le petite prince (and princess)

May 30th, 2012

Been there, done that? This summer, embark on a different family-friendly getaway in Geneva, Switzerland, with La Réserve Genève.

Where: Nestled along the shores of Lake Geneva, La Réserve Genève, the contemporary five-star hotel with interiors by Jacques Garcia, features spacious rooms and suites, some even with separate kitchens and living and dining rooms – ideal for families.

Fun for the Little Ones: Younger guests can spend their days at La Petite Réserve, an en plein playground and tree house. Daily supervised age-appropriate activities and babysitting services are available for kids ages six months to 14 years and include tennis, golf, diving, sailing, wakeboarding, and swimming lessons. *

Fun for Adults: Parents can relax poolside indulging in a luxurious spa treatment using products such as La Prairie, enjoying an intimate meal at one of the property’s three restaurants, or cruising around Geneva in one of the hotel’s Tesla roadsters.

Fun Times Together: Geneva is home to a variety of family-friendly festivals this summer, including the Bol D’Or (June 15-17), in which 600 boats and yachts take to the waters of Lake Geneva in a contest for the Golden Cup, or the Fêtes de Genève (July 19 – August 12), one of the biggest events in Switzerland offering over 250 free concerts, crafts, food, and one of the largest musical firework shows in the world.

For more information about La Réserve Genève click here, or call +41 22 959 59 59.

*The kids program is offered Monday through Friday from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM. One week enrollment costs 1,200 CHF (approximately $1,322 USD).

the wauwinet honored by travel + leisure in 2012 world’s best service awards

May 29th, 2012

The Wauwinet, the only Relais & Châteaux property on Nantucket has been named one of the top five resorts and inns in the U.S. and Canada for World’s Best Service by the readers of Travel + Leisure. With an overall score of 97.33, The Wauwinet was the only Inn on the east coast on the top five list. Rankings were based on reader evaluations collected in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards survey.

No stranger to accolades, The Wauwinet has been recognized in Travel + Leisure’s Top 500 hotels and in Conde Nast Traveler’s US Top 50 Small Hotels. In-house restaurant TOPPER’S has been honored with the Wine Spectator Grand Award, the publication’s highest honor, for 15 years running and is rated the best overall restaurant on Nantucket by Zagat.

The Wauwinet is open for the season with Hot Dates, Cool Rates starting at $195 per night.

For more information visit www.wauwinet.com or call 800.248.2405 or 508.228.2400.

park it in tokyo this summer

May 29th, 2012

With the launch of American Airlines groundbreaking new route between JFK and Tokyo’s Haneda International airport, located much closer to the city center than the traditionally used Narita Airport and with much faster immigration, everyone is talking Tokyo these days. Now that the “Vertical City” is faster than ever to get to, head there to experience some of its popular summer festivities. Here’s the latest scoop of summer city happenings from Park Hyatt Tokyo:

Mark calendars for June 27, 2012, when Park Hyatt Masters of Food & Wine will host a special Brewmaster’s Dinner as part of the brand’s global series of seasonally and locally inspired culinary events. The event, held in collaboration with Kanagawa’s Sankt Gallen Brewery (renowned for its locally-produced craft ales) will offer a tasting menu of six-courses, each complemented by vintage labels, as well as a chocolate stout and a surprise ale from the brewery’s cellar.

Summer is the season of fireworks – especially in Japan. Almost every night, communities around the country stage lively firework displays to illuminate the night sky. The biggest and most popular of these is the Sumida River Fireworks Festival on July 28. During the festival, twenty thousand sets of fireworks will light up the Tokyo summer sky and the event also includes a competition for the best fireworks.

The Tokyo Sky Tree just opened as the world’s second-tallest structure. Standing at 2,080 feet, it takes about 50 seconds for the high-speed elevator to zip visitors up to the lower observation deck at 1,148 feet, and another 30 seconds to reach the higher deck at 1,475 feet. Don’t miss the vertigo-inducing glass floor!

On the last Saturday and Sunday in August, around 1.2 million spectators flock to city’s shotengai (shopping promenades) for the 53rd Annual Koenji Awaodori Festival. Over 12,000 participants from 188 groups of choreographed dancers and musicians will parade through the city streets in traditional obon dance costumes, accompanied by traditional Japanese instruments such as the shamisen lute, taiko drums, shinobue flute, and the kane bell.

Celebrate the end of summer by attending the September 2012 Grand Sumo Tournament. From September 9 – 23, wrestlers young and old from across Japan will come to Tokyo to partake in the event. Hakkeyoi!


island outpost properties earn tripadvisor certificate of excellence award

May 25th, 2012

All four Island Outpost properties in Jamaica – GoldenEye Hotel & Resort, The Caves, Geejam and Strawberry Hill Hotel, Spa & Gardens have received the 2012 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award.

