Friday, December 30, 2011

Dropping the Ball in NY for NYE

Who has never spent a New Year’s Eve in New York City? It’s a must do for millions of international tourists, and a definite if you are an American! It’s the “city that never sleeps” and on the last night of the year, every year, they make it one to remember! There is no shortage of things going on all over the city; nightclubs, restaurants, bars, lounges, five-star hotels, and of course the mega-block party in Times Square that brings in close to a million people are among the favorite hits.

If watching that glittering ball drop is up your alley, watching it from a hotel room is one way to up the luxury ante. Times Square is no stranger to hotels, and there are many with the perfect view for watching the big moment. The InterContinental New York Times Square sits perfectly in the middle of it all. The Four Seasons Hotel New York is another option, where the luxuries, amenities, and easy access to all the sites are inherent. Booking with us also entitles you to fantastic, Exclusive Complimentary Perks!

Being on the ground, in that giant Times Square crowd is definitely an experience, however, and despite all the comforts of a swanky room, being in the middle of all the action is something you’ll remember for years to come. I did it in 1998, and recall humorously the thousands upon thousands of people wearing sparkly New Year’s garb like sunglasses and pointed hats with their warmest, because the wind-chill made the temperatures drop below 20 degrees. All the interesting people who came from all corners of the world to be there together, and the kind of unique, maddening energy of a party on that level is such an amazing experience! No matter how many times you see that ball descend on television, it does not compare to seeing it for yourself.

Some of the city’s best hotels will be throwing wild parties of their own, and will surely be great gatherings in gorgeous settings. The Ganesvoort Park Avenue will play host to a spectacular penthouse party. Overflowing with style, stellar New York City views, and an open bar from 9pm through 2am equals one insanely fabulous party! While you can purchase admission, booking a room for the night can make partying that much more indulgent! The Mandarin Oriental New York is holding several different parties at their stunning Columbus Circle hotel. A gala at the 36th floor Ballroom, featuring amazing views of the city, will be an awesome spot to dance the night away to live music. Other parties in the building will be held at MObar and the Lobby Lounge, where there will be dancing, hors d’oeuvres, and complimentary champagne at midnight.
No one will disagree; New York is a classic, and thrilling place to welcome in the new year. With no end to the parties and options, and excellent places to stay, partying here is a must! Choosing a luxury hotel can make all the difference for your New Year’s stay. Before and after the celebrating, amenities are so nice to come back to. And after the biggest party of the year, it can be expected you will be ready for some pampering on New Year’s Day!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Clock Strikes "12" First in Sydney

Of all the world’s major cities, the new year begins in Sydney first. How appropriate, as it is a gorgeous city that knows how to party. For 2012, wild bashes are planned all over the town, and people who will be traveling there are gearing up for what is expected to be the second largest gathering of revelers in the world!

Sydney draws a varied crowd, from young singles to families, backpackers to retirees, and pretty much all imaginable types willing to journey to this metropolis down under. It’s a really hot destination because while much of the world is whiling away with winter, Sydney is enjoying a balmy summer. This makes a very fun environment for getaways because celebrating in warm, open air is so much fun!
While parties can be found everywhere in the city, the main attraction will be the fireworks in Sydney Harbour. I cannot imagine a sight more spectacular than fireworks exploding over the magnificent view of the city, with its landmarks like the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, with the glittering reflection of lights in the bay, speckled with boats. It might just be the most incredibly sight of New Year’s 2012! The show is so spectacular that it can be viewed as far as a 16 kilometer radius! For some, the best way to enjoy the evening is by boat, which allows you to enjoy all of the sights, the fireworks, and the atmosphere without the crowds of the viewing spots in the actual city. Many companies offer a different array of cruises and boating options for enjoying the night from the water. If you prefer to mingle within the energy of the crowd, there are more than enough places to get your fix, however you have to be on it early, as they do fill up fast. The Harbour is expected to be the party sight for over 1.5 million; making it the perfect place to ring in the new year amidst an international crowd gathered together for a single purpose!

Some hotels have stunning views that will allow you to view all of the beauty, without having to leave the building. While all the excitement may appeal to many, it can be nice to enjoy celebrating in more calm and relaxed settings. The Shangri-La Hotel Sydney is exceptionally luxurious, and every room has a water view. A lovely spot for New Year’s, there are several different restaurants and bars within the hotel where you can enjoy all the fun right there! While getting a reservation at this point may be impossible, the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney is a prime location for viewing all the festivities, accommodating all of your needs, and offering exceptional comfort. Then of course, there is the incomparable Observatory Hotel, which has been the recipient of more awards and accolades than any other hotel in all of Australia. Excellent location, views, and the intimate charm of a boutique hotel, this little gem still has rooms available! Whether you want an opulent room to come back to at the end of the night, or want to spend the whole night there, these hotels offer the best!
Sydney consistently tops lists of the best New Year’s fests, and there is very good reason why it is viewed by over a billion on televised broadcasts! The view is mind-blowing no matter where you are, and the lively mood is infectiously fun! Wishing you a happy 2012!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Where Shopping is Better Than Ever!

The Japanese love their fashion, and equally love to shop. Japanese fashion designers have been on the worldwide mainstream for many years, and Tokyo’s fashion week is never to be missed by those in the industry. Japanese street style is also highly coveted internationally, and we all recognize the iconic, adorable Hello Kitty as an obvious symbol of Japan, appealing to women no matter what their age. Despite worries of a slumping economy, throughout Tokyo over the next few months a slew of new shopping centers are set to open. If you’re into Japanese culture, and are looking to plan a trip to shop, here are some great new reasons why Tokyo's fashion scene is hotter than ever!

Shibuya Hikarie is going to be a mammoth of a commerce center, spanning 34 floors. So major indeed that it will be closely connected to the Japan Railways Shibuya Station, and have its own stops on the closest subway lines. This tower is set to be a hub of epic proportions; the top floors will be designated office spaces, the mid levels will hold a theatre as well as event venues, with the remainder of the building to be a diverse shopping mall called “ShinQs.” It is to be a temple of everything style, aimed at career women in their mid 20’s through 40’s. The first two levels will be entirely devoted to cosmetics products and beauty services. Keeping in line with the modern organics movement, this shopping center is aiming to offer the largest selection of organic and natural products in the entire city. Underground levels will offer gourmet food boutiques as well as restaurants. The range of clothing shops are set to cover all bases, with of course, a hearty offering of designer goods. It definitely sounds like a feast of fashion, and a great place to check out if you’re going to be in Tokyo!

In April, the Tokyo Plaza Omotesando Harajuku will be opening in the heart of Tokyo’s fashion district, at the cross section of two very hot shopping streets. This will be the very best of boutique shopping, featuring awesome Japanese names as well as plenty of American and European brands as well. Knowing that the competition is fierce, what will make this shopping center unlike the rest will be the luscious rooftop garden, offering customers a relaxing green-space in a city of concrete, steel, and glass.

