ampr march 2018 update

April 10th, 2018

What’s New?

The Lowell’s ever-popular Pembroke Room, known for its chic Afternoon Tea and polished service, is relaunching in April 2018 – complete with a new outdoor terrace for alfresco brunching.

PONANT announces the first electric hybrid Icebreaker ship coming in 2021, which will safely cut through ice flow up to eight feet thick and travel to the true geographic North Pole (at 90 degrees North Latitude).

andBeyond Phinda Homestead in KwaZulu-Natal will reopen on September 1, 2018 after a complete rebuild. This standalone safari lodge allows travelers a completely private safari experience, ideal for family or group travel – no sharing safari vehicles and total control over the day’s schedule.

From March 1 through April 30, The Dupont Circle in Washington DC is celebrating the National Cherry Blossom Festival with a special ‘In Full Bloom’ package including a stay at the hotel, the chef’s cherry blossom themed welcome amenity, a $25 dining credit, and complimentary valet parking.

Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort has officially opened two of the five ultra-luxe Beachfront Collection residences. Images of the new homes – complete with infinity pools and floor-to-ceiling glass windows – are available for stays now.

Domaine de Manville in the heart of Provence received its first Michelin Star for its restaurant, l’Aupiho, helmed by Chef Matthieu Dupuis Baumal.

Vista Collina Resort in Napa is projected to open Summer 2018 and will feature 145 guestrooms. Adjacent to the property will be the Village, featuring nine tastings room, a food and wine center, and a 16,000 square foot lawn for concerts and events.

Jamaica’s GoldenEye launches veggie cocktails, featuring local produce from Pantrepant, the hotel’s farm. New elixirs include: the Cucumber Martini; Beetroot, Bourbon, and Scotch bonnet cocktail; and the Arugula and Celery Sour.

Royal Mansour Spa has unveiled a new series of bespoke hammam treatments where each step of the hammam process can be customized beginning with three types of body wraps, two types of kessa gloves, and a variety of Leonor Greyl shampoos for varying hair types.

Belmond has expanded its Italian portfolio with the acquisition of Castello di Casole, a historic castle hotel in the heart of rural Tuscany. The intimate 39-room hotel sits within 4,200 acres of farmland, vineyards, and olive groves – one of the largest private estates in Italy.

Travel to Brazil is easier than ever with a newly-launched e-visa system for American travelers To make the most of a Brazilian vacation, travelers can book Belmond’s ‘Grand Tour of Brazil’ – a five-night itinerary that includes the brand’s properties on Copacabana Beach and in Iguassu falls – or go off-the-beaten-path with a visit to UXUA on the remote shores of Trancoso.

Strawless and Flawless

Hotels are eschewing plastic straws for more sustainable options like paper or bamboo. According to The Last Plastic Straw project, 500 million straws are used and thrown away every day in the US, which is about 175 billion per year.

Nayara Springs, set on the fringes of Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano, only uses bamboo straws across the property’s restaurants and bars – mixologist Monica Gonzalez is on-hand to whip up poolside cocktails made with local fruits.

The Doyle Collection’s London hotels (The Marylebone, The Kensington, and The Bloomsbury) just officially became plastic-straw-free and are now moving to roll out this policy brand-wide, from Dublin to Cork to Washington DC.

andBeyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp and the new andBeyond Bateleur Camp (reopening this month after a complete renovation), both on Kenya’s Masai Mara, have discontinued all plastic straw usage – falling into line with their ethos: care of the land, care of the wildlife, care of the people.

Go Global with Locals


andBeyond’s new philanthropic-focused itineraries in Tanzania, Kenya, and South Africa give guests first-hand experiences with the locals in the community, like participating in school conservation lessons in Tanzania.

Guests of Nayara Springs can visit the source of the resort’s chocolate at a local farm. The owners will teach travelers the process of chocolate-making.

During PONANT’s voyages through the Northwest Passage, guests will have opportunity to meet with locals in charming Inuit villages to learn about the culture.

