Tamara Heber-Percy is the co-founder of one of our favorite travel brands, Mr & Mrs Smith, which just launched their US site earlier this month (also check out their fabulous blog!) We love learning about unique and luxurious hotels, so we jumped at the chance to pick the brains of one of the most travel savvy experts out there- and find out her current obsessions!
Shanghai, I noticed, is a city that is somewhat obsessed with grandeur. Walk into any restaurant or hotel and chances are, you’ll almost feel as if you’ve walked into a banquet hall. Red and gold are liberally used in architecture and decor throughout the city- and it’s impossible not to notice the range of bright colorful lights that constantly illuminate the urban skyline. So in this city that can often be flashy, the understated and elegant PuLi Hotel is all the more a welcome respite for discerning travelers. Branded as an “urban resort,” the PuLi strives to be a different type of experience for the Shanghai visitor: the soothing ambiance, round the clock butler service, Zen aura, and focus on wellness makes this as close as you can get to a retreat in the middle of the bustling city. It’s one of the newest and most acclaimed luxury properties in Shanghai- so I made a point to check in- and check out the PuLi last month. (more…)
“This is Shangri-la,” said the concierge, nodding towards the thousands of sparkling chandelier crystals that illuminated silk tapestries and gilded artwork that decorated the hotel’s sky lobby. Located in the top floors of a corporate park and perched above Tokyo Station, the Shangri-la Tokyo, certainly was every bit the oasis worthy of it’s namesake, a gem among the city’s skyscrapers. Last month I ventured to Japan for the first time, and took the opportunity to check in- and check out- the newest luxury hotel in Tokyo. (more…)
Amazing hospitality, I’ve discovered, truly starts from the very top- so it’s no surprise that the Windham Hill Inn, with sophisticated veteran Katja Matthews at the helm, is one of the most luxurious, pampering and elegant destinations in the Northeast. As the innkeeper, Matthews oversees everything from the day to day operations to the nightly dinner menus to the small romantic decorations that adorn the 21 guest rooms and suites. Her thoughtfulness, attention to detail and natural warmth creates a personal and intimate experience for every guest. Matthews is so memorable, in fact, that many visitors who review the property make a special point of calling out her graciousness in their comments. It is certainly no surprise that under Matthew’s leadership, the Windham Hill Inn joined the ultra prestigious Relais & Chateaux association in 2009. As someone with the goal of visiting every Relais & Chateaux property in the world (they are certainly some of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen), I made a point to check into the Windham Hill Inn for a night last December.
If you’re already racking your brain about what to do for Valentine’s Day and all you’ve come up with is “Dinner out or dinner in?,” consider taking pause from all the hustle and bustle at a quiet oasis such as Spa Luce. A seasonal offering on the spa menu, the delightful aromatherapeutic Spa Luce Valentine’s Day Couples Massage, $370, gets my vote for best investment in relaxation. It features massages performed side by side in the couples room, a mineral-salt soak in a hydrotherapy tub built for two, and a complimentary bottle of champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries.
I think I speak for all of us at TDO when saying that I’m just a bit envious of Andria Mitsakos, wanderlista, designer and PR guru. Always a lover of travel, Andria first came onto the scene in 2003 as the president of AMPR, a hospitality communications firm representing an international roster of exclusive travel and lifestyle brands. Many of her clients have made it into TDO in our lust lists and travel obsessions. In 2010, Andria channeled her worldly and well cultivated style into another one of her passions- design. She launched a collection of exotic skin handbags while living in Italy. Her line, Dea Rosa, is a tribute to her late grandmother and focuses on clean lines, a streamlined color palette, and affordable, luxurious styles. Having spent time and many many email conversations with Andria, I can attest to the fact that her warmth attracts new confidants, while her little black book connects her to old friends in the media, travel and fashion industries- making her the ultimate insider! Below she shares with us what makes her life so fabulous!
Located at Kilometer 14.5 on Cancun’s posh “hotel zone,” the Ritz Carlton Cancun easily occupies the best real estate on the famed strip. It is located within a stone’s throw from all the luxury shopping the city offers, is far from the traditional “party zone,” and boasts the best beach of all the hotels in Cancun. Combine that with a resort that is both family and couples friendly, large ocean view rooms, and award winning service- it’s easy to see why the Ritz-Carlton Cancun was top of my list when I booked my Mexican vacation last month. (more…)
Even the road to Maroma is a sight to see- bright tropical blossoms and birds scattered among the lush mangroves that line a unpaved path to the resort. Make sure to pay attention on the drive in- as there are multiple forks in the road- but only one will lead you to the the seaside paradise. Set upon a spectacular private beach, Maroma is nothing like many of the other resorts in the Riviera Maya. Though owned and operated by luxury hotel group Orient-Express, in many ways Maroma still feels like the private property that architect Jose Luiz and his wife Sally called their home for years. It’s a place where I left my room door open as I milled around and where I could be happy just spending hours on my private porch. Every morning I walked the forty steps or so to the pristine beach, coffee in hand, to watch the sun rise accompanied only by my thoughts and the soothing crash of the Caribbean waves. This was the magic of Maroma- a place that lets you unwind, relax, and feel as if the entire property was there just for you alone. As an Orient-Express hotel, Maroma offers best in class service- what they call “homemade hospitality.” Each guest is taken care of on an individual and tailored basis- where every need is met in a very behind-the-scenes way. You’ll never see the effort that goes into making each moment perfect- just that when you wake up- a steaming hot pot of coffee is already waiting on your porch table, that the beach is free of debris any time you want to lay out, and when you come back from an evening excursion, hundreds of candles will guide you back to your room.
Before I visited Maroma, I had read so many reviews from travelers telling me how special the property is- but I realized that it’s a place where words and even pictures can’t do it justice (though I will try). It’s just one of those sanctuaries you’ll have to visit. (more…)