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Nov 11, 2007 USA Today Four Seasons Resort, Whistler
100 lodgings sparkle with AAA's five diamonds
A record 100 hotels and resorts earned the top five-diamond rating in the 2008 AAA awards, to be announced Friday. This reflects "a boom in the luxury market," says Michael Petrone of AAA. The non-profit travel organization, which anointed 93 five-diamond lodgings last year, conducts annual unannounced inspections of properties and rates them on a scale of one to five diamonds based on a checklist of hundreds of criteria, including public areas, rooms, amenities and service.
Four U.S. lodgings are new on the five-diamond list this year: The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas; The Canyon Suites at the Phoenician, Scottsdale, Ariz.; St. Regis Resort, Monarch Beach, Dana Point, Calif.; and The Umstead Hotel and Spa near Raleigh, N.C.... Four resorts in Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean ascended to five-diamond status: Four Seasons Resort Whistler in British Columbia; The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman; JW Marriott Resort & Spa, Cancun; and the 1½-year-old Fairmont Mayakoba near Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Two lodgings lost five-diamond status: The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas in Nevada and the Pan Pacific Vancouver Hotel in British Columbia. The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun, was reinstated to five-diamond status after completing renovations in the wake of Hurricane Wilma. Ritz-Carltons (24) and Four Seasons (22) accounted for nearly half the list of five-diamond lodgings, which is heavy on luxury chain hotels and grande-dame resorts. Three grande dames have maintained a five-diamond ranking for 32 straight years: The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs; The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va.; and Marriott's Camelback Inn in Scottsdale, Ariz. This year, The Broadmoor's Penrose Room became the first Colorado restaurant to achieve five-diamond status. Fifty-nine other eateries achieved five-diamond status. As usual, the list leans toward more formal and established high-end restaurants. The Inn at Little Washington in Washington, Va., and Le Bec-Fin in Philadelphia have maintained five diamonds for 20 years — ever since the ratings were first applied to restaurants. Also new for 2008: Lautrec in the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, Pa.; Blue in The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman; Le Basilic in the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach, Cancun.
Nov 11, 2007 Sun-Times News Group The Aerie Resort, Victoria
Check out a Canadian resort
WORTH THE TRIP: FOR COUPLES
The farmlands and vineyards of Canada's Cowichan Valley churn out some delicious food and drink. Try it for yourself during a late summer stay at Vancouver Island's posh Aerie Resort and Spa, a Relais & Chateaux property in the nearby mountains, just outside Victoria. Starting today, the resort is offering a Savour the Flavour package, available Sunday-Thursday until Sept. 15. For about $900, couples get two nights in a suite, breakfast each morning, a dinner for two, a $50 spa credit, wine cellar tour and tasting, and a daily chef's talk about the local ingredients being used in that day's meal. The Cowichan Valley, which means "warm land," is situated in Canada's mildest climate. It also has one of the longest growing seasons in the Northern Hemisphere. So it's no surprise that fresh farm products abound and more than a dozen wineries call the valley home. Canada's Cowichan Valley has some breathtaking scapes. The Aerie's concierge can plot out a culinary trail for you to follow or set up a guided tour. If you don't want to leave the resort, sign up for a private cooking class with executive chef Christophe Letard.
Nov 11, 2007 ystshamusthayer Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome
Eva Longoria Weds For a Second Time at the Park Hyatt Paris Vendome Due to French law Eva Longoria and Tony Parker had to wed in a civil ceremony prior to be married in a church ceremony, so hence the need for the first wedding. The couple were married at a ceremony at the historic Church of Saint Germain l�Auxerrois in front of 250 guests. The bride wore a couture Angel Sanchez mermaid gown made of silk wool, with silk gazar metallic embroidery, a scoop back and a long train. As expected the event was star studded.
Due to French law Eva Longoria and Tony Parker had to wed in a civil ceremony prior to be married in a church ceremony, so hence the need for the first wedding. The couple were married at a ceremony at the historic Church of Saint Germain l�Auxerrois in front of 250 guests. The bride wore a couture Angel Sanchez mermaid gown made of silk wool, with silk gazar metallic embroidery, a scoop back and a long train. As expected the event was star studded. Teri Hatcher waved to the throng of photographers as she entered the church, which was decorated with 1,000 flowers for the ceremony officiated by Father Dominic Schubert. Other guests ducked behind a large screen placed to shield them from the press. Their cellphones and cameras were sealed in plastic bags before they entered the church. After the ceremony, the couple and their celebrity guests headed for a reception at the Chateau of Vaux le Vicomte, a 17th century castle outside Paris. Earlier, Sheryl Crow, Jessica Alba and Longoria�s Desperate Housewives co-stars Nicollette Sheridan and Felicity Huffman - with husband William H. Macy - were all spotted at the tony Park Hyatt Paris, along with Mario Lopez and Ryan Seacrest. Sheridan was seen carrying a Christian Louboutin shopping bag into the hotel. Many of the guests are staying in the same hotel as the couple, who have an $11,000-a-night suite at the Park Hyatt Paris Vendome. Nice.
Nov 11, 2007 Canadian Press The Aerie Resort, Victoria
Mushroom foraging on Vancouver Island
Mushroom lovers will be on the prowl during an annual fall foraging event on Vancouver Island. Each Saturday in October the Aerie Resort hosts the half-day event led by mushroom forager Brother Michael, a Benedictine monk from the Sole Dao Monastery in Cowichan Valley. He has been supplying local hotels and restaurants with mushrooms for years. The tours start with an expedition into the forest surrounding the resort and end with a three-course lunch featuring the bounty as prepared by Aerie cooks. Guests also get recipes and cooking tips.
of wild mushrooms," according to a news release. "Temperate rainforests are excellent for delicacies like chanterelles, oyster mushrooms and cauliflower fungus that grow on the stumps of old growth trees. High plateaus and ridges are home to porcini and pine mushrooms." The tour cost per person is $120. The Aerie Resort is located 35 minutes from downtown Victoria.
Nov 11, 2007 hotelhub Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin
Hotel pick: Adlon Kempinski
coveted spots in Berlin, literally a stone's throw away from the German capital's most famous landmark, Brandenburg Gate. One of Germany's oldest hotels, the Adlon opened its doors in 1907 as the fruit of a 20-million marks investment by local businessman Lorenz Adlon.
The original hotel survived World War II but was ravaged by fire soon afterwards and wasn't rebuilt until 1997, after Germany's re-unification. Unsurprisingly, the Adlon has become Berlin's hottest spot for afternoon tea and when the tourists have had their photo snapped under the historic arches, a lucky few (places are limited) file in for (expensive but delicious) tea and scones in the Adlon's lobby. First impressions: Exceptional view, even better location. Some of Berlin's most visited sights including Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag (German parliament), trendy Potsdamer Platz and Tiergarten are within easy walking distance. If you do need transport, there's a steady stream of yellow taxis outside and a subway station within metres. The Adlon's exterior - cream with a lovely verdigris roof - may well look familiar... Michael Jackson ignited a media frenzy in 2002 when he dangled his baby son, Prince Michael II, from the balcony of the Presidential Suite on the third floor. Behind the bell boys is an elegant lobby free of the chintzy chandeliers and garish gold fittings you might have expected from such a grand residence. This is understated luxury at its finest... elegant mahogany furniture, warm cream walls and plump sofas. Above it all is a mosaic stained-glass dome. In the hotel's basement, you'll find a serene Roman-style spa complete with sauna, steam room, whirlpool and swimming pool. What about the rooms? Greta Garbo famously uttered 'I want to be alone' in the Hotel Adlon while filming Grand Hotel. And as the tourists troop in and out for a glimpse of Berlin's most glamorous hotel, it's easy to come over a little Garbo, especially when the 349 rooms upstairs are so inviting. The cheap suites start at £216 a night for which you'll get an impossibly comfy bed - with a choice of seven pillow types, ranging from hypoallergenic to horsehair. In the bathroom, sink into the deepest of baths wrapped in sleek black marble. Other treats include your own in-room mobile phone, a fax machine and free shoe-shining. Should one want a little more space to gad about in, there are two Presidential Suites. For the princely sum of €8,500 (£5,700) a night guests get their own private sauna, bar, pantry, study, personal butler and, just for fun, 8-cm thick bullet-resistant windows and steel-enforced walls. Wow factor: Beautiful as this hotel is, it is the Adlon's illustrious guest book that makes you feel you're staying somewhere really special. Famous guests who've checked in include the Dalai Lama, Tom Cruise (with latest squeeze Katie Holmes), U2, Marlene Dietrich, Albert Einstein and Kofi Annan. Next year, The Adlon will be the official VIP hotel when Germany hosts football's World Cup next year. Best for: cash-happy weekenders, big budget business folk, Heads of State, Hollywood heart-throbs, supermodels etc Will the kids like it? With its tinkling teacups, grand piano music and cocktails before dinner the Adlon is a playground for grown-ups but children will love the film-set atmosphere. Just hope they don't order too many cokes (£5 a pop) from room service. Food and drink: From afternoon tea in the lobby to Michelin-starred menus in the Lorenz Adlon restaurant, there is more than enough to tantalise tastebuds. Book a table at the Restaurant Quarré on the ground floor for dinner in front of the Brandenburg Gate. What the other guests said: 'Best hotel in Europe...' '...huge, luxurious bathrooms' 'The breakfasts are amazing' 'My favourite place to stay in Berlin...' Click here to read more reader reviews Offical rating: Five-star Value for money: There's no doubting that a weekend at the Adlon will burn a sizeable hole in your pocket but you're unlikely to feel short-changed - the service is regularly voted among the finest in Europe.
Nov 11, 2007 Thulasi Venkat Hotel Cipriani & Palazzo Vendramin - Venice, Italy
Hotel Cipriani & Palazzo Vendramin
EXPERIENCE The Hotel Cipriani is famous for its peaceful and beautiful gardens that enchant throughout the seasons. From the moment you arrive at the landing stage the beauty of the gardens surrounds you. Some areas of the gardens occasionally display works of art, whilst elegant sculptures can be found throughout. The vineyard of the Cipriani is still in use today and produces “Casanova Salso”, a collector’s wine from the Giudecca Island.
Linked to Hotel Cipriani by an ancient courtyard and flowered passageway with magnificent views overlooking the lagoon and Piazza San are the two 15th-century buildings, the Palazzo Vendramin and Palazzetto Nani-Barbaro. These splendid annexes are at the disposal of those guests for whom privacy is an essential requirement. Their apartments are presented in a variety of combinations, from standard twin bedrooms to double suites. A private butler service combines the Cipriani's legendary cuisine and housekeeping with ultimate personal attention. All of the hotel's facilities, from elegant piano bar to the renowned swimming pool, are at the disposal of the two Palazzi's guests. The Hotel Cipriani has been created to provide the very best of Venetian hospitality and incorporates one of the most luxurious accommodations. It provides guest the ultimate in attentive service and offers one of the finest cuisines in an atmosphere of calm and seclusion. The 88 exquisitely decorated rooms and suites are simply but tastefully furnished and all have superb views of either the lagoon, the Palladian Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, or the walled gardens and vineyards. The Palazzetto and Palazzo Vendramin share their atmosphere of relaxed elegance, refined simplicity and the discreet service of private butlers assisted by valets and maids. Some of the apartments have either private terraces or gardens and Jacuzzis. All of the bathrooms are luxuriously fitted with precious marble and stucco. The Palazzetto offer five junior suites overlooking St Mark's Square and a team of highly trained staff, your every need is catered for. The interior décor is a soothing combination of pastel coloured walls, which blend perfectly with the precious Rubelli and Fortuny fabrics and light furniture. A fully-equipped kitchenette in each suite completes the feeling of a home away from home. There can be no finer view of Venice than that of its lagoon and Doge’s Palace framed by the Gothic windows of the Palazzo Vendramin. This grand 15th century residence, reached through the Hotel Cipriani’s Casanova Gardens, offers seclusion, space and a wonderful feeling of romance. The Palazzo’s eight apartments (11 bedrooms total) are splendidly decorated in a style inspired by Fortuny and consist of Junior Suites, Suites or Double Bedroom Suites. It is an ideal setting for family reunions, small VIP gatherings, as well as for senior level management meetings and select seminars. The Vendramin Suite is the jewel in the crown of the Palazzo Vendramin. The living room offers awe-inspiring vistas and understated luxury. The high level of privacy has made it a top choice among VIPs and stars. The Cipriani is closed from mid-November to early March and Palazzo Vendramin is closed between mid-January to April.
Nov 11, 2007 alldolledup Ritz Paris
Back to Paris...shall we?
We are still in the process of moving here at Casa Vandoren and I can't think of a more delightful excuse to not get back to work than blogging! I've got procrastination down to an art. Well, moving boxes and the mess the goes along with them are not very enticing photo subjects so shall we go back to France? I've already tired my friends and family of our honeymoon and wedding photos so I am moving on to you blogland!
Ohhh...let's go to the Ritz now! Puttin on the Ritz...da daaa da da daaa! So, we went to the Ritz. It felt a bit like we were peasants sneaking in to see how the other half lives. It was fun though! It reeked of old money and was super stuffy in a delightfully entertaining way. Because of my Laduree experience I was to chicken to take photos except for this unoccupied atrium we found.
Nov 11, 2007 yeepage Baglioni Hotel London
Timeout in London
Been to London Recently? Maybe its time that you did and with the great things happening in London it’s the best time to adventure over to the wonderful City. But I guess your wondering what’s there to do in London? Try looking at timeout.com where you find plenty of information on places to see, things to do, and of course hotels in London to stay, basically it’s the A to Z of London.
...If your looking for up end London Hotel then the Baglioni is the one, they come from a exclusive Italian group and has made the bold move into London. The fantastic lobby bar is part baroque, part Donatella Versace: spidery black chandeliers, burnished gold ceilings and gigantic vases filled with roses. The chic bedrooms are more masculine: dark wood floors, black lacquered tables and taupe walls, enlivened by brash, clashing, striped sofas. In the swanky black bathrooms, the flattering lighting would make even Norma Desmond look young. Downstairs, the flashy Brunello restaurant serves expensive Italian food to ladies in sparkly tops.
Nov 11, 2007 LINDA DuVAL King Pacific Lodge, Princess Royal Island
Hotels check in to being green
...The King Pacific Lodge, a man-made island near Vancouver, British Columbia, is reachable only by air or water. To offset the carbon-creating travel required to get there, the lodge is installing a river-hydro plant and solar panels to meet power needs. It also uses only suppliers who conduct their own programs of carbon reduction. The result: The lodge will reduce its carbon footprint by half...
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Nov 11, 2007 hotelsearchandfind Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul
Top Business Hotels: Europe
Turkey, Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet 91.67 Munich, Mandarin Oriental 90.48 Prague, Four Seasons Hotel 90.18 London, One Aldwych 89.52 Paris, Four Seasons Hotel George V 87.83 Brussels, Conrad Brussels 86.77 Berlin, Ritz-Carlton 86.11 Helsinki, Hotel Kämp 85.87 Budapest, Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace 84.78 Zurich, Baur au Lac 84.52 Dublin, Four Seasons Hotel 83.87 Barcelona, Hotel Arts 83.74 Warsaw, Le Royal Méridien Bristol 83.65 Vienna, Hotel Imperial 83.57 Florence, Westin Excelsior 82.84 Rome, Rome Cavalieri Hilton 82.72 Milan, Four Seasons Hotel 82.14 Lisbon, Four Seasons Hotel Ritz 81.92 Copenhagen, Hotel D'Angleterre 80.95 Stockholm, Grand Hôtel 80.61 Madrid, Westin Palace 80.23 Athens, Hotel Grande Bretagne 80.00 Edinburgh, The Balmoral 79.17 Cologne, Hyatt Regency 76.19 Moscow, Moscow Marriott Royal Aurora Hotel 76.19 Amsterdam, Hotel de l'Europe 75.00 Oslo, Grand Hotel 73.91 Frankfurt, Le Méridien Parkhotel 73.13 St. Petersburg, Grand Hotel Europe 71.77
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Nov 11, 2007 Kevin Roberts Rocco Forte Hotel de Rome, Berlin
What Makes a Truly Great Bar?
I touched down at Narita airport in Japan following a 15-hour odyssey from Milan via Paris. After spending a couple of hours catching up with emails and work stuff in my Tokyo eyrie, the Park Hyatt in Shinjuku, I was invited by the manager to go up to the New York Bar and Grill for dinner. Sitting there on the 52nd floor, listening to a quartet from the U.S. play True Colors and looking at the Tokyo skyline, I started thinking about what makes a great bar. First, let me say that the New York Bar in Tokyo is great. It is one of my favorites. It’s always jammed pack with an interesting range of locals, ex pats, artists (Courtney Love was in town), and it is, of course, where Bill Murray wandered around in Lost in Translation....
...So here’s a selection of my top hotel bars starting with my ol’ time favorite, the Hemingway Bar at the Ritz in Paris. Regular readers will know this one from a previous post. It’s run by Colin Field, one of the world’s top 3 bartenders and led by Christophe, a good rugby man. It’s as good as it gets. It’s a man’s bar but it’s sexy. It has history, legacy and the greatest cocktails in the world with all the aforementioned prerequisites met. I’ve had some huge nights there. The bar officially closes at 3:00am but I’ve been in there with Fitzpatrick, Kirwan, Mexted, Whetton, Kirton and other rugby names until the early hours. ...The bar at the Bulgari in Milan cannot be overlooked. Great Super Tuscans by the glass along with probably the best lot of hors d'oeuvres and freebies I’ve ever seen. By the time dinner comes around it’s almost time to go out (or upstairs to bed). As you’d expect, Rocco Forte knows how to do bars. He does intimacy beautifully at the Amigo in Brussels, at The Lowry in Manchester, at the Villa Kennedy in Frankfurt, at the Hotel de Rome in Berlin and so it goes on. He understands the lighting and music stuff particularly well and always has a great range of wines available.
