Monday, November 28, 2011

The "most wonderful time of the year" in New York

There is always something going on in New York, and when (sing it)  "the most wonderfull time of the year" comes along, they really know how to go all out! Christmastime in New York City is magic; Vegas has nothing on these lights! Thousands of tourists pour into New York City every year for the holiday festivities. It is definitely the busiest time of year there, and with all of the excitement and preparation that goes into making it a city-wide holiday celebration, it is no surprise!

The Christmas tree at Bryant Park is always a big attraction, and the site has a great ice skating rink, that does not charge an admission fee. South Street Seaport sets up a massive 40-foot Norwegian Spruce, shimmering with lights. From November 25, through Christmas Eve, on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays the Big Apple Chorus will be performing. A 40-foot fir will be lit underneath the Washington Square Arch at Washington Square Park, creating a brilliantly festive sight in the East Village. The Winter Garden Holiday Lights spectacle dazzles, and is a bit different of an exhibit from the standard tree displays. With 45-foot palm trees, it may seem a little out of the ordinary for New York, but decked out with 100,000 sparkling lights it makes an incredible sight!

The major department stores put on fabulous window displays, in which Macy’s, Barney’s, Saks, and Bloomingdales do their best to out-do each other year after year. Each one amazing, people happily wait in long lines stretching around the city blocks to see them. Visiting Santa at the Macy’s Herald Square is a tradition for many, and some folks will claim with conviction that though there are many imposters, the true Santa Claus exists here.

Even the Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the New York Botanical Garden get in on the action, and create unbelievable exhibits that will amaze the eyes of spectators both young and old alike. Since July, people have been crafting origami figures that will be on display at the Museum of Natural History. This year’s theme includes a focus on the blue whale and giant dinosaurs, which will surely be a treat for anyone visiting this holiday season.

And then there is the most famous of all holiday sights in New York City: the massive tree at Rockefeller Center, which alone brings thousands to gaze in wonder at its radiance. For many, it is the single most important symbol of the holidays, and it is always a pleasure to witness, no matter how many times you have done so before.

Planning a trip to New York City during Christmas is perhaps the best time to do so. Staying in midtown will keep you right in the thick of the action, and it's a nice central vantage point for traveling all over Manhattan. These are some great hotels that will offer maximum luxury when its time to retreat from all of your reveling: The Plaza Hotel, The Pierre, The London Hotel NYC, and The Four Seasons Hotel. The best part about these awesome hotels in addition to being amazing places to stay while in New York, is that when you book through us, you will receive Exclusive Complimentary Perks! 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Overwhelm Your Senses in Costa Rica

Costa Rica presents plenty of opportunities for adventurous types. It is a natural paradise, and is absolutely heavenly with its lush mountains, forests, beaches, waterfalls, and volcanoes. The fantastic surfing conditions bring many surfers from around the world every year, for major competitions as well as pleasure. Diving, kayaking, and horseback riding are also hugely popular as well. There are many different excursions that offer zip lining through different forested areas, which is one of the attractions Costa Rica is most known for. Hiking through the mountains, and scaling waterfalls are also among the top adventures.

Even for those who are less inclined to zip line between mountains, hit the huge waves on the coast, or  hike the many waterfalls, one will still be mystified by these very sights. If you are more into relaxing, and enjoying a gentler, less adrenaline-induced experience, Costa Rica presents a myriad of ways to enjoy the culture, and the intense natural surroundings. Bird watching and guided nature tours are immensely sought after activities, and they are as fulfilling as they are educational.

Costa Rica is one of the most biologically diverse areas on the planet. On such a tiny piece of tropical land, situated between the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean, with rainforests and volcanic activity, the country is literally teeming with life. The plant life is widely diverse and the vegetation is almost otherworldly in its beauty. The famed Cloud Forest is home to such creatures as the three-toed sloth, howler monkeys, toucans, and thousands of other types of birds and incredible butterflies. Hiking through this majestic mountainous terrain is an experience that will definitely overwhelm your senses, and fill you with wonder.

You can create the perfect Costa Rican vacation, tailored to your specific needs by choosing a hotel that fits the theme. Booking your hotel stay with us grants you the privilege of our Exclusive Complimentary Perks, which will make your trip that much more special, adding extra amenities and value.

 If you want a luxurious, relaxing trip where your hotel is your haven, there is no place better than the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica. This resort offers scenic views, the perfect location for access to many different attractions, a gorgeous spa, a lovely pool, and a concierge staff that speaks multiple languages for optimal communication. 

If you are wanting to go the route of ecologically responsible, the Hotel Punta Islita is a stunning choice. Built into a hill, that looks out onto a beach cove, this luxury resort caters to guests who want a very natural experience. Known for its amazing views, vast array of local art, and plenty of adventure, for the active types who prefer a five-star experience, this is it! 

For the most unique Costa Rican experience, a stay at the Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort can take care of your thirst for thrills, while you relax your mind and body at once. One of the most interesting natural hot spring areas in the world, the Tabacon Hot Springs are created by the heat of the Arenal Volcano, which is currently active. Set into the rainforest, the springs are pure and exceptionally beautiful. This lavish, five-star resort will allow you to enjoy Costa Rica's richness in total comfort and serenity.

