Mother’s Day Getaways To Bond For…

Pasta picture frames don’t quite make the grade as a Mother’s Day gift once darling daughter’s grown, but time together – especially when it takes the form of a weekend getaway – is something Mom will always treasure. We’ve gathered a few ideas to appeal to mothers and daughters of all interests, from luxury spa retreats to scuba diving adventures, each with plenty of opportunities to raise a glass (or tea cup) to the woman who made it all possible.

Take a look:

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1,000 Islands Harbor Hotel – Clayton, New York

A Thousand Thanks: Treat Mom to an epicurean Thousand Islands getaway at AAA Four Diamond-rated 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel in Clayton, N.Y. The hotel’s Wine Tasting package offers tastings at two nearby vineyards, including the award-winning Coyote Moon; a selection of locally made River Rat Cheese; and breakfast for two in the hotel’s restaurant, Seaway Grille.

www.1000islandsharborhotel.com

Umstead Spa

The Umstead Hotel and Spa – Cary, NC

Two for Tea: The Umstead Hotel and Spa (Cary, N.C.) has all the makings of a classic mother-daughter day combining spa treatments with the hotel’s coveted Afternoon Tea. Unwind and bond in the Umstead Spa’s two-story relaxation lounges, complete with heated open-roof current pool and indoor Jacuzzi. After a rejuvenating treatment, it’s a short stroll to the hotel’s art-adorned lobby lounge for Afternoon Tea. There, guests enjoy a traditional presentation of teas and treats, from tea sandwiches to scones, accompanied by live harp music.

www.theumstead.com 

Pampering in Lake Placid: The 98-suite Whiteface Lodge (Lake Placid, N.Y.) has everything daughters need to treat mom to a luxury getaway surrounded by the beauty of the Adirondacks. The Pamper Yourself Spa Package for Two includes two 50-minute massages plus access to health and wellness classes, cedar wood saunas, eucalyptus-infused steam room, indoor/outdoor pool and hot tub. Also included are breakfast and suite accommodations with cast-iron gas fireplace, jetted spa tub and private balcony. Package rates start at $410

www.thewhitefacelodge.com 

Marriott Singer Island Pool

Marriott Singer Island Pool – Palm Beach

Palm Beach Spa Retreat: With the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Intracoastal Waterway on the other, the all-suite beachfront Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa in Florida offers sweeping views and palm-fringed sands. The resort’s Ultimate Spa Retreat pampers mothers and daughters with a 50-minute spa treatment at SiSpa and access to all spa facilities, including steam room, heated marble beds, relaxation room with hot tea bar, private whirlpool, and waterfall showers. Rates start at $504.

Sanctuary_Infinity_Pool

Sanctuary – Camelback Mountain

Martinis and Mountain Hikes: Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain, one of Scottsdale, Arizona’s premier resorts, provides the perfect backdrop for a sun-soaked mother-daughter luxury adventure. The BFF Retreat package includes three nights’ accommodations; a martini kit in-room upon arrival; daily breakfast; a guided hike up Camelback Mountain; and a Bento box lunch to be enjoyed by the sparkling infinity pool.

www.sanctuaryaz.com 

Classic Martha’s Vineyard Vacation: Kelley House, in the heart of Edgartown, offers prime access to shops and restaurants, the town’s harbor and lighthouse. The inn’s historic Newes of America Pub is the perfect place to toast Mom with a pint of craft beer paired with classic pub-style fare, while the outdoor Wave Bar serves creative cocktails and small plates by the pool. Active mothers and daughters can hop on the Kelley House’s branded bikes to explore the island’s trails and streets.

www.kelley-house.com

Sea Crest Beach Hotel

Sea Crest Beach Hotel – Falmouth, MA

Double (or Triple) the Fun on the Cape: Make it a three-generational mother-daughter retreat, or add a sister or two by booking the three-bed, three-bath cottage at Sea Crest Beach Hotel (North Falmouth, Mass.). This quintessential Cape Cod retreat on the private sands of Old Silver Beach is home to Red’s restaurant, an indoor pool, and water-view rooms decorated in classic Cape style. The hotel’s private cottage features a private deck and back yard, fire pit, kitchenette, and large fireplace, perfect for family bonding.