Majestic Hotel & Spa has an exclusive relationship with local marine biologist Anna Bozzano, the only tour guide approved to visit the Barcelona Fish Market where she teaches about the market’s innerworkings.

Connecting guests with the local community is elemental to every Belmond experience. Highlights include art lessons with Jose Luis Arias, a graduate of the local Instituto Allende, at the newly renovated Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada, and a walking tour with a former prison guard of Nelson Mandela’s that begins at Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel.

Sugar Beach guests who hike the Gros Piton follow a guide from the local village up the two-hour climb.

Over-the-top Amenities

Guests at La Réserve Paris can create their ownbespoke scent with the help of a professional ‘nose.’

Thanks to Kinloch Anderson, kilt maker to Her Royal Highness the Queen, travelers on Belmond Royal Scotsman are swept to the showroom for a private fitting, and a fully customized kilt arrives at their doorstep 8-10 weeks later in the family tartan or a pattern from the train. During their journey, guests will find a complimentary set of Highland Dress (kilts for men, skirts for women) awaiting them in their train cabin.

One of the new Beachfront Collection residences available to buy or book for stay at St. Lucia’s Sugar Beach will have a waterslide connecting an infinity pool to a lower level hot tub and yoga deck.

Guests who book the top, three-bedroom suite at the White Elephant, White Elephant Village or The Wauwinet will receive the keys to a BMW for the duration of their stay.

Hamilton Princess & Beach Club is the first property in Bermuda to offer two-seat, electric Renault Twizy vehicles to guests, designed by Renault’s Formula One racing team and can travel up to 50 miles on a single charge.

At andBeyond Mnemba Island, instead of your typical tray of room service arriving in your room, the lodge will dig a custom “sand castle” dining room on the beach in front of your suite and serve freshly caught seafood surrounded by lantern light.

Located on the shores of Lac Léman, La Réserve Geneva has its very own Venetian Motoscafo boat that takes guests to go to and from the city center.

Majestic Hotel & Spa’s Royal Penthouse Suite – the largest suite in Barcelona – is home to a Bar Au Parfum stocked with five 200 ml bottles of Atelier Cologne, available for use throughout the stay. Guests can take home a complimentary leather case, engraved with their name and filled with 30ml sized bottles of each of the colognes.

Calendar

April

April 2018: Belmond La Residencia will unveil a new suite created by fashion designer Matthew Williamson.

April 2018: Belmond will add two new barges to its Belmond Afloat in France fleet. The two “floating hotels” will travel the rivers of Champagne and Alsace

April 2018: The Pembroke Room at The Lowell completes a renovation

April 7-17, 2018: andBeyond’s Eat, Pray and Love journey departs in India

April 28-29, 2018: Hamilton Princess & Beach Club in Bermuda will serve as the official host hotel for the ITU World Triathlon, the first time it is held in Bermuda

May

May 4, 2018: In honor of its 100th anniversary, Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona will serve a new pre-fixe dinner replicating the hotel’s original restaurant menus

May 19, 2018: The Royal Wedding will be screened all day at The Kensington in London

May 25, 2018: La Maison du Chocolat’s Bien Être collection is available in boutiques and online

June

June 10, 2018: Sterling Vineyard’s 2nd Annual RoseFest will feature 30+ Napa Valley rose tastings with a portion of the proceeds supporting the Susan G. Komen Foundation

June 15-16, 2018: In honor of the Nantucket Boat Basin’s 50th anniversary, the marina will host its first-ever Father’s Day Fishing Tournament where teams will compete for the top title in categories such as heaviest fish and most fish caught

ampr february 2018 update

February 5th, 2018

What’s New

Travelers can take on the trending neighborhood of Shinjuku in Tokyo with Park Hyatt Tokyo’s original English Shinjuku area map designed by Japanese fashion illustrator, Hiroshi Watatani. Guests can navigate the winding alleys and track down the best (and often hidden) pint-sized bars, restaurants, and shops per the map’s insider advice.

As part of the final phase of the renovation that doubled the property’s footprint, Royal Mansour will open their new Kid’s Club in Le Jardin this month.