Nov 11, 2007 iTravel iShop 51 Buckingham Gate London
51 Buckingham Gate, London: Concierge Tips
Shops Beauchamp Place This exclusive area is characterised by its high-class fashion shops and a village street ambience. Nestled in the heart of City of Westminster, home to fine jewellers, boutique and leather goods shops, this historic vicinity is a great place to shop yet a more exclusive experience. Beauchamp Place SW3 Underground: Knightsbridge Jermyn Street and St James’s Jermyn Street has the reputation to be one of the world’s most famous centres for gentlemen’s fashion, especially for tailored suits and bespoke shirts. Traditionally only a men’s haven, now a few shops are also tailoring for women. Great shirt makers, shoemakers, milliners, perfumiers and wineries. Jermyn Street SW1Y Underground: Piccadilly Circus
Destination fashion store for baby and childrens wear from newborn to 10 years old. Coco has a large selection of designer labels such as DKNY, Quicksilver, Peter Rabbit and Chipie. Great for parents who appreciate the importance of style. 27a Devonshire St London, W1G 6PN Phone: 020 7935 3554 www.cocochildrensboutique.com Restaurants Geales With over 65 years of service, Geales is a great place to tuck into one of Britain’s favourite dishes: Fish and Chips. Chips cooked to perfection – fluffy on the inside and crisp on the outside and fish the way it should be; it only gets better with mushy peas on the side. 2 Farmer Street London, W8 7SN Phone: 020 7727 7528 http://geales.com The GuineaGrill This great restaurant within a traditional British Pub serves a three times national champion Steak and Kidney pie, delicious Scottish Beef, hung for 28 days to ensure maximum flavour, quality steaks and grills. The restaurant is a Mayfair institution, opening its doors in 1952, and is the preferred choice for locals and meat lovers. 30 Bruton Place London, W1J 6NL Phone: 020 7409 1728 www.theguinea.co.uk L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon Another restaurant by the famous Joël Robuchon, L’Atelier is one of the hottest restaurant destinations in town. Serving simple yet very high quality French dishes, the modern design enables dinners to watch the chefs prepare the food whilst seating around an open kitchen; the whole set-up it’s a feast to the eyes and palate. 13-15 West Street London, WC2H 9NE Phone: 020 7010 8600 www.robuchon.com Zafferano A superb dining experience, this Michelin star restaurant serves rustic Italian dishes of high excellence. With its warm ambience and Italian family feel it’s the perfect location for a romantic dinner or a family lunch. With lots of good food using fresh ingredients, Zafferano is one of London’s most sought after dining experience. 15 Lowndes Street London, SW1X 9EY www.zafferanorestaurant.com El Pirata One of the most authentic Spanish Tapas bars and restaurants in London, El Pirata offers upbeat dining options with over 50 different tapas to choose from. Friendly and smart, this restaurant is a fantastic place to relax with an informal Mediterranean atmosphere. 5-6 Down Street London, W1 J 7AQ www.elpirata.co.uk Borough Market London’s oldest food market, feeding London for over 250 years. Borough Market is a popular destination on the weekend for those looking for fine homemade food, fresh ingredients and an excellent food experience. 8 Southwark Street London, SE1 1TL www.boroughmarket.org.uk White Cube White Cube is one of the most prominent contemporary art galleries in London. It hosts an international high profile programme of exhibitions with many leading artists such as Franz Ackermann, Miroslaw Balka, Chuck Close and many more. White Cube 25-26 Mason’s Yard London, SW1Y 6BU www.whitecube.com
Nov 11, 2007 DrMaximus Hotel Brufani Palace, Perugia
Hotel Brufani
The hotel with the best view, and also with the highest prices. The only five star lodging option in Perugia, the Brufani is run like some chic Milanese hotel, complete with uniformed doormen and check in counters. At the lobby is also a very well done up cafe, albeit with sky high prices. If you are only staying for a day or two, and don't plan on coming back again, it's worth charring the pocket a bit for the Brufani experience. You will live to never forget the charming sunsets over the Umbrian plains. Then, maybe, you might want to come back again!
Getting here cannot be any easier. Any bus that runs from the Stazione FS to Piazza Italia stops right next door to the hotel. Just ask for "Piazza Italia" when you hop aboard. Two sundays every month, there is a major open air brick-a-brack market that sells strange stuff ranging from pendants carved with your name, to old books and antique clocks. On other sundays there are a few tables where artisans display their wares. Great location.
Nov 11, 2007 Capri Online Hotel Brufani Palace, Perugia
Hotel Brufani Palace
In a unique location within the historical centre of Perugia, the Hotel Brufani Palace, which for over one hundred years has hosted the Gotha of royal families, of politicians, and of high finances, has once again returned to its antique splendour. The halls with their painted ceilings and great stone fireplaces, the rooms and the suites furnished with antiques and precious cloth transmit an immediate sense of warmth, elegance and refinement. From its windows and balconies, one can enjoy a breathtaking view that recalls the softness of a Renaissance painting filled with evocative images of the great valleys of Umbria. History: Giacomo Brufani, originally from Assisi, came from a peasant family, but at an early age he developed a pronounced aptitude for turism. In fact he used to act as an "assistant" to tourists visiting Umbria by stage-coach. He would tie the horses, see to animals' need and then take the people on tours of the various towns. But Mr Brufani decided to offer more qualified hospitality and in 1884 he built the Hotel which was to immortalize his name. All the greatest names of high society and nobility of Europe vied with each other for a room at this hotel, the latest in modernity and luxury. Among the recent most important guests we recall Albert of Monaco and the Queen Mother of England.
The Hotel's recent enlargement has restored the important and large spaces of the time, so appreciated by our illustrious guests who have always chosen Brufani Palace for their stays in Italy. The atmosphere is one of a residence of days gone by, filled with familiarity and refinement: 90 spacious bedrooms and suites beautifully decorated with antiques and every modern comfort. From the guest rooms one may enjoy a panorama of the beautiful Umbrian country-side with views of Assisi and Todi. "Collins", on the terrace in the summer, is an intimate, private restaurant, whose exceptional cuisine boasts typical Umbrian truffle-based dishes and an excellent selection of wines.With their painted ceilings and large fire-places, our salons furnished with prized pieces, boasts wonderful view on the Umbriam valley They are ideal for receptions and banquets up to 200 people The comfortable, intimate, bar is in perfect English style. A terrace café with extraordinary panoramic view suitable also for open air reception is avalaible. For those who wish a reserved venue for high level meetings, there is a choice of different with full modern equipment. The meeting rooms include following equipment: microphones, overhead projector, slide projector, screen, flip chart, videotape VHS. Hotel Brufani Palace - Location The Hotel Brufani is on the top of Perugia's highest hill overlooking the lust green valley below. Guest can enjoy the surroundings cities such as Assisi, Orvieto and Todi and the Golf Club Santa Sabina International Airport: S. Egidio km 15 with flights to Amsterdam, London via Florence; Railway Station: km 2. Highway: from North A1 exit "Val di Chiana"; from South A1 exit "Orte".
Nov 11, 2007 Child of Leisure Claris Hotel Barcelona
Luxury Romantic Getaway: Claris Hotel, Barcelona
At the Claris Hotel (Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Design Hotels), the Sophistication, Luxury and Glamour Package hosts couples in rooms with unique design elements of Hindu, Roman and Egyptian origin mixed with English antique furniture. The hotel’s 124 bedrooms include duplex and suite accommodation and sport WiFi access, beautiful wood floors and LCD TVs with satellite channels. (If you’re interested, they’re also soundproof.) Guests of this centrally located hotel also enjoy free access to the Barcelona Egyptian museum.
The 2-night getaway to Barcelona includes: Accommodations in a double room A bottle of Spanish red wine Daily buffet breakfast Use of a Mercedes Smart car for 1/2 day to enjoy Barcelona (subject to availability) Daily newspaper 2 tickets to the Egyptian Museum with the possibility of a guided tour by an egyptologist (note: don’t be too wowed - as we noted above, museum access is provided to all guests) 2 tickets to the Grand Casino de Barcelona Parking Late check-out Rates start at 205 Euros per person in a double room and does not include 7% VAT. The package is valid until December 28, 2007 and is subject to availability.
Nov 11, 2007 Diana Dey Hotel Lutetia
Hotel Lutetia
I'm in hotel Lutetia. The room is so chic it's falling apart. This place was the headquarters of the Gestapo fifty years ago, and surely it hasn't been refurbished (except for the bathroom) which gives it all a more interesting aura. I don't even want to know what the carpets are covering. That said, it is pure luxe. The food is excellent and the petit dejeuner room looks like a presidential meetings salon, characters taken out of a scott fitgerald novel- I have not yet grasped their dialect. It makes me regret I didn't bring my armani collezione suit for breakfast, to at least in appearance, adequately mingle with the other guests. Instead I'm going around with my comfy pastel yellow tracksuit and my navy pashmina that looks like a pijama next to the parisian cocktail outfits everyone is sporting.
The reason being - it's chilly and I only brought summer clothes, so this is as warm as it gets. This also means I can now shop for proper winter clothes AND shoes. One has to be flexible when the cicumstances oblige. And my cicumstances are- I must head to Le Bon Marche right away. Speak soon D ~sent from my Blackberry~
Nov 11, 2007 Ellen Craig Hotel Majestic Roma
The Hotel Majestic in Rome is also offering a great Christmas package. Located on elegant Via Veneto, this hotel is full of old world charm and all the modern comforts. Service is impeccable here. Christmas package includes: Room upgrade Full American buffet breakfast daily served at La Veranda Restaurant & Terrace Christmas goodies in your guest room on arrival Daily newspaper, complimentary access to fitness center Early check in, late check out.
Contact me for more details, ellencraig@sterlingtvl.com
Nov 11, 2007 Romance Tracker Bauer Hotel
Top 10 Most Romantic Hotels in the World
1. Twin Farms: Bernard, Vermont 2. Mala Mala Game Reserve: South Africa 3. The Inn at Irving Place, New York 4. La Villa Gallici, France 5. The Bauer, Venice 6. Dar Mimosas, Morocco 7. Four Seasons at Jimbaran Bay, Bali 8. La Sirenuse, Italy 9. The Point, Saranac Lake, NY 10. Hotel Ritz, Paris
When it comes to romantic hotels or romantic getaways in general, I’m always stressing here on Romance Tracker that the size of your pocketbook has little to do with whether or not you can put together an unforgettable honeymoon vacation or romantic escape. And truthfully, there are so many romantic hotels in the United States and throughout the world, that you shouldn’t have to be rich to find one that’s within your budget. Admittedly, though, there are lots of romantic hotels in the world that are way outside the price range of myself and most of our readers! Even though we can’t afford to stay at the most romantic hotels in the world, though, doesn’t mean that we can’t still check them out and have fun imagining. Of course, “most romantic hotel in the world” is a subjective categorization, and one person’s romantic hotel is another person’s nightmare vacation. Some of us might prefer a more low-key, inexpensive romantic hotel to the upscale, multi-million-dollar version . . . even if we did have the money to pay for it! Below is a list of what many people in the world consider to be the top ten romantic hotels out there. I compiled the list through research on the Internet, and hope you enjoy it. Check out each romantic hotel website and have fun imagining yourself and your lover living in opulence . . . but remember: what truly makes a hotel romantic is the people who are staying there. If you have a truly romantic relationship, any hotel that you and your sweetheart stay in can be made into the most romantic hotel in the world!
Nov 11, 2007 Fine Water Imports Claridge's
Claridge's To Offer Bottled Water From Around The Globe
One has a sweet taste and is the perfect accompaniment to sushi, another is "distinctively soft" and goes with salads. Another variety is said to be a favourite of the Pope himself. These drinks don't come from a wine list - they are part of a collection of the world's finest bottled mineral water with the most expensive costing the equivalent of £50 a litre. Claridge's is launching a water list next month, with 30 brands from as far afield as the icebergs of Newfoundland, the volcanoes of New Zealand and the Nilgiris Mountains in India. Experts can differentiate between their mineral content and pH balance.
Llanllyr, a Welsh artesian water, has a soft taste from sources under organic fields, while Wattwiller, spring water from France, has a "pleasant hint of sweetness to the palate". Renaud Grégoire, Claridge's food and beverage director, said: "Water is becoming like wine. Every guest has an opinion and asks for a particular brand." The waters have price tags almost on a par with a wine list. One variety, 420 Volcanic, sourced through 200m of volcanic rock, costs £21 for 42cl, which works out at £50 a litre. Berg, iceberg water from Canada, costs an equivalent of £30 a litre, while Mahalo Deep Sea Water, from Hawaii, costs £20 for 71cl, or £28 a litre. The list may be welcome to the hotel's guests but it may anger environmentalists worried by the air miles needed to fly the water to Britain. A spokesman for Thames Water said: "Our water is of the highest standard and it costs less than a 10th of a penny per litre." Claridge's has an answer, however. On the end of its list it offers a glass or jug of "London water," free of charge. A sample of Claridge's Water Menu BRITISH WATER Belu - spring water from Shropshire, England, £5.50 (75cl) Filtered through layers of ancient rock in the remote hills, it has a crisp and pleasant taste and is totally eco-friendly Elsenham – artesian water from Hampshire, England, £12 (75cl) Elsenham artesian spring water is decades old and bottled at source from a deep underground chalk confined aquifer. Due to its depth the water is absolutely pure. Hildon - spring water from Hampshire, England, £5 (75cl) This hard, medium mineral content spring water has a light, neutral, very drinkable taste. Still and gently carbonated. Llanllyr – artesian water from Llanllyr, West Wales, £5 (75cl) Llanllyr is a very soft water which comes from sources beneath certified organic fields in West Wales, sources were first used more than 800 years ago and have been in the same family's hands since 1720. Tau – spring water from the Cambrian Mountains, Wales, £5 (75cl) Tau means silent in Welsh and this is a pleasant, easy to drink spring water from the Welsh mountains, with a low mineral content and an almost neutral pH balance. Speyside Glenlivet – spring water from Ballindalloch, Scotland, £5.50 (75cl) Good water makes good whisky and from the home of whisky comes Speyside Glenlivet, alkaline spring water from Ballindalloch, Scotland. EUROPEAN WATER Badoit - spring water from St. Galmier, France, £6.50 (75cl) Badoit has a substantial amount of minerals but a very light taste. It is sparkling water for people who never choose sparkling, as it has small and very fine bubbles. The high level of bicarbonate is beneficial for digestion. Wattwiller – spring water from Wattwiller, France, £8 (50cl) Wattwiller's source was discovered by the Romans and is today surrounded by a large swathe of protected woodland. It has a high mineral content and offers a pleasant hint of sweetness to the palate making it ideal for drinking with fine foods. Fiuggi - spring water from Fiuggi, Italy, £9 (1 litre) In 1554 Michelangelo spoke about the curative effects of Fiuggi spring water. It has a low mineral content, fairly significant carbonation, an almost neutral pH factor and is said to be very popular at the Vatican. Panna- spring water from Villa Parma, Italy, £6 (75cl) Hard and slightly alkaline, this still water has been recognised for centuries for its quality and distinctive taste by nobles and locals from the Tuscan Apennines. San Pellegrino – spring water from San Pellegrino Terme, Italy, £5.25 (75cl) This water's greatest asset is its very low nitrate level, indicating an unspoiled source and its high mineral content offers a significant source of sulfates and calcium. It has a pleasant light sparkle, which compliments light mediterranean cooking. Solé – spring water from Nuvolento, Italy, £5 (75cl) Bottled at its Lombard source near the Alps, this water has an interesting combination of high bicarbonate and low sodium. Glaciana – glacier water from Osa, Norway, £9 (50cl) Glaciana is glacier spring water from the small village of Osa, at the inland end of the Hardanger Fjord in western Norway. It is remarkably pure with exceptionally low mineral content, perhaps the lowest found in any bottled water in the world. Iskilde - artesian spring water from the Mossø Conservation area in Denmark £9 (1 litre) Iskilde means cold spring' in Danish and was discovered in 2001 in the Mossø conservation area. The exact age of the water isn't known but it is believed that it could date back as far as the last ice age. OGO – spring water from Tilburg, Netherlands, £6 (33cl) OGO spring water from the Netherlands contains no less than 35 times more oxygen than regular water does and has a refreshing and revitalising effect on exhaustion especially after a long flight. Voss – artesian water from Iveland, Norway, £9 (80cl) It comes from the country's south coast – specifically, the remote, thinly populated Iveland area, northeast of Kristiansand. Rock and ice have protected the artesian source for hundreds of years. WATER FROM THE REST OF THE WORLD Finé – artesian water from Shuzenji, Japan, £15 (72cl) Finé is artesian water from Japan. Its bottle is modelled on a traditional sake one and it is a perfect companion to sushi, sashimi and caviar. Finé has low mineral content and a slightly sweet taste due to its pH balance and an amount of silica. Fiji – artesian water from Yaqara Valley, Fiji, £6.50 (1 litre) The remoteness of the island ensures that this exquisite still artesian mineral water is uncontaminated by artificial substances. It has a low mineral content, is high in silica, slightly sweet with an overall smooth sensation on the palate. Waiwera – spring water from Waiwera Resort, New Zealand, £9 (1 litre) Waiwera Mineral Water was first bottled and sold in the 1870's, when people travelled many miles to take the waters' at Waiwera Thermal Resort in New Zealand. Antipodes – artesian water from Otakiri, Whakatane, New Zealand, £9 (1 litre) New Zealand's Rotomo Hills are totally free of industry and very nearly of people, so serve as a pristine source for Antipodes soft, low mineral content, artesian water with a neutral taste. 420 Volcanic - spring water from Tai Tapu, New Zealand, £21 (42cl) Sourced from a spring, the Tai Tapu, at the bottom of an extinct volcano 420 Volcanic bubbles to the surface through 200 metres of age old volcanic rock. Cloud Juice – rainwater from King Island, Australia, £9 (75cl) Cloud Juice is rainwater, bottled at one of the most remote places in the world, King Island, Tasmania. With the Cape Grim Weather station nearby, King Island enjoys the cleanest air in the world and the cleanest rainwater. Berg – iceberg water from Newfoundland, Canada, £15 (50cl) Berg from Newfoundland is pure, fresh iceberg water from one of the cleanest and unspoiled regions of the world. Iceberg water is unique. This water's journey started over 15,000 year's ago in the ancient glaciers of western Greenland. Isolation has made its source totally inaccessible to man. Only when a large piece of ice breaks into the sea, can it be harvested'. Lauquen – artesian water from San Carlos de Barilouche, Argentina, £9 (75cl) Lauquen spring water begins as ice and rain in the remote Andes and travels upwards under its own pressure, emerging in a hollow in San Carlos Barilouche, Patagonia. 10 Thousand BC – glacier water from Hat Mountain Glacier, British Columbia, £15 (75cl) Locked in an icy vault for over 10,000 years, 10 Thousand BC water comes from melted glacier ice, sourced in the pristine Coastal Glacier Range in British Columbia, Canada. Mahalo Deep Sea Water – deep sea water, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, £20 (71cl) From Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, this rare deep sea water, was orignally a freshwater iceberg which melted thousands of year ago and, being of different temperature and salinity to the sea water around it, sank to become a lake at the bottom of the ocean floor. The water has been collected through a 3000ft pipeline off the shores of Hawaii. Just Born Spring Drops – spring water from Nilgris Mountains, India, £21 (1 litre) Bottled at source to maintain its purity and freshness, Just Born Spring Drops is from the Nilgris Mountains in India. It is naturally filtered through the mountain layers and is suitable for all ages, particularly people with sensitive digestions, new born babies, children, pregnant ladies and the elderly.
Nov 11, 2007 Mkanamori Lapa Palace Lisbon
Lapa Palace Hotel
We were in Lisbon for one full week, a welcome break from the stress of the previous months. I had been there only once before as a child with my parents, in April 1974, just a week or so before the "Peaceful Revolution" which overthrew the more than 40 years of repression under the Salazar regime. My memories of Lisbon were therefore dim, partly based on photos, and recalling only monuments to past glory and much dilapidation and poverty.
Exactly 33 years later, Lisbon appears to be a much livelier place, although still somewhat "backward" in comparison to Spain or Italy. Membership in the EU and the euro has brought prosperity and introduced higher living standards to the people, and much construction work is being carried out. The people appear to be quite reserved (unlike their Spanish and Italian counterparts), but are generally service-oriented, and many in the city speak English (thankfully - Portuguese in writing is not difficult to understand with some knowledge of other Romance languages, but the spoken language is almost incomprehensible to untrained ears). As my other had stayed in a very nice hotel on his previous visit (for business), we chose the same hotel, in the embassy district of Lapa to the west of the city, with a lush garden and outdoor (heated) pool. Our room had a balcony facing the garden and with views of the River Tagus (Rio Tejo) and parts of the city (towards the medieval castle ruins). The balcony was a perfect place for having breakfast! We were lucky with the weather - most of the time, it was very sunny, but not hot (20-22 degrees). Not exactly swimming pool weather (just as well, as I was fighting a bad cold for much of the time).
Nov 11, 2007 Alexander Lobrano Rocco Forte Hotel Le Richemond
SEVEN REASONS TO LOVE GENEVA
...The Hotels. British novelist Anita Brookner nailed the special sensibility of Switzerland's lakeside hotels in her novel Hotel du Lac--think British Victorian manners with 19th century French grandeur and a saving dash of Italian style. Geneva has one of the best luxury hotel parks in Europe, and the newest star is Sir Rocco Forte's Le Richemond, a gem of a hotel with stunning views over a quiet garden and the lake. His talented sister Olga Polizzi gave this grand dame a very sexy makeover during the course of two year top-to-bottom renovation, and you've got to love a hotel that suggests slices of fresh white truffle on your eggs in the morning on its room service menu....
