a hotel with as much heart and effort as awards, we’re pretty sure all that glitters is really gold. Enter to win the 3-night luxury stay plus all kinds of perks at the most highly distinguished hotel in Vegas, the Wynn Las Vegas, brought to you exclusively by Perfect Escapes. Find other Las Vegas hotels on Perfect Escapes.
Dec 12, 2007 The Connors Group, Inc. Badrutt's Palace Hotel
SWISS to provide travellers with inflight meals from Switzerland's Canton Grisonss -- CFERF | charts | news | PowerRating -- Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS), the national airline of Switzerland, has announced that its inflight travellers are to be provided with cuisine from Switzerland's Canton Grisonss. The airline said that Frederic Breuil, the executive chef at Badrutt's Palace Hotel in St. Moritz and Reto Mathis of Mathis Food Affairs in Corviglia St. Moritz, have created a range of meals for First and Business Class customers.
The new meals are being offered as part of the airline's "SWISS Taste of Switzerland" inflight culinary concept and will remain on SWISS flights until 18 March, the carrier said. The meals from Breuil and Mathis will be offered on intercontinental services departing from Zurich and on selected flights inbound to Switzerland from Wednesday 28 November onwards. In addition SWISS will also be serving Mathis Food Affairs items to its Business Class customers on longer European flights departing from Switzerland.
Nov 11, 2007 Travel Destinations The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin
Berlin - Ritz Carlton (Germany)
My wife and I spent a week in Berlin staying at the Ritz Carlton. Our upgraded room (courtesy of American Express Platinum) was very big, beautifully decorated, and with a large bathroom with separate shower and every amenity. Towels were changed twice a day, unless you asked not to. The included buffet breakfast had everything you could possibly want...all kinds of breads, fish, fresh fruit and juice, dry cereals, etc. In addition , they made any hot dish you wanted, eggs, pancakes, etc. to order. The concierge (Marc and Thorsten) desk was fabulous. They made all of our restaurant reservations and the recommendations they added to our selections were excellent.
They gave us perfect directions with clarity to all of the places we wanted to see, including Potsdam (Sans Souci)...via train and connecting bus. My wife had left a brooch in our hotel in Dresden. The concierge desk called the hotel we had stayed at; when that hotel, the Taschenbergpalais Kempinske, also excellent ,found the jewelry, they arranged to have the brooch sent overnight mail to us in Berlin without any expense to us. Lunch in the Debrosses Cafe/Bistro was superb. Everyone on the staff was pleasant and cheerful. We have stayed in many deluxe hotels, but the Ritz Carlton Berlin was one of the finest experiences we have ever had........and they had no attitude!
Nov 11, 2007 extravigator Four Seasons Hotel George V
The Hotels with the Best Toiletries
I noticed from cibo's post a few weeks ago about the Four Seasons George V leaves its guests Bulgari toiletries in their hotel room bathrooms.
Not that anyone's going to run out and book the next flight to visit a hotel solely because it's stocked with fine products, but it would be cool to start up a list of the top hotels that go above and beyond when it comes to their toiletries. So, anyone have any hotels with first class toiletries to add to the list? Don't forget to mention which brands each hotel uses!
Nov 11, 2007 jetsettersblog Park Hyatt Zurich
Personal Touch for Mid East Travellers to Zurich
Park Hyatt Zurich has launched the “Comfort in Suites” concept to ensure guests feel the luxury and ease of being in their own home by providing unique details to the ultimate luxury experience. In addition to the standard luxurious interiors – comfortable king-size beds, extra-large marble bathrooms and state-of-the-art Bang & Olufsen (B&O) flat-screen televisions systems – the 72 sq m Park Suites in Park Hyatt Zurich now offer Nespresso coffee stations, a wide selection of books, as well as residential décor and brand new B&O stereos, that invite guests to relax and enjoy their stay.
Park Hyatt Zurich will also offer guests its unique fragrance, created by the Parisian parfumeur Blaise Mautin, which is scheduled to be launched in January 2008. “As a global financial hub, more and more Middle East visitors to Zurich are looking for a comfort element to their luxury hotel room. By incorporating the ‘Comfort in Suites’ concept, Hyatt aims to accommodate to each guest’s needs by providing them with an environment that recreate the luxury and comfort of their own home,” said Thiery Bertin, Area Director of Marketing - Middle East, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts. Park Hyatt Zurich invites you to experience real comfort in combination with attentive service and looks forward to welcoming Middle East travellers to Switzerland.
Nov 11, 2007 VMSO Bellagio, Las Vegas
Bellagio Hotel Review
The Las Vegas Hotel is a very profitable industry. There are several hotels and casinos that took millions of dollars just to construct them. Because of this, many tourists come to Las Vegas to visit these pricey attractions that offer so much such as themed hotels (Treasure Island and the Excalibur), amazing shows (Cirque du Soleil), great food and much more. Las Vegas is a city unlike any other city in the world, it really does hold the name for the entertainment city in the world.
What should you look for while in Las Vegas? Everyone has different tastes so it will vary. The city is too big to fully enjoy everything in a few weeks. To start off, the Bellagio Hotel is an elegant hotel who has those tastes. When you enter the hotel, there is a nice display of two thousand hand blown glass flowers produced by Dale Chihuly. The hotel also has it’s own botanical gardens that you can enjoy while staying at this hotel, along with the gardens filled with exotic plants, there is also a conservatory. Another compliment to the gardens is the hotel’s own fine art gallery, it currently features works from the artist Ansel Adams. The price for general admission to the Bellagio Hotel’s fine art gallery is only $15. When going outside of the hotel, they have an amazing outdoor pool that somewhat looks like a mediterranean villa. The pool is open year round so it will definitely be open you are visiting them. The hotel also has an amazing casino for their gambling guests. There are over 2700 slot machines to try out, 30 poker tables, 140 gaming tables and also the sports and race book. The Bellagio’s hotel features several services including a spa that offers massages and beauty treatments. There is also a fitness center situated inside the hotel that has several fitness equipments and fitness classes that you can check out. There are also live performances from time to time from the O by Cirque du Soleil. If you are also into shopping, there are many high end stores within the area of the Bellagio Hotel.
Nov 11, 2007 The Strip Podcast Blog Wynn Las Vegas
Won't You Be My Neighbor?
Thought this was kind of funny. As many of you know, my dad and I own a Panorama Towers unit that we haven't yet been able to flip. So I'm still getting loads of mail to my real home address from a variety of folks who wish to sell us stuff as new home owners. Oh, and there's a really heated battle on for the condo board elections, but who really cares? Anyhow, today's mailing was a first. It came from Wynn Las Vegas. It read: "We cordially invite our Panorama Tower neighbors to come and discover Wynn Las Vegas and all it has to offer." And then there's the 411 on a cocktail party on Dec. 13 at DB Brasserie at Wynn.
I suppose it makes sense. There's no place to eat or shop or have any kind of fun at Panorama. Heck, the swimming pool at Tower II isn't even done and the closest restaurant is a very ghetto In-N-Out Burger. But Panorama and Wynn are neighbors the same way California and Colorado are. I may go, just for sh*ts and giggles. And to see who else from Panorama is so starved for entertainment that they'll freeload off Wynn for an evening. Not to mention, what sort of pitch the Wynn folks have for us. And perhaps find out who everyone else is using to try to flip these turkeys. Howdy, neighbor!
Nov 11, 2007 P. de Terre, Inc. The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas
A Feast in the Hills above Las Vegas
I’ve always had an appreciation for Ritz-Carlton hotels as imposing and majestic, totally grande luxe, and my few stays in the hotels have served as confirmation of that preconception. But as I discovered when I left the gambling halls on the flatland below and climbed into the hills to Lake Las Vegas, there are some differences between the Ritz of my imagination and this one nestled along the shore of the lake.
At Lake Las Vegas, the Ritz-Carlton people have situated another of their sumptuous, rambling palaces with the traditional imposing lobby, elegant rooms and even more elegant suites. The hotel meanders around the United States’ largest, privately-owned, manmade lake, whose waters are alive with a navy of gondolas, vaporetti and colorful sailboats and motorboats. The flag of Italy — green, red and white — was flying everywhere at the time of my visit to this bustling replica of an Italian villagio. There were more tricolores here than you might find in Milan, and on a warm, summer night, it’s easy to imagine yourself in Lago di Como, Venice or lodging in a Tuscan hideaway. Indoors, the hotel dining room takes its cue from the gambling city, seventeen miles away. As with most of the hotels there, inside the Ritz, you can walk for miles, maneuvering your way through carpeted, flower-festooned hallways and lounges fit for royalty, but when you enter the Medici room, the hotel’s primary dining area, things change. The Medici is a pleasant, formal dining room, but the dress code is surprisingly casual, more like downtown Las Vegas than a typical Ritz. Servers wear the same uniform throughout the day and night — black pants and long-sleeved, white, collared tieless shirts with colored horizontal stripes and Navajo-motifed aprons. The reason for the casual dress, an attendant explained, is that the hotel has only one main dining room, aside from an all-purpose lobby lounge. “To accommodate all of our guests,” I was told, “we need to be versatile in service. In Vegas, a diner may arrive in shorts and a polo shirt, but may order the same bottle of Lafite Rothschild as the couple at the next table in black tie and gown. We want to provide a warm, relaxed, yet refined ambiance for everyone who dines with us.” Casual uniforms aside, the service is up to Ritz-Carlton standards: knowledgeable, polite, and accommodating. We put ourselves in the hands of wine steward Erik Intermill, who is, for lack of a better term, somewhat of a wine prodigy. At all of twenty-four, he puts into play skills of food-and-wine selection you might expect from an older, more seasoned server. Intermill, since being promoted to assistant food and beverage manager, is a graduate of the California School of Culinary Arts, with additional training in international restaurant and catering management at the University of South Australia. He is also ascending the ranks of the Court of Master Sommeliers. Suffice it to say, his wine-pairing skills brought excitement to our party. Before we’d had a chance to address the menu, Intermill started us off with a Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Rosé. This was the prelude to an amuse-bouche of dazzlingly fresh, saline hamachi and Kumamoto Pacific oysters from waters off the coast of Washington State and British Columbia, accompanied by a rhubarb black pepper granite, certainly a dish to prime the salivary glands. As a first course, Chef de Cuisine Truman Jones and Sous Chef Michael Klinger set out a sweet potato and ginger soup, a sweet yin wed to the yang of sharp fresh ginger and plated with a toasted rhubarb marshmallow. Certainly an unusual combination, but the hotel was featuring a farmer’s market menu celebrating rhubarb. Intermill elected a 2004 Riesling Grand Cru Schlossberg Clos des Capucins from Domaine Weinbach, its grapes coming from one of Alsace’s most storied vineyards, the historic Schlossberg hill. Its green apple, mineral and citrus flavors played beautifully off the sweet potato soup. Don’t tell the fois gras police, but that lush delicacy, our second course, joined with rhubarb-marinated strawberries, rhubarb sauce and rhubarb compote was ever so rich and decadent. It was perfectly complemented by a crisp 2005 Riesling Kabinett Cuvée Jean-Baptiste from the historic Gunderloch winery in the Rheinhessen. The food and wine went together like strawberries and cream, or perhaps I should say, like rhubarb and cream. We were crying stop when the third course arrived: a wild halibut that tasted as if it had just been pulled out of cold Pacific waters, with forest-floor mushrooms, asparagus and bits of candied — that’s right! — rhubarb. We drank with it a real treasure from the hotel’s expansive wine cellar: a crisp, tangy Premier Cru Puligny-Montrachet, the 1999 Clos de la Mouche from the distinguished Burgundy house of Jean Boillot & Fils. Sated as we may have been, that bottle went back empty. At this point, quite satisfied and with our eyes already on the dessert table, we convinced Intermill that the grilled prime New York strip, set to be the sixth and final course of our meal and a favorite of the Vegas crowd, would, sadly, be lost on us, as we simply did not have room for another course. So we brought the feast to a close with, what else, a rhubarb-based dessert. Miraculously, our appetite returned for the warm almond fondant and strawberry-rhubarb compote dressed with a small dab of vanilla ice cream and floating in a rhubarb soup. With it came our first American wine: a 2004 Eldorado Noir Black Muscat from Ferrari-Carano. It was a revelation. It blossomed with scents of strawberry, blueberry and chocolate. On the palate, the dark purple elixir overflowed with blueberry, molasses and caramel flavors. Yet it was not sickeningly sweet and married beautifully with the compote. Visitors to Las Vegas benefit from the intense restaurant competition in the American casino capital. We had just five parts of a six-course tasting menu with accompanying wines listed — by New York and other big city pricing standards — at a very reasonable $110. I don’t know what red wine Intermill had put aside for that steak course, but I hope to return to find out.
Nov 11, 2007 Agents Support Systems Pty Badrutt's Palace Hotel
SWISS takes top cuisine from St. Moritz aloft
SWISS will be delighting its inflight guests with delicacies from Switzerland's Canton Grisons from now onwards. Frédéric Breuil, the renowned executive chef at Badrutt's Palace Hotel in St. Moritz and his colleague Reto Mathis of Mathis Food Affairs in Corviglia St. Moritz have created a series of tasty meals for First and Business Class customers in the latest chapter of the airline's "SWISS Taste of Switzerland" inflight foodservice concept. The new Grisons delights will remain on SWISS flights until March 18.