Keeping up with their competition, Uniqlo has plans underway for opening their largest store yet. On March 16 it will be unveiled, located in the exclusive, ultra-luxurious Ginza shopping district. It will span 5,000 square meters and 12 floors, with one common goal: featuring the ever-expanding brand of Uniqlo products. As the brand continues to cement it’s presence internationally, this flagship center will serve as the home base.

If you are planning a trip to Tokyo, here are some of the best hotels to make the stay perfect. All five-star, and offering Exclusive Complimentary Perks when you reserve your stay with us! The Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel, the Grand Hyatt Tokyo, the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo, and the Four Seasons Tokyo at Chinzan-so are fabulous, stylish, posh, and cleverly situated to allow a short distance to any of these new shopping locales!

Shopping in Japan is about to get even more exciting with the addition of these three great centers. No matter how bad the economy may be, shopping is still a necessity, and Japan is right on point in keeping it interesting!

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Top Places on the Planet

Who isn’t compiling a bucket list these days? I hear the term daily, and people seem to be more focused than ever on creating these lists, and preparing themselves to make their personal goals a reality before they (eventually) kick the bucket, no matter what the pricetag. A constant running theme is the recurrence of travel, and visiting spectacular destinations. If money were not an object, oh the places you could visit! 

Luxury is the only way in Dubai. All the limits of conventional excess are pushed here, and everything is created on a grander scale. It was designed to be the world’s ultimate destination, where the best of the best can always be available, where everyone is treated as if royalty, where whatever the experience is, it will be magnified because it is in Dubai. All of Dubai’s accommodations were designed to take world travel to the next level, and it is one extremely decadent island. The best golf in the world, the World Cup of horse racing, great tennis, and excellent water sports make Dubai loaded with excitement. Offering some of the most lavish shopping anywhere, expect to shop in malls which have been created like marble temples. One of Dubai’s most fascinating hotels is the Burj al Arab, and its signature architecture has left a stunning mark on the city’s skyline.

The French Riviera
Long associated with the rich and famous, the luscious Cote d’Azur is stunning. Glamorous and gorgeous, there is no other scenery like it anywhere in the world. It is the ultimate place to see and be seen, and get pampered while you’re at it! Beach vacations and yachting adventures are prime activities here, and between June and September things get booked up quickly.You can always expect some kind of festival, concert, or art gathering in this culturally-rich area. It is wise to plan ahead and book many months prior to your visit because tourists who wait until they arrive to find a room are all too often out of luck! The abundance of gourmet dining options are phenomenal, and you can be sure to spend big eating well! The most incredible place to stay in Cannes is the Intercontinental Carlton Cannes Hotel. Luxury, the exquisite French service, and the waterfront location are stunning!

An island nation and city, Singapore is highly prized for offering an incredible quality of life. The locals are considered some of the happiest people on earth, and demographically it is a very diverse nation. The perfect place to sink into the local cultural mix, enjoy the unbelievable cuisines that vary from Indian, Malaysian, Chinese, and European. As the fourth largest financial center in the world, there is a massive amount of money flowing into this Southeast Asian nation. While the country sits on a relatively small accumulation of land, which is quite urbanized to accommodate the population, great measures are kept to maintain the natural environments and ecosystems. The decadence here is laid back, and you have the best offerings of a wealthy metropolis as well as a variety of cultures, and ecotourism pursuits. Interestingly, the shopping isn’t much to mention; pretty much the same round of big names you’d find anywhere. The Four Seasons Hotel Singapore is a luxuriant oasis amidst the bustling city, and is the ideal pad to unwind at. While it is located in the city’s central area, it remains an intimate sanctuary. An amazing feature of this hotel is that it owns a collection of Asian art encompassing more than 1,500 pieces.

Italy’s fashion focal point, if you love to shop then Milan is calling your name. Many have gone very broke, spending way too much on beautiful things here. There is nothing like the quality of Italian fashion, and Milan is home to many of Italy’s top names in the industry. Fashion week here is no joke either; for those with inexhaustible bank accounts and a love of Italian couture, it’s the perfect time to see what the designers have showcased for upcoming seasons. The Four Seasons Hotel Milan is located quickly within walking distance of the couture houses, the prime location for proper shopping. An intimate gem, this hotel holds only 118 suites and rooms, it was originally a convent in the 15th century.

The world’s most expensive city, is a paradise for those who love history, architecture, culture, and shopping. Anyone who visits is keenly aware of the pristine condition the city and it’s monuments are kept in. You can tour cathedrals that date back to the 15th century and experience a wealth of art throughout the city in galleries and museums. As far as excitement goes, the most decadent things about Moscow are the shopping at the exclusive Red Square and witnessing the city’s vibrant nightlife, where you can expect to party with billionaires. At most of the clubs, you must be extremely well-dressed, attractive, and loaded with cash if you expect to get in the door. Some of the richest locals claim dropping as much as $40,000 in a single night of partying in Moscow. For this crowd, the limits of opulence have no boundaries! The Ritz Carlton Moscow is located very close to Red Square, giving you perfect access to everything, while offering the finest accommodations available.

The world is chock full of destinations that are highly expensive, where the luxuries can top all others, where being lavished is the only way, and enjoying them has been known to break the bank for some! If money was not a boundary, where would you go for your fix of indulgences?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

North America’s Priciest Ski Town

World class skiing, lively cultural offerings, excellent restaurants, a vast number of natural sites, and superb hotels make Vail the reigning destination for all of North American ski destinations. While skiing is often associated with spending big bucks, you won’t do it better than in Vail. Here is a little info as to why this lovely snow village is so hot!

If you let your mind wander onto the topic of ski towns,  Aspen, Telluride, Sun Valley, Stowe, and Park City also come to mind as prime locations for a ski trip. But the real deal, as far as luxury goes is Vail. Although not as glitzy as Aspen, it's totally decked with every amenity possible, with it’s own unique vibe and charm. Recently, it was determined that all costs combined, from hotel rooms, to ski lifts, ski rentals, meals, and other attractions, Vail listed as North America’s most expensive place to ski. While you may raise an eyebrow, it is true that Vail has overthrown Aspen in luxury, popularity, and offerings. Vail is known for offering attentive, detailed service, and as a town they do it very well. Part of the price, yes, and worth every penny!

A huge part of Vail’s appeal is their great roster of resorts. Each is incredible, and provides different settings for enjoying the town. Reserve your stay with us, and you will enjoy the addition of our Exclusive Complimentary Perks! Here are some of the fine offerings:

The Four Seasons Resort Vail is perhaps the finest of all, and will envelop you in its “grand alpine” atmosphere. The slopes cater to all skiers and snowboarders, no matter the level. With an exceptional ski concierge that will pamper your entire skiing experience, it is very easy to get comfortable here.  Their spa is also worthy of a visit, where you can indulge in a host of custom treatments. As a resort that welcomes families as well as couples, in true Four Seasons’ fashion, there are many amenities designed for those with children such as complimentary meals for children five and under, as well as providing toys and equipment for making their stay more at ease and comfortable.

