Monthly Archives: February 2017

The Top Suites at Palms Casino Resort

Palms Casino Resort is among the few hip, boutique locations in Las Vegas that offers guests the chance to stay inside any of their uniquely designed, one-of-a-kind themed suites this summer. Now though August 31, 2017 Palms is offering up to 50 percent off normal rates, making it the perfect time to check out what they have to offer.

“When it comes to the luxe collection at Palms, guests have to see it to believe it,” said GM Jon Gray. “Every suite and penthouse is an unforgettable experience unto itself. From incredible themed suites – such as the Real World and Hardwood Suites – to gorgeous villas and penthouses, these accommodations sit at the pinnacle of luxury. The choices are endless.”

We recently took a tour of these unforgettable suites and were in awe of their design, functionality and whimsy. Offerings ranged from opulent to zany, and everything in between. Here’s an overview of what Palms offers.

Two Story Sky Villa
Complete with floor-to-ceiling windows, the Two Story Sky Villa provides over 9,000 square feet of jaw-dropping amenities including a personal elevator and a glass-enclosed cantilevered pool with breathtaking views of the strip. Guests are welcome to indulge in this home away from home suite with butler service, a massage area, and fitness rooms.

One Story Sky Villa
Lodge in sophistication and elegance in the One Story Sky Villa with stunning features like the oversized, rotating King bed, a dry sauna and a wet bar with stocked upon arrival. With room for up to eight guests, visitors can ride in style with top-of-the-line car service with routes to and from the McCarran International airport.

Hot Pink Suite
The Hot Pink Suite includes 2,350 square-feet of vibrant décor, pink furnishings and custom art perfect for a bachelorette weekend. The Hot Pink Suite includes a relaxing Jacuzzi tub and a steam shower for the ideal relaxation getaway. The two-way fireplace will have guests feeling cozy before heading out to Ghostbar with complimentary VIP passes.

Real World Suite
Live like a reality star in the Real World Suite with up to 3,000 square feet of space including a full kitchen and a wet bar for hosting friends. The Olhausen pool table and the state-of-the-art LCD and plasma TVs are perfect for entertaining. Guests can visit and vent in the original “confessional” during their stay at the Real World Suite.

Crib Suite
Fist pumpers can indulge in the exclusive luxuries offered at the Crib Suite and take live their rockstar dreams in the room’s DJ booth. The featured king-sized bed takes sleeping to another level with an exclusive hydraulics system. The Crib suite is complete with the saltwater tank, filled with exotic fish for an ocean-like oasis.

Celebrity Suite
Experience the lifestyle of the rich and famous at the Celebrity Suite. The stylish, Hollywood-inspired design and astonishing views of the city will have guests feeling the limelight. Ritzy features including seven TVs, marbled bathrooms and a shower unlike any other with a dancing pole and neon lighting will have guests glammed and ready for a night on the town.

Hardwood Suite
Calling all ballers! The Hardwood Suite is every basketball fans fantasy complete with an indoor basketball court, a professional locker room, and XL Murphy fold out beds on the court. As the largest suite at the Palms with over 10,000 square feet, guests can enjoy two floors of luxury with a well-appointed dance floor, a pool table, and 24-hour butler service.

Erotic Suite
Couples are invited to a sexy affair in the Erotic Suite, embellished with electric red leather and brushed metals. The eight-foot bed with Egyptian bedding is paired with a mirrored ceiling to keep things really interesting. Enjoy a shower and a show with the dancing pole and nightclub inspired lights. VIP passes to Ghostbar are included with the stay.

The hotel is in Devon

The hotel is in Devon, on the Teign River, inside the borders of Dartmoor National Park, just under four hours drive from London, or a 30-minute drive from Exeter. Dartmoor’s famous for stubby little Dartmoor ponies, Bronze Age stone circles, and for the dramatic, moody, moorland landscapes that have worked their way into English literature, including Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes novel ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’. There’s murder, violence and reports of a giant, killer dog on the loose in Dartmoor in that book. Our time in the area is far more pleasant.

