décor galore with royal oak

December 30th, 2009

viv image copy

What do famed fashion guru Vivienne Westwood and The Royal Oak Foundation have in common? (more…)

t+l 500: world’s best hotels 2010

December 22nd, 2009

It’s time for champagne popping (and not because New Year’s Eve is just around the corner). Travel + Leisure magazine has doled out its annual T+L 500 awards to the top hotels across the globe. And with three of our properties in the top 50 and 14 listed overall, we feel a little bit like celebrating. Check out the ones that made the cut:

Anantara Dhigu Resort & Spa (#37 in the World)

Anantara Golden Triangle Resort & Spa

Anantara Hua Hin Resort & Spa

Anantara Koh Samui Resort & Spa (now Anantara Bophut Resort & Spa)

Inn on the Alameda

Palacio Duhau, Park Hyatt Buenos Aires (#11 in the World and #1 in South America)

Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort & Spa

Park Hyatt Beijing

Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme

Park Hyatt Saigon

Park Hyatt Shanghai

Park Hyatt Sydney

Rosewood Mayakobá (#18 in the World and #1 in Mexico)

The Wauwinet

White Elephant

resolution for 2010? positive travel!

December 18th, 2009

2010 is drawing nigh, which means it’s time to start drafting your list of resolutions. What changes will you make for a fresh start? Exercise more? Eat healthier? Try not to elbow so much during that hectic morning commute on the subway?

A New Year presents a clean slate for penciling in vacations abroad, but often travelers forget that a trip is also an opportunity to appreciate a foreign culture and support the local businesses.

So lace up those sneakers, swap that hunk of fruitcake for a carrot, and read up on some sound travel resolutions from Ethical Traveler’s Jeff Greenwald. In “Thirteen Tips for the Accidental Ambassador,” Greenwald outlines the secrets to making a positive impact overseas.

One of our favorites? Learn – and respect – the traditions and taboos of your host country! Each culture has its own customs, and they’re often taken very seriously. For example, never pat a Thai child on the head, enter a traditional Brahmin’s kitchen, or refuse a cup of kava in Fiji!

For the full list of rules, click here.

vacay the swiss way

December 17th, 2009

VJC and LRG montage

Here’s something worth yodeling about: travelers can now extend their next Swiss vacation at no extra cost. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love freebies?

For any three consecutive nights booked at La Réserve Geneva Hotel, guests will enjoy the third night FREE. Spend the extra evening relaxing in refined comfort on a soft velvet bedspread, or dining on seasonal Mediterranean dishes at the Le Loti restaurant. Rates start from CHF 900/night (about $857); offer is available for Executive and Deluxe Rooms and all Suites and includes access to all of the hotel facilities.

We all wish we could slow down Father Time. Well, at the Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa, it’s truly possible with a 30-hour day offering. For every 24 hours booked, with check-in at the guest’s convenience, six hours are added on as a gift. For example, a noon check-in is good until 6 p.m. the next day.  And, multiple 24-hour days can add up! Arrive at noon on Friday with expected check out on Monday at noon – that’s three 24-hour days plus an extra 18 hours.  So, one can stay an extra day and a half (until Tuesday at 6 p.m.) for nothing. 

your body after all the after-parties

December 14th, 2009

We love the holiday party circuit, but after all is said and done, our bodies are left thoroughly damaged. No sleep, too much food and drink, and full hair and makeup for every event leave our hair looking lack-luster, our bodies a bit bloated, and our visage dull – not a pretty picture!

 Here are ESPA’s 20-minute fixes to help combat the after-holiday body blues:

 To Strengthen Fried Hair

ESPA Pink Hair and Scalp Mud

This hair and scalp treatment gives luster and manageability to dry, damaged, and chemically treated hair. 

 20-Minute Fix: Massage onto dry scalp and smooth a second layer through the hair and leave on for 20 minutes before washing off.


To Slim a Bloated Body

ESPA Detoxifying Seaweed Bath

This algae-rich seaweed bath is great for those trying to detox or slim down as it acts as a lymphatic circulatory stimulant that eliminates bloating and fluid retention.   

20-Minute Fix: Add two capfuls twice weekly to a warm bath and immerse body for 20 minutes before cleansing as usual. 

To Brighten a Tired Face

ESPA Essential Mineral Mask

This cleansing mask is made with natural clays, minerals, and essential oils that draw out skin impurities while rebalancing moisture levels and refreshing the skin without it ever becoming dry and flaky.