Former Rockette-turned-celebrity fitness trainer, Amanda Kloots is heading to Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort this month to lead fitness classes under St. Lucia’s shady palms. Amanda will teach her signature classes The Dance and The Body, the same workouts she does with her celebrity clients like Zendaya, Hannah Bronfman, and Zach Braff.

andBeyond Phinda Vlei Lodge will reopen in June 2018 in South Africa after a complete refurbishment, inspired by the plantation-style homesteads of KwaZulu-Natal’s sugar cane and pineapple barons.

Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa is launching ‘Slow Beauty’ wellness retreats in April 2018, including a workshop on the health benefits of Mayan-inspired rituals, a bicycle tour through the Mayan jungle, and a Shaman ceremony on the beach. The retreat will focus on anti-aging daily rituals that allow for personal reflection and connecting with the mind, body, and soul.

PONANT is introducing a new itinerary ‘Green and Gentle Lands: Exploring Gardens and Historic Sites,’ including special access at Kew Gardens and Chelsea Physic Garden and a gala luncheon at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh. The journey departs May 14-22, 2019 sailing to the British Isles, Belgium, and Norway.

La Réserve Genève is offering a special package for the Geneva International Motor Show, March 8-18, 2018. The offer includes a stay in a superior room, daily breakfast, entry to the show, and transfer to/from the Palexpo convention center in a Bentley Flying Spur or Bentayga.

Napa Valley’s Ink House opened as a four-bedroom Inn in January 2018. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the property was first built in 1885 by prominent Napa farmer, Theron Ink as a single-family home.

Bermuda’s Hamilton Princess & Beach Club now offers complimentary BMW bicycles for guests to explore the town and waterfront.

Laces and Limos provides a new Napa Valley winery tour experience with its fleet of eco-friendly electric Tuk Tuk vehicles.

Isn’t It Romantic?

Adventurous couples on andBeyond’s 11-day Romantic East Africa safari sleep in cozy stilted treehouse suites at andBeyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge, picnic on Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater floor, stargaze on the Serengeti plains, and swim with dolphins at andBeyond Mnemba Island off the coast of Zanzibar.

Couples at the adults-only Nayara Springs indulge in a private romantic dinner in their own newly-built stone pavilion tucked amongst the flora and fauna of Costa Rica’s rainforest – complete with a personal chef and specially-designed gourmet menu, featuring herbs and vegetables grown on-property and cheese sourced from the nearby dairy farm.

Valentines can laze in bed all day with special his and hers Valentine’s Day pajamas with The Lowell’s Valentine’s Day package.

Park Hyatt Tokyo’s Pastry Boutique will offer an array of Valentine’s chocolates and sweets for 2018 – from sake truffles to apple-shaped cakes to rose petal macarons. The goodies have a longer shelf life as in Japan, the holiday White Day follows Valentine’s Day (where boys are expected to give sweets to the girls who gifted them Valentine’s Day treats).

La Réserve Paris is celebrating the holiday with a Valentine’s Day Offer, including a complimentary upgrade, Champagne, and a surprise VIP welcome in the room, followed by dinner at the two-Michelin-starred Le Gabriel.

Domaine de Manville is welcoming guests with a couple’s spa treatment including a relaxing bath, followed by Champagne, and capped off with a five-course caviar dinner at La Table.

For a night out on Broadway, The Chatwal offers its guests two tickets to the Tony-Award-winning Beautiful: The Carole King Musical with a three-course, pre-theater dinner at The Lambs Club and a ‘Beauty’ manicure at The Chatwal’s Red Door Spa by Elizabeth Arden.

Royal Mansour’s ‘St. Valentine’s Stay’ package includes a three-night stay in a one-bedroom Riad and a Valentine’s themed dinner at La Table. Guests can relax with a spa treatment for two in the hotel’s three-story spa in the privacy of their own Spa Suite, featuring a hammam, a plunge pool with a terrace, and a relaxation area.

