Monday, September 28, 2009

Rosewood Resorts

Rosewood Resorts is comprised of quite a few 5-star properties offering an over-the-top stay for anyone traveling to US destinations including New York, Dallas and Atlanta and also some choice locations in the Middle East and Asia, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

Check out some of the locations who have partnered with WhataHotel!, because you'll get Exclusive Complimentary Perks with each booking.

CordeValle, A Rosewood Resort: CordeValle gives you a chance to experience serenity like you never have before, but you don't have to travel to the far edges of the world to do so. Just 30 minutes from San Jose, this location happens to be perfect for the wine enthusiast, the busy family, or the shopper with an eye for beauty. Bungalows, villas, and homes of varying luxurious sizing allow you to experience the real reason why people keep coming back to Rosewood: unparalleled comfort and beauty, in the most impressive setting.

Caneel Bay, A Rosewood Resort: Want to experience the Caribbean like you see in the movies, with a close proximity to natural beauty and a sandy beach? Caneel Bay is located amongst the Virgin Islands National Resort in St. John, and you can catch a number of striking sunsets right from your hotel room. With the active guest in mind, Caneel Bay offers leisure activities both on- and off-water, as well as diversion for children if you are traveling with a family.

Las Ventanas Al Paraiso: Las Ventanas is located between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, and happens to be situated right next to the ocean for prime vacation time enjoyment. The recipient of several travel awards, Las Ventanas attracts a varied bunch of CEOs, celebrities, and other A-Listers as well as the usual luxury hotel lover. Their Director of Romance is dedicated to serving the whims of the many honeymooning couples who stay at the hotel to take advantage of perks like couple's massages, oceanside dinners, and roomy suite accommodations.

The Carlyle: New York's Carlyle is a classic fixture in the hotel scene, and an extremely notable one at that. The 180-room hotel is smaller than many of the New York luxury spots, allowing for more personalized service, but still gracing visitors with a striking view of Central Park and a choice of many extremely close New York diversions. Located on Madison Avenue, The Carlyle is near galleries, boutiques, and restaurants for just about everyone. The Met, the Guggenheim, the Frick, and the Whitney are all very close to this hotel in what is called the "Museum Mile." You'll be an arts lover by the time you leave this Rosewood location!

Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort: Want to kick back in your hammock, all the while getting served fruity drinks in the Caribbean? Jumby Bay is the right choice. This Rosewood Resort is re-opening in November 2009 to provide improved services and accommodations, and you'll be lucky to book a stay in a done-over luxury spot early in its re-opening. With rested and invigorated staff, carefully groomed grounds, and a revamped hotel restaurant menu, you'll be awed at Jumby Bay.

With so much to choose from, you will need to book more than one stay at Rosewood Resorts.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Fairmont San Francisco Suite at $15,000 a Night

The penthouse suite of the Fairmont Hotel San Francisco has seen its fair share of famous guests, from JFK to Prince Charles.

Nevertheless, this penthouse suite is going to be even better than ever after all the dusting, cleaning, and dressing up that's been taking place under its ceilings. But why all the fuss?

Next month, the suite will be re-opened for the marriage of two families in the Californian vineyard business. It's not cheap, but for a luxury hotel, it's definitely what one would be looking for in terms of styles, class, and grace.

For $15,000, your suite takes up an entire floor: three bedrooms with baths, a formal dining room that can seat 60, a living room, and, best of all, an impressive terrace that looks out over San Francisco Bay and the rest of the city. Called a "giveaway" at its price, you also get a personal trainer, a chef, a masseuse, and a well-stocked gourmet kitchen, plus the use of a Ferrari. The penthouse, built in the '20s, is gorgeously decorated in Art Deco design with lots of tile, colorful paints, artistic details, and gold leaf decoration sprinkled about ceilings and windows. Samara Diapoulos, the hotel's spokesperson, said that the suite is "exotic, extravagant and telling of that time," with even a special secret hideaway in the library, and a ceiling that looks like the night sky with dark paint and gold details.

Other notable design inclusions are:

*1,800 etched glass pieces in the ceiling for a fabulously sparkling effect
*Hundreds of books lining the library
*2,000-piece crystal chandelier and sconces in the penthouse
*Brilliant blue tiled interiors

If you're looking for somewhere fabulous to stay, the Fairmont San Francisco is it. The Fairmont San Francisco is a testament to luxury living, and it boasts individually furnished rooms and suites with great views of the San Francisco skyline and bay. The location and amenities make this hotel the perfect place to stay for both business and personal reasons, and business travelers will certainly appreciate a big, roomy work desk, super-fast internet, and a multi-line telephone for conference calls and busy business days in the hotel room. Since you get Exclusive Complimentary Perks through, you will make your money really count, and still enjoy the fantastic bonuses that come along with a San Francisco hotel room in a luxury setting.

Sound tempting? Get in line for one of the most impressive hotel stays you'll ever have.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

President Obama Stayed at The Waldorf Towers

When you're a President, or a celebrity, you get your pick of luxury hotels. From beachside retreats to exclusive resorts in far-off locations, it's easy to choose between plenty of restful spots. You can request whatever you need in terms of services and diversion, there are plenty of top-rated restaurants on-site to enjoy, and there's no shortage of staff to help with your every desire (or whim, for that matter). Business meetings are easy to set up in luxurious spots in your hotel, security is high, and the staff is used to seeing high-caliber guests. Even if you're in town on business, luxurious hotels will suit you well. It's not easy being an executive, an entertainer, or, in President Obama's case, a world leader, but with the many perks provided when staying in a luxury hotel, it's pure relaxation!

