McLean was born and raised in the DC metro area and writes frequently about luxury lifestyles, spas, travel, and fashion for leading magazines and Web sites nationwide.
We've long loved Rosewood hotels for their understated luxury feel -- each of the brand's properties, spread throughout the US, Caribbean and Europe, offers a unique ambiance that blends in with the surroundings of the area but singularly top-notch service and amenities.
That's part of the reason we're so eager to show off their newest luxury package offered at Virgin Gorda
resort Little Dix Bay
in the British Virgin Islands
. The third annual "Wreck Week" offers unparalleled access to some of the Caribbean
's best dive sites and includes five days of diving -- 14 dives total on 13 wrecks.
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Want to get high ... legally? No, we're not talking a Salvia trip à la Miley Cyrus, but a literal 118 stories high.
The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong
yesterday announced the opening of their 16th property in Asia, which boasts the title of "highest hotel in the world." Located at the very top of the International Commerce Centre (ICC) in Hong Kong and occupying floors 102 to 118, the hotel takes the honors away from the current title holder in Dubai.
"The opening of this landmark hotel in Hong Kong is the culmination of many years of hard work and dedication to delivering the very best product, facilities and service in this international gateway city," said Herve Humler, president and chief operations officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.
Don't prep for a long elevator ride just yet. The hotel's arrival lobby is actually located on the ninth floor of the building, where guests will pause before being transported to floor 103, which offers panoramic views of Hong Kong and the harbor.
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This is, without a doubt, one of the more over-the-top packages we've seen recently.
Book the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park's Royal Weddin
g Tour and you'll receive special access and hosted tours by family members and associates of the royal family to Kensington Palace
, Chartwell, Spencer House
, Althorp and Westminster Abbey
, all venues which members of the public have not had such private access to before.
The hotel itself also has a rich history: Queen Elizabeth II and the late Princess Margaret first learned to dance in the gilded ballroom, Prince Charles and Princess Anne visited the tearooms as children and more recently, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip were guests at Baroness Margaret Thatcher's 80th birthday party. Sir Winston Churchill was even a temporary resident while his London house was being refurbished. Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park also boasts the only private Royal Entrance from Hyde Park.
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But if you're a fan of the Hawaii property, don't expect a carbon copy, at least in terms of aesthetics.
Situated within the city's lively Levent neighborhood, known for its Kanyon mall and impressive skyline, the Istanbul EDITION
will be an urban resort offering a mix of Eastern and Western influences, the signature creative direction of Ian Schrager
and the high-touch service of Marriott.
The starting point? A tall, domed lobby; a fundamental mark of traditional Ottoman style realized here with a modern twist. Eastern touches are present throughout: walls, ceilings and floors are lined with mosaic tiles, a cornerstone of traditional Byzantine architecture, and public spaces are gracefully bejeweled with bronze and gold leaf reminiscent of Ottoman style in all of its splendor. Traditional hanging lamps are featured in the guest rooms while Gold Bar's VIP seating area has taken its inspiration from traditional Turkish Tea Rooms. Leather tufted ottomans are surrounded by u-shaped seating influenced by old Bosphorus villas that featured such rooms for socializing, relaxing and smoking. The long-standing ritual of the Hammam is clearly reflected in the unparalleled spa offerings.
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hotel La Mamounia
has long been long been heralded as the choice for the discerning traveler. Over the years the famed hotel has hosted the "who's who" of international royalty, politicians, celebrities and uber rich jetsetters.
For the first time, the hotel
is offering anyone who can afford the million dirhams a chance to experience the resort like an A-lister with their new "Ultimate Experience Package." The trip begins with private jet transport from any European city within a three hour flight time of Marrakech. Arriving guests will be met at the airport by private Jaguar
transport back to the resort.
Upon arrival, guests will be whisked away their own private Riad, a three-bedroom villa with a Moroccan salon, private terrace and ozone swimming pool nestled in the heart of the resort's historic gardens. Naturally, these accommodations feature 24 hour butler service. That evening, enjoy a private wine tasting with La Mamounia's Chief Sommelier, followed by a bespoke gastronomic menu accompanied by carefully selected fine wines, a Champagne breakfast served ensuite or on the Riad's private terrace is also included.
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What better place to celebrate the 83rd annual Academy Awards
than at New York City
's luxury hotel The Chatwal
? (Well, aside from being on the red carpet in Los Angeles
, of course.)
