Category Archives: Luxury Hotels & Resorts
- Published:June 4, 2014 1:17 pm
The rise of the boutique hotel started in the late eighties and has gradually been gaining momentum for the past couple of decades before interest exploded in the past five years. With quirky design features and off beat offers along with stylish furnishings and an often enviable location in the heart of fashionable or up and coming areas there is no wonder that these independently owned hotels have gained a loyal following. Now these boutique accommodations are spreading their wings and opening up at the top of mountains, in the deepest of countryside’s and in the remotest of moors.
- Published:April 11, 2013 10:47 am
Puerto Penasco, Mexico or Rocky Point as we Americans call it, was a sleepy little fishing village until U.S. tourists discovered it in the early 1990s. Since then it has grown into a full-fledged vacation destination for travelers from all over the world. There are several resorts dotting the beach, but the most luxurious of all is the renowned Las Palomas Beach & Golf Resort.
Luxury means different things to different people, but Las Palomas seems to cover them all. Ease of booking is one sign that a property has gotten customer service right and nothing is easier than booking a stay through Las-Palomas-Resort.com. The site is easy to navigate, the prices are definitely reasonable, and if you have any questions whatsoever, just shoot them an e-mail or give them a call. The staff speaks English well and is extremely knowledgeable and courteous.
Another common qualifier of luxury is food and food service. Las Palomas has two fine dining restaurants where I found the food to be extraordinary. If I felt like Mexican, it was the best Mexican food to be had in all of Rocky Point. But, if I felt like French or Mediterranean, that was available too and just as delicious.
The rooms at Las Palomas are impeccable. They have a variety of room styles to choose from. If you’re on your honeymoon or a romantic getaway for two, their honey suite is beautiful! If you are taking children with you and would like some privacy for yourself, multiple bedroom units are available.
For me, the mark of a resorts luxury is their pool. Las Palomas has five cascading pools that are just steps from the beach. Around them is a canal that floats lazily in circles that you can float. I spent a whole day in a beach chair just watching the tide go out and come in. So gloriously lazy and my true definition of luxury!
Check the property out at Las-Palomas-Resort.com. You’ll be amazed that such elegance is so affordable.
- Published:February 25, 2013 1:20 pm
The southern state of Florida is the perfect destination for family holidays because of the wide range of activities on offer.
One of the ultimate activities to get your blood rushing is surely experiencing a hurricane and that’s exactly what you can do at the Tampa Museum of Science and Industry. You’ll be placed in a chamber with 74mph winds and (harmless) flying debris.
But if you don’t want your holiday thrills to be quite so scary, then swimming with dolphins might be more preferable. Marine wildlife centres in Florida provide the opportunity to meet these amazing mammals. After some training, you will feel confident that you’ll get the most out of your time with these and other curious sea animals. Should bigger teeth appeal, then the sharks in the controlled environments of the Florida Aquarium and Sea World might be more your thing.
If the water is your preferred way of seeing Florida, you could kayak around the Keys and go snorkelling to see what there is below the waterline. A slightly more relaxing airboat trip can allow you to explore the waterways of the Everglades. While you are in the boat the local wildlife will keep its distance, but if you’d rather get up close and personal then stop off at Gatorland to see the alligators.
Another option is to take to the trees and travel along the Myakka Canopy Walkway suspension bridge, for a unique view of the area.
Excitement for All
For the would-be pirates in your family, Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise will be just the adventure they are looking for, with fancy dress and face painting completing the effect of the high-seas experience.
Many people put the Disney Parks at the heart of a trip to Florida and will probably have allowed several days to cover these world-famous attractions. You may not be able to see and do everything, but don’t worry because they will be even bigger and better next time you visit.
Exploration and Discovery
Sea World is another of the attractions which draw visitors to Orlando. But did you know you’ll also meet some land animals? The flamingos and parrots might not get excited by the killer whales any more, but they’ll be keen to meet you when you come.
