Category Archives: Hotel and Resort

Vietnam Checks Out Country’s Hotels

“If you’re only going to visit Vietnam once there’s no doubt this is the way to do it,” said Andrew Carroll, global head of sales & marketing at Exotic Voyages.

The journey begins at one of the South East Asia’s most storied hotels, Sofitel Metropole Legend, which first opened in 1901. Steeped in history, former guests include such luminaries as Charlie Chaplin, Somerset Maugham and Graham Greene. In 2009 the property underwent such a dramatic restoration that it landed on Conde Nast Traveler’s Hot List – normally reserved for new hotels.

The property offers respite during a two-night stay with days spent immersed in the local food scene with everything from a market and street food tour to sampling egg coffee (a sweet, soft meringue-like topping over strong Vietnamese brew) in the cafe where the popular local drink was first created.

Guests then head north to Halong Bay, where thousands of limestone karsts pepper teal waters. Accommodation for the night is on a Paradise Luxury Cruise, a 41-meter-long boat with four spacious decks, a spa, Jacuzzi, restaurant and bar. In the morning the experience reaches new heights with a 25-minute seaplane tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Departing from the country’s French colonial past the traveler’s next stop is a stay at the country’s hottest hotel debut, The Reverie Saigon. Unapologetically opulent and quite unlike anything Vietnam has seen before, the design is all Italian with Italy’s best furnishing brands collaborating on the interiors. During the three-night, four-day stay in the city, guests visit Cu Chi, a vast network of tunnels used by the Viet Cong during the war, and have the additional options including taking in the city by night with a Vespa tour.

The last three nights of Quintessentially Vietnam are at Amanoi Ninh Thuan, a secluded beach retreat near Nha Trang, where guests can unwind with complimentary water sports from sailing to snorkeling at the resort’s private beach, on the tennis court, or with a daily yoga and Tai Chi class. The special offer also includes a free upgrade to an Ocean Pavilion room, and a complimentary bottle of wine and Vietnamese dinner set for two.

The new package can be booked from January 10th to March 31st, 2017 with travel taking place between January and October 2017. Rates start at US$2,982 per person and vary depending on the month of travel. The US$1900 saving, off Exotic Voyages regular price, is based on two persons sharing accommodation. The offer excludes international and domestic airfares and meals and drinks not mentioned in the full itinerary.

The Shore Club is the first resort

The Shore Club is the first resort to position itself on the previously untapped Long Bay Beach. The early word on this $100 million development of oceanfront suites and luxury villas is “incredible.”

Stan Hartling is the developer who brought The Sands and The Palms to Grace Bay Beach. After personally living on secluded Long Bay, Hartling decided to go all in on this 2.5 mile-long beach located on Providenciales southern coast.
The Shore Club opened to rave reviews in December of 2016, and trailblazing guests are thrilled to find a property that is exclusive, serene, and accents custom amenities not found anywhere else. The resort features classic West Indies architecture, three restaurants, three pools, an oceanfront spa, a tennis court, and wraparound views showcasing a massive expanse of “only in Turks and Caicos” oceanfront.

Shore Club’s Grand Reveal
Turn right at the sign marked Shore Club and drive a half mile from Providenciales’ main Leeward Highway. You’ll surge with anticipation upon approaching the Shore Club’s elegant stone gateway. You’ll feel an airy spaciousness at every turn on this 25-acre resort. Your connection with abundance is evident inside the sprawling and high ceilinged welcome area and again throughout the property’s walkways.
New guests are escorted past the breakfast garden, Sui-Ren restaurant, Colonnade pool with its fire pit in the center, and on to their private quarters. Elevators are specific to your room, and the ride to your suite is one of eager excitement.
Once inside your chosen accommodations it’s time for the grand reveal. In each case, an ocean view for the ages. Here is where you’ll catch your first glimpse of what makes The Shore Club’s location on Long Bay so special.

Exceptional Balcony Views

Long Bay was Providenciales’ under-the-radar beach prior to Shore Club’s opening. There is one exception to Long Bay’s Cinderella existence. Kite surfers discovered, years ago, that the beach’s tradewinds and shallow water made it a perfect venue for vaulting airborne. Turks and Caicos Kiteboarding School is located about a half mile east down the beach from The Shore Club. The acrobatics of kiteboard enthusiasts make the Shore Club’s amazing ocean views even more extraordinary.
Grab a cocktail or your favorite book and settle in for something fantastic on your wraparound balcony. With nary a sound other than crashing ocean waves, it’s impossible to not watch the hypnotic choreography of kiteboarders in the sky. If you desire even further landscape imagery, about a mile west down the beach are riders on horseback under the guidance of Provo Ponies.