Belmond Charleston Place Hotels ‘Glamorous Getaway’ package is perfect for a Galentine’s Day in the heart of downtown Charleston. It includes accommodations on the hotel’s privately-accessed Club Level, with full access to the two-story Club Lounge and its complimentary all-day food and beverages, and a $50 toward the new in-house Elysium Salon.

Take a private sabrage lesson with Verve Napa Valley. Learn the ancient art form and how to sabre a bottle of sparkling wine.

Enjoy a sunset picnic for two at Firefly, Noel Coward’s former hilltop home, offering the best views of the sunset in Jamaica.

A Special-tea Offer

andBeyond takes travelers to the family-run Glenburn Tea Plantation, set against the back drop of the Himalayas, to witness a tea harvesting and brewing from start-to-finish – from the withering, rolling, fermenting, drying, and sorting of tea leaves to a tea tasting along the banks of the River Rungeet.

Belmond British Pullman is hosting themed Paddington Afternoon Tea journeys in honor of the movie release of Paddington 2. While onboard the 1920s and 30s carriages – which are featured in the movie – parents and their little cubs will be treated to live musical entertainment along with an array of sweet and savory snacks including mini-cakes and marmalade sandwiches.

For Park Hyatt Tokyo’s proprietary blends of tea, the leaves are picked from the hotel’s very own plot 300 miles away in the Inokura tea fields in the city of Nara with exclusively-grown black, green, and oolong teas.

Inspired by the movie release of Beauty and the Beast, Town House at The Kensington in London is offering a ‘Tale as Old as Time’ Afternoon Tea, with Mrs. Potts and Chip Potts dishware, a Cogsworth Chocolate Tart, and a Lumière White Chocolate Mousse.

The Pembroke Rooms Afternoon Tea at The Lowell is one of New York City’s best kept secrets and has a Tea Sommelier to help guests choose their perfect match from over 15 teas on the menu. The blends are sourced from French purveyor Dammann Frères and are paired with traditional English tea sandwiches, caviar blinis, and foie gras canapés.

The famous afternoon tea at Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town offers a range of teas from around the world, including the hotel’s very own Mount Nelson Tea – a blend of six teas from India, China, Kenya, Sri Lanka, and rose petals from the hotel’s own signature pink roses.

Majestic Hotel & Spa is launching a dedicated Vegan Afternoon Tea in February, featuring mini almond mousse, Gianduja chocolate short bread with confit lemon, and a Majestic vegan cookie.

Spring Break Ideas for the Family

In Paddington’s homeland of Peru, Belmond has created new four- and seven-night itineraries that include family-friendly activities such as bear-shaped cookie making, a Paddington-themed movie-under-the-stars night, afternoon tea in a secret garden, and of course plenty of marmalade to go around.

The Chatwal welcomes its ViBabies to New York with new amenities designed to help the youngest VIP guests and their parents travel in comfort and style. Delivered in a cherry-red Margherita Missoni backpack, ViBabies will receive an Honest Oh Baby! Kit filled with a line of all-organic toiletries, a Chatwal Charlie plush toy, a bedtime story book, and a menu of organic baby purées curated by The Lambs Club.

andBeyond Bateleur Camp on the Masai Mara will reopen with a new family suite in March, just in time for spring break. The littlest andBeyond travelers can enroll in the WILDchild program for fun (and educational) safari activities with the rangers, such as Maasai obstacle courses and building a fire the Maasai way (and of course roasting marshmallows) – a scrapbook is on hand to document their memories in the bush.

Explore the streets of Barcelona with Majestic Hotel & Spa’s scooter program, offering folding scooters and helmets (both child- and adult-size), a backpack with water and snacks, and an iPad loaded with themed maps and itineraries. For extra credit, families can select the Spanish language tour option to take in La Sagrada Familia and Casa Mila in the native tongue.

From ziplining to kayaking to nature and waterfall hikes, Nayara Resort, Spa & Gardens is the adventure-packed vacation of every kid’s dreams. Families can explore the Arenal Volcano, with all its flora and fauna (including Nayara’s sloth sanctuary), by foot – or add a little thrill via bike, horseback, or ATV.

