celebrate the holidays around the world

October 13th, 2011

The holidays can be hectic with all that shopping to do and all those family dinners to attend. Give yourself a break this year and plan a festive vacation! Whether it’s a snowy escape, a sunny getaway, or an urban adventure, there’s something for everyone.

Where: Palace Luzern, Lucerne, Switzerland
What: A Swiss winter wonderland
Why:  Taste world-famous Swiss Fondue and admire the breathtaking views of the snow-capped Alps from the windows of the oldest electric cogwheel-train as it climbs Mt. Rigi. Browse more than 45 stalls of holiday gifts and confections at the annual Christmas Market and wander the festively decorated medieval streets as carolers serenade in the distance during a winter escape to Lucerne, Switzerland. The Palace Luzern’s annual New Years Eve party will be the perfect start to 2012, and the hotel’s special New Years Eve package won’t break your budgeting resolutions for the new year!
When: The New Years Eve package starts at $844 (two nights, double occupancy) and is valid only December 30, 2011-January 1, 2012

Where: La Réserve Genève, Geneva, Switzerland
What: An enchanted holiday
Why: Spend the holidays at La Réserve Genève – explore the International Christmas Market, wave hello to Santa Claus at the Annual Electric Christmas Parade, and attend the annual Christmas Tree Festival where international artists display beautifully crafted sculptures and trees. For a special holiday evening, leave the kids with La Réserve Genève’s experienced babysitters, available for children aged 6 months to 13 years.
When: holiday rates start at $500 per night

Where: GoldenEye Hotel & Resort, Oracabessa, Jamaica
What: Who said the holidays had to be cold?
Why: Nestled on Jamaica’s north coast, GoldenEye Hotel & Resort was once the Jamaican home of author Ian Fleming and the site where he penned all 14 James Bond novels. Holiday festivities include dinner and entertainment on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, a New Years Eve Extravaganza, Festive Afternoon Teas, and Champagne Cocktail Party. Guests can kick off the New Year in good health kindness of the hotel’s fitness and activity program, with offerings such as daily yoga, paddle boarding, and local runs through Oracabessa. Younger visitors can kayak, snorkel, or participate in the hotel’s coral restoration program.
When: Holiday rates start at $1,040 per night from December 15 – January 7

Where: Pacific Coast Holiday, Roundtrip from Los Angeles to the Hawaiian Islands
What: 14 days of culture, fun, and adventure aboard Crystal Symphony
Why: Leave the snow behind and tour the sunny Hawaiian Islands aboard Crystal Symphony. Sign up for private dance lessons, take a helicopter ride over Oahu, or discover the wonder of whale-watching near Maui. Children will love learning to snorkel, kayak, and surf in the beautiful, warm waters.
When: December 21, 2011 – January 4, 2012, two-for-one fares start at $7,050 per person, and include $500 per person all-inclusive “ As You Wish” shipboard credit, plus free, round-trip air and airport transfer from two dozen North American gateway cities (or generous air credit).  Restrictions apply.

Where: Park Hyatt Washington D.C.
A patriotic holiday
Why: Plan a Christmas visit to the Park, and start your stay with delicious homemade gingerbread cookies and Eggnog. For those revelers looking for the best place to bring in the New Year, the Park offers New Years guests two tickets to the hotel’s popular New Years Eve celebration in the Lounge. Extend the holiday cheer all winter long with the hotel’s Comfort and Joy package, which includes hot cocoa and fresh baked cookies to enjoy after braving the cold to attend the National Hanukkah Menorah Lighting Ceremony on the White House grounds or visiting the National Christmas Tree, lit daily during December.
When: Christmas package rates start at $445 for the first night and at $245 for each additional night from December 22-26, 2011; New Year’s Eve package available December 27-January 22, 2012 (contact hotel for rates); and Comfort and Joy package rates start at $299 per night from November 28-February 29, 2012