SWISS offers its guests meals that have been devised by some of Switzerland's leading chefs under its rotating "SWISS Taste of Switzerland" inflight foodservice concept. Now, coinciding with the 15th St. Moritz Gourmet Festival, the focus turns to fine creations from Canton Grisons in the south-east of the country. The latest exclusive meals, from the repertoires of Frédéric Breuil and Reto Mathis, will be offered to First and Business Class travellers on intercontinental services departing from Zurich and on selected flights inbound to Switzerland from Wednesday, November 28 onwards. SWISS will also be serving Mathis Food Affairs items to its Business Class customers on longer European flights departing from Switzerland. Frédéric Breuil, whose creations will be served in SWISS First Class over the coming three months, is executive chef at Badrutt's Palace Hotel and is among the top flight of international chefs. It is thanks to Frédéric and his skills that the hotel's Le Restaurant now holds 15 Gault-Millau points. And his trademark creations - traditional French cuisine fused with contemporary international flair - will soon be delighting SWISS customers aloft, too. Reto Mathis, whose creations will be offered to SWISS's Business Class passengers, is in charge of Europe's highest gourmet temple, which stands at an altitude of 2 486 metres. La Marmite, probably the best-known restaurant of Mathis Food Affairs, serves its guests Reto's famed caviar and truffle specialities. Tradition blended with innovation and international flair in regional surrounds: that's the cuisine of Reto Mathis, and it is amply reflected in the meals that this leading chef has devised for SWISS's latest inflight fare. SWISS's FirstClass customers will be served an amuse-bouche of tartelette with chanterelles and tartare Bresaola on a grilled baguette. The choice of hors d'oeuvres will include zucchetti stuffed with a seafood terrine and prawns on a pepperoni and artichoke base. For the main course Frédéric Breuil recommends a fillet of beef with shallot-flavoured balsamic jus served with turned potatoes, braised Belgian endives, capuns (a Grisons speciality) and chard stalks à la crème with grated cheese. This is followed by a selection of Swiss cheeses; and the dessert course features an exquisite Palace truffle gateau with walnut ice cream. The whole gourmet experience is accompanied by carefully-selected Swiss and other wines. For example an Amigne du Valais or a Château Pontet-Canet AC Pauillac. SWISS's Business Class guests can look forward to a mouthwatering selection of starters that include slices of air-dried venison and gravlax with a dill and mustard sauce accompanied by a ratatouille salad. Reto Mathis' main course is a fillet steak with herb butter and jus lié, served with red and yellow carrots and a truffle-and-potato timbale. And the dessert is a fabulous chocolate truffle cake served on a blackberry coulis. Through its "SWISS Taste of Switzerland" culinary concept, SWISS offers its customers an intriguing sample of its home country's varied regional cuisines with their specialities and local produce. The programme, which was introduced in 2002, has already featured the cooking of various cantons including Vaud, Basel, Valais, Zurich, Ticino and Appenzell. "SWISS Taste of Switzerland" has also earned the inflight catering industry's Mercury Award for its innovative culinary approach.
Nov 11, 2007 TourisMountain Hotel & Spa Rosa Alpina, San Cassiano
Alto Adige, Italy: New Year’s Eve at the Hotel & Spa Rosa Alpina
San Cassiano, in Alto Adige, Italy, Hotel Rosa Alpina is surrounded by the imposing Dolomites. A good location for an exciting New Year’s Eve and a winter mountain vacation, ensured by the Relais & Chateaux highest accommodation standards. On 31st December, the evening begins enjoying the charming atmosphere of the hotel lobby, an inviting hall with fireplace, where hosts can sip Champagne and listen to the music played by the “Divertimento Viennese” orchestra.
Savour the delights of a gourmet New Year’s Eve dinner at the sumptuous Limonaia and St. Hubertus restaurants, choosing from a variety of special dishes, cooked with care by the chefs of the hotel Rosa Alpina. After dinner let involve in the rhythms of the waltz, polka, tango, cha-cha-cha, rumba… Countdown and finally, at midnight, the New Year arrives, welcomed with magnificent fireworks. The night goes on and a special snack is prepared for guests: “cotechino” and lentils, to wish them lot of prosperity, according to an old Italian tradition. After spending the night with celebrations, the day after, take a relaxing swim in the peaceful swimming pool, or retreat to the sauna or Turkish bath at the hotel Rosa Alpina spa.
Nov 11, 2007 GzSpot The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Fairmont Hotel Vancouver (21:10)
I was hungry & after looking at the prices on the room service menu I decided it was better to go out in the rain & head out to Robson street instead. On the way I stopped by the Vancouver Art Gallery & took some pics of the water fountain & the building. I also took a shot of my hotel from afar. After that I stopped by Chapters. The one here reminded me of the Chapters I visited in Victoria. I took a shot at searching for a book that I've been looking for. I bought A Lion's Tale: Around The World In Spandex by Chris Jericho. I don't buy many wrestling autobiographies but I'm a fan of Jericho & his book definitely sounded like it would be a good read. I find it funny that I can get around better in the dark. I was totally lost during daylight hours. Just an odd observation.
After taking a power nap I went out & got familiar with my surroundings. This place is much closer to some places than I thought. I ended up going to the Pacific Centre Mall first. One of the entrances is across the street from the Vancouver Art Gallery. Which happens to be right next to my hotel. After grabbing a bite to eat. (Like I'm going to eat at the hotel. No need to overspend just yet.) I searched for either sneakers and/or eyeglass frames. I found neither. So I just wandered around the place until I found an exit. I ended up on Granville street. I ended up finding Granville Mall Optical. I spent close to an hour looking for the right frames. I had narrowed down my choices to a pair of Prada's or Oxydo's. The Prada's were an unusual shade of green but fairly close to what I wear now. The Oxydo's were much different & a hell of a lot funkier than what I normally wear. Plus they were $200 cheaper than the Prada's. So I went for those instead. So now that's pair #7? At least I can claim this on my income tax. Or so I'm told. By the time I was done it was close to rush hour so I headed back here. I'm going to spend the rest of the night looking for direction to some other places. The weather is still shitty so I didn't really take too many pics. Hopefully the weather is more co-operative tomorrow. As for the rest of this day. I might grab another bite to eat & finish looking up directions. Fairmont Hotel Vancouver (10:53) Did I say things went smoothly? It looks like my travel agent kind of screwed up. He booked me at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver instead of the Waterfront. I'm somewhat disappointed as the Waterfront looked like a really nice place. Next time I'll be sure to confirm the hotel properly. So... What to do? Take a cab or walk? I saved myself some cash & walked from Canada Place to Georgia Street up hill in the rain. Once I made it to Georgia Street I could spot the hotel fairly easily. When I got in there appeared to be a convention wrapping up as there were a ton of people checking out. It didn't take long to get checked in as I had caught the tail end of the check outs. I actually got a room right away. A surprise since I was expecting to be waiting for a while. This place is a little different from The Fairmont Empress. The look is consistent with what I remember. The elevator has a card reader in it. You can't use it without a room key. Interesting. Not used to that. I'll familiarize myself with the area later. I have to look up a few addresses & relax a bit. Vancouver International Airport (09:27) I'm tired. Maybe I should have taken a later flight. I should have left work early last night. Too late for that now. As for the actual flight. Mine was at 8:00. I left for the airport around 6:45, checked in at 7:00 & went straight to the security check. No time to get a quick bite or anything. This was the first time things went smoothly. No delays, no rushing to gates, no problems at all. My experience with WestJet is positive so far. Any chance of staying dry in B.C. is null. It's raining. It's better than the snow back in Calgary. Still, it would be nice to not see rain every time I come to this province.
Nov 11, 2007 d360 Wynn Las Vegas
Michelin Reviews the Wynn
MICHELIN has released the first-ever edition of the "Michelin Guide to Las Vegas." Wynn Las Vegas received a ranking of Five Red Pavilions, the highest rating available for a hotel. Wynn was the only resort in Las Vegas to receive that designation, and one of only eight hotels in North America to earn it. Wynn Las Vegas is the only casino resort in the world to hold the Mobil Five-Star, AAA Five Diamond and Michelin Five Red Pavilion designations.
Nov 11, 2007 Casino Gambling Web, Ltd. Wynn Las Vegas
Wynn Las Vegas Casino Partnering With US Airways Vacations and MasterCard
Every now and then a deal comes along that looks too good to be true, that thought applies to the new deal that has been introduced by US Airways Vacations.
The deal was announced on Tuesday by US Airways Vacations, and the premise is pretty simple. Any passengers that book a three night or more vacation package at Wynn Las Vegas will receive a $200 MasterCard gift card at the end of their stay. The dates that the vacation must be booked for this promotion are between November 12th through December 31st of 2007, and the actual traveling dates can be no later than February 15th, 2008. This mega deal comes from three giants in their industries. US Airways is the fifth largest domestic airlines, MasterCard is the financial link to almost everything, and Wynn Las Vegas is a top of the line five star casino resort. The promotion comes right in time for the holiday season and will be a big hit for anyone who is looking to spend some time in Las Vegas over this holiday season. This mega deal comes from three giants in their industries. US Airways is the fifth largest domestic airlines, MasterCard is the financial link to almost everything, and Wynn Las Vegas is a top of the line five star casino resort. The promotion comes right in time for the holiday season and will be a big hit for anyone who is looking to spend some time in Las Vegas over this holiday season.
Nov 11, 2007 Wynn Las Vegas
Monte Carlo Steals Carpeting From Wynn Las Vegas
On the way out of town on Sunday I made a quick detour over to the Monte Carlo to place a bet on the Eagles vs. Patriots NFL football game... the 24.5 point spread was just too much to pass up on. Of course, I took the Eagles with the points (which they didn't need). Anyways, while wandering around the casino, I noticed that Monte Carlo has installed some spiffy new carpeting and it looks unbelievably similar in style to the plush pile found at Wynn Las Vegas. It's all trippy flowers and stuff just like at Wynn... maybe that's why it looks so good.
Nov 11, 2007 Gambling Blog Bellagio, Las Vegas
Five Diamond World Poker Classic Event #1 Today
Bellagio’s 2007 Five Diamond World Poker Classic is officially underway with the first event, $1,500 NLHE, at Noon today. I checked out the action Monday evening and was pleased to see a good turn out for the $1,000 NLHE Second Chance event. The Bellagio Poker Room was jammed, cash games were full, the ‘Big Game’ was going in Bobby’s Room, Single table satellites were filled with regularity and many familiar faces were seen in the crowd.
Nov 11, 2007 Travel Recommendations Caribbean and Europe Villa San Michele - Florence, Italy
Restaurants in Tuscany
I was looking for something interesting to tell you about, when I realized how hungry I am. I keep trying to get work done, and I continually find myself on websites for restaurants. Whoops. So, I figured I would work with my current situation instead of against it and give you a list of fantastic restaurants in Tuscany. Italy is the ultimate Mecca for food lovers, so you really can’t eat much better than this!
Trattoria Chiribiri in San Gimignano In the town center – a delicious lamb shank served in a light broth covered with fresh peas. Ristorante Puccini in Lucca A fixed three-course meal – seafood mousse, followed by a plate of raw shrimp, then sea bass baked whole surrounded by artichokes and tomatoes and drizzled with olive oil. Villa San Michele in Florence Overlooks the city and has a relaxing al fresco lunch of Parma ham with melon, fresh salad and grilled chicken with rosemary. Okay, I seriously need to go eat now. I will try to pretend I am in Italy as I eat my Subway sandwich. While I stuff my face, you can read more on this page about Tuscany’s regional specialties and wines.
Nov 11, 2007 The Connaught London
Quinlan Private: plans for significant enhancement to the Berkeley Hotel approved by Westminster Council Quinlan Private, a leading international property and private equity investment group, announced, on behalf of a group of investors, that the Maybourne Hotel Group (‘Maybourne'), the luxury hotel group that owns and manages the ultra-luxury London hotels, Claridge's, Connaught and The Berkeley, has received planning permission from Westminster Council for a significant investment and enhancement programme for The Berkeley. Works are expected to begin in 2009. Each stage of the project will be achieved consecutively and there are no plans for the hotel to close.
Highlights Increase in room numbers from 214 to 241; New basement level ‘destination' spa facility; Expanded restaurant and bar facilities; New internal courtyard; and, New retail and residential units within the hotel complex. The enhancement plan is being led by leading architectural practice Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. The Berkeley will be extended to provide a range of new guest rooms and suites. The existing number of rooms will increase from 214 to 241. In addition, the current spa facility on the rooftop will be relocated to the basement area as a ‘destination' spa facility. The redesign incorporates an expanded restaurant & bar and an internal courtyard. The plan also includes new retail and residential units. Louise Palomba, Associate at Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, commented "We have created a design which both responds to the constraints of this unique site and which also brings a fresh architectural appearance to this part of Knightsbridge. The design has evolved with particular consideration paid to the distinct façade of the hotel, resulting in a plan which is sympathetic to the surrounding buildings. By maximising the potential of a complex site, we believe that we will be able to deliver an exceptional development for Maybourne." Stephen Alden, CEO of the Maybourne Hotel Group, commented "Our investment in The Berkeley represents an excellent opportunity to improve the infrastructure of the hotel, enhance the range of services and facilities for our guests and increase the residential and retail units in this area of Knightsbridge." He added "We are confident that our investment will ensure that The Berkeley remains at the forefront of the ultra-luxury five star hotel market in London. In addition, we believe it will make a significant contribution towards improving London's hotel offering in the lead-up to the 2012 Olympic Games." Derek Quinlan, Chairman of Quinlan Private, concluded, "On behalf of the owners, we are delighted to announce the approval of our plans to invest further in the Maybourne brand and, specifically, The Berkeley and Claridge's. We continue to enhance each of the hotels within our portfolio to maintain Maybourne's reputation as one of the leading super-luxury five star brands in the world. We are also delighted that the plans will lead to the creation of a significant number of permanent new jobs in the hotel as well as employment during the construction phase of the project."
Nov 11, 2007 Alison Adey Claridge's
Hollywood actress hands Claridge's worker a generous bonus
Angelina Jolie gave an unsuspecting chambermaid a very generous tip after a recent stay at Claridge's Hotel in London.
he generous actress wanted to show her appreciation for the top notch room service and first signed a £50 bank note, telling the worker to treat herself. But the star-struck maid said she'd never dream of parting with the autograph and would keep the memento forever, reports the Sunday Express. So, to resolve the matter, Ange, 32, then gave her a fat wad of unsigned £10 notes – this time insisting she go out and buy something special.
Nov 11, 2007 AHN Media Corp Four Seasons Hotel London
Bruce Oldfield Holds Unique Sale
London, England (CNS) - The Four Seasons Hotel on Park Lane will witness to a one of a kind sale by renowned fashion designer Bruce Oldfield. From the hours of 5pm-9pm on November 29th, Oldfield will be putting up for sale up to 300 creations he has incurred in his 20 years as a designer.
The dresses will be tagged from $1000-$2000 each. He has made beautiful and glamorous items for celebrities such as Sienna Miller, Catherine Zeta Jones and even the late Princess Diana. This is a first time for the designer to be putting up his unique items for sale for the general public to enjoy. Although not everybody can just walk into the event, each hopeful shopper has to book in advance to nab a spot in the one-time-only sale.
Nov 11, 2007 amandak Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
Mandarin Oriental's English Holiday Gift: Rooms For Under $500 a Night
London's Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park must be in a very giving Holiday mood or else they are desperate for some Americans to visit, despite how bad the dollar is doing in Europe. We happen to think it's the latter. The hotel has a few deals going on to celebrate the holiday season. Particularly good value is their Christmas "Festive Choices" package over the holidays. For accommodation between December 16 and January 6, 2008, the Festive Choices package for ₤239 (US$495) includes a night in a deluxe King bedded room plus breakfast for two (something like this room-service one, pictured).