20-Minute Fix: Apply a generous layer over the entire face, neck, and décolleté and leave on for 15-20 minutes before washing off with warm water.

All products are available online at ESPA’s revamped website www.espaonline.com or at ESPA spas worldwide, including The Peninsula Spa by ESPA, New York.

For more information or samples of the above, please e-mail janet@alicemarshall.com or call 212 861 4031.

tryst with a twist at met london

December 14th, 2009

Met copy

The sophisticated Metropolitan London presents a classic romance package – with a little spice. Book Rendez-Vous at the Met in time for Valentine’s Day, or any weekend that requires some sizzle.

For the chocoholic, the offering gets off to a sweet start with a tray of handmade bonbons waiting in the room upon arrival. Snuggle up together and select a complimentary film of your choice from the movie channel. 

Later it is lights out, but not before taking a peek inside the “Seduction Bedside Box” for a selection of nighttime necessities:  COMO Shambhala “Harmony” Massage Oils, a 20% discount off Coco de Mer goodies, a Luxury Suede and Silk Blindfold by Jimmy Jane, and other items.

Who doesn’t love lounging in bed all day? The Met ensures you will by providing a champagne breakfast for two the next day and extending the check-out time until 4 p.m. Cost is £329 for a City Room.  

‘heritage travel’ on the rise

December 14th, 2009

Gozaic, a online travel community devoted to cultural and heritage travel, recently made some rather interesting discoveries about the habits of U.S. travelers. It appears that authentic experiences centered around the exploration of history and culture are more popular than ever! Here are some tidbits from Gozaic’s research.

  • 40% of U.S. pleasure-travelers  (not business travelers) are engaging in cultural/heritage travel.
  • Those taking  cultural/heritage trips are going on MORE of said trips, an average of 5, while those engaging in other kinds of travel averaged less than 4 trips this year.
  • These same people are also spending 66% more money per trip that the average U.S. trip taker.

View the rest of the results.

Want to see what all the fuss is about? Start by visiting Santa Fe, the nation’s oldest capital city. It was just listed as a Destination to Watch for 2010 on SmarterTravel.com and is celebrating its 400th Anniversary in 2010. Stay at the Inn on the Alameda, celebrating their 24 years in the heart of the city, and take advantage of the city-wide bash, including arts and lecture series, free outdoor movies in the summer and Historic Dinner Re-Creation at El Rancho de las Golondrinas in July!

Inn on the Alameda’s Historic Santa Fe Package includes:

  • A two (2)-night stay in one of the Inn’s distinctive southwestern accommodations
  • Passes for two (2) people for admission to the New Mexico History Museum
  • One (1) copy of The Essence of Santa Fe, a rich photographic history of past and present that reveals the magic of this enchanting city
  • A set of four historic (4) Santa Fe note cards to send or frame
  • One (1) “I Love Santa Fe” bumper sticker to remind you of your trip through history
  • A lavish continental “Breakfast of Enchantment” served each morning at the Inn
  • An afternoon wine and cheese reception offered daily in the Inn’s distinctive Agoyo Room

Visit http://www.innonthealameda.com/ for more details.


turquoise in 2010

December 11th, 2009

The Pantone Color Institute®, the acknowledged international standard-setter for color, has announced that turquoise is its color of the year for 2010, describing it as “an inviting, luminous hue.”

“In many cultures, turquoise occupies a very special position in the world of color,” explains Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “It is believed to be a protective talisman, a color of deep compassion and healing, and a color of faith and truth, inspired by water and sky. Through years of color word-association studies, we also find that Turquoise represents an escape to many – taking them to a tropical paradise that is pleasant and inviting, even if only a fantasy.”

Here is a list of our favorite turquoise fantasies: Dream away!

Parrot Cay, Turks & Caicos

White sandy beaches, clear turquoise waters, kaleidoscopic marine life, and flocks of brilliantly plumed tropical birds – no wonder Parrot Cay is where A-listers go to kick off their shoes and escape the world’s zoom lens.  

The beautiful view from Parrot Cay, Turks & Caicos

Inn on the Alameda, Santa Fe

Nestled in the heart of the city, the Inn on the Alameda is the perfect location from which to discover Santa Fe, the city that is home to beautiful handcrafted Native American turquoise jewelry.   Sip on the Inn’s signature drink- a turquoise margarita of course!- while you unwind in the tranquility of the 71 thoughtfully-designed rooms and suites, whose interior spaces, handcrafted finishes, graceful Pueblo-style architecture and authentic southwestern decor capture the timeless essence of New Mexico.

