January/February 2005  






Before it even opened for business, London’s new five-star Courthouse Hotel Kempinski boasted a celebrity guest list that includes Oscar Wilde and Napoleon III as well as rock stars John Lennon, Mick Jagger, and Keith Richards.  That’s because this posh address on Great Marlborough Street, steps from Regent Street and Oxford Circus, once belonged to England’s second oldest magistrate’s court.

The Courthouse Hotel Kempinski has 103 rooms and 13 suites, with the suites located in the former judges’ robing rooms. The spectacular Lalique Suite occupies the former London residence to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner. The 103 rooms are housed in a brand new wing built on the site of a former police station, holding cells and a shooting range.

The Spa has a fully equipped gymnasium, which is separated from the dramatic wet areas by a glass wall. The wet areas comprise a hot tub and a large square swimming pool. There are two aluminium treatment rooms with glass floors, one of which is suspended over the pool.

There are three dining areas; ‘Carnaby’s’, with a separate street entrance, offers all day dining with a lively, buzzy atmosphere. ‘Silk’ is located within the infamous No. 1 Courtroom where the great and not-so-good have pleaded their cases in previous years. The ‘Waiting Room’ is transformed into an elegant palm-filled atrium in which to relax and enjoy breakfast, light meals and afternoon tea.

‘The Bar’s’ clubby atmosphere is emphasized by low seating, a wall-length glass bar and a monochrome design scheme of black and white leather. The three former Ladies’ Cells are retained, though upgraded, to offer intimate, private booths, complete with bunk bed and ice-bucket charmingly fashioned from the original Victorian lavatory!

The ‘Roof Terrace’ is the ultimate retreat and an exclusive rendez-vous where one can enjoy light meals and exquisite cocktails overlooking Liberty’s of London and Carnaby Street.

For more information, visit www.kempinski.com.






The “New” Clinton Hotel, a luxury design hotel and spa in Miami Beach, celebrates the completion of a multi-million renovation with the new Panico Salon & Spa. The 88-room Art Deco hotel is located in the heart of South Beach’s fashion and entertainment district.

Panico Salon & Spa, one of the largest privately-owned salons in the New York metropolitan area, has now arrived in Miami. Located on the Clinton’s fourth floor sundeck, the salon and spa offers a full menu of spa services including body care, facials and massages. Signature treatments include Aqua Man Massage and Facial, Back to Basics Marine-Mud Mask, Beauty on the Go Facial, and Tight Bod Body Mask. For a more private setting, guests can also have massages and treatments in the comfort of their room.

The salon provides hair cuts, highlights, styling, deep conditioning treatments and styling products as well as manicures, pedicures and body waxing.  Visit www.panico.com , for more information.

The Clinton Hotel is located at 825 Washington Avenue. For more information and reservations call 305-938-4040, or visit www.clintonsouthbeach.com.





During the winter off-season, through March 27, the Silverado Resort in Napa Valley offers a 40 percent reduction on the price of its junior, one- and two-bedroom suites. "We call this our 'suite season' because it is such a terrific savings for our guests; because they are accommodated in suites," says Dan Edson, director of sales and marketing for the Silverado Resort. "The off season in Napa Valley provides guests with all the wonderful benefits of the destination - great food, museums, spas, and of course, wines - but without the higher prices."

Rates per night are $180, all week, for a junior suite; $195 for a one-bedroom and $255 for a two-bedroom Sunday through Thursday, and $245 for a one-bedroom and $295 for a two-bedroom Friday and Saturday. (Summer rates range from $290 to $460.)

The Silverado property includes a 16,000 square foot spa with 16 treatment rooms, an exercise facility, a full service salon, two championship golf courses, 17 tennis courts, 10 swimming pools, volleyball courts and jogging trails.

For reservations call 707-257-0200 or 800-532-0500; for more information, visit www.silveradoresort.com.






The Gideon Putnam Resort and Spa and the historic Roosevelt Bathhouse in Saratoga Springs, New York have reduced the price of the "Total Spa Retreat" package to $260 per night (based on double occupancy), an 18 percent reduction from the regular price of $318. Available Sunday through Thursday, it includes two nights at the hotel, breakfast for two one morning, dinner for two one evening, two mineral baths at the Roosevelt Bathhouse and two one-hour massages.

"The Total Spa Retreat package is a perfect opportunity to sample the offerings of the newly renovated Roosevelt Bathhouse," says Gregg Balton, general manager of the Gideon Putnam Resort and Spa. The Gideon Putnam Resort and Spa has completed a major renovation that enhanced both the Bathhouse and the hotel. Closed since 1997, the historic structure now houses a 13,000-square-foot spa, 42 private rooms with bathtubs for experiencing the resort's signature effervescent mineral baths, salon, a retail shop, fitness center and Vichy shower. Renovation projects within the hotel included enhancement of all 120 guest rooms and many public spaces.