Manor Vail Lodge is a major alternative from the quintessential resort. Like the name says, it’s a lodge, and you will not find a more perfect one! This is the perfect location for visitors who are looking to savor all the nature Vail offers, while providing easy access to the slopes. Walking distance from the Betty Ford Botanical Garden, with bike trails, a golf course, hiking, and all the skiing your heart could possibly desire, you are surrounded by all the best nature Vail has. Everything about this lodge is warm and inviting; their motto is “It’s all right here” and that is no mistake!

The Arrabelle, Vail Square offers the essence of Europe in the epicenter of Vail Square. Luxury down to the most minute of details, you will be immersed in elegance. All the while, you are privileged to take part in all of Vail’s adventurous outdoor activities, especially skiing, and also the great nightlife, restaurants, and shopping.

Skiing is clearly a luxury sport, and entails amazing luxury vacations. Those who are devotees will travel to the ends of the earth, scaling incredible mountains for that exhilarating thrill. A huge part of the enjoyment, however, lies in the luxuries that come with staying in a fabulous ski resort. Unlike so many other sports, skiing is best savored with endless amenities. Going hand-in-hand, there is no shortage of five-star resorts that cater to the desires of skiers in Vail!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas in Paris

Paris did not earn the nickname “City of Light” without being able to back it up, and come Christmastime, the spectacular of lights is out of this world! Like everything else, Paris does it in their own signature, classy way which promises to leave an imprint on your memory. At least once in your lifetime you should visit Paris during Christmas!

There really is so much to take in that it can be hard to know where to begin. The displays of light can literally be seen everywhere, on the streets, courtyards, and stores, in brilliant and very artistic renderings. The City of Light does light better than anywhere else in the world, and the elaborately designed exhibitions throughout the city will seriously take your breath away. The atmosphere just glitters! On Christmas Day itself, you can go traditional, and enjoy mass at one of the many famous cathedrals, including midnight mass at Notre Dame. Or, if you are looking for a different kind of excitement than that which you’ll find in the pews, many of the city’s hottest clubs promise a festive time as well.

Paris’ famous Christmas markets are absolutely not to be missed. Here you find the most beautiful and unique gifts and ornaments, all the while enjoying the sights and sounds that fill you up with holiday cheer. Whether your trip is pre-Christmas, or you are celebrating the holiday in Paris entirely, no trip will be complete this time of year without spending some time at the Christmas markets. Paris’ Trocadero holds one of the best!

Perusing the well-known shopping areas and the shops lining the streets, you will have the pleasure of viewing the holiday window displays, which offer decked out holiday scenes and creations. These offer an intense view of Paris’ customary creativity and inventiveness. It isn’t called “window shopping,” the most closely translated word comes out to “window licking” because the offerings are just that delectable- edible and otherwise! A Christmas tree trimmed with nothing but Louboutins? Sounds like every girl’s dream at their storefront. The Chanel display at Printemps features moving Karl Lagerfeld dolls under a starry Paris sky; a humorous take on an often very serious brand. And then there are the sparkling, yet dangerous-looking glass snowflakes dangling in the window at Burberry, which beckon the eyes with their tempting beauty.

And like any good vacation, Christmas in Paris would not be done well without a lovely five-star stay. Of course a city of this magnitude has no shortage of excellent hotels, but here are the top picks. The Four Seasons Paris George V, Hotel de Crillon, and perhaps one of Paris’ most famous, Ritz Paris, will provide abundant sumptuous surroundings to retreat to.

Oh, glittering “City of Light” with your dazzling streets, unique artistry, and unparalleled shopping, you are even more fun during Christmastime!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas in the Catalan Style

Quite different than the West, and a far cry from the Nordic traditions, Christmas in Spain is a very different spectacle. Both in belief and the way things get celebrated, the whole mood is more relaxed, more focused on the fun events. It’s a holiday with a much more Biblical emphasis, and only a mere smidgen of the Norse and Germanic notions incorporated in. Santa, Christmas trees, reindeer, and snowmen just don’t fit the bill, and are only seen in small increments. The North Pole really has nothing to do with the holiday here, and it’s the Three Kings that are the bearers of gifts. The celebration is much longer, beginning on Christmas Eve, Dec 24, and lasting through January 6, on what is known as Epiphany, or Dia de los Reyes. That culminating day is when the gifts arrive. In those two weeks, mass preparations ensue for the holiday, and it is an incredible time to experience all Barcelona can offer with a different mindset than the rest of the year.

While Christmas everywhere holds a great sense of beauty, in the Catalan tradition, artistry is deeply ingrained in all parts of the celebration. The icon of Christmas here is the Nativity, and you can find them everywere, and often highly decorated. While gift-giving is a big part of the holiday, it isn’t the main focus. Christmas is far less commercialized, and not centered on shopping. The simpler pleasures are what most locals look forward to, and there are many to enjoy. Lights are hung in beautiful intricate designs decorating the streets, and people love to amble in awe of them as they eat freshly roasted chestnuts, purchased from street vendors. There are concerts, parades, and the wild Christmas swim, where hundreds of residents and visitors alike go for a splash in the Mediterranean’s wintery water. As for the parade, known as the cabalgata, imagine something of a cross between carnival and a Nativity scene. It is held on January 5th, and marks the arrival of the Three Kings. Their entrance into Barcelona, is a widely celebrated event, drawing in thousands of onlookers as their massive ship sails into the city’s harbor. Upon disembarking, they will be prominently featured in the parade. Other highlights include the fantastic costumes, fun choreography, men on stilts, archers, floats, sculptures with disco balls, and a massive clock carried through the parade, reminding the children bedtime is near!

In line with true traditions, certain dishes are customary during the Christmas and Dia de los Reyes celebrations. If you visit, these are not to be missed! Sopa de galet, canelones, turkey stuffed with truffles, turron, which is a nougat made of almonds, and a massive feast of all varieties of shellfish. On Dia de los Reyes, the final day, expect to eat at Escriba, Barcelona’s highly prized bakery. Hordes of people wait in long lines to take home the celebratory cake, the roscon, which is a confectionary marvel of brioche, marzipan, and studded with candied fruit.

For hotels, these are some of the best spots for optimum luxury in Barcelona: El Palace Hotel Barcelona, Le Meridien Barcelona, Hotel Arts Barcelona, and the Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona.

Christmastime may be one of the city’s best-kept secrets. A less Western celebration, with a lot of Mediterranean influence and religion laced in. Culturally and visually it really is gorgeous, the exoticness offers a new way to enjoy the season.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Spend the Cheese!

With plenty of five-star, remarkable hotels out there in the world, choosing the best one for an unforgettable New Year’s may be a challenge. The location needs to be anything but lame, and the pad needs to be outrageously fab. And if you have an excess of funds, spending on one of the most exclusive suites will get your year off to a blazing start! Here are the options!