The hotel has a few deals going on to celebrate the holiday season. Particularly good value is their Christmas "Festive Choices" package over the holidays. For accommodation between December 16 and January 6, 2008, the Festive Choices package for ₤239 (US$495) includes a night in a deluxe King bedded room plus breakfast for two (something like this room-service one, pictured). There's also a service for shoppers where the porters will collect your purchases from nearby boutiques, making it a great package either pre-Christmas for gifts or in the post-Christmas sales. If you're in England over Christmas, the Mandarin Oriental also has some great celebrations in their restaurant, both on Christmas Eve and for Christmas Lunch. The great bonus is that during the Christmas Lunch, they'll interrupt your meal especially to broadcast the Queen's annual Christmas message. Father Christmas will make an appearance too. Really.
Nov 11, 2007 Housewares Claridge's
Wrapit chooses Claridge’s for national wedding awards
Wedding list specialist Wrapit has named Claridge’s as the venue for next year’s Wrapit Wedding Industry Awards event. The awards, launched last year for London and the home counties, have now gone national, with three regional awards ceremonies in January leading up to the national final at the prestigious London hotel on February 20. The awards recognise excellence across 16 wedding categories, from bridal dress retailer and wedding venue to wedding cake and stationery, and are voted for by brides and grooms. Wrapit launched what it claims to be the most advanced wedding list website in the world in May 2001,, from which couples can choose from over 400 brands and 40,000 products. The company also has 14 showrooms nationwide.
Nov 11, 2007 Mirror Claridge's
Nicole Kidman's blues
Cheer up love, it can't be that bad! Nicole Kidman looked like a robotic Stepford Wife from one of her films as she left Claridge's Hotel in London's Mayfair.
This time last year the star was all smiles for snappers but something had given her the blues yesterday. The 40-year-old is due at The Golden Compass tonight in London's Leicester Square. She plays the wicked Mrs Coulter in the scary movie. And if she doesn't lighten up, she's going to be typecast...
Nov 11, 2007 Lily The Ritz London
MY WINTER AFTERNOON DREAM, WON'T YOU JOIN ME? TEA AT THE RITZ is an institution in itself and we are proud to be a member of the Tea Council's prestigious Tea Guild. Served in the spectacular Palm Court, a choice of several varieties of tea, finely cut sandwiches, freshly baked scones, jam and clotted cream and a range of delicate pastries, combine to make for an unforgettable afternoon. The Ritz London has a formal dress code in its public areas. Gentlemen are requested to wear a jacket and tie when using The Palm Court, Rivoli Bar or The Ritz Restaurant. Jeans and/or training shoes are not permitted in these areas. Booking at least 4 weeks in advance is essential to avoid disappointment.
£36 per person Afternoon Tea Sandwiches Smoked Salmon Egg Mayonnaise with Cress Ham Chicken and Mayonnaise Cucumber with Cream Cheese Freshly Baked Raisin and Apple Scones with Devonshire Clotted Cream and organic Strawberry Preserve Assortment of Afternoon Tea Pastries with English Cream Fruits of The Forest Compote with English Cream Ritz Selected Teas or Ritz Blend Filter Coffee ****************************************** OUR CHOICES OF TEA... Ritz Royal English...An exquisite blend, the rich malty taste of Assam blended with the fine flavour of Ceylon, wonderful colour of Kenyan, making this blend very well-rounded. Darjeeling First Flush...Truly the Champagne of teas, a rare & wonderful experience, this Black tea, from the first tender new shoots grown between February and April on the foothills of the Himalayas, producing a wonderful light liquor with a delicate flavour of green muscatel. Assam Leaf (Tippy Orthodox)...A full bodied black tea, high grown in the north of India, a golden tippy leaf yielding a rich aroma, strong, rounded malty flavour and attractive red liquor. Ceylon Orange Pekoe...A high- grown large leaf black tea, rich amber liquor, light full flavour with scented aroma. Russian Caravan...A blend of China, Formosa & Darjeeling leafs reminiscent of tea carried to Russia from China by camels. Earl Grey...A large black leaf tea, China based, beautifully balanced with refreshing citrus bergamot, silky & smooth with a delightful aroma. Lapsang Souchong Imperiale...A China large black leaf tea from the Fujien province, smoked over pine fires, a distinct smoky tea with a silky tarriness, wonderful depth of flavour. Jasmine With Flowers (green)...A China based semi-fermented tea from the Fujien province, beautifully flavoured with jasmine flowers, wonderful perifime with delicate taste, a light gentle refreshing tea. Rose Congou / Pouchong...A China black tea from the Guangdong province enriched with rose petals & flavoured with rose aroma, very gentle, light, a delicious tea. Chun Mee (green)...An unfermented tea, long fine jade leaves, elegant pale yellow liquor, lightly scented, highly refreshing velvety green taste. Oolong (Formosa - Taiwan)...A semi-fermented tea, attractive amber hue, slightly nutty taste yet fully developed aroma. Moroccan Mint...A wonderfully invigorating spearmint tea, caffeine free, highly scented, stimulating in the morning, soothing digestif. Elderflower...A creamy musk-scented Summer Flower, comforting & wonderfully relaxing enhanced with sugar & honey. Camomile Heads...A pretty infusion, calming, soothing & delicate, elegant aroma. Verveine / Lemon Verbene...An elegant, sparkling lemon tasting tisane, refreshing, digestif. Passion Fruit & Orange...A truly wonderful taste, apple, hibiscus, sweet orange peel blended with passion fruit & orange. Rooibos Red Tea...100% caffeine free, rich in vitamin c, mineral salts, proteins & anti-oxidants
Nov 11, 2007 petitebrigitte Hotel de Crillon
Lauren Conrad, star of the LA-based ‘reality’ show The Hills, was in Paris this weekend to attend the annual Bal des Debutantes at the Hotel Crillon. Wearing an elegant white gown with diamond accessories (we shall ignore the hideous Kabbalah bracelet), LC looked pretty in a safe, not-so-fashion-forward way… as if styled by Rachel Zoe. LC also attended the Baccarat party, where she and another co-star (hey we don’t really watch the Hills over here), looked less than enthused.
Nov 11, 2007 David Foxley Hotel de Crillon
Celebrity Gals Come Out in Paris
Paris in the springtime is lovely, but for the blossoming female members of the world’s most famous families, autumn will do just fine. After all, that’s when the famed Le Bal Crillon des Debutantes is held, and the singer Phil Collins was among the celebrities in the French capital—17-year-old daughter Lily in tow—to attend the extravagant affair. “Tonight I'm no-one, not a singer, just an emotional dad," Mr. Collins told the AFP. “This great ball is a wonderful tradition."
Among the other young ladies with good heels and better names who “came out” at the Hotel Crillon were Kathleen Kennedy, the granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy; Olivia Pei, granddaughter of architect I.M. Pei; Brazilian soccer phenom Pelé’s goddaughter Gemima MacMahon; Tatiana Mountbatten, great grandniece of the deceased viceroy of India; and Maria Abou Nader, the neice of former Lebanese presidents Amine and Bachir Gemayel. (Last year, as reported by Page Six, the daughters of James Mellon III, real estate maven Janna Bullock and actress Kristin Scott Thomas made their debuts at the same event.)
Nov 11, 2007 Washington Post The Fairmont Chateau, Whistler
Rooms for $18 at Fairmont Chateau Whistler
Now there’s another reason to check out Whistler’s gargantuan runs blanketed with ample inches of confectioner’s sugar. Whistler Blackcomb boasts the best snow and sheer vertical drop for North America’s skiers, and now you can enjoy it while soaking up the luxury at The Fairmont Chateau Whistler. (Sublime spa, heated pool with underwater music, what’s not to love?) The luxury resort is celebrating its 18th birthday with $18 room rates, so when you book the 18 Candles Package, you pay $180 for a double room the first night and get the second night for only 18 bucks. Two-night minimum stay required, valid through November 30, 2007.
Nov 11, 2007 jonathanang The Landmark London
Winter Escapade Ep. II
\The weather has brightened up slightly, with day temperatures hovering between 5 to 7 deg C. It's been great being able to meet up with Monji and FoiFoi the previous day, where Foi brought us to this gorgeous place where she works for high tea. Really classy stuff! The place was The Landmark London, an upscale 5-star hotel located right across Marylebone Train Station. Foi currently works in this lavish, luxurious hotel as a waitress, but for that day she, along with the rest of us, were guests!
Well, guests with plenty of privileges, I must admit. Her colleagues were really wonderful, nice people who really went out of their way to make our dining experience nothing short of regal. Of course, with afternoon tea menus ranging from £30 to £40, you could be assured of pristine, impeccable service and food quality! The restaurant is, of course, the Winter Garden, located right the middle of the hotel's 8-storey glass atrium. We were spoilt silly with two free bottles of Rose Taittinger Champagne (for just the five of us), passionfruit martinis, mojitos (best I ever had), as well as high-grade cognac that cost, ready yourself, £51 per glass. Yes, that would be, erm, S$152 per glass. All was on the house, of course, thanks to Foi's very generous colleague and bartender. After generous, repeated helpings of sandwiches, freshly-baked scones and French pastries, and not to mention a good deal of alcohol at 6pm, we were pretty stuffed. Ok, the group photo. Oh, I'll be posting up a couple more pictures when I get back. I'm using Daph's MacBook Pro now and I'm sorely unfamiliar with the interface. Click here and here for more photos of the afternoon tea. That's the entire gang from L to R: Lee (Foi's colleague who also works at the Landmark), Patrick (who's doing his postgrad in nanotechnology at King's), Foi, Monji and myself! Yesterday Daph & me headed down to Charring Cross to check out Trafalgar Square, as well as visit the London Artists Book Fair 2007 at the Institute of Contemporary Art. 'Twas my first time to an art book fair, as far as I can recall! The book fair was pretty interesting, with independent as well as established artists, institutions and art societies are gathered in one place to put their best works on display. I saw quite a number of really, really impressive works. The works on sale very pretty pricey though, with most items starting from at least £5 for the really small stuff and up to £150 for the top-end, extremely limited works. The Society of Bookbinders had their own exhibit, and I was pretty damn fascinated by all the creative and ingenious ways of carrying out the basic act of bookbinding. One even had the carton cardboard of an orange juice box as the cover! I got Daph a nice red leather-bound book, with a black leather strip as a clasp. I'm lazy to put up a photo of it though, heh. I actually quite like it myself but I suppose she'll definitely have more use for it than I do! There was a project by this group called Map X Out that was taking place at the fair. This group is a gathering of four designers who use the concept of mapping to approach their designs and works. At their exhibit, they have a huge map where visitors are allowed to, using a certain approach and sequence, draw a series of lines that trace their present time and location, birth place, place of residence and the geographical location of the book fair itself (i.e., London) to form an intertwining myriad of lines and stickers. You can visit their blog at for more information as well as to check on their work. Now that the book fair is over, their final result will be out soon; I hope I can still spot my line! Ah, also, I managed to take a 360 degree photo as well as some night shots of Trafalgar Square whilst standing in the middle. Hope this works, check it out!
Nov 11, 2007 Blog Hotel d'Angleterre Paris Ritz Paris
A must stay!
This hotel is a must stay. Please note, there is another hotel in Paris with this name which I'm told is a dump. THIS hotel is at 44 Rue Jacob on the left bank. It was charming, the location was fantastic and the rooms were clean and spacious. I'll elaborate on each of these. Charming - this is where Hemmingway used to stay. It's not a luxurious hotel like the Ritz or something completely upscale, but if you're not looking for the Ritz and want a great hotel, this is a great find.
The complimentary breakfast in the morning is a delicious, typical French breakfast; croissants, yogurt, cheese, fresh juice, tea, coffee - all very fresh and delicious. Location - on a quiet block just off the beaten path from everything. You can walk 3 minutes to the underground, or all the cafes and shopping you want. If you leave the hotel and walk to the left for a few blocks, this area, the Latin Quarter, was really buzzing with people late in the evening. It's also a short, nice walk to Notre Dame and other wonderful tourist attractions. Clean - very clean from the mattress to the bathroom, to the towels, etc. and trust me, I'm very picky about cleanliness.Spacious - IF you choose the cheapest room, they are small, but still very lovely. The size of rooms in a typical Paris hotel. If you choose any room on up in price, the rooms are VERY good size. Much bigger than most I've seen. It's worth it if you want the space. We stayed in room 25 and loved it. The bathroom was spacious with beautiful torquoise tile and a jacuzzi jet tub. The view was of the couryard in the center and we could see Sacre Coeur in the distance. Front desk - Each of the gentleman at the front desk were very helpful and spoke wonderful English. They also let us keep our bags there the entire day after we checked out until it was time to go to the airport. Overall, I would choose this hotel over most I've stayed in in the States, and that's saying a lot, considering most people dislike Paris hotels.
Nov 11, 2007 DonPablo Lapa Palace Lisbon
Top Hotels in Lisbon
There is no doubt in my mind that, by far, the best hotel in Lisbon is the Lapa Palace. It's a five star hotel and it's part of the Orient-Express family. The Lapa Palace is located just about a block away from the U.S. Embassy and one of the many nice things about it is that it's actually a fine resort, situated right in the city itself. The hotel is surrounded by beautiful gardens, and there are two lovely, warm swimming pools in the midst of all that gorgeous greenery. In addition, it's located just a few blocks away from Lisbon's # 28 tram, which travels in a giant circle around most of the scenic and historic areas of the city. You can just jump on any of those charming little 19th century trams that pass by and, for a fare that's about two U.S. dollars, you can enjoy a delightful and very interesting view of many of the most interesting sights in Lisbon. A little over an hour later, the tram will safely deliver you back to exactly where you started from and you can stroll back to the hotel.
We've stayed at the Lapa Palace a number of times over the past few years and, every time we return to this wonderful hotel, we seem to enjoy the experience more and more. (We're planning on going back again next May.) The Lapa Palace's staff is efficient, courteous and extremely friendly. The hotel's Cipriani restaurant is one of the top dining spots in all of Lisbon. (There is also a wonderful little restaurant adjoining the pool that is open for lunch.) The gentlemen behind the concierge desk, in my opinion, rank right up there with the finest we have ever dealt with and, interestingly enough, two of them are both named "Hugo." (How many times have you left a concierge desk laughing and then, later on, returned to tell them how much you enjoyed their recommendations?) One final thing - once you're there, ask one of the Hugos to recommend a place where you can hear Fado and, if possible, to hear either Lenita Gentil and/or Antonio Rocha sing their versions of those timeless Portuguese ballads!