Choices, Choices, Choices
If relaxation is numero uno as to why you chose Turks and Caicos’ Shore Club, then prepare to unwind in Caribbean style. The Shore Club features three Dune Spa cabanas that are strategically placed to deliver awesome views of the Caribbean Sea. The cabanas are set up for both individual and couple-centric massage treatment sessions.
If all this relaxing stirs an appetite, realize that the Hartling Group went to great lengths in making the Shore Club a food lovers haven. The Sui Ren restaurant is the only one in Turks and Caicos to offer a menu that blends Peruvian and Asian-inspired delicacies.
When in Turks and Caicos, you may not want to leave the pool or beach. The Shore Club provides personal concierge, butler, and round-the-clock service for savoring food, cocktails, or Providenciales’ trademark sunshine.
For those who believe that privacy drives where you do or don’t go on vacation, The Shore Club’s forward-thinking design has A-listers in mind. Each suite has a matching air conditioned underground garage, a Caribbean first. Simply take your suite’s elevator to where your chariot awaits. In other words, the Shore Club has thought of everything for making your Turks and Caicos vacation a picture-perfect escape.

Spa Resort and Hotel hot

 The large spa resort is in Cancun, the popular and busy tourist epicenter of the Riviera Maya in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. Just a short drive from Cancun airport, it’s situated in a strip of beachfront hotels.

We arrive at the driveway leading up to Le Blanc, an impressive blocky building of pure white walls, with silvery metal modern art sculptures of palm trees in a pool at the front. All that white could be intended to have a cooling effect in the Caribbean heat, but it also makes the hotel look fresh and modern.

Our bags are taken from the car and we check in, an instantly relaxing experience, with warmed beanbags placed around necks and shoulders, champagne flutes filled with coconut milk (more white) and a flower given to my girlfriend. The lobby is large and white, and feels slightly space age and spa-like, a long hallway leading to a gleaming white piano/cocktail bar. The whole place is bright and airy.

We pass the bar and take a lift up to the ninth floor. Of all the white spaces at Le Blanc, this is a favorite: the central triangular courtyard, lined with suites, has long white curtains cascading down the nine floors to a water fountain below, the creamy white walls of the corridors given an orange glow from big blocky cube lamps. It creates quite an atmosphere.

It’s no surprise by this stage to open the door and see a suite decked out in white, with creamy white marble flooring and white walls that look like it hasn’t been very long at all since they had a fresh brilliant coat. The bed – white, of course – is large and supremely comfortable, but in case it isn’t quite to our liking, there’s a pillow menu to request lavender, camomile, goose feather… Another menu offers aromatherapy for the room, with fragrances like lavender or vanilla and sandalwood. Large glass vases on either side are filled with dry branches that look sea-weathered and rustic.

The bedroom has a big TV, which connects up to devices, if, for example, you have own Netflix account. There’s an iPod dock too for music. The bathroom has another TV, this one embedded in the mirror, which is framed by brilliant white lights above a white marble sink. There’s white marble in the shower too, with Bulgari products across the board. The room has a sizeable hot tub too, which you can ask staff to prepare for you or run for yourselves. It combines well with a bottle of Champagne and a fresh bucket of ice.

By the bedroom’s large window, there’s a little table with a fine view out over the deep blue Caribbean sea and a long stretch of sand and hotels. There are far worse spots in the world to sit and drink a bottle of wine, or dig into the mini bar/fridge for Johnny Walker Black Label or Centenario tequila, all of the drinks included in this all-inclusive hotel.

Having arrived in the evening, we get to properly explore next day. The property has three swimming pools, but we spend the most time at the deep blue infinity pool looking out onto the beach and ocean. A swim-up bar is a fun place to order mezcal cocktails and pina coladas or try something new, while waiters also deliver snacks and drinks to the sunloungers. Gently clubby music playing in the background adds to the hedonistic feel. Occasionally, we wander down to the beach and spend time on the loungers on the sand or swimming in the ocean, joined by big pelicans who dive for fish or enjoy a relaxed float.