President Obama's suite, for example, was recently secured in the Waldorf Towers for $7,000 a night. He checked in this week to the spacious, stunning 4-room space, and with that kind of luxury comes plenty of perks. President Obama's suite in the hotel added him to a long list of world leaders who have stayed in the hotel throughout history. Did you know that every US president since Herbert Hoover has lived at or stayed in the 4-bedroom suite in the towers? Now that's a rich history! Hotels across New York have dedicated themselves to putting on a great show for the many leaders streaming into the city to gather for the 64th United Nations General Assembly, and the Waldorf is no exception. Even the chef of the hotel has a lot of pressure to provide the best: at one time, there can be over 20 heads of state staying in the hotel--and dining on the food that the kitchen painstakingly prepares. The chefs work with the State Department to learn what foods the President likes or dislikes, and they also review menus of foods for the public meetings and dinners that the President will be attending during the week. Interestingly, George H. W. Bush was one of the most interested in what the hotel was offering, and was extremely engaged about the preparations for dinner and what was being served--unlike his dinner party guests. Perhaps President Obama will be the same!

The Waldorf Towers in Manhattan rises high above the Waldorf Astoria on the 27th-42nd floors. The boutique hotel has been home to corporate moguls, royalties, celebrities, and chefs, and President Obama is another extremely distinguished guest to add to the list. Fine antiques and individual decor make staying in one of the 181 rooms or 123 suites a true pleasure, and each suite has a marble bathroom and comfortable, cheerful rooms. Besides all the premium services and amenities in which you get to indulge, you also get a private entrance between Park and Lexington so as to not announce your arrival ostentatiously. Follow the lead of some very distinguished guests and try The Waldorf Towers--and don't forget about the Guerlain Spa and Fitness Center!

Who would've thought that you can book a hotel stay to rival that of the Presidents recent stay?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Enjoy Doing Nothing

Are you the type who relishes relaxation? Lives "for the moment"? Even if you're not, have you ever considered trying it out, even if it's just for a day? By harnessing your ability to not do anything, you're primed and ready for your luxury hotel lounging. . . even if that means you'll be hanging out at the pool a lot. Many of us hold high-stress jobs and have had a pretty tough year--why not reward ourselves with just-right conditions--to do nothing? That's right, some people have perfected the fine art of doing nothing, and we're along for the ride. Hang on and stay positive as you get ready to conquer the world (of doing nothing, well). Real Simple has put together a compilation of 10 ways to enjoy doing nothing, and we'd like to share them with you now.

Author Tom Hodgkinson happened to be "glued to the mattress" not working, and at first, he was feeling pretty guilty. How did he dare to just hang out, shoot the breeze, and not get anything productive done? He felt too bad to enjoy it, which is something a lot of us can relate to. Perhaps you've planned a vacation and then realized that your break coincides with something important, or you've been go-go-go so long that you don't know how to relax. Here's your opportunity to learn from Tom, who kicked the guilt and reached perfection.

Some of Hodgkinson's tips, from his magazine "The Idler," can be found below.

1. Choose the right role models. Go-getters are out! Look to artists, writers, and musicians for your daily dose of inspiration, because they were much more likely to know how to relax and kick back.

2. Banish your guilt. Stop thinking that doing nothing is SUCH a bad thing! Everyone needs to relax! Call it something else if you need to, like "winding down time," but know--and accept--that you are indeed doing nothing.

3. Bring back your Sundays. Who else here works on Sundays, or feels pressured to spend the whole day cleaning? Excuse yourself from labor and kick back like people did long ago to ready themselves for a week of hard work.

4. Take a nap. Not only have naps been proven to keep you healthier, but they are great to improve your mood for the rest of the afternoon. If you are feeling run-down, this is the perfect solution on a day-to-day basis. Choose a soothing radio station to bring you back down to earth.

5. Pretend to meditate. Tell anyone you need to that you are off to meditate, and then don't. Simply close the door behind you, look out the window, and luxuriate in peace. Technically nobody should bother you, and this excuse goes a lot farther than the nap one.

If you need places to go now that you're oh-so-relaxed, how about booking a stay in a luxury hotel? You'll enjoy your best siesta yet, as well as plenty of spa and pool lounge time.

*Swissotel Chicago: This location sets the bar for many guest services and amenities offered in downtown Chicago, and it happens to have great views while being located close to shopping mecca the Miracle Mile. On your day of rest, how about you indulge in a little gift-buying? That never hurt anyone!

*La Pousada de Santa Fe: Located in downtown Santa Fe, this resort and spa puts you conveniently in the center of the action, as well as in the middle of historic Santa Fe charm. This location is just two blocks from art galleries and shopping.

*The London West Hollywood: Hollywood glamour meets the high-quality expectations of staying at a London location. Always sophisticated, the London West Hollywood combines modern style with Hollywood charm. If personality and luxury are what you require, you've come to the right place.

*The Winvian: This country spot tops our list of must-visits. This countryside location features stunning surroundings and awesome amenities that just urge you to kick back. Individual designer cottages are warm and inviting, and are planned to captivate plenty of personalities.

What are you waiting for? Let's get going--and do nothing.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Moms Need Friends, Too

Moms can get lonely, especially those child-rearing in more rural regions. From busy days where you get run down to days of nothing but routine, everyone needs a shoulder between vacations. CNN featured a special list of "friend types" that every mom should have around, and we don't think it's out of line to suggest that perhaps these friends might consider a vacation with you and your family. Why not? Imagine the benefits you'd reap from having two support systems, plus friends for the kids, while you enjoy a child-friendly resort that's just right for parents with a stressful routine at home. Soak in the pool, hang out at the spa, and zip off to the theatre or museums with your new friends to utilize your luxury hotel's excellent childcare facilities and trustworthy employees. You might not expect to relax so much when you take the kids along with you, but that's part of the fun!

