NYC: New Boutique Hotels

Fashion 26 hotel lobbyHot off the press for all you bi-coastal babes. Two brand new NYC boutique hotels… Fashion 26  – A Wyndham Hotel and Distrikt Hotel, set to debut in December 2009 and January 2010! Distrikt Hotel will be the city’s first New York-inspired hotel honoring its eclectic Manhattan surroundings with 31 neighborhood-themed floors, according to their locations, starting with the Financial District on the lowest floor and Harlem on the highest floor. If that’s not cool enough, collages of neighborhood scenes from each “distrikt” are designed by renowned Brooklyn-based artist Chris Rubino with a green “living” wall representing Central Park.

All 10 districts-1

New York’s signature flower – the Althea Bloomingdale – designed in brick on the façade of the building begins the Manhattan motif and continues into the lobby with a depiction of The Big Apple engraved in a wood mural. A subway map-themed elevator bank and The Collage café is their very own homage to New York’s best bites.

Rates start at $275/night

www.distrikthotel.com

Another little gem located in the Garment District, FIT (The Fashion Institute of Technology), The Empire State BuildingHigh Line Park, and Broadway, is the new Fashion 26 – A Wyndam Hotel, set to debut in January 2010. It’ll be New York’s first four-star hotel focused entirely on fashion. Boasting 280 rooms, a hip burger joint, “RARE”, and a rooftop lounge offering dramatic views of the Empire State Building, Fashion 26 “will emulate its hip fashion district surroundings.” And, judging from Renzo’s cool work in San Francisco with the ‘living roof’ of The California Academy of Science in Golden Gate Park.

Other highlights include: cupcakes for guests upon check-in and “smart” room keys that open with the wave of a hand using radio frequency technology.

Rates $275/night

www.wyndham.com/hotels/NYCCH/main.wnt

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Exotic Valentine’s Day Getaways!

We’re so unbelievably romantic… if you saw us you’d say, “Get a room.” So, little angels, it’s time to start thinking about Valentine’s Day.  I know, I know… it’s one of those semi-dreaded holidays. If it makes you feel any better, even when you have a mate you still feel a little uneasy about what to do. Well, stop stressing, we have some ideas for you.  For those who don’t have a lover, next week we have some ideas for you too. Life is a collection of experiences and, as we always like to say, “You can’t take ’em with you, so you might as well live it up now!” (by throwing in a few yacht excursions, a tryst with some guy named Filippo, and hell, go scuba diving while you’re at it, too)

What? It’s only money.

Naladhu, The Maldives

Run away to: The Maldives

Stay at: Naladhu

What:  The romance begins when you step out of the airport and onto the speedboat that will take you directly to this Maldivian island resort. A House Master will lead you to your private house, where Champagne cocktails and fruit are waiting. Spend the day by the pool or snorkeling in the reef then relax with a complimentary coconut milk bath for two.

As if that wasn’t enough: Chocolate cake to share is included!

How much: The “Island Romance” package starts at start at $1474 for an Ocean House.

Visit http://naladhu.anantara.com/Island-Romance/default.aspx for more information.

Rosewood Mayakoba, Riviera Maya

Run away to: The Mayan Riviera

Stay at: Rosewood Mayakobá

What:  The five-night “Mayan Romance” package is all about relaxation. Take a Tantric Yoga class and enjoy a Moonlight Massage for two on your suite terrace. Then soothe your muscles in an Aroma Bath with champagne and chocolate and you’ll be on your way to rekindling that fire all day, and night, long. 

As if that wasn’t enough: You’ll also get a Couple’s Massage instruction session with 30 minutes of “alone time.”

How much: Package rates start at $810 per day, minimum 5-nights. Visit http://www.rosewoodmayakoba.com/en/specialoffers.cfm for details.

Run away to: Moscow

Stay at: Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow

What:  For the lovebirds who are itching to get out of the nest, this city was made for you to explore together.  Visit Lenin’s Mausoleum in Red Squareand the Kremlin in the old city center. For a classically romantic evening go ice skating on Gorky Park ponds, transformed into rinks for the winter.

As if that wasn’t enough: The “Romance at the Park” package allows a 4PM checkout, so spend the afternoon in bed!

How much: Check http://moscow.park.hyatt.com for best available rates.