A treat for budding pilots is the National Museum of Naval Aviation, which has a huge range of military aircraft and free air shows from March to October. And the Stars and Stripes Goodyear blimp is housed at the Pompano Beach Municipal Airport, where your children can learn how this unusual craft stays up in the sky.
For those who prefer flight outside the Earth’s atmosphere, a trip to Kennedy Space Centre is essential. The visitor centre shows the history of space travel and shares the stories of the scientists who’ve made it happen, as well as those who tragically lost their lives taking mankind to the stars.
Rest and Relaxation
Golf is popular in Florida and there are courses for every age and level, from miniature golf for the less serious to a PGA-standard course at Palm Beach Gardens.
Even if your entire holiday is spent lying on the beach, you can have a fantastic holiday in Florida as it has a spectacular coastline. Florida’s beaches are regularly cited as the best in the US and they perfect if all you want is relaxing holiday basking in the sun.
- Published:January 17, 2013 9:09 pm
Once you have made the decision to holiday in the UK, your thoughts will inevitably turn to the types of accommodation available in your chosen area. Traditional options such as hotels, B&Bs and holiday parks are all still around, but one of the most popular types of holiday accommodation these days is the self catering cottage. The range of holiday cottages in the UK is simply vast with every budget and requirement being catered for. If you don’t know your holiday destination all that well you would be wise to seek out a specialist holiday provider who can give you the benefit of their local knowledge whilst helping you to find the accommodation that will suit you best.
The first thing you need to think about is what you will be doing when you are on holiday. If you are planning an action packed time with sports and activities then you would be best suited to a property which is near to the local attractions so that you don’t spend too much time travelling around. If you want your holiday to be peaceful and relaxing with some gentle activity then perhaps you would prefer a quiet cottage in a rural location with beautiful views and good places to eat or drink nearby. If you have a baby or young children in the family then there are holiday homes specially geared up for the safety of little ones. If you want to take the family dog with you then some properties will also accept pets. These things are what makes a self catering cottage so special – you can choose the options that are important to you and as a result your holiday will be so much more enjoyable.
By booking with a holiday cottage agency you can also be sure that your chosen property will be inspected and rated by a professional, which cuts out the risk of nasty surprises that could arise when booking directly with a property owner whose idea of ‘luxury’ ends up being somewhat different to your own. If you are planning a holiday to celebrate a special occasion or for a family reunion then there are some fabulous large houses which can accommodate the entire family in the height of luxury. If you are travelling as a group but want to stay in your own separate accommodation your agency will be able to suggest accommodation where you can block book several properties so that you are all close together.
As with most things in life it is the little touches that make all the difference. Look out for those special features such as a pool or garden, or an open fire or wood burning stove for your winter break and you can guarantee that you will be selecting the ingredients of a holiday that you will remember for years to come. Many holiday properties get rebooked by the same people year after year which goes to show that once you have found your perfect accommodation you will want to stay there again and again!
- Published:November 29, 2012 2:31 pm
With so many impressive destinations for short city break holidays in the world, it’s the ones with the glitz and glamour that tend to stand out from the crowd. And most seasoned travellers would agree that none of them, despite their range of landmarks and attractions, can match the wow factor that’s found in Hotels in New York City .
The Big Apple offers excitement at every turn, and if you’ve never been before you’ll be pleased to know you can do it in style. Here are five of the very finest accommodation options and luxury hotels in New York City.
This world-famous establishment is located conveniently on Central Park South, close to the city’s most fashionable shopping district and of course just across the road from the park. As you might expect from a top New York hotel, former guests include many of the world’s showbiz elite. The Beatles stayed there during their first visit to the city, when they were riding the initial waves of Beatlemania. Previous owners include Conrad Hilton and Donald Trump.
In a city which honours instant gratification, it’s reassuring that old-fashioned elegance is still highly valued. The Waldorf-Astoria represents a sense of style that is perhaps more associated with a bygone age, which perhaps explains its on-going popularity with the landed gentry of the world. Located on Park Avenue in midtown Manhattan, close to Grand Central Station, the original hotel stood on the site now occupied by the Empire State Building.
