how tough?

November 24th, 2010

Empty Quarter at Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara

Looking for a new work-out routine for the New Year? Think about following in the footsteps of the 50 teams that will be competing in the Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge December 10-15 across the emirate.

The six-day trek consists of running, swimming, biking, kayaking, mountaineering and desert-skills orientation as four-member teams will travel from the Jebel Hafeet (the highest peak in the UAE) across the Rub’ al Khali (the world’s largest expanse of unbroken sand) and 80 miles of sea kayaking section to the finish line in Abu Dhabi. An added incentive besides obvious bragging rights and six-pack abs, winners will receive $40,000.

For those seeking to rest weary bones, a 90-minute drive back into the Liwa Desert is just the ticket! Visit the spa at Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara to massage out the kinks and enjoy the desert view. The spa features a heated marble Hammam with Jacuzzi shower and fountains designed to soothe and rejuvenate the body.

oceanic office

November 24th, 2010

Anantara Endless Beach

Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas has a diverse and educated staff at every property – many of whom also use the grounds to pursue their personal interests. In the Maldives, Lindsay Sullivan serves as resident marine scientist and loves being able to share her passion for the underwater world with guests.

Lindsay leads Anantara’s Dolphin Quest, guides snorkelling excursions, is the resident Dive Master, and has established a coral nursery to rehabilitate damaged pieces. She replants broken coral and stresses reef conservation to locals. In the future, she hopes to work as reef consultant and travel the world, though her first love is the beautiful dive spots in the Maldives.

holiday in switzerland

November 24th, 2010

Celebrate the holidays on the shores of Lake Geneva, with some indulgent pampering, of course. La Réserve Genève is offering a special menu of spa treatments for the holiday season from December 1-January 15. And after a day at the spa, celebrate with Christmas Eve dinner or the New Year’s Eve fete, which turns into a DJ-fueled dance party at midnight. (For the little ones, Santa Claus will also be making an appearance on Christmas day.) Hotel rates from $422.

La Reserve Geneva


“Easy Does It” for him and her

Enjoy some intimate relaxation with a sweet grenadine and Barbary fig exfoliation followed by an Asian massage, sweetened with orange flower. Snack on a fruit cocktail with lunch at the Café Lauren spa restaurant and take advantage of full access to spa equipment, indoor pool, steam rooms, sauna, and fitness facilities.

$393 per person (390 CHF)



“Full Elegance”

The pure gold radiance treatment with Cellular Radiance Concentrate Pure Gold works by slowing down the degradation of collagen and elastin with pure 24 carat gold, making your skin bright, radiant, and firm. Afterwards, enjoy a manicure or pedicure followed by lunch at Café Lauren spa restaurant.

$393 per person (390 CHF)



“Quite an Agenda” (4 days)

The intensive personalized program is based on a preliminary evaluation of your acid-base, stress level, and concentration, as well as an osteopathic analysis and a breathing and cardiac test. Its goal is to combine nutrition, massage, treatments, and sports activity to cleanse the body, and to adopt new life habits so you head home in top shape.

This includes:

-4 hydromassage baths

-2 personalized body wraps

-1 body exfoliation

-1 skin scrub

-2 La Réserve “Better Aging” body massages (80 minutes)

-2 La Réserve “Better Aging” body massages (1 hour and 50 minutes)

-3 personal training sessions

-1 complete slimming/sculpting treatment (80 minutes)

-Daily sports activities (yoga, do in, stretching, Pilates, aquagym)

-Full board with 3 meals per day at Café Lauren (excluding beverages)

-Access to spa facilities

$3230 per person (3200CHF)

spice it up

November 23rd, 2010

Crystal Symphony

After the season of indulgence, why not spice things up for your taste buds aboard Crystal Symphony’s South American Food & Wine sailing in February? Escape winter’s chill while savoring the red hot flavors of South America.  Departing from Buenos Aires and sailing to Miami, let the culinary Latin locals lead the way.

Neriton Vasconcelos, owner and head chef of The Galley, one of the most exclusive restaurants in São Paulo; Matias Kyriazis & Estefania di Benedetto, owners and chefs at Paraje Arevalo in Buenos Aires;  and Eugenio Jardim,  Brazilian native and wine director at San Francisco’s Jardiniere with a reputation for seeking out unique and exciting vintages will all be aboard for tastings, demos, and special menus.

To wash it all down, “Modern Mixologist” Tony Abou-Ganim will provide onboard cocktail making sessions with tips and techniques on creating local concoctions.  Travelers can keep up the flavors off the ship with a cooking lesson at a local Brazilian restaurant led by Crystal chefs.

We recommend a tango lesson to burn those extra calories!

cheers to voyage privé

November 23rd, 2010

We know that Voyage Privé was the pioneer in luxury travel sale sites, but it’s great to see that Condé  Nast Traveler agrees!   In the latest issue, Traveler announced that Voyage Privé was the very first “invite-only Web site” to put “grand hotels within reach of an aspirational audience.”  That audience has grown to include over six million members in France, Italy, the UK, and the United States.   For the entire article see p. 58 in the December issue, which hits newsstands this week.