Help recreate the glittering sophistication and glamour of yesteryear with their newest over-the-top offering, a weekend long experience and Oscar-night party for up to ten guests.
The Oscar Party Package starts at $18,000 per couple and includes:
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Welcome to Toronto
! The Ritz-Carlton today announced the opening of their first Canadian property, The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto
. Featuring 267 guestrooms, the new hotel is a 53 story addition to the city skyline. After numerous delays (the hotel was originally slated to open last fall) the brand has finally made their infiltration into what many have called the world's most international city.
Want to watch the opening ceremonies, starting at 11:30 AM on Wednesday? The hotel is streaming it all on Facebook
, further cementing our view that the Ritz-Carlton is one of the top luxury brand in the social media space.
With unimpeded North or South facing views of the city or Lake Ontario, each guestroom or suite at features floor-to-ceiling windows with heated perimeters, African Anigre wood and Portuguese Estremoz marble, as well as spacious bathrooms with heated marble flooring, dual vanities embedded with 22" HD television screens, private rain showers and soaker tubs.
Opt for a room on the Club Level and enjoy access to the 20th floor Club Lounge, offering spectacular water views as well as complimentary food and beverage presentations and private concierge service.
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Having a romantic Valentine's Day doesn't necessarily mean you need to have a special someone in your life. Why not show yourself some love ... at the spa on this most romantic of holidays? We've tracked down spa treatments from coast to coast (and beyond) to come up with our favorite Valentine's Day spa packages and treatments for romance and romance-lovers alike.
"Sweetheart" Scrub & Massage at Spa Desert Springs
What better way to say "I love you" or "UR G8" than with the quintessential Valentine's Day candy, Necco Candy Hearts? Palm Desert's JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa is offering a Sweetheart Sugar Scrub and Sweetheart Valentine Massage, both scented with the smell of candy hearts, featuring notes of orange, vanilla and blueberry. Afterwards, unwind in the 38,000 square foot spa, the largest in Southern California. Both treatments are 60 minutes and $135.
Vanilla and Caramel Delight at The Spa at Norwich Inn
Whoever said Valentine's Day had to be just about chocolate and Champagne obviously hasn't tried this deluxe treatment. The famed Connecticut spa (which also has an outpost at Foxwoods resort and casino) is offering a Caramel Delight Facial for their holiday visitors. Vanilla helps lessen skin's hypersensitivity and reactions to environmental elements, while caramel leaves skin smooth and improves its tone. As a take-home gift, you'll enjoy the spa's Caramel serum to help maintain the effects of the treatment. Prefer something a bit "spicier"? They're also offering a selection of Chocolate and Chocolate-Gingerbread treatments. The facial is 50 minutes and $125.
Strawberries, Champagne & Chocolate at The Sports Club/LA
Finally, a spa treatment that's both luxurious and affordable. This month's seasonal specials at Sports Club/LA (locations across the country) are a Chocolate Indulgence Body Wrap, which begins with a Chocolate Crème Mineral Mask with soothing scalp massage and foot reflexology before application of a cocoa-scented lotion to leave skin smooth and supple. Need some face time? How about a Strawberry Champagne Facial, which uses the power of vinotherapy and the antioxidants to leave skin smooth, supple and refreshed? Both treatments are 50 minutes and just $99. Want to spa with a friend? Inquire about combining these into couples packages that include Champagne and strawberries.
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are known by A-listers around the globe as some of the world's most prestigious getaways. Amanpulo
, the chain's private island retreat set in the turquoise waters of the Philippines' Sulu Sea, is already an ideal beach getaway.
But even great things can get better ... in this case with the addition of its Aman Spa.This new facility includes six spa treatment rooms in three pavilions, a yoga and meditation pavilion, a Pilates studio, a gymnasium and a finishing salon for hair, hand and foot treatments. Two steam rooms with cold plunge pools will open in March.
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This latest bling-encrusted product gives new meaning to the term "bathing in riches". Artist Lori Gardner spent three years creating The Diamond Bathtub
, shown at right.
Comprised of 44,928 imported pink crystals (and one real diamond), the 19th century-style claw foot bathtub is currently on sale for $39,000 at Fleur de Lys in Costa Mesa, California.
Naturally, the tub also has a charity tie-in. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to breast cancer research or the charity of your choice.
Don't care for pink? You can also custom-order your own version by contacting lori AT thediamondbathtub DOT com.
Kudos to BornRich for the tip