For reservations, call 800-732-1560 or 518-584-3000; for more information, visit www.gideonputnam.com.






For an indulgent getaway, the Hotel Villa Portofino on California’s Santa Catalina Island, offers a "Pamper Package” priced at $171 per person, plus tax during mid-week (weekend rates start at $253.50 per person, plus tax, for two nights. The package includes a "mini-cruise” aboard sleek Catalina Express boats regularly scheduled from San Pedro, Long Beach, and Dana Point. Upon arrival in Avalon, guests are transported to the hotel via taxi minivan. Once settled, they are welcomed with a bottle of premium California champagne. Each guest has a choice of a 50-minute Swedish, Thai, or Aromatherapy massage at the deluxe Island Breeze Spa, located only a few short blocks from the hotel. Guests can personalize the package by having a massage in the privacy of their room. For more information, call 888-510-0555 or visit www.hotelvillaportofino.com.






As of February, there will be one more luxury spa destination on Mexico’s Mayan Riviera, the beachfront Esencia in Xpu-ha. The 50-acre, 29 room and suite retreat is the home of an Italian Duchess who discovered the essence of life, love, nature and beauty in this privileged spot. Guests can even rent her private oasis, the Suite de Rosa, with its spacious living room, huge terrace, his and hers baths, solarium, and plunge pool. Other options include four ocean view suites and a five-bedroom house complete with its own full swimming pool, entertainment center, gourmet kitchen with a cook, butler, and English-trained nanny. Elsewhere on the property are two more swimming pools, multi-lingual nannies, and a “cenote,” a Mayan tradition. The Duchess’s beauty secrets are also shared at the Organic SPA, which features native herbs, natural oils, fitness center, yoga, and meditation. Esencia is a 20 minute drive from the ruins at Tulum, a short ride from the Playa del Carmen, and 45 minutes from Cancún International airport. Rates start at $375 a night. Call 877-528-3490 or go to www.hotelesencia.com.






The first international luxury spa evaluation and certification program, Leading Spas, will be the benchmark for global luxury standards in the spa and hospitality industries.  To achieve this prestigious certification, a hotel’s spa facilities and services must pass a rigorous inspection process that encompasses more than 200 criteria. All hotels that have been accredited as Leading Spas are designated with a special icon in the 2005 Directory of The Leading Hotels of the World.

“While many hotels and resorts purport to have ‘full-service spas,’ until now there has never been a global accreditation and certification process,” said Paul McManus, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd.

“Based on the model we developed with our joint venture company Leading Quality Assurance, the inspection and evaluation process for Leading Spas dictates that the facilities and services at a hotel’s spa meet strict and measurable criteria. It is imperative that guests using a Leading Spa have a truly luxurious experience.”

Of the 90 Leading Hotels that requested the Leading Spas inspection, only 48 met the requirements.  Among those selected are such venerable properties as Brenner’s Park-Hotel & Spa in Baden-Baden, Germany; The Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland; the Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa and Lausanne Palace & Spa in Switzerland. Also named to the list are the newly opened Carlisle Bay on Antigua; Miraval - Life in Balance in Arizona; and Mantra Punta del Este in La Barra, Uruguay. Information and reservations for Leading Hotels of the World are available at www.lhw.com or by calling (800) 223-6800.






Spa Montage recently introduced Surrender Retreat, a four-day intimate retreat focusing on enlightenment of the senses and an in-depth understanding of body, mind and spirit. The Surrender Retreat begins with a phone conversation with a personal Surrender therapist and fitness trainer prior to arrival to determine the guest’s optimum treatments. The therapist and trainer then partner to develop an enriching four-day program, including two hours of fitness and two hours of spa treatments daily. Other highlights include meditation, healthy cooking classes led by one of the resort’s stellar chefs, and journal writing. The final night gala includes dinner at the exclusive ‘Chef’s Table’ in the award-winning Studio restaurant. Built into the four-day retreat is plenty of spare time for attendees to reflect, rest and experience the luxurious amenities of Montage Resort & Spa.

The Surrender Retreat is offered Sunday to Wednesday, and the following dates have been set for 2005: January 23 – 26, March 27 – 30, and April 24 – 27.

Rates start at $4,790 single occupancy; or $3,890 per person based on double occupancy. The package includes three nights in an oceanview accommodation, attendance at all Surrender events (including spa treatments and meals), overnight valet parking, taxes and gratuities.

Space is limited at each session, so guests are encouraged to book early. For reservations or more information on the Surrender Retreat, call Spa Montage at 1-866-695-6669 or visit the website at www.montagelagunabeach.com.






Osmosis, the only cedar enzyme bath spa outside of Japan will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2005. A special feature of the spa is the recently opened meditation garden, which includes a large koi pond, water irises, aromatic chamomile lawns, sculpted conifers, Japanese maples, a soothing waterfall and swaying bamboo. This sanctuary was designed to enhance the spa experience, particularly the heightened state of sensory awareness that follows a cedar enzyme bath and massage. For more information, visit www.osmosis.com.