Building a 42-storey grand hotel in 1930, just in time for the Great Depression, didn’t show the most fortunate timing, but early problems were never going to prevent the Pierre from becoming one of New York’s favourite establishments. With jaw-dropping views of Central Park and a number of superbly appointed suites to offer the most discerning guests, not to mention one of the city’s finest restaurants, this stunning monument to luxury continues to make the headlines.
The Upper East Side is one of the most fashionable districts of New York, thanks to the proximity of the park and the plethora of museums, grand residential homes and trendy stores. The Carlyle has become synonymous with the Kennedy administration in recent decades, thanks to JFK’s ownership of an apartment within the hotel. The wonderful Café Carlyle is one of the Big Apple’s finest jazz venues, and regularly features performances from the great and good.
Located in a beautiful modern skyscraper that towers over Columbus Circle close to the south-western corner of Central Park, the Mandarin Oriental has rapidly become one of the city’s most popular Hotels in New York City. In many ways, the views of the city, whether across the park or over the Hudson River, provide the most memorable aspect of a stay, thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows that are a feature of many of the rooms, suites and communal areas.
- Published:November 28, 2012 2:27 pm
Ashdown Park Hotel is situated in East Sussex between East Grinstead and Crowborough. With an 18 hole golf course, a Country Club which houses a spa, restaurants and a wedding venue, there is not much left out. Sussex is notorious for its beauty and arresting scenery. For cyclists, there is a myriad of routes in the grounds of the hotel not to mention nearby Ashdown Forest, a cyclist’s dream. The hotel has a choice of rooms and suites and are fully equipped with everything you need. Ashdown Hotel is also dog friendly making the surrounding forests and grounds ideal for long country walks. Ashdown Forest is the inspiration for the author AA Milne, who created the famous Winnie Pooh character.
The stunning Sussex countryside is a wonderful backdrop for a wedding venue and Ashdown Hotel has it all covered. A converted chapel is an option for a wedding service or The Summer House is available, situated on a quiet lawn and with breathtaking landscapes, there will be no shortage of scenic choices to enhance wedding photographs. The hotel caters for smaller intimate weddings or the banqueting suite can seat up to 150 people for larger wedding parties. A wedding day is to be remembered for more than just the marriage and this hotel smattering the country’s favoured scenery will be a fine choice for a wedding.
Fine dining here is well known throughout the county and The Anderida Restaurant offers glorious food for discerning palettes. The restaurant has an extensive wine list and offers a meeting room for business lunches or Sunday lunch. If a more relaxed and informal atmosphere is preferred then The Fairways Lounge has a bistro style ambience where light bites are available throughout the day. Ideal for ravenous golfers ambling up from the 18th hole.
- Published:November 20, 2012 3:20 pm
Luxury Hotels in London
Luxury, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, so any list of the most luxurious hotels in any given location is always going to be an objective one. This is especially true in London, where a great many hotels compete with one another to be the very best, and to offer the finest accommodation experience to guests.
Here are five of the most iconic Luxury Hotels in London to be found in what is perhaps the world’s most impressive city.
Built in 1931 and located on London’s fashionable Park Lane, the Dorchester has been one of the world’s top hotels for many decades. Known for its high standards of luxury throughout, it has played host to many famous names. During World War Two, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower had a suite at the Dorchester, and it bears his name to this day. A major refit in the late 1980s has kept it as modern and stately as it has always been.
Neoclassical, stately and beautifully appointed, the Ritz Hotel is a firm favourite with visitors from all over the world. It was built to resemble a fashionable block of Parisian flats in 1906, with grand arcades beneath it. As well as providing guests with rooms and suites that offer everything they will ever need, visitors can enjoy an afternoon of elegance and class when they arrive for Tea at the Ritz, a London tradition.
On the corner of Brook Street and Davies Street in the heart of Mayfair you’ll find the distinctively unmistakable frontage of Claridge’s, one of the world’s most famous hotels. A list of the great and good who have visited or stayed there reads like a Who’s Who of the world, and would include Queen Victoria, Empress Eugenie, Alfred Hitchcock, Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, Mick Jagger and Brad Pitt.