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Nov 11, 2007 Diligent Media Corporation Ltd The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow
From Russia, with luxe
It’s no longer the grim and dreary bastion of communism that it was once made out to be. Moscow today is blooming with luxury, with high end stores, restaurants and a whole new high-style culture. In fact, the Russians are now the world’s fourth largest consumers of luxury goods.
At the end of this month, the International Herald Tribune will host its 7th annual luxury conference at the Ritz Carlton in Moscow, with an opening address by well-known fashion commentator Suzy Menkes. The line-up of participants is impressive, with Tom Ford, Donatella Versace, Bernard Arnault, Yves Carcelle, Laurence Graff and others from the fashion and glamour world being invited.
Nov 11, 2007 Sports Features Communications Four Seasons Resort, Whistler
Whistler earns top rankings among magazine readers
Whistler, B.C. - Whistler's record breaking snowfalls, chart topping hotels, number one ski resort ratings and incredible savings on early booking packages are adding up to one of the most anticipated ski seasons in recent memory. In the November 2007 issue of Condé Nast Traveler, Whistler hotels ranked tops among their Canadian counterparts, securing six of the top 15 Canadian resort hotels. In the magazine's feature "Top 100 Reader's Choice Awards - The Best in the World; Top 15 Canada Resorts", the Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre was awarded the coveted No. 1 spot, while the Four Seasons Resort Whistler ranked No. 3, followed closely by Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside at No. 5, Hilton Whistler Resort & Spa at No. 7, the Westin Resort & Spa Whistler at No. 10, and The Fairmont Chateau Whistler at No. 11.
As skiers and snowboarders anxiously gear up for another superlative season on the slopes of Whistler Blackcomb (opening November 22), Whistler remains the reigning ski resort in North America for the eleventh year in a row, upholding its No. 1 ranking on the U.S.-published SKIING Magazine's "Top 25 Resorts in North America" list. Meanwhile, TransWorld SNOWboarding Magazine ranked Whistler Blackcomb the No.1 overall ski resort in North America for a second year in a row, and SKI Magazine's annual "Top 50 Resort Guide" bumped Whistler Blackcomb up one spot to No. 3. "These fantastic resort ratings and hotel rankings are an incredible win for Whistler," said Ian Dunn, Director of Marketing, Tourism Whistler. "Of course we are fortunate to have an amazing annual average snowfall of 33.5 feet, but our thanks is sincerely owed to our visitors and readers of these magazines who continue to recognize the excellence of Whistler Blackcomb and Whistler's hard working hotel and service employees." Last season was Whistler's second snowiest on record with over 14 metres (46.5 feet) of the treasured white stuff gracing the legendary slopes. That followed the previous year's record breaking snowfall in January 2006 of 469 centimetres (185 inches) of snow in one month. Whistler's incredible lineup of Book Early & Save packages will save visitors up to 33 per cent on accommodation and lift tickets when booked before November 15 through whistler.com. Families can save even more with the Kids Stay, Ski & Rent Free promotion, where kids 12 and under can stay, ski and rent equipment for free. All vacation packages include accommodation and lift tickets. More information and bookings are available through 1-800-WHISTLER (1-800-944-7853) or whistler.com. Visitors this year will likely be swept up by the Olympic and Paralympic spirit as Whistler prepares to welcome the world as the Host Mountain Resort for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The construction phase of the Whistler Nordic venue (including cross country skiing and ski jumping) and the Whistler Creekside Alpine skiing course (including downhill and giant slalom) will be complete this year, just in time to host several national and international competitions in January and February. Visitors can earn bragging rights by snapping photos as they are about to descend the men's and women's alpine courses, all with official signs marking the runs to prove it. The Whistler Sliding Centre (bobsleigh, luge and skeleton) will complete its construction phase by January of 2008, followed by venue and track testing this winter. There's more history in the making as Whistler Blackcomb continues with summer and fall construction of the $52 million CDN Peak to Peak Gondola, destined to break records for the longest free span (3.024 kilometres) and highest vertical point (415 metres above Fitzsimmons Creek). After a winter construction hiatus, the Peak to Peak Gondola is set to open as Canada's newest tourism icon in December 2008. Whistler is a year-round leisure and meeting destination located in the Coast Mountains 120 kilometres (75 miles) north of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and is site of the alpine, Nordic, and sliding events for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Whistler has a range of accommodations totalling 3,200 hotel rooms, and more than 5,000 other tourist accommodation units including condos, B&Bs and chalets. Whistler offers a wide selection of restaurants, bars, spas, boutiques, and activities from world-renowned skiing and snowboarding, mountain biking and golf, to hiking, rock climbing, and watersports. Whistler Blackcomb Mountains feature 3,036 hectares (8,171 acres) of terrain and receive an average of 10.22 metres (33.5 feet) of snow annually. The Resort Municipality of Whistler is home to a diverse community of more than 10,000 permanent residents. Tourism Whistler is the member-based marketing and sales organization representing Whistler, operating the TELUS Whistler Conference Centre, the Whistler Golf Club, the Whistler Visitor Centres and tourismwhistler.com, as well as 1-800-WHISTLER and whistler.com - Whistler's official source for visitor bookings and information. As the convention and visitors bureau for the Resort Municipality of Whistler, Tourism Whistler represents more than 7,000 members who own, manage and operate properties or businesses on resort lands including hotels, restaurants, activity operators and retail shops.
Nov 11, 2007 Agents Support Systems Pty Ltd Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
Mandarin Oriental’s award-winning spas
Mandarin Oriental is the recipient of a record number of international awards for spa in 2007. Guided by the Group’s Oriental heritage but influenced by local cultural diversity, Mandarin Oriental has created distinctive concepts with a unique sense of place in every location. This year, the Group has been lauded as ‘Outstanding Spa Brand’ by the respected Luxury Spa Finder, and ‘Best Wellness and Spa Group’ by SpaAsia magazine, with many of the individual hotel spas receiving accolades for excellence. ...At another recent award ceremony, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London was voted the ‘Top Spa of the United Kingdom’ by Luxury Spa Finder and was also nominated as the second best spa in the UK by readers of Conde Nast Traveller.
Mandarin Oriental’s newer spas have also already received recognition, including the spa at Mandarin Oriental, Prague, located in a former 14th century Dominican Monastery, which was nominated as one of Conde Nast Traveler’s ‘Hot Spas’ for 2007. The same accolade was awarded to the stylish Shanghainese-inspired spa located in the recently renovated Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong. The Group continues to set benchmarks for spa innovation, excellence and training. The Oriental Bangkok’s new Ayurvedic Penthouse, the first authentic ayurvedic sanctuary in the city, has been awarded by readers of Conde Nast Traveller, UK, while Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai was named ‘Best Destination Spa’ by readers of SpaAsia and has also received an award for the ‘Best Therapist in Asia’. Mandarin Oriental, Washington’s zen-like spa, where Chinese, Ayurvedic, European, Balinese, and Thai therapies are incorporated in a menu of treatments, and Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo’s vertiginous spa, perched on the 37th floor with views of the surrounding cityscape, have both been singled out internationally with awards from publications such as Luxury SpaFinder and The Mobil Travel Guide. “We are delighted to have been the recipient of so many prestigious awards,” said Andrew Gibson, Mandarin Oriental’s Group Director of Spa. “The Spas at Mandarin Oriental are havens for contemplation and discovery, born out of a sincere understanding and passion for wellness. The Group is committed to delivering all aspects of wellness with integrity and honesty, providing inspiration for lifestyle change, in an environment that delights all the senses.” For a full list of the Group’s recent award listings, please visit www.mandarinoriental.com Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is the award-winning owner and operator of some of the world’s most prestigious hotels and resorts, currently operating 20 luxury hotels with a further 17 under development in Riviera Maya, Mexico (2007), Beijing, Boston and Hainan Island, China (2008), Barcelona, Chicago, Costa Rica, Dallas, Las Vegas, Macau, Marrakech, and Turks and Caicos (2009), Grand Cayman, Guangzhou, Milan, Paris and Taipei (2010). In total, Mandarin Oriental now operates, or has under development over 9,800 rooms in 22 countries with 16 hotels in Asia, 13 in The Americas and eight in Europe and North Africa.
Nov 11, 2007 Time Inc. The Regent Berlin
Berlin Welcomes Liev, Naomi and Family
Liev Schreiber, Naomi Watts and 3-month-old son Alexander have moved into the Regent in Berlin, the same hotel that Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes and daughter.
Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes and Suri (left) are replaced in Berlin by Naomi Watts, Liev Schreiber and son Alexander Suri Cruise captivated Berliners during her four-month stay in Germany. Now, another Hollywood baby has arrived to steal their hearts. Liev Schreiber, Naomi Watts and 3-month-old son Alexander have moved into same Berlin hotel that Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes and daughter Suri checked out of on Friday. Watts is in town to film a thriller called The International. The new visitors braved the chilly autumn weather to take Alexander around the Gendarmenmarkt, Suri's old stomping grounds. Schreiber, 40, and Watts, 39, became first-time parents in July. They recently spent time in Lithuania, where Schreiber was filming his latest movie, Defiance. Berlin will soon welcome another Hollywood star, as Watts's good friend Nicole Kidman is due in town in early December to shoot The Reader.
Oct 10, 2007 Daily Travelling News Park Hyatt Milano
Very important Dog!
Park Hyatt Milan starts the program under name Very Important Dog within the limits of which the hotel offers comfortable conditions of residing not only to the visitors, but also their adored pets. In October Park Hyatt Milan has started the new program for the lodgers’ pets - dogs. For whom it not simply animal, but for others it is a member of family/ So now dogs owners will not worry about destiny of their pet before holiday or the next business trip. Why doesn’t dog also replace conditions and not travel together with the owner?
The program “Very important dog” offers home pets special conditions in room-numbers: - A soft couch; - Design bowls; - The refined forage from Bayer Pet Nutrition, suitable for dogs of any age and containing all useful components; - Mineral water; - A bone; - And also a collar from the British designer Paul Smith for the pedestrian walks with the mistress at Milan boutiques.
Oct 10, 2007 lifeistravel Fonteverde Natural Spa Resort, San Casciano dei Bagni
Best spa-centers of the world
It is not a secret, that presence of the good spa-center essentially lifts a rating of hotel and its popularity among tourists. Rest or the business trip, combined with spa-procedures, becomes twice more pleasant. Recently winners Spa Readers’ Choice Awards 2007- awards of visitors of a site awarded by results of voting Spafinder.com and readers of magazine Luxury SpaFinder Magazine - have been declared. Awards Crystal Awards for the best spa-centers of each continent have been given to: Africa: Four Seasons Resort Sharm el Sheikh (Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt) Asia: Chiva-Som (Hua Hin, Thailand) Australia: Spa Chakra Hayman (the Big Barrier Reef, Australia) The Europe: Fonteverde Natural Spa Resort (San Casciano dei Bagni, Italy) Northern America: Miraval Life in Balance (USA) South America: Kurotel Longevity Center and Spa (Gramado, Brazil)
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Oct 10, 2007 AllreZ Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin
Hotel Adlon Kempinski celebrates its 100th anniversary
2007 is a very special year for Adlon Kempinski (Berlin, Germany) – it’s the year when the hotel celebrates its 100th birthday and ten years since its new opening in 1997. Till October 31 the guests of Hotel Adlon Kempinski will have a chance to witness some festive actions - exhibition “100 Years Hotel History” and three-course jubilee menu in the Restaurant Quarré. The history of the hotel from 1907 until 2007 is presented on the hotel’s Bel Etage. The exhibition is organized by Wilfried Rogasch and presents original menus, curiosities, guest books and other items, which have never been shown to the public earlier. The special menu in hotel’s restaurant includes the favorite dishes of Lorenz Adlon – the first owner of the hotel. Among them are warm crayfish and smoked Rasputin salmon with herb and sour cream timbale and char caviar and others.
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Oct 10, 2007 jetsettersblog Rocco Forte Hotel de Rome, Berlin
Berlin’s Hotel de Rome Anniversary Package
Rocco Forte’s Hotel de Rome in Berlin celebrates its first birthday on Oct. 12, 2007 with two very special birthday packages that reflect the fact that the hotel has been open for 365 days. The first birthday package costs 365 euros per room per night and includes an upgrade to a junior suite that normally costs 750 euros per room per night, buffet breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant, Parioli (until 2 pm on Sundays) and free use of the Spa de Rome. An additional night can be booked for 320 euros. The hotel is also offering a second package in the Bebel Suite. This suite overlooking the Bebelplatz costs 3,650 euros per night, a saving of 1,150 euros. Included in the price is: a limousine transfer from the airport; 24-hour butler service; a five-course dinner with accompanying wines and Krug Champagne; free minibar, DVD and internet usage; breakfast; and a two-hour couples’ spa treatment. An additional night may be booked for 2,000 Euros.
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Oct 10, 2007 Dorie Greenspan Hotel Plaza Athenee Paris
Cedric Bechade's Auberge Basque: An Oasis in the French Basque Country
...Bechade, a ten-year veteran of Alain Ducasse's restaurant in the Plaza Athenee in Paris, is just 30 years old. But, judging from the oasis he has created, accomplished beyond his years.
I'm not sure what the traditionalists in the tiny town of Saint-Pee-sur-Nivelle make of Bechade's newly renovated 17th century farmhouse, and I can't imagine what they think of his modernist takes on the region's classics, but what he is doing is groundbreaking and exquisite and I think it would be judged stellar in any part of the world. That the auberge is in La France Profonde, and that the food is based on a cuisine known for its rusticity, makes it even more exceptional. All of Bechade's ingredients are local and many of his dishes are riffs on Basque classics. I can't do justice to this dish in picture or words, but what you're looking at is a play on piperade, a pepper and egg stew. In Bechade's dish, all of the flavors of the piperade are present, but you find them in different forms: the whole green pepper is filled with a gelee made from piperade juice and the dish's egg is divided - the yolk is in the pepper and the white is whipped into a meringue. Similarly, the corn crepe that wraps around foie gras is a play on the traditional corn pancake of the region, but Bechade's is delicate, where the original is hearty enough to satisfy lumberjacks. I was glad we came to the Auberge after we had eaten several authentically Basque meals because we could pick out the region's star ingredients and heirloom recipes and marvel at their translations. But then, I would have been glad to have Bechade's food at any time and anywhere - context made the dinner richer, but no more memorable. After chatting with the chef and visiting some of the auberge's rooms (each time we saw a room, I'd say, "This is the one I want to stay in, " until I realized that I just plain loved them all; they're all elegant but curl-up cozy), I asked him how much courage it took to leave Paris and the Ducasse Group and set out on his own in the countryside. "Of course, I was nervous," he said, "but I talked to lots of chefs, including many who were older and long established, and they all said the same thing: If you want to start your own business, do it now, before you turn 30; after 30, your path is more set and less easy to change." Bechade took their advice and he - and every visitor to the Auberge Basque - is happier for it. As the French would say, this is a chef to follow. I think you'll be hearing a lot about him.
Oct 10, 2007 travelista Villa San Michele - Florence, Italy
What's the best place to stay in Florence?
The best place to stay in Florence isn't actually in Florence. It's in the hillside town of Fiesole, overlooking Florence. The Villa San Michele is 15-minutes from the Duomo, and has a breathtaking view of the entire valley. It's widely considered one of the best hotels in the region. The hotels regularly shuttles guests back and forth throughout the day.
I stayed there about 3 years ago and absolutely loved it. The exterior of the hotel has supposedly been attributed to Michelangelo. The rooms in the hotel are nice, but be sure to request a room that actually faces the city. We stayed in a Junior Suite and it was very spacious. The bathroom was enormous. The Junior Suites are actually burrowed into the hillside (next to the main hotel), so you have to go outside to your porch to see the view clearly. The only drawback (or major advantage, depending on your view) to the hotel is that the usual touristy stuff isn't within steps of your front door.
Oct 10, 2007 DonPablo St. Regis Grand Hotel Rome
Enjoying Rome
We're currently on vacation in Rome and having a wonderful time. We're staying at the St. Regis Grand Hotel, which is, indeed, in my opinion, one of the most well-run, luxurious hotels in the world. A few years ago, The St. Regis chain (part of Starwood) took the fabled old Grand Hotel of Rome and poured hundreds of millions of dollars into restoring it to its 19th century grandeur. (The project was the subject of an extensive article in Architectural Digest at that time.) Under the skillful and dedicated direction of the hotel's Managing Director, Michele Frignani, the hotel's staff has been providing us daily with friendly, efficient service that rivals, if not exceeds, the service that we have received in any of the other fine hotels that we have stayed in around the world over the years.
Located in a very convenient central location, the hotel is constantly kept in wonderful condition, complete with antique furniture and rooms that combine the charm of years gone by with all the modern electronic conveniences that one would expect from a hotel associated with the St. Regis organization. The hotel's small, but very luxurious and beautifully-decorated, restaurant, Vivendo, has been ranked number 1 in food in Rome for 2007 by Zagat. In summary, forget the Hassler or any other hotel you may have stayed in, in the past. I would strongly suggest staying at the St. Regis Grand the next time you're planning to be in Rome!
Oct 10, 2007 Esthr Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow
the pool at the Park Hyatt Ararat
opens at 5 am.... but for once I wasn't there at the opening... Fortunately I know Moscow well - because I missed the city entirely on this trip. I arrived at the hotel Monday at midnight and stayed inside its walls until leaving at 6.30 pm on Wednesday. nice pool in compensation, at least!
Oct 10, 2007 pipay89 Hotel Baur au Lac
hotel guests can venture into club diagonal bar zurich
Club Diagonal Bar Zurich is strictly a members-only club which also happens to permit guests of the Hotel Baur au Lac to enter too while they are staying there. This is because Club Diagonal is the hotel bar of luxury-class Hotel Baur au Lac, so hotel guests get special privileges that ordinary Zurich citizens don't.
Hotel Baur au Lac is a very old family-owned hotel (one of the oldest in Zurich actually) so it does carry a certain prestige in the community – and that prestige rubs off on Club Diagonal as well. For an upscale clubbing experience, Club Diagonal offers that and more (to the right people that is.)
Oct 10, 2007 Lavrentyeva Natalya Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow
Hotel Rooms Design by British Royalties
The deluxe Moscow hotel Baltschug Kempinski, marking its 15th jubilee, is widely known for its perfect service and attention to details. However, amongst the main hotel’s prides are suites designed by British Royalties – Princess Michael of Kent and Viscount, Lord Linley, with interior combining the traditional English elegance and Russian luxury.
The interior of the suite called “Princess” was developed according to a project by Princess Michael of Kent, spouse of the Queen Elizabeth II cousin. 180 metres of Royal luxury are an embodiment of respectability and style. The light beige, sienna, and ivory tones are prevailing in the colour gamma of the suite. The diffused light enspheres the soft cosy sofas with the noble upholstery and a multiplicity of pillows. The floors are covered with woollen carpets giving the room an impression of dignity and wealth. The elegant polished furniture, luxury and traditionally heavy English textile on the tables, and the drapes with floral pattern combine the inimitable cosiness of the English home and comfort of a modern hotel. “The interior of a room in Baltschug Kempinski became my first order after many years of a professional break. That is why I tried to suggest the most interesting solution that at the same time would fit in with the general concept of the hotel’s elegant classics”, as the Princess says about the suite. The “Princess” suite consists of three rooms: two bedrooms and a living room between them. The spacious area of the living room is divided into three zones with the help of furniture: sofas group for guests is situated in the centre of the room near the study and the dining zones. While the suite by Princess Michael is a combination of the common for women love for splendour and traditional English floral ornament, the suite designed by Viscount Linley (and therefore called “Linley”) can be characterized as an aristocratic living room facing the Kremlin. The authorial luxury suite’s interior by the famous English designer – son of Princess Margaret and the Queen’s nephew - Lord Linley, embodies the image of the classic English living room and detailed cosiness. The design also perfectly reflects the creative approach of Viscount Linley uniting the modern interior with traditional tendencies and offering customers something classic and luxury but with all attributes of modernity at the same time. The living room and the bedroom are united by the main light beige-brown gamma. The soft lines of the furniture and draperies, stylish and comfortable sofas and arm-chairs invite leisured rest. The combination of the crystalline chandeliers and a great number of lamps make it possible to regulate the lighting according to the guest’s mood. The bathroom is done in the traditional English style, including separate taps for cold and hot water.
