Thursday, July 28, 2011

A guide to Vegas

SMH has given us the run down of Las Vegas, from where to stay, eat, shop and what to do…

The cheapest digs are usually found Downtown, and the Golden Nugget (from $US47) is the best of the bunch. The rooms aren't swish but they're by no means shabby.

If you're after a good all-round resort at a reasonable price but want something that stands out, Mandalay Bay ($US89) has the best pool in Vegas. The recent revamp at the Tropicana ($US78) has worked wonders, too — and the bright, beachy vibe makes the rooms distinctive. Top value for money comes at the Signature at MGM Grand. They're stylish and most have balconies to go with the kitchenettes and in-bathroom TVs.

Vdara (from $US157) gets it right as a couples' retreat in a prime central location. It's still a giant hotel but there's a quieter air, the spa is impressive and the beds are extraordinarily comfortable. THEhotel at Mandalay Bay ($US192) has lovely suite-like standard rooms plus the warm feel of a luxury city hotel rather than a mass-herd resort.

The MGM Skylofts (from $US1014) are quite something. Just about everything can be controlled electronically, butlers are on hand and the two-bedroom suites have pool tables. The Bellagio has a genuine air of class, and the floral displays are astonishing. The $US190-plus standard rooms are great but true high-rollers go for the $US7000-a-night, two-bedroom suites with butler service, cigar-tasting classes, yoga and in-room waterfalls.
Vegas is a city where malls defiantly rule the roost. For those who have won big, Crystals, in the City Centre complex offers the likes of Mikimoto, Kiki De Montparnasse, Prada, Gucci and Tiffany. Bargain hunters should try the Las Vegas Premium Outlets where big names sell old stock on the cheap.

Marquee at the Cosmopolitan is the latest hot joint in town. Expect long queues, a mazy interior and a heaving dance floor where the visual displays complement the DJ sets. XS at Encore is probably the sexiest, most decadent club in town, although only the truly good-looking tend to get away with jumping into the in-club pools. 

See + Do 
Vegas is crammed full of absurd sights — many of them tacky as hell and many of them free to gawp at. The dancing fountains outside the Bellagio are probably the most graceful of the showpieces. They go off every 15 minutes to a different piece of music after 8pm.

The shows are the biggest non-gambling drawcard and those by Cirque du Soleil are the hottest tickets. General consensus has Ka at the MGM Grand being their best production but the aquatic acrobatics of O at the Bellagio are mesmerising, too. For other shows, visit one of the Tix4Tonight stands, because they often have good discounts available.

Eat + Drink 
Joel Robuchon has more Michelin stars than any other chef in the world and his L'Atalier de Joel Robuchon restaurant at the MGM Grand is generally seen as the high-roller foodie benchmark in Vegas. Picasso at Bellagio is a relative stalwart but the original Picasso paintings on the wall, dancing fountain views and Julian Serrano's miracles on the menu make it special. For a taste of new Vegas, try the dark-lit and sexy Sage at Aria. Shawn McClain's signature menu, with wine or beer pairing, should have you purring contentedly for days.

Visit Visit Las Vegas for further information.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Adare Manor Hotel, Ireland

One of Europe’s grandest resort hotels, Adare Manor represents the best of everything about Ireland: centuries of history, architectural opulence, authentic cuisine, ancient ruins, world class golf, every imaginable sporting activity, an indulgent spa and, of course, the famous Irish hospitality at every turn. Between the town of Adare and the resort, this is truly Ireland in microcosm, and there is little need to go anyplace else to enjoy a luxurious taste of the Emerald Isle.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Anantara Dhigu Resort & Spa, Maldives

Located in the Maldives’ South Malé Atoll, a short speedboat ride from the main airport, the 110-villa Anantara Dhigu Resort is that rare Maldivian retreat that offers a sun-drenched tropical escape, plus enough outdoor pursuits to keep active types entertained. Choose from diving, sailing, snorkeling and surfing in the crystal-clear Indian Ocean, or find a quiet spot to lounge in an overwater villa, by the infinity-edge pool or on Dhigu’s powder-white beach.