Without further ado, here are specific friend types to consider, which can make your life at home and on your vacation so much more enjoyable.

*Been There, Done That: These friends are just right for the mom in need. When you are feeling stumped about a parenting problem or are stuck on the terrible twos, you have a support system to tell you exactly what you should (and should not) be doing. Isn't it nice not to second-guess yourself for once?

*I'll Do Anything for You: The ultra-helpful friend who never says no mustn't be taken advantage of, even if she doesn't have kids of her own. She's enthusiastic and ready to take your kids to baseball, soccer, or basketball, or even help with the bake sale preparations. She's a keeper!

*The Glam Girlfriend: When you're a mom, the looks can be put on the back burner--permanently. Trust this best friend to take you out on the town, bring you new brands, and give you advice on avoiding "mom jeans" forever. Use her for inspiration, advice, and hopefully her wardrobe as well.

*Brutally Honest Friend: She tells it like it is. . . but shouldn't someone? While it's tough to have a friend like this around, it is nice to have a person on hand to ask for a dose of reality. Between kids' TV, meal-making, working, and planning, perspective can slide a bit. Have your friend jolt you into reality and make you get moving!

Did you find a friend who sounds like someone on this list? If not, check out CNN's full friend guide, and then get to planning your vacation with the kids.

Fairmont Southampton: This Bermuda location often has family offers that benefit busy families, and they also happen to boast one of the most impressive natural locations that the Caribbean has to offer. An indoor heated pool, spa location, and salon are all you need to spend some time unwinding.

Acqualina Resort and Spa: Situated for prime dining and shopping, this resort right on the ocean has multiple children's programs to explore. While you and your new best friend bask in the Florida sun, you can rest assured that they'll be kept entertained and safe as you enjoy multiple ways to relax at the resort. Step one, the pool. Step two, your perfect guest suite. . .

The Arrabelle, Vail Square: Take the ski and snowboard-loving teens on a vacation they'll never forget. . . this hotel is perfectly situated at the foot of the slopes in a European-inspired location. Snap plenty of pics of your family at this picturesque spot with first-class amenities and Rock Resort-level perks.

Spring Creek Ranch: With close proximity to mountain trails, the Spring Creek Ranch attracts plenty of wildlife. Open yearly, this ranch has a view from every room, and is situated close to national parks just primed for exploring. Be sure to check out their award-winning Wilderness Spa.

Make some friends and plan some vacations! How could you regret that?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

World Records Broken

The Guinness Book just released a mega-list of all the records broken, and it's surprising just how many new additions popped up in the new version. Why not have a fun and fascinating peek at just a few of the individuals who got the place of honor in the Guinness Book?

*1,253 people dressed up like Smurfs in Ireland--the most in a single gathering.

*4,703 pounds is what the newest, heaviest cheesecake weighed in Mexico City. Hungry, anyone?

*A ball of plastic wrap fashioned by an 11-year-old boy from Michigan reached 11 feet across--and got him special recognition as well.

*Brenden Adams of Washington, who has a 12th chromosome split in half, is 7 feet, 4.6 inches tall, and can't fit into cars. Since he's has knee replacements, he doesn't play basketball, preferring to bike and camp with his friends.

*7.12 is the longest tuft of hair ever sprouted from someone's ear, and the honor has gone to Anthony Victor of India.

Pushing the boundaries is a fascinating thing, and we can do that with travel, too. Instead of just booking a hotel and going to the city that sounds interesting, be sure to look up some curiosities in each city you visit. It'll really perk up your trip, especially when you take a ton of pics of the fascinating place that's caught your eye! Here are just a few suggestions of must-visit travel curiosities worldwide, and where to stay when you go to visit them:

Montreal: St. Joseph's Oratory is a huge basilica located on Queen Mary Road, and its rumored healing powers have resulted in a giant collection of crutches and other memorabilia off the healed.

Where to Stay: Try the Hotel Le St. James, which has old-fashioned appeal and modern convenience. Located in the heart of Montreal, it's a good place to stay if you'd like a little romance on your trip--and be close to the convention center as well.

Tokyo: Go to a Cat Cafe while in Tokyo. The Curl Up Cafe features happily snoozing kitties on leather couches and chairs--and the 12 felines who hang out here commute with the owner every day.

Where to Stay: The Park Hyatt Tokyo is located on the West Shinjuku and happens to be the hotel featured in Lost in Translation. The New York Grill is also one of Tokyo's best restaurants, so be sure to book early if you want to try it out.

New York City: While NYC is known for its museums, the Museum of Sex is another experience entirely. Opened in 2002, it's not for the conservative or faint-of-heart, but the curious will get to browse through a collection of ever-changing displays. No one under 18 is permitted.

Where to Stay
: The Hotel Plaza Athenee in New York is located on the fashionable east side of Manhattan and is located close to Central Park and shopping destinations. You also have a chance to try global cuisine at their stunning eatery.

Paris: Pere Lachaise might be a cemetery, but its unusual garden-like layout is the resting place of many a famed poet, artist, and entertainer. While you won't be alone when you make your trek to this location, it's a must-visit for any traveler in Paris.

Where to Stay
: The Four Seasons Hotel George V seems like you're staying in a fabulously luxurious private home, but you're actually not--the hotel decorators have lavished a great deal of money on these special rooms in a prime location.