There’s everything you need at the hotel, so unless you’re taking a day trip to the Mayan ruins of Tulum and Chichen Itza, or to explore cenotes (sinkholes) or swim with turtles, it’s pleasant to just kick back and relax.

There’s no prize at this stage for guessing that the spa here is also white. After a shot of pineapple, apple and mint juice, I’m lead from the white front room into a calmer, dimly lit space, the candle-like lights flickering orange on the walls. There are menus here too, a choice of aromas (I go for almond) and a menu of music (I pick ‘Asian’), before settling in for an incredibly relaxing 50-minute holistic massage, with hot stones placed over a blanket first and then a firm massage from feet to back and shoulders. It’s relaxing enough that, after a few cocktails too, I nod off here and there.
At the end of each lazy day, we make our way past the piano bar, where a cellist plays a recital one evening, a solo saxophonist another, for dinner. There are three restaurants, all included in your stay, but in-demand Lumiere requires reservations.
popular and almost-full BlancItalia is brightly lit and all-white, with modern Italian food, from starters like an artily presented mozzarella and tomato salad with nuts and pesto to mains like a rich pasta stuffed with cheese with lobster and roasted tomatoes. My girlfriend particularly enjoys shrimp served on black ‘angel hair pasta’, flavored with grappa.

Spa Resort

We discover that the vibrant friendliness, courtesy, and attentiveness we’re feeling is part of the Pueblo Bonito culture. The December 2016 opening of The Towers is part of a resort within a resort concept that Pueblo Bonito is thrilled to introduce. The overwhelming early response on The Towers is evident in a winter occupancy rate of 94 percent.

The sun rises, and we start the day with a hot cup of coffee on our balcony. Our suite’s sweeping view of the Pacific Ocean is a great way to recharge. We’re on vacation, so we saunter down for breakfast at the Peninsula Restaurant. We savor juice, fruit, and a croissant while observing the artistry of the early morning Towers sand sculptor. We are captivated watching Juventino shape a giant image of the sun on the beach. We learn that guests make special requests for what they’d like as tomorrow’s image. This breakfast is one for the memory books as we ponder what’s on our first day’s itinerary.

We are energized by our satisfying breakfast, so we sneak a glance at The Towers poolside activity board. The eclectic array of options have us thinking twice about staying in relax mode. The activity board reveals that, amidst perfect 82-degree temperatures, we can indulge in salsa dancing, beach yoga, blackjack strategy, Spanish lessons, learn the perfect Margarita recipe, or even take on Thai boxing. On our first day in paradise, boredom is nowhere to be found.

Ocean Golf, Whale Watching, and Best in Spa

Pueblo Bonito’s The Towers has aligned itself with some of the most famous brands in the world. None other than Jack Nicklaus designed Pueblo Bonito’s new golf course. A three wood down the beach from The Towers is the amazing Quivira Golf Course, an 18-hole layout featuring extreme elevations and more ocean holes than any course in Los Cabos.

If you wish to experience one of Cabos’ natural wonders, then an excursion is in order. Your concierge or butler can arrange for a whale watching tour. Los Cabos’ Pacific Ocean is famous for its steady humpback and gray whale migration during the winter months.
For many, simply relaxing is why they choose The Towers and Los Cabos. Plus, the word is out that Pueblo Bonito’s Armonia Spa is rated as one of the Top 5 Spas in the World. We are in a no-lose situation while contemplating healing therapies, anti-aging facials, or the intriguingly titled Four Hands Massage. At a destination where the air is exceedingly fresh, there is even a treatment billed as the RoyaL Oxygen Body.

Resort Luxury with Heart
After an excursion, spa treatment, golf, swimming at the pool, or a delicious meal at one of The Towers’ four restaurants, we decide to stretch a bit and explore the beautifully landscaped grounds. Five minutes into our walk we stop dead in our tracks and ask about the colorful ornaments hanging from the trees.

The courtyard trees showcase a family of glass hearts. Some are red, some are white, and some are gold. What is the story behind the hearts? At the core of this multi-million dollar resort is an unspoken pledge to honor the Los Cabos environment. In a destination where the air is so fresh and the marine life is so plentiful, the hearts are a reminder to nurture what draws vacationers to the Baja.
The hearts are created by a local artist from the hundreds of pounds of recycled glass that the hotel generates. Pueblo Bonito believes it’s important to give something back. This imaginative touch is another example of how The Towers is a luxury resort with heart. On our last day at The Towers, we bid farewell to Alexis, and take a deeply purposeful breath of extreme Los Cabos air. That’s when it hits us that The Towers at Pacifica has collected another heart. This time they’ve stolen ours.