Wakaya Royal Suite, Wakaya Club, Fiji $7,600 Per Night
Relax in the splendor of total seclusion and tropical serenity in the elite Wakaya Royal Suite. The Wakaya Club is not in any way ordinary; it is a private island resort, and you can be sure that when you are staying in their most prized of suites, you will be pampered beyond your wildest dreams! Ringing in 2012 here will definitely have you rejuvenated as your year begins.

Nearly 2,000 square feet of pure decadance, the Brook Penthouse Suite is the perfect spot to throw a killer party in for the big night. In one of London’s most prestigious hotels, this suite was designed for the most incredible kinds of entertaining. Elegant décor, lavish surroundings, and a private rooftop terrace will provide a stellar backdrop, making every penny spent well worth it!

Perhaps the best views in all of Hong Kong can be seen from the Peninsula Suite. The Peninsula Hong Kong is no joke; it is considered one of the best hotels in the world, and there is very good reason why. To book this suite for the mere price of $9,200 per night almost seems to be a steal when you start imagining the kind of parties you can hold here. Panoramic vistas of Victoria Harbor and the dazzling Hong Kong skyline from the 26th floor, 4,000 luxurious square feet, an always-ready mini-bar, and a fitness center make this suite unbelievable! Definitely one of the coolest places to party the night away in- no bar or club can compare!

The Presidential Suite, Hotel Martinez, Cannes France $18,000 Per Night
This suite is one of the world’s most infamously expensive suites, in one of Europe's most revered hotels. It has held the likes of royalty as well as many of the rich and famous, and boasts the most amazing terrace in the South of France. The view from the 1,000 square foot veranda is gorgeous, overlooking the Bay of Cannes, and can set the scene for a very nice New Year's Eve celebration. Suffice it to say, the type of party to be had here is simply out of this world, and what dreams are made of.

The Penthouse Suite, The Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills, Ca. $25,000 Per Night (+Tax)
Decadence, luxury, and the most expansive guest quarters of any hotel in the city, it can only be imagined the soirees that have happened in these digs. “Exclusive” does not even begin to describe the suite; it’s on it’s own level! Strategically placed at the top floor, with floor-to-ceiling windows presenting views of the LA skyline and the Hollywood Hills. 5,000 square feet of pure style, built for entertaining in extreme opulence, this suite will make for the New Year’s Eve party to end all others. There are not many hotel rooms anywhere that can compare!

Ending the year with a tone of grand finality, wouldn’t it be fun to check in to one of the most expensive, and utterly exclusive suites in the world? Whether you're one of the privileged few who can reserve one of these suites, or if you have to settle for a room elsewhere in the hotel, our Exclusive Complimentary Perks will add that much more to your trip! However you do it, party hard in total decadence; you’ll be sure to make 2012 a year to remember!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

5 Star Christmas Spirit

Many  luxury hotels go above and beyond, doing quite a number to keep the Christmas spirit alive and well for their guests. This year, these following hotels are offering a really great, festive atmosphere!

A fun little bit of history happens this year at the Plaza. For their first ever Christmas tree, the hotel used “Eloise” as inspiration, and a fabulous, 18-foot, fully decked-out pink tree was designed by none other than Betsey Johnson. Eloise is a character from the story books by Kay Thompson, with illustrations by Hilary Knight, and she lived in the hotel’s top floor. A tea party was held to reveal the tree, and by staying there this holiday season, you can see it with your very own eyes! It will be on display until January 4th, 2012.

What child would not be awestruck by a towering Christmas tree made of nothing but teddy bears? As a matter of fact, what adult wouldn’t be as well? Staying at the Four Seasons in Boston this year, you will be amazed by the sweet site of this tree that is a widespread favorite among Christmas connoisseurs. In upward of 5,000 bears are collected, and then donated throughout the city to children by hospitals and non-profit organizations.

Claridge’s is definitely London’s premier spot for five-star hotel chic. Every year, Claridge’s enlists a prized designer to design the holiday’s decorations and set the theme. This year’s lucky arbiter of Christmas decadence is the amazing Alber Elbaz for Lanvin. The signature Christmas tree is boldly colorful, and full of whimsy little details that speak clearly of the designer’s trademark. Sriously, who would not be tickled by the site of the marionettes donning Lanvin hotel uniforms?

If you are headed to Hong Kong this season, the Mandarain Oriental does Christmas a little differently than in the West. Certainly celebratory, the Mandarin Cake Shop really knows how to set the mood in terms of holiday sweets, and that is their signature specialty. Edible ornaments and decorations will have your sweet tooth savoring. The list of creations is magnificent, and these are definitely not your ordinary confectionary replicas. Think more true-to-life versions, created with the skilled craftsmanship of very talented pastry chefs. Teddy bears, rocking horses, and Santa are like none you’ve ever seen, or tasted. These will make excellent stocking stuffers for some very special loved ones!

Nothing like "home for the holidays?" I beg to differ. Especially if one of these hotels will be on your radar. What better way is there to enjoy all the fun of the holidays than in a festive five-star pad? Definitely your best option, because you will have all the luxuries of home without the nagging distractions that come along with it. Add in all the other Exclusive Complimentary Perks, great amenities, and the absolute comfort a hotel can offer during the busiest time of the year and great times will be had! Wishing you the happiest of holidays!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Planning for the Year Ahead: 2012 Events Worth Traveling For

If you are looking to book a vacation in 2012 at some point, here are some major events that are going to be happening across the globe. Whether it’s a destination you were initially planning on, or one you did not consider, these are sure to be awesome events definitely worth the journey! Get booking soon, and don’t forget about our Exclusive Complimentary Perks when you reserve with us!

Feb 5, Super Bowl, Indianapolis, Indiana
If you can get tickets, and love football, here’s your chance to party with all of America! While we in the states love all types of sports, when it comes to team sports, football is number 1! The national championship always promises a fierce game, a great show, and the finest commercials of the year. Being at the stadium for the game means the party is going to be in full-swing, and your mind will be blown!
Where to Stay: Conrad Indianapolis

Feb 18-21, Mardi Gras, New Orleans, or Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro
Two enormous parties, one common cause- celebrating with fervor! Rio’s carnaval is the biggest party in the world every year, and it’s magnitude can only be understood if you have experienced it. Stateside, Mardi Gras in New Orleans promises an equally fantastic shindig, and will surely fulfill the need for any debauchery you may have!
Where to Stay: The Roosevelt New Orleans, or The Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro

Mar 1-4, Heineken Regatta, St. Maarten
A huge party on the water for the whole weekend is an excellent reason to head to the Caribbean. If you dig boat races, warm weather, and beachside fun, this event will make a great weekend getaway. Lots of parties and performances just add to the revelry. Stay in St. Barts to escape the craziness, and charter a boat over for the excitement.
Where to Stay: Hotel Guanahani & Spa

Apr 20-27, National Cherry Blossom Festival, Washington DC
A national celebration of the intoxicatingly beautiful cherry blossoms as they take over the capitol. Around the world, wherever these trees grow, they are heralded for their stunning beauty. This year, a parade and kite contest will honor the “100th Anniversary of the Gift of Trees.”
Where to Stay: The W Washington DC