Where: The Inn on the Alameda, Santa Fe, New Mexico
What: 26th anniversary celebration
Why:  Escape for a weekend at the Inn on the Alameda in Santa Fe, a city known for its dazzling luminaria displays! The Inn is turning 26 this year, and Santa Fe’s beloved and charming hotel is celebrating by offering a special anniversary rate.  Guests who stay at the inn for three consecutive nights between October 30 and December 12 will pay just $26 for the third night! To get in the holiday spirit, travelers can attend a festive Santa Fe Desert Chorale winter concert or check out the shops of the historic Santa Fe Plaza area.
When: Special rates start at $336 from October 30-December 12 (excluding November 23-26 and November 30 -December 5) 

Where:  Peninsula Spa by ESPA, New York City
What: A rejuvenating ‘spa-cation’
Why: New York City is never more alive than at Christmastime with tree-lit ice skating at Rockefeller Center, enchanting carriage rides in Central Park, and lavish window displays at Saks. For people looking to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city streets, the Peninsula Spa by ESPA is offering a day-long ‘spa-cation,’ including a 60-minute treatment, a special lunch, and complimentary use of the pool and fitness centre.
When: Spa-cation package is available Monday – Thursday weekly for $285

masters goes to washington

May 17th, 2011


Park Hyatt’s Masters of Food & Wine continues, with its second event taking place June 2 through 5 at Park Hyatt Washington D.C. The weekend will focus on American winemakers and chefs, with intimate lunches and dinners featuring the region’s freshest ingredients.

Highlights will include on and offsite tastings designed to immerse guests in the region’s best locally-produced food and wine. American cheese usually gets a bad rap (and plastic wrap), but Maryland’s own FireFly farms is looking to change that. Since 2002, they’ve been making premium artisanal goat cheeses recognized for their excellence both nationally and internationally. The cheeses are produced using agriculturally sustainable, locally-sourced fresh goat’s milk and aged from five to eight weeks. You can learn more about exactly how the cheese is produced at FireFly’s Cheesemaking 101 page.

Sommeliers and local wine experts will lead guests in sampling some of the region’s best wines. It sounds like something out of a Chuck Norris movie (in fact, it is), but Barboursville Vineyards’s celebrated Octagon wine is a dark, rich Bordeaux-style blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Named for the Thomas Jefferson-designed James Barbour residence on the winery grounds, Octagon is a pinnacle example of the Virginia and Monticello viticultural areas. Masters will kick off on Thursday, June 2 with an intimate five course dinner at Blue Duck Tavern led by Barboursville’s winemaker Luca Paschina, while a special luncheon on the winery’s grounds will cap off the weekend on Sunday, June 5.

For more details, visit www.mastersfoodandwine.com.

here comes peter cottontail…

May 17th, 2011

Afraid the Easter Bunny won’t know where to find you if you’re away? We guarantee he’ll be drawn to these great Easter celebrations, so pack those bags and get ready to eat some jelly beans and chocolate eggs. Whether near (Nantucket, Washington D.C., Toronto) or far (Paris, Provence, Moscow), these spots are perfect to ring in the spring.



Nantucket Island Resorts

Nantucket, Massachusetts         

Nantucket Island Resorts, including Jared Coffin House (starting at $125), White Elephant (starting at $195), The Cottages & Lofts (starting at $200), and White Elephant Hotel Residences (starting at $350 for guestroom or $500 for residence)

Easter Happenings: Amazing rates at each of the properties over Easter Weekend – and a delicious brunch at the Brant Point Grill featuring Easter Basket Workshops and Egg Hunts!  

The Offer:  Spend a great family weekend on Nantucket with plenty of amusement for the little ones. The following will be happening at the White Elephant. For event and brunch reservations, please call 508.228.1320.  

  • Saturday, April 23 – Easter Basket Workshop at 1 pm and 3 pm.  Reservations required; $5 per child; open to the public
  • Sunday, April 24 – Easter Brunch with Raw Bar at Brant Point Grill – $42 adults; $21 children
  • Sunday, April 24 – Easter Egg Hunts – 11 am and 2 pm with a special guest on the White Elephant Harborside Lawn

Subject to availability. Excludes room tax.