www.seacrestbeachhotel.com 
A Carefree Cottage in Nantucket: Harborview Nantucket’s charming compound of 11 luxurious vacation cottages – each utterly distinct, offers rare harborfront access just steps from the attractions of Main Street. A range of cottage sizes, from one to four bedrooms, accommodate everyone from mothers and daughters to grandmothers and girlfriends. Cottage amenities include a full kitchen, spacious living and dining areas, a washer and dryer, and complimentary Cisco Brewery assorted beers and local wine upon arrival. Exceptional guest services and an attentive staff make planning the ultimate Mother’ Day celebration a worry-free treat.

www.harborviewnantucket.com 

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Take Me to Paris

The Stunning Mandarin Oriental, Paris

What  do you think is one of the most prestigious addresses in Paris? Would it surprise you to learn that it’s one of our favorite hotels, The Mandarin Oriental, Paris?

With the Garnier Opera, the Louvre and the Tuileries Gardens all close by, this week, we wanted to spotlight this beautiful hotel for it’s original and magnificent Art Deco façade because it’s recently undergone an artful transformation complemented by super chic, contemporary interiors.

Making this one of the most glamorous, and truly Parisian experiences in the city,  the hotel’s 138 luxe rooms are some of the largest in Paris, providing all you design-savvy Jauntophiles with elegance, space and light. The design combines Parisian sophistication, with art deco details and, of course, a few oriental touches. Working with the foremost international names in architecture and design, architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte supervised renovation of the building, facade and patio, Sybille de Margerie imagined the interior design and decoration of the rooms, spa and public spaces, and Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku lent their talent to the bar and restaurants. The hotel’s vast indoor garden of oriental inspiration (check this masterpiece of indoor/outdoor beauty out!) was created by Wilmotte & Associés, in association with the landscape artists François Neveux and Bernard Rouyer.

Le Renovation!

But they didn’t stop there. Mandarin Oriental, Paris ‘designed to satisfy every gourmet desire’, is also led by Executive Chef and Culinary Director Thierry Marx. Two restaurants, a “live cooking” counter (j’adore), a bar, Cake Shop and Garden offer a variety of different settings and moods where guests can savor a unique experience each time they visit (tres cool).

Sur Mesure par Thierry Marx

This gourmet restaurant was intended as an intimate cocoon for diners.  Its design forms the perfect backdrop for Chef Thierry Marx’s menu that pays particular attention to shapes and colors, textures and temperatures, and is an invitation to experience new sensations. What we like?  Sur Mesure par Thierry Marx offers a choice of menus comprised of nine or 13 dishes to choose from, including classics from the Chef’s repertoire, such as Tomato Iceburg, Soya Risotto, Calf’s Sweetbread Spaghetti and No-Bake Warm Chocolate Cake.

Mandarin Oriental, Paris - Cake Shop

Camélia’s light-filled space and continuation of the landscaped inner garden reflects Thierry Marx’s wish for a menu of simple, instinctive dishes focused on individual ingredients used in French cuisine that are also influenced by Japanese culinary traditions.  For a unique dining experience, guests can choose to sit at the “live cooking” counter in the center of the restaurant which seats seven, or La Table du Jardin which seats six to eight guests. We sure love the “live cooking” experience. Mandarin Oriental, Paris also pays tribute to its location and Saint Honoré – the patron saint of bakers and pastry-makers – with a delicious collection of classic French pâtisseries with a modern twist in their Cake Shop.  These delicacies can be enjoyed at teatime in the Camélia restaurant or the Gallery area of the Lobby, or beautifully wrapped and taken home.

http://www.mandarinoriental.com/paris/dining/

But we can’t forget… Le Spa!

Mandarin Oriental, Paris Spa

The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Paris

Entirely devoted to well-being and relaxation, the Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Paris offers a holistic experience and sanctuary of soothing, revitalizing experiences that extends over two floors and includes seven Spa Suites of which three are double suites for couples. Covering 1,281 square feet on the first floor, a fully-equipped fitness centre affords a plunging view of the pool.  For outdoor sport, guests can enjoy a morning run in the Tuileries Gardens, one of Paris’ most beautiful parks and just minutes from the hotel.  The Group’s Signature Therapies and product line were specially developed with anti-aging Orchidée Impériale treatments and exceptional facial therapies by Guerlain (one of our personal favorites since the days we used to go through bottles and bottles of Shalimar).

http://www.mandarinoriental.com/paris/spa

Last Minute Fall Getaways

Rajasthan, India

Looking for some last minute fall getaways? Who isn’t? If you’re anything like me, you’re a workaholic often being told by your colleagues to just ‘get some rest already!’ So, as it’s just around the corner, fall is the ideal time to discover the world, with many destinations around the globe featuring cooler temperatures, colorful panoramas, abundant wildlife and a kaleidoscope of festivals. India, already a vibrant country, explodes in a riot of colors in the fall, when many festivals take place, including Diwali and Pushkar Fair.