Oct 10, 2007 motelfan Hotel du Louvre
Hotel du Louvre,Paris
The Hotel du Louvre stylish and boutique hotel stands at the heart of Paris culture and arts. Each one of the Hotel du Louvre's four facades looks out at a famous Parisian landmark - the Louvre Museum, the Opera Garnier, the Comédie Française and the Place du Palais Royal. This area is rich in history and the hotel's Second Empire architecture is mirrored by the surrounding buildings in this special quarter of Paris. This stylish hotel maintains a high standard of service and offers a wide range of facilities for those travelling on business or leisure, in groups or individually.
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Oct 10, 2007 camdiary Kempinski Hotel Bahia Estepona
Anyone for a Swim?
Swimming pool of the Kempinski Hotel in Bahia Estepona.
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Oct 10, 2007 Steve McKenna Lapa Palace Lisbon
In the Lapa luxury
Steve McKenna is left shaken and stirred by Lisbon's many charms. LIKE just about every man on the planet, I've always harboured a desire to play James Bond for a day. Glamorous girls, super-fast cars, outrageous stunts and the ability to look suave while ordering a martini are things we can only fantasise about.
Today, though, it feels like I'm a touch nearer to living the dream. The hotel I'm checking into - the plush five-star Lapa Palace - is nestled in one of Lisbon's classiest districts and is exactly the kind of spot Bond would be sent for one of his undercover missions. My fellow (immaculately dressed) guests seem a friendly bunch, but I'm in no doubt that, lurking among them, is at least one megalomaniac with a cunning plan for world domination and a fleet of henchmen in reserve. (At this point, I tuck into my book and discover that George Bush, Sir Paul McCartney, Bono, Sting, Cher and Tina Turner are among those to have stayed at the prestigious Lapa.) Somehow I feel a bit out of place in my casual shirt and knee-length shorts - until I recall that a young Sean Connery carried this look off with aplomb in Thunderball. Still, I can't help thinking how much cooler it would have been had I arrived in a tuxedo with a Walther PPK tucked neatly inside my jacket pocket. Nevertheless, I'm welcomed by an affable young receptionist, who insists on calling me Meester McKenna and possesses the ideal qualities of a 007 character: smooth, foreign and full of polite conversation in fluent English. My room is large and decked out with a huge amount of wardrobe space, while the bathroom is adorned with marble and intricately decorated tiles, the azulejos that characterise so much Portuguese architecture. The balcony overlooks not just a Babylon-inspired garden with ornamental fountains, pools and streams, but, a little further back, Lisbon's Tagus River. You could be fooled for thinking you're in San Francisco when you see the giant red bridge that spans it, as the Ponte 25 de Abril was built by the same company that constructed the Golden Gate 31 years earlier. George Lazenby's 007 drove across it in the 1969 Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service, with his new wife Tracy, played by Diana Rigg. She ended up dead in his arms soon after, thanks to a wayward shot by Irma Bunt, Blofeld's henchwoman. I don't have a wife but I do have a date for tonight. She's a friend of a friend who's pledged to show me some of Lisbon's night-life.
Oct 10, 2007 Evening Standard Rocco Forte Brown's Hotel, London
The Visit London Awards 2007
From sightseeing to dining out, the Visit London Awards 2007 sponsored by Eurostar, showcase the best that London has to offer to visitors and residents alike. We are giving you the opportunity to vote in two awards, Best Night Out for Londoners sponsored by Superbreak and Best Shopping Experience sponsored by Global Refund. You could win a luxury stay at Brown's Hotel in Mayfair or one of 10 VIP tickets to see Tutankhamun.
The Evening Standard Best Night Out for Londonders sponsored by Superbreak From a night at a show to a glass of wine by the river with friends there are so many ways to have a night of fun in London. Tell us about your favourite way to spend a night out in London, whether it be a bar, nightclub, theatre or show. London prepares to welcome the treasures of the world's most famous pharaoh. Tutankhamun's tomb was discovered in Egypt in 1922. In 1972, 1.7 million guests visited the London Tutankhamun exhibition. Now, after more than 30 years, Tutankhamun's riches return to London one last time. You could win one of 10 VIP tickets. The Evening Standard Best Shopping Experience sponsored by Global Refund What gets you going when it comes to a spot of retail therapy? Chatting with suppliers in a local farmers market, stalking out the latest designer pieces in a big name store, trawling round one of London's many villages or a day of high street heaven? Situated in the heart of Mayfair and having recently completed a £24-million refurbishment, Rocco Forte Brown's Hotel offers not only legendary service but also 117 luxurious rooms and suites, mouth-watering restaurants, a buzzing bar and relaxing spa. This outstanding hotel is delighted to offer one lucky winner a weekend night stay in a Deluxe Suite, including full English breakfast in The Grill restaurant and a relaxing foot massage, to ease weary feet, in The Spa. This prize is valid for Friday, Saturday and Sunday night, subject to availability.
Oct 10, 2007 Sanblue Enterprises Pvt. Ltd. Hotel Beau Rivage Geneve
Switzerland : Timepieces at Sotheby's at traditional autumn watch sale
Around 160 timepieces are offered at auction by Sotheby's in Geneva at the traditional autumn watch sale taking place on Tuesday November 13, 2007 at 10.30am. Among the lots going under the hammer are a wonderful selection of vintage and modern watches by famous makers such as Patek Philippe and Rolex, together with a private collection of fine and rare pocket watches from an estate, including signed pieces by Ilbery and Piguet & Meylan. All the lots will be shown at a pre-sale exhibition to be held in the reception rooms of the Beau-Rivage Hotel in Geneva from Saturday 10 to Monday 12 November 2007.
Patek Philippe: The top lot of the sale is a fine and rare platinum automatic perpetual calendar minute repeating wristwatch Patek Philippe, ref.5013P estimated at CHF 470,000-600,000 ($400,000-500,000). Among the others timepieces signed by Patek Philippe, we have two superb gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatches with moon-phases, one created circa 1945 (Ref. 1518) and the other circa 1965 (Ref. 2499). Both carry estimates of CHF 300,000-400,000 ($250,000-350,000). Yet another highlight is a Patek Philippe automatic wristwatch in white gold with perpetual calendar and moon-phases, dated circa 1970, Ref. 3448G (estimate: CHF 250,000-350,000 / $200,000-300,000). Rolex: Among the Rolex watches for sale in the auction, we have a stainless steel triple calendar chronograph wristwatch with registers, Ref. 6236. This datesfrom circa 1958 and is estimated at CHF 150,000-250,000 ($125,000-215,000). We also have an exceptional gold Rolex “Paul Newman” Daytona wristwatch in excellent condition which will be offered at CHF 65,000-85,000 ($45,000-60,000).
Oct 10, 2007 Ectapaneri.com Hotel Baur au Lac
Baur au Lac in Zurich
Mark Grand velas hotel has been named Hotel Manager at the Water Club at Borgata in Atlantic City. By Daniel Brown Hank Aaron barely touched a glove over his final two seasons. He had previously served as Director of Food and Beverage at the Baur au Lac in Zurich and as Food and Beverage Manager at the St. Gibson held the position of Director of Business Development for the British Colonial Hilton Nassau. She was most recently at the Sofitel Los Angeles and previously served as Director of Catering and Events at the Standard Downtown LA. He has previously served as Director of Rooms at the Four Seasons Cairo at First Residence and Hotel Manager at the Four Seasons Riyadh.
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Oct 10, 2007 pipay67 Hotel de Crillon
bar du crillon bar paris is elegant parisian hotel bar
You may be pleased to know that Bar du Crillon Bar in Paris was designed by a sculptor named Cesar back in 1907 and that Soniel Rykeil was recently tasked to redecorate it. Bar du Crillon Bar promises elegance which is mandatory since it is housed within the Parisian landmark Hotel du Crillon.
Bar du Crillon is basically a hotel bar so if you fancy a taste of the food and drinks menu you should be dressed to the nines since there is a strictly-observed dress code. Still, the champagne alone may be worth a visit even by confirmed homebodies.
Oct 10, 2007 globorati Rocco Forte Hotel de Rome, Berlin
Cheers to Charles!
As the last of the steins clink for Oktoberfest, Sir Rocco Forte is poised to inject Munich with a reviving shot of elegance. Tomorrow, the ambitious hotelier introduces his third German property — following Berlin’s Hotel de Rome and Frankfurt’s Villa Kennedy last year — and right on the heels of his new Geneva outpost. Named after legendary hotel magnate Lord Charles Forte –- Rocco’s late father — the $87 million Charles Hotel is a custom-built, eight-story gem in the heart of the Bavarian city.
Blinged out with original Franz von Lenbach paintings, every guestroom looks onto botanical gardens; while the 5,000-square-foot presidential suite offers a massive terrace from which you can even view the Alps. When Munich’s annual beer fest (which, by the way, isn’t actually called Oktoberfest), finally shuts down the taps Sunday, exhausted revelers can begin recovery at the Charles’ spa, sobering up in the steam room, sauna and 50-foot swimming pool –- and not a moment too soon.
Oct 10, 2007 Tomdart07 Wickaninnish Inn, Tofino
Wow...awesome...cool...terrific...RELAXING!!
We've spent the last two days in the lap of luxury here at the Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino...truly a five-star resort perched on the rocks over the Pacific Ocean. To say that this place delivers great service in an unforgettable setting is too much like an advertisement. To give you an idea of the impression it left on us, we immediately extended the vist an additional day! As a result we needed to swap rooms...here are some views off the balcony of each...
Oh...and how about this for a living environment? Tofino is a very eclectic place - torn between people that obviously have more money than they can use and the surfer set. Yea, surfers...turns out that this is a world-known surfing "hot" spot. The place is filthy with bicycle-riding, sufboard carrying, frogmen...head to toe wetsuits are de rigeur for this crowd and there are obviously low rent places coexisting with the haunts of the super-rich. The fact that it is limited in space and service, and you need to invest at least two hours on the ONLY road in or out (in true Canadian form, just marginally acceptable by our standards). The beach is great with consistent 4-6 foot rollers crashing over the rocks immediately in front of the hotel. There is a long, sandy stretch of flat beach to investigate and we spent most of yesterday morning doing so (before the rains began in earnest). In all, we've done several miles of beach walking, a lot of quiet relaxation and some fabulous dining. The rooms have a nice gas fireplace and oversized arm chairs...drying out after the rain was pretty easy. Well - obviously I can't say enough about the place...if you get the chance, EVER, come here! Today we are back to the civilized side of the island to Victoria.
Oct 10, 2007 Derek Blasberg Ritz Paris
ritz refurb
Fans of gilded candelabras, chintz-covered sofas, and marble fireplaces received a shock Tuesday: Although no official announcement has been made, the rumors that Paris' Ritz hotel will be closing for renovations, which have been circulating for several seasons, have come to a head. Apparently the Kaiser himself, Karl Lagerfeld (whose muse Amanda Harlech keeps an apartment in the luxe Place Vendôme property), was overheard asking his staff where they will be staying when the place shuts its doors for a reputed two years. A chat with the concierge at the hotel didn't prove too helpful: "We've been hearing these rumors for the past five years," one of the hotel clerks said. "We'll probably be the last ones to know."
Pressed a little further, she added, "I can tell you that we've heard them more lately, and from people who would know." We also learned that the refurb will take place in two stages, so rooms will be available throughout the renovation period. Guests will, however, have to put up with the inconvenience of construction. Details are scarce, but it might be a good idea for the swanky editors, celebrities, and publicists who stay here during the collections to start thinking of other options. And booking early—without the Ritz's 106 rooms, 56 suites, and 11 prestige suites, not to mention its bars and restaurants, there will no doubt be an accommodations scurry for the Fall 2008 collections.
Oct 10, 2007 Catherine Jones, Liverpool Echo The Dorchester Hotel London
Why Phil is tops, even in cyberspace!
THE Liverpool Philharmonic and conductor Vasily Petrenko are celebrating wins in Britain’s classical music “Oscars” announced today. Russian conductor Petrenko is named Young Artist of the Year by the judges of Gramophone Awards. And the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra wins the innovation title in the top annual awards, for a special cyberspace concert, revealed at a prestigious lunch at London's Dorchester hotel.
Petrenko said today he was honoured by the accolade, which comes 12 months after he took over as the RLPO’s principal conductor. The 31-year-old was nominated for his acclaimed recording of Shostakovich’s The Gamblers. He said: “I’m honoured to accept this award and thank my colleagues in the RLPO and the artists from European Opera Centre, with whom this recording was made. “I hope the recording conveys something of the special atmosphere evident during our performance together in Liverpool.” The Phil’s innovation award, presented by Classic FM, comes for its foray into the virtual world on the cult website Second Life which has nine million “inhabitants”. Last month more than 1,000 people signed up for 120 places at a virtual internet performance of the RLPO’s opening concert. The whole event included sitting in a virtual Philharmonic concert hall and even a chance for a drink afterwards in the venue’s virtual bar. Many more watched on a Second Life cable TV network. Classical music presenter and former editor of Gramophone magazine James Jolly, who oversaw voting for the awards, said: “Great things are happening up in Liverpool. “We saw a lot of educational projects but the reason we went for Second Life was it’s so cutting edge and imaginative.” Classic FM managing director Darren Henley said: “In the past few years, we've witnessed a enormous resurgance in the Liverpool Phil, both artistically and as an organisation.” Royal Liverpool Philharmonic chief executive Mick Elliott said: “This recognition by the UK's classical music industry is fantastic, and not just for the Phil. It's an achievement Liverpool and the city region can also proud. “Our orchestra and our talismanic young maestro are making a dynamic contribution to our cultural life that’s now beginning to recognised nationally and internationally. “It's great news for 2008.”
Oct 10, 2007 Victoria BC Canada Guide The Fairmont Empress, Victoria
Fairmont Empress Hotel Victoria BC
The stunning Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria BC reigns regally over Victoria's Inner Harbor and is a favorite lodging spot in our fair city.
Turn-of-the-century architecture, grandeur and elegance mark this distinctive lodging facility, which is fully equipped for today's travelers, whoever they might be. One of the attractions of this grand hotel is its history. It's been one of the premier hotels in Victoria for nearly a century. Built in the Edwardian style, the Fairmont Empress Hotel Victoria BC has 477 rooms. They offer all of the usual amenities and then some. Some reviews report tired or worn decor, but if you do your homework and request that ocean view, you should be fine. One of their most popular attractions is their afternoon tea... they serve 130,000 people annually! Over the decades, the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria BC has played host to many dignitaries, famous actors and actresses, politicians and even a few ghosts. For more information, you may want to view and print their handy fact sheet. In short, if you wish to stay in luxury lodgings rich in history, close to all of the Victoria attractions, and beautiful to behold, you could do worse than book your stay at the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria BC!
Oct 10, 2007 Reed Business Information Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
Acorn winner takes top job at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
Sarah Coy, a Caterer Acorn winner, has been promoted to the role of director of food and beverage at London’s prestigious Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park. Coy, 31, picked up an Acorn award for excellence in 2003 when assistant banqueting manager at London’s Dorchester hotel.
Coy joined Mandarin as director of events in 2006 and succeeds David Nicholls who has taken on the role of global director of food and beverage at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. In her new role Coy will be responsible for the hotel’s food and beverage strategy, overseeing Foliage and The Park restaurants, the Mandarin bar, six function rooms including the ballroom and room service. Christoph Mares, general manager of the Mandarin, said: “In just over a year, Sarah has made a significant impact on our events business, building on the hotel’s reputation as one of London’s finest luxury venues.”
Oct 10, 2007 divinacucina Villa San Michele - Florence, Italy
Stefano Conti of Tuscany Flavours
The first white truffle of the season. 3,500 Euro a kilo. This "rock" is for Villa San Michele Hotel See source link
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Oct 10, 2007 The Informed Traveler The Westin Europa & Regina
End of Summer Sale at the Westin Europa and Regina, Venice
How about a free night on the Grand Canal in Venice? In the sumptuous surroundings of a magnificently restored historic building just steps from Piazza San Marco? With the End of Summer Sale at the Westin Europa & Regina, your third night is free when you book a three night stay between now and December 28, 2007. Plus, you can arrive any day of the week. Housed in five buildings which date from the 17th to 19th centuries, the award-winning hotel offers the perfect combination of traditional beauty and contemporary conveniences– like the signature Heavenly Bed and Westin WORKOUT room. (Rates start from EUR 330 per night. Book online before October 31, 2007. Promotion code is Z3R.)
PS. Get a bird’s eye view of this magical city with a helicopter tour arranged by the hotel.
Oct 10, 2007 Jetsettersblog The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow
The Ritz-Carlton Moscow Opens
The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow will open July 1, 2007, at Tverskaya 3, a historic hospitality address for centuries. The $350 million, 334-room hotel features an imperial Russian façade and chic, elegant interior with unique contemporary accents. This will be the first property in Russia for Ritz-Carlton and its seventh location in Europe. “Having such an impressive presence in Moscow is part of our ongoing strategy to develop world class hotels in cities where the economy is growing and the demand for luxury lodging is high,” said Simon Cooper, president and chief operating officer of Ritz-Carlton.
The place now occupied by The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow was an 18th century tavern for travelers seeking lodging. Decades later it became known as the hotel “Paris,” a popular gathering spot for Russian writers and poets to share their creative thoughts. In 1970, the Hotel “Intourist” took its place as a lodging landmark before eventually being demolished to make way for the architectural firm of Mosproject and designer Peter Silling’s vision for The Ritz-Carlton. Tverskaya Street has long been known as a progressive section of Moscow, with the first gas street lamps and first horse-drawn railway debuting there in 1860. Featuring the most spacious guestrooms in Moscow, The Ritz-Carlton fuses elements of classic design with surprisingly contemporary features. The O2 Lounge on the12th floor features a dramatic glass dome, a polished black tile floor, red velvet cocoon chairs and white leather furnishings, plus the sound of dance music spun by a disc jockey. In addition to spectacular views of Red Square, the O2 Lounge will showcase celebrity chef Seiji Kusano, known for his sushi creations, including a gourmet roll prepared with Beluga caviar and blue fin tuna, garnished with gold leaf. Jeroboam, overseen by Germany’s three-star Michelin chef Heinz Winkler, is accented by a glass dome with Italian marble and Venetian influences. Paintings of Baden-Baden in Germany and Combray in Northern Francewere created by noted European artist Junior Toscanelli. Wine aficionados will enjoy Petrus, an intimate wine room available for small groups to select from more than 800 rare and vintage bottles collected from the finest vineyards in the world. Guests can enjoy the library-like atmosphere of The Lobby Lounge, where they can consult the “vodka sommelier,” who can not only explain the differences and nuances of some 400 types of the Russian drinks, but can also suggest the best ways to combine drinking vodka while savoring another native specialty, caviar. Visitors selecting accommodations on The Ritz-Carlton Club, accessible only by elevator key, can enjoy spectacular views of Red Square from the lounge area. An outdoor terrace overlooks the iconic landmarks and a multi-lingual concierge is available to assist guests with any request during their stay. Meetings at the Ritz-Carlton, Moscow can be held in a variety of settings from the largest ballroom in the city, accommodating up to 700, to smaller venues including breakout rooms, pre-function space, and a small board room. The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow also features a 21,520-square-foot spa by ESPA, a heated indoor swimming pool, and complete work out area equipped with the latest machines for daily exercise. The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow will offer a Summer Special through the month of August, with room rates ranging from $385 plus 18 percent Value Added Tax. The nearly 50 per cent reduction from published rack rates is subject to some restrictions and availability.