Nov 11, 2007 The Stafford London
London Stafford Hotel travelers Reviews
My ratings for this hotel are: Rooms 9/10 Location 7/10 Cleanliness 10/10 Check in / front desk 9/10 Service 8/10 Business service 9/10 I recommend this hotel for: An amazing honeymoon, A romantic getaway, Girlfriend getaway, People with disabilities, Older travelers, Tourists I do not recommend this hotel for: Young singles, Great pool scene
I selected this hotel because ... Museums / Cultural / Historical sites, Great food / Wine The Stafford is undergoing major reconstruction at the moment. I stayed in the carriage house section of the property, which is supposed to be the finest room that the hotel has to offer. It was not that nice (small, smell of mildew, lumpy carpets, not enough hot water for two people to shower consecutively). Even without the construction problem, I would not consider this a true luxury hotel. The best thing that can be said about the hotel is that the staff are friendly, but the property itself is below-par. I would not stay at this hotel again.
Nov 11, 2007 DaMarko GianCarlo Bulgari Hotel Milano
Bulgari Hotel Milan
Like Fine wine or Imported Silk Bulgari Hotel Milan is a slice of Heavens Pie. When you stay at the Hotel Bulgari you are inspired to live for the pure sake of luxury. If you want to be born again book a night at Bulgari Hotel Milan.
Refined and prestigious, the Bulgari Hotel in Milan links contemporary design with comfort. A tribute from the Italian Jeweller to the world of luxury, situated in Milan’s most stylish area - Via Montenapoleone, Via della Spiga, the Scala theatre and the Academy of Brera. It is an unexpected oasis of exclusive tranquility immersed in the frenzy of the city centre. A 4,000 sqm private garden, next to the Botanical Gardens, incorporates the hotel in a haven of green. The building is made up of three sections. The oldest of the three façades dates back to the 1700s and is partly visible. Designed by architects Antonio Citterio and Partners, in line with Bulgari’s bold and contemporary style, the hotel features rare and precious materials which create new combinations of surfaces and surprising chromatic armonious: black Zimbabwe marble in the public spaces, Vicenza stone and Turkish Aphyon in the Spa, solid teak, durmast and oak in the intimate rooms and suites. All spaces feature contemporary Italian furniture and details designed by Citterio. The unique facilities and services help turn even the busiest of business trips into an experience of absolute comfort.
Nov 11, 2007 jetsettersblog Rocco Forte Brown's Hotel, London
Rocco Forte’s Brown’s Hotel Celebrates 170th Anniversary
London’s Brown’s Hotel, a member of Rocco Forte Hotel Collection, celebrates 170 since its original debut. The property has recently undergone a $50 million restoration. To celebrate their 170th Anniversary Stuart Johnson, general manager of Brown’s Hotel, commissioned Garrard to create a special necklace, which was designed incorporating inspiration from the hotel’s history. This necklace will be sold through a silent auction later this year. After careful consideration, Brown’s selected WellChild as the charity of choice, due to the outstanding work they do with children. WellChild will receive all proceeds raised from this sale.
Garrard’s in-house design team, together with their workshop, has created a one-of-a-kind necklace using an 8.91 carat aquamarine and over 3.50 carats of diamonds. The design was inspired by the original Brown’s and St. George’s Hotel plaques which still decorate the outside of the hotel today, combined with elements of Garrard’s new Regal collection. WellChild, which this year celebrates 30 years of helping sick children through care, support and research has recently been chosen as one of Prince Harry’s first charity patronages. The necklace will shortly be on display in a window of Garrard. All bids can be placed directly with the hotel, or through the WellChild website and a silent auction will be held on the Nov. 29, 2007.
Nov 11, 2007 Candids Claridge's
Angie and Brad
Angie and Brad were spotted leaving Claridges Hotel going to Roka restaurant in Charlotte Street, central London Saturday.
Nov 11, 2007 Holiday Spots Blue Palace Resort & Spa, Elounda
Elounda Beach Hotel, Crete
Elounda Beach Hotel is a paradise resort, situated on the Northeast coast of the island of Crete. The style of traditional island architecture and discreet luxury inspire the decor of all ou rooms, where fastidious attention to detail is evident. Enjoy the uplifting comfort of being surrounded by lush gardens and striking sea views such as that of Mirabello Bay. At Elounda Beach their guests don't get a chance to make three wishes--they get as much as they like. And all of them are granted with utmost care, expertise, respect and love. Their charismatic staff will not overlook any of your needs or desires.
Each room has air conditioning, veranda, CD player, IDD telephone, satellite television with video channels, mini-bar, safe, and Jacuzzi. Exclusive suites and villas have private decks leading to the sea, steam baths, VCRs, and computer modem outlets. In-house CDs and video library. Exclusive suites with private heated swimming pools in a secluded garden or on the waterfront. Royal suites with indoor/outdoor pools, gym room with trainer, butler, chef, and pianist. New Imperial Penthouse suite with private pool, gym room, in-house movie theater, and 24-hour dedicated butler. Other facilities include two private beaches and marina, all water sports, health and fitness center, heated seawater swimming pool, floodlit clay tennis courts and many more.
Nov 11, 2007 Ratoe Travel Guide Santa Marina Resort & Villas
Santa Marina Resort & Villas
Situated on a private peninsula overlooking the Mediterranean and Bay of Ornos, Santa Marina Resort & Villas offers panoramic views of sparkling sapphire waters, emerald green grass and topaz skies. Featuring the traditional white Cycladic architecture and a wealth of facilities, Santa Marina Resort & Villas is a jewel of Mykonos. The beauty of Mykonos is highlighted by our world-class facilities. Spend endless hours at our private sandy beach and outdoor pools or pamper yourself at Lotus Spa featuring the finest products and an incomparable sense of refreshment. Indulge in our Marine Club gourmet dining, gazing across the sparkling azure sea, with perfect seclusion, a poolside lunch or enjoy barbecue and drinks at our beach restaurant and bar.
Elegant, island charm and beautiful colors complemented by panoramic sea views are characteristic of our 96 guest rooms and suites. Open the window to sophisticated luxury at the Santa Marina Resort & Villas and indulge in the ultimate accommodation, two to four bedroom exclusive Villas with infinity pools. For the ultimate in service during your stay, we may arrange for a luxury jet transfer from your origin destination airport directly to Mykonos aboard our new private jet, Citation XLS, a helicopter tour or a yacht ride across the blue waters of the Aegean to nearby beaches or islands.
Nov 11, 2007 snowboardermag The Fairmont Chateau, Whistler
No Time Like the “Present” to Hit the Slopes in Whistler
Whistler, BC, November 15, 2007 - Since opening its doors in November 1989, The Fairmont Chateau Whistler has been North America’s definitive mountain resort and playground for Hollywood stars. Having now “come of age”, The Chateau will be celebrating its 18th birthday by offering room rates for just $18*! The Fairmont Chateau Whistler’s “18 Candles” package includes 2-nights accommodation; the first night at $180.00 with the second night for just $18! With a plush bed to rest your head and a welcome birthday amenity on arrival, it’s the perfect place to hit the slopes then hit the sack. Or before you call it a night, swing by The Chateau’s Mallard Lounge & Terrace for après ski action and a little “star gazing”.
The powder is already piling up in Whistler and with a snow base of over 108 centimeters (43 inches) and counting, Whistler Mountain is set to open on Saturday, November 17 - almost a week early! The Environment Canada Alpine Forecast is calling for another 20-40 centimeters of snowfall leading up to Saturday so grab your gear and get going! A leader in the global hospitality industry, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is an extraordinary collection of luxury hotels that truly reflect the essence of their destination. Featuring iconic landmarks like The Fairmont San Francisco, The Fairmont Banff Springs, and London's Savoy, Fairmont hotels are more than a place to stay; they are one-of-a-kind properties where sophisticated travelers can discover storied life experiences. Situated in some of the most exclusive and pristine areas in the world, Fairmont locations provide access to activities that are culturally rich and authentically local. From inviting beaches and tranquil spas to challenging golf courses and exhilarating ski hills, guests can fulfill their lifelong desires at Fairmont. With an enduring connection to the land and communities where we do business, Fairmont is also committed to responsible tourism and is an industry leader in sustainable hotel management with its award-winning Green Partnership program. With over 50 distinctive hotels in 12 countries, and more than 20 properties currently in development, Fairmont is committed to growing its portfolio of world-class hotels and plans to add properties in coveted international destinations like Cairo, Shanghai, Dubai, and Beijing over the next few years. Fairmont is owned by Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, Inc., a leading global hotel company with over 80 hotels in 25 countries worldwide under the Raffles, Fairmont, and Swissôtel brands. The company also owns Fairmont Heritage Place and Fairmont Residences, offering luxury vacation ownership and residential properties. For more information or reservations, please call 1-800-441-1414 or visit
Nov 11, 2007 James Robinson The Fairmont Chateau, Whistler
Elegant Resorts Releases Luxury Ski Brochure 2008
A market leader in luxury travel, Elegant Resorts, launches its Luxury Ski Brochure for the 2008 Winter Season. For the first time, the destination of Andorra has been introduced, as well as two brand new chalets from the luxurious Descent International Collection. This carefully handpicked collection of hotels and ski resorts includes a selection of the finest hotels and chalets available for the discerning ski traveller to suit one and all – from couples to groups of friends and families, all looking for the absolute best in winter sports from their chosen destination as well as high-quality service and facilities for their annual luxury ski break.
Flexibility and privacy come immediately to mind when selecting a chalet, and the unique appeal of indulging in your own space is often a welcome alternative to the more traditional hotel experience. Having your meals prepared for you by a private chef is often part of a great holiday, and can also be a godsend to families with small children - alternatively why not use the opportunity to explore local restaurants. The Descent International Collection (pg 13), offers clients the service and luxury of a hotel in the privacy of their own chalet and new for this season are Tivoli Lodge in Davos and The Lodge in Méribel, each offering a dedicated chauffeur and 4x4 vehicle and private chef, as all chalets from this collection. The Sport Hotel Hermitage & Spa in the resort of Soldeu, Andorra (pg 52), is the latest destination to be added to the collection this season. The five-star accommodation features 120 suites, each with a balcony boasting mountain views, and comes complete with a Sport Wellness Mountain Spa, two à la carte restaurants, a miniclub and is just a fifty-metre walk from the main gondola. Ever popular, Le Kilimandjaro Mountain Resort, Courchevel 1850 (pg 19), offers a choice of thirty-five guest rooms and suites housed in eight individual chalets, with the option to rent four of the chalets exclusively, whilst two additional chalets even have their own private butler – again, ideal for the larger party. The Fairmont Chateau Whistler (pg 56), is still one of North America’s favourite mountain resort destinations and the site of the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. Elegant Resorts recommends the Fairmont Gold rooms with their gas fireplace, Jacuzzi and access to the Fairmont Gold Lounge benefits including daily newspapers and après ski appetisers. Hotel Hermitage, Cervinia (pg 48), is a perfect retreat for couples with thirty-eight cosy guest rooms, all with private terraces. The hotel also has an indoor swimming pool, gym and the fabulous Beauty et Remise en Forme with a full range of tempting treatments to soothe any aches and pains. Private Jets can also be easily arranged to make the very most of precious time and to absolutely tailor-make that effortlessly stylish holiday to each of our ski destinations. The Elegant Resorts’ dedicated Ski Reservations team offers in-depth knowledge with the highest levels of service demanded by its knowledgeable and well-travelled clients. For further information, please call Elegant Resorts Ski Reservations on Tel: 01244 897519 or visit our website Media Contact: Elegant Resorts Press Office Sue Bowen-Jones Tel: 01244 897157
Nov 11, 2007 juliana Four Seasons Hotel George V
Mon Dieu! Could It Be a Hotel Deal at the Four Seasons George V?
The Four Seasons George V, arguably one of Paris' finest hotels favored amongst royalty, celebs and billionaires, may just be more affordable for the little people. Courtney May over at Five-Star Alliance let us know that the hotel is offering rooms for certain dates for 310 Euros a night (about $460 USD). Normally rates are closer to $1,000. Here are some of the dates that Courtney found: · January 5 - January 7, 2008 · January 25 - January 27, 2008 · April 19 - April 21, 2008 · April 16 - April 25, 2008
These rates can be booked on the Five-Star Alliance site and so far, this is the only site with these rates. Whether it's a special deal with Five-Star or if the hotel is set to undergo some construction this spring, we aren't sure. But if you find more low rates at the George V, of course mon ami fill us in.
Nov 11, 2007 Malia Rulon Hotel Grande Bretagne
Space gets attention for planned Greek trip
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. 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.