Costa Rica lives up to its name beyond all measure. Holding vast ecological diversity, incredible scenery, and amazing, hospitable people who welcome visitors to experience the brilliance of their country, it is considered to be one of the most beautiful places on earth. A land of immense riches, from its coasts to forests, it is laden with natural treasures.  

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Best Light Displays of the Holiday Season

Christmas lights are such a big deal, that there are many people who will travel far distances just to view the displays. Some locations are world famous for their city-wide spectacles, and these are the best displays in the US. If one of these cities is local to you or requires travel, seeing them; especially with children, really makes the magic of the season.

New York City
Perhaps the most famous Christmas spectacle anywhere in the world happens in New York City. Cliché or not, it really is magical. The entire city sparkles, with so many different displays. Street after street is decked out in glittering, glowing lights, giant snowflakes, icicles, and plenty of other chilly, glittering things. The towering Christmas tree at Rockefeller Plaza sitting above the ice skating rink is always a favorite for visitors and locals alike. Central Park’s southeast corner holds the world’s largest menorah, a monolith at 32 feet high, and it’s lighting will begin December 20th. The big department stores, especially the extravaganza that Macy’s puts on, are absolutely breath-taking! Even outside of Manhattan, in the boroughs you can find incredible sights. Some neighborhoods take it to the extreme, and hold tours, like Dyker Heights in Brooklyn. For those who’ve enjoyed these delights year after year, they are proud to proclaim that there is nowhere more fun to be during Christmastime than in New York!
Best Places to Stay:

Newport Beach, California
A warm and sunny destination, Newport Beach, CA, is a fabulous place to experience festive holiday lights. This ocean-side city has been known for its “Christmas Boat Parade” for more than 100 years. This is America’s oldest holiday boat parade, and it is so worth the travel. 200 different boats, ranging from canoes to million-dollar yachts, get bedecked in lights and holiday garb to parade through the Newport Harbor. Every year, it brings in almost one million spectators, and lasts for four nights. On the final night, the show ends with a finale of fireworks. With 14 miles of places to watch, including public beaches and different venues on the Balboa Peninsula, Balboa Island, and the Fun Zone amusement area, it really makes for an exciting way to enjoy the season’s best lights on the West Coast.
Best Places to Stay:

Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Considering Disney is the capital of everything fun and magical all year round, it makes perfect sense that at Christmastime they would kick it into overdrive. Every year, the uber-creative folks at the Disney headquarters create one of the most fascinating exhibits of holiday lights. The use of animation, 3-d effects, blazing holiday music, snow flurries, and the glow of five million bulbs offers a pretty amazing way to get into the spirit of the holidays. Planned into a Disney vacation, viewing these lights is utterly enchanting!
Best Places to Stay:

Whether your city sets up amazing holiday lights or not, these destinations are the best of the best. Making a trip out of it, and heading to any of these spots just to take in the holiday cheer is so worth the trip. Nothing will get your holiday spirit happier!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Best Four Seasons Hotel

No one needs luxury vacations more than families. No one needs five-star hotels more than parents do! Traveling with children can be a mission, and when the trip is over parents often feel the need for an additional, kid-free vacation just to de-stress and relax from the “vacation” they just took!

Choosing the right destination can also be a task in and of itself. Let’s face it: there are some places, no matter how much fun they may be for mom and dad, are really not kid-friendly. New York City is a destination that can appeal to all age groups, and provide ample amounts of exciting things to do. A wide range of museums, botanical gardens, the Bronx Zoo, and good old Central Park are great for the whole family. Places with plenty of sunshine are also highly promising- what do kids enjoy more than playing outside, with tons of freedom? And getting to do it in new places that offer room for exploring is even better. Locations that have nice arboretums, nature preserves, and beaches will forever be favored vacations for families with young children. Southern California, Florida, and Hawaii will absolutely delight their senses with great weather and awesome beaches.

No hotel brand understands the needs of families better than Four Seasons. With hundreds of locations world wide, most places you can visit will have one nearby. Considering our “Preferred Partner” status with the entire Four Seasons brand, you will be given special treatment and savings when you book your stay at any of their locations with us. In addition, you also will be tickled by the Exclusive Complimentary Perks that are included as well!

While offering all the luxurious amenities you could want, this hotel has two beautiful pools that are open 24-hours a day, so you will not be rushed out as soon as the sun sets. The hotel’s restaurant, Acqua, offers complimentary meals for all children five years and younger from their children’s menu.

A fantastic destination, sure to please weary parents, and exuberant children alike, it has been designed to offer a home-like atmosphere within a resort. Offering a children’s welcome programme, where all children are catered to depending on their age. Cribs and baby care products are provided for guests traveling with infants. While bathrobes and children’s toiletries are provided for older children. For adults, enjoy the world-class golfing, tennis courts, and various venues of fine dining.

Maui’s largest resort, yet still quaint and luxurious, sits on the stunning Pacific coast. A perfectly enchanting place for the whole family to be spoiled! Every room features large flat-screed tvs, DVD players, iHome docking stations, and high-speed internet access. Original artwork is displayed in every room. At the restaurants DUO and Ferraro’s, all meals for kids aged five and under are complimentary. Upon arrival, children will be given welcoming amenities, child-sized bathrobes, and toiletries. The concierge will graciously assist in offering information about attractions that are best suited to families, and they can even assist in arranging a babysitter with a minimum of four hours notice.