Parrot Cay, Turks and Caicos

Run away to: Turks and Caicos

Stay at: Parrot Cay

What: Leave your boots behind and grab your swimsuits! After an afternoon of white sand beaches and turquoise waters, rent out the COMO Shambhala Cottage for your Valentine’s Day dinner. This screened-in cottage overlooks the nearby wetlands and is decorated with candles and tropical flowers.

As if that wasn’t enough: The resort lets you set the mood with your own music!

How much: Rental cost including service is $400 (excluding food and beverage) and rates start at $775 per night for a Garden View Room. Visit http://www.parrotcay.como.bz/rates for booking details.

Run away to: Geneva

Stay at: La Réserve Genève Hotel and Spa

What:  Fashioned along the lines of an African Lodge by renowned designer Jacques Garcia, La Réserve Genève is sophisticated yet playful. Withten acres of private gardens and beaches on the shores of Lake Geneva, you’ll find everything you need including two excellent restaurants, a stylish bar with live DJ, a full-service spa, and even its own vineyard.  For added romance, arrive to the hotel by Venetian motorboat – a complimentary service that whisks guests to and from Geneva.

As if that wasn’t enough: Reluctant to leave the little ones behind? Bring the kids to La Petite Réserve, where they can play in an open-air playground, a magical tree house, or the indoor childcare center.

How much: Rates start at $450.

Visit http://www.lareserve.ch/english/ for more details.

Top Spas in the Far East

Right now, Jaunt Magazine’s staff is overworked and under pampered which is exactly why we’ve picked three special spas in the Far East with only one thing is mind… massage, massage, and more massage. We could use a few, you too?

Bali - Ubud Hanging Gardens

Ayung Spa at Ubud Hanging Gardens

Bali, Indonesia


Perched along the steep rice terraces of Ubud lays the Ubud Hanging Gardens hotel, where the spa takes its name from the winding Ayung River below. Here, you can indulge in the 60-minute Coconut & Rice Scrub. Since ancient times, the coconut has been by Balinese women to heal and beautify skin complexion, so this traditional recipe is made out of grated coconut and coconut milk to smooth the skin and rice powder to gently exfoliate. Followed with an energizing herbal bath.

Treatment price: $81

Hotel accommodations from $337 per room per night.

www.ubudhanginggardens.com


Laos Luxury Hotels Spa

The Spa at La Résidence Phou Vao


Luang Prabang, Laos

At Luang Prabang’s first luxury spa, cozy pavilions are decorated with an inviting mix of ethnic craftsmanship and modern comfort. In such an exotic elegant setting, the pampered can enjoy the Sip Sen traditional Lao massage, originally cultivated in monasteries of Laos and handed down through generations of Buddhist monks. Now you know if the monks developed it, it’s gotta be good. Chimay, anyone? The philosophy of this massage is based on freeing life force which runs throughout energy lines called “sen” to achieve total wellness. This very respectful way of applying pressure with thumbs and palms was once exclusively applied to Royal families to help the body to relax, detoxify, balance, heal and energize, giving a new sense of wholesome well-being. Since you’re such a royal pain in the ass most of the time, it’s perfect for you!

Treatment price: $35 for 60 minutes / $50 for 90 minutes.

Hotel accommodations from $232 per room per night.

http://www.residencephouvao.com


Ko Samui - Thailand Spa

Napasai Spa

Koh Samui, Thailand


Royal Thai massage, or Nuat Pen Boran, has been practiced as part of Thai medicine to heal Royal family members of the Kingdom of Siam for over 2,500 years. The massage is given very slowly to facilitate the tendency toward mindfulness, so that any resistance or discomfort resulting from a particular position can be detected thus minimizing the risk of injury. During the massage, the therapist uses hands, thumbs and fingers to apply pressure on sen energy points. The therapist will also gently pull, twist and manipulate the body in a way that is compared to “passive yoga.” All these movements aim to create a smooth energy flow within the body, which is believed to help loosen joints, stretch muscles and tone internal organs. That’s right… your kidneys will look hot!  The after-effect? Deep relaxation and drool, of course.

Treatment price: $47 for 60 minutes / $57 for 90 minutes.

Hotel accommodations from $263* per room per night.

www.napasai.com

Extreme Cuisine!

