celluloid travels

August 27th, 2008

Fan or foe of the many period films made in England these days (Becoming Jane and The Duchess, to name but two), there is no denying the moody allure of the backdrops. With a wealth of preserved grounds and estates at the ready, filmmakers go straight to the source, forgoing the dreaded green screen. This holiday, take a trip full of cinematic intrigue and visit one of many National Trust properties that have played roles in the iconic films of our time.

Make the deal a little sweeter with some pre-trip planning: savvy travelers who join The Royal Oak Foundation, the US affiliate of the venerable National Trust, gain FREE access to all the properties featured below. Individual Royal Oak Foundation memberships cost only $55; pay only $90 for an entire family membership. Don’t wait, though – buying a membership pass in the UK means paying double, as an individual membership costs a whopping £46!

The most recent films shot on location at National Trust properties include…


si kao/sea cow

August 27th, 2008

This fall is an exciting time for Anantara Resorts & Spas; following the opening of Anantara Phuket in October, its newest property opens just north of the island in Si Kao. The resort lies on Changlang Beach, part of the Hat Chao Mai National Park, and guarantees the ultimate getaway-from-it-all experience. This untouched corner of Thailand provides opportunities for guests to experience the environment: explorations to surrounding rainforests, caves, and waterfalls; private day trips to the deserted island of Koh Krandan populated with rugged limestone cliffs and vast rubber plantations; or getting up close and personal with the area’s famous natives – sea cows! (more…)

pop a cold one

August 27th, 2008

Nantucket is not known for its affordability, but the new Harbor Wok at the Jared Coffin House is doing its part as the economy slows. To celebrate its opening (and go easy on islanders’ wallets), the Wok is offering $2 Coronas all night and one free appetizer per person from 4:30-5:30 pm. Diners choose from the traditional Chinese Vegetable Spring Rolls, Peking Ravioli with Pork or American Chicken Fingers and Chicken Wings. Light beer and Chinese food – we might call that the perfect post-beach meal. And unlike certain other in-town watering holes, this one won’t break the bank.

not your average conference room

August 26th, 2008

While the old adage suggests that one should never mix business with pleasure, we believe it’s wise to “never say never” (when it comes to hotel accommodations, at least). Luxury hotels offer meeting-goers the best in technology, sustenance, and experience – not to mention plush bedding and great views. And while the conference may be the most important part of the trip, corporations are able to add value and meaning to the retreat. Not only will meetings be efficient, morale will soar. (more…)

new product alert: como shambhala purify

August 20th, 2008

The Purify collection softens, hydrates and repairs, as well as rebalances oily and combination skins by using pure natural botanicals. True to COMO Shambhala‘s founding principles, the use of botanicals and natural ingredients without coloring, artificial fragrances, petrochemicals, colour, parabens (preservatives widely used in cosmetics) or Sodium Lauryl Sulphate. The ingredient blend is a mood elevating and refreshing combination of pure essential oils, algae, hibiscus extract, and a wild orchid that grows in Bhutan.

For further information on COMO Shambhala products, cuisine, and lifestyle, read more here.

trend: gem of a treatment

August 20th, 2008

Jewels of Arabia at Amara at Park Hyatt Dubai
Depending on a guests’ personal needs, the spa concierge will custom design an Amara spa program, based on the healing properties of the most precious “Jewels of Arabia”: Diamond (Energy, Clarity, Revival), Emerald (Detox, Cleanse, Heal), Ruby (Restore, Anti-Aging, Revitalize), Sapphire (Relax, Calm, Balance). Launched Spring 2008.


saline solution

August 18th, 2008

Word on the streets is that salt is one of the big F&B trends for 2008/2009 – and we’re not talking basic NaCl. Instead, dishes like salted caramel gelato and tuna tartare with smoked salt are at the forefront of this year’s menus. Catering to that highly refined set of tastebuds is the in-house salt sommelier at Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort & Spa.


sleeping rover

August 5th, 2008

Pamper your pet with Draper Canine beds, now available at the Woof Cottages. These therapeutic beds guarantee a restful sleep that will relax tired muscles and repair aching joints. The ingenious Holofiber material maximizes oxygen flow throughout the bloodstream to increase energy for seagull chasing and beach running. Even a full day on the sandy Nantucket shores won’t tire these pets. Sandpipers beware!

phuket perfection

August 5th, 2008

In October, Anantara‘s flagship property Anantara Phuket Resort & Spa will open on the remote Mai Khao Beach on Thailand‘s northern shores. Removed from the overcrowded coast in the south, the new development signifies the island is back and hotter than ever, following the devastation of a tsunami in 2004. The hotel affords incredible access to its surroundings, lying on the edge of Sirinath National Park, a verdant ecosystem with secluded beaches, jungles, and mangrove forests. Ideal spots for a castaway picnic include the nearby Similan Islands with their breathtaking coral reefs or remote Phang Nga Bay with views of limestone cliffs that float above the waters of the uninhabited bay and pristine white sand beach. The resort boasts 83 pool villas, arranged in the style of a traditional southern Thai water village around a lagoon. Each villa – framed by gardens and large, lily-filled ponds designed by renowned architect Bill Bensley (included in Architectural Digest‘s “AD 100″) – has its own 377-square-foot infinity pool and terrazzo tub for two. Villas start around $905 per night. (more…)