The quintessential hotel for enjoying the city with kids, a programme for welcoming is given to children upon checking in. This hotel offers a fabulous location and amazing comfort within all the hustle and bustle of New York. Walking distance from the great shops, including FAO Schwartz, the options are endless. Upon request, the hotel offers PlayStation and Nintendo Wii gaming systems for use, as well as access to their children’s video and DVD libraries.

If you are planning a vacation with the kids, spending the extra money on luxury is not just a frivolous luxury, but a necessity. So, when traveling with your offspring, do them and yourselves a favor: spoil them rotten with a great hotel!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Escape Winter, Head to Thailand

Iwth tropical warmth, culture, and non stop partying, Thailand has all the right ingredients that make for incredible winter getaways. Their rainy season happens from May through October, so our winter is absolutely the perfect time to plan a visit. Whether you are on the mainland, or are island hopping in the Andaman Sea, you will definitely get your resort fix on!

Few destinations, large or small, near or far, can offer as much as Thailand does. If you are looking for a classic winter vacation, with fantastic beaches, great hospitality, and relaxation, or if you want culture, nightlife, exciting bars and clubs, world-class shopping, Thailand has got it all. 

Sightseeing will provide ample opportunities to truly feel the essence of Thai history. Dating back 200 years, the Grand Palace encompasses over 100 different buildings and temple structures. The National Museum was once a royal residence, and is a feast for the eyes.

If you love the local culture, the shopping alone can be a reason for a trip to Thailand. Thai fabrics and silks, ceramics, wood, jewelry, and gorgeous antiques will make anyone with a taste for art, design, or exotic crafts swoon.

As far as beaches go, the best Thailand can offer lie in their many famous islands. Koh Kood, Krabi, and Phuket make for the ultimate island vacations, with idyllic settings of crystal-clear waters, white sand beaches, and incredible lush jungle landscapes.

As any person who has been to Thailand can say with conviction, the hotels are stunning. The famed Thai hospitality is taken to the extreme when it comes to many five-star hotels. When booking with us at any of these hotels, you won't miss out on our Exclusive Complimentary Perks, which can add just that much more to your trip.  

The Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok is a prime, and revered hotel. Opened first in 1877, it has received countless awards, accolades, and honorable mentions by publications such as Conde Nast Traveller, Institutional Investor, Business Traveller, and Travel & Leisure. Designed with a classical elegance, rich in reference to the area's British heritage, and laced with local touches of Thai silk textiles, the interior is boldly sumptuous. Every room and suite on the property features stunning views of the river. A gym, two pools, several restaurants, and one of the best spas in Bangkok create a very comfortable and inviting setting.    

The Four Seasons Hotel, Bangkok offers everything you would expect: lavish surroundings, exquisite service, gracious attitudes, and an abundance of beauty at every turn. This hotel sits in the heart of downtown Bangkok, and is an excellent place to stay if you want fast access to the business and shopping areas of the city. You will be indulged here, in accordance with Four Season’s reputation for pampering services, and the omnipresent Thai hospitality!

Soneva Kiri by Six Senses on the island Koh Kood had immense buzz before it was even available for booking. Once it opened, the awards have poured in. Exclusive and remote, this resort has only 28 private villas tucked into the jungle. The resort has its own private plane, which only incurs a one-hour flight from Bangkok. Perhaps one of the finest beach resorts anywhere in the world, Soneva Kiri is as beloved for its intelligent design as it is for its location. Five-star organic dining, an outdoor movie theatre, and an indulgent spa that caters to relaxation are some of the highlights here. Definitely will have you in touch with your sixth sense!

Bangkok is loved by visitors for being such a friendly and kind city. The happiness of it’s locals is seriously infectious. At once the area’s traditional customs are merged with the fast pace of technology to create a wonderfully blended society.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Shanghai- A Pulsating Metropolis

With the glimmering Pudong skyline, and sitting at a prime location on the Yangtze River Delta, Shanghai is China’s most glamorous city. It is also the largest city in the world, both by population and size.
For the past 20 years, this city has taken a head-on plunge in development as a center for culture, technology, fashion, media, finance, commerce, and transport. It holds the world’s busiest container port, due to its strategic waterway location, as well as being a major financial hub. Originally a fantastic city centered on trade in the 19th century, by the 1930’s it became Pacific Asia’s most booming financial mecca. In 1949, when China’s Communist Party assumed control, Shanghai’s prominence began a downward turn. It was not until the 1990’s, when the economy was being drastically redesigned that Shanghai’s immense potential was reasserted. A massive renovation was soon underway, with the intention of reclaiming the former financial prowess and luring in foreign investors. Today, the Shanghai Stock Exchange has a ranking of 3rd with regard to it’s trading volume. While industry is a main aspect of the city, it is also a bustling metropolis. More than 30 colleges and universities are in Shanghai, including many of the nations most esteemed schools.
Architecturally, there is so much to see in this city. In the 1920’s and ‘30’s, many buildings were done in the art deco style, and these remain as a reminder of the city’s rich past. During that era, many of these buildings were designed and built by the world-renowned architect, Laszlo Hudec, of Hungary.