It's just a start, but a fascinating one!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Paper Planes and Dreams

Mong Thongdee has caught the world's attention with a story that's worthy of front-page news. The 12-year-old resident of Thailand might have construction worker parents making around $7 per day, but he also placed as the nation's best in a paper plane contest with a dart that floated 12.5 seconds in the air--long enough for him to be invited to represent Thailand in the Japanese origami airplane competition. Think there's a catch? There is, and of the type that we travelers might have temporarily faced while planning a zig-zagging trip to lesser known countries--visa issues that need to be worked out. It turns out that Mong lives on a temporary visa and cannot move freely between his country and others. Even for a boy who lives right behind the Chiang Mai Airport, making paper planes, a trip out of the country seems like a faraway, virtually unattainable goal.

Thongdee's parents are migrant workers, says case worker Achara Sutthisoontharin, who works on legal issues for Thailand residents. "His parents left Myanmar since 1995 and never went back. So Mong doesn’t exist there," Achara said. Not only is this crushing news for the talented boy with a dream, but it highlights a serious issue for migrant workers not just in Thailand, but all over the world. Stateless, nationless people lack security, benefits, and basic rights, and thankfully, Thongdee's story has captured international attention. While entitled to basic education, Thongdee's case could take as long as seven years to wrap up. "I know some people thought, ‘A son of migrant making paper plane? Big deal!’" said Mong's teacher, but it turns out that this gift, the local children's only pastime, has inspired big dreams in the small school. In addition, Mong wants to be able to fly a plane for real someday.

If you are inspired by stories like these, the best way to let people know is to get involved! No matter where your luxury hotel is located, try to get out and mingle with the locals, learn about real life in the particular country, and even give back in some small way through volunteerism during your trip. By choosing tour companies that donate a percentage of the proceeds to social and community development, you are doing your part, while learning more than a good deal of visitors. Combine resort lounging with volunteer vacations for a delightful mix of the socially responsible and the purely restful, and you'll come back with a new zest for life.

Consider traveling to Thailand for real, while staying in these quality locations.

Banyan Tree Bangkok: Sleek and modern, this hotel is located smack-dab in the commercial district, and has business amenities tucked into rooms with Thai flair. Rooms happen to also boast great views of the city from the 15th floor up, so consider a new view of the city on your visit to Bangkok.

Anantara Resort and Spa: This spa destination is located near surrounding forest where you can, if interested, book a ride upon a elephant through the leafy underbrush. All rooms and suites have their own special balconies for a peek at Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos borders, and there's a recommended spa on site for your relaxation needs.

Four Seasons Bangkok: Why not do it up in style? Traditional Thai architecture plus a grand lobby and gardens means that you'll really get to luxuriate in this special location. For those craving some international cuisine, there are seven options for you at the Four Seasons Bangkok. Relax by the lush tropical garden afterwards.

The Peninsula, Bangkok: This luxurious riverside hotel has received many special travel awards for its service and general hotel quality, and as soon as you arrive, you'll know why. The 37-story hotel offers panoramic hotel views and large guest suites, and is close to shopping destinations for the rich, famous, and curious.

Next stop, Thailand! What do you say?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Luxury Hotels with Fall Foliage in Mind

Are you the type who loves to be surprised by what you see in person when traveling? You might admire pictures of beautiful scenery all around the United States, but seeing it close-up is something else entirely. From New England to corners of both coasts, there are surprises to be found along old routes and in unusual landscapes around the United States. Take Arizona, for example: author Joe Yogerst took a trip along the desert landscape on a special road trip and marveled at the beauty of the sun-baked mountains and desert. By carefully choosing your route for fall, you will be busy snapping photos for the entirety of your trip. If you're checking out the fall land in the Southwest, take US Highway 89, starting in Phoenix and then driving through Arizona on the Yarnell Grade amidst rugged mountaintops and boulders. Think snow-capped peaks, autumn trees, and special red rock cliffs to welcome you to one of many people's favorite time of the year—by far.

Don't rule out a fall foliage trip for the season. Not only do Americans love piling into cars to explore new areas filled with exploding-color trees, but the trip is considered a fall rite-of-passage for many a daring traveler—especially for someone who missed out on a summertime trip. New England's a must-visit place at least once in your lifetime, thanks to a unique blend of tree types that result in a particularly vibrant blend of plums, fire engine reds, lime greens, and sunshine yellows. Expert Dr. Kevin Smith from the US Forest Service in New Hampshire said “The reds from maples, oranges from sugar maples, yellows from birches, purple from beeches, all mixed in with the dark green of conifers like pine and hemlock” are what really make things special. However, if New England is too far away this year, there are other options for you to try out, including the Denali Highway in south-central Alaska, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

For a special hotel stay while you head out on your road trip, try to find a luxury hotel that meets your particular requirements without strapping you for cash. By browsing Specials across or selecting any luxury hotel from its entire collection, you will get an insider's access to the best values at the best hotels & resorts. Try zig-zagging between major cities if you crave some action and still want to catch a more provincial American feel, or simply head to simply more out-of-the-way luxury hotel locations.

Some top spots include:

The Lodge and Spa at Cordillera: This lodge and spa is set in the Vail Valley and offers plenty of activities year-round. With just 56 rooms, you are guaranteed to have special, individualized service when you check in, plus the savings of Exclusive Complimentary Perks. Get up-close and personal with those mountains for some great fall views.

Stowe Mountain Lodge, Vermont: This Spruce Peak lodge at the Stowe alpine village in Stowe, Vermont opened just in 2008, which means that your beautiful room and grounds will be perfectly turned-out and groomed. With artisan-inspired cuisine and a gorgeous spa, this hotel is a good way to head out and get snapping!