May 26-27 Memorial Day Weekend, San Francisco, Golden Gate Festival
Head to the city on the bay for Memorial Day weekend! In the city with flawless weather, you can certainly expect perfection this time of year. This is a great opportunity to visit as it is the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge, one of the most famous bridges in the world, and the crown jewel of San Francisco’s many landmarks. The Golden Gate Festival will be going on, and it will be filled with history and SF’s own unique brand of partying.
Where to Stay: The Taj Campton Place

July 22-30 The Tour de France, From Belgium to France
Celebrating the 99th year of two-wheel racing thrills, this 3-week journey offers you plenty of options for enjoying the excitement. Whether you want to tour along, or just pick a few idyllic spots to see the racers fly by, it’s France in the summer, and it will be lovely.
Where to Stay: Hotel de Crillon, Paris

July 27- Aug 12 Summer Olympics, London
Here’s your chance, it only comes once every four years, to witness athletic history on a worldwide level! Tickets for events are currently on sale, so if you are coveting seats to something in particular, get on the move, and get them ordered. And while you’re at it, don’t wait a minute longer to reserve your room in a swanky, five-star hotel!
Where to Stay: Four Seasons Hotel, Canary Wharf

Oct. 6-14 International Balloon Fiesta, Albuquerque New Mexico
This sight is pretty amazing; bold, colorful hot air balloons against an a cerulean sky! Whether you crave the excitement of floating in one, or prefer the view from the ground without the daunting height, this is one spectacle for the eyes! A family-friendly event, no matter what your age, you will be amazed. This event holds some fantastic bragging rights: it is the most photographed event in the world, the greatest international annual event that happens in the US, and is the largest event for ballooning in the world.
Where to Stay: The Inn and Spa at Loretto

Nov. 3-4 Sleepless Night, Miami Beach
Miami is no stranger to non-stop partying. It’s patrons are very well known for raging till the sun rises, and then hitting the beach to watch it ascend above the horizon. If there is one thing this city does well, it is nightlife. Sleepless Night is just a testament to that, with all varieties of art possible, being offered throughout the night. From clubbing to opera, pop art to yoga, poetry to aerial dance performances; if it is happening culturally, it’s going on this night. 2011’s Sleepless Night drew a crowd of 130,000 people, and 2012 is expected to be even bigger!
Where to Stay: The Ritz Carlton, South Beach

Need a special reason to travel? Make sure you don’t miss any of the fun in 2012 by planning ahead! It’s always a great idea to travel with a purpose, and when there is something interesting going on in a particular destination, all the better.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

History Through the Four Seasons

History is made when a person of great insight can predict what many others are going to want in the future. Isadore Sharp did just that when he opened his first hotel in a less than desirable area of Toronto. Now one of the most trusted names in luxury, Four Seasons guarantees optimal levels of service, performance, and above all, attention to the guest. The idea was to pamper every guest and treat them extraordinarily, and it was a formula that has built a billion-dollar empire. Here is the Four Season's story.

                    Founded in 1961, Four Seasons changed the face of modern luxury travel. It was a concept new to the industry, and the burgeoning architect and developer Isadore Sharp, took a lot of heat getting his idea off the ground. After five years of trying to convince investors, he finally had the backing to make it happen. The Four Seasons opened its very first hotel on the very first day of spring 1961, in Toronto, Canada. The pinnacle standard of luxury was not yet a mainstay, but catering to the needs of business travelers who sought more comfortable offerings certainly was. The idea was brilliant, and was instantly a hit with customers.           

Within two years, with success so profound, a second location was opened in a different part of Toronto. An urban resort, situated atop a hill overlooking vast green-spaces, the hotel was also home to one of the best restaurants in the city. Suffice it to say, it also received immediate success.

The next big breakthrough came when plans were made to develop a hotel in London. A contrast to the business-hotel idea, Sharp wanted to go in the direction of ultra-luxury, to compete directly with hotels like Claridge’s and the Connaught, which relied on status and old-world glamour to maintain their elite eminence. This success was a major turning point, and it set the standard by which the Four Seasons Brand is known for today. Competing directly with hotels of this magnitude, and doing a fantastic job at it, Four Seasons hotels are highly regarded for their reputation of stellar service and ability to consistently please their guests. One staple in nearly all Four Seasons Resorts and Hotels are the top-notch spa facilities, as well as the numerous fine-dining establishments. Awarded by both Zagat and Michelin for many of their restaurants internationally, when you eat at a Four Season’s restaurant, you know you’re getting the best. 

In 1974, seeing the need to push the brand further into a different direction, the company found a more viable future in managing hotel properties under the Four Seasons umbrella. This was a totally intelligent alternative to the complications that come with developing land, as well as buying and building hotels. Always expanding, they can now focus their strengths on bringing the Four Seasons brand to cities where they will have the most influence.

         The Four Seasons brand changed the way hotels treated their guests, and among those who travel lavishly, they are a brand that symbolizes quality, excellent service, and the best treatment a hotel staff can offer. From LA to Tokyo; New York to Paris, there is no comparison. As "Preferred Partners" with the Four Seasons brand, we have the ability to offer Exclusive Complimentary Perks, which add tremendous value to any stay in any of their hotels. Booking with us automatically entitles you to these privileges, ensuring you an even more luxurious visit!

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Magic of Europe's Christmas Markets

Gazing at my Christmas tree, the ornaments that strike me the most are the ones that came from my mother’s European vacations over the years. Glass pieces from Murano, Danish blue-and-white porcelain, and hand-painted wooden eggs from Russia are my favorites. They add so much character, and such a sentimental touch to my Christmas decorating. Christmas is a very extravagant affair on the other side of the pond, and not only do they really prepare all year long for the holiday, but right before, the whole continent erupts with a festive spirit. Traditions go back a very long way, and while Christmas has its roots in both the Biblical scriptures and the ancient winter solstice observances, the modern-day celebrations have roots that go back centuries.

The European Christmas markets are a festive tradition. Always held outdoors, you will find handmade toys, ornaments, and gifts. Browsing the booths, with a warm, mulled wine in hand as freshly made sausages, roasted chestnuts and gingerbread fill the air, you absolutely must try everything! The following are the best of the best Christmas markets that should not be missed, for they will certainly set your holiday spirit straight!

Brussels, Belgium
The Brussel’s Christmas market features vendors from all over the world, with fantastic local offerings. Belgian cuisine is fancied across the globe for its sophistication and palatability, so it goes as no surprise that you will find chocolates, beer, Belgian waffles, croustillons in ample proportions! Every evening light and music shows are put on, plus there is an ice-skating rink, and a Ferris wheel that add to the excitement!

Copenhagen, Denmark
Perhaps the finest of all the Christmas markets of Europe, Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens is a spectacle! This amusement park gets transformed into a shimmering wonderland four miles long. These lights are intricately arranged by Tiffany’s head designer, creating a brilliant, gorgeous display. If that were not enough, an additional 1,800 strands of lights are used to light up the willow trees along the lake. With a crafts market offering local artisan creations, some of the most beautiful handcrafts in all of Europe will be found here.  Piping hot mulled wine and iced doughnuts topped with black currant preserves are the local treats of choice here.