The highly applauded award honors hospitality excellence and is given only to establishments that maintain an overall rating of four stars or higher (out of a possible five) as reviewed by travelers on TripAdvisor. Approximately 10 percent of establishments listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award.

The accolade comes as no surprise as Island Outpost hotels have long been recognized by travelers worldwide as remarkable properties with exclusive accommodations, unsurpassed service and top-notch amenities.

Each Island Outpost property has its own singular sense of style – GoldenEye offers laid-back luxury on the north coast, The Caves in Negril feels like a secluded castle set above a vibrant town center, while Geejam in Port Antonio is a secret hideaway infused with a cosmopolitan vibe and the newly-renovated Strawberry Hill offers a cool refreshing escape 3,100 feet above sea level in the Blue Mountains.

For more information and summer offers visit, www.islandoutpost.com or call 1(800)-OUTPOST.

new espa opens at d-hotel in maris, turkey

May 24th, 2012

NEW ESPA at D-Hotel, Maris, Turkey ESPA has opened its newest spa at the beautiful D-Hotel Maris, set on a hillside in the Datca Peninsula nature preserve in Turkey. Famous for having the third highest concentration level of oxygen in the world, the Datca Peninsula is said to have natural healing properties that date back to the 12th Century BC and was once a sacred place of pilgrimage to the legendary Aphrodite of Knidos.

The peaceful enclave is surrounded by pine forests, natural private beaches, small islands, and volcanic mountains with spectacular views of both the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas. The hotel’s design combines the exotic elements of the East with the modernity of the West, and this is reflected throughout the ESPA spa at D-Hotel Maris.

An essential part of any trip to Turkey, the opulent world-class Hammam has private individual scrub rooms and a relaxation – a central feature of this ESPA spa. The natural healing properties of the surrounding area, coupled with ESPA Signature Treatments, seven spa rooms, private spa suite, and heat experiences (including a vitality pool, contemporary indoor pool, sauna, steam room and relaxation lounge) put this ESPA spa in a league of its own. (more…)

crystal cruises honors soldiers with veterans’ get-together

May 23rd, 2012

Photos courtesy of MaineSeniorGuide.com and Crystal Cruises

Memorial Day is generally viewed as a day off from school or work and an excuse to hit the beach.  But for war veterans and their families the day carries a more important significance. For them, the holiday is about honoring fallen soldiers and Crystal Cruises aims to do the same. While Crystal recently introduced regular veterans’ get-togethers onboard Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, passengers sailing during Memorial Day weekend will be treated to a slew of extra special activities. The activities vary from ship to ship but are equally commemorative.

The activities will allow guests to honor soldiers in a variety of ways, ranging from open forums and poetry dedications to memorial ceremonies and shore excursions at various war-related sites. The events will be led by either four-star Marine General Anthony Zinni, former Commander in Chief of U.S. General Command or foreign policy author Dr. Robert Freedman.

There’s nothing wrong with spending the next few days indulging with friends and family but we encourage you to take a few moments and commemorate our soldiers.

anantara debuts first city hotel in abu dhabi, uae: eastern mangroves hotel & spa

May 23rd, 2012

Opening in June, Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas will welcome the brand’s first city hotel in the Middle East, Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara. Located along a three-quarter mile stretch of Abu Dhabi’s protected Eastern Mangroves District, the hotel will be home to the United Arab Emirates’ largest Hammam and VIP suite, The Royal Mangroves Residence.

A quiet retreat from the bustle of the city center, this new luxury five-star hotel will be an integrated hotel, marina, retail, and residential destination, offering stunning views of the lush mangroves that surround the area.  The hotel will feature 222 guest rooms and suites; three restaurants and bars, including a Thai specialty restaurant and a rooftop lounge with Technicolor LED roofline; a luxury spa with a traditional Arabic Hammam; a ballroom; and state-of-the-art conference facilities.

Accommodation options vary from the Deluxe Balcony rooms to the Royal Mangroves Residence. All rooms are spacious and outfitted with the latest in modern technology, including in-room entertainment systems and WiFi.  Interconnecting rooms are available on every floor, with connecting doors from the corridors to provide additional privacy.

The luxurious Royal Mangroves Residence, touted as the largest VIP suite in Abu Dhabi, offers a lavish but residential feel with room configurations of three to seven en-suite guest rooms that can be modified depending on guests’ requirements. The Residence also features a rooftop terrace overlooking the mangroves, a 33-foot swimming pool, a rooftop BBQ entertaining area, a private gym and a dedicated private entrance. Guests will also have access to a private limousine service, chef, butler, massage therapist, and beauty therapist during their stay.