The Homestead: The Homestead's been host to many a distinguished guest, including princes and presidents. Near Virginia's Allegheny Mountains, The Homestead offers plenty of excitement for the entire family, including a wealth of outdoor activities and diversions.

Canyon Ranch, Lenox: Nestled in Western Massachusetts, this classic New England hotel is located very close to the Berkshire Mountains and has a certain quaint small-town charm. With all your meals included during your stay and plenty of wellness classes at the inn, Canyon Ranch, Lenox, makes for a perfect stop as you meander through New England leaf-peeping routes.

When traveling for a foliage road tip, don't forget the most important tip: get out of the car, says Road Trip USA author Jamie Jensen!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Best Places to Tee It Up

Author Chris Santella will be publishing a book that examines some of the very best places to play golf out there, and that includes some surprising locations! From the vistas spied along the rough to the fairways, golf courses offer some spectacular views along with perfected playing grounds. Santella lists 50 Places to Play Golf Before You Die, and that means you're going to be developing a new sports bucket list to accommodate all the new places to call out "Fore!" Santella asked experts like golf journalists and sports pros where they've enjoyed their 18 holes, and named ones that aren't well-known along with general consensus selections, too. Since many golfers have a special wish-list of places they've heard about as well as countries they'd like to explore, why not have a peek at some of their collective golfing dreams? From inspiration derived from a magazine or catalog to a previous vacation close to a nearby resort, this carefully-honed collection is bound to impress the avid player.

If you're looking for a place to start, why not go with the substantial deals offered by's partners, who offer Exclusive Complimentary Perks when booking your stay on the site to enhance the value of your booking? Have a look at some of Santella's suggestions, and start running through the list by calling a travel agent who can research savings along with the best time of the year to head to your resort of choice. After all, there's nothing worse than packing up the clubs and then realizing that you've arrived in the middle of monsoon season, wouldn't you agree?

Playa del Carmen, Mexico is one such place that's attracted special attention over the past few years. The Yucatan Peninsula, weather-wise, is near perfect when it comes to sunny days and balmy climes, and Greg Norman's El Cameleon design is home to the Mayakoba Gold Classic. Complete with varied layouts of limestone, jungle, and swamps, you even get to fly one of the canals that stretches across the impressive landscape. Banyon Tree Mayakoba is located close enough to Mayakoba's El Cameleon golf course, which hosts the world's first PGA tour outside of the USA and Canada. Crystal waters surround the famous location in a totally picturesque layout, but if you crave those perks, another luxury hotel option is the Fairmont Mayakoba, which gives you a much-needed break as you watch the sun set over the Maya River and luxuriate in your nicely turned-out hotel suite, stuffed with amenities.

Bob Weeks, the Editor of Score, has also made golf enthusiasts open up their eyes when it comes to Canada. Despite the fact that the U.S. boasts many important golf courses, word has it that Alberta's Jasper Park Golf Club has exceeded professional expectation with its beautiful expanse of green that's as mesmerizing as it is challenging. When Weeks spoke of his experience at Jasper, he said that “The sun was shining, the scenery was incredible, the layout of the course was great. I recall thinking that if a golf nirvana existed, this was it; it was as close to perfection as I'd experienced. And I don't even remember how I played!” If that's won you over, why not check out the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, which is one of the largest and highest-ranked luxury resort locations in all of North America. Cabins and suites await with plenty of other sports offered year-round, plus Exclusive Complimentary Perks. After you've taken in the golf course, other sports options include tennis, hiking, biking, horseback riding, and fishing.

There's only one thing left to say: fore!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Bvlgari Watches, Jewelry, Fragranes and Hotels??

When you hear Bvlgari, you might immediately think watches, jewelry, fragrances & accessories. But hotels?

Bvlgari Hotels feature contemporary design and unparalleled service. Utilizing famed architects who blend nature and city life together in a harmonious, restful combination, Bvlgari remains, as they say, "a tribute to luxury" and to impeccable service combined. Sound tempting? Bvlgari Hotels and Resorts are even more accessible than before, with seasonable offerings and competitive rates with other top-rated luxury destinations. Who wouldn't want a chance to experience the best? Think Bali, splashed with sunlight and with access to a private resort beach, and bustling European centers where the shopping is just as good (or better than) the food. Read on for the details!

Bvlgari's hotels aren't just exclusive, but intelligently placed in the current market for serious luxury shoppers and luxe discount lookers alike. When you shop smart, you'll quickly learn that the Bvlgari Hotel Milan is refined and elegant, but it also offers Exclusive Complimentary Perks through that keeps things even more affordable than usual--thanks to your dedicated travel agent, of course. Located in one of the most beautiful and chic areas of Milan, this particular hotel nestles down into a dedicated spot of tranquility and quiet. If the well-furnished and accessorized rooms aren't enough to calm you after a busy day of sightseeing and exploring, an oversized private garden adjacent to the Botanical Garden is a calming sea of green. Explore Via Montenapoleone, Via della Spiga, the Scala Theatre, and the Academy of Brera while you are checking out the surroundings, and don't be embarrassed about snapping pictures of your favorite sightseeing spots as well as your new favorite hotel.

Additionally, Bvlgari Hotels also operates out of getaway locations like Bali. In a land of sun and sea, the Bvlgari Resort Bali is a 59-villa luxury location on the very tip of the peninsula, advantageously located for those who really need to just "get away from it all"--and succeed at doing it. While you might have trouble tearing yourself away from the beach and the views, this hotel offers a particularly impressive roster of restaurants that span worldly cuisines from Italy, Indonesia, and other points in Asia. There is also a separate bar for chilling when you're feeling like a tipple post-bask on the large and private beach. Since every villa offers expanded views, there's simply no way you can leave feeling disappointed--Bulgari certainly sees to that.