Nov 11, 2007 Forbes Rocco Forte Brown's Hotel, London
World's priciest cocktails
Sometimes, drinking away your sorrows doesn't mend a broken heart. And these days, it can break the bank. Editor's Choice In pictures: Buzz-worthy sparkling wines In pictures: Ten Margaritas with a twist In pictures: Ten toughest restaurant reservations In pictures: Nightclubs of the stars In pictures: Most expensive bottle service Take the $51,200 Dazzle cocktail, available at the Second Floor Bar at Harvey Nichols in Manchester, UK. It's got rose Champagne and strawberry and lychee liqueur. But the real buzz comes from the 18-karat white-gold ring with pink tourmaline and diamond stones nestled below all that booze. Other cocktails don't need gems to be ultra-pricey. Consider the Bar at the Merchant Hotel in Belfast's $1,400 Mai Tai. In pictures: World's most expensive cocktails A Mai Tai, the token tipple of tiki bars--for the price of a trip to Bora Bora? "It's all about the rum," says Sean Muldoon, the "potation" manager at the opulent hotel bar in northern Ireland. "The presentation may seem like nothing," says Muldoon, referring to the bottle's plain-Jane, hand-written label. "But I believe what we have here is something very, very special ... This is history in a bottle." Indeed. The J Wray Nephew 17-year-old rum from Kingston, Jamaica, is the very same golden, pungent, full-bodied rum that inspired "Trader" Vic Bergeron to create the original Mai Tai at his Oakland bar in 1944. It's unclear if this bottle of 17-year is an actual remnant from the sugar estate or a ridiculously limited replica made some time later. Either way, there are only six bottles of the stuff floating around, and the Merchant's bottle, which sleeps in the hotel safe at night, is the only one that's available to the public. ##Ad##
Crafty Cocktailing There have always been people with money to burn, but rarely have there been so many exorbitantly priced cocktails at their disposal. Modern day "mixologists" like Muldoon are constantly seeking ways to elevate the art of cocktail-making by conjuring their own cordials, syrups and tinctures. They are driven by a public that has become increasingly savvy and discriminating about what passes their lips, and distillers who keep giving them better and better spirits to work with. Antonio Dandrea, bar manager at the Donovan Bar at Rocco Forte's Brown's Hotel in London, says this puts a lot of pressure on mixologists to constantly push the cocktail envelope. "People are always looking for something different," he says, "something they can't find anywhere else." Hence his lavish $100 truffle martini, which begins with a nubby black truffle from Alba enjoying a 48-hour soak in super-premium vodka. For $20 more, he'll mix in some chocolate liqueur, float some double cream across the top and add two slices of fresh truffle. Top of the tops Not one for sweet drinks? We scoured bars, casinos, restaurants and lounges around the world to find other decadent libations and discovered they fall into distinct categories. Some, like the famous Ritz sidecar at the Hotel Ritz in Paris, also deliver gravitas in a glass. This former most-expensive Guinness record holder features a coveted 1865 Ritz Reserve cognac from Napoleonic times. Other lavish cocktails contain pricey, top-notch--though not necessarily historic--ingredients. The margarita at Isla Restaurant at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas is made with smooth Herradura Seleccion Suprema tequila, Grand Marnier 100-Year Anniversary, Cointreau and fresh citrus syrup. An added bonus? It's prepared table-side at the restaurant by Isla's very own "tequila goddess." Sometimes, it's the garnish--not the pour--that sends the price soaring, as in rubies parading as maraschino cherries or a solid-gold swizzle stick. The most famous in that category is the Algonquin Hotel's $10,000 martini-on-the-rock--the "rock" being a 1.52-carat diamond from the hotel jeweller. Serious spirits aficionados, however, dismiss these as choking hazards dreamed up by marketing types. "I may as well serve a cocktail on top of a mink coat and call it my $20,000 sidecar," says Duncan Halden, bar manager at Gordon Ramsey at the London in New York. Though it's not on the menu, he serves a $550 sidecar to connoisseurs upon request that, he says, "out-luxes" the famous version at the Paris Ritz. It features Hennessey Ellipse super-premium cognac--poured from a decanter that was specially designed by Tomas Bastide, a designer at Baccarat--and Grand Marnier 150.
Nov 11, 2007 CBC News Wickaninnish Inn, Tofino
'Vast Vancouver' Island named best island in North America
Vancouver Island has been named North America's best island for the sixth year in a row in a Condé Nast Traveler readers' choice survey that also awarded sixth-place honours to P.E.I. The November issue of the magazine, which was released to newsstands Thursday, also ranked B.C.'s Gulf Islands the third-best North American Island. Vancouver and Victoria also rang in as the second- and third-best cities in the Americas behind Argentina's Buenos Aires.
"In North America, vast Vancouver is the favourite for the sixth consecutive year," Condé Nast Traveler said in the island rankings. "Its neighbours in British Columbia, the Gulf Islands, appear for the first time, joining their archipelagic sisters, Washington State's San Juans, in the Top 10." Readers are asked to evaluate destinations based on criteria including activities, atmosphere, friendliness, lodging, restaurants, scenery, culture and shopping. More than 28,000 surveys were included in this year's poll. B.C. dominates resort rankings The top five Canadian hotels according to the survey are Quebec City's Auberge Saint-Antoine, the Fairmont Vancouver Airport, Victoria's Magnolia Hotel & Spa, Toronto's Windsor Arms Hotel and Vancouver's Fairmont Waterfront. B.C. also dominated the Canadian resorts rankings with the Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre ranked first ahead of Tofino's Wickaninnish Inn and the Four Season at Whistler. P.E.I. was ranked the best North American island in a Travel + Leisure magazine survey published in 2003 and 2004. According to a June Scotiabank holiday survey, Quebec, Ontario, B.C. and Alberta were Canada's top destination picks for domestic travel. Quebecers, at 38 per cent, were the most likely to vacation within their own province, followed by B.C. and Alberta residents at 29 per cent.
Nov 11, 2007 Emma Clark The Landmark London
Cheers to St Albans
ST ALBANS could be crowned tonight as the most responsible city in the UK when it comes to drinking. The Responsible Drinks Retailing Campaign short-listed St Albans District Council as the Local Authority of the Year thanks to their pubwatch schemes, partnership programmes and taxi-marshalling initiative. The awards, run by licensee trade magazine The Morning Advertiser, will be announced tonight at the Landmark Hotel in London.
Councillor Anthony Rowlands, portfolio holder for community engagement and support, said: "I hope residents will be reassured by the news that the council has again been short-listed for this prestigious award. "It is a tribute to a number of council departments and also those amongst the licensed trade locally who have worked hard and imaginatively to promote responsible drinking, especially among the young. "St Albans council will continue to play its part in trying to discourage excessive drinking which blights so many lives." The Responsible Drinks Retailing Campaign, now in its fourth year, is an initiative to educate the on and off licence trade on responsible drinks retailing, in line with the government's Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy.
Nov 11, 2007 Gary Hotel-Casino Palais de la Mediterranee, Nice
Palais de la Mediterranee Hotel, Nice, France
We chose to stay at this hotel based on the ratings, reviews and pictures that we had seen on the site. And very pleased we were with the choice! We stayed at the hotel for 4 nights from 28 Dec to the 1 January. We booked a sea view room, but as people in the reviews I had read, the room has more of a "glance" at the sea as you can only see it from the balcony! But that was fine as the balcony is very pleasant and had a good open feeling as it looked onto the central open courtyard with the inside/ outside pool.
We found the staff at reception, at breakfast and in the bar very friendly, welcoming and helpful. The recptionist showed us to our room and noted we were missing the internet connection cables (free access - what a nice change from most hotels I stay at!!) and had it sorted in minutes. The room is a good size and the bed VERY large and VERY comfortable. Nice bathroom with seperate toilet room which again is unusual these days. There are 2 cupbaords but no drawers and there could be more storage. The mini bar was very costly and so we popped to the nearby shops to stock up on drinks and goodies.... The hotel only re-opened in January 2004 and so all feels and is new. It is very tastefully done. The gym is fairly small but well equipped. The indoor/ outdoor pool is nice and heated so you could actually swim outside. There are no changing rooms at the pool which meant you need to chnage in your room and venture down in robe or such. We only ate in the bar one lunchtime and had a pretty good club sandwich. The breakfast buffet was huge and good. Lots of good restaurants in walking distance.
Nov 11, 2007 Terah Shelton Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Mediterranee
Hotel Martinez: Cannes, France
What is the life of luxury? Could it be owning your own private jet with a pilot ready at a moment’s notice to whisk you away to your favorite Caribbean Island? Or, could it be spending $37,200 a night for a room?
That’s right. $37,200 per night. According to Forbes, the most expensive hotel room in the world is the Penthouse Suite at Hotel Martinez in Cannes, France. So, what do you get for a year’s salary? A private entrance, your own private butler, four bedrooms, a marbled bathroom, a plasma TV, an open bar, a Jacuzzi, and the most important amenity of all — bragging rights.
Nov 11, 2007 Canadian Mountain Holidays Four Seasons Resort, Whistler
Four Seasons Whistler - AAA Four Diamond Award
Whistler’s most luxurious resort, the Four Seasons Resort Whistler, was recently granted the prestigious American Automobile Association’s Four Diamond Award. The hotel is the first resort-style property in Canada to receive this honour, and only the third hotel in Canada to be so recognized.
The AAA Four Diamond Award is presented to properties that achieve superior levels of personal service for their guests, plus the ultimate in luxury and sophistication in the presentation of its physical amenities. Less than half a percent of all hotels, restaurants, etc, in North America and the Caribbean rated by the AAA achieve this status! Scott Taber, the resort’s manager, dedicates the Four Seasons Resort Whistler’s success to the efforts of the hotel’s staff who, he says, make it all happen. It takes several years to attain such lofty status and Scott is no stranger to the experience! He has lead several other Four Seasons properties to Four Diamond status in the past. And considering that the Four Seasons Whistler only opened in 2004, this is quite an achievement! If you’re thinking of visiting Whistler and considering treating yourself to a stay at this wonderful hotel, please let us help you make the arrangements! We can put a package together that includes accommodation with any combination of transportation, skiing and snowboarding, golf, winter and summer activities, even dinner reservations! Compass Tours specializes in creating reasonably-priced custom packages to Whistler, as well as Sun Peaks and Panorama, and is committed to making the design of your itinerary as simple and worry-free as possible!
Nov 11, 2007 Jeremy Hotel Plaza Athenee Paris
Top 10 Restaurants in Paris France
1.Plaza Athenee- Alain Ducasse, Christophe Moret 2.Pierre Gagnaire Restaurant- Pierre Gagnaire 3.L’Astrance- Pascal Barbot 4.Guy Savoy Restaurant-Guy Savoy 5.Grand Vefour-Guy Martin 6.L’Atelier-Joel Robuchon 7.Le violon d’Ingres-Christian Constant 8.L’Arpege-Alain Passard 9.Le Cinq-Philippe Legendre 10.L’Ambroisie- Bernard Pacaud
World-renowned chef and owner of Plaza Athenee Alain Ducasse offers his guests modern and classic French cuisine. The Plaza Athenee restaurant offers the unique experience of being able to choose your own menu from a wide variety of dishes from different regions and cultures. Alain Ducasse brought in interior designer Patrick Jouin to oversee the interior design. Jouin calls the finished look of the restaurant "as if the décor added its own extensions overnight". Ducasse appointed Denis Courtiade as his maite' d. Himself and his staff work hard to maintain an exceptionally high level of service. "Black jacket, charcoal grey trousers, fine white cotton shirt with a Georges NYH collar and gray twill tie - this is the uniform worn by the dining room staff". Alain Ducasse appointed Chritophe Moret as his head chef for the restaurant. Ducasse calls Moret a "passionate, rigorous and curious, with skills and an open mind. The Plaza is now the premier restaurant in Ducasse's fleet. Some Menu Items: 1. Lucien Tendret-crushed pate 2. Bresse poultry with Albufera sauce (bechamel sauce with sweet peppers), 3. Creamed truffled semi-dried pastas and cocks kidneys and combs Alian Ducasse Alian Ducasse was born September 13, 1956 in Castel -Sarranzin in the southwest of France. He began his apprenticeship when he was sixteen in 1972 at the Pavillion Landais restaurant in Soustons as well as the Bordeaux hotel school. After his training, he began to work at Michael Guerard's restaurant. Ducasse started working as an assistant at Moulin de Mougins in 1977 under legendary chef Roger Verge, creator of Cuisine du Soleil. Here he learned the cooking methods for which he was later known. Ducasse's first position as chef came in 1980 when he took over the kitchens at L’Amandier in Eugene Mougin. A year later, he obtained the position of head chef at La Terrasse in the Hotel Juana in Juan-Les-Pins. He was awarded two stars in the Michelin Red Guide. In that exact same year, Ducasse was the one and only survivor of a plane crash that nearly killed him. In 1987, Ducasse was offered the Chef position at the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo at the hotel's restaurant Le Louis XV. Three years later, Louis XV became the first hotel restaurant to be awarded three stars in the Red Guide. After assuring himself that the Hotel's restaurant operations were running good, Ducasse gave up management of all of them but the Le Louis XV restaurant. Ducasse came to the U.S. in June of 2000 and opened the Alain Ducasse restaurant in New York City which received the Red Guide's three stars in December of 2001. Ducasse became the very first chef to own restaurants carrying three Michilin Stars in three cities: The Plaza Athenee in Paris, Le Louis XV in Monte Carlo, and Alain Ducasse at Essex House in New York. Plaza Athenee in Paris scored 19/20 points in the Gault millau guide and ranked 18th in the Guide's European Restaurant Rank. The New York restaurant attained Mobil Guide's five-star award and the New York Times four-star review.
Nov 11, 2007 Evening Standard The Dorchester Hotel London
Secret gardens that make London a green city
PICK OF LONDON'S GREEN CORNERS AWARDS 2007 Special Mention London W1 THE DORCHESTER Elegant formal front garden of the five star Park Lane hotel
They are London's hidden gems - the gardens you may have walked past hundreds of times without noticing. Now the creators of more than 50 of the capital's "green corners", from a Tube station flower bed to a prison courtyard, are being honoured with awards from the Conservation Foundation. The awards are backed by TV botanist David Bellamy and actress Susan Hampshire and the 56 winners will be given gift vouchers and gardening tools at a ceremony in Covent Garden today. Winners include the residents of Elnathan Mews, Maida Vale, who transformed their street with planters and window boxes, the inmates and staff at Wandsworth Prison, who created a green oasis in the hospital courtyard, and the Dorchester Hotel, the front garden of which was judged to provide relief from the traffic in Park Lane. Others include Hackney Wick's Manor Gardens allotments, which have been removed since nominations closed to make way for the Olympic Games development, Choumert Square in Peckham and Southfields Tube station's colourful bed of mixed planting tended by staff in their spare time to brighten commuters' journeys. David Shreeve of the Conservation Foundation said: "We came across some amazing gardens and found that largely there was one person behind them, driving the project. We wanted to give these people the recognition they deserve. I hope by handing out these awardswe can say thank you on behalf of the wildlife and plants flourishing because of these people. People were incredibly inventive, from using window boxes and hanging baskets in high-rise blocks to using discarded footwear as mini sculptures." The award winners will be asked to collaborate on redesigning Covent Garden to include more greenery. Mr Shreeve said: "We looked at Covent Garden and realised there wasn't very much garden there at all. We hope our winners can look at the area and give a fresh perspective on what can be done. Obviously we can't go and dig up the cobbles to make flower beds but we think that by using things such as planter pots, hanging baskets and other techniques we can make a real difference to the area." PICK OF LONDON'S GREEN CORNERS AWARDS 2007 Special Mention London W1 THE DORCHESTER Elegant formal front garden of the five star Park Lane hotel London E2 HACKNEY CITY FARM A large vegetable patch, mulberry tree, orchard and herb garden make this a place of plenty. London SE1 THE LAVENDER FIELD Passers by comment on the beauty and fragrance of the wasteland transformed by guerrilla gardeners. London W10 BOOT GARDEN Quirky front garden of a block of flats planted with alliums, ferns, petunias - and painted boots. London SE1 IPSDEN BUILDINGS Courtyard garden, hanging baskets and potted plants brighten communal areas on this Peabody Estate. London SE11 ROOTS AND SHOOTS Beautiful half acre wildlife garden with spectacular planting much loved by wildlife, schoolchildren and the local community. London SW17 A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE Accessible to patients in hospital beds and wheelchairs, this green corner of St George's Hospital gives refuge from clinical spaces. London SW18 HMP WANDSWORTH HOSPITAL EXERCISE YARD A wasteland space in Wandsworth Prison has transformed for staff, patients and visitors. London W1 SOHO ROOF GARDEN "A wild place in the sky" with climbers and pots planted with insects in mind - and an African grey parrot. London W6 THAMES BARGE "Such an imaginative use of space. A green reprieve to my busy London life." London W14 PALLISER ROAD WINDOWBOXES Everyone can see these brightly planted window boxes in Barons Court. So far their owner has encouraged two neighbours to follow suit and is working on the rest. Brent BRENT MARRIAGE GARDEN The garden behind Brent Town Hall is used for many different ceremonies - and for staff to relax.