If you are going to be visiting Shanghai, the five-star hotels are unbelievable. The following are the five best. No matter which you may choose to stay in, the added bonus of our Exclusive Complimentary Perks is sure to make your trip amazing!
Shanghai’s only five-star boutique hotel, every detail is executed to promise that all guests will be attended to with deserving attention. This unique hotel sits within the Shanghai World Financial Center, and claims the floors from the 79th to the 93rd. A very glamorous building, it is a shining light in the city’s skyline. It is also known as “The Vertical Complex City.” 101 storeys high, it is one of the world’s tallest buildings, making this hotel the highest anywhere in the world. Suffice it to say, rooms in any of the suites will offer mind-blowing views. When those begin to get ordinary, you can visit the 100 Century Avenue Restaurant, where European and Asian cuisines are offered.

A favorite among international dignitaries, and meant to luxuriously offer the finest of Shanghai, this hotel is perfection. With a prime location on the Nanjing Xi Lu, sitting directly in the exciting shopping district, the Portman Ritz Carlton is also close to plenty of entertainment venues, and cultural sights. With a goal of pleasing guests with maximum attention, the hospitality is sensational. Several restaurants, a jazz club, and a pool on the roof top are meant to satisfy the taste of any international guest.

Centrally located in Pudong, the St. Regis Hotel offers the best of Shanghai’s business and cultural pursuits, while maintaining a posh elegance. It’s location is favored among guests who will be travelling all over the city, and need expedited access to a range of different locations. The hotel’s décor is superb, and the views from every room make staying here in the city an absolute pleasure.

As one of the most newly debuted hotels in Shanghai, everything here is sparkling with luxury. A blend of modern style is blended with classic design, for a distinct look. Shanghai and Pudong are sister cities, separated by the beautiful Huangpu River. Pudong is truly the financial and commercial core of the area. This hotel is unique in its ability to cater to business travelers with style, comfort, and convenience. The hotel seamlessly incorporates retail, with residential space, as well as luxury office space, which caters to locals as well as visitors.

In line with their exquisite reputation, the Four Seasons, Shanghai has a phenomenal location that offers guests unparalleled service, attention, and luxurious amenities. In a sophisticated yet warm atmosphere, you will be comfortably pampered here. Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, this hotel is everything you would expect from the Four Seasons in a world-class city. Conveniently situated, it is in close proximity to all the shopping and entertainment centers, and very near the business areas.

A major world city has got to have outstanding hotels, and with all the other modern development that has engulfed Shanghai, many of their five-star hotels are sights to see all on their own. These are the five best that Shanghai has to offer, and they are seriously overflowing with opulence. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

5-Star Digs in the Bush

            Ernest Hemingway was quite the avid safari-man. He wrote several tales about the wonders of the African wilderness, and the incomparable experience of safaris. While in his day, hunting large game was considered a fashionable sport to prove one’s manliness, nowadays it is anything but. Today’s safari is more about educating, conservation, and just simply bearing witness to the magnificence of African wildlife.
            Throughout Africa, you can find many great safaris. The wildlife may vary, but always a constant are the breathtakingly surreal views. Safari's in and of themselves have always been something of a luxury for travelers. The mystique of the exotic, and the thrilling adventure combine to execute the trip of a lifetime.
            Many of Africa’s nations have their own brand of Safari, and you will experience unique treasures at each of them. South Africa, while an international metropolitan hub, features incredible safari's through its preserved areas. The world-famous Kruger Park has plenty of large game, and wildlife excursions. Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park is highly renowned for its 340,000 acres of pristine African wilderness, directly in the path of the migratory route that thousands of animals journey on year after year. Zambia has perfect access to the amazing Victoria Falls, Zambezi River, and South Luangwa National Park. The views here are stunning, and there is excellent opportunity for viewing elephants, lions, and buffalo. Boat cruises on the river, and helicopter trips across the land are musts! Botswana is elephant country, and trips here will have you very close and personal to earth’s largest land mammal. Walking safaris and boat cruises through the Okavango Delta will blow your mind! Kenya offers wide options in luxury and safaris. The splendor of the views, which are regarded as some of the world’s finest for viewing game, are what makes this destination so special.
            Knowing the luxury market that safari's appeal to, there is no shortage of gorgeous, 5-starcamps and lodges you can choose from for your stay in the bush. Here are the grandest per country:

            While every type of safari vacation exists and can be arranged, who would really want to be camping out on the savannas, and roughing it? The real way to enjoy a safari is by way of the 5-star camp or lodge.  Booking your stays at any of these with us one-ups the competitors because of the privileged relationships we have formed with them. For a trip of this magnitude, do it in regal style!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Conde Nast's 2011 Gold List: North America

Every year, Conde Nast Traveller publishes their “Gold List,” and this is the foremost collection of the very best hotels the world over, for that year. In honor of 2011 coming to a close, here are the top choices from this year’s Gold List in North America. If you are planning an end of the year getaway, be sure to check out one of these spots!