If you are craving a new way to vacation, you might want to try it with Bvlgari.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Consumers Get Even!

Justine Gabbard is just one of many consumers who has taken to the internet to complain about unfair treatment: she was charged by Bank of America for the second time without even bouncing a check, to the tune of $400! After uploading her message onto YouTube, she got plenty of hits, and lots of responses too—in fact, consumers everywhere are enjoying her “message in a bottle” as a way of lashing back at company abuse. Thousands of other bank customers responded angrily after explaining that they, too, had been charged exorbitant fees, and some even included detailed messages on taking their complaints to small claims court. While Youtube is a hotbed for consumer complaints, Twitter is another way to reach companies quickly and find a solution to website issues, customer service problems, and even just a medium to get questions answered more quickly.

It can be hard to deal with consumer disappointments, especially when you are on vacation. Instead of booking just any hotel or motel on you rnext trip, you'll relax far more when you're staying in a luxury hotel. Contrary to popular belief, luxury hotels aren't just for the uber-rich, although you might feel like it. Prices of rooms and suites all over the world, in name-brand properties, are being marked down for your booking pleasure, and this is the time to start shopping for major deals. If you choose the right location, you'll even get extra perks worked into the package, like a spa credit or airfare compensation, making your choice even more affordable. Choose a seaside location or otherwise notable spot to vacation like a star, without paying like one! Even if you aren't forking out the dough, no one will be the wiser, and you won't have to worry about uploading your own Youtube or Twitter message about anything to do with your vacation.

Need a place to start for the vacation of your dreams? Here are some top-notch suggestions.

Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain
This luxurious retreat is made for the relaxing countryside enjoyment you never thought you'd get again. The special luxury retreat offers Asian-style spa treatments and fresh cuisine, as well as 98 mountain casas and casitas nestled in the tamed mountainside. Get in touch with your adventurous self in an environment that's both pampering and rustic—perfect for all of us.

Charleston Place Hotel
In the heart of Charleston, this hotel introduces you to famed southern hospitality while offering rich amenities and services, as well as a groomed grounds. Enjoy the weather—and food—as you zig-zag between the spa, tennis courts, and pools.

InterContinental The Barclay New York
New York relaxation at its finest—for less? This hotel has a special deal for Exclusive Complimentary Perks with!, but it doesn't scrimp on the extras for its guests. The luxury business hotel is in the perfect shop for prime sightseeing and taking care of financial and business obligations, leaving you with less time spent in your taxi or hired car while on your trip. Doesn't that sound divine?

Four Seasons Hotel Miami
Ahh, Miami. Lovely water in both the ocean and rivers criss-crossing the land, and splendid service for all visitors looking for something special. The Four Seasons Hotel Miami was opened in 2003 and is a mixed-use space of condos and business spaces in the center of Miami's financial district. Has traveling for business ever felt this good?

Time to beat those vacation blues and make your money last!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Don't Get Shanghai'd When Visiting Shanghai

Shanghai is an excellent place to visit, but many people think that it's too pricey. By shopping smart when you choose a hotel and knowing the right place to visit around the city, you can easily fit your vacation into the budget you require. With smart research, you can prepare a stunning itinerary for locations far beyond your wildest expectations. Even if you're not feeling up to the task on your own, you can simply enlist a travel agent to help you with the details, especially if your one of choice has connections with partners that have exclusive complimentary perks offered to anyone who books through the agency. It's worth checking one out for major savings on luxury hotels.

Which luxury hotels in Shanghai might work out well for you? Paying cheap without getting quality isn't the smartest shopping-- you're better off balancing a stay somewhere with perks for a discounted rate. Here are just a few excellent places to check out for your stay in Shanghai, China—keep in mind that the location has but a handful of major tourist must-visits, so you'll certainly be able to fit them into your itinerary.

Be sure to visit Yu Garden, considered one of the top-ranked tourist's locations in the city, which was previously part of the old walled city. Simply take the no. 8 subway line through older-style two-story shop buildings, quickly being replaced as new buildings take hold in the city. After checking out Yu Garden, visit the oversized bazaar that offers tea, clothing, and interesting tourist kitsch perfect for the picking. The Shiliupu ferry only costs 50 fen, and is the perfect place to connect to the financial district of the city. From the no. 1 subway line, head to the Longhua Temple and see a quieter side of Shanghai.

Tempted by the waiting sights and sounds of Shanghai? Here are just a few options for affordable luxury hotel stays in the city.

Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai
The “Paris of the East” is wildly intriguing, and what's better to enjoy this entrancing spot than with a Four Seasons stay in the lap of luxury? The desirable location in the exotic spot means that you can enjoy world-famous amenities and service while exploring some of the most affordable spots city-wide.

St. Regis Hotel Shanghai
If you're traveling to Shanghai for business and exploration, the St. Regis Hotel Shanghai is a smart place to book your stay. Offering the only 24-hour concierge service in the city and an executive lounge, the St. Regis Hotel Shanghai offers exceptional dining options and was recently initiated onto Conde Nast's Gold List.

Park Hyatt Shanghai
One of the tallest and most striking hotels in the world, the Park Hyatt Shanghai has been decorated beautifully by renowned designer Tony Chi, who created a modern, tasteful environment that combines sophistication with creature comforts.

Westin Bund Center
The Westin Bund Center Center Shanghai towers above the waterfront and is found in a stylish, central spot with plenty of dining and shopping options. Take your pick of guest rooms and suites in the posh location, and rest assured that the hotel is under an hour from the Pudong International Airport.