Nov 11, 2007 The Dorchester Hotel London
Bang & Olufsen at The Dorchester makes you feel at home
If you have lived in London or even visited that place, then without doubt you would have heard the name Dorchester. Ideally dubbed as ‘home away from home’, it has actually housed many of the world's Heads of State, celebrities, and industry leaders. And when this one of the most sought-after London address seeks a new TV system to be at par with the quality and luxury of The Dorchester, it could be none other then the most sought after Bang & Olufsen! The management has recently installed Bang & Olufsen throughout the hotel to render supreme sound and picture experiences in luxury surroundings. The Dorchester embodies the highest of traditional values, and welcomes you with great charm and stunning décor throughout the entire hotel; from the award winning restaurant to the exceptional comfort of the rooms and suites. Addition of high quality products from Bang & Olufsen is like just one more cherry on the cake.
Located in the heart of London’s Mayfair district overlooking the historic landscapes of Hyde Park, the hotel combines the very best of impeccable cultural style with the latest systems and technologies for a truly unique experience for each guest. Consequently, it was an obvious choice for General Manager Mr. Christopher Cowdray of The Dorchester to choose Bang & Olufsen as a supplier of second-to-none audio and visual equipment for the hotel: "In selecting a new TV system, I wanted to find a system that would be both in keeping with the quality and luxury of The Dorchester as well as one that had a name that our guests would be particularly familiar with. I could therefore not think of anyone better than Bang & Olufsen." "As our companies operate within the same segment, many of our guests are likely to have Bang & Olufsen products in their own homes, which very much underlines our aim of making our guests, feel at home," Mr. Cowdray concludes.
Nov 11, 2007 Reuters: David Cutler, Ralph Boulton The Dorchester Hotel London
FACTBOX: Queen Elizabeth marks 60th wedding anniversary
(Reuters) - Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh are marking their 60th wedding anniversary with a service of celebration at London's Westminster Abbey. Here are five facts about the royal couple: * Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip first met when they attended the wedding of Prince Philip's cousin, Princess Marina of Greece, to The Duke of Kent, who was an uncle of Princess Elizabeth, in 1934. * Prince Philip had two stag parties the night before his wedding -- the first at the Dorchester Hotel to which media were invited and the second with his closest friends at the Belfry Club.
* The Royal couple received more than 2,500 wedding presents from well-wishers around the world. From India, there was a piece of crocheted, cotton lace made from yarn personally spun by Mahatma Gandhi. The central motif read "Jai Hind" (Victory for India). * The Duke of Edinburgh is only one of a few consorts to reigning Queens in British history. William III was co-Sovereign with Mary II, although she, as daughter of James II, was nearer the throne than he. The husband of Queen Anne was not given the title of King, but remained Prince George of Denmark. Prince Albert was created Prince Consort by Queen Victoria in 1857. * On Tuesday November 20, the actual day of their wedding anniversary, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will travel to Malta where they lived as a young married couple from 1949-51 while The Duke was stationed there as a serving Royal Naval officer.
Nov 11, 2007 Morrie The Dorchester Hotel London
2007 big vacation: Day 7 - Penzance to London
Despite a combination of our usual morning sleepy reluctance to wake up & do anything at all and our regret at leaving such a lovely spot, we somehow managed to gather our stuff, dump the trash, and hustle ourselves out the door toward our 10am train in time for quick purchases of pasties for breakfast and newspapers. The journey was, as before, beautiful. Relaxing to just glide along past the scenery. On the whole, now that I've tried both sides, I'd say when traveling between London and Penzance, you'll want to sit on the south side of the train for the prettiest views (that's the left side heading to Penzance, and the right side coming back). We got back into London mid-afternoon, checked in again at Club Quarters in order to drop our bags and do a little online research about currently running shows, and then ventured out in search of theater tickets. After determining the odds of our getting tickets to Patrick Stewart in Macbeth were slim, we went just down the road and had no problem getting good tickets for Glengarry Glen Ross with Jonathan Pryce. On the recommendation of the ticket agent, we went across the street for dinner at Chez Gerard, which was a nice little French restaurant. In keeping with the theme of the evening's entertainment, the waiter - courteously and emphasizing his French accent - attempted to upsell us multiple times as we ordered. We resisted and had a perfectly nice steak dinner, not the best food of the trip, but certainly nothing to sneeze at. Glengarry Glen Ross was excellent. Mamet's brilliant dialogue, the wild pace, the intensity of the story, all were marvelously well-realized by this cast. Very interesting to contrast Pryce's performance against Lemmon's in the film; I think the former better represents the main character's moments of willful assholeness better. Really a very good show and especially so for Joe who'd never seen it and so got the full impact of its twists and turns. After dinner we had a nice walk over to Mayfair for drinks at the bar at the Dorchester Hotel. Now if I tell you that they have their own bespoke bitters, you'll probably understand right away that they take their drinks seriously, but when I add that they've also had "Old Tom" gin recreated for them in order to fully convey the original flavors of some classic cocktails, you'll be ready to raise a toast to the money of Mayfair and the rich rewards it can sponsor for the rest of us.
The Bar at the Dorchester had been recommended not only by the New York Times article on the best bartending in London, but also by a bartender at one of those other bars: Alex at Artesian called it out first on his list of places we shouldn't miss and he was definitely right. I'll be doing a post soon to bring together all our London bar notes and this is one of the finalists for top place. Our bartender was Paulo and he was very knowledgeable, skilled and friendly; the balance of temperament reflecting the balance of a good cocktail. In excellent surroundings of the bar's modern design and the music provided by a very good DJ, Tom Mannix, we had a delightful time and were extremely pleased with our drinks. The Bar at the Dorchester is known for its collection of vermouths and gins, so we were happy to find some old favorites on the menu along with new tastes to discover. We started with a Martinez (using their Old Tom gin, Punt e Mes, Maraschino liqueur and orange bitters, and perhaps the finest rendition of that drink I've ever had) and a Brooklyn (rye, dry vermouth, Amer Picon (a liquor very difficult to obtain in the U.S.) and Maraschino liqueur). These drinks really were phenomenal; perfectly made, perfectly served. Any fan of classic cocktails is advised to sit at the bar and enjoy Paulo at work. As at the Lobby Bar at 1 Aldwych, the host (probably also the bar manager, though we didn't catch his name) came by to talk with us for a bit about San Francisco, the bar, and our interest in the more obscure liquors. He and Paulo introduced us to some of the amber vermouths they have and so added St Raphaël Ambre and Noilly Prat Ambre to our long-term shopping list of delicious apertifs. Our second round was an Affinity (Chivas Regal, Lillet Blanc, Punt e Mes, and Angostura bitters) and a Harry's Cocktail (normally Plymouth Gin, Martini Rosso, Absinthe, and a sprig of fresh mint, but Paulo substituted a more robust vermouth for the Martini Rosso). These were lovely and it was nice to be in a country where a drink which traditionally calls for absinthe can be properly made. Wishing Paulo well we headed back to our hotel with the weather turning more chilly. Good to come back in with pink cheeks and noses - not entirely from the drink, thank you very much! - to our warm room and so off to sleep, after the requisite bedtime next chapter from The Twenty-One Balloons, of course. === Now it's time to pack up the last few things, check out and set out for the airport. It's been a fantastic trip and we're already talking about things we'll do on our next visit to the U.K. A few more posts to come once we're back home - to our own ever so excellent bed which we've missed - and recovering from jetlag...
Nov 11, 2007 My Wedding Hero, LLC, Richmond, VA Villa San Michele - Florence, Italy
Honeymoon Kisses
Let me start off by saying the possibilities here are obviously part of a very long list. So I started by spinning a globe, closing my eyes and pointing… HA! Not really, but it sounded good, didn’t it? Let’s see if I can get us around the world in 80 seconds! The obvious choices would include a stop at the Pyramids, Stonehenge and the Great Wall of China. But what about some other obvious and not so obvious choices? ....# 4 – Ciao Kisses - Europe - Villa San Michele, Florence, Italy - Once a 15th century monastery, this jewel of a renaissance villa offers not only incredible pastoral scenery but a cooking school, nearby shopping, art galleries and churches. If you’re looking for honeymoon kisses with old world elegance, indulge in the taste of Tuscany...
# 5 – Eco-Friendly Kisses - Central America - The Five Sisters Lodge, San Ignacio, Cayo, Belize – The lodge is set in the midst of the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve of Belize. This incredible place is part of the rainforest and wildlife sanctuary. The lodge gained its name from the five gushing waterfalls and the crystal pools that make up this natural wonder. ... #3 - Out of Africa Kisses – The Victoria Falls Hotel, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe – pick a spot anywhere along the falls! This is one place on earth where you can truly be overcome by the sheer beauty and force of Mother Nature at her most incredible. It is a historical location, first seen by David Livingstone in 1855, who describes it as “scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.” #2 - Walkabout Kisses – Ayers Rock, Australia – there are a variety of choices when it comes to staying near Ayers Rock, everything from up close and personal campgrounds to luxury hotels. No matter which way you go, you can’t help but stand in the shadow of this awesome beauty with the sunset rays blazing the sky and think surely that is touched by the divine. #1 -Turtle Kisses - Kusu Island, Singapore - While you could certainly enjoy all the incredible urban offerings in Singapore, you won’t want to miss the lovely Tua Pekong Temple where according to legend, sailors were rescued by a giant sea turtle! Take a swim in the warm lagoon water and see if you can spark your own legend! There you have it folks! If you haven’t picked a honeymoon place yet, then I hope we gave you some great ideas! If you have, then maybe we inspired some anniversary possibilities! Here’s wishing you champagne kisses and, um, let’s just leave it at that.
Nov 11, 2007 noor Regina Hotel Baglioni Rome
Regina Hotel Baglioni
Best World Hotel from Roma The Regina Hotel Baglioni welcomes you in the renowned Via Veneto, only a few metres away from Spanish Steps, Barberini Square and Trevi's Fountain. The large entryway has vaulted ceilings and crystal chandeliers, showcasing a sweeping bronze and marble staircase and sitting areas with richly patterned furniture The hotel features a business centre and three meeting rooms perfectly equipped. The Sala Belvedere on the eight floor has glass walls and a large sunroof Events and meetings may be organized against a breathtaking backdrop due to its splendid panorama of Rome for up to 80 people.
The breakfast room offers a rich salad and sweet buffet and options of international, regional, ditetetic and natural products as well. The new Brunello Lounge & Restaurant, boasts an exclusive access directly onto the Via Veneto and welcomes guests and locals in a unique style blending contemporary design and Italian traditional elegance. It is the ideal place to taste wonderful dishes full of Mediterranean flavours and high quality products from the area, cleverly combined by the internationally acclaimed Chef Daniele Sera. The ultimate place for fine dining and tantalising cocktails. The new Brunello Lounge & Restaurant For a light snack, a plate of delicious pasta or a relaxing drink you may also try Caffè Baglioni located in the hotel's elegant lobby area warmed and enriched by the atmosphere of the cosy fireplace.
Nov 11, 2007 SHALINI MITRA Badrutt's Palace Hotel
Winding slopes of snow
When I landed in St. Moritz, I realised that this small township in Switzerland is as beautiful as can be. Though it was the end of March it looked like peak winter time. This quaint little township, situated at 6,000 feet above the sea level, was co vered under a pure white blanket of snow. As I was led to explore the beauty of this resort in the Engadine Valley, the facts about St. Moritz revealed why it has been called Switzerland’s “jet-set” winter resort. Epitome of prestige and sophistication, St. Moritz is the cradle of winter sports and Switzerland’s only Olympic venue. Skiing in Switzerland is one of the great treats in a skier’s lifetime. For a Swiss skier, skiing on the slopes of St. Moritz is an achievement in itself. St. Moritz boasts of many mountains and glaciers where some of the top world skiing and snow sports events take place. Today visitors come not only for the famous spa, but to enjoy the best and fantastic five main ski resorts that offer 55 mountain railways and lifts with 210 miles of slopes for skiing and snowboarding. There are also 90 miles of cross-country skiing trails. Away from the slopes, visitors find the chance to try out skating, bobsledding, or curling and if you’re really in the mood to try something different, try to hold onto your toboggan on the Cresta Run, which carries you down. Well, some of these sports were quite new to me and when explained as to what these are like, I really found them to be tough and not my cup of tea.