Anantara Dhigu’s evocative location is matched by a tranquil island design approach that feels like home away from home while providing you with excellent facilities. Play tennis, hit the gym and swim in the infinity edge pool, or simply unwind at Anantara Spa with a range of renowned signature treatments. Discover your own paradise at Anantara Dhigu Resort & Spa.

Visit Anantara Dhigu Resort

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Sands at Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos Islands

Just a 90-minute flight from Miami, Turks and Caicos is one of the Caribbean’s more under-the-radar archipelagos and a favorite destination for the rich and famous in search of a discreet escape. On Providenciales, The Sands at Grace Bay resort fronts spectacular Grace Bay Beach – renowned for its 12 miles of powder-white sand — with renovated plantation–style studios and suites. Here, days are spent on the beach, in the calm Caribbean Sea or simply lounging in the hammock-filled coconut groves.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Havana San Antonio Riverwalk, Texas


This historic hotel came off a head-to-toe makeover in 2010. The distinctive property, originally built in 1914, has been reinterpreted in a bold, eclectic style, mixing Cuban, Victorian and modern elements. And an enviable setting — on the quiet, recently extended northern stretch of the San Antonio River Walk — makes it a handy base for exploring notable museums, restaurants and shops.

From the studios to the Penthouse Suite, each of the 27 rooms at Havana is uniquely appointed and designed for comfort. All rooms feature original Bastrop pine floors and are decorated with antique furniture, Turkish rugs and vintage Cuban artwork with an emphasis on creating elegant but uncluttered space for a restful stay. Each room comes equipped with the signature mini bar featuring local and international snacks, drinks and souvenirs.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Save 50% at The Vijitt Resort Phuket

Phukets newest all villa beachfront resort, Vijitt Resort Phuket has just released a ‘Stay two night’s Pay one night’ deal for travel until 31st October 2011. This saving of 50% is valid on all room types from a Deluxe Villa to a Vijitt Pool Villa, making it the perfect time to experience 5 Star Luxury at an affordable price.

The beautifully landscaped Vijitt Resort Phuket is only 30 minutes from Patong and is set above the white sands of stunning Friendship Beach in Phuket's southern, laid back and unspoiled Rawai district.
The resort's magnificent gardens testify to its eco-friendliness and commitment to exude an essentially unique Thai atmosphere. The Vijitt Resort Phuket is exceptionally quiet, peaceful and friendly, with a wonderful local history and staff renowned for their efficient, attentive, gentle and, of course in Thailand, smiling service.

The 92 luxury, stand alone villas sit amid lush tropical trees and fauna strategically placed among the gently sloping forested land and overlooking the azure blue waters of Chalong Bay, enjoying stunning sea views and at the same time privacy.

Dining is a key part of the Vijitt experience and the two restaurants and in-villa dining offer a choice of casual and elegant dining experiences, plus relaxed bars and café-style eateries for amazing variety, indoors and out.

The V Spa, which just like the resort, aims at bringing guests back to nature, offers an extensive range of spa favourites and traditional Thai massage, body and facial treatments all designed to relax and rejuvenate. 

The Vijitt Resort Phuket also offers a wide range of activities ranging from a romantic getaway to your own private island for a day of snorkelling and relaxing on a white sand beach, to the Beach Marine Walk, or the unique Natural Rubber Tapping tour.

Although built and designed with honeymoons and weddings in mind, The Vijitt Resort also welcomes families and the resorts large and spacious Kids Club is staffed by a special team who will ensure children left in their care will be looked after and entertained.

Prices for a two night stay in a Deluxe Villa at The Vijitt Resort Phuket starts from AUD$111.40 per villa including breakfast daily and is normally priced at AUD$222.80. . This rate is based on today’s exchange rate and may fluctuate.