If you ever see a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, you will be looking at the phenomenon that led to the construction of one of the world’s most celebrated hotels. It was built by theatrical impresario Richard D’Oyly Carte from the profits of his G & S shows, and it first opened in 1889. Located on The Strand, the world-famous French chef Auguste Escoffier once delighted diners with his wondrous creations.
Most of the Luxury Hotels in London date back many decades, but The Lanesborough has only been a hotel since 1991. One of the major attractions for this former hospital is its location on Hyde Park Corner in Knightsbridge, making it convenient for all the major attractions as well as some of the world’s most fashionable shops. It offers guests 50 rooms and a total of 43 suites.
- Published:November 15, 2012 8:36 am
The Dominican Republic has been a popular destination for a long time, particularly for couples looking for a bit of luxury R&R and honeymooners.
The weather is great most of the year round, the beaches are stunning and the sea is a deep crystal blue. During the 1980s, many Dominican Republic resorts had a bad reputation for cases of food poisoning and tourists becoming ill from drinking the water. The industry has since cleaned up it’s act and all is forgotten, and I for one was thrilled.
The Barceló Puerto Plata
I stayed at the Barceló Puerto Plata on the Playa Dorado, located on the North coast of the island. With my 2 week all-inclusive holiday everything was provided, from use of the tennis courts to all food and drink in their many restaurants. The bedrooms are stunning, lovely pressed linen, great bathrooms, all cleaned and serviced everyday. I didn’t want for anything – I needed some clothing washed, reception sorted it out. I needed a lounger and canopy on the beach, it was done instantly. I was only short of having someone with a big palm fan to keep me cool in the blazing sun. Although I’m sure if I’d have asked it would have been sorted out.
The one downfall with many all-inclusive breaks is the dining choices resorts offer. Not so with the Barceló. There are numerous a la carte restaurants including Brazilian, Mexican, Italian, seafood and oriental which were all included in the cost of the holiday. No buffet stews that have been sitting there for 3 hours. What a relief. You are expected to dress fairly smartly though – no flopping about in bare feet and a sandy t-shirt.
The only thing that wasn’t included in the cost of my stay were trips out of the resort to do adventurous things like 4×4 driving and speed boating. The excursions were a little on the expensive side, but I guess worth it if you get bored from watching the world go by, a million miles away from depressing British weather. Personally I opted for another glass of wine and the knowledge that I could go 4×4 driving local to home.
Overall the Barceló resort was luxury holiday-making at its finest. Like many of the ‘tropical’ destinations however you’ve got to put your blinkers on a little – enjoy your stay, the weather and the service. The Dominican Republic is a desperately poor country, still troubled by political strife. It’s next-door neighbour Haiti even more so.
It’s not really advisable to go wandering off out of the resort with your bumbag full of travellers cheques for two reasons:
- Tourists are vulnerable and easy prey.
- It might actually make you think about how far the money you’ve spent on the luxury holiday would go if given to a local family.
- Published:November 13, 2012 10:46 am
City living may not be to everyone’s taste, if only because it’s never easy to put up with congested streets, bustling sidewalks and polluted air. However, city break holidays are becoming increasingly popular around the world, because they give the visitor a wonderful taste of metropolitan life in an iconic location without the need to commit to living there.
One of the best, perhaps even the very best, of them all is Paris. The elegant, beautiful and atmospheric French capital is home to some of the world’s most familiar landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and the Louvre Museum. And when it comes to accommodation, nobody does style and luxury quite like the French. Here are five of the finest hotels the City of Love has to offer.
Now part of the Four Seasons group, this elegant establishment is located in Avenue George V, just off the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. For the ultimate luxury, the Royal Suite offers antique furniture, a private terrace and marble bathrooms. Although the suite is among the most expensive in the world, the luxury is well worth the outlay.
Hôtel de Crillon
On the Place de la Concorde, just a stone’s throw from the Jardin des Tuileries, you’ll find the historic Hôtel de Crillon. This spectacular building was originally constructed as a palace under the orders of King Louis XV in the 1750s. While there are a great many luxury accommodation options in the heart of Paris, few can offer their guests a heritage as rich as the Crillon.