Nuremburg, Germany
One of Europe’s largest markets, drawing in 2 million visitors every year, it is the essence of German Christmas celebrations. It is highly regarded as “authentic” and much effort is placed on keeping it within tradition. German crafts, toys, and ornaments galore, this Christmas market goes on until December 24, and is the perfect place to find genuine German gifts and holiday décor!

Prague, Czech Republic
With two major markets in the city located next to each other, you must check out both! A beautiful, towering Christmas tree, a petting zoo, and the most gorgeous findings imaginable! Any gifts you bring back from these markets will have your loved ones swooning. The artisan jewelry, Bohemian crystal, and classic wooden toys are to die for! While you shop, enjoy the savory holiday treats such as honey ginger bread, and sip the customary hot mulled wine! If you stay through Christmas, on Christmas Eve the traditional dinner includes delicious carp and wine sausages.

This is the storybook Christmas, where the magical sights and aromas of the season overwhelm you with happiness; not stress! The Christmas Markets of Europe hark back to the old-world, which is kept beautifully alive in this tradition. These markets are a far cry from the mass consumerism, anxiety, and ordinariness of the mainstream mall shopping experience. Happy holidays!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas in the Capitol

Christmas is the biggest holiday of the year in America, and the nation’s capitol does a fantastic job getting the holiday spirit on in full swing. All over the town you can expect showy displays of Christmas cheer, elaborate exhibits of lights, and of course, there is the White House extravaganza.

If you are looking for somewhere in the US to visit around the holidays, DC makes a wonderful destination. Offering history, a patriotic atmosphere, and a myriad of options for enjoying the season. Booking your stay at the gorgeous Madison Hotel, the W Washington DC, the Mandarin Oriental, or the Four Seasons, which are the city’s very best hotels, will definitely be the icing on your holiday cake, no matter what your calendar of events may hold. Be sure to keep us in mind when you book, because our Exclusive Complimentary Perks  one-up the competition, and shower you with additional benefits!
All over the capitol, there are major light displays. And no matter what your religious denomination may be, do you ever get tired of over-the-top Christmas lights? They are just so magical! ZooLights at the National Zoo promises to be an excellent outing for the whole family, with animated lights, seasonal crafting, and ice sculpture demos. With free admission, it is certainly worth checking out. In nearby Maryland, the Winter Lights at Seneca Creek State Park puts on a spectacle that stretches 3.5 miles. The Annmarie Garden in Lights at the Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center takes a mythical approach to their light display. Featuring handmade sculptures of light including creatures such as fierce beasts, illuminated art, pirates, and wild animals. Definitely worth a visit is the National Christmas Tree. A symbol of hope and national solidarity, every year it is decorated with ornaments that are sent in from every other state.

The White House alone does Christmas in very opulent, very vibrant ways. Volunteers from 36 different states worked tirelessly to make sure every detail was ready for company. 37 trees, of which 30 are “real” trees, and the additional 7 range from consisting of paper, aluminum, wool felt. A gingerbread house modeled after the White House, and consisting of over 400 lbs of gingerbread, marzipan, and white chocolate will definitely whet your appetite! One of our national treasures, Bo Obama, the first dog has been the inspiration for the creation of many different replicas, ornaments, and even cookies.

America’s most important holiday of the year is no joke in Washington DC. The whole town, as well as neighboring towns go to the extreme to make sure the holiday cheer is as infectious, and spirited as possible! DC celebrates with fun and fervor, sparkle and lights, and a great attitude, most of all. Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Luxurious Ski Resorts for the Avid Non-Skier

Often nestled into gorgeous mountain settings, with sensational views, exquisite fine dining, and decadent spas, a luxury ski resort can provide abundant amounts of bliss. While skiing may be the biggest draw, there are a lot of other reasons these five star sanctuaries bring people back year after year. The following are among the best five-star ski resorts that offer non-skiers plenty of reasons to visit.

Salzburg, Austria is a lovely destination for people who want to enjoy the delights of culture, the phenomenal natural surroundings, great shopping, and the magnificent Bad Gestein hot springs. If there are skiers in your group, they’ll be happy to know they have easy access to some of Austria’s finest slopes. For those of you with other pursuits, Salzburg will delight you with the rich history. The Hotel Goldener Hirsch has a long, 600-year-old past, and is literally located within walking distance of Mozart’s home, making Salzburg the ideal place to enjoy authentic Austrian culture and surroundings.

The Montage Deer Valley, Utah is a wintertime gem. Offering so many different amenities and rich surroundings, a getaway spent here will nourish all of your senses. While this property has received the highest possible rankings from SKI Magazine every year since 2008, it is so much more than just a place to stay at while you ski. The ambiance is warm, yet never ostentatious, with a running theme of craftsman design. The architecture stays true to the region, and the resort holds a vast collection of local artwork. The rooms have been created to showcase the splendor of the Wasatch Mountains with excellent views. You are invited to unwind wholeheartedly while basking in the glow of the gas fireplace, which are  staples of every suite and guestroom. The spa is a massive 35,000 square foot space that provides distinct services with an alpine flair, in addition to fitness classes. Superb dining options include gourmet, grilled fare at Apex, and sports pub classics at Daly’s Pub & Rec, which is also part bowling alley. Fun things in the area to check out include the Kimball Art Center, and catching a show at the Egyptian Theatre.

Stowe, Vermont is a luxurious and untouched location, and the Stowe Mountain Lodge is the premier place to stay. While it may be known as a ski town, the area is filled with natural beauty, and no matter what season, hiking here is to die for. With 50 nearby restaurants, spectacular scenic offerings, and Vermont’s first Audubon sanctuary, this pristine New England destination is as exciting as it is relaxing. The Stowe Mountain Lodge has one of the best spas in the area, and is a definitive must if you visit. This resort makes every effort to source local artisan products, while exemplifying the connection to the local culture, resulting in a very authentic experience.

So freezing temperatures, sliding around on slippery skis on icy, snow covered mountains may not be your thing. Whether the adrenaline of the adventure holds no cache for you, or you simply have no care for braving the elements while getting your thrills, it is perfectly okay if skiing is not for you. That means you have every opportunity to take full advantage of all the other amenities that await you at the best ski resorts!

I luv you Miami!

Miami now offers another great reason to visit if you're a fan of America's favorite pastime - baseball.
With a new name, and a sparkling new stadium comes a fantastic new identity for both the Major League Marlins and Miami itself.

With two national championships behind them, great weather for being outdoors, and the vibe of a city that lives for fun, it would seem that baseball was the perfect fit. Strangely however, for one reason or another the stars could not align to make baseball work in the magic city. Until now, with much redesigning and a whole lot of rebuilding, things are looking highly positive for the Marlins. The name change was brilliant; it connects them directly to the city of their home base, and has a much nicer ring to it; the “Miami Marlins!”