Guaranteed to have good snow conditions from December 1 to May 1, thanks to St. Moritz’s high altitude (5, 834 to 11,150 feet above sea level), the local glaciers and modern snow-making facilities have given birth to some of the most significant sports events in which the Cartier Polo World Cup Snow, Alpine and Nordic ski races (World Championship Corviglia and the Engadin Ski Marathon trail), snow board competitions (half pipe and Fun Park Corviglia), ski jumping on the Olympic jump are tough and interesting. Though I was not a witness to any of these prestigious events, I did see skiers carving their elegant turns and snowboarders dancing across the slopes. These sights in St. Moritz can be seen throughout the year as its mountain tops are perpetually clothed in snow and ice. But in summer also, there are some very interesting sports activities happening here like-clay pigeon shooting, Engadin Windsurfing Marathon, mountain races, dog races, to name a few. Other diversions If you think you have seen enough of skiing and it’s time to learn it now, there also St. Moritz delivers. Ski and snowboard lessons are offered here in many languages, including English. Non skiers and unadventurous people like me do not lose heart here! Hiking, snow climbing or skiing are not the only ways to reach the top. Fortunately, there are gondolas which can take you close to the top of Piz Nair (3,056 m, 10,026 ft) from where one can have a grand view of St. Moritz-Bad and the lakes in the valley. Besides being a silent admirer of the panoramic St. Moritz you will find plenty of other things to indulge in, such as winter hiking, relaxing in a spa, or jumping on to a train to explore the surrounding areas. One can also try sled dog racing, ice sailing or even a torch-lit procession down a moon-lit procession. Many firsts Surprisingly, little St. Moritz has many “firsts” to its credit, including having the first winter tourists in the Alps. The story goes, at the beginning of September 1864, the St. Moritz hotel pioneer Johannes Badrutt (founder of Badrutt’s Palace Hotel) made the following bet with four British summer visitors: They should come back in winter. If they didn’t like it, he would pay for their travel costs from London and back. If they liked it, however, he would invite them to be guests and to stay as long as they wanted. The British appreciated the bet which they were bound to win. They accepted, came at Christmas and stayed until Easter. The other significant firsts — first tourist board established in St. Moritz (1864); the first European Ice Skating Championships (1882), first golf tournament on the continent/in the Alps (1889); first ski school in Switzerland (1929); first hotel in the Alps named “Palace” (1896) — the most famous in Switzerland and worldwide — and many other sport annual events In the middle ages, St. Moritz was famous for its mineral springs and the healthy climate (summer spa). Even today, St.Moritz’s mineral waters are the strongest carbonated iron-rich springs in Europe, at an altitude higher than any other within Switzerland St. Moritz is glitzy, pricey and fashionable. No wonder, the villa of the billionaire Laxmi Mittal was one of the attractions that Alexandra, my tour guide, showed me. The place is frequented by the world’s top celebrities, the royals and Hollywood stars. Plenty of sun Another striking feature of St. Moritz is that here the sun shines in the deep blue sky 322 days a year — more than anywhere else in Switzerland. That is the reason why the climate here is aptly described as legendary dry, sparkling “champagne climate” and the trademark of this place bears a sun. Chic, elegant and exclusive, having a cosmopolitan ambience.
Nov 11, 2007 Beyond the Pass The Dorchester Hotel London
Alain Ducasse regains crown as most-starred chef
Alain Ducasse has regained his crown as the most Michelin-starred chef in the world after his Mix restaurant in Las Vegas gained one star in the city’s first Michelin guide. The French chef, who opened his eagerly anticipated restaurant at London’s Dorchester hotel earlier this week, now has 13 stars, putting him ahead of Gordon Ramsay. Ramsay was briefly tied with Ducasse on 12 stars last month when his eponymous restaurant at the London NYC hotel in midtown Manhattan debuted with two stars in Michelin’s New York 2008 guide.
Meanwhile, Heston Blumenthal, one of only three UK chefs with three Michelin stars, has revealed that he is in negotiations to open his first restaurant in London. “We’re in serious discussions, but it’s not a done deal yet,” he told financial news service Bloomberg. “It’s with a site in London, a very good site in London, but I haven’t signed anything. Fingers crossed, I’m hoping we might get something one way or the other in the next month.”
Nov 11, 2007 The Columbus Dispatch Hotel Grande Bretagne
Space pulls back, won't stay at posh Greek hotel
WASHINGTON -- Rep. Zack Space will look for less expensive digs in Greece rather than a luxurious Athens hotel he and four other House members were originally booked to stay during a taxpayer-financed trip this month. The Dover Democrat announced his decision after Dispatch inquiries about the trip to Greece and Cyprus. The trip, which an aide to Space described as "official business," included a stay at the Hotel Grande Bretagne, which charges more than $400 a night for a room and offers a panoramic view of the Acropolis.
The hotel promotes its "pure luxury in service and living," an award-winning spa and a rooftop restaurant: "Grilled steaks, fresh seafood and the very noblest of Mediterranean cuisine from Chef Emilio Bracciale are served, as guests savour the experience of watching the sun set majestically behind the ancient Acropolis, firing the imagination to thoughts of a truly classical age." Earlier in the day, Matt Thornton, a spokesman for Space, said that Space and the other lawmakers were staying in that hotel because the State Department had selected it. But a few hours later, Thornton said that Space had changed his mind. Space thought it was too expensive and, "in the interest of protecting taxpayer funds, we have started the process of requesting a more economical and realistic location," Thornton said. He insisted that media inquiries had nothing to do with it. "We had no idea" until yesterday that the Hotel Grande Bretagne was so opulent, Thornton said. Space and the other four lawmakers will fly by military aircraft to Greece on Nov. 26 and return to the U.S. on Dec. 2. Thornton said they have scheduled meetings with senior Greek and Cypriot officials. "Greece is very important for us," Thornton said. "The Greeks are a key partner in the ongoing war on terror. They have a strategic location, both for security and economic and shipping interests, and they are a longtime friend of the United States." The Washington Post revealed the trip yesterday. It was organized by Rep. Albio Sires, D-N.J., a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Space, whose grandfather emigrated from Greece to the U.S. before World War I, is a member of the Agriculture, Transportation and Veterans' Affairs committees. Robert T. Bennett, chairman of the Ohio Republican Party, assailed the trip: "If it smells like a junket and looks like a junket and feels like a junket, it probably is a junket. "I want to know how this fact-finding trip benefits the people of the 18th Congressional District when he is on Agriculture, Transportation and Veterans' Affairs. I don't know what we can learn from the Greeks about agriculture. ... I look forward to his report on how it's going to impact the 18th District." Space won election last November on an anti-corruption platform. He promised not to accept dinners, gifts or junkets from lobbyists. By doing so, Space presented himself as a stark alternative to Rep. Bob Ney, R-Heath, who held the seat from 1995 through November of last year. Ney is in prison for corruption. Thornton said that Space's trip "has nothing to do with lobbyists. It's official business of the United States government."
Nov 11, 2007 Times Online Reid's Palace - Madeira, Portugal
Reid’s Palace Spa, Funchal, Madeira
A new "parent and child" spa experience offers double bliss at a classic hotel MISSION The hotel’s challenge: to attract a younger market with a brand new spa. My challenge: to steer my 4-year-old daughter through the silk and silence to Reid’s exclusive, new “parent and child” dual spa experience. USP Do you need to ask? Reid’s Palace is one of the world’s historic luxury hotels, a throwback to the days when Prime Ministers (Winston Churchill stayed there after the war) and European princes waltzed gracefully at black-tie dinner dances in mirrored halls and took tea together in soft sofas overlooking a sparkling Atlantic.
A hotel like this would simply never be designed today, with its expanse of soporific public areas and whole exquisite rooms dedicated exclusively to reading, or billiards, or taking tea, or bridge. The amount of space alone, and the quiet, makes it deeply relaxing. The staff cannot be faulted: they somehow guess what you are about to want before you have even fully formulated the thought yourself. AMBIENCE In the most luxurious hotel, in the best spot in Madeira’s capital Funchal, with fabulous views over the Atlantic, the small, candlelit spa is as plush and hush as you would expect. Each treatment room has its own balcony, with a bed for post-massage relaxation, and the fabulous sea views you also enjoy from the swimming pools (one salt water, one fresh) on the terrace. The double massage room grandly has its own hot tub on a private terrace as well. EXPERIENCE Gorgeous. A really great massage. Dubious though I was about trying the combined mother and child treatment, I needn’t have been. My daughter was asleep, bottom in the air, within 10 minutes of her “Nangfa, Angel Bliss for Children” (50 mins; €80) beginning, and woke up 40 minutes later complaining that it was boring. My treatment, a “Samunprai Thai Herbal Heat Energizer” (75 mins; €130), combining, yes, herbs, heat and a Thai massage, was blissful – and I am very fussy about massages. The masseuse was so good I went back for an excellent sports massage (30 mins; €40) the next day. Treatments are expensive but worth it. Kids get their own gowns and slippers. FOOD Didn’t try most of it – I ate out around Funchal instead; Reid’s restaurants are too grown-up for young children. Good buffet breakfast. A child’s portion of steak and chips arrived via room service on a heated trolley, with a silver hat, silver cutlery and a vase of flowers. It’s that kind of place. It was delicious. IN-CROWD Elderly English couples with just a touch of the Hyacinth Bouquets, a soupcon of Eurotrash and a splash of Russian bling. Despite the fact they can boast that a member of All Saints (a popular girl band) has visited, the clientele cannot in all honesty be described as anything other than old, as evidenced by the wheelchair permanently stationed in reception, although families do visit during school holidays and there is a “fun club” for children aged 3-9. The hotel is no place for screaming kids. Absolutely not. WALLET WATCH Four-night spa package including flights, breakfast and a four hour Botanical Indulgence treatment (herbal bath, body scrub, banana leaf with papaya and aloe vera wrap, lunch, aromatherapy massage, normal price €325) at £1,154 per person, available until 20 Dec 2007 from Prestige Holidays (01425 480 400). Ask their local rep Isabel Borges for restaurant recommendations around Funchal. Other packages available from 2008. Example treatment prices: Thai clay body mask with head massage 90 mins, €130; tropical fruit and flower facials, 60 mins, €100.
Nov 11, 2007 Vocus PRW Holdings, LLC. Four Seasons Hotel George V
April in Paris StrictlyWeddings Honeymoon Give Away Worth $50,000
StrictlyWeddings, the premier online web site for brides-to-be, is giving away a $50 thousand dollar honey moon. Highlights of the the honeymoon package includes first class round trip The honeymoon give-away sets the standard for what brides-to-be can expect when they visit our site airline tickets on British Airways, 7 nights and 8 days at the exclusive Four Seasons George V in Paris and dinner on the Eiffel Tower. The honeymoon give-away sets the standard for what brides-to-be can expect when they visit our site Dallas, TX (PRWEB) November 15, 2007 -- Attention all brides-to-be. Did your fiancé surprise you with an amazing marriage proposal? Was your engagement everything you ever dreamed it would be? Share your extraordinary story and photos at, the new premier online bridal destination, and enter to receive a deluxe honeymoon package valued at $50,000.
The lucky newlyweds will fly first-class with British Airways to the most romantic city in the world, Paris. Upon arrival, they will be whisked away in a private limousine to the Honeymoon Suite at the world-famous Four Seasons Hotel George V, which will be their home for the next seven days. While there, they'll enjoy pure romance in the heart of City of Lights, just steps from the Champs-Elysees, with direct terrace views of the city's most famous monuments, including the Eiffel Tower. The all-expense paid trip also includes a private day tour to Provence, a picturesque part of the French countryside that has inspired writers and artists alike. The April in Paris give-away is just one of many reasons to visit The site is an indispensable guide for wedding planners and brides-to-be because it lists only the three best-in-class companies in 21 different bridal categories. Whether you're looking for an elegant designer bridal gown, the most sophisticated venue for a reception, or a luxury honeymoon destination of your own, it's all just a click away on "The honeymoon give-away sets the standard for what brides-to-be can expect when they visit our site," said StrictlyWeddings founder Kay Kestler, a Dallas native who has years of experience planning multi-million dollar events in the most exotic and beautiful locales in the world. "We have streamlined the wedding planning process by selecting only the top three professional partners in every category, from invitations, to catering, to photography, to honeymoon suites and spas. The Honeymoon Suite at the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris certainly exemplifies best-in-class by any measure." Unlike other sites, where securing a partner listing is as simple as purchasing an ad, requires each product and service provider on the site to pass a thorough screening process that ensures they are the best in the industry. The Dallas edition of, which launches November 15, includes such local luminaries as Neiman Marcus, Stanley Korshak, and The Mansion on Turtle Creek. To qualify as best-in-class on, wedding professionals must consistently exceed their customers' expectations with impeccable quality, absolute professionalism, and unquestioned reliability. A selection committee in each market, chaired by Kay Kestler, personally chooses each service product, artist, or venue on the site based on rigorous criteria. The goal is to ensure that each company selected offers the kinds of superior products and divine service that guarantee a flawless wedding. For more details on the deluxe April in Paris Honeymoon Give-away, visit and click on Bon Voyage. Then tell us about your engagement and why you deserve to win the honeymoon package. A winner will be announced the first week of October 2008.
Nov 11, 2007 TravelVideo.TV The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
HOW GREEN IS THY KITCHEN? Fairmont experts find creative solutions for sustainable operations TORONTO, November 15, 2007 – As part of Fairmont’s Hotels & Resorts’ new commitment to organic, sustainable and local menus, measures are taken everyday at Fairmont hotels across the globe to also find creative ways to run an environmentally responsible kitchen. Going beyond simply purchasing sustainable food items, these efforts include recycling, reusing and donating, all resulting in an overall impact that lessens the luxury brand’s footprint on the planet.