Nantucket’s White Elephant offers the Mini Chef program, where children are invited to decorate cupcakes and cookies in 45-minute weekly sessions. For a fun night in at the hotel, children can snuggle up in kid-sized robes and have an in-room camp-out, complete with teepees and faux, indoor campfires.

St. Lucia’s Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort’s Sugar Club and Spice Club offer kids and teens their own version of paradise. The Sugar Club welcomes children ages 4-12 and offers treasure hunts, arts and crafts, and coconut bowling, while the Spice Club caters to teens and tweens with ping pong, croquet, pool tournaments, and pinball machines, as well as a sailing school.

Jamaica’s GoldenEye was the former home of Ian Fleming and the site where he penned all 14 James Bond novels. His gardener, Ramsey Dacosta, still works on the property and leads activities, including coconut carving and nature walks for children.

While Napa Valley is famous for wine, the region has plenty to offer to families. Sign up for a tour of the Castello di Amorosa, a 13th-century Tuscan castle and winery perched on a hill just south of Calistoga, where kids can sip on grape juice. Stroll di Rosa, a museum where families can participate in activities including painting portraits.

Calendar

March

March 2018: andBeyond Bateleur Camp reopens after an extensive renovation on the Maasai Mara

March 4, 2018: The Napa Valley Marathon celebrates its 40th anniversary

March 6-18, 2018: andBeyond’s Snow Leopard Expedition departs in the Himalayas

March 21, 2018: Venice Simplon-Orient-Express launches new Grand Suites

April

April 2018: The Pembroke Room at The Lowell completes a renovation

April 7-17, 2018: andBeyond’s Eat, Pray and Love journey departs in India

April 20, 2018: La Réserve Ramatuelle will re-open for the season with renovated villas

April 22-25, 2018: Domaine de Manville is introducing a new, three-day wedding workshop with Style Me Pretty editor Stephanie Weers and photographer Tamara Gruner

April 28-29, 2018: Hamilton Princess & Beach Club in Bermuda will serve as the official host hotel for the ITU World Triathlon, the first time it is held in Bermuda

May

May 2018: La Maison du Chocolat’s Bien Être collection is available in boutiques and online

May 16-20, 2018: Nantucket Wine Festival will feature more than 600 wines from 150 global wineries

 

ringing in julia’s 100th with a berry tart from oléron

August 23rd, 2012

At AMPR, we’re lucky to work a stone’s throw away from the Union Square Greenmarket. With August’s cornucopia of locally grown produce, it’s hard to shake that “so-many-recipes-so-little-time” feeling while meandering through the various stalls. But fruit-wise, delicate berries from the Hudson Valley – in our opinion – always steal the show.

Fruit tarts are a common sight in France, a country that’s home to a number of exciting properties represented by AMPR. Last week would have been Julia Child’s 100th birthday, and we’re celebrating her legacy of French cooking with a classic tart native to windswept Oléron, a scenic island off France’s Atlantic coast. The recipe is featured in Ruth Reichl’s book Tender at the Bone (a joy to read, by the way!) preceded by a few descriptive lines that had us chomping at the bit to get our hands in the flour:

Danielle took her finger out of her mouth and took a bite. I watched her. She took another. And another. I took a bite myself.

It was magnificent. The fruit was intoxicatingly fragrant and each berry released its juice only in the mouth, where it met the sweet, crumbly crust. “Why is this so much better than other tarts?” I asked.

Madame Deveau looked at me with something like interest. “The American wakes up,” she commented. “It is that the products here are so good,” she said. “Good butter from fat cows and wild berries grown in the island air.”

While we can’t comment on how the Big Apple’s Greenmarket compares to the fat cows and island berries of Oléron, we can happily confirm that this tart is a welcome taste of summer – anywhere , anytime.  Now, be inspired!

