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It’s hard to top the oceanfront setting at Dune restaurant at the One&Only Ocean Club in the Bahamas. I love dining alfreso on the deck at the elegant, oceanfront pavilion and the food is always a treat (though the bill is usually gut-wrenching). On my recent visit, I also spent a night in one of the Crescent Wing’s beachfront units. While the resort’s exterior is doused in a light shade of pink with white accents (you may recognize the stately, columned main house and lobby from the James Bond movie Casino Royale), room interiors boast rich, mahogany furnishings, hard-wood floors, and mahogany louvered sliding doors which open onto a private terrace with straight-on ocean views. A large, open bathroom comes with a pretty mosaic-tiled tub, separate stand-up shower, and his and hers sinks. Talk about five-star service – we even had our own butler for the day who was up for anything from fetching ice to comandeering a Blackberry charger. Rooms also come with fresh fruit, replenished daily, complimentary high-speed Internet, DMX Satellite TV, and a private bar. We took a complimentary yoga class in the morning by the beautiful Versailles pool and terraced gardens (instead of the oceanfront deck since it was drizzling) and had breakfast on the beach; cushioned loungers, sun block, magazines, and an attentive wait staff are all available on the sand.
For more trip-planning information, see our Bahamas Travel Guide.
The economic turmoil that has rocked Europe in the past weeks has a silver lining for American travelers – a plunging euro has lead to the lowest exchange rate in years. You can take advantage of the strong dollar with discounts at a brand-new property from Abercrombie & Kent Villas. High season weekly rental rates for Villa Kieta on the Cote d’Azur (also known as the French Riviera) are now over $2,500 less than they were just a few months ago – a savings of about 15 percent. The 4-bedroom villa situated on 12 acres overlooking the Bay of Cannes sleeps up to 10 (eight adults and two children), with all the lavishness you’d expect from A&K: second-floor terraces, a gym and sauna, and a 50-foot outdoor pool with stellar views of the bay. Should you need to leave the secluded property, the beach is just a 5-minute drive away, and it’s less than 10 miles to the restaurants and nightlife of Cannes. www.akvillas.com
For more trip-planning information, see our French Riviera Travel Guide.
The Deal Save over 20 percent on rates and pay half price for golf and tennis fees.
Stay North of Jacksonville, the sprawling Amelia Island Plantation encompasses live oak groves, tidal marshes, and sand dunes. All 259 rooms of the inn grant ocean views and balconies.
Details For $199/night, Sherman’s readers score a deluxe oceanview room, daily breakfast, and 50 percent off tennis and golf fees at four area courses. This offer is for April through June 30 stays.
Book It Call or book online and use the code STREAD; 866/669-6491; aipfl.com.
From the Spring 2010 issue of Sherman’s Travel magazine.
After a few delays, Fashion 26 – a new fashion-inspired Wyndham property in New York’s Garment District – opened April 13. I recently stopped by the hotel to see just how stylish it really is.
First off, Fashion 26 is set back from the street slightly allowing the building to have a working driveway, somewhat of a rarity in NYC. The sleek lobby includes small touches from the fashion world. The front desk resembles a cutting room table, while the artwork above it is made from 1,632 spools of thread. The overall vibe draws from classic American style like Ralph Lauren. One quirky program sure to encourage guests to look their most fashionable: each day the person deemed to be the Best Dressed Guest is featured on the Fashion 26 blog – and receives a free upgrade for the night!
There seems to be a pattern to the luxury resort scene on the islands of Hawaii. Large, opulently designed facilities perched on expansive, manicured grounds; Lavish patios with large pools and sun bathing acutremants; fancy celebrity chef-run restaurants and lounges; and in-house activities to keep you constantly entertained.
By our standards, and undoubtedly anyone’s, these are amazing features. But sometimes to truly relax, you have to steer clear of the over-developed path, give up a few of the packaged, big ticket amenities, and embrace simplicity.
Luckily at Hotel Renew, Honolulu’s first designer boutique hotel, simplicity does not cancel out luxury.