Next stop, Shanghai!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Shark Sightings in Resort Areas

One Cape Cod beach town has had a number of new visitors this year, but not the human, tourist kind. This summer, Chatham, Massachusetts has been on the lookout for shark visitors who are cruising the water nearby. The shark expert for the Division of Marine Fisheries, Greg Skomal, confirmed a shark sighting at the end of last week, and it's rumored that there could be more in the area. For those interested in ocean wildlife and less in swimming, this is very good news indeed—as it is for those running boat tours for curious tourists. Just a day before Skomal's shark sighting Friday, five sharks were spotted about one mile away from Chatham's Lighthouse Beach, a popular swimming spot for locals and tourists alike. Experts say that the seal-rich waters are attracting sharks closer to the Cape than usual. The good news? Massachusetts recorded the last fatal shark attack in 1936.

If you think that checking out aquatic life sounds like a pretty cool vacation, you're in luck. The Cove Atlantis, located in the Caribbean and one of's special partners that provides exclusive complimentary perks, sites on not one, but two special beaches in stunning natural surroundings of crystal-clear water, bright sand, and rich vegetation. While the aquatic life is abundant, and the outdoor, adventure-oriented activities plentiful, there are nightlife choices available to you whenever you feel like blowing off some steam—or if you can't sleep with that new sunburn! From your luxury hotel, you can see stunning views of the area and enjoy the rather balmy, relaxing open-air lobby of the location. After you've recharged, you can take advantage of the perfect aquatic attraction, Dolphin Cay, which is a special interaction habitat for curious visitors looking to get up close and personal with some seriously intelligent marine wildlife.

The Reef Atlantis is yet another stunning Caribbean location to view sharks and turtles, all the while lying in the lap of luxury. You can watch these special creatures being fed as you wander around the hotel grounds happily and take in the warm sunshine and cool sights. After basking on the beach, consider going to the spa or fitness center before retiring to your perfectly-appointed room for a nap. Not a hard life, is it? If it's exclusivity you crave, the One & Only Ocean Club in the Bahamas offers miles of pristine beaches on which to relax, champagne and strawberries in your room every afternoon, and exclusive complimentary perks, of course. Be sure to feed yourself well after heading out on the sand all day long: Dune is located right on the beach, and Courtyard Terrace is perfect for al fresco dining. Work up an appetite and dine on a tasty combination of international plates--but remember to save room for dessert.

No matter where you stay, be sure to keep your eyes on the ocean. Who knows what you might see?

Friday, September 4, 2009

How to be a Good Guest

It's all about etiquette, at least according to Sue Fox, author of Etiquette for Dummies. If you're heading out of town with your family, and you might be swinging by a friend's or extended family member's home, you want to be the kind of person who gets invited back.

The first technique? Ask carefully whether or not there are hotels in the areas when you're talking to the potential host. Don't assume you will get an invitation. Broach the subject lightly, and don't be put off if they simply recommend the best options and move on. After all, there might be more guests that they can manage at the event, and do you really want to be that guest who wears out his or her welcome before she even gets inside? Of course not! Plus, your hotel hunt might just deliver a gem that you simply can't ignore.

That being said, be sure to keep some other rules on hand to be a perfect guest, even if you do decide to book a hotel for a few night's visit.

Keep Your Stay Short
At the start of your vacation, decide the exact start and end of the visit. Try to spend some time out of your host's house to visit cool landmarks, and don't try to stretch out your stay any longer than planned. “Fish and houseguests stink after three days,” they say, and many believe that's true.

Be Up Front with Everything
Showing up with the kids? Bringing your new boyfriend? Warn your hosts about any unexpected or unusual arrivals bound for their door, even if you'll be headed to their house just for the day. Every host deserves to know how many are showing up at their bbq or gathering, just like you'd tell a hotel the same when booking. Don't wear out your welcome as soon as you arrive!

Maintain Contact
Double-check your plans with your host before you get there, and be sure that you receive directions and check events a proper amount of time before you show up. Call on the morning of the day you will arrive to be sure that none of the plans have changed—and offer to bring anything along when you arrive.

Consider Half-Half
Staying one night at your houseguests' and another at the hotel is completely fair. Look up some hotels close to the location, and consider staying at them to take in a different view of the location you're checking out with your hosts--and to preserve your relationship with said hosts.

Hotels to Consider
Vacationing in Chicago?
The Westin Michigan Avenue
The Westin Michigan Avenue is on the Magnificent Mile, located close to the upscale shops of the Water Tower Place. Right near the loop and business stops if necessary, it has an elegant element and has unparalleled service for business and leisure guests. With 752 guest rooms (including 23 suites), you'll find a place no matter when you're planning that vacation.

Traveling to Chicago?
The Langham, Boston
Downtown Boston is bustling and adorable, and staying in the middle of the action is a good way to balance time in suburban paradise. This AAA four-diamond Boston hotel is a national architectural landmark and a very fine hotel. Be sure to visit the New England Seaquarium, the Freedom Trail, and the waterfront while you are there.

Traveling to Texas?
Four Seasons Hotel Houston
This hotel has got the summer charm and elegance that you expect in Texas, while still keeping you close to business and financial districts. There are plenty of museums in the arts district to enjoy, and shopping centers await at a variety of locations. America's fourth-largest city will impress you just as much as this high-class luxury hotel will.

Traveling to Seattle?
Fairmont Olympic Hotel
The Fairmont Olympic Hotel is located right in the center of Seattle's business and entertainment area, making it a convenient stop for the Seattle Art Museum, Pike Place Market, and the convention center. If you happen to book yourself a deluxe room, lounge around on your oversized ottoman and armchair in perfect luxury hotel peace.