Park Hyatt Washington D.C.

Washington, D.C.

A tony Washington DC design and foodie favorite in the fashionable West End Georgetown neighborhood.

Easter Happenings: A three-course, buffet-style brunch from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm. Highlights include sunnyside eggs with cod cakes and spicy buttermilk sauce; roasted leg of lamb with rosemary jus and shallots; local rockfish with pea sauce and morels; and Belgian Liege waffle with Mountain Huckleberry Marmalade.

The Offer: $90 per person and $45 for children between six and 12; children under six years of age are welcome on a complimentary basis.

Park Hyatt Toronto

Toronto, Ontario

Set in fashionable Yorkville just across the street from the Royal Ontario Museum and five minutes from the theater and financial districts, Park Hyatt Toronto offers a contemporary city getaway, with 336 guestrooms and the award-winning Stillwater Spa.

Easter Happenings: Relax in comfort with Park Hyatt Toronto’s Awaken at The Park package: overnight accommodations and full breakfast for two in the acclaimed Annona Restaurant. Annona is also offering an Easter Brunch Prix Fixe and an Easter Dinner Prix Fixe.

The Offer: The Awaken package is available from Friday, April 22 until Monday, April 25 starting at $208. Three course brunch menu at Annona is $71 per person, while the three course dinner is $52 per person.



Pavillon de la Reine

Paris, France

This impossibly chic and charming hotel is located on the historic Place des Vosges in the Marais. Blooming with life in the spring season, the ivy-clad 54 bedroom Pavillon de la Reine was originally built in the 1600s as part of the Place Royale by King Henri IV.

Easter Happenings:  Guests are welcomed with a chocolate egg and bottle of champagne upon arrival. Following an egg painting session, kids will enjoy running throughout the private courtyard on the quest for chocolate eggs. The Easter weekend package also includes brunch for two.

The Offer: Superior rooms start at 390 euros per night, Junior or Duplex Suite start at €550 ($792 USD) per night.

Le Pavillon des Lettres

Paris, France

The new literature-inspired hotel offers 26 rooms – each devoted to a letter of the alphabet and an international author corresponding to that letter (think S for Shakespeare, V for Voltaire…)

Easter Happenings:  A chocolate egg, bottle of French white wine, and a book of the best places to eat chocolate will be waiting in your room upon arrival. Enjoy brunch for two on Easter morning in the Salon amongst the hotel’s literary greats!

The Offer: Deluxe rooms start at €360 ($518 USD) per night.

Hotel Crillon le Brave

Provence, France

The refined rustic Hotel Crillon le Brave is one of France’s most notable boutique hotels. Just 90 minutes North of Marseille, its consists of seven beautifully restored stone houses dating from the 16th and 17th centuries, which are linked by bridges, cobblestone walkways, and hidden courtyards.

Easter Happenings:  While the kids participate in entertaining French lessons, learn to make French desserts, and visit a local boulangerie and olive oil mill, parents can enjoy wine tastings and spa treatments. 

The Offer:  The Provençal Family adventure package is offered April 17-22 and April 25-29 and costs €2,290 ($3,297 USD) for a family of four.

Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow

Moscow, Russia

While “egg hunt in Russia” might inspire thoughts of “finally, a chance to find those missing eight Fabergé eggs,” Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow is offering an even sweeter deal. Built on the former site of Hotel Armenia, this  hotel combines classic Armenian and Russian design elements, and is located within immediate vicinity of Moscow’s most famous landmarks, including the Bolshoi Theatre, the Kremlin, Red Square, and Saint Basil’s Cathedral.

Easter Happenings: Free chocolate eggs will be given to take home at Easter Sunday Brunch on April 24th. Executive chef Guillaume Joly will be whipping up traditional Easter dishes like kulich, paskha, roasted leg of lamb, and much more at The Park Restaurant. For children, an egg hunt (yes, of the chocolate kind) will take place, with “sweet” prizes to be won.

The Offer: RUB 3,900 per person ($138 USD), including VAT and service charges.