Almost everything here at Gidleigh Park, apart from the food, feels like spending time in a traditional English country house from the old days. The house makes a real impression on arrival, finishing a long country drive at the end of the driveway to be met by lively, welcoming staff who help with our bags and check-in. We’re shown to our room, down corridors with plush red carpets and glass cabinets displaying train models, such as the Mallard, the walls covered with old maps and illustrations of English gentlemen with ladies in fine evening dresses.

The Relais & Chateaux luxury hotel is set in 55 acres of gardens and woodlands, and feels instantly remote and distant from modern life. Lookout out of our window, we can see the river, neatly tended gardens with colorfully flowered bushes, a tennis court, and woodland. The room itself has a great deal of space to relax in, and continues the traditional feel of the country house with coffee tables, a big chest of drawers and a dressing table all made out of sturdy wood, that was built to last. Shelves are laden with china plates and there are parrot statues lined up to look out over the gardens.

There are a few modern touches, though, including the bathroom, which is divided from the bedroom by a thick slab of glass, a raised wooden platform with lights fitted into it where there’s a standalone bathtub, a bright bathroom and walk-in rain shower. L’Occitane products, present here, probably weren’t around when the house was built either.

We spend an afternoon strolling around the herb gardens, following the river through the woodland and lazing for a while in the long warm grass in the house’s grounds.

So far, so traditional. The food at Gidleigh is far from old-fashioned, though. Executive chef Michael Wignall is one of the UK’s most respected chefs, having won Michelin stars in every kitchen he’s been in charge of in the last two and a half decades. His two Michelin-starred restaurant at Gidleigh is a big reason why people come.

Before we start the 10-course tasting menu, we sit outside in the warm summer evening and drink a couple of Gin & Tonics. A waitress shows us to our table in the quiet restaurant. The tables around us are mostly full, but diners are talking in a hushed, reverent volume; food here, clearly, is treated with respect.

There are signs of Wignall’s Asian influences Asia, too, in the selection of small, neatly presented Japan-esque amuse bouches right at the start and the later Thai mango with cashew, lemon verbena and puffed wild rice. He uses plenty of local ingredients here, including lettuce and herbs from the garden, as well as Salcombe crab and Brixham cuttlefish, both from Devon. A favorite dish, perhaps, is the Cassoulet of Shell, light razor clams, langoustine and squid, with cuttlefish gnocchi and quail egg for a bit of richness. But every dish, given a quick introduction from an enthusiastic waitress, has something novel and surprising about it, as well as an artful touch.

Breakfast is back on more traditional, less experimental grounds. A hearty buffet is laid out to help ourselves from, while coffee, tea and toast are brought to our table, which looks out of the window onto the sunny lawns. The menu has English classics, including the ‘Full English’ (eggs, sausage, bacon, Bury black pudding, grilled tomato, fried potato and mushrooms), Porridge and Eggs Benedict, but I go for the Kippers, a generous helping of warm, smoky, oily fish with parsley and lemon butter, a satisfying and warming start to the day.

The Most Adorable Hotels in France

1.Hotel negresco

With its grand spaces, this landmark Art Deco property may not be adorable in terms of size, but it has delightfully enchanting features. The five-pearl hotel capitalizes on whimsical decor in vogue during the period, such as canopy chairs, and playful themes, including the dreamy La Rotonde carousel restaurant and a circus tent bathroom for gents on the hotel’s ground floor. Guest rooms are done in range of styles, from lavish 18th-century to attractive Art Deco, and many have bathrooms with colorful, sparkly sinks and bathtubs.