Visit Vijitt Resort Phuket

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pink Beach Club, Bermuda


Discover and explore Bermuda's finest and most secluded resort, extending along 1800 feet of glorious oceanfront with two exotic and private pink sand beaches. The resort caters to your every need in an atmosphere of elegant and old world Bermudian hospitality. Coupled with this elegance, the resort offer modern hotel amenities and luxury accommodations. It is the perfect place to reconnect with yourself, spend quality time with your partner, or bring families together.

A favorite among Bermuda hotels and resorts, Pink Beach Club is a dream-like location for weddings; offering a natural beauty that is truly breathtaking and a level of service that is unparalleled among Bermuda resorts. The crystal clear beaches will offer a respite from the hassles and stresses of the city - life here envelopes you in a serene seaside escape.

Besides its sprawling pink sand beaches, world class golf courses and easy access, Bermuda has long been known for its cottage colonies, freestanding white-roofed residences that are uniquely Bermudian in design and atmosphere. Pink Beach Club is the grand dame of the bunch, featuring 94 rooms, most with ocean views, in tony Tucker’s Town at the island’s secluded east end.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Insolito Boutique Hotel & Spa, Brazil


East of Rio de Janeiro, Armacao de Buzios is a hip resort area is often called the St.Tropez of Brazil, and the stylish Insolito Boutique Hotel fits right in. Spilling down a rocky hillside to beautiful Ferradura Beach, this intimate 20-room getaway, once a private villa, has been transformed by a French-born owner and features lush tropical gardens, three pools, a wellness center and sweeping vistas of a beach-studded peninsula and emerald sea.

Sleek in design and decor, sustainable in building materials and furnishings, and beautifully remodeled, Insolito Boutique Hotel has expanded terraces, showing off the best of Buzios, a swank beach enclave east of Rio de Janeiro that’s sometimes called the St.Tropez of Brazil.

Once a private villa, Insolito Boutique Hotel has been transformed by a French-born owner. Each of the 20 rooms has a different theme relating to Brazilian art or culture; music, literature, modernism, with each theme imaginatively celebrated in the furniture, the art and even the books on the shelves.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Hyatt Regency Bonaventure, Florida

South Florida is best known for its sun-drenched shoreline and raging nightlife, but a world of serenity and retail therapy exists a short distance from the coast, at the crossroads of Fort Lauderdale suburbia and Everglades National Park. With access to nearby PGA championship golf courses, an Elizabeth Arden spa, 3 swimming pools and award-winning Ireland’s Steakhouse, the Hyatt Regency Bonaventure is a home away from home.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa, Hawaii

Built into the cliffs off Shipwreck Beach on Kauai’s southern side, the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa is an elegant Hawaiian resort that’s known for top-notch family amenities. Newly renovated, the resort sports a 1920s-era plantation motif, sprawling over 50 acres, enwrapping the gorgeous water for which Hawaii is best known. With seven restaurants, six lounges, tennis courts, a highly coveted spa, a Robert Trent Jones–designed golf course and an iconic water playground you will never be short of something to do.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Redbury Hotel Hollywood

This boho-chic property in an iconic building at the intersection of Hollywood. With quirkiness spilled out in all its spaces, this five-floor neo-Victorian gem is as colorful and comfortable. Part of the SBE Collection (owners of the uber-hip SLS Hotels), the Redbury is reigniting the idea of a relaxed, cool L.A.

The 57 rooms, dubbed boho-chic guest flats, are generously sized, starting at 750 square feet, with enormous floor-to-ceiling windows and private balconies. The flats are tailor-made for long-term guests (though appropriate for any length of stay), with a full kitchenette with gas burners and a small oven, a dining area and even a washer/dryer. 

Three-hundred thread-count Italian linens, hand-drawn Victorian illustrations on the walls, Blu-ray players and gorgeously tiled walk-in rain showers complete the kind of apartment suite you’ll never want to leave (even if the red-and-black color scheme makes the rooms a bit dark and cavernous). The most talked-about room amenity: Turntables and stacks of vintage vinyl.

Visit Jetsetter for a great deal on this hotel.