The turquoise margarita is Inn on the Alameda’s signature drink.

Crystal Cruises

Crystal’s signature turquoise seahorse logo is not the only shade of blue to see while cruising the world’s oceans. Escape to blissful tranquility, where gentle trade winds caress the senses and sandy beaches are wrapped in turquoise waters with Crystal’s Caribbean Voyages. Or set sail for the storied Mediterranean where turquoise is the color of the sea, the color in a brilliantly patterned rug in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, or the beautiful color of the sky over Santorini seen from your private verandah. 

crystal pool

Crystal’s signature turquoise seahorses logo

Crystal has made the deal even sweeter with 2- for-1 pricing on all itineraries in 2010 as part of the line’s 20th Anniversary promotion.  What’s more, free business class or economy air for most sailings, so you can have your cake and eat it, too!

The Maldives, Indian Ocean

Almost everything you see in The Maldives is turquoise, cerulean, and azure, and the three Anantara properties are no different! In the South Malé Atoll, neighboring properties Anantara Dhigu and Anantara Veli offer overwater suites and beachfront villas, so you can take in the views of the surrounding Indian Ocean. Or, check out Naladhu on its private island for the ultimate romantic experience with only 19 beach-facing villas.  Lastly, never too early to plan for your upcoming summer vacation! If you find yourself headed to The Maldives, check out the soon-to-be-opened all-suites Anantara Kihavah on Kihavah Huravalhi, one of the most exclusive of all The Maldivian islands (opening July 2010).

Blue-sky view of the Indian Ocean from a room at the new Anantara Kihavah

Cocoa Island’s distant locale, intimate size, and striking surroundings (turquoise as far as the eye can see) impart a Robinson Crusoe feel to the atypical Maldivian getaway. Wake up to an empty horizon from your over-water bungalow at a small private resort designed for those seeking an easygoing, toes-in-the sand experience. The rich, warm turquoise waters and bountiful coral also promise some of the world’s best beaches, snorkeling and diving.

Ariel view of Cocoa Island in the Indian Ocean

re-source-ful spa treatment at gleneagles

December 11th, 2009

The Spa at Gleneagles by ESPA has launched a new signature treatment, “The Source”, which uses local ingredients from the streams and hills of the surrounding Perthshire, Scotland countryside.

No chemicals or artificial products here!  The treatment uses local, river-washed stones as part of a calming footbath at the beginning of the treatment, and after a full body exfoliation, the body is wrapped in a muslin herbal poultice made of lavender, rosemary, oats, and elderflower collected from nearby hills and fields.   The ritual finishes with a body and scalp massage.  “The Source” is available as a two-hour treatment for €180 or as a three-hour day spa ritual for €275 which includes an Oshadi Envelopment and unique bento box lunch.

After enjoying this local treatment, pick up ESPA’s new aromatic candle containing the therapeutic aroma of frankincense, orange, cedar wood, patchouli, and zesty lemon.  The candle is available exclusively at the Spa at Gleneagles for €25, however all over ESPA candles can be purchased at www.espaonline.com.

Gleneagles is one of Scotland’s most luxurious 5 star resorts set in 850 acres of Perthshire countryside.  The ESPA spa opened in 2008 and features 20 spacious treatment rooms and a black vitality pool lit with fiber optics, along with ESPA’s usual assortment of extraordinary heat experiences (crystal steam rooms, tropical showers, chilling ice rubs, and saunas).


afternoon tease at the metropolitan london

December 11th, 2009

met lon seduction 2

Thank you, thank you, thank you. That’s what your significant other is sure to say upon your return from the Metropolitan London’s latest version of afternoon tea – Cour-tea-san De-light.  The hotel’s sophisticated Met Bar has teamed up with lingerie brand The Modern Courtesan to host a monthly sass-filled “Seduction Class.”

Participants can sip champagne and Modern Courtesan cocktails, and nibble a selection of treats from the aphrodisiac-inspired Afternoon De-Light menu – chili and chocolate macaroons, ginger muffins, and strawberry cupcakes.

Top industry experts, including best-selling authors, burlesque performers, erotic photographers and filmmakers, adult gift purveyors, and courtesans, will be on-hand to provide guests with their naughtiest know-how.  Before rushing home to test out those sultry skills, stop by the ‘Seduction Boudoir’ to pick out a weapon of mass seduction or two.

Tickets are £50 per person and must be purchased in advance. Available dates are January 16, February 6, February 13 (just in time for Valentine’s Day!), March 13, and April 3. For further information please contact 020 7447 1025.