The Setai adds another level of sophistication to Miami’s already vibrant scene. One of South Beach’s most luxuriant, and beautifully designed resorts, when you are in Miami there is no where more stylish to stay. Where Art Deco collides with a modern, Asian-inspired décor, you will feel glamorously comfortable in this intimate setting. Situated on the ocean, this hotel has plenty of amenities and options for having a good time. 86 suites are held in this tropical oasis, and every one of them has stunning black granite bathrooms, with elegant rainfall showers. You have your choice of three pools, the spa, and four different options for dining on this property alone.

This glam Hollywood landmark, overflows with rich decadence, and is always teeming with Hollywood’s elite. A pale-pink mecca of grandeur, sitting directly on Sunset Boulevard, there is no better way to experience LA than here. This hotel was designed for providing Hollywood's elite with the ultimate luxuries, privacy, and attentive service. Throughout all of the suites and bungalows, you will be amazed at the exquisite furnishings and interior details, all of which have been designed exclusively for the Beverly Hills Hotel. Trendy, glamorous, and as posh as hotel can be. Historical fact: Liz Taylor spent six honeymoons here!

When the décor is done by artist Julian Schnabel and includes works from the artist himself, as well as other NYC greats like Basquiat and Warhol, you know the hotel is going to look incredible. One of New York’s hottest hotels, and certainly among the most fashionable, Gramercy Park Hotel is much more than just a place to spend the night. A rooftop garden club, two excellent bars, and the best Italian regional cuisine in the city means it is an excellent spot to party!

 A luxury lodge that was designed into the landscape, the Amangani is one of the most gorgeous resorts in the West. A stunning structure, built in redwood and sandstone, three-storeys high, with breath-taking views that gaze into the Snake River Valley, this is a resort that allows you to savor the landscape both indoors and out. The ceilings were purposely designed to be towering, and the floor-to-ceiling windows are magnificent for soaking up the majestic views of the Tetons.

A hotel created with nature in mind, the Wickaninnish Inn was designed to be at one with the local environment. When the location was chosen, the deciding factor was based on the placement of the land on the ocean, because the storm views are spectacular. The building itself was built of locally sourced cedar, glass, and stone. Every room has a fireplace, and the stunning views are captured perfectly with vast floor-to-ceiling windows. This hotel also prides it’s collection of Canadian works of art and sculptural pieces. The area boasts some of the best Canadian aquatic activities, such as whale sightings, sea kayaking, diving, fishing, and surfing. The hotel’s restaurant, spa, and beachside coffee lounge are also phenomenal, and will make your stay delightful!

The Conde Nast Traveller is one of the leading sources of everything regarding luxury travel. It is internationally renowned, and thoroughly trusted for always having current information, fantastic destinations, and featuring the most exclusive hotels in the world. For your end of the year travels, keep in mind that by booking your stay with us, you will receive our Exclusive Complimentary Perks at any of these fantastic, Gold List hotels. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Where the Privileged Honeymoon

Oh, where to honeymoon if the options are limitless? If you can stay literally anywhere, and have the free range to choose, where would you go? A tropical island in the Pacific? How about one in the Caribbean? Perhaps hitting a slew of spots in the Mediterranean? When the rich and famous honeymoon, many spots are favored, some secluded, and others blatantly obvious. No matter where the location may be, domestic or exotic, there will be no end to the luxury, and guaranteed there will be a stay in a five-star hotel. By booking with us, you can honeymoon happily knowing you will be showered with our Exclusive Complimentary Perks.
Stateside, Santa Barbara, California is a top choice among celebrities. You can’t beat the location if work has got you busy in the area! It also happens to be one of the most beautiful destinations in all of the United States, so it makes perfect sense why it is such a cherished spot. The ultimate venue of choice for savoring the romance is the famous San Ysidro Ranch. It is as exclusive as it is beautiful, and was recently appointed as the fourth best hotel in the world, by Travel and Leisure. With so much space on the 500 acre property, and only forty-one luxurious suites and private cottages, privacy here is the only option. This gem of a resort has been a haven of celebrity romance over the past 70 years, with a rich history of weddings and honeymoons spent here. Sir Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh were married here in 1940, amidst the serene gardens. In 1953, President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jackie Kennedy spent their honeymoon at San Ysidro Ranch, which provided the perfect secluded setting. Other celeb couples who have spent their honeymoons here are Julia Roberts and Danny Moder in 2002, and Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony in 2004.
The Maldives beckon many celebrity couples, and set the scene for the honeymoon of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. With their infant daughter in tow, they island-hopped on a private yacht. When Fergie of the Black-Eyed Peas wed Josh Duhamel, they spent the first part of their honeymoon here, and stayed at the elite One & Only Reethi Rah resort. Entirely a romantic paradise, 130 private villas sit directly on the bays, and every one has stunning ocean views, and a private veranda. This stretch of islands in the Indian Ocean provides a remote tropical setting, ample amounts of privacy, and an obvious atmosphere for seduction.
Bora BoraFrench Polynesia is simply captivating, and has always lured in visitors with its promise of spectacular coastline, and gorgeous land. When Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban honeymooned there in 2006, they stayed at the posh St. Regis Bora Bora Resort’s Royal Estate. Considered one of the finest resorts in all of the South Pacific, the amenities of a five-star resort collide with a phenomenal array of Tahitian nature. It goes as no surprise that Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher took a cue, and spent their honeymoon in Bora Bora last year as well.
The indulgences of the privileged few are certainly inspiring, and these honeymoons seem to have been spent perfectly. Whether you are planning your honeymoon, or doing anything but, could you imagine any locations more idyllic than these?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Wine Tasting in Argentina