Oct 10, 2007 Ceridwen Ritz Paris
Drinking at the Ritz, Paris
Well… it’s a little bit different than the title suggests Today we saw a documentary about Robert Capa, the famous war-photographer. He was quite the extraordinary man, very very interesting. During one part of the docu they talked about how he met actress Ingrid Bergman at the Ritz, Paris and fell in love with her. At that point our teacher said “When we are in Paris in November, we will have a drink at the Ritz", to which I answered “I’ll keep you to that". Another student added “And it will be at your cost". Our teachers answer: “Hm, well for this small class I might even do that.”
So, it’s the Ritz then!
Oct 10, 2007 Lauren Price Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Mediterranee
Three spa havens to satisfy clients at all price points
THE GIVENCHY SPA is simply icing on the cake of the 412-room Hotel Martinez La Croisette in Cannes that is also home to the wildly popular La Palme d'Or, which has maintained two Michelin stars consistently since 1991. A legendary palace hotel since 1929, the property is more than suitable for families as well as those seeking prestigious getaways.
On the seventh floor, the spa offers eight treatment rooms, including a hydrotherapy room with a water bed. Swedish massages are the most requested, and the Canyon Love Stone Therapy massage is tops, particularly if it's booked with masseuse Vivianne. A fitness center and full-service hair salon are also part of the spa complex. Definitely book treatments ahead, particularly in peak periods such as July and August and during the Cannes Film Festival in May. Spa weekend packages are available through the end of the year. Priced for two, they include accommodations, buffet breakfasts, one massage treatment each (one of the packages includes lunch with drinks). The hotel offers Sea View suites and Prestige Sea View rooms, and their 10,750-square-foot, four-bedroom Penthouse Suite is the largest (and probably priciest) suite in Europe. It features multiple living and dining rooms, kitchens, saunas, hammams and giant plasma flat-screen TVs virtually everywhere. Its terraces boast 5,000 square feet of enjoyable space, replete with Jacuzzis and big comfy chaises. As expected, this suite come with the services of a butler, 24/7. Other accommodations with terraces include 11 Junior Suites and the two-bedroom Oliviers Suite. Rates range from 279 euros (about $383) to 32,000 euros (about $41,000)...
Oct 10, 2007 vancouvergreenbusinessjournal The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Green Travel
Green travel is a hot topic these days. There has been a lot of talk of late about the sustainability of air travel vis-a-vis its carbon footprint. One question I haven’t heard mentioned is what about the sustainability and carbon footprint of lodging while on vacation or away on business? For a moment, think about the amount of water and energy are consumed at a major downtown hotel. From laundry to lighting to food service to shuttle buses - hotels operate like mini-cities. While perusing Groovy Green http://groovygreen.com I came across an article on green hotels.
Green hotels are environmentally-friendly properties whose management institute programs that save water, save energy and reduce solid waste. In a non-green hotel, the amount of chemicals used each day for laundry, dry cleaning, carpet and floor cleaning, HVAC maintenance and just about every facet of housekeeping is staggering. An extensive, but hardly comprehensive, list of green hotels can be found at http://www.greenhotels.com Not on the list, but should be, is the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. The venerable old lady is a leader when it comes to environmental initiatives. Their Green Partnership Program focuses on improvements in waste reduction and recycling, hazardous waste management, energy efficiency, water conservation, and green purchasing. More than 80% of their garbage is recycled or re-used including their wet kitchen waste, batteries, fluorescent lamps, paper and cardboard. Their recycled organic waste (just think how much organic waste comes from their kitchens daily), which is turned into potting soil, is used by their landscaping contractor in the hotel’s flowerbeds. With the 2010 Winter Olympics coming, more and more local hotels will be greening their operations in order to fit in with the sustainability guidelines of VANOC and the IOC.
Oct 10, 2007 Carolyn Claris Hotel Barcelona
Day One - Barcelona
Kenny and I arrived in Barcelona on Thursday Aug 23 at 11:00 a.m. We had reservations at the Hotel Claris, on the corner of Carrer de Pau Claris and Carrer de Valencia. It was beautiful. It was once the Vedruna Palace and was renovated into a hotel. It is in the Eixample district bordering on the Gothic Quarter. Our room was not ready so we had a bite to eat at the terrace bar and restaurant on the roof of the hotel. It was a beautiful warm summer day with a cool breeze. Kenny had been to Barcelona before. Actually of the 14 ports of call, Kenny had been to 12, so he served as my tour guide.
We wandered around Barri Gotic or the Gothic quarter which is “old town” Barcelona. The legendary artist Picasso worked there and artist Joan Miro was born and lived there in his youth. I was amazed at the age of all the buildings in European countries. I enjoyed looking at the architecture and feeling the history that surrounded me. We made our way to Las Ramblas, a street in the center of the city with a divide down the middle which was a walkway with all kinds of stalls, restaurants, bars, and street performers. It was busy till the early hours of the morning. A few hours had passed and we made our way back to the hotel but our room was still not ready, so we sat and waited in the lobby. Kenny was cranky, he didn't sleep on the plane. I had taken an Ambien and slept well, but was still pretty tired and was ready for a shower. After about 45 minutes of waiting, our room was finally ready. My favorite thing about Barcelona is the siesta. Every afternoon they close shop and go home to eat and nap. I slept from 4 til 8 and was ready to paint the town red. Well, not really but I wanted to see what the night life was like. Kenny has an internal compass. He always knows where he is and how to get to where he needs to be. This was a great benefit for me since I have no idea where I am most of the time. We had some tapas (Spanish appetizers) not far from the hotel. Then we wandered around. We planned on having dinner at Castro, an eclectic gay-owned and operated restaurant with great food. Basically it had a gourmet menu but the décor was a little motorcycle gang. http://www.castrorestaurant.com/ Before dinner, we found a nice local bar, which Kenny’s guide of Barcelona stated was a nice bar to have a drink in then move on. The bartenders were very nice and helped us find a number of area nightclubs and bars. They also gave a map. While we were there we ran into a guy named Doug who we could tell was American and turned out to be on the same cruise. We had an incredible meal at Castro. Most of the people who surrounded us were tourists, many being American and we later noticed they were also passengers on our cruise. Bartenders from the night clubs in Barcelona go to the local restaurants and pass out flyers to drum up business. One of them came into Castro and was going from table to table. He was quite handsome and fit. He was passing flyers for El Cangrejo, the crab. When he came up to our table he started speaking to us in Spanish. At all the other tables he had spoken English. He finally realized we didn’t speak Spanish and smiled, saying, “Oh sorry, you look like locals”. I found it very flattering that we didn’t look like American tourists. After dinner, we made our way over to El Cangrejo and had a good time. The bartender was very nice and seemed interested in hearing about our lives and travel plans. As it got later, the bar got busier, and since Kenny had not taken a nap earlier, we made it back to the hotel relatively early. Not bad for day one! Photos to follow...
Oct 10, 2007 Ellen Tordesillas Luna Hotel Baglioni
Mike Arroyo’s Trip to Europe
While Jose de Venecia III, son of House Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr., was telling the Senate and the Filipino nation that one day last March, in a function room in the Wack-Wack Golf clubhouse, that Mike Arroyo pointed a finger at him and ordered him to “back off” from the National Broadband project, Gloria Arroyo’s husband was enroute to Venice, Italy...
...Our source said Arroyo’s party is billeted at Luna Hotel Baglioni in Sestiere di San Marco. They will be brought there by boat. An internet search showed that the Luna Hotel Baglioni, is one of the most elegant and luxurious hotels in Venice. It is said to be the oldest hotel in Venice. The Knights Templars are known to have stayed in a building on the Luna’s site in 1118 during the Crusades....
Oct 10, 2007 flickr Wickaninnish Inn, Tofino
The "Wicked" Burger
The “Wicked” Bison & Tiroler Bacon Burger David Wood’s Truffle Goat Cheese House Made Mustard, Ketchup, Bread & Butter Pickles Pomme Frites @ The Pointe Restaurant in Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino, British Columbia, Canada
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Sep 09, 2007 MyndFood Le Meurice Paris
Giraffes on Horseback Salads
I was reading this evening, and came across a news story online that outlined some of the strangest requests received by hotel concierges. By far the strangest request ever received was by the concierge at Le Meurice, a famous, very exclusive, hotel in Paris. Salvador Dali, famed surreal artist, was a regular guest at Le Meurice; in fact, he stayed at the hotel, on average, about one month each year. His regular companions? His two tamed ocelots!
Dali made a number of odd requests of the Meurice hotel staff: for the staff to go out to the garden and capture flies for him; he requested the concierge find him a horse; and most bizarre-he requested a flock of sheep be brought to his room, so that he could shoot them with his pistol (loaded with blanks, of course). I read that, and, I have to admit, my curiosity was piqued. So I dug around a bit on the net, researched Dali a bit, and found that he was not only a painter; he also wrote! I was, understandably, excited! Apparently, in the 1930's, Dali met the Marx brothers, befriended them, and wrote a script for a Marx Brothers movie. MGM Studios (the Marx Brothers had an exclusive contract with MGM) declined to make the movie, citing it as being "too surreal"; hard to believe coming from Dali! So, I poked around a bit more, and found excerpts from the script. Go, read it; and I'll leave you with a few of the more notable excerpts here. Can you, honestly, blame MGM? From "Giraffes on Horseback Salads", by Salvador Dali: While love tears at Jimmy's heart, Groucho tries to crack a nut on the bald head of the dwarf in front of him... Although the guests show surprise, they try for a time to continue their meal, which is, however, brought to an end by showers of rain. In a panic, the guests rush in all directions, while from the hall a torrent of waters washes in, bringing with it all sorts of debris, including a drowned ox. A shepherd makes a desperate effort to collect his flock of sheep, which climb up on the sofas and the bed in an effort to avoid being carried away by the water... Meanwhile, the Marx Brothers announce that a great fête is going to take place. For this, large preparations have to be made. Four acres of desert are cleared of cacti and of all vegatation and flattened out like a tennis court... There is a competition for the person who can ride a bicycle the slowest with a stone balanced on his head. All the participants have to grow beards. .. Before the spectacle begins, the vegetation around the fields is set alight. This prevents the spectators in the stands from seeing anything at all.
Sep 09, 2007 Chic Report Le Bristol Hotel Paris
Haute to the Maximum
The term “haute couture” has always been applied to fashion; now it can be applied to your body. Hotel Le Bristol Paris is introducing an “Haute Couture Cure” package to celebrate its newly reopened Anne Semonin Spa. The package combines beauty, exercise, well-being, and dieting, guaranteeing you a refreshed, relaxed, and rejuvenated outlook with plenty of options to choose from. The Haute Couture Cure is available as a three-day or a five-day package. Reservations must be made at least three weeks in advance in order to customize your package. Not only does Paris fashion make us look haute, their hotels make us feel haute too.
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Sep 09, 2007 Andreas Augustin Grand Hotel Europe - St Petersburg, Russia
Tchaikovsky & Strauss at Grand Hotel Europe
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–93) spent his honeymoon at the Grand Hotel d’Europe and returned nine years later, at the same time when the King of Waltz, Johann Strauss (left), stayed at the hotel.
Since its official opening in 1875, Grand Hotel Europe in the former Russian capital St Petersburg is the meeting place for the most famous figures of history. The great composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-93) got married on 6 July 1877 and arrived in St Petersburg to introduce his wife to relatives. ‘We put up at Evropeyskaya,' he wrote to his brother. ‘Very good, even luxurious.' Unfortunately, it was not to be a happy marriage: ‘She is loathsome to me in every sense of this word,' he said about his wife soon afterwards. After a few months the marriage broke up. Tchaikovsky returned nine years later, at the same time when the King of Waltz, Johann Strauss, stayed at the hotel. His ballet Swan Lake had its world premiere in St Petersburg, and other works such as The Sleeping Beauty and Nutcracker are synonymous with the word ballet. His work includes six symphonies and two piano concertos. Of his eleven operas Queen of Spades and Eugene Onegin are regularly performed at all grand opera houses. In April 1886, Tchaikovsky's great supporter Johann Strauss, II. visited St Petersburg. He had been the first to present an early work of the young Russian music student to a broader public in 1865. I will tell you the story in a second. He arrived on 7 April at 8.40pm by train from Berlin via Hamburg. Strauss was in the company of his future wife, Adele. He stayed from 7-23 April at the Evropeyskaya, occupying ‘comfort room' No 26. He rehearsed and finally performed various charity concerts and his latest (1885) operetta, the Gypsy Baron. Strauss, who had spent eleven summers in the mid-1800s entertaining St Petersburg high society at Pavlovsk's musical train station, certainly still remembered Olga Smirnitskaya. In 1858 he had a stormy love affair with her. Today nearly a hundred letters written between them still exist; a wonderful testimony of this tragic romance: in the end the ‘lower class' Viennese musician was not allowed to marry the upper class Russian girl. During that time Strauss had established a close relationship to the ruling family. Tsar Nicolas I's youngest son, Mikhail, himself a skilled musician, became very close to the Viennese. He even displayed his talent publicly, occasionally playing violin in Strauss' orchestra at Pavlovsk. Several of Strauss' compositions were written for the tsar and his family. Opus No. 107 was written in honour of Tsar Nicolas' and his sons' visit to Vienna in 1852. ‘The Coronation March' was the first of Strauss' works to be played in Russia, written in honor of Tsar Alexander II's ascension to the throne and his September 1856 coronation. Strauss can also be credited for bringing Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky to the world stage. While still in school as one of the first students of the St Petersburg Conservatory, the young Tchaikovsky became a favorite of Professor Anton Rubinstein. In 1865, the professor brought Tchaikovsky's school project ‘Characteristic Dances' to Strauss' attention. Strauss quickly recognized the budding genius in the piece and gave Tchaikovsky his first public concert. On 11 September 1865, to the envy of his schoolmates, Tchaikovsky conducted to the crowd's delight*. From that moment, he was destined to become one of the world's greatetst composers. In St Petersburg, Strauss wrote many world famous pieces, like the Tritsch -Tratsch Polka, the Persian March, the Egyptian March and the Train de Plaisir. Strauss' 11 magical summers at Pavlovsk were crowned by the composition ‘Russian March Fantasia' (written for Tsar Alexander III.).
Sep 09, 2007 Wallpaper* Bulgari Hotel Milano
BEST SPA AWARD
Wallpaper* Design Awards 2004: Bulgari, Milan The experience begins as soon as you enter the blissful garden at Milan’s sparkling new Bulgari Hotel and leave behind any thoughts of being in the city centre. It gets better still when you enter the spa itself, with treatment rooms and a gym designed by Antonio Citterio and fitted out in teak, bronze and stone. Before your treatment, try out the spectacular gold pool and Turkish bath (set within an emerald-green glass cube) or head for the outdoor relaxation zone, leading to the garden. Half- and full-day guests get lunch (protein and low carb options are available), prepared by the hotel chef.
The full gamut of treatments is on offer, all specially created by E’Spa. Our favourites utilise hot stone therapy, where heated smooth stones soaked in specially blended oils are placed on the body or used to gently massage pressure points. And the foot and nail treatment is a perfect way to revive your feet after pounding the nearby cobbled streets of Milan’s famed shopping district.
Sep 09, 2007 Feuring eMagazine Four Seasons Hotel George V
Alwaleed refinances classic George V Hotel
Kingdom Holding Company (KHC) chaired by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal announced yesterday the refinancing of the Four Seasons George V Hotel in Paris valued at SR285 million. Alwaleed said George V Hotel was “simply the best in the world.” Paris Four Seasons Hotel George V was ranked “Top International Hotel” in the ZAGAT Survey edition 2007/2008 of hotels, restaurants, health spas and clubs, malls and other leisure facilities. George V is described as the “creme de la crème” of hotels. Alwaleed acquired the George V in 1996 for $178 million, followed with a two-year $125 million comprehensive renovation which started in December 1997, reflecting the prince’s dedication to restore the glory of the landmark.
Since its reopening in mid-December 1999, the Four Seasons George V has become internationally-renowned for its top-notch services. “I am confident that the George V with its new look will be the crown jewel of hotels in the world. Great efforts have been exerted to offer the best luxury services. I am sure that guests of the George V will experience unparalleled service,” Alwaleed said when it was reopened. The George V’s luxurious and elegant interior and architectural design has made it unique. The décor is a combination of classical designs with a modern touch. George V boasts top quality dining, with Philippe Legendre’s Le Cinq restaurant that was awarded its third-Michelin-star (Macarons) — the highest a restaurant can earn. The restaurant of the Four Seasons Hotel George V is open every day of the year without exception. Moreover, the Zagat Survey of Paris Restaurants 2006/2007 edition ranked George V to have the “Best Gastronomic Restaurant in Paris,” “Best Hotel Restaurant for Dinner in Paris” and “Best Restaurant for Services and Cuisine in Paris.”
Sep 09, 2007 Just Jared Claridge's
Gwen Stefani("No Doubt"): Looking Sharp in Tartan
A smiley Gwen Stefani leaves the luxe Claridges hotel in London on Sunday with and her son Kingston, 16 months. The Harajuku Girl wore a red tartan trench coat and Dior shades. Kingston rocked a so baby rocker chic studded belt! Late last night, a covered-up Gwen , 37, was seen returning to Claridges with British rocker hubby Gavin Rossdale, 41, after a night out.
Recent quote from Gwen about touring with baby Kingston: “Kingston is walking now and he never sleeps. And if he doesn’t sleep. I don’t sleep. Last night it was insane. By this morning I thought I was going to die of tiredness. It’s hard to get the balance right. The touring life is hard enough. To do it with a baby can be almost impossible. “[But] motherhood isn’t quite what I thought it was going to be. I thought it would change me as a person, but I still feel like my old self. I haven’t changed. I still talk the same. I still act the same. Creatively, I feel exactly the same. “The only difference is that life is now much better. I now have a mind-blowing little guy who is the reward for a lot of hard work. After having Kingston I feel complete.”
Sep 09, 2007 The Times Of India Claridge's
Owen’s Tom Cruise body double fib!
Take That star Mark Owen once duped a guest at a party by telling him that he had been Tom Cruise’s body double in ‘Mission Impossible’. The Brit singer/songwriter was attending a party at Claridge’s hotel in London when a guest asked him what he did for a living.
Owen’s reply: “I’m an actor and I was in Mission: Impossible.” And when the guest asked what part he had played in the film, Owen said that he had been Tom Cruise’s body double. “I was Tom Cruise’s body double,” The Sun quoted him, as saying. The party was to mark 50 years of cinema, and was hosted by electronics firm Pioneer. Take That will be performing their new single Rule The World at the National Movie Awards in London on Friday night.
Sep 09, 2007 katie_in_vienna Hotel Sacher Vienna
Greetings from Wien!
