It’s really difficult for me to pick a favorite Ritz-Carlton property as I’ve had such a spectacular experience at every one I’ve visited, but if I had to call one out for being exceptionally amazing- it would have to be the Ritz-Carlton at Powerscourt in Ireland. Nestled among the lush gardens and rolling hills of Powerscourt Estate just 30 minutes south of Dublin, The Ritz-Carlton provides the ideal setting for visitors who want to immerse themselves in the romance of Ireland. Having long been a Ritz-Carlton fan, I decided to check in, and check out, the hotel when I was in Ireland last month. (more…)
To me, the Ritz Carlton Los Angeles at LA Live, is quintessentially Los Angeles: glitz, glamour, and grandeur all wrapped up into a very private, very VIP experience for its guests. The hotel is situated at Downtown LA’s bustling city center and shares the building with the JW Marriott, but the second you walk into the Ritz Carlton’s private lobby you feel that you’re being transported to an urban oasis. Located on Fl 22-26 of a 54 story sparkling modern glass building, The Ritz Carlton has just 123 rooms- each featuring a wall of windows looking out onto the cityscape and the Santa Monica mountains. It’s one of the newest and most talked about luxury properties in LA, so when I was in town last month, I made a point to check in- and check out the Ritz Carlton. (more…)
The Fairmont Peace Hotel, located at the prestigious junction of Nanjing East Rd and The Bund in Shanghai was one of the most unique properties I’ve ever visited. Walking inside immediately transports you to the city’s most glamorous decades- the 1920s, 30s, and 40s where lavish galas were hosted almost every night at the hotel. The Peace Hotel recently underwent an extensive renovation before reopening in 2010 under the Fairmont brand. The renovations preserved much of the authentic charm of the original property, while incorporating modern touches and conveniences. As someone who has always been very attracted to Shanghai’s old school glamour, I decided that the Peace hotel was a must visit! (more…)
Equal parts fairy tale, opulent opium den, and downtown high-rise the new Mondrian SoHo brings an eclectic mix of fantasy and luxury to the edgier part of the neighborhood. The 25 story, 270 room hotel is the third Morgans property to be branded under the Mondrian name- joining its LA and Miami counterparts, delivering a signature sleek, trendy and exclusive vibe. I had the opportunity to tour the hotel during its soft opening. (more…)
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!