No country in South America is known for their wine like Argentina is. In the more distant past, touring the vineyards and sampling the goods was rather difficult, and often extremely expensive to do, so it remained a rare luxury. As the major metropolitan area of Buenos Aires is the main tourist draw, and with adventurers trekking the majestic wilderness areas of Patagonia and Iguazu Falls, the wine country remained overlooked for most travelers, with no tours venturing in that direction. While other parts of the world boast their vineyards and wineries as indulgent tourist attractions, Argentina is only now beginning to embark on this type of venture.
When it comes to wine in Argentina, Mendoza is the place to be. Not a conventional tourist destination, you can experience the culture here in a way that is not marred by many outside influences. And while many traditions here have remained through generations, modernity is completely embraced, and the pace is exciting. The Valle de Uco is Mendoza’s high altitude region. There are quite a few wineries located here, and all take advantage of the fantastic conditions that produce excellent wines, especially the malbecs. These estates blend technology with tradition, and it is definitely worth a visit to see how their grapes go from vine to the table.
 Lujan de Cuyo is located south of Mendoza, and this region produces the finest Malbec wines. Visitng the Tapiz, Ruca Malen, and Achaval Ferrer wineries is absolutely necessary, as they are Argentina’s premier wines.
For the best accommodations, you have options in both Mendoza and Buenos Aires. Either way, by booking with us, you will unquestionably be pleased by our Exclusive Complimentary Perks. If you opt to spend your entire stay in Mendoza, the Park Hyatt will fulfill every need you may have. Gorgeous 19th century architecture, yet situated amidst the financial and banking district of Mendoza’s lively downtown, you will have access to the best of both worlds here. A mere 15 minutes outside of the vineyards, you will be able to experience the countryside as well as the city on any given day. This hotel also features fantastic amenities that will certainly add to the enjoyment of your trip. After a day spent touring the vineyards, unwind in the luxurious spa. For cravings of excitement, the thrilling casino will definitely have you covered. If you are planning only a quick visit through the wine country, and plan to stay in Buenos Aires, there is nowhere better to lodge than at the Four Seasons. More like an elegant French mansion, this beautiful hotel provides easy access to everything cultural that Argentina can offer. A quick hop from great shopping, excellent dining, fun nightlife and banking centers, you will be right in the thick of all the action.
For something different in the Southern hemisphere, touring Argentina’s wine country makes for an amazing trip. For connoisseurs and novices alike, it doesn’t get any better than experiencing Argentina’s wines firsthand, straight from the source. 

Intoxicating Anguilla is Caribbean Bliss

            Tucked into the Caribbean Sea, a short flight or ferry ride from the tourist hotspot St. Martin, Anguilla is the crown jewel of the British Virgin Islands. Exclusive per definition, the island is a favorite vacation spot for over-worked celebrities who are looking for vacation bliss without the hype and spotlight of other tourist destinations.
            Imagine everything the Caribbean islands are known for: the ultimate laid-back atmosphere, turquoise waters, powdery white sand, rainforest-covered mountains, and excellent service wherever you go. Snorkeling, yachting, cliff diving, kayaking, and enjoying the island’s 33 beaches are by far the most favored activities. Anguilla has, perhaps the greatest culinary masters in all of the Caribbean and your taste buds will definitely be pleased. Throughout the island, there is no shortage of amazing places to dine, ranging from international gourmet fusion fare, to local “beach bars” which feature the finest island dining you can experience. Many beach bars are situated directly on the sand, allowing for great times and great food on the ocean.
            Anguilla takes the concept of the luxury vacation to the next level, and booking with us will give you an advantage over booking at any other site given the added value of our Exclusive Complimentary Perks. If there is one location for pure relaxation and peaceful quietude, it is here. As far as accommodations go, the entire island offers not much less than five-star resorts. From villas to suites, the pampering and lavish settings are there for the choosing.
           For the exotic within the exotic, you will be mesmerized by the Moroccan-inspired décor and architecture of Cap Juluca. Serenity sets the mood here, and it is intoxicating. Recently, a $22 million renovation was completed, making the resort that much more of a sanctuary in paradise than it previously was. The Viceroy Anguilla Resort and Residences is an unbelievable beachside resort that resides on 35 acres of stunning tropical land. It is both posh and modern, without compromising any laid-back comfort. 166 rooms have been designed to perfection, and you have your choice of ocean-view suites, blufftop rooms, and beachfront villas that have their own private pools. The CuisinArt Resort & Spa is a Mediterranean oasis set into the stunning Caribbean Sea. These whitewashed villas rest against the ocean landscape, with gorgeous, fragrant tropical gardens enveloping the grounds. Simply making this resort one of the finest in all of the West Indies.
            Anguilla is that rare gem of a destination. An entire pristine island, devoted to luxury and vacation perfection, it's just a no-brainer.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Book Now, Ski Later!