A Modern Wine Country ‘Throwback’

If Napa Valley’s immense popularity has kept you at bay for fear of crowds, traffic ensnarements, and three-deep wine tasting bars, consider a visit to sister valley Sonoma.
Just beyond Napa’s western hills lies this quieter version of wine country. Locals describe the area as what Napa used to be – quaint, authentic, and unspoiled. And no better representation of Sonoma’s relaxed and genteel aura will you find than MacArthur Place.

MacArthur Place on your travel wish list:

A Sense of Place

Originally a prestigious 300 hundred-acre vineyard and working ranch with prized trotters, the lush 19th century estate – originally owned by the founder of Sonoma Valley Bank – is now home to this luxurious inn and spa. The focal point, the original two-story manor house – believed to be one of the oldest Victorian homes in Sonoma – is set off from the street by the original white picket fence. 64 luxuriously appointed room and suites within 20 buildings now line the property, each maintaining the integrity of the original Greek revival Victorian-style design.
Location, Location, Location

Just four blocks from quaint Sonoma Plaza, MacArthur Place is perfectly situated for exploration by foot, bike (compliments of the hotel), or car. Sonoma’s historic Plaza is fittingly surrounded by historic sites such as Mission San Francisco de Salano, Jack London Park, and the home of General Vallejo. Check-out the nearby wineries (i.e. Buena Vista, Kendall-Jackson, Ferrari-Carano), shops, fine dining, and galleries. Peruse the latest selections at nearby Readers’ Books. Hike, bike, or jog the many local trails, play golf or tennis, horseback ride, or take a hot air balloon tour high above the valley. Whatever your pleasure, a leisurely stroll through the hotel’s own park like setting is a must – seven acres of lush gardens filled abundantly with roses and flowers, fountains, sitting areas, fantastical sculptures by local artisans, and a giant sized chess set.

Gracious Ambiance

Stepping into the hotel’s ‘library’ is akin to stepping into a Ralph Lauren ad. Sumptuous fabrics cover the overstuffed chairs and couches amongst which a blazing fireplace glows. Play chess, checkers, or any assortment of board games on the rich wood tables under amber-hued lighting. Check-out a DVD from the vast selection to play in your room which is similarly and opulently adorned: pillow-topped plush beds with down comforters and the highest quality linens, fluffy robes, fireplaces, original artwork, hydrotherapy tubs or rain showers, quality bath products, wet bars with Keurig coffee makers, an assortment of mini-bar drinks and treats, flat-panel televisions, and DVD players with six-speaker surround sound.

Delicious Additions

 Your MacArthur place stay includes a complimentary evening wine hour, and a lavish continental breakfast. Where warmer temps make Napa the king of cabernet, Sonoma’s cooler temperatures lead to the exquisite chardonnays and pinot noirs that are featured each evening from 5pm – 6pm in the library. A different label is poured each night, meaning longer term guests will get a nice sampling of the area’s bounty. A luxe cheese, fruit, and nut plate is also offered, as is a lovely tray of mini sweets. Relax, mingle with other guests, or grab a table next to the fire for a game of chess. In the morning, enjoy a bountiful breakfast buffet in the hotel’s restaurant: yogurt, granola, pastries, bagels, homemade jams and jellies, juices and coffee are served in a warm and welcoming setting. For dinner, you’ve got many neighboring choices, but why leave the premises when MacArthur Place’s award-winning restaurant ‘Saddles’ is just steps from your room. Saddles specializes in steaks, chops and fresh seafood, and is often named as one of the country’s best steakhouses. Located in the property’s original 5,000 square foot barn, the space honors its ranch heritage with authentic décor such as the display of colorful cowboy boots over the bar, and the playful use of leather saddles for some of the seating. The bar is known for its martini selection (more than a dozen oversized choices) and a wine list that features outstanding selections from Sonoma and Napa.