After that, we headed to the Sacher Hotel for Sachor Torte! Have you heard of it? It’s one of the most famous things about Wien. A friend of mine who went to the Wien program about four years ago got married last fall and had it shipped in for her wedding cake! Anyway, on the way to the hotel we saw a ton of street musicians, and one of the performances was a guy playing guitar with another guy playing wine glasses!!!! It was sooo cool! One my friends asked him to play “Happy Birthday” and he did!! We made it to the Sacher Hotel and we awestruck by the beauty of the dining room! And the torte was a-maz-ing. I’d ship one back home, but I’d use up my life savings to get it there! I am beyond grateful for all of the special things that made my birthday a memorable one. It is very hard to spend birthdays away from home, but my friends really reached out to me and I made it through only crying once! Thanksgiving is going to be a different story though, I’m afraid…
Today was class as usual, and right now I should be packing for our weekend trip to Poland! Our train leaves tomorrow morning for Krakow, and we have a day trip to Auschwitz on Saturday. Sunday morning we have free in Krakow, and then we head back to Wien on Sunday afternoon. It is quite a packed schedule! Please pray for my experiences at Auschwitz, because I know it won’t be easy. Use public transportation, Katie
Sep 09, 2007 Agents Support Systems Pty Ltd Mandarin Oriental, Munich
Mandarin Oriental, Munich completes rooms renovation
Mandarin Oriental, Munich has completed a comprehensive renovation of all 48 guest rooms and 25 suites and an upgrade of the exterior facade, designed to maintain the hotel’s dominant position in the marketplace.
Highlights of the refurbishment showcase elegant, contemporary design using the finest woods and rich fabrics with touches of Asian style. All guest rooms feature sleek cherry wood furniture in neo-Biedermeier style, with subtle Asian influences reflecting the Oriental heritage of the luxury hotel group. In addition, state-of-the-art entertainment such as Bang & Olufsen flatscreen televisions with over 600 channels, as well as seamless customer-centric technology systems, a hallmark of Mandarin Oriental hotels worldwide, is available throughout. The two exclusive Mandarin and Oriental Suites benefit from new conservatories, created by incorporating the original patios, affording an airy, light-flooded atmosphere and unique views of the cityscape and landmarks. Each suite also contains a variety of striking Asian objets d’art . Michael Ziemer, General Manager of Mandarin Oriental, Munich, commented on the refurbishment: “The elegant and sleek design of the new interiors and the best of all modern conveniences, combined with Mandarin Oriental’s highly individualized service, provides our guests with a delightful experience.” Ralf Clausen of CM Design, was the lead architect responsible for the project.
Sep 09, 2007 MENAFN.COM Four Seasons Hotel George V
Alwaleed Refinances Classic George V Hotel
Alwaleed said George V Hotel was "simply the best in the world." Paris Four Seasons Hotel George V was ranked "Top International Hotel" in the ZAGAT Survey edition 2007/2008 of hotels, restaurants, health spas and clubs, malls and other leisure facilities. George V is described as the "creme de la cr�me" of hotels. Alwaleed acquired the George V in 1996 for $178 million, followed with a two-year $125 million comprehensive renovation which started in December 1997, reflecting the prince's dedication to restore the glory of the landmark. Since its reopening in mid-December 1999, the Four Seasons George V has become internationally-renowned for its top-notch services. "I am confident that the George V with its new look will be the crown jewel of hotels in the world. Great efforts have been exerted to offer the best luxury services. I am sure that guests of the George V will experience unparalleled service," Alwaleed said when it was reopened. The George V's luxurious and elegant interior and architectural design has made it unique.
The decor is a combination of classical designs with a modern touch. George V boasts top quality dining, with Philippe Legendre's Le Cinq restaurant that was awarded its third-Michelin-star (Macarons) � the highest a restaurant can earn. The restaurant of the Four Seasons Hotel George V is open every day of the year without exception. Moreover, the Zagat Survey of Paris Restaurants 2006/2007 edition ranked George V to have the "Best Gastronomic Restaurant in Paris," "Best Hotel Restaurant for Dinner in Paris" and "Best Restaurant for Services and Cuisine in Paris."
Sep 09, 2007 Agents Support Systems Pty Ltd The Fairmont Chateau, Whistler
See Canada’s beauty onboard the Whistler Mountaineer and receive a free gift Canada is a destination known for its beautiful landscapes and scenery, and Rocky Mountaineer Vacations is inviting all visitors to Canada to receive one free night at the spectacular Fairmont Chateau Whistler when they book an escape to the all-season resort of Whistler, B.C. onboard the Whistler Mountaineer train. All guests need to do to qualify is travel roundtrip in either Glacier Dome or Coast Classic experience between 1 October – 13, October, 2007, and tickets can be booked now.
The Whistler Mountaineerwill give travellers the perfect opportunity to experience the fall foliage and colours set against the sparkling Pacific waters of British Columbia’s Howe Sound and the soaring mountain peaks that are found between Vancouver and Whistler, B.C. Guests will be pleased with the quality of dining on board, as well as the informative commentary and access to the unique Heritage Observation Car. “Our second operating season for the Whistler Mountaineer is almost over and for those who haven’t yet taken the journey, this new offer provides the perfect opportunity to experience the trip and also to fit in a last minute getaway,” said James Terry, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Rocky Mountaineer Vacations. “A journey onboard the Whistler Mountaineer and a free night at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler give our guests top-notch service for exceptional value.”
Sep 09, 2007 John Casham La Tremoille
An oasis of French style
THE crowds were milling around the palace of King Louis, cameras clicking, people posing. Others were just gazing in awe at the striking building on the Champs Elysee in Paris. Souvenir pictures taken, people made for the imposing doors, brushing past the security guards to feast their eyes on the treasures displayed around the grand floors.
But these were not tourists consumed with interest in French history - they were flocking to a temple of the consumer age, the flagship store of Louis Vuitton, the king of designer bags. Paris might be a city of history and romance, but here along the Champs Elysee and elegant neighbouring avenues, fashion houses of the grand designers compete for attention with museums, art galleries and landmarks. The `Golden Triangle' between the Champs Elysee, Avenue King George V and Avenue Montaigne boasts stores of nearly all the famous names of style. It's a place for shoppers with serious money - but if your credit card can't stand a mega hit, pretend you're Posh and Becks and go window shopping. How about that little black party number for Madame in the Versace window on the Rue Francois. A snip at 4,995 euros (£3,370). And for Sir, the striped business suit by Ermenegilde Zegna, on Rue Francois, at 4,215 euros. The whole Golden Triangle is an oasis of style away from the bustling tourist thoroughfares. And right in the heart of it is the splendid hotel La Tremoille on the peaceful Rue de la Tremoille. Sumptuous And whether you are in the market for some serious shopping, or you just fancy a weekend of sightseeing or sumptuous relaxation, La Tremoille certainly fits the bill. The 93-room hotel is in a quiet street but on the doorstep of the Paris attractions - a short walk from the Arc de Triomphe, Grand Palais, River Seine and Eiffel Tower, and surrounded by designer boutiques, fine restaurants and trendy nightspots. The elegant and spacious rooms are perfect for chilling out after shopping or sightseeing, or perhaps before wining, dining and partying. There is a fitness room and sauna, massage and beauty treatments. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks are served in the chic Louis restaurant and bar lounge. Want a table at a restaurant, or a seat at the Crazy Horse? Just ask La Tremoille's concierge service. Or if you want a little private dining, each room has a hatch compartment linked to the hallway - room service without the need for anyone to come into the room. It might be hard to pull yourself away from the comfort of La Tremoille, but Paris has so much to see and do and a weekend is barely enough time to catch your breath. Among other things, we took a boat cruise up the Seine to see sights, including the magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral on the Ile de la Cite . . . far more fulfilling than swooning over a Louis Vuitton shop window. Factfile: Rates at La Tremoille start at 460 euros a night for a standard room to 1,000 euros for a suite, but take a tour of the hotel at hotel-tremoille.com and check out any special deals. Book online, or phone +33156521400.
Sep 09, 2007 frogsmoke Ritz Paris
Paris Hotels that made history
Forbes Traveler has a neat article on hotels around the world that go beyond just being accommodations for the night: they also made history. Two Parisian hotels made it to the list. Ritz Paris
Marcel Proust penned sections of “Remembrance of Things Past” here, and Georges-Auguste Escoffier toiled in the kitchen trying to perfect his recipes, but this former palace, imbued with more than a century of history, is now forever etched in the public consciousness as the last place Princess Diana supped. It’s also the last place she was seen on video, making her final appearance on CCTV images. But the hotel, which made cameos in Noel Coward’s play “Semi-Monde,” Billy Wilder’s 1957 comedy “Love in the Afternoon” and Lauren Weisberger’s “The Devil Wears Prada,” is also where in 1993 Pamela Churchill Harriman, the U.S. Ambassador to France and prominent socialite, died from a massive stroke during her customary morning swim in the hotel’s lavish underground health spa. Hôtel de Crillon Dating back two centuries, this grande dame of European hotels was commissioned in 1758 by Louis XV on one of the most sought-after parcels in the heart of the French capital. Which is perhaps why the Nazis, upon invading Paris, occupied it on the very first day of their advance. During the latter part of the war, the hotel returned to Allied control and housed French and British commanders, much as it did during World War I. In the intervening years, everyone from Richard Nixon and George Bush to King Juan Carlos and Elizabeth Taylor took up residence in the hotel’s 90 rooms and 57 suites, many of which are exquisitely furnished in Louis XV décor with Aubusson carpets, Murano and Baccarat chandeliers and Wedgewood medallions. It was recently renovated to the tune of $25 million.
Sep 09, 2007 Prague Daily Monitor Mandarin Oriental, Prague
Czech wine: The good, the bad and the best
This is the second in a series of articles excerpted from Prague Artěl Style, a new book by Karen Feldman, glass designer and owner of Artěl Glass. To read yesterday's story on Czech beer, click here. For years, simply out of ignorance, I've always advised visitors to avoid Czech wines, as I personally had none to recommend (I'm not a big drinker). As this is hardly sufficient advice for my readers, I decided to interview Bohuslav Uher, assistant manager at Essensia restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental Prague, so you can benefit from some insider's tips on what to order, buy and, of course, avoid!
What are your favourite red and white Czech wines from the Mandarin Oriental cellar, and why? For red I would recommend Springer Cuveé Skale 2004, as it shows off the skills of Czech winemakers; it really demonstrates their ability to make a full and complex wine, despite the less-than-ideal weather conditions in the Czech Republic. For white I would recommend the Ryzlink rýnský (Rhine Riesling) 2002 from Vinselekt Michlovský. Its fruity bouquet, rich body and very fine acidity make it especially appropriate for the cuisine we offer at Essensia. Beyond the Mandarin Oriental, where is your favourite place in Prague to enjoy a glass of wine? I always like Dům vína U Závoje in Old Town. They offer a wide selection of wines by the glass, which is nice when you would like to try something new. At the same location they have a wine shop where you can buy the bottle immediately, and the prices are reasonable. Several times a month they offer wine-tasting; their food is excellent; and they have the best cheese shop in town. What are your favourite wine stores in Prague? In addition to Dům vína U Závoje, I've been buying wines for years at Monarch wine cellar, also located in Old Town. Which Czech winemaker is your favourite? My favourite is Tanzberg. They produce only top-quality wines, including sparkling, and their presentation — often a handicap of Czech wineries — is very smart. Another one I like is Sonberk; their straw and ice wines are really unique. What are your two single favourite Czech wines? Red: Frankovka (Blaufrankisch) 2003 from Bíza. It is simply the best Czech red wine I've ever tasted. Unfortunately it's already out of stock. White: Any simple Welsch Riesling from Tanzberg, Mikrosvin or Reisten. What should someone keep in mind when they visit a wine store and there's no one to assist them? What should they stay away from? What should they look for? Buying ordinary Czech table wines is a waste of money. If you don't know the Czech market, buy only wines with special attributes ― for example, late harvest (pozdní sběr), selection of grapes (výběr z hroznů), selection of berries (výběr z bobulí), and ice (ledové) and straw (slámové) wines. In terms of local grape varieties, among whites, Pálava (a cross between Gewurztraminer and Müller Thurgau) is very interesting, and I also recommend Welsch Riesling. Among reds, I would suggest trying the André variety (a cross between the St. Laurent and Blaufrankisch grapes). Bohuslav's recommended wine bars and shops Dům vína U Závoje Havelská 25, Prague 1-Staré Město Tel: 226 006 120 Hours: Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-7 p.m. (shop), daily 11 a.m.-midnight (wine bar) Metro: Mustek Monarch Wine Bar & Shop Na Perštýně 15, Prague 1-Staré Město Tel. 224 239 602 Hours: Mon-Fri noon-8 p.m. (shop), Mon-Sat noon-midnight (wine bar) Metro: Národní třída
Sep 09, 2007 Paul Hotel Principe di Savoia Milano
Milan: any recommendations?
I was lucky enough to stay at Hotel Principe di Savoia Milano (part of the Dorchester Group) last year, and they had a new restaurant/bistro called Acanto. Only had breakfast there, and that was excellent, but alas it doesn't fall under your "mid-priced" requirement. The hotel is quite well positioned, near the station, but perhaps a short way away from the tourist centre. You can read about their restaurants/bars at http://www.hotelprincipedisavoia.com/restaurants_bars/index.html
Quote: Weekenders beware, many Milanese restaurants, geared to the business traveller, close at the weekend. For instance, the good traditional Italian food at La Latteria (via San Marco 22-24, 02 659 7653) is only on offer during the working week. The best of Piedmont meets local Milanese cuisine at Masuelli San Marco (viale Umbria 80, 02 5518 4138, www.masuelli-trattoria.com, closed Sun). Al Merluzzo Felice (via Lazzaro Papi 6, 02 545 4711, closed Sun) is your best stop for Sicilian fish dishes, while Osteria Giulio Pane e Ojo (via Muratori 10, 02 545 6189, closed Sun) serves Roman favourites. For pizza there’s Anema e Cozze (via Palermo 15, 02 8646 1646), Primafila (via Ugo Foscolo 1, 02 862020) and Pizzeria Dogana (via Dogana 3, 02 8056766). Nabucco (via Fiori Chiari 10, 02 860663) is open every day, and also serves until 11.30pm – a rare thing in Milan. The ‘happy hour’ concept has become popular, usually with drinks at €5 and a self-service buffet. Try Bar Brera (via Brera 23), the Dom Café (Corso Como 5) or Le Biciclette (via Conca del Naviglio 10). Bars are plentiful in the via De Amicis/Colonne di San Lorenzo area. If work is feeling generous, then apparently one of the places to go is Al Sorisso. It's not actually in Milan but about half an hour's drive from Malpensa Airport. Paul
Sep 09, 2007 Chris Baldwin The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Fairmont Waterfront hotel puts Vancouver's great golf, stunning nature at your window The Fairmont Waterfront Vancouver hotel gets you up close and personal to Vancouver's beautiful natural surroundings and sophisticated city life. It's also a great base for touring the city's golf courses. VANCOUVER - Looking down on people scurrying to get on a hulking cruise ship as you sip your morning cup tends to relax like no other remedy.
Later in the evening, you can see hydroplanes touching down in the setting sun from the same window. They told you the Fairmont Waterfront Vancouver had a view. They didn't let you know about the regular theater. How about a room with performances? In a world full of cookie cutter hotel rooms, the Fairmont Waterfront's windows on the water give it a very distinct feel. Vancouver is a city of nature like few others in North America. It's surrounded by mountains and right on the water - and one of the most tourist-friendly harbors anywhere. It's also full of cutting edge restaurants and clubs. Fairmont Waterfront is a hotel that lets you straddle both worlds. You have a foot - or, more accurately, a window in nature - and an easy entryway into the big city's sophistication. This is the kind of hotel where you might see Lenny Kravitz strolling by (he did on this visit). It's also a great place to use as a base to explore Vancouver's often underrated (and sometimes completely forgotten) golf. "With all the great things the city has to offer and all the other ways to get into nature, people don't necessarily think of golf when they think of Vancouver," said Eric Suzuki of Play Golf Vancouver, a golf concierge service with an office in the Fairmont. Staying at the Fairmont Waterfront is not going to make you forget about everything but golf. You are a short walk from the shops of the famous Robson Street. At night, you'll have the beautiful people passing you in the lobby. Still University Golf Club, the best course super close to downtown, is a short drive away. And Westwood Plateau Golf & Country Club - arguably the best course in all of greater Vancouver - can be even closer. As long as you take the helicopter. That's right, the helicopter. Fairmont Waterfront offers special packages where its guests can take off on a helicopter steps from the hotel and land on Westwood Plateau's helipad. It's not exactly showing up at the course in an old Buick. Your helicopter's ready, sir. There is no doubt you can have experiences you'll never forget at Fairmont Waterfront. That's what sets this hotel apart. It's not about ridiculously high thread counts in the sheets or Jacuzzi tubs that could fit a submarine. In fact, Fairmont Waterfront's rooms, while nice, are not going to come close to blowing you away. The experiences make this a great stay, not the creature comforts. It's an easy drive or a long walk to Stanley Park, a 1,000-acre, 119-year-old green wonderland that's actually much nicer than Central Park. You can even play pitch & putt on a course in the park that's greener than some full courses you've probably swung on. You're going to get so much fresh air in Vancouver, spend so much time outside, that you need a hotel that fits in with the unique uncity-like city vibe. "You almost forget you're in a big city here," visitor Beth Fiend said. "Until you want to get all dressed up and go out at night to a club or something. But during the day? I wish I'd brought hiking boots." You could get away with wearing them in the lobby of the Fairmont Waterfront. This is a place where business executives in suits hustle right past the tourists touting backpacks on the way to their meetings. There is an enclosed walkway to the convention center, but Fairmont Waterfront probably gets even more business from cruise shippers. No hotel is closer to the Cruise Ship Terminal. You can practically roll out of bed and right onto the boat. After a day or two here, you may feel like you're the lucky one if you don't have to get on a cruise ship and leave though. Especially if you're a golfer. In some major cities, it can feel like you're missing out if you're spending five hours a day on the fairways. Take the girlfriend to Paris, bring the clubs, and see what happens. In Vancouver, though, there's no great can't-miss cultural sight. This is a city where the big thing is enjoying the rare blend of sea and great outdoors. You just want to suck up as much of the fresh air as you can. It's just as easy - and often better - to do that while hitting your 7-iron. Vancouver's golf courses aren't artificial nature like many tricked up modern tracks. They're actually in the middle of the real thing. University Golf Club is packed full of towering old trees that can humble you even before they start knocking down your shots. Mayfair Lakes Country Club gives you flat looks - but what looks they are, right at the mountains. Then, you retreat back to the Fairmont Waterfront and start figuring out at which inventive restaurant you want to eat dinner. When a hotel simplifies your vacation life, actually helps you relax, it's a rare find. Look mom, no stress! Just cruise shippers scurrying below, hydroplanes touching down and a helicopter at your disposal. September 24, 2007 Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management. The information in this story was accurate at the time of publication. All contact information, directions and prices should be confirmed directly with the golf course or resort before making reservations and/or travel plans.
Sep 09, 2007 Ratoe Travel Guide Hotel Pulitzer Amsterdam
Hotel Pulitzer
Overlooking two of the city's most picturesque canals, Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht, Hotel Pulitzer, A Luxury Collection Hotel is ideally located in the middle of the old city center of Amsterdam. Our unique hotel is comprised of 25 restored 17th and 18th century canal houses. Named to Condé Nast Traveler's 2004 Gold List, we are unlike any other hotel. Each of our 230 distinctive guest rooms represents a small piece of Dutch history and culture. Located in the beautiful gardens, our art gallery offers multiple expositions each year.