Oléron Raspberry Tart

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

Pastry:

1½ c. sifted flour

¼ c. sugar

1 stick unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ¼-inch squares

2 tbs. heavy cream

1 egg yolk

Filling:

¾ c. blanched almonds, toasted

¾ c. sugar

3 tbs. unsalted butter, softened

3 egg yolks

1 tsp. vanilla extract

4 c. raspberries

2 tbs. currant jam and/or powdered sugar, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

Place sugar and flour in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Add the butter squares to the flour mixture and blend using a pastry blender or forks until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.  Add cream to the egg yolk and pour into flour mixture. Mix lightly with a fork until the pastry holds together in a small ball. If it’s not moist enough, add a tablespoon or so of water.

Sprinkle some flour across a counter and push the dough with the heel of your palm until it has been worked through. Do not over-mix. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and let rest in the refrigerator for at least three hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the dough and allow to warm on the countertop for ten minutes. On a floured surface, flatten the ball and roll it into an eleven-inch circle. Fit gently into an eight- or nine-inch tart pan with a fluted edge and removable bottom. Press into pan gently, being careful not to stretch the dough. Trim off the edges and freeze for ten minutes to firm.

Line the tart shell with aluminum foil and fill with rice or dried beans. Bake 20 minutes. Remove aluminum foil and filler and bake for five minutes more or until golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool while making the filling.

Blend the almonds and three tablespoons of the sugar in a food processor until it is a fine powder. In a separate bowl, cream butter with the remaining sugar, and then add the yolks. Fold in the almond-sugar mixture and vanilla to combine.

Spread the almond mixture into the pre-baked crust and top with two cups of the fresh berries. Sprinkle the tart with two tablespoons of sugar and bake for 40 minutes or until just set. Cool at least two hours.

Just before serving, cover the tart with the remaining two cups of raspberries. Garnish with powdered sugar or brush the top with a simple glaze made from two tablespoons currant jam heated with one tablespoon of water. Bon appétit!

Photo was taken by Ben from the AMPR team.

see the world in these rooms with a view

October 19th, 2011

EUROPE

La Réserve Paris
Paris, France

La Réserve Paris sits in the heart of the city at Place de Trocadéro, letting visitors live like a Parisian – and a chic one at that. The stylishly furnished apartments provide all guests the comforts of home, with a view only available in Paris – the Eiffel Tower cuts the sky and behind it is a backdrop of the green Champs de Mars, often speckled with picnickers.

RATES: start at 2,590 euros per night (about $3,564) for a minimum stay of 3 nights.

Le Pavillon des Lettres
Paris, France

The penthouse suites at the new Pavillon des Lettres are a dream for bibliophiles. Each of the hotel’s 26 rooms is dedicated to a letter of the alphabet and a corresponding author. The two penthouse suites, Yeats and Zola, have beautiful views of the Eiffel Tower, the Grand Palais, and Paris rooftops. Gaze out at the lights on the Eiffel Tower while reading Zola’s Nana from the room’s iPad – stocked with novels in several languages – or scan Yeats’ The Wind Among the Reeds that is printed on the wall.

RATES: start at 250 euros per night (about $347).

Victoria-Jungfrau Collection – Palace Luzern
Luzern, Switzerland

Founded in 1906, the Palace Luzern epitomizes the height of Belle Époque elegance.  While embracing the style of a true palace hotel, numerous renovations have brought the hotel into the 21st century with a fresh, modern aesthetic.  Overlooking Lake Lucerne, it offers a unique combination of Alpine scenery and proximity to the center of Lucerne, which is host to renowned music festivals, world-class museums, and many charming boutiques.  Sailing, golf, and skiing are all available nearby.

RATES: start at $308 for a City View Double Room.

ASIA

Uma Paro
Paro, Bhutan

Uma Paro is in the extraordinary Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, sitting atop a tree-lined hill on 38 acres overlooking the town of Paro in the valley below. Situated on the country’s western border, the Paro Valley is one of the main cultural centers of Bhutan. Simply relax and gaze out at the unbelievable view, or join one of Uma Paro’s activities such as hiking or biking to the nearby monasteries or exploring the country through the lens of a camera.

RATES: start at $ 330 through December 31, 2011.