Fairmont properties have long had partnerships in place that provide them with the freshest local ingredients, and many of these purveyors are as committed to sustainability as Fairmont. For example, Fairmont locations in the Pacific Northwest are partnered with Rodney Strong Vineyards, an organic wine producer that operates with solar power to reduce energy consumption and takes steps to ensure soil and water conservation. Ottawa’s Fairmont Château Laurier is taking a leadership role in connecting local purveyors with businesses and recently hosted the first “Farmer-Chef Meet and Greet” to encourage new business contacts and contracts. British Columbia’s Fairmont Waterfront, The Fairmont Vancouver Airport and The Fairmont Empress were also the first hotels to join the Ocean Wise program run by the Vancouver Aquarium, which promotes the use of sustainable seafood. Hotel menus note sustainable seafood choices with the Ocean Wise logo, so guests are aware of the program and can choose environmentally responsible menu selections. The Fairmont Winnipeg shares this commitment and ensures that the fresh catch of the day featured in the Velvet Glove dining room has been harvested in a sustainable way (for example, without dragnets) by consulting the website Menus at the Fairmont properties in Bermuda are also guided by this interest in responsible choices. Surrounded by a vibrant fishing community, the chefs at The Fairmont Southampton and The Fairmont Hamilton Princess work closely with the local fishermen to source a variety of local line-caught fish. The hotels receive daily updates on the fresh fish that has been brought in and these are regularly featured on the resorts’ special menus. The chefs at The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise also use this philosophy when creating menus for the staff cafeteria, offering a full day, eco-friendly menu that focuses on locally grown and organic ingredients on a regular basis. These efforts have tangible results. The Fairmont Chicago, for example, uses 200 lbs of organic ingredients weekly, and The Fairmont Royal York in Toronto buys over 22,000 lbs of local onions per year. Twenty per cent of all vegetables used in The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver are certified organic, and the remainder of the hotel’s produce is responsibly grown and locally harvested wherever possible. Starting in 2008, the Fairmont Newport Beach will procure the services of a local "forager," who will visit local organic produce markets to make purchases of choice goods for the hotel. After sustainable food choices have been made, what can be done to ensure that none of it goes to waste? One option is donating to organizations such as shelters and food redistribution programs. Many Fairmont properties have a system in place whereby unplated and untouched food is kept for collection by local agencies. The Fairmont Chicago, The Fairmont Royal York, The Fairmont San Francisco and Fairmont Chateau Laurier, to name a few, all contribute this way. After a recent gala for 1,400 catered by Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth in Montreal, all leftovers were either donated to the Salvation Army or placed in a compost container for the gardeners of the campus of the university where the event was held. For food that is not suitable for donation or reusing, composting is the next step. The Fairmont San Francisco’s composting program produces high-quality compost from excess food scraps and kitchen waste, and has significantly reduced the amount of waste being sent to landfill. A look at the numbers demonstrates the big impact this can have. Every day, the kitchen at The Fairmont Vancouver Airport composts over 200 lbs of biodegradable waste. Every month, The Fairmont Newfoundland sends approximately 400 lbs of compost material to a local farm and The Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston sends over 14 tons of food waste out for composting. And in the course of a year (2006), The Fairmont Royal York diverted over 62.37 tons of food waste from landfill. But it’s not just food that gets recycled…at Fairmont, the term takes on a whole new meaning. Inventive ways to reuse items include the Fairmont St Andrews, Scotland’s Green Fuels Bio-Pod project, which converts used cooking oil from the kitchens into biodiesel that is used to fuel the hotel’s shuttle bus and greens equipment; a similar program is also in place at The Fairmont Banff Springs. Other properties take advantage of this energy source as well, including The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, which donates over 4 tons of waste cooking oil to a local biodiesel refiner annually. Other ideas include Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth’s use of recycled plastic liquid honey bottles as coulis bottles to garnish dessert plates and The Fairmont Winnipeg’s recycling of all emptied food cans through a local scrap merchant. Other kitchen items that see a second life include paper. At The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, all restaurant chits are now recycled, eliminating hundreds of pounds of paper from landfill. Over 400 lbs of paper were recycled from one restaurant alone in only six months, proving how effective these small changes can be. Eco-conscious brides can choose beautiful recycled paper invitations complete with soy ink printing at The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa and the Fairmont Towers, Heliopolis in Cairo, opening in winter 2007, will print the menus for their “green” meeting breaks on recycled paper. Another method of reducing waste is to reexamine packaging. Many items are either wrapped or stored in unnecessary layers of Styrofoam, plastics and coating. The Fairmont Royal York decided to make a huge dent in the excessive packaging by installing a seven ft. tall tank to receive cooking oil by tanker delivery, rather than purchasing it in plastic containers. The Fairmont Winnipeg made the switch from canned tuna to pouch tuna, and The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is considering a switch to a "to go" container product that is made from cornstarch and sugarcane fibers instead of plastic. Of course, what counts most towards making these efforts successful is the passion demonstrated by the kitchen brigades. Without this, large hotel kitchens could become a great source of waste. Executive Chefs like Laurent Poulain at The Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston take the initiative to educate their teams about sustainable and local ingredients. For example, Poulain has posted a New England map featuring the growing seasons, which lists what produce is local at what times of the year, ensuring that all the chefs learn the best time for each fruit or vegetable. They refer to this list as they develop menus for banquets and the dining room. These efforts may result in small changes for individual guests, who have more healthful or ethical options to choose from, but can have a big impact when one considers the collective efforts of Fairmont hotels worldwide. Green kitchen practices are just one more aspect of Fairmont’s Green Partnership Program, an industry-leading, comprehensive commitment to sustainable operations. With more than 50 distinctive hotels and 22,000 hotel rooms around the globe, Fairmont continues to lead by example with innovative environmental programs and an unwavering attitude to growing the movement of overall environmental stewardship. Under the innovative leadership of its corporate environmental affairs division and hotel-based Green Teams, over 26,000 employees have taken on the role of environmental ambassadors helping to protect the habitat, resources and culture of the places where we, and our guests, work, live and play.
Nov 11, 2007 Wai Yen's Travelogue Bellagio, Las Vegas
Las Vegas, USA - Inside The Bellagio
Date: 5th to 7th August 2005 Fact: Bellagio is a hotel and casino located on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada, USA. It is owned by MGM Mirage and was built on the site of demolished Dunes hotel and casino. Inspired by the Lake Como resort of Bellagio in Italy, Bellagio is famed for its elegance. One of its most notable features is an eight-acre (32,000 m²) artificial lake between the building and the Strip, which houses the Fountains of Bellagio, a major free attraction of fountains synchronized tomusic, which provides a romantic ambiance for couples walking along the strip. This is by far the most beautiful hotel that I've ever stayed in.
Trivia: Bellagio was featured prominently in the film Ocean's Eleven. The curved staircase that Tess Ocean (played by Julia Roberts) descended was removed during a 2006 remodel to accommodate the entrance pathway from a newly built hotel tower, called The Spa Tower. New shops and restaurants fill the space. The vault for the three casinos that were robbed (MGM Grand, Mirage, and Bellagio) owned by Terry Benedict (played by Andy Garcia) was located beneath the Bellagio.
Nov 11, 2007 Daily Mail Hotel Beau Rivage Geneve
£8.1m diamond is 12-year-old Chloe's best friend
...Last night's auction was held at Geneva's historic Beau Rivage hotel... Diamonds, as famously noted by Marilyn Monroe, are a girl's best friend. Even, it now seems, if you are as young as twelve years old. When the world's largest diamond ever to appear at auction was snapped up for £8.1million last night, the first thing its new owner did was to name it after his young daughter, Chloe.
The dazzling 84-carat jewel - which took two years to cut - was bought by Guess? clothing company founder Georges Marciano at a Sotheby's auction in Geneva. Likened in size to a quail's egg, it was mined in Africa and the rough diamond from which it was cut was the size of a man's palm. In addition to its extraordinary carat weight, the diamond has received the highest possible grading. Described as "pure perfection" by auction house Sotheby's, the gem is D-colour, or finest white, has flawless clarity and its cut, polish and symmetry are classed as excellent. Lisa Hubbard, chairwoman of jewellery at Sotheby's North and South America who took the winning bid by telephone yesterday said: "It was purchased by Georges Marciano, founder of Guess? jeans who lives in Beverly Hills. "He has named it after his daughter Chloe, who is only twelve, and has time to grow into it." Last night's auction was held at Geneva's historic Beau Rivage hotel. The diamond, which was showcased in London, Hong Kong, Paris, New York, Rome, Los Angeles, Dubai and Bahrain, was the last of 387 lots to be auctioned in Sotheby's "Magnificent Jewels" sale. The price is just short of the record for a jewel at auction of £10million which was paid for the 100-carat Star Of The Season diamond in May 1995. David Bennett, chairman of jewellery at Sotheby's, said: "In my 32-year career, this stone ranks among the most beautiful diamonds I have ever seen. "We are very privileged to have been chosen as the auction house to offer this magnificent and unique stone." A spokeswoman for Sotheby's in Geneva said: "It would be an incredible ring though totally impractical. That surely would be out of the question. It is absolutely huge. "Perhaps it could be set in a pendant or a tiara. Though a bracelet would probably be a good idea because the wearer would be able to see it too."
Nov 11, 2007 Excelloz Travel Blog Grand Hotel Europe - St Petersburg, Russia
St. Petersburg Luxury Hotels
One of Europe’s most beautiful cities, St. Petersburg also features a great selection of luxury hotels to relax in after visiting the local attractions or conducting business. The city’s great transportation infrastructure also means that you’re never too far from where the action is, with the Metro, taxis and romantic boats making getting around “The Venice of the North” a breeze. First and foremost among St. Petersburg luxury hotels is the Grand Hotel Europe, with over 100 years of history within its sumptuous rooms and suites. Now a part of Orient Express Hotels, the Grand Hotel Europe features high ceilings, beautiful period furniture and restaurant and cafés that have been famous ever since being patronized by the top classes of imperial Russia, including the legendary poet Pushkin. Especially famous is its caviar bar, a St. Petersburg institution and a great place to meet new people.
Another major historic St. Petersburg luxury hotel is the Astoria, now part of the Rocco Forte chain and featuring fabulous cuisine, classic architecture and one of the best locations in the city, close to major landmarks like Saint Isaac’s Cathedral, the Hermitage and the Mariinsky Theater. The new wave of luxury is represented by hotels like the Corinthia Nevskij Palace, a modern construction with top-notch business communication facilities and great service. Near it, on the city’s famous Nevsky Prospekt shopping boulevard is the five-star Grand Hotel Emerald. Built in 2003, it showcases Russia’s up and coming economic power and is an ideal business trip base. Two other major luxury hotel chains in St. Petersburg are represented by the Kempinski Hotel Moika 22 and the Radisson SAS Royal Hotel. The Kempinski property is in the heart of the city on the Moika River, within walking distance to the renowned Hermitage Museum, while the Radisson SAS Royal offers its guests Scandinavian accommodation excellence in a prime location on Nevsky Prospekt. Both properties feature elegant interiors and under-floor bathroom heating, a must when traveling during a Russian winter.
Nov 11, 2007 VegasTripping Wynn Las Vegas
The Pool At Wynn Macau
Everybody loves Wynn Las Vegas. Ok, almost everyone loves Wynn Las Vegas, even if you aren't hot on Wynn's casino, don't like paying $8 for the best bag of potato chips you'll ever have in your life and can't stand the trip hop meets brazilian jazz sound track, you gotta love the pool at Wynn, it just rules.
I made it a point to check out the pool at Wynn Macau when I was there in September and took a ton of photos. I've gathered them all up and wrapped a bunch of the usual goofball commentary around them in a photo feature for MacauTripping. Grab your bikini and smear on some cocoa butter, it's time to take a dip in The Pool At Wynn Macau
Nov 11, 2007 Mary Winston Nicklin Bauer Il Palazzo Boutique Hotel
Thanksgiving Getaway at the Bauer Hotel and Bauer Il Palazzo, Venice
Escape the family get-together (or take the fam with you) to the fabled city of Venice, where you’ll lose yourself in its sparkling perfection. The uber-luxury palaces, Bauer Hotel and Bauer Il Palazzo, have put together an excellent package deal which includes one complimentary night, a five-course Thanksgiving feast, piano concert, and full buffet breakfast daily. Valid from November 22- November 25, 2007, the Venice Thanksgiving Getaway starts at EUR 1,740 per room for a four-night stay at the Bauer Il Palazzo. For a suite at the legendary Bauer Hotel, which has its own private dock on a small canal, the getaway is priced from EUR 2,160 per room.
PS. Check into the spellbinding Bauer Il Palazzo, one of the year’s hottest new hotels located on the exclusive island of Giudecca, and buzz around to Venice’s other islands in a solar-powered boat.
Nov 11, 2007 Rocco Forte Hotel Astoria St.Petersburg
Hotel Astoria : Saint Petersburg, Russia
top of any list—not just for its historic Art Nouveau elegance, but for the simple fact that its Western management (courtesy of Rocco Forte) takes some of the edge off the slightly disarming and disorienting experience that is present-day Russia. The location is splendid, at the heart of the city, in St. Isaac’s Square, next to the cathedral and close to the Hermitage, the state-run art museum. As for the hotel itself, it’s a striking beauty, decorated in the original 1912 style, all the more impressive considering that it’s almost entirely a reconstruction; the original building was largely torn down during the 1990s renovation that connected the Astoria to its slightly plainer sister, the Angleterre.
It hardly matters; the décor is as opulent as ever, rich with antiques and artworks, guest rooms elegant but not overstuffed, with parquet floors and curtains of Russian linen alongside modern conveniences like satellite TV and laptop safes. Spaces are generous, as they should be given the extent of the renovation, and the white marble bathrooms are spacious as well, furnished with Italian toiletries. Davidov’s is the traditional Russian restaurant, serving the finest caviars and vodkas you’re likely to run across. For something more casual, cross over to the Angleterre for lunch or dinner in the Borsalino Brasserie or English-style afternoon tea in the lounge.
Nov 11, 2007 Vedema Resort
Vedema Resort Santorini General Informations
A legendary island, remmant of a mythological past. Aworld into its own Santorini, Vedema. Vedema Resort overlooks rolling vineyards, the Aegean sea and beyond to beautiful sunsets.Vedema Resort is sutuated in the medieval village of Megalohori, 7 km from Fira town, the capital of the island, it is the only deluxe hotel in Santorini and a member of "The Luxury Collection" of Starwood. Lush gardens contrast with the island architecture, providing 45 fully furnushed villas with privte veradas, lounge dining rooms and every modern comfort. Its 15th century styled winery restaurant, "Vinsanto", serves Mediterranean cuisine whilst the "Pergola" pool restaurant offers light meals and Greek specialties.
The 10 pool suites are models of fresh minimalism originally inspired by the simple island lodges, and barefoot chic philosophy, found throughout Santorini, while the Presidential Villa is a masterpiece of luxury and style. The deluxe Resort is near the Akrotiri excavations that offer insight into an ancient city dated back to 14 B.C. Exquisitely furnished, perfectly situated on a magical Aegean isle, and elegantly equipped to meet all needs of the body and soul, Vedema Resort may simply be your private paradise.
Nov 11, 2007 Kathleen Jay SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand
Las Vegas >> SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand, Joël Robuchon receive five stars
or the second consecutive year, AAA has awarded SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand and Joël Robuchon its Five Diamond Award, which recognizes these establishments among the world’s most elite hotels and restaurants. For 2008, AAA evaluated 60,000 hotels and dining establishments across the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean; of those evaluated, 100 resorts and 60 restaurants earned the AAA Five Diamond designation. SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand, one of five Las Vegas hotels to earn the honor, features 51 two-story accommodations with expansive views of the Las Vegas skyline and personalized amenities, such as dream, spa and music butlers; 24-hour concierge service; and pre-engraved stationery. Chef Joël Robuchon opened his first fine dining restaurant in the United States at MGM Grand in September 2005.
Nov 11, 2007 Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
Rudy gets boost from support overseas
LONDON - Nearly all the seats were filled at the nine tables set up by the luxury Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park by the time Rudy Giuliani and his wife, Judith, arrived to applause on his trip here last week. The well-dressed people in the elegant room had been asked to pay $1,000 to $2,300 to feast on salmon "mi-cuit," raspberry creme brulee tarts and a conversation between Giuliani and Winston Churchill's granddaughter and biographer, Celia Sandys. For Giuliani, it was a chance to compare himself to that fabled British statesman while raising yet more money for his presidential ambitions from a growing source of political financial donations: American ex-pats in foreign countries.
Nov 11, 2007 Rock Society The Landmark London
RUSH take Classic Rock Magazine’s Band of the Year award
Classic Rock Magazine held their third annual awards show on Monday November 5th. The ceremony at London’s Landmark Hotel was awash with rock royalty. The full list of winners were as follows…
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