There have been many indications that this year is going to be a blustery one, just like last year. Instead of preparing for massive hibernation, we highly suggest booking a ski vacation. Make the most of what nature brings, and if there is snow on the mountain, ski it! And while you’re at it, include a stay at an incredible ski resort to enjoy the best of both the outdoors and the cozy indoors. Here are our top picks:
The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch on Beaver Creek is a superb choice for the ultimate ski trip. While this lux resort may be open all year long, the best time to enjoy it is definitely in the prime of winter. A simply perfect destination to enjoy the pleasures of the Rocky Mountains, the skiing here is unprecedented. Offering ski-in/ ski-out access, you will have every opportunity to savor the adventure. When it gets too cold outside, steal away inside to enjoy the world-class spa, dine at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago, and enjoy the attention that only Ritz-Carlton can deliver.
The St. Regis Resort, Aspen is everything your fantasies could envision. Aspen has always held a reputation for being unbelievable, and this ski resort is certainly among the best. In December 2011, a massive $30 million renovation will be complete, readying the resort for a fantastic ski season ahead. This resort is situated at the very base of Aspen Mountain, providing first-rate skiing, as well as access to Aspen’s great shopping areas and fine restaurants. Every room in this resort is designed to showcase the gorgeous mountain views.
Utah’s Deer Valley is an idyllic spot, with some of the best skiing the United States can offer. The St. Regis Deer Valley will have you surrounded by lavish settings, top-notch amenities, and most importantly, offering the availability of Deer Valley’s exclusive slopes. With ski-in/ski-out access, your adrenaline fix is guaranteed. Afterwards, you can unwind in total serenity at the Remede Spa.
On the East Coast, nothing can trump the Stowe Mountain Lodge, in Stowe, Vermont. A favorite locale of the discriminating traveler, it is New England’s premier ski town. The entire area is nothing short of majestic, and offers one pristine vista after another. The Stowe Mountain Lodge has been built in the “Vermont-Alpine” style, and delivers a distinctly “Vermont” experience. In this vein of native pride, locally-sourced building materials, and artisan-made products have been utilized as much as possible. The Stowe Mountain Lodge is the perfect way to enjoy the area’s fine natural resources, while having access to the best skiing New England can offer.
Ski season will be kicking off soon, and there is no better way to enjoy it than like a ski vacation. Enjoying the splendor of winter in five-star style, with all of the great perks that are available when booking with WhataHotel! will make it a trip never to be forgotten!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Name Dropping: William and Kate’s Hotel Haunts

The newest royal couple is really big on travel. In fact, since the beginning of their courtship, they have taken many publically documented trips together. Bouncing all over Europe, yachting through the Caribbean, safaris in Africa, and touring extensively throughout North America have been on their agenda over the past few years. Even as the duo live their individual lives with commitments such as work and military duty, they have always made time for indulgently adventurous vacations.

Since their widely broadcasted nuptials, Prince William and Kate Middleton have stayed in some pretty extraordinary hotels. On the Duchess’ last night as a single woman, she had the privilege of staying at the top floor “Royal Apartment” of London’s exclusive Goring Hotel. Joined by her mother and sister, Pippa, the suite was the perfect haven to indulge and relax in before her whirlwind wedding. 100 years old, this hotel has long been known for its quaint English charm, intimate setting, and lavish décor. Situated directly in the center of London, the service here is nothing short of regal.

After their wedding, the royal couple embarked on a journey through North America, where they visited landmarks and National Parks. When Wills and Kate arrived in Canada, they busied themselves with cultural activities, and awesome outdoor excursions like traditional canoeing, and even spending a day at the Calgary Stampede rodeo. Like the true world citizens they are, the Duke and Duchess donned total Western outfits for the day, including ten-gallon hats. During their stay, rather than vacation like tourists, they opted for more enriching accommodations that included Rideau Hall, the residence of Canada’s Governor General. When they departed for Montreal, the spent their next night on the naval vessel, HMCS Montreal, as it cruised the St. Lawrence River.

When they hit Los Angeles, they made sure to really get their fill of Hollywood glamour. They stayed at the fabulous Beverly Hills Hotel, in the beautiful Presidential Suite. Over 1,900 square feet of luxury, a private kitchen, no shortage of elegant wood furnishings and marble accents, a Jacuzzi tub, a gas fireplace, and a private balcony that overlooks the LA skyline are some of the features this suite is equipped with.

Not everyone can travel like the royal couple does. However, if you are looking for a fantastic five-star hotel, filled to the brim with amenities and perks, booking with WhataHotel! will definitely fulfill your appetite for extravagant accommodations. Whether you are globe-trotting like Wills and Kate, or just planning a simple vacation, our exclusive relationships with the world’s best hotels allows us to extend the advantages to you!

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Most Expensive Night of Your Life

If you have some money to spend, have a need to really live it up for a weekend, and want to have stories of grandeur to tell for the rest of your life, consider some of these suites as the finest, highest-priced hotel suites the world can offer. WhataHotel! has built solid relationships with these hotels, and by booking with us you will be offered even more exclusive, wonderful perks. Talk about bang for your buck!