Resort-like Amenities:

A state-of-the art spa (in the site’s original pool house), heated outdoor pool, and whirlpool provide resort-like relaxation. The Garden Spa offers more than 40 different massage, facial, and body treatments, many utilizing aromatherapies derived from flowers, herbs, and plants found in the property’s gardens. Several treatments are wine inspired, such as the Red Wine Grape Seed Bath in the indoor 20-jet hydrotherapy tub, or a Chardonnay bath in the outdoor teak wine tub, each allowing for wine country immersion without uncorking and imbibing a single bottle, and proving there are many ways to enjoy the magic of Sonoma wine country.

Resort in Southern Sicily

 The Donna Coraly Resort is an oasis of style and tranquility.
History lies at every turn; the backdrop is of a fortified masseria dating from the 1380s with a moat and private family chapel, while secluded beaches, ancient sites at Syracuse, and magnificent baroque towns are a short drive away.

Today, it hosts a discreet and comfortable retreat run by Lucia Sinatra di Cameni, where luxury, style, relaxation, fine food, Sicilian wine and attention to detail are paramount.

Working tirelessly with architects and designers, she has transformed the rooms where the farm workers and their families lived for generations into the five intimate suites of the Donna Coraly Resort.
Each bear Sicilian women’s names, reflecting the strong matriarchy within the family: Carmello (the most popular female name on Sicily); Costanza (a Sicilian Empress); Angelia (after the heroine in the romance Il Gattopardo); Rosalia (the patron saint of the capital Palermo); and Maruzza (from the character in the novel Il Malavoglia).

Individually-designed, each has a private garden that leads down to the thermal pool within the rejuvenated botanical garden.
“The suites all complement each other in the detail, with the figurine heads of the ladies’ names they carry and with hand-painted inlaid tiles,” said Lucia.

When taking on the project, retaining her family’s farming heritage was central to the plan.

As we wander through the Hortus Conclusus – the revived estate garden – our path takes us beneath a jasmine arch to a traditional Sicilian carrubba tree with a stone monument commemorating the signing of the 1943 armistice.

“This is a replica,” explains Lucia, “the original having been destroyed. The US had requisitioned the estate as their headquarters in 1943 but the family was allowed to stay while the armistice was signed in the middle of farmland where the American tanks were lined up.”

The garden is now lovingly tended and laid out with cactus, lavender, rosemary, flowers and bushes. A 200-year-old cypress tree rises above while walnut, olive, almond, orange, lemon, avocado, mango, palm and fig trees grow nearby, with all nourishing the modern Donna Coraly kitchen.

“It is the re-creation of the Hortus Conclusus – the enclosed garden,” she continues. “We find people like to spend a lot of time here, either relaxing by the pool or walking around among the plants.”

Evidence of the horticultural past is all around – the cistern wall of the tank used to water the original garden survives and there is what was once the mill for olive oil production, a tradition Lucia is endeavoring to revive at San Michele

Food, wine and fine dining, as you would expect, are an integral part of the experience at Donna Coraly, a resort named after Lucia’s grandmother Coraly Grande Sinatra, who was a noblewoman with aristocratic links across Europe. The family are Italian barons even today.

Lucia and her staff have created a defining ambience to the resort. Time matters little; breakfast, lunch and dinner are designed to suit the guest, not the kitchen rota.

On lawned areas, we gather for pre-dinner drinks against borders of rich, white rose bushes, the blooming Snows of Etna variety. As the sun sets, our small group drifts towards tables for dinner, choosing from a traditional Sicilian menu of dishes such as aubergine parmigiana; seasonal vegetable flan; pasta of Penne “alla Norma” of aubergine and dry ricotta cheese; or spaghetti with bottarga: salted mullet/tuna roe.

My main course was the fresh fish of the day, sea bass, served with a light tomato topping, though fillet of veal/beef or succulent pig was an option and the almond parfait as dessert – although the chef’s Tiramisu was also popular. We finished with coffee and a sip of Amara, orange-tinged liqueur using Sicilian orange peel.

Lucia has created a wine list favoring the island’s wines where possible and to accompany our sea bass we savored the La luci Sicilia dop from Agrigento.

Guests stay at Donna Coraly – an hour’s drive from Catania airport – from two to 13 nights, often reluctant to move on from this Sicilian idyll.

Set off the beaten track, hiring a car is a wise move to explore the surrounding area of the island which holds immense variety from the maternal, yet maverick active volcano, Mt Etna to the wonders of Greek and Roman architecture in towns such as Agrigento, Syracuse or Segesta and the Norman cathedrals and Arabic masterpieces. The island bears the imprint of all who have passed through across the past three millennia.