Nothing can make a team feel more refreshed than having a stadium of their very own, and that is exactly what Marlins Ballpark is. Freed from what was one of the worst stadium leases in the history of MLB, it was definitely hard for the Marlins to feel at “home” in the stadium of another team, of a totally different sport. Previous average attendance lolled around 19,000, and they are expecting to bring that number up to 30,ooo, while the maximum capacity is approximately 37,000.

Marlins Ballpark will make for a great visit, even if baseball isn’t your thing. A state-of-the-art beauty, it will have a retractable roof, and the largest surrounding plaza of any stadium in the US. Two aquariums will be stationed on both sides of the home plate, serving as a backstop. The food court will serve delicacies such as croquetas, exceptional sushi, and stone crabs when in season. To the left of the field, there is a swimming pool, which will be available only to those with paid access.

If you are considering Miami as a destination, here’s just one more incentive! Baseball is a tradition, and the new stadium promises to blow your mind with it’s coolness. It sure doesn’t hurt that two of Miami’s best five-star hotels are within perfect range for staying conveniently. The Four Seasons Miami, and the Mandarin Oriental are situated close by, and both options will provide the ideal place to retreat back to.

Miami is a very multicultural, very Latin city, and as much as baseball is America’s pastime, it is also a major Latin pastime as well. With that said, it’s about time that proper attention has been paid to develop the Marlins into the team they were meant to be. This coming spring, if you are going to be in Miami, make sure you pay Marlins Ballpark a visit!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ringing in 2012 Lavishly

We’ve been hearing it for years, urban legends and ancient legends, tying the year 2012 to the apocalypse, spiritual enlightenment, and all kinds of crazy myths; remember all the hype for 2000? The best way to prepare yourself for the inevitable unknown is to really go all out and have yourself an absolutely amazing time. Here are some of the biggest parties being planned around the world. They're all sure to be a ridiculously great time if you can get yourself there. Make sure your stay is five-star for the ultimate experience and book with us for the added value of our Exclusive Complimentary Perks!

A Little of Everything in Brazil
Brazil is pretty well-known for putting on incredible parties, and this year, the Copacabana Palace is the hottest place to be in all of Rio. If you are considering hitting Brazil for a party, this may be the very best one. With three different events that are also open to patrons who are not guests, you can party by the pool, party in their restaurants, or party on the beach. The parties will have gourmet buffets and nonstop Veuve Clicquot as well as other fine wines, champagnes, and top shelf liquors, all included in the price. Staying at this gorgeous spot gives you access to all of Rio’s attractions, and has you perfectly situated between Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, and every single room has a balconey. Live music, DJ’s, dance floors, and the beach will have you living up the last night of the year!

Fireworks on the Bay: San Francisco
200,000 people strong, at the Embarcadero and along the waterfront will be watching the fireworks extravaganza over the Golden Gate Bridge at the strike of midnight. While this is a fantastic site, it does not involve anything else, leaving you ample time to party before and after at some of the city’s fine gatherings. Most of San Fran's hottest clubs have crazy parties planned. The Masquerade Ball with the SF Symphony is sure to be a good time, with packages that begin at 6pm, including dinner, dancing, and a variety of different musical acts. Stay at the Four Seasons Hotel for proper luxury, comfort, and five-star amenities when your partying has come to an end.

Rock Out Cape Town
Cape Town has become a huge place to visit for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Book your stay at the One & Only Cape Town for superb African aesthetics, exemplar service, and enough decadence to set you up right should the world end. The whole place gets lit up for the biggest night of the year, and all kinds of parties happen. It sure doesn’t hurt that Cape Town is such a beautiful city, and provides an enormous amount of eye candy. Street parties, fashion parties, and loads of nightlife await you. If you’re not up for shaking it dance party style, hit Rock the River SA III for live rock music in natural surroundings, away from the commotion of the city. A quick 20 minutes drive from Cape Town, and over 100 different bands, this party gets bigger every year. And when the night ends, perhaps after the sun rise, retreat to your lavish room and rekindle the party continue when you awaken for brunch!

Dance the Night Away in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is always a town for serious partying, and if you are looking for the best clubbing, this is your destination. There are a slew of parties throughout the city that are looking very promising. Amsterdam’s largest is at the Museumplein, with live bands, DJ’s, and fireworks. Make sure to stay at the Hotel Pulitzer, where the luxurious surroundings will be the perfect antidote for hangovers. With a fabulous location, and décor that is both modern and traditionally historical, its beauty is refreshing. The excellent culinary experience of the hotel’s restaurant, Pulitzers will make the ideal first meal of the new year.

End 2011 with a bang, and hail in 2012 with the party of all parties- wherever you choose to be! 2012 is supposed to promise all kinds of “big” things- the year of the dragon, the age of Aquarius, the end of the world, and who really knows what else! As the future is always uncertain, make sure you party hard just in case!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Get Out of Town and Escape the Holiday Madness!

The holidays are upon us now, and in most towns and major cities, the madness ensues. People are on the go with more frantic fury than ever, and there is nothing more stressful than trying to prepare for a holiday with omnipresent anxiety. Here are a few destinations that are sure to keep you away from the holiday crowds, de-stress, and have you feeling replenished.

St. John
For escaping winter’s bite, and the herds of people in more glitzy destinations of the Caribbean, St. John offers a tropical getaway in every sense of the word. St. John is great for enjoying the outdoors, catering to travelers who want exceptional recreation. Year round the temperatures level around 85 degrees, and on this tiny island, (the smallest developed island of the US Virgin Islands), you will really feel the remoteness. Being accessible only by boat from neighboring St. Thomas, the idea of seclusion is totally apparent. All varieties of aquatic sports are very popular, as are hiking and nature tours of the Virgin Islands National Park. Island sunsets, warm sand, and the island mentality await you!

If your heart is set on serious wanderlusting, and you need massive amounts of space to roam without the distraction of crowds, head to Patagonia. Your one-stop-shop for freedom, especially if freezing temperatures are within your comfort zone. On the verge of Antarctica, in the most southern city of the world, the desolation is obvious. But so is the peaceful calm, the pure air, and the astounding views of the majestic, greatly untouched landscape. The Beagle Channel and the Andes Mountains are the most beautiful attractions here, and are constantly within view.

When most people consider traveling to France, they automatically assume doing so in the spring and summer months. Of course, that does make sense in terms of the weather, but there are a couple of factors that often slip by the wayside, and make travelers regret their timing. First of all, and this is common thought on a global scale, that while “Paris in the Springtime” is a romantic notion, the voluminous crowds can be overwhelming and difficult. The next hurdle is that throughout the majority of the month of August, nearly the entire nation is on vacation, rendering many stores and restaurants closed for business. France’s offseason can present plenty of wonderful reasons to visit, and allow you to experience this country in a completely different way. Luxurious hotels often offer amazing deals, making opulent accommodations very affordable. As the offseason is not a big magnet for tourists, you can enjoy France like the locals do. Heading to the South of France, Nice in particular, is wonderful during the month of December. While the beaches may not be suitable for sunbathing, and the chilly temperatures will require you to dress warmly, imagine the savory warmth of French cuisine, enjoy the shopping of the Christmas markets, and the sight of the Alps covered in snow.