Park Hyatt Shanghai
Shanghai, China

Located in one of the world’s tallest buildings, a bathing experience at the Park Hyatt Shanghai is far from ordinary. Even with the heated floors in the bathroom, you’ll shiver at the thrill as you glance down at the breathtaking city from a window-side deep soaking tub. For the faint of heart, there is always the oversized monsoon rain shower, not a bad trade.

RATES: start at $391 for a Park King room.

Park Hyatt Beijing
Beijing, China

Park Hyatt Beijing illuminates the city skyline as a new landmark. Directly opposite the China World Trade Center and the striking new CCTV Tower, the hotel occupies the uppermost floors in the main tower of the Beijing Yintai Center — the tallest development on prestigious Chang’an Avenue in the heart of the capital’s Central Business District. The interiors of Park Hyatt Beijing have been inspired by classical Suzhou architecture and water gardens, and the hotel incorporates these Oriental aesthetics into a sleek, contemporary design.

RATES: start at $288 for a  Park King Room.

Park Hyatt Sydney
Sydney, Australia

The iconic Park Hyatt Sydney will reopen in late 2011 after a seven month makeover and complete redesign. Located in the Rocks district of Sydney’s city center, the hotel has been reimagined by Melbourne-based design firm BARStudio. All rooms are being completely redesigned to enhance the guest experience and highlight the hotel’s harborfront location. Views of Sydney Harbor and the Opera House take on new meaning with a series of floor-to-ceiling windows throughout almost all areas of the property, including in The Dining Room, the hotel’s premier restaurant, completing the large-scale redesign.

RATES: opening rates starting at $871 for a City/Harbour King Room.

Shakti 360˚ Leti
Uttarakhand, India
U.S. Toll-free: 1 877 637 5665

At 8,000 feet in elevation surrounded by soaring peaks of the snowcapped Indian Himalayas, Shakti  360˚ Leti has some of the best views in India.  Each of the four en-suite cabins and the central lodge of this high elevation hotel have floor to ceiling windows, which means the views of the peaks and, in spring, the rhododendrons in full bloom, never disappear.  Described as “a contender for the world’s most remote luxury resort,” Shakti 360˚ Leti can be visited as an extension from the Shakti Kumaon Village Experience, or as its own destination.  Accessible by car or charter flight from Delhi, the fun getting there really begins with the hour-long trek into the hills.  But once you’re there, you won’t want to leave…  Forget your Blackberry, power down your iPhone, disconnect, and just breathe in the fresh mountain air while listening to the silence that surrounds you.
Season: October 1 – May 1

RATES: 3-night, 4-day package starts at $1,916 per person, double occupancy.  Rates include accommodations; all meals and beverages; activities; English speaking guide and porters; a car at your disposal, and all taxes and return transfers between Shakti Kumaon Village Experience and Shakti 360˚ Leti.  Flights are not included.  Minimum of a 3-night stay required.

MIDDLE EAST

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara
Liwa Desert, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.

In the heart of the Liwa Desert just ninety minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport is Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, the newly built 206-room resort surrounded entirely by legendary red sand dunes. The Liwa is part of the Rub’-al-Khali, or Empty Quarter, the world’s largest uninterrupted desert. Built right into the sand, the resort is modeled after an ancient Emirati fort that rises out of the desert and evokes the rich culture of the Bedouins, the indigenous tribes people who roamed the desert for centuries. Get away not only from your everyday life, but this century altogether!

The rooms and suites spill off the main lodge like little villages, and all have stunning views of the ocher dunes of the Liwa. Hundreds of museum-caliber artifacts are on display throughout the hotel to provide more feasts for the eye, including the world’s largest collection of camel saddlebags used in desert crossings by the Bedouins throughout Arabia.  Offering all the comforts of modern luxury in a superbly unique setting, Qasr Al Sarab is more than just a luxury hotel; it is a window into the history and culture of a nation.

RATES: start at 2,100 AED from October 1-November 30, 2011, and at 1,900 AED from December 1, 2011-January 31, 2012.



 

 


 

 




 

 



 


 

 


 

 


 

 

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