easter is sweet again

February 27th, 2009

Remember when the easter bunny used to deliver truckloads of candy on Easter morning?  It was glorious…and then we grew-up and the candy stopped coming.

So, easter bunny, listen up!  This year, we would like to taste the sweetness of Easter in a sophisticated, grown-up way, perhaps with the Afternoon De-Light  at the Met Bar, which serves up delicious eco-tinis and gorgeous low-fat cupcakes, a health conscious and hip alternative to British afternoon tea. 

And because that silly rabbit probably won’t pull through with the candy freebies of our childhood, the Metropolitan London is stepping up and offering guests a complimentary box of hand-made chocolates after enjoying Afternoon De-Light, this April 10th through 13th, 2009.   Delightful and delicious!

connect with community

February 26th, 2009

Guests of the newly opened Anantara Phuket Resort & Spa can participate in a ”community day” excursion tothe coastal village of Baan Talay Nok in the Ranong province north of Phuket, one of the most devastated during the 2004 Tsunami. 

Working side-by-side with tsunami survivors in a handicraft cooperative, Anantara Phuket guests can help villagers with soap making, batik painting, and palm weaving, and proceeds from the sale of these items serve as supplemental income for the cooperative members.

In addition to volunteering, guests can also join in a soccer match with the children, go for a jungle hike, or practice speaking Thai with the elders. Anantara Phuket‘s community day is more than a day of volunteerism; it’s an opportunity for guests to take away with them experiences greater than those that money can buy.

spring cleaning

February 25th, 2009

The ESPA Renew Home Spa Collection

Detoxification is on everyone’s lips for 2009; from drinking questionable celebrity-endorsed concoctions to hammams entering mainstream culture, ridding the excess of 2008 is in full swing. ESPA offers a holistic approach to flushing toxins from the body with the ESPA Renew Home Spa Collection, which includes four of their top detoxifying products and a handy lifestyle guide.

This ESPA collection includes Seaweed Bath, Detoxifying Bath and Body Oils, and Detoxifying Salt Scrub packaged in ESPA‘s signature claret gift box for $84. Additionally, ESPA offers three detoxifying treatments including the Stimulating Hip and Thigh Treatment, Detoxifying Algae Wrap, and Detoxifying Massage. To find an ESPA near you, click here.

crack the case and sleuth it up in agatha christie’s diggs

February 20th, 2009

Photo courtesy of ©NTPL/Nadia Mackenzie

Where did the Queen of Crime choose to go on holiday?  Mystery solved: to the Devon countryside and her home Greenway, newly renovated and open to the public for the first time to view or even to stay.  Plan a murder mystery weekend and rent “The Apartment” – the second and third floors of the crime writer’s haven – which accommodates a party of ten, sans any disappearances! 


will yodel for spring

February 19th, 2009

One can still hear yodelers calling from the Alps in Switzerland.  In a country with such a rich relationship to the outdoors, that’s not surprising. 

But who knew that there are three major music festivals a year in Lucerne?  The first festival took place seventy years ago, in the gardens of Richard Wagner’s villa.  Now an Easter festival, Summer festival, and Piano festival round out the year in this beloved Swiss city.

First up is the LUCERNE FESTIVAL at Easter, from March 28 to April 5.  The mix of sacred and secular music, much of it performed in churches around the city, just might lift everyone out of their winter blues.   Among the headlining events is the soaring conclusion to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and performances honoring the 200th anniversary of the death of Haydn and the 250th anniversary of the death of Handel.  A new spin on a ‘spring awakening,’ for sure.

As an added pleasure for culture-lover, several events will take place at the KKL, the Culture and Congress Center.  The KKL was designed by Jean Nouvel, an edgy architect who was awarded the Pritzker Prize in 2008.  The KKL has outrageous acoustics and overhangs Lake Lucerne.  The spot is so sensational that it may just inspire a little yodeling.

Come home to the Palace Luzern, just across the lake from the KKL.  Feast at their Michelin-starred restaurant Jasper and hear a little night music at the bar, where the musicians tend to hang out after-hours.  Finally, curl up in the Suite of Arts and wake up to a Swiss spring.

yoga with the yees

February 17th, 2009

Kick-starting this year’s yoga retreat schedule at Parrot Cay is the dynamic yoga duo Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman Yee.  From April 19 to 25, 2009, this married couple will lead limber guests in four to five hours of yoga a day as part of a five-day retreat week focused on health, wellness, and learning, all in the peaceful still of Parrot Cay

Their program entitled ”Moving from Conflict Toward Peace: An Exploration of Asana, Pranayama, Meditation, and Chanting” invites students to a take a vacation both physically and mentally by ignoring the mind’s chatter through observation, vibration, and movement (as well as some hard work and a little rock and roll music!) (more…)

we’re having a swiss moment

February 12th, 2009

New York is buzzing about the opening of Café Select, an authentic Swiss spot from the same owner as La Esquina.  The New Yorker calls the cuisine “Swiss soul food” and that “it may not be the Jungfraujoch, but it does make for a lovely morning.”

We have a tip for feeling more insider-y next time you order up rösti and raclette in downtown New York:  see the real Jungfraujoch for a song this spring, and stay in the hotel of those Swiss Alps.  The Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa has just introduced an ongoing Internet Special, offering unusually low rates.  Nightly rates for two begin at € 250 (about $320); normal rates for two begin at €613 (about $786)…quel difference! Who said Switzerland is too expensive?

If you go soon, enjoy spring skiing with the free shuttle to the lifts.  For those feeling less adventurous, all rooms have an outrageous view of the Swiss Alps, and all guests have full access to the 60,000-square foot spa. 

Book at www.victoria-jungfrau.ch/en.  You might feel a little homesick the next time you settle into the booth on Lafayette Street. 

georgia (and gloria) on my mind

February 5th, 2009

Calling fabulous females everywhere!  Gloria Steinem, famed writer and political activist, will be honored by the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe this March 7th, 2009 as the museum’s  Woman of Distinction of 2009. The Women of Distinction series honors one contemporary woman each year whose contributions to society and culture mirror those of Georgia O’Keeffe, the artist whose vibrant painting draw heavily from New Mexico’s unique spirituality and individuality, as well as the famed landscape.  The Inn on the Alameda, one of Santa Fe’s finest hotels, offers the perfect plan for attending the event while also exploring the source of O’Keeffe’s inspirations.  The Inn is nestled at the foot of historic Canyon Road, an ideal spot within walking distance of the galleries, museums, restaurants, open-air mercados, and fascinating shops that are the heart of Santa Fe’s vibrant spiritual and cultural community.  Details below!