Though rich in historical splendor, our hotel also offers today’s modern amenities, including the latest technology with wired and wireless (Wi-Fi) High Speed Internet Access in all public areas, meeting facilities and all guest rooms. Our meeting and banquet facilities offer a range of accommodations for your special event – from elegant ballrooms to private canal boats. Savor an exquisite culinary experience in the beautiful, trendy Pultizers Restaurant. Or relax with an aperitif in Pultizers Bar. Enjoy complimentary access to Pulitzers Gym, equipped with the latest state-of-the-art fitness equipment with individual flat screen TVs. Whether you are touring the nearby museums and attractions or conducting business in our excellent facilities, Hotel Pulitzer, A Luxury Collection Hotel is the ideal place to enjoy.
Sep 09, 2007 Hotel Chatter Mandarin Oriental, Prague
Get Musical at Mandarin Oriental Prague
The Mandarin Oriental Prague is already somewhere we've decided is a good place to stay. We're just a bit more tempted still when they offer interesting packages like the City of Music or Treasures of Prague packages available now.
Drawing on Prague's three opera houses and dozen orchestras as justification for dreaming up the City of Music package, the hotel is offering luxury accommodation, a bottle of wine, a selection of Czech classical music recordings to take home with you, a three-hour guided tour of "Musical Prague", two opera or symphony tickets and a few other goodies, all designed to keep music lovers happy. This package is available for a minimum three night stay, with the second and third nights being cheaper; for a three night stay in the Superior room you'll pay €1,129 ($1,600). The Treasures of Prague packages follows a similar line and includes Prague Castle excursions plus a foot massage "to counter any potential cobblestone fatigue".
Sep 09, 2007 Will's Eats Wickaninnish Inn, Tofino
The Pointe Restaurant - Ostrich & Halibut
Leftovers from the vacation; a couple of food pics and descriptions I've wanted to post (only one more to go) In Tofino, B.C. at The Pointe restaurant (Wickaninnish Inn). Good to great food, decent presentation, nice restaurant with a great view; a 4 star meal (alas, at 5 star prices).
Let's start with Sumac Crusted Ostrich Carpaccio - with a potato and roasted red pepper salad; sprinkled with Maldon salt and topped with a couple of little bread stickys First off, we'd read this part of the menu glancingly and thought it was going to be an oyster carpaccio - which would have been really really interesting. But, still, a good starter. The sumac was very very subtle (verging on not there at all; supposed to sort of taste lemony). Last, loose the breadsticks - they're pointless. The restaurant kitchen loves this type of dish, dead easy to make and serve:
  • Get ostrich breasts (in this case local Vancouver Island ones)
  • Place a few on a stretch of plastic film sprinkled with sumac (it's a spice); sprinkle sumac on top too (covering the meat well)
  • Roll up the plastic and twist the ends - like making a sausage
  • Roll in aluminium foil - keeps the plastic from unrolling and is a bit firmer in holding the shape
  • Freeze
To serve, slice very thinly, while still frozen, with a meat slicer; it will thaw almost instantly on the plate.
The next good one: Seaweed Crusted Halibut with Island Mushrooms (and some very nicely turned potatoes; oh, and some peas and some crab on top). Weird earthy flavor because of the mushrooms but it really grows on you. This dish was worth it. Very correctly done fish (fresh and local) with the seaweed and mushroom flavor making it an adventure. This is what you go to good restaurants for - discovery. The only thing was that the seaweed was not really encrusting the halibut - rather more like piled on top. But hey, that's the menu-writer's fault not the kitchen's. I liked it so much I'm going to do picture of the other side too. I have no how-to on making this dish. Wouldn't know where to start (fresh seaweed's hard to come by around here). I'm not even sure what kind of mushrooms those are. Anybody know?
Sep 09, 2007 Kathleen Glyde Hotel Sacher Vienna
The History Of The Sachertorte
Trusted friends know that the Black Courtesan is a cook at heart:-) She has her very own cookery course - "Thinking With The Senses" From the colourful markets of the French Riviera to the exotic spices of the Caribbean. The Courtesan's cookery course is sure to please:-) Today's blog entry is on the 'History of the Sachertorte'.
Sachertorte, Sacher Cake (SAH-kuhr-tohrt) – Sacher Torte is a famous Viennese cake, probably the most famous chocolate cake of all-time. It consists of chocolate sponge cake cut into three layers, between which apricot jam are thickly spread between the layers and on the top and sides of the cake. The whole cake is then iced with a velvet-like chocolate and served with a side dish of whipped cream. 1832 - The Sachertorte was created by pastry chef Franz Sacher (1816-1907) in 1832 for Prince Clemens Lothar Wensel Metternich (1773-1859) of Austria, the Austrian State Chancellor. The prince enjoyed trying new dishes and ordered the chef to create a new cake. Orders were sent to the kitchens where it was instant pandemonium. The head chef was sick and the team of cooks in the kitchen had no idea what to prepare. Franz Sacher, a 16-year old apprentice cook, rolled up his sleeves and created this famous chocolate cake with the ingredients that were available. The Sacher Torte and other recipes made him prosperous, and he operated several cafes and restaurants. 1876 - In 1876, Franz's son, Eduard Sacher, opened a grand hotel called the Hotel Sacher, but it was Eduard's dynamic, cigar-smoking wife, Anna, who turned it into one of Europe's greatest hostelries where the aristocracy and diplomats would meet. After Eduard's death his widow, Anna Sacher, became manager. Under her rule, the hotel became one of the finest hotels in the world, where the aristocracy and diplomats would meet, and by the time of her death in 1930 it was a national institution. 1965 - For some unknown reason (date unknown), Franz Sacher Jr., a son of Eduard and his wife Anna, later sold his original recipe to Demel's, a fancy coffee café on the Kohlmarkt, allowing them to produce a rival torte. Both the Hotel Sacher and the Demel Patisserie claimed to produce the "original" Sachertorte. These two world-famous institutions engaged in a lawsuit which lasted for years. The judgement in 1965 went in favor of Sacher, giving them the right to the “Original Sacher Torte” while Dehmel had to be satisfied with the “Original Eduard Sacher Torte”. The main difference between the two recipes is that in Sacher's case, the layer of jam is between two layers of the chocolate sponge, while in Demel's version the jam is on top of the sponge but under the chocolate covering: Via The Oxford Companion To Food.
Sep 09, 2007 nfb-marb Marbella Club
Marbella, Spain - September 2007
Just photos:
Sep 09, 2007 LittleLegends.biz Baglioni Hotel London
The Best Luxury Hotels for Families in the UK
Every couple with kids knows how difficult it is to create time for themselves. But now it is possible to have a romantic weekend away with the kids because more and more luxury hotels are becoming family friendly. If you want to treat yourself to a special break, then you will find that one of the following places will meet your needs. (Just click the link for more details)
1.Tresanton, Cornwall 2. Driftwood, Cornwall 3. Fowey Hall, Cornwall 4. Cotswold House Hotel, Gloucestershire 5. Cowley Manor, Gloucestershire 6. Westover Hall Hotel, Hampshire 7. Baglioni, London 8. Soho Hotel, London 9. Strattons, Norfolk 10. Le Manoir Aux Quatre Saisons, Oxfordshire 11. Babington House, Somerset 12. Ickworth, Suffolk 13. Royal Oak, Sussex 14. Woolley Grange, Wiltshire
Sep 09, 2007 The French Journal Hotel de Crillon
Monday morning escape to Hôtel de Crillon
The great thing about fantasies is that cost is not a factor, so we'll face the start of the work week with a stay at the Hôtel de Crillon, one of Paris's top addresses. With a prime location near the Place de la Concorde, the Crillon means luxury. How can you tell? As The Independent (U.K.) explains, the hotel's marbled walls are "polished to such an extent that the light reflecting from the twinkling crystal chandeliers creates an almost holy glow." Any visit to the hotel must, of course, include a meal at Les Ambassadeurs: "The seven-course 'tasting' menu on which we feasted made things of beauty from ordinary-sounding dishes. 'Carbonara,' for example, was a cube of pork belly accompanied by a Parmesan mousse and wrapped in spaghetti. Dessert was a strawberry-and-basil mousse and ice cream creation, inside an intricate cylinder of meringue lattice." In the room were such "freebies" as fruit, chocolates, roses, and Annick Goutal toiletries. After calculating the cost for a one night stay and dinner for two at circa. $1,600, "freebie" may not be the exact term I would use. But since this is a fantasy...
Sep 09, 2007 bellavenere Wickaninnish Inn, Tofino
Wanderlust Checklist
Over the years, I've kept a mental list of places I've wanted to visit; finding out about each of them through something I've read, heard from a friend, or seen on TV or in the movies. The beauty of my job is that I can incorporate something fabulous into the normal course of a regular workday.
The list probably would have been longer, but since my memory is shot (Goldfish, remember?) I will list the first five that came to mind: THE BILTMORE ESTATE in Asheville, North Carolina. This one I'll be visiting this weekend and I know from just reading the website (more than once!) that I'll be going back; I'm already thinking of planning my next trip to catch the Christmas celebration. The WICKANINNISH INN located in Tofino, British Columbia, Canada. My last visit to Victoria Island was in January of 2006 and it was a beautiful place. This Inn, overlooking the jagged cliffs on the coast of Canada might just be a perfect place to celebrate Eddie's birthday in the new year; you know, since it's all rugged and remote and stuff. Very manly. THE GRAND HOTEL on Mackinac Island in Michigan. Ever since seeing the movie, Somewhere In Time, I've wanted to visit this place. I have a friend who recently visited the island and said it was beautiful, but I want to sit on that 660 foot porch and see for myself! Beyond fantasy. Beyond obsession. Beyond time itself... he will find her. THE FAIRMONT BANFF SPRINGS HOTEL in Banff, Alberta, Canada. Banff is beautiful; especially in the winter. I don't ski, but I can certainly sip a Hot Toddy while drinking in the splendor of the snow capped mountains of the Canadian Rockies. BOLDT CASTLE on Heart Island in Alexandria Bay, New York. A castle on a Heart shaped island? How can any woman not want to visit this one?? My plan is to visit all of these within the next year. I will certainly be adding others to the list and as I visit each of them, you will hear about it here. Come back next week to read about the Biltmore Estate!
Sep 09, 2007 celebsonholiday Hotel Ritz Madrid - Madrid, Spain
Madrid for Clooney, Kidman and more...
The Hotel Ritz Madrid in the Spanish city attracts Hollywood a-listers George Clooney and Nicole Kidman. Julio Iglesias, Jeremy Irons, Kevin Costner, Pierce Brosnan and Bill Clinton also like to stay at the hotel which is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World.
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Sep 09, 2007 politics.co.uk Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
GCT: Leading Celebrity Chefs team up to raise funds for wildlife
Five top London chefs, are joining forces to raise funds for Britain's leading game and wildlife charity by offering the sumptuous fruits of their combined labour at a five-course charity Game Dinner being held on 9 October at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Hotel in London.
The dazzling line-up includes five Michelin-starred chefs, Tom Aikens, Richard Corrigan, Chris Galvin and Alfred Prasad together with award winning Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Hotel Executive Chef, David Nicholls, who will each create one course of a mouth-watering five course meal. Dishes to be served include; Breast of Quail stuffed with Foie Gras (Tom Aikens), Seared wild salmon of tomato sauce and spices with coconut milk (Alfred Prasad) and Grouse en croute (Richard Corrigan). The evening, which will be attended by 220 guests, is being hosted by well-known TV chef Anthony Worrall Thompson, an enthusiastic supporter of naturally-reared meat, and game in particular. The speaker will be the former Conservative Minister for Food, The Hon Nicholas Soames MP. After dinner, there will be an auction of exceptional shooting lots. It is hoped that the event will raise more than £100,000 for the Trust's game and wildlife research, which aims to enhance the diversity of plants and wildlife in the British countryside. Lucinda Jamieson, The Game Conservancy Trust's London Events Manager, is thrilled at the calibre of chefs offering their combined talents to help raise funds for the Trust, as well as helping to promote the benefits of eating game. She said, "We can't believe how supportive London's gastronomic community has been. To have five such talented chefs working together on this dinner will make it a very special evening indeed, especially as we are hoping to raise substantial amounts for the benefit of game and wildlife conservation." Tickets to The Game Conservancy Trust's Game Dinner on Tuesday 9 October at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Hotel, are £200 and can be obtained by email from : events@gct.org.uk or telephone: 0207 290 0110.
Sep 09, 2007 travelfreak.org Claridge's
Enjoy Claridge’s at Half Rates
Claridge’s hotel in London is one of the most prestigious hotels of the region. It is a five-star hotel which is affordable by the elite members of the society by and large. The amenities provided by the hotel are really luxurious. The sojourn in the hotel gives a feel of utmost comfort, luxury, and perfection.
The huge bed-rooms which are magnificently furnished, and attached to marble washrooms, are designed for maximum Satisfaction of the royal guests. Each of the Mayfair Suites show the view of some of the most popular streets in London near the hotel. The hotel is not affordable by most of the tourists who wish that they could also enjoy the splendid features of this 5-star hotel. These magnificent facilities can be availed at a cost of handsome £1,500. if you manage to reserve the suites through Claridge’s website, then you may get these for around £1,270. But the main news is that if you book it through a Virtuoso agent, then you can avail up to 50% discount. So, hurry up, because the offer is valid only according to availability. What’s more! The lucky people, who get this rebate, will be offered English breakfast for two people. The offer is only till October 3, 2007. Just go and grab the tempting offer.
Sep 09, 2007 Traveler Blackboards The Fairmont Chateau, Whistler
WTA announces regional Americas winners
The World Travel Awards (WTA) has just held its regional award evening for the Americas chapter last Monday evening in New York, where more than 20 trophies were given out to top performing travel industry representatives. More than 250 top level industry delegates attended the evening, from all corners of the Americas, from North to South and of course, Central, representing well-known industry brands like InterContinental, Hilton, Jumeirah, American Airlines and Eurocar.
“We expanded the World Travel Awards scheme to the Americas with our Grand Tour, and we have been extremely well received in New York this year,” said Graham Cooke, President and Founder of the World Travel Awards. This is the first time in 14 years that the World Travel Awards has held regional awards prior to the announcement of global winners. “The response from award winners who attended the event has already been very positive,” Mr Cooke continues. “We now look forward to the other regional events and the global awards in the Turks & Caicos.” Top honours went out to Delta Airlines for “North America’s Leading Business Class Airline”; Hilton Hotels for “South America’s Leading Hotel Brand”; Mexico City (MEX) for “Central America’s Leading Airport”; and Fairmont Chateau Whistler, Canada for “North America’s Leading Ski Resort”. The presentation night was a star-studded event which not only featured the award ceremonies but also music, comedy routines, and other entertainment. This year the event was hosted by Actress Lauren Holly from movies such as What Women Want and Dumb & Dumber, alongside television presenter Todd Newton. “I can imagine no better place for an event honouring excellence in the travel industry than right here in our City, which welcomed nearly 44 million visitors last year,” said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “In New York City, we are committed to setting ambitious goals and finding innovative ways to reach them – two qualities that the World Travel Awards also value,” he adds.
Sep 09, 2007 PungPond Baglioni Hotel London
Hotel Baglioni London
I am both glad and proud to present you all Baglioni Group’s latest project: the Baglioni Hotel in London. It’s a prestigious 5-star hotel located in Kensington, one of the most elegant areas in London, opposite Kensington Palace and its beautiful gardens. Boasting 68 elegant rooms, 50 of which are suite, the Baglioni Hotel thinks of itself as an exclusive shelter, both cosy and reserved, right in the midst of Hyde Park’s green; a fine example Italian Stile di Vita. In other words, this is a boutique hotel, repository of pure Italian way of life and taste.
And then how can one not think of Italy when talking about fine wine and food? Our restaurant, the Brunello – which offers dishes to be enjoyed according to the Italian way – always fills with pleasure not only our Guests but also the numerous aficionados living in the capital. I regard every single Guest as a very important person and welcome everybody to my hotel as if it my house. To be welcomed by a smile is certainly a great pleasure, and that very pleasure makes my staff and I feel very gratified. Luxury? Luxury is in the simplicity of things, in the care with put in every detail, in our passion for hospitality and in the delivery of a high-quality service. What has been my greatest satisfaction? A Guest coming back and the motivation that keeps my collaborators inspired at all times. more detail.
Sep 09, 2007 The World of the best Hotels and Travel Claridge's
Claridge's Hotel
Claridge’s first seed was sown in 1812, when James Mivart opened a hotel in the house at 51 Brook Street. The hotel was designed for guests who wished to stay in London for periods of time, rather than simply passing through, and apartments were let by the month, rather than by the night.
This was a successful venture and by 1817 he had acquired a second house to use as an annexe, at 57 Brook Street. This was the house that stood on the corner of Brook Street and Davies Street. Claridge´s is situated on the corner of Brook Street and Davies Street and is within easy reach of Hyde Park, Park Lane, Bond Street and Oxford Street.
Sep 09, 2007 Reid's Palace - Madeira, Portugal
Top Beach Vacation Spots
Regardless of what season it may be, taking a beach vacation is both fun and relaxing. There are many beaches around the world to pick from. You can choose from a white sandy beaches like you would find with Cancun vacations, lava rock beaches in Hawaii, secluded beaches in the Bahamas, or a popular beaches in Florida - the choice is entirely up to you.
5. Madeira - Portugal The beach here at Reid’s Palace Hotel is quite the rocky beach, with sharp black rocks. You can spend time lounging by the pool taking in the views, or swimming in the ocean. The weather here is pleasant most of the time, making your beach vacation something you’ll remember for a long time to come.
Sep 09, 2007 Carolyn Ali The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Concierges offer the moon–or just a doggy
Just shy of three yearsold, he's an unlikely ambassador for Vancouver. Friendly, patient, and a little bit mischievous, he lounges in a bed near the concierge desk in the lobby of the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. His name is Beau, and he's a yellow Labrador who wears a Gucci collar and spends his days charming hotel guests and showing them the city. Fairmont Hotel Vancouver guests get concierge Debbie Harris's able help, and they can walk Beau, too. Phillip Chin photo.