Here again with news of yet another New York City hotel opening – but this one is the most affordable to date. The Distrikt Hotel, opened on February 1, is offering spacious rooms from only $159/night! The hotel goes for a boutique feel with a New York theme. The city is represented (somewhat abstractly) throughout the hotel: floors are designated by neighborhood with a colorful photo collage of say Tribeca or Harlem displayed in the floor’s hallway (decoration within rooms, on the other hand, is the same regardless of which floor you chose); the hotel’s restaurant and bar features locally brewed beers and homegrown Long Island wines; in the lobby, a wooden map of Manhattan sits behind the check-in desk and an 11-foot grassy “living wall” installation represents Central Park. Its 155 rooms (video preview above) are simple, clean, and modern with great perks for the price like free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, iHome docking stations, Frette bedding and robes, and ECRU New York bath amenities. Go for a room on a higher floor (16 and up) for views of the west side and Hudson. All this attention on New York ‘hoods yet its own locale is the dismal Port Authority zone – the high-rise sits across the street from the station on 40th, next to layers of scaffolding (another hotel is underway next door) and a New York City Parole Office down the way. Despite the drab street, Times Square subway stations are two blocks away and prices really can’t be beat.
Deal: Stay two nights through March 31 and get the third night free, plus a complimentary room upgrade, a welcome basket from Dean & Deluca, and a “Distrikt Kit” with city maps and coupons.
For more budget hotel ideas, check out our Top 10 City Hotels Under $100.
Shangri-La’s newest Beijing property, the China World Summit Wing, is rushing towards a December debut in the main tower of the landmark China World Trade Centre (pictured). Soaring 81 stories over the city’s bustling business district and directly opposite the (almost) equally elevated Park Hyatt Beijing (which opened a year ago this month), the tower is currently Beijing’s tallest. The Tihany-designed hotel, perched atop the loftiest floors (starting at 64), is set to offer some seriously unsurpassed views of the country’s capital city.
The 80th-floor Atmosphere bar and 77th-floor CHI spa will both be the highest such facilities in Beijing – with an observation deck, aptly dubbed The Peak, located on level 81 (and featuring private dining). All 278 guestrooms and suites (among the city’s largest at 700 square feet) wouldn’t be complete without floor-to-ceiling windows, free Wi-Fi (bet on unbeatable signal strength), Nespresso machines, walk-in closets, and 17-inch TV screens sleekly embedded in the bathroom mirrors. An indoor infinity pool and outdoor rooftop pine garden provide relaxing respites, with a Japanese eaterie, high-end Chinese-Cantonese restaurant, and New York grill rounding out the facilities food-wise. Ooh la-La…
Lake Placid, the site of the 1980 Winter Olympics, is just as much a summer town as it is a beloved ski destination. In summer, the sparkling waters of Mirror Lake and Lake Placid are irresistible (swimming, boating, and kayaking are big draws here) and outdoor enthusiasts can hike the mountain trails of the Adirondacks’ 46 peaks, including Mt. Marcy, the highest peak in New York State. The town is quaint – its main drag lined with shops, restaurants, and a few wine shops stocked with vintages from local Hudson Valley wineries. There’s also the Olympic Center which pays homage to sport sensations (this is where the US hockey team beat the Soviet Union and figure-skater Sonja Henie received one of her three gold medals) and houses four ice rinks. And you can’t miss the Olympic Jumping Complex where 90- and 120-meter ski jumps tower above the aspen trees; you can see professional skiers jumping even in summer.
I stayed at two great hotels there last weekend: The Whiteface Lodge and the High Peaks Resort. Read on for my reviews and to watch two video previews. Read more
Set amid a striking natural harbor and backdropped by imposing jade-colored mountains, Asia’s hyper-vertical metropolis commands attention from any angle, at all hours. But Hong Kong’s famed views are perhaps best savored over the city’s equally celebrated cuisine.
For a quintessentially scenic lunch, ascend Victoria Peak by tram for dim sum at Tien Yi in the renovated Peak Tower shopping complex. With its lofty panoramas of Hong Kong and the surrounding islands, this restaurant is a must, especially for those accustomed to eating their barbecued pork buns and shrimp dumplings in gaudy Chinatown banquet rooms. Ask to sit next to a window overlooking Victoria Harbour, and you’ll understand why the restaurant’s name means “the pinnacle of the world.” Read more
Stay: Room Mate Migueletes, another fantastic low-cost, high-design property from Spain’s Room Mate hotel chain, is ideally located in Albayzin, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and housed in a 17th-century mansion-cum-chic boutique with Moorish charms and views of the Alhambra. Deal Details: Receive a 20 percent discount on any room, two passes to the 14th-century Alhambra palace, plus breakfast and Wi-Fi. Rates start from just $143/night in June. Book It: 34-958-210-700 (code Sherman’s Travel); www.room-matehotels.com.
From the April/May 2009 issue of Sherman’s Travel magazine
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