Syracuse – the birthplace of mathematician Archimedes – and Ortygia is a 15-minute drive away to explore the city and Duomo and then experience the Greek and Roman amphitheatre, where you can see performances of Greek tragedy or opera during the summer evenings.
Nearby is evidence of the limestone quarries from which the amphitheatres were built and an intriguing ‘cavern’ 23m high and 65m long and known as the “Ear of Dionysius” for its superb acoustics.

The unique light in the cavern – named after ruler Dionysius I – was to prove an inspiration almost 2,000 years later to the renowned Counter Reformation artist, Caravaggio. That is most visible in the painting the Burial of St Lucia, which currently hangs above the altar in the church of St Lucia near the Duomo on Ortygia.

The baroque town of Noto is a 20-minute drive and there are several fine beaches and lidos including the lovely Porto Ulisse, with umbrellas and sunbeds laid out across the sandy beach, while Scicli – where the popular TV detective series Montalbano is filmed – is also worth visiting.the Donna Coraly Resort which, after sightseeing, offers a hideaway in the Syracuse countryside and time to relax by the pool amid stunning, scented gardens.


Historic Hotels of America honors

The 17 awards, announced during a gala dinner at The Pfister Hotel, ranged from Hotelier of the Year and Hotel Historian of the Year to Sustainability Champion and Best Historic Restaurant in Conjunction with a Historic Hotel.

“Mr. George has an amazing craft of storytelling and leads his history talks as if he were reliving a memory. His attention to guest satisfaction and his warm welcome to each guest makes all who enter The Battle House a WOW Experience!” wrote Battle House General Manager Margo Gilbert in her nomination letter for Moore.

The Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa’s rotunda is one of myriad architectural highlights found in the more than 160-year-old hotel in downtown Mobile

Gilbert also noted Moore was one of the first people hired to “bring ‘Mobile’s Living Room’ back to life,” when it reopened in 2007, following a 30-year hiatus and full renovation.

“As the hotel’s historian, (Moore) has toured thousands of guests through the historic Battle House. He goes above and beyond in everything he does. So much so, we named our gift shop after him. From helping royalty during Mardi Gras to listening to elderly women reminisce about their proms here to welcoming international business leaders to our vivacious city, Mr. George has done it all and done it well,” she wrote.

The Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, , Golf Club & Spa in Point Clear, Ala., was named Best Historic Hotel in the more than 400 guest-rooms category Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013, during the Historic Hotels of America 2013 Annual Awards at The Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, Wis. (File photo)

Lawrence Horwitz, executive director of Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide, said Thursday’s honorees represent the finest in the nation.

“They inspire travelers to discover and experience the treasures where America’s history was written,” Horwitz said.

Other 2013 award winners are as follows:Historic Hotels of America New Member of the Year: The Jefferson in Washington, D.C. (1923)

Historic Hotelier of the Year: Dennis Costello, Historic Hotel Bethlehem in Bethlehem, Pa. (1922)

Best Small Historic Inn/Hotel (under 75 rooms): The Wort Hotel in Jackson Hole, Wyo. (1941)

Best Historic Hotel (75-200 rooms): Gettysburg Hotel in Gettysburg, Pa. (1797)

Best Historic Hotel (200-400 rooms): Ojai Valley Inn & Spa in Ojai, Calif. (1923)

Best City Center Historic Hotel: The Willard InterContinental in Washington, D.C. (1850)

Best Historic Resort: French Lick Resort in French Lick, Ind. (1845)

Hotel Historian of the Year: Bob Tagatz, Grand Hotel in Mackinac Island, Mich. (1887)

Legendary Family Historic Hoteliers of the Year: The Morrissey Family, The Saint Paul Hotel in St. Paul, Minn. (1910)

Best Historic Restaurant in Conjunction with a Historic Hotel: Plume at The Jefferson in Washington, D.C. (1923)

Best Social Media of a Historic Hotel: The Stanley in Estes Park, Colo. (1909)

Historic Hotels of America Sustainability Champion: Timberline Lodge in Timberline, Ore. (1938)

Historic Hotels of America Heritage Award: The Marcus Family, The Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee (1893)

Historic Hotels of America Community Leadership Award: The Lenox in Boston (1900)

Historic Hotels of America Lifetime Achievement Award: Thierry Roch, former executive director, Historic Hotels of America

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.