"He's a failed Seeing Eye dog. He didn't make the cut," says concierge Debbie Harris, laughing affectionately. "But he's got such a cushy job now that I'm sure he's not too upset with himself." Harris tells the Straight that the hotel acquired Beau from B.C. Guide Dog Services about a year ago. He spends his days alongside Harris and goes home with her every night. As a concierge, Harris can shape a visitor's stay into a memorable one. Concierges work at hotels throughout the city, advising guests on what to do and where to go. But as three concierges make clear, they do much more than that. From handling questions like where to buy a live chicken to serving as witnesses at weddings, they find no two days are the same. One of the biggest challenges of the job is making people feel at home, and that's where Beau came in. Harris explains that the chain's Fairmont Waterfront pioneered the idea of a resident canine after canvassing guests on what they missed most when travelling. The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver acquired a dog named Mavis five years ago, and she proved so popular that Beau was added. Each dog is permitted to go out for up to three walks per day, and guests enthusiastically sign up. "We give them a pooper-scooper bag and a few little treats and give them an idea of where to go in the city and what direction to go, and send them on their way," Harris says. "We've had a young couple the last three mornings…walking [Beau] around the sea wall, because they miss their dog. Then there are kids and families that want to take them. Then there's the corporate guest, the businessman, that wants to go out because he misses his dog." Seeing Vancouver from the end of a leash simply makes some visitors' stays, and their happiness is Harris's goal. She's been a concierge with the hotel for 11 years and loves her job. "It's just very rewarding. I'd say 90 percent of the job is so positive. You're helping people see the city in its best form, sending them to the best places in town to make their trip the best." Most of her day is filled with routine requests for sightseeing, directions, or restaurant recommendations. She loves meeting people and talking about the city, and says concierges must be social–and patient–by nature. "You have to have the same tone to your voice no matter what the question, no matter how many times you've answered it," she says amiably. About 20 percent of the requests, she estimates, veer from the norm. She says there's really no limit to what a concierge will do for a guest, provided it's "not illegal or immoral". "We have a 'never say no' attitude," she says. "You never know what you're going to get asked, or who you're going to meet and what you're going to have to do." For example, the day of the interview Harris had shopped and set up for a bride who wanted her room to be sprinkled with rose petals and a bath to be waiting, along with luxurious bath products, on her return from her wedding. Another time, when a guest in town for a job interview discovered that she had only packed running shoes, Harris ran out to purchase the exact pair of Salvatore Ferragamo shoes she had forgotten. Her team has accommodated requests such as sourcing 100 rain ponchos at the last minute and ordering a thousand cookies in the shape of Texas from a bakery. Raymond Wong has had similarly quirky requests. A concierge at the Pan Pacific Vancouver since 2003, he relates that the hotel's concierge team once arranged for an Academy Award statue crafted out of cheese for a visiting producer. They've filled other extravagant desires, like requests for 10,000 roses. "If you want to fly to the moon, we can fly you to the moon," Wong tells the Straight on the line from the hotel. "As long as it's ethical, anything is possible." An extrovert with the gift of the gab, Wong is a natural for the job. "I love it," he says. "I enjoy the guest interaction, and multitasking and problem solving." He says it's very satisfying to recommend something and have a guest return happy, or to know that his suggestions have made a guest's trip easier. For example, the day of the interview he saved a lot of time for a guest who needed to get to Comox. The guest had arranged to go to Victoria, rent a car, and drive up the Island. Wong recommended that he take the ferry to Nanaimo, and booked him a car from there–a much more logical route. At the Sutton Place Hotel, chef (head) concierge Geoffrey Argue loves his job so much that he's been doing it for 13 years. He's been with the hotel for 21 years and is also the Canadian chapter president of Les Clefs d'Or, an international organization for concierges. Argue says he does everything from booking tours and airline tickets to renting guests a Lamborghini or Smart car. He has a stash of ties for guests who've forgotten theirs, and connections for wardrobe emergencies. The hotel has standing arrangements with stores like Harry Rosen and Holt Renfrew to open early or late for guests who've lost luggage and need an outfit now. According to Argue, concierges don't go through specific schooling or training, but they usually have hotel, customer service, or hospitality experience. "It's a certain individual that is right for the job," he says, one that is outgoing, sincerely wants to help people, and knows the city well. "You must be very well versed in menus and restaurants," he says, because everybody wants to know where to eat. But "from the 85-year-old down to the 20-year-old, what they want for dinner and ambiance is going to be two completely different things," so you need to know how to talk to guests and read between the lines. Since the Sutton Place has 165 apartments in addition to its hotel rooms, Argue caters to a lot of long-term celebrity guests. But if he's got gossip, he won't dish; staff discretion is "why people come to stay". He will say that "some [celebrity requests] might be a bit more challenging or a bit more grand…but their needs are the same as everybody else's. They want to eat dinner every night, they want to go shopping, they want to go to Whistler, Victoria, Tofino." He arranges private dining and shopping experiences for them. Argue has had his share of unusual requests. In the wake of 9/11, when all the planes were grounded, his team helped an actor arrange for her breast milk to be transported by limo to her infant daughter in L.A. They redecorated another actor's apartment to make it look and feel like her New York residence. His team has located and flown up a specific coffee from Brazil for a guest. They've found a live chicken for a movie set, and chartered private jets for guests with emergencies. "In 21 years, no day has been the same," Argue says. "You leave every day satisfied. Your brain is challenged every day." He enjoys being part of guests' special moments, and has helped execute countless marriage proposals, as well as the weddings of couples who have spontaneously decided to get married in their hotel room, doing everything from finding the marriage commissioner to acting as a witness himself. "You're making people's memories for them," Argue says. And in the process, the best possible memories of Vancouver.
Sep 09, 2007 Travel the world The Ritz London
Afternoon tea for two at the Ritz gift voucher
Everyone should experience this great British institution at least once. Take your seats in the opulent surroundings of the Palm Court and enjoy an unrivaled selection of sandwiches, cakes, scones, pastries and a variety of teas and coffee. This unique present is delivered as a gift voucher valid for one year - and remember, this is The Ritz, so a jacket and tie is compulsory.
Sep 09, 2007 The Dorchester Hotel London
La Lopez Has Landed
(and that dude she’s married to) have arrived in the U.K. The diva, who is not pregnant, was spotted leaving the Dorchester Hotel on Thursday. La Lopez is in London to promote her new Spanish-language album and upcoming English record too.
Sep 09, 2007 mavrixjb The Dorchester Hotel London
Boy George Out And About
46-year-old Boy George headed out for a night of frivolity last night during London Fashion Week. Reports are he met up with good friend Naomi Campbell at the Dorchester Hotel and had quite a few laughs.
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Sep 09, 2007 Melanie Mandarin Oriental, Prague
Treasures of Prague: Prague Castle Tour
Mandarin Oriental, in Prague has launched an exclusive two-day Treasures of Prague package! Featuring a guided tour of the newly revealed cultural riches of Prague Castle, with private limousine transfers, a champagne lunch at a palace, a memorable keepsake and a soothing Oriental foot massage. A champagne welcome and private catered lunch await on the terrace of the Lobkowicz Palace on the Castle’s eastern side, affording panoramic views of the city. Divas who book the Treasures of Prague package will receive a special keepsake accompanied by a card personally signed by Prince William Lobkowicz. The day will stylishly conclude with a Mercedes S-class limousine transfer back to the hotel and a refreshing Oriental foot massage at the Spa to soothe away any lingering signs of ‘cobblestone fatigue’. The newly-opened exhibition includes masterpieces by Pieter Brueghel the Elder, Canaletto, and Velázquez. An installation focusing on music features the manuscripts of several of Beethoven’s symphonies, as well as Mozart’s own re-orchestration of Haendel’s Messiah.
Prague Castle, towering above the city and within walking distance of Mandarin Oriental, Prague , has served for centuries as the imposing seat of Czech kings and presidents. This unique architectural complex consisting of multiple churches, palaces, burgers’ houses, medieval towers, courtyards and splendid gardens was the site of several dramatic events with a profound effect on European history. To this day, the hotel carries the features of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture. Equipped with the latest technology, the guest rooms’ design combines restrained elegance with subtle Asian touches. The hotel also includes a holistic Spa located in a former Renaissance chapel, the Essensia restaurant, and Barego bar. Rates for the two-day Treasures of Prague package start at EUR 579 per room per night based on double occupancy; the rate includes breakfast but excludes 5% VAT. Additional nights are available.
Sep 09, 2007 Mo Rocca The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin
Check Out My Commie Hot Rod!
Last month I made a jaunt to Berlin, to write about the Ritz-Carlton Berlin's new sleep clinic. It's a weekend hotel package for people who want to learn to sleep more soundly. I'll admit that I was skeptical: with jet-lag, all I would need is an Ambien and a couple of glasses of red wine to knock me out for four days straight.
It also seemed counterintuitive to fly all the way to Berlin only to have Germans shouting at me to "RELAX!" What would they do to me? I imagined clinicians in white lab coats, with eyeglasses more severe than mine, attaching electrodes to my body, administering shocks, then jotting notes on clipboards, before shutting me in darkness for days. Would I turn out like Steve Guttenberg in The Boys From Brazil? (I like Steve Guttenberg. He volunteered for a week helping Katrina survivors at the Houston Astrodome.) It turned out I had little to fear. There was nothing remotely fascist about the luxurious La Prairie creams, with specks of gold and infusions of caviar, slathered on my body as part of the sleep program's relaxation phase. Indeed for days I was steamed, sloughed, kneaded, and glazed. The only thing that felt "experimental" was the forced wearing of the "brain light." (For a moment, I expected to hear a drill-wielding Laurence Olivier ask, "Is it safe?" Different movie, I know.) But the results of my Schlaf Profil (sleep profile) mandated that I wear the brain light. And I wasn't about to ask questions. For heaven's sake I was in Germany. Of course I followed orders! All this pampering made me feel like a capitalist pig in sh#t! The hotel is located just on the Western (free) side of where the Berlin Wall once stood. To get a taste of how the other half used to live, I forked over fifty bucks for the chance to drive a Trabant. The "Trabbi" was the car that pretty much everyone in the communist East drove - that is, everyone who waited twelve years for a car. (Its value was only slightly more than that of the loaf of bread you'd wait nine years to get.) Now they're collectors items, rented out for hugely enjoyable Trabbi Safari caravan tours. I chose to ride in the blue one: Don't be fooled by how hot I make this piece of kitsch look. If you ever needed proof of the inefficiency of the communist system, observe a Trabbi when the rain begins to fall: FOUR people to put the top on this Trabbi convertible?! What's more, the car has no cooling system which means it overheats going up the slightest of hills. And the fixtures aren't much more reliable. The tour guide reached to adjust the rear view mirror in this Trabbi and ... Oops. The Berlin Wall, of course, is still the greatest reminder of communism's failure. Many people don't realize that the wall was really two parallel walls. The East Germans (and Soviets) built the second wall about 100 yards inside their own territory. Meanwhile the West fearlessly built shops and homes all the way up to the edge of the actual border: it's not like anyone wanted to escape to the East. The East, on the other hand, could bark all it wanted that the Wall was meant to protect the East from the West; the construction of the inner wall was physical proof that what they really feared was the loss of their own citizens to a better place. Above: This thin strip of bricks runs along the path where the Berlin Wall once stood. Sitting in my Ritz-Carlton suite in Potsdamer Platz, overlooking the space between walls that was once known as the "death strip," it's nice to know that at least some places in the world are better than they used to be.
Sep 09, 2007 The Argus Claridge's
Dora, Bill and Alzheimer's
Dora Bryan and Bill Lawton Dora Bryan and Bill Lawton made their names as an actress and professional cricketer respectively. Now the Brighton couple, who have been married nearly 60 years, have slightly different roles. Six years ago Bill developed Alzheimer's and Dora looks after him full time. She spoke to reporter Rachel Pegg about how it feels to be a carer for someone you love. Dora and Bill fell in love after a chance meeting in the street. They have been together through nearly six decades raising a family while all the time in the public eye, having successful stage and sports careers and running a hotel. They still live in Marine Parade, where they once owned the glamorous Claridges hotel.
Recently their health has begun to suffer, with Dora enduring eye problems this year and undergoing a major operation for a hernia and Bill suffering from Alzheimer's. But despite their advancing age and increasing needs, their relationship is as strong as ever. Dora said: "87 is quite old but I don't think of him as 87. I don't think of myself as 83. We have been married for so long. It is a partnership. He looks after me and I look after him. "I talk too much, he doesn't talk enough. He doesn't have time to talk because I am always in first. That has always been the case. My mother used to say to me: Dora, give your brain a rest'. "We met outside the toilets in Oldham. I was waiting for a bus and he was waiting for a bus. It was a case, I wouldn't say of love at first sight but I said oh-ah and he said oh-ah. He thought I was Doris Day and I thought he was Gregory Peck. "He used his friend Eric to ask me whether I was going to the dance on the Saturday night on the big dance floor on top of the Co-op. It was during the war when the shows I was in were at the local repertory company. We had to finish at nine o'clock because of the air raids which gave me plenty of time to walk over the road to the Coop. "He asked me to dance and he walked me home. It was like that every Saturday. "We got married when I was about 27. I was doing very well in London by this time. He was a professional cricketer. "We were married on a Sunday because he was working at a school in London coaching and I was working at the theatre. My dad said, It is about time you two got married.' "We settled in London but we always liked Brighton. We used to come for the day, then we decided to live here. We have been here 48 years. We had a flat in London as well. "Then Bill gave up cricket because we bought a small hotel. It got bigger and bigger. Eventually we bought Claridges and turned it into flats and lost all our money. "The Conservative Government and Mrs Thatcher said borrow as much as you want. The bank collapsed on us and we had to start again. "We ran Claridges as a hotel. It was very popular because it was so cheap. It got so busy we had to move into it. Bill retired 20 years ago. Now I do personal appearances and charity concerts." Dora first noticed there was something different about Bill when she became frustrated he could not remember people or their plans. She explained: "It is forgetfulness more than anything. I went to the doctor about six years ago for something or other and the doctor said: How's Bill?'. I said: He is very forgetful. It drives me round the bend'. He said he'd make an appointment for him to see a specialist. "So I went with him to see the specialist and he sent Bill out of the room and said: I am afraid he's got Alzheimer's'. Well, to me that was the end of the world. "But it is only really old age, it isn't a disease as such. "They call it a disease. I don't think it is. We are all getting old and we don't remember things. "They started him on Aricept. Then last year they took everyone off because it was too expensive - £2.50 a day. Now he doesn't have any medication, just vitamin supplements. "He is no different now because he used to forget to take the Aricept. Really it was a waste of the Government's money to pay for people to forget to take their medication." Dora thinks people should not be afraid of an Alzheimer's diagnosis. "Nobody should be frightened if the doctor tells them their husband has got Alzheimer's. I would say, so what? If he says your husband's getting older, I would say, I know. "They shouldn't make films like Iris. I didn't see it but I read the book. "It is enough to frighten you. I don't say you should be frightened with the detail of an illness. It is like saying, you have got rheumatism. You think of someone all curled up. Anybody can have a bit of rheumatism or arthritis. "Bill didn't have a conventional life at all in the business of being a professional sportsman, driving to Lancashire and back and getting home in the middle of the night. "That helps because we never had the existence some people have, working nine to six with Saturday and Sunday off. Saturday has always been my busiest day. "Sunday is my day to go to church. Also because I had three children, I had to give the nanny a day off so my Sunday was much busier than doing work. I would be knitting, doing tapestry or writing a book. It was completely different from ordinary people's lives." On Friday, Bill has a carer so Dora can go out for four hours. She said: "I pay the Alzheimer's Society £17 a week. I am usually with him 24 hours a day. The rest of the time I get friends to pop in. "I have got a friend who lives in the block. If I say I am going to London, it is a bit of company for her and him. They have a cup of tea and watch the telly." At this point, Bill remarks that it has been a "long time" since he has had a cup of tea. He has just finished his second in an hour. His wife said: "He's forgotten. He's had four, which means I am the tea lady. It isn't a bad life, having Alzheimer's. You get cups of tea, cake and a dinner in the evening. "My sons do worry about Bill. They're frightened of things. I left the chip pan on the other day and went out. Fortunately one walked in and switched it off. That could have been a bit of a worry. "I did it earlier. I said to him, Didn't you smell it?'. "He forgets to tell me when someone's phoned. I tell people, if Bill answers the phone, make certain that you phone back. He forgets who people are but I forget who people are. "On his birthday, we had a little birthday party. When they were gone, he asked who all the people who had come for tea were? "I said, so and so and so and so. He said: Why have they given me all these presents?' There were chocolates and bottles of Champagne. Bill had a nice time. He thought it was just a party. "Recently I had a very bad eye and a strangulated hernia. I spent three weeks in hospital. The boys looked after him. He came up to the hospital to see me every day. "I opened the Neville Hospital for elderly medicine in Hove back in 2000, never dreaming that both of us would be going there." Dora said not everyone knows how to react to someone with Alzheimer's. "My grandsons are 12 and 13. They get on very well with Bill and love him dearly. They don't notice the Alzheimer's. Adults shout at Bill as if he's deaf. When it was Pride weekend, some people came over from Bournemouth. They all came over to him saying: Are you all right, Bill? "I said: He's not backward, there's nothing wrong with him.' "They said: He's a little bit deaf'. I said: You don't have to talk down to him'."
Sep 09, 2007 beaniecat The Dorchester Hotel London
Dorchester
Princess Beatrice and the her Mum the Duchess of York The 19-year-old Royal and her 47-year-old mother arrived in their strikingly similar outfits for a 'Children in Crisis' charity event at the Dorchester Hotel in London. The charity was founded by Ms Ferguson in 1993. It provides education projects in 10 countries around the world and helps over 250,000 children each year. While Sarah arrived without a partner, Beatrice had her American-born boyfriend Dave Clark in tow for the fundraiser.
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Sep 09, 2007 Ellen Tordesillas Luna Hotel Baglioni
Accompanied by his cousin, Benito “Bomboy” Araneta, Mike Arroyo left Manila Monday afternoon for Hong Kong. In Venice, a source said Mike Arroyo will be met by a very close female friend whom we identified earlier in this space as “E”, who is a Filipina carrying Swiss citizenship. “E” had gone ahead to Switzerland last week. Our source said Arroyo’s party is billeted at Luna Hotel Baglioni in Sestiere di San Marco. They will be brought there by boat.
An internet search showed that the Luna Hotel Baglioni, is one of the most elegant and luxurious hotels in Venice. It is said to be the oldest hotel in Venice. The Knights Templars are known to have stayed in a building on the Luna’s site in 1118 during the Crusades. Arroyo and his party will be staying in Venice up to Friday. On Saturday, they will all go to Zurich, the banking capital of Switzerland. As we all know, Switzerland is where people keep their money whose origins they cannot explain. The source said Arroyo’s good friend, Rey David, president of the Development Bank of the Philippines, will join Gloria’s husband, his lady friend, and his cousin. They will be in Zurich up to Monday. After three days in Zurich, they will proceed to Munich, Germany where they will be joined by two more businessmen, who are known as Arroyo’s cronies. The source said Mike Arroyo is expected to be back on Oct. 3 via Hong Kong again...
Sep 09, 2007 vpbrochure Palazzo Sant'Angelo sul Canal Grande
Palazzo Sant’Angelo Sul Canal Grande, Venezia
Scroll pages of the Virtual Panoramic Brochure of Palazzo Sant’Angelo Sul Canal Grande, Venezia Visit Virtual Panoramic Brochure to find more digital brochures.
The new boutique hotel overlooking the most fashionable waterway in the world welcomes Guests to its intimate home away from home. Located on the Canal Grande, between the Ponte di Rialto and the Academy, along with the pedestrian entrance just on the canal the Palazzo also offers its Guests a boat private wharf - a rare comfort in Venice. The hotel preserves the aristocratic ambiance it had when it was a private residence. Palazzo Sant’Angelo Sul Canal Grande San Marco 3878/B-3488 Venice, Italy Tel: +39 041 2411452 Fax: +39 041 2411557
Sep 09, 2007 Lebih Baru Hotel Bristol Vienna
Hotel Imperial
Discover all the majestic palace, Hotel Imperial, located on the magnificent Ring Boulevard has to offer. Built in 1863, the sumptuous Hotel Imperial was originally the Vienna residence of the Prince of Württemberg. Transformed into a hotel for the world exhibition in 1873, Hotel Imperial showcases the 19th century romance of Vienna with pristine marble, hand carved statues, and spectacular crystal chandeliers. Named one of the "Best of the Best" and one of the "Top 75 Resorts in Europe," the hotel is renowned worldwide for its discreet and impeccable service.
We take pride in pampering and delighting travelers accustomed to staying in the finest locations. Host an intimate gathering or grand festival in one of our remarkably elegant salons or experience the noble ambience of the timeless Imperial Restaurant. Sip gourmet coffees at Café Imperial, where many famous authors wrote masterpieces. Tradition lives on in the delicate aroma of this cultivated coffee house. The Vienna of yesteryear is evident within the walls of our well-appointed guest rooms featuring tasteful furnishings, precious antiques, marble bathrooms, and walls cocooned in silk. Every room blends timeless elegance with the latest comfort. Impeccable butler service is provided in several of our exquisite suites, including the Executive Junior Suite, Elisabeth Suite, Maisonette Suite, Imperial Suite and Royal Suite
Sep 09, 2007 flickr The Fairmont Empress, Victoria
The Fairmont Empress Hotel in downtown Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
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