Topping the list at $65,000 per night, Geneva’s Royal Penthouse Suite at the Hotel President Wilson is a favorite among royals, heads of state, and the most discriminating of celebrities. 12 rooms, a personal fitness center, a library, a billiards room, and a grand piano occupy the hotel’s entire top floor. As Switzerland is known the world over for being able to guarantee security and privacy like no other nation, this elite suite offers bulletproof windows and doors, and a private elevator for the ultimate in luxury protection.

If you’ve got $41,836 to drop in a single night in New York, there is nothing like the 360 degree, panoramic view of the skyline from the Ty Warner Penthouse Suite in the Four Seasons Hotel. When you combine the visions of three distinct geniuses; Ty Warner, who happens to own the hotel; world-renowned architect, IM Pei; and the designer Peter Marino, you end up with the unsurpassed brilliance that is this hotel room. Relax in your own private Zen garden, enjoy the services of your own private butler, personal trainer, and chauffeur in your decadent surroundings that include a one-of-a-kind chandelier, and textiles woven with threads of platinum and gold.

One Europe’s most stylish and glamorous destinations, Cannes, France is nothing short of fabulous. In line with that reputation, for $37,500 a night, the Penthouse Suite in the Hotel Martinez will rock your world. Enjoy this art deco suite that boasts a spa bath, sauna, and one of the most beautiful terraces in the city that looks out onto the Bay of Cannes. When those amenities bore you, you can hit the massive private beach and dine at the Michelin-starred restaurant located in the hotel.

When the world’s most elite travel, this is how they do it. Over-the-top style, an abundance of luxury, and the kind of service you only read about can be yours for the night if you toss around this kind of cash!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

125 Years of Miss Liberty

Standing proudly upon a pedestal base of gnarled, broken chains, Lady Liberty is a proud, green symbol of free will. Gifted by the French, and once the first American greeter to immigrants landing at Ellis Island, the stoic sculpture is more than a landmark. The Statue of Liberty is an international symbol of independence, and a symbol of America’s open arms to the world. On October 28, the bronze Lady Liberty celebrated her 125th anniversary of promising hope and prosperity.

It is believed that the concept of the Statue of Liberty was hatched during a dinner party, where French aristocrats came up with the brilliant idea to honor the greatness of the freedom America presented. There are also levels of politics inlaid within the design, as well as the overall message of the monument, like all great works of art. The sculptor behind Liberty was Frederic Bartholdi. He designed her placement at New York Harbor to give the most intimate feeling. Every ship coming in would pass exceptionally close by, and the people passing by would feel her immense presence, representing the freedom they hoped for. Bartholdi also was inspired to create a testament that paid homage to America’s newly emancipated slaves, furthering the concept of “liberty for all.”

Suffice it to say, now would be a great time to visit New York. Even though the statue herself is closed due to renovations, Liberty Island is open to visitors. While last Friday held many celebrations for the anniversary, nothing beats actually visiting the site to really get the feeling. If you are considering planning a trip to NYC, definitely check into the Four Seasons. Perhaps one of the best-known hotels anywhere in the world, it is the ideal way to experience New York with really amazing perks which only we can deliver. WhataHotel! has exclusive connections that are guaranteed to get you the best value possible. Having "Preferred Partners" status with the entire Four Seasons brand allows for increased amenities, and plenty of advantages.

For a quick autumn getaway, rich with history, amazing sights, and a heavy dose of luxury, visiting the Statue of Liberty and a stay at the Four Seasons could not make a better trip!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

When Fashion and Hotels Collide

Luxury fashion and luxury travel seem to go hand in hand. For the most discriminating globetrotter, hotels are much more than a place to drop the bags and crash. Being surrounded in the digs produced by international fashion royalty, these are simply some of the most gorgeous hotels you could stay in throughout the world.

The Bvlgari name has long held great prestige as far as jewelry goes. In 2001, they partnered with the Ritz Carlton brand as one of the first fashion labels to partner with a major hotelier to create a super brand. The luxury is limitless in these hotels, which span the planet, allowing any traveler the availability of unsurpassed quality, service, and style wherever they may roam. From the streets of Milan to coasts of Bali, posh surroundings in exceptional taste are never too far away.

Claridge’s in London is one of the finest luxury spots anywhere in the world. When Diane Von Furstenberg, a literal goddess in the world of fashion, decided to spread her wings into hotel territory, she certainly pushed the limits of her own creativity. In her designs, she spared no detail. Claridge’s is a hotel known for their great influence in the world of art. Located in the Mayfair district of London, and a part of the legendary Art Deco hotel, when you stay here you are in very close proximity to London’s best shopping centers, as well as Hyde Park. The lovely Ms. Von Furstenberg put her signature style on everything she touched within the suites she designed. For the fashion mogul, this interior undertaking was an entirely new venture, and it is safe to say that she passed with flying colors and vibrant prints!

It does not require much guesswork to understand the beauty of Florence’s Hotel Lungarno. Originally built in the 17th century, the brilliant Ferragamo family restored the property to bear a very understated elegance. Rich in classical Italian elegance, with a prominent international flair, the style in this hotel has no limits. Worth the visit alone is the amazing collection of modern art, which includes originals by such masters as Pablo Picasso and Jean Cocteau.

If you are craving a stylish place to stay, nothing will beat the opulence of a hotel done by one of fashion’s legends. The combination of amenities and the unbelievable perks will sweep you off your feet!