Childbirth is a major event in a woman’s life, and now Barefoot & Pregnant, the first spa of its kind nationwide, offers an experience that caters exclusively to the mother-to-be. Guests are greeted with soft filtered light, the subtle sounds of a wall-hung fountain and portraits of pregnant women. Located in Mill Valley, California, the spa offers a variety of forums, classes and specially tailored treatments, like Step Moms and Pre-natal Yoga. For more information, visit www.barefootandpregnant.com.






At Jamaica’s Superclubs, “airport transfers”-- that vague term in fine print that can mystify even the most seasoned traveler -- is now something to look forward to, as SuperClubs announces exclusive airport amenities for guests of the Grand Lido Resorts in Jamaica. On arrival in Jamaica's Montego Bay International Airport, Grand Lido guests can await their "Lidosine" in an exclusive upper-level reception lounge, before they are whisked off to their Super-Inclusive vacations at either the Grand Lido Braco or Grand Lido Negril resorts. Most visitors to Jamaica have an airport transfer included as part of their vacation package; many wait 15 to 20 minutes before being “transferred.” This amenity makes waiting for the transfer part of the holiday. In the private SuperClubs Airport Reception Lounge, guests can relax, sip complimentary bottled water or use the SuperClubs’ Personal Computer stations to send free e-postcards to family and friends.

The SuperClubs' Lidosines feature custom coachwork on Mercedes Benz chassis; they have luxurious interior appointments, a private lavatory and complimentary bottled water.

When the Jamaica vacation nears its end, guests can squeeze in extra beach time on the day of departure; Resort On-Site check-in allows ticketed guests to check in for their Air Jamaica return trip while they’re still at their Grand Lido resort. Guests need only to stop by the resort’s front desk, where an airline representative will check travel documents and tickets, assign seating, issue a boarding pass and ensure that checked luggage is securely transported to the airport, through security and to their flight. Resort On-Site check-in is also available at Hedonism resorts.

For more information on SuperClubs Grand Lido Resorts, visit www.SuperClubs.com.






The Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa believes that during hectic times, families who relax together, stay together.” In response, the resort has introduced a Kid’s Spa Menu for travelers with tykes seeking a restorative getaway—together.

Featuring six distinctive treatments, the Kid’s Spa Menu is available for children age 7 and older. A parent must be present at the treatments, which include:

Mini Maple, $100 for 45 minutes. A mini-version of one of the spa’s signature treatments, this is a sweet treat without the cavities and empty calories. A gentle scrub feeds the skin with nutrients and a vanilla-orange body butter massage improves circulation. The maple used in the treatment is taken from local maple trees.

Rose Bud Wrap, $100 for 45 minutes. A kid’s version of the spa’s Roses All Over, this wrap begins with a gentle exfoliation followed by the application of a moisture-rich, rose-scented cream. Then, the spa-goer-in-training will be treated to a gentle neck massage while wrapped in a rose cocoon; the treatment is finished with a full body massage.

Massage Sampler, $90 for 45 minutes. The treatment begins with a Reflexology treatment for the hands and feet, followed by a gentle head, neck and shoulders massage.

Located at the AAA Four Diamond Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa, the 50,000 square-foot Spa at Stoweflake is Vermont’s largest and most inclusive spa, with 30 treatment rooms, six area fireplaces, 120 treatments, a 10,000-square-foot meditation garden and labyrinth and the Aqua Solarium the spa’s signature water treatment room.

For more information or reservations, call 800-253-2232 or visit www.stoweflake.com.






 For the second year in a row, Miraval, Life in Balance near Tucson, Arizona was ranked #1 Destination Spa in the World by the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine. In the October 2004 issue, readers rated “destination spas” from around the world on five essential characteristics: treatments, value, accommodations/ambience, service and food, ranking Miraval on top overall, as well as #1 in treatments, service and food.

In celebration of this honor, Miraval is offering the Ultimate Package from January 1st (based upon availability); starting at $550 per person/per night/double occupancy for a Deluxe Room with no minimum stay, it includes:

-A bottle of chilled Champagne upon arrival

-Luxury accommodations and use of complete resort facilities--three pools, spa, hiking trails, tennis courts, fitness facility, horse stables, yoga center, etc.

-Three gourmet meals daily and all non-alcoholic beverages

-One spa service per day/per person – such as Hot Stone Massage, Ayurvedic body treatments, hydrotherapy and facials – or one round of golf (up to a $110 value)

-One extra spa service per stay/per person ($110 value)

-Unlimited access to all scheduled programs, including Pilates, equine experience, challenge activities, biking, meditation, nature programs, nutrition and cooking classes

-Round-trip transportation from Tucson International Airport

Miraval is a member of Leading Small Hotels of the World. For further information or reservations, phone 800-232-3969, or log onto www.miravalresort.com.





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