There certainly is nothing like the excitement of the holiday season, and sometimes don't you just have the urge to escape it all together; head someplace where you won't be bothered, and just simply immerse yourself in relaxation? Happy holidays!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Hotels so Fab that they're the Destination

Some travels are all about the destination. You spend so little time in your room, that it makes no difference where you actually stay. Other times, when it's a vacation devoted to unwinding and being totally comfortable, having the right hotel is key. Taking this notion to the extreme, here are the best hotels for visiting simply because they are the destination!

Canyon Ranch is the quintessential example of a hotel that is on it’s own, a destination. Part health-spa, and part wellness retreat, where the atmosphere is about experiencing life with optimal health and pure joy. Perfectly placed poignantly into the desert landscape, you will be at one with the Southwest here. Luxurious surroundings and enough pampering to rejuvenate even the most tired of souls, you will leave in an entirely different state of mind. The greatest draw however, to this paradise in the desert, it the eloquently designed cuisine that has inspired many to venture here solely for the amazing gourmet meals!

Little Palm Island makes for such a gorgeous tropical getaway, that there is absolutely no need to leave this little gem of a resort for your entire trip. Perfect for couples who want to melt into the setting, and not have a care in the world outside of this lush cocoon. Your stay here is meant to keep you relaxed, and totally removed from any harshness of the outside world. With no televisions or telephones on the property, the idea is to connect to your surroundings. With exceptional food that highlights the Keys’ specialties like key limes and the most delectable fresh seafood, guests adore the dining options that range from beachside tables to the candlelit dining room. Beach bonfires, outdoor showers, and a location that you can only get to by plane or boat means the location is perfect for romance, and you will have no reason to venture beyond it!

This is the perfect hotel for a couple’s romantic getaway. Utterly comfortable, yet very sumptuous, the mood here is elegantly seductive. Remote, set into a stellar landscape, with an abundance of luxuries you will not want to venture away from this resort whatsoever! With views of Big Sur’s coastline, and the Ventana mountains, the sites here are mesmerizing. Award-winning cuisine, stunning architecture, a lavish spa, and yoga classes make this an optimal choice for honeymoons, anniversaries, and escaping into California serenity.

There are a lot of fabulous hotels out there in the world, and sometimes it is worth a vacation alone to travel just for the hotel. Have you ever traveled someplace, and the hotel was just so great that it made the whole trip? That’s what I’m talking about! Book your reservations with us, and you will be thrilled at the Exclusive Complimentary Perks that only we offer!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Give the Gift of Travel

If you have seen any TV lately, you’ve most likely been inundated with holiday commercials urging you to purchase cars and jewelry. Do you want to give a truly meaningful gift to someone you love this year? Something they will never forget, and will mean more than almost any material object you can purchase? Give the gift of travel, of course! Memories last a lifetime, and who does not love a vacation? Whether its your sweetheart, or your sweet mama, surprise them this holiday season with a gift that will touch their hearts and intrigue the mind.

Personally, I find the idea of surprising someone with a getaway to be very charming. Giving experiences makes for truly thoughtful gifts, and some people just don’t want “things.” Plenty of people prefer to be actively doing things, and giving them a trip fits very well into “doing.” You can make an even greater impact by reserving their stay at an ultra-luxurious hotel, for utmost comfort, posh surroundings, exquisite pampering, and the very best accommodations. Keep in mind that if you do so with us, the Exclusive Complimentary Perks will add even more decadence to the trip, making it so worth it!

Four Seasons Hotels, the premier five-star hotel brand with whom we are delighted to have "Preferred Partner" status, offers properties throughout the world.. From Tokyo to Paris, New York to San Francisco, you can enjoy the unique attention that only Four Seasons can deliver. Ritz Carlton is another chain very well known for it’s divine hotels and resorts. The collection across WhataHotel! features an outstanding array of the world's finest hotel brands.

Some people are just incredibly hard to shop for. Family, friends, and colleagues can all present challenges in the gift-giving department. Buying junk is never satisfying, and who wants to waste money on gifts you’ll wonder if they will actually like, want, or even use? You can opt for gifts that cater to the travelers and explorers on your list with things like multi-time-zone watches, snazzy binoculars, high-tech compasses, and cozy blankets, but will they really be useful? So now that we've given you some ideas, please browse around the site and shop!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Why the Swiss Tradition of Art Basel is on Miami Beach

Every year it gets bigger than the last, and every year it is increasingly ground breaking. This year, Art Basel Miami Beach is going to inject the international art world with the latest, most intense art experiences. Art is about provoking emotion, and Art Basel creates the perfect environment for setting up such encounters. The world’s most prestigious art dealers, top galleries, collectors, enthusiasts, curators, and critics gather for a whirlwind getaway in hopes of connecting with the vibrating pulse of art. Heralding in 10 years, Art Basel Miami Beach is happening now!

Art Basel is a Swiss tradition, and has always been an elite gathering to link collectors to the source of the most modern art. Miami was chosen for several reasons, and especially because it is a stark contrast from Switzerland. For many, Miami Beach is the perfect spot to host an international getaway focusing on art. Well-known for having an exceptional tropical climate, the city has a long-rooted history in modern art, the glamorous nightlife, and it is a very raw, real place where there is a vast amount of contemporary, edgy art happening all the time. Add in location: being a central hub, a converging point between North America, the Caribbean, and Latin America makes for a prime situation. Definitely not stuffy, very laid back, and plenty of fun!

This is the most exclusive showing of art that happens between North and South America, with galleries from all over the world exhibiting. From Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, and all throughout Latin America, in upwards of 260 major galleries will be present. From December 1st through the 4th, Miami Beach will be one non-stop party, with art by over 2,000 different artists.

Being the 10th year, expect bigger and more intense presentations than ever before. Art Basel Miami Beach will be debuting its collaboration for public art with the Bass Museum of Art. Numerous free viewings, special events, and great performances will be happening throughout the city. Collins Park will be filled with incredible art and art performances, with both well-known artists as well as up-and-comers. At SoundsScape Park, Art Video is going to be exhibited, which is a first for Art Basel Miami. This venue holds the enormous outdoor projection wall on the New World Center, which was designed by Frank Gehry.

As one of the biggest events to hit Miami every year, with an influx of many thousands of people, it can only be imagined the lack of ease which getting a hotel room can be. As most people have booked well in advance, your chances of landing a room at a five-star hotel in the area are very, very slim. Favorites this year are The Setai, The Mandarin Oriental, The Ritz Carlton South Beach, W South Beach, and The Standard. If you were ahead of the curve, and booked with us, chances are right now you are enjoying the art as well as the Exclusive Complimentary Perks! Otherwise, good luck, and enjoy the art!