2.Le clos chateldon

This romantic little bed-and-breakfast, with striking cobalt blue double front doors and shutters, is located in the medieval town of Antrain, close to the border of Normandy. It has only three guest rooms, a lovely back garden with a reflecting pool, and a parlor with a fireplace decorated with thoughtful details like a handsome chess board, a mini grandfather clock, and a floral terrarium in the window. Two bedrooms have traditional French 18th-century decor, and the third — the Venetian Room — features beautiful hand-painted furniture and Venetian carnevale mask

3.Le lapin blanc,Paris

Fans of “Alice in Wonderland” will be in heaven at this boutique hotel. Le Lapin Blanc (The White Rabbit) has framed sketches, vintage books, and assorted curios related to Lewis Carroll’s children’s tale filling the lobby. There are soft, pastel hues and playful but chic decor throughout, with a mix of mid-century modern and Scandinavian furniture. There are plenty of retro details, like the breakfast area’s Smeg fridge and princess rotary phones in its 27 guest rooms. The adorable factor comes from the tiniest details: white mugs with cottontail handles, vanities with basin sinks tucked into power-blue tiled nooks, and bedside tables that resemble stacked marshmallows. While the look is storybook-sweet, the overall effect has a sophisticated flair with a romantic vibe.

4.Hotel Le Faugcigni,Chamonix

Fans of “Alice in Wonderland” will be in heaven at this boutique hotel. Le Lapin Blanc (The White Rabbit) has framed sketches, vintage books, and assorted curios related to Lewis Carroll’s children’s tale filling the lobby. There are soft, pastel hues and playful but chic decor throughout, with a mix of mid-century modern and Scandinavian furniture. There are plenty of retro details, like the breakfast area’s Smeg fridge and princess rotary phones in its 27 guest rooms. The adorable factor comes from the tiniest details: white mugs with cottontail handles, vanities with basin sinks tucked into power-blue tiled nooks, and bedside tables that resemble stacked marshmallows. While the look is storybook-sweet, the overall effect has a sophisticated flair with a romantic vibe.

 

A Beachfront Resort Sets the Bar High

Basics

Now that long-divided Sri Lanka has achieved peace after a 30-year civil war (it ended in 2009), hotel developers are rushing in to capitalize on the country’s pristine Indian Ocean beaches and tropical jungles, stately Colonial-era architecture and Buddhist temples. While smaller luxury hotels are cropping up on the island nation, Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort, which opened in December 2015, is the country’s first full-blown waterfront resort: a sprawling but graceful compound of 152 rooms and villas, a spa, beach cabanas and infinity pools. Its third restaurant, Verele, opened in October, raising the chic factor considerably.

Location

The resort sits on a 21-acre former coconut plantation, just outside the fishing village of Tangalle on Sri Lanka’s southeastern coast. Several of the region’s main attractions, including the walled colonial city of Galle (home to elegant cafes, art galleries, and boutiques) and the temple complex at Wevurukannala (where a gold-painted, 160-foot-high Buddha statue looms above surrounding village rooftops), are within an hour-and-a-half drive of the property.

The Room

For about the same cost of a room at a fancy American hotel, I splurged on a private villa with its own deck and small infinity pool, and a view from sliding glass doors across palm-shaded lawns. The décor was standard upmarket beach-resort fare: coral tile floors, a soaring roof with ceiling fan, plain cream-colored walls and upholstery in tones of sandy gold. There were some nice indigenous touches, though, like a carved teak-and-rattan settee and pair of chairs with curving armrests. A family of wild peacocks visited daily, including a preening male who seemed to like to admire his reflection in my windows.

The Bathroom

My villa’s bathroom was enormous, with a free-standing tub (which I never used — the weather was too hot and humid for a soak) and a long double vanity leading to an open, tiled rainfall shower area. One wall of the bathroom had floor-to-ceiling windows looking over tropical flower beds, which I would have loved to enjoy while showering, but landscapers occasionally passing by with wheelbarrows made me self-conscious. Closing the slatted window shades felt like a shame.

Dining

The property opened with just two restaurants. Il Mare, set on a bluff overlooking the beach, serves upscale Italian cuisine like handmade pastas and herb-crusted tuna along with a Continental wine list. At the more informal Journeys, the menu changed daily to reflect a different culinary destination, though I preferred its permanent selection of traditional Sri Lankan dishes, like coconut-sauced prawns and local banana-leaf-baked fish. At the new beachfront Verele, dishes such as chili-spiced short rib and seafood yakitori are flame grilled and served beneath a pair of dome-shaped pavilions.