For an opportunity to join Voyage Privé and enter to win a $2500 travel credit, visit the  Dream Travel Sweepstakes page.


swiss miss (or mister)

November 23rd, 2010

Palace Luzern Spa

While the holiday season might mean last minute shopping trips and extended family gatherings for some, see how some of the Swiss will be celebrating for a lesson in true holiday R&R.

Where: Palace Luzerne, Switzerland

What: Another reason to move to Switzerland

Why: Swiss hospitality is extending its courtesies to local parents this Holiday season. The Goose ‘n Wellness package will pick-up Swiss moms or dads in a limousine for a day of spa pampering with an evening make-over for mothers and a ‘manly’ manicure for fathers, while hotel chefs prepare a traditional Holiday meal including roasted goose, mashed potatoes, and red cabbage. When ready to return home (we think it could be hard), the limousine will take refreshed parents home with the perfectly prepared meal back to an awaiting family.

When: December 24-26. 579 Swiss Francs per mother including wellness treatment, glass of champagne and Christmas dinner for four.

for chicago foodies

November 19th, 2010

Michelin Award

It may have been a slice of deep dish for the last century, but no visit to Chicago can be considered culinary-ily complete now unless it contains a visit to NoMI at Park Hyatt Chicago.

The restaurant received a 2011 Michelin Guide star rating in the first-ever Windy City edition released this week. The guide is a culmination of a two-year anonymous inspection process that covers 23 countries. 

Bon Appétit!

eyes down deep

November 18th, 2010

Manmade Reef

If you have a fear of what’s below you in the ocean, a “new” (man-made and man-shaped) reef in Mexico might not be the place to conquer it. However, if you want to swim among statues and see the latest in coral reef restoration efforts, this is your spot… an artificial reef off the east coast of Mexico made entirely from human statues.  Mastermind behind this installment is British artist, Jason de Caires Taylor, who used local Mexican residents to create the ‘life casts’ and shaped each of the 350 statues from materials with a neutral pH to encourage coral growth.


Creepy or awesome?

le pavillon des lettres is officially open!

November 18th, 2010

On November 10th the little sister to Parisian favorite, Pavillon de la Reine, opened its doors to guests. A classic Haussman townhouse in the 8th arrondissement, the boutique hotel, Le Pavillon des Lettres, features 26 rooms – each devoted to a letter of the alphabet and an international writer corresponding to that letter. Shakespeare, Baudelaire and Rousseau are among the authors whose quotes are elegantly scrawled on the walls en Français. For English translations, boot up the room’s dedicated iPad, which is stocked with international bestsellers and daily newspapers, as well as jazz and classical music. A treat awaits bookworms that prefer the feel of paper betwixt their fingers, with the hotel’s cozy library (complete with an Honesty Bar) that is stocked with the works of all 26 featured authors, and more.

Just in time for the holiday season, the hotel’s opening rates start at €300 through February 28, 2011[1] and include breakfast, complimentary Champagne from 6 -8pm, and a special gift of a caddy of  the “2000 ans d’écriture” tea from the exclusive French tea house, Le Thé des Écrivains. It is a green tea, flavored with cinnamon and honey, accompanied by cardamom pods and cinnamon sticks[2].


And if Paris’ quintessential charm isn’t enough, here are some reasons to visit now (as if one ever needs a reason to visit Paris…)

  • The Marché du No­el is set up along Champs Elysée from November 19-December 28
  • Swan Lake is playing at the Opéra-Bastille from November 29- January 5
  • Antiquity Rediscovered is the new exhibit at the Louvre from December 3-February 14
  • The state-regulated winter “soldes” are from January 12-February 15
  • Madame Butterfly is playing at the Opéra-Bastille from January 16-February 14

Click here to place a reservation, or dial +33 (0)1 49 24 26 26 to reach the hotel directly.

For further information, or to request high res images, please contact Sarah Winters or Lauren Wintemberg at Alice Marshall Public Relations on 212.861.4031 or |

[1] Blackout dates apply: December 29th – January 2nd


[2] Recommended preparation of “2000 ans d’écriture” tea: Sprinkle a pinch of tea; add a few grains of cardamom to enhance and some cinnamon bark for color’s sake. Let it boil for a few minutes and add sugar. Seep through and serve.

daily brew

November 18th, 2010

Anantara Baan Rajprasong Kitchen

Who wants to pay for a to-go coffee every morning on vacation? When you’re only alternative is the less-than-appealing packets of instant coffee and powder creamers, what’s a traveler to do? A recent article from USA Today observed that hotels are offering a more sophisticated approach to our society’s caffeine addiction with in-room amenities that really make the cut. Stay at an Anantara Hotels, Resorts, & Spas properties in Bali, Thailand, the Maldives, or the UAE, and get the cream of the crop; all 12 have Nespresso machines in each room. Let the buzz begin!