Cover-WeirdFoodGuide2010_V02.inddThis one is perfect for those with an appetite for the bizarre and sure to challenge ideas of what makes good eatin’.  We came across Lonely Planet’s brand-spanking new book, “Extreme Cuisine” featuring over 50 delicacies that creep, crawl, sizzle, and spit, where they originated from and where you can experience them.

What?  Feeling squeamish? Didn’t you just say that you love a good adventure?  If you’re gonna talk the talk, you better chop the chop. Oh, and animal rights activists, don’t get yourselves into a tizzy. This is called ‘culture.’ PS. My good friend tried cat in Vietnam. “What did it taste like?” you ask. “Greasy chicken,” she answers.

Bottom’s up!  You’re gonna need it…

$9.99
October 2009

http://tinyurl.com/yzu38rp

Paris, France: Le Meurice – A Landmark Hotel Reborn

Paris Hotels - Le Meurice LandmarkDepending on your views of life, some say, “You only live once,” but we here at Jaunt Magazine say, “You only live two or three (or maybe four) times.” How else could we pack it all in? We also say, if you’re only going to live once (or twice), your life really hasn’t been complete without a trip to Le Meurice, the grand dame of Parisian landmarks.

In 2007, Philippe Starck came on board to do it up. Modern Parisian at it’s best. He redesigned all common areas, including a complete transformation at Le Dali restaurant (formerly the Winter Garden), without losing the historic significance of this palace hotel. Stark’s new whimsical touches are reminiscent of the surrealist legacy left by the mustached man himself… Salvador Dali, who, over the course of 30 years, visited the famous hotel several times a year.

Paris Hotel Romantic Rooms - Le MeuriceFor the second consecutive year, Le Meurice also presents its Prize for Contemporary Art, highlighting its commitment to promoting young artists on the French scene. The winner of the Prix Meurice will be selected by a jury of arts professionals including the Chairman and Director of the Louvre, Director of the Musée du Jeu de Paume, Artistic Director of FIAC, among others, and announced October 1st, 2009. The Prize includes €10,000 awarded for the artist, and €10,000 for his or her gallery.  Not too shabby, eh? The jury just selected the seven finalists and Le Meurice has recently launched a website and blog around the prize where everyone can view them, their work, leave comments, and vote for their favorites.  If you ask us, we think this is pretty chic (see below).

If that’s not enough, listen to this chocolate extravaganza.  Yannick Alléno, the Head Chef of Le Meurice’s 3 Michelin Star restaurant, has brought about new meaning to breakfast in Paris.  Looking to create his own version of the French croissant after being inspired by the chocolate aromas and colors at Ladurée, the renowned Parisian café and pastry shop, Alléno researched different types and textures of cocoa bean and decided to re-interpret the French art of “viennoiserie.”

Chef Alleno Choc-allenoThe Choc’Alléno pain au chocolat and croissant is an all chocolate delight: the dough is made with chocolate and added cocoa beans to enhance the flavor. Complete that with a hot chocolate selected by Head Sommelier Nicolas Rebut, and of course, chocolate chip butter, and… Viola! Chocolat fantasy. Available in all Ladurée boutiques and breakfast at Le Meurice.  But wait… there’s more! For lunch, Chef Alléno has added a brand spankin’ new ‘Terroir Parisien’ lunch menu.  He’s lovingly re-envisioned a traditional Parisian menu using exceptional products from in and around the city, including honey from beehives set atop the Paris Opera.

At €78 for a 3-course meal, guests now have the option to experience the Michelin Three-Star chef’s menu at a much reduced price.

For those with kiddies, check out the new Happy Meurice Family Package timed to coincide with the opening of Musique en Jouets at the Musée des Arts Decoratifs, the package includes entrée to the exhibition’s fascinating musical toys, one night in a guest room or suite at Le Meurice; VIP children’s welcome and goody bag; an adorable Nabaztag rabbit per child; and continental breakfast and children’s tea time menu. Families can also unwind while racing the hotel’s custom-made sailboats on the burbling waters of Jardin des Tuileries, located nearby. The exhibition and the Happy Family package runs through November 8, 2009… so get on it.

You only live once (or twice or three times)!

Package from €700 (savings up to 30%)

www.lemeurice.com

www.prixmeuricepourlartcontemporain.com