Hôtel Le Bristol Paris
Each of the 188 rooms at the Hôtel Le Bristol Paris is decorated in the classic 18th century style, although the hotel in its current incarnation has its roots in the 1920s. Its location, on the Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré, is popular with lovers of fashion and the arts. During World War Two, the hotel became a safe haven for Americans who were living in Paris during the conflict.
Avenue Montaigne is home to some of the most famous designer stores in Europe, with names such as Vuitton, Lauren and Chanel gracing the shopping area. At number 25 you’ll find the stylish Plaza Athénée, one of the most fashionable hotels in the whole city. Famous guests of the past include Rudolph Valentino, Grace Kelly, Gary Cooper and the exotic American-born dancer Josephine Baker.
Located on the Rue de Rivoli and just across the road from the Jardin des Tuileries, the Hôtel Meurice has been welcoming refined guests from all over the world since 1815, originally in Rue Saint Honore (the current building has been used since 1835). As you might expect from such a luxurious establishment, it has played host to the great and the good for many decades, and perhaps the most notable of all was the painter Salvador Dali, who was a regular visitor to the Meurice for at least thirty years.
- Published:October 23, 2012 9:13 am
Cornwall represents one of the best places in the UK for a holiday, and is particularly recommended for cottage stays. The South Western county provides ideal coastline for surfing, and is dotted by historic towns like Liskeard, Penzance and Newquay, as well as by major landmarks such as the Eden Project. When visiting Cornwall, it is worth taking advantage of various sized cottages and lodges, which provide opportunities for affordable self catered trips and exploration of a local area. Cornwall can be reached in about three to four hours from London, and has a relatively temperate climate compared to the rest of the UK. Some of the best accommodation picks and areas for the Cornish coastline include:
1 – Cottages in St Austell
A stay at a converted fisherman’s cottage in the town of St Austell can be a great experience for a family. Cottages around the fishing village are affordable and within a short walk of the town’s harbour, pubs and shops. A four bedroom or smaller cottage can also act as a useful base for a short trip to the nearby Eden Project, as well as Cornish World and the Bodmin countryside. Other nearby attractions include the Lost Gardens of Heligan, which feature some of the most unique examples of British plant life, and are housed on the Heligan estate.
2 – Around Penzance
Further West down the coastline is Penzance, one of the largest and most visited towns in Cornwall. Penzance is notable for its proximity to Land’s End, and for its nearby surfing, as well as for its granite cottages and converted farmhouses. The town also features excellent art galleries, as well as a network of local pubs and regular festivals, which include the Golowan Festival in June. Penzance is on the South West Rail route from London, with the journey taking about four hours.
3 – Larger Family Cottages in Bude
The coastal town of Bude towards the Northern coast of Cornwall is recommended for its variety of large and more compact family and single dwelling cottages, which afford views over the town’s harbour, or are tucked away in the countryside near to the coast. Bude itself is close to the Devon border, and is distinguished by its harbour, several medieval churches, and Sandymouth Beach, which features multiple coves and cliff top walks.
4 – Cottages near St Ives
A cottage stay near St Ives also provides an excellent base for exploring the Western part of Cornwall, with other options including camping and staying further alongside the coastline. St Ives is defined, in part, by its history as an artists colony, and for its continuing commitment to pottery and crafts through the Tate St Ives gallery and the Barbara Hepworth Museum. A cottage or camping stay near the town can also provide access to regular St Ives Festivals, which include the St Ives Feast and West Cornwall May Day.
5 – Falmouth and the South Coast
The Southern part of the Cornish coast offers similar options for self catered cottage stays, camping, and other forms of accommodation. One of the best areas to stay in is Falmouth and its surrounding areas on the Roseland Peninsula. Falmouth has a long history as a fishing port, and includes the National Maritime Museum, as well as art galleries, and the nearby Pendennis Castle and St Mawes Castle, two forts built during the reign of Henry VIII.