The Anantara Spa at Eastern Mangroves will be home to the largest traditional Arabic Hammam in Abu Dhabi, totaling an impressive 1,420 square feet. The exclusive spa will also feature ten treatment rooms and separate lobbies and check-in areas for men and women.

Ideal for corporate meetings and social functions, Eastern Mangroves will offer state-of-the-art conference and catering facilities, including a banquet and bridal consultation office, with a ballroom capacity for 320 guests seated banquet style, plus five dedicated and fully equipped breakout and board rooms with a VIP majlis, a traditional Arabic meeting place.

roy lichtenstein’s traveling exhibit beckons art connoisseurs

May 22nd, 2012

Photo courtesy of Departures.com

Roy Lichtenstein’s pieces are some of the most iconic productions of the Pop Art era and as such have spawned innumerous reproductions. However, the mass-produced prints hung up in homes around the world are incomparable to their original counterparts. Much of his art shares an aesthetic DNA but not all of his work includes images of the comic characters he’s so often associated with. “Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective,” the art exhibit opening today at The Art Institute of Chicago, hopes to showcase all facets of his lifework.

The Chicago exhibit will run until September 3rd after which, it will visit the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., Tate Modern in London, and Centre Pompidou in Paris. This rare experience combined with the plethora of locale choices provides art aficionados with the perfect excuse to travel. Never been to the Navy Pier, the White House, the Eiffel Tower, or Buckingham palace and you love Lichtenstein? Well, now is the perfect opportunity to cross these items off your bucket list — all the while staying in luxury at some of our favorite hotels.

Check out our accommodation recommendations below.

May 22–September 3; The Art Institute of Chicago;  111 S. Michigan Ave.; 312-629-6100
The perfect hotel for art enthusiasts in Chicago is the Park Hyatt Chicago. The Park Hyatt brand is known for its love of art, and after stepping through the entrance you will see why.

Washington, D.C.:
October 14-January 13, 2013; National Gallery of Art; 4th Constitution Avenue Northwest; 202-737-4215
The Park Hyatt DC is a mere five minute cab ride from the exhibit’s location making it the perfect choice.

February 21-May 27, 2013; Tate Modern; Bankside London SE1 9TG; 020 78878752
The Halkin’s state of the art amenities, impeccable service, and proximity to the Tate Modern make it an ideal option.

July 3-November 4, 2013;  Centre Pompidou; Place Georges Pompidou; +33 (0)1 44 78 12 33
Exercise your artistic inclinations even further by staying at Le Pavillon des Lettres, a literary themed hotel where each room is named after a different writer.

spotlight: meet yosita, senior spa therapist at anantara dhigu, maldives

May 15th, 2012

Spa: Anantara Spa at Anantara Dhigu Resort & Spa, Maldives

Therapist: Ms. Yosita Tonak

Position: Senior Therapist

Q & A:

  1. What’s your specialty/signature in terms of your facials?

My favorite facial treatment is Anantara’s Signature Facial.  The sixty-minute treatment combines the perfect blend of nourishing plant extracts and traditional Thai ingredients to treat and revitalize the skin.  A gentle massage induces a deep state of relaxation, while an herbal mask restores the natural balance of the skin. This facial treatment is one of the most popular treatments in many of our spas.

What’s your overriding ethos when it comes to treating your clients?

For me the first and foremost aspect that defines a perfect spa experience is to understand my guests’ individual needs and comfort zone, as many of these personal preferences are not verbally communicated.  It is about finding balance through communication, observation, and experience, from establishing the perfect room temperature to the preferred pressure applied to the face or back, to ensuring that guests emerge feeling recharged and invigorated, or totally soothed and relaxed, whatever their desired goal.

  1. Who are your celebrity clients?

Due to the exclusive nature of Anantara’s resorts in the Maldives I have been fortunate to meet  and treat many celebrities and royalty, but my favorite guest by far is Wimbledon Champion, Roger Federer.

introducing the next big thing at anantara bangkok riverside…

May 11th, 2012

The Professional Restaurant Recommender

Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort & Spa

Bangkok, Thailand

Name: Chettha Khambunditkul

Title: Streetwise Guru

Job: Also the Chief Concierge, Chettha has worked at the resort for 15 years and is always testing out new culinary recommendations. He has developed a Bangkok gastronomy hot list that is second to none, so guests can simply head straight for the best places instead of attempting to navigate the city’s overwhelming choices. Guests can even ask Chettha to accompany t hem on a tour to explore lesser known attractions in addition to famous sights.

Fun fact: As a local food connoisseur, Chettha knows where to find the best sois teeming with food stalls like the back of his hand, and he can easily help hungry guests find the tastiest roasted duck noodles, BBQ pork noodles, fish ball noodles, and spicy tom yum soups.