A rendering of the Gansevoort Las Vegas.
There’s going to be a new boutique hotel in the heart of the Strip. Set to open early 2014, the Gansevoort Hotel Group and nightlife owner Victor Drai are teaming up to create an “intimate urban resort” in what was once Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon, spending about $185 million to revitalize the aging property.
Las Vegas isn’t exactly known for its intimate hotels, with towering skyscrapers and over-the-top buildings dominating the scene, so the Gansevoort Las Vegas will be leading the trend as the only standalone boutique resort on the Strip. READ MORE
Though we may be a bit bias, we certainly believe Toronto is a world-class city worth visiting. From its amazing restaurants, to the great shopping, and cultural flair, it’s pretty hard not to be entertained in Canada’s biggest city. When it comes to deciding where to stay that can be a challenge, mostly due to the fact that there are so many outstanding options.
In the past few years, the city has seen the opening of more than a handful of luxury hotels open, from the Four Seasons to the Ritz-Carlton, meaning whether you’re coming to party with your girlfriends, have a romantic weekend pour deux or are here on business, you won’t be disappointed. Read on to find out our top 10 picks for hotels in Toronto.
A room at the Park Hyatt Sydney.
Hyatt Hotels recently asked the age-old question, “What do women want?” or more specifically, “What do women travellers want?” After spending 18 months conducting interviews with female guests and using one of their properties as a testing ground, the brand introduced a range of services and amenities this past week across all of its hotel and resorts worldwide. Although the services and amenities aren’t limited to women-only, they certainly had women in mind when making the additions. READ MORE
Found in the heart of Central America, visitors who flock to this naturally diverse country tend to come for adventure — be it surfing, hiking up volcanoes or zip-lining through the trees. With eco-tourism being a huge draw, Nicaragua had not been privy to any ultra-luxury accommodations — until now.
Officially opening to the public February 1, 2013, Mukul Resort and Spa can be found on the country’s Emerald Coast, sitting pretty on a 6-kilometre stretch of white sand beach. The location of Mukul is a huge part of the resort’s allure. The Emerald Coast is on the Pacific-side of Nicaragua and is home to pristine jungles, soaring cliffs, and untouched beaches. The 37-room boutique resort itself has more than 1,600 acres of vegetation, making you feel like you’re literally in the jungle, hiding away in your own private paradise. READ MORE
A bedroom at the Soho Beach House Miami.
We’re kinda really into the idea of getting all-access to a members-only club without paying full price. Can you blame us? One of the most exclusive members-only clubs around is the Soho House. With locations all over Europe and North America including London, New York, Berlin and most recently Toronto, the chain has branched out to include restaurants (some of which are open to non-members) and hotels. READ MORE
The grounds of Aranwa Sacred Valley. Photography by Justin Harrington
As far as I have travelled and as many places as I have seen in the world, one of my favourite countries continues to be Peru. From my first visit in 2010 to my most recent trip last May, I can’t get enough of this South American country, the food (quinoa, anyone?), the language (I’m slowly honing my Spanish skills), the incredible scenery (I’ve hiked Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu twice) and the people (I’ve made many life-long friends on my trips).
One of the most magical and stunning places in Peru is the Sacred Valley. Renowned for it’s rich Inca heritage and history, once you find yourself in the middle of the Andes and next to the rumbling Urubamba River you will forget about anything else except the beauty and quietness of it all. The perfect place to take all of this incredible scenery and history? The Aranwa Sacred Valley Hotel & Wellness next to the Vilcanota River. Just an hour from Cusco and 30 minutes from Ollantaytambo (where you catch the train into the village of Machu Picchu), this hotel is the best spot to refuel post-Machu Picchu hike, or before so you get fully acclimated to the altitude.
Here are some highlights about the Aranwa Sacred Valley Hotel & Wellness.
My room at Aranwa Sacred Valley. Photography by Justin Harrington
Photography Knut Ramstad.
Norway’s capital, Oslo, has yet to have a waterfront hotel until now. What’s even more interesting is that this luxe waterfront property has a storied past — it was formally an 18th century prisoner colony. Jails turned hotels aren’t new (there’s The Liberty Hotel in Boston and the Malmaison in Oxford), and aside from the name, you’d never know The Thief was a destination for criminals.
Opening its doors January 9, 2013, 119-room hotel is located in Oslo’s trendy neighbourhood of Tjuvholmen in the city’s downtown. The Tjuvholmen area is on a peninsula, and over the past few years has been revitalized with contemporary architecture, art galleries, boutiques and trendy restaurants, making The Thief, a perfect addition. READ MORE
Last year we picked 8 incredible honeymoon destinations (one of which our co-editor Jenn visited for her own honeymoon!). This year we decided to enlist the help of a few travel experts, who share their top picks for honeymooning in 2013, in addition to selecting our own must-visit places too.
Four Seasons Bora Bora.
Destination: French Polynesia
Moorea and Bora Bora in French Polynesia are always a popular choice but they are also expensive. Some good alternatives are Fiji, Cook Islands, Hawaii, or Pangkor Laut Island in Malaysia, which you could combine with a trip to southern or northern Thailand. All of these destinations will give you that romantic island getaway so many couples are looking for on their honeymoon. — Johnny Jet, johnnyjet.com
Hotel Pick: Four Seasons Bora Bora (fourseasons.com/borabora)
Motu Tehotu – BP 547
98730 Bora Bora
+(689) 603 130
The Ritz Carlton in Barcelona.
Destination: Barcelona, Spain
A fun city that never sleeps, you can see great architecture and art during the day (after sleeping late, of course) and then dine on tapas and great wine every night … way into the wee hours. — Tara Soloway, Luxe Destination Weddings
Hotel Pick: Hotel Arts Barcelona (ritzcarlton.com/Barcelona)
Marina 19-21, Barcelona 8005 Spain
+34 93 221 1000
It’s hard to believe before today, we haven’t turned the tables and chatted with any stylish guys in our Frequent Flyer features. Well, we’re changing that today with one of the most well-known travel experts in the industry — Johnny Jet. Travelling the globe non-stop (20+ countries a year), he also recently hosted the Travel Channel’s Hot Spots 2012, and is regularly featured in both print and broadcast media. That being said, one of the biggest things that happened to him was getting married last year (his wife Natalie was our first Frequent Flyer!).
If you love to travel and you don’t follow Johnny, we highly suggest you do. His website is a great resource where you’ll find tons of travel tips, deals, news — plus you can follow his travel adventures (prepare to be jealous), which he shares in great detail with tons of great pictures too. We love his Twitter feed too because he’s always on top of what’s up in the travel world. Curious to know Johnny’s favourite hotel and hear about one of his scariest travel moments? Read on. READ MORE
Images courtesy of Palacio Duhau, Park Hyatt Buenos Aires.
A couple of years back we spent the last part of our holidays in Buenos Aires – a place we adored and was the ideal setting to ring in a new year. To ward off our New Year’s Day tiredness (we may have had a wee bit too much champagne), we booked ourselves a lovely spa treatment and brunch at the ultra-luxe Palacio Duhau, Park Hyatt Buenos Aires – and it was well worth every minute and penny. So much so that we still dream about it today, and can’t wait until we return.
Perfectly located in the heart of the French heritage district of Recoleta on Avenida Alvear, this grand hotel used to actually be a palace (hence the name) in the 1930s. This alone makes us love it (we’re always up for anything royal), but we were also swayed by the amazing interior of the hotel. Chandeliers hang from high ceilings, fireplaces in suites, and in-house art collection, and it’s undeniable elegance mixed with sleek modern touches made us want to spend more than a day here.