Don't forget your manners!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

How we Spell Relief !

A Pennsylvania man said that he went to jail to leave his wife, according to reports. Anthony Miller, 39, approached teller at a bank with a BB gun, asking for money and then telling them to call the police. The defense attorney said that he even asked about the efforts to contact the police while the event was going on. Because his then-wife had threatened to commit suicide if he left her, Miller thought this was a “smart” way out. He pleaded guilty in June and received three to six years in prison, and had been divorced at the time of sentencing. Sounds like some bad timing!

It also sounds like Miller needed a serious break. High levels of stress can cause major changes in one's body, which includes the effect on one's energy level, clear mental facilities, and immune system. Maybe if Miller had been able to part from his wife even through a simple “guy's only” camping trip, he would have been better off. While common symptoms of stress can include back pain, a headache, and fast breathing, long-term stress can have far-reaching effects on the skin, the reproductive organs, the muscles, and the stomach. Chronic stress can also make you unable to handle the simple stuff about life over a long period of time—again, Miller sounds like a pretty good candidate.

It's a common misconception that all luxury hotels are out of reach of the average budget. With so many ongoing sales, exclusive perks, and special industry offerings, you'll be able to bust stress, save money, and head back to “real life” feeling fresh.

Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole
Head out into the countryside for a real break from your busy life. Surrounded by stunning fields and other signs of impressive natural wilderness, the Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole includes 38 suites amongst their 144 guest rooms. Fireplaces and private terraces in the guestrooms allow you to have a truly relaxing experience.

Loews New Orleans
The Loews New Orleans is perfect for the business traveler who needs a serious break. 10 minutes from the cruise ship terminal and Harrah's New Orleans Casino, this 285-guest room and suite spot includes 1,680 square foot fitness center and a pool. Views of the Mississippi River and New Orleans skyline are majestic.

Royal Palms Resort and Spa
Financier Delos Cooke commissioned the building of a Spanish colonial mansion in 1926, which now gives guests an opportunity to bask in solitude and tranquility. With hidden gardens and private patios, this location allows the opportunity for quiet time with cozy niches and comfortable sitting spots. There is also fine dining at the location.

Ritz Carlton, New Orleans
Located on Canal Street and very close to Bourbon Street, the Ritz Carlton, New Orleans is close to convention centers, Harrah's Casino, the Superdome, and the Aquarium of the Americas. If you prefer to stay in, your guestroom will feature 10-foot ceilings, huge windows, soft sheets, a generous desk, and plenty of amenities.

Don't let stress get to you, too!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Avoid These Common Travel Blunders

We've all been there: the keys locked in the car, the lost suitcase (the one with all the essentials!), the broken GPS, the most confusing city streets in the world. If it weren't for these travel hitches, your vacation would probably be less enjoyable—because you get to laugh about it later, and your vacation will be much more memorable as well. Why not keep this in mind when you're planning that special vacation where one or two things might go wrong—and be sure to read this list to avoid some of the most common travel mistakes. We're not taking any responsibility for the ones that sneak up and surprise you, though! Vacations are hardly ever predictable, especially when you're the adventurous type.

Lost in the Lot
Can't find that nondescript rental car in the lot? You are not alone. Take a picture of the parking lot number to keep it always at the ready on your phone, or write it down on the back of your receipt for your parking validation. It also helps to remind the other person you're with of where you parked—two memories are better than one!—and look for any strange landmarks on your way to your destination. This can also happen at home, so you might be able to use these tips in advance.

Credit Card Shut-Downs
If you don't tell your credit/debit card companies that you'll be traveling, there's a chance that your cards will be blocked (and at the worst moment, too). Call ahead and have them make a note on your account, but don't forget to add their numbers into your phone in case your card gets blocked, anyway.

Itinerary Freak-Outs
Forget your booking number, your pass, or your receipt? Email copies of everything to yourself—including scans—and that way you can hit the internet kiosk in the airport, bus station, or local corner to print off the receipts of everything you need. You can also leave yourself a voice mail with the essential information, or send yourself a text with everything you could need.

Horrid Food
You're hungry, but you know that the international flight you're on won't exactly be serving up tasty cuisine. Stow some delicious nutrition bars in your purse or bag, and just don't forget the requirements for the TSA in terms of gels and liquids.

Avoid As Much Stress as Possible
One way to reduce stress on the road is to book yourself a stay in a hotel or resort that takes care of a lot of the nitty gritty for you. When there is valet parking, luxury services, and plenty of attendants to help keep you organized, you'll experience fewer hitches while you enjoy your vacation.

Canyon Ranch, Tucson
Not only is Canyon Ranch having some amazing sales right now on luxury stays at their location, but they are a favored retreat for celebrities and the well-to-do. Your stay includes all meals, so you don't need to worry about paying separately during your stay, and your food is prepared to exacting standards. You can have a private health consultation, take exercise classes, and relax on your porch to enjoy the stunning desert sunset.

Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay
On a special slope in Bali affording stunning views, this Four Seasons Resort features 147 luxurious villas that total a sprawling 2,100 feet. You get separate pavilions for living, dining, and sleeping, and a private plunge pool to enjoy at your villa. No lost gear at the pool for you. . .

Four Seasons Resort Aviara
With Exclusive Complimentary Perks and a perfect location overlooking Batiquitos Lagoon, the Four Seasons Resort Aviara is Southern California's new luxury point of relaxation. The Spanish colonial layout competes with the draw of an Arnold Palmer Golf Course, and guests can keep busy with a full-service spa, tennis courts, fitness center, and kids' programs for travelers with family along for the trip. Excellent service means fewer hang-ups when you're exploring!