Budapest by Night

Budapest, Vienna and Prague are also beautiful during the Fall, along with Berlin, China, and Tanzania.  So, when Abercrombie & Kent sent us a list of their special fall journeys (with added discounts and deals), we wanted to spread the word so that you, too, could experience your dream destination at its best. Solo travellers take note: you can also save up to 96% on the single supplement on: Treasures of Northern India from Oct 7 and Nov 11 and Essence of India from Oct 13 and Nov 17. Remember, Abercrombie & Kent is high-end so you won’t be skimping. This is 5 star all the way with guides that are some of the best in the world. We’re talking life changing travels, baby, and you could use a shift in your continuum, right?

Right.

Though I tend to be more of a fly by the seat of my pants kinda traveller, as I get older and wiser I find that sometimes it’s just easier to have someone in the know do all the legwork for you. At Abercrombie & Kent, the nice thing is that you can also search for tour options like the following:

August through November departures are filling fast so click the link below to see last-minute destinations for fall travel, and reserve a fall getaway now!

Abercrombie & Kent Last Minute Fall Getaways

ELLE Spa – Eden Roc

Eden Roc Renaissance Miami

When I was invited to cover the grand opening of Elle Magazine’s first foray into the spa business, you can probably guess no one had to twist my rubber arm. The ELLE Spa, launched in Miami’s famed Eden Roc hotel, promised to be both luxurious and relaxing. Although I’d never set foot in the Eden Roc, I did know the name. Who doesn’t? For more than 50 years, the Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach has graced Miami Beach’s Golden Mile at 45th Street and Collins Avenue.  Its 1950s and 60s heyday established it not only as a legendary landmark, but as South Florida’s premier resort property sought by many of the nation’s top entertainers and celebrities.

Eden Roc Pool

Today, the Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach continues its reign as the Grande Dame of Miami Beach, successfully luring the happening crowd away from South Beach, according to New York Magazine.  As with most great monuments, it is surrounded by a tremendous amount of history, and in some cases, controversy.

Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach was originally designed by famed architect Morris Lapidus, who also designed the Fontainebleau next door as well as the Americana Hotel, now the Sheraton Bal Harbour.  Lapidus was a virtual newcomer to hotel design, specializing in the design of retail storefronts.  His curvy, innovative hotel designs were widely criticized and, though considered daring at the time, later earned the 96 year-old Lapidus national acclaim in which he always insisted his best revenge on his critics was outliving them.  That’s when Harry Mufson came along and bought the Warner Estate (which belonged to one of the Warner Brothers) with a promise to build an even grander property:  Eden Roc. Lapidus was commissioned by Mufson to design the Eden Roc and said,  “I don’t want any of that French stuff you used at the Fontainebleau.  That’s for kids.” Gotta love a man who can crack a funny joke about the French…

As research for this project, Lapidus traveled to the Eden Roc in France; a favorite vacation spot for The Kennedy’s.  While touring Europe, he purchased statues, marble, and Venetian glassware for use in designing the hotel that would later be deemed a vision of the Italian Renaissance. Completed in 1956, Eden Roc was Lapidus’ most lavish design, attracting a stream of celebrities, including Elizabeth Taylor, Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Ann Margret.  It became the favorite on Miami Beach, successfully claiming the limelight from the Fontainebleau next door.

Eden Roc Lobby Bar

Located just off the pool deck was Harry’s American Bar.  Named after the property’s owner at the time, Harry Mufson, this became the hottest nightclub in town where elites such as Katharine Hepburn, Joe DiMaggio, Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, and Ernest Hemingway frequently danced the night away.  Painter Al Hirshfeld captured the essence of these entertainers at the popular nightclub in a famous celebrity caricature mural on the walls of the establishment.

Eden Roc Guest Room

Today, with the completion of its lavish restoration, Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach is shining brilliantly once again with it’s spacious 631 guest rooms, three 2,500 sq. ft. penthouse suites, 18 oceanfront one-bedroom suites, and 15 bi-level bungalow suites with floating staircases. All rooms feature flat-screen HDTV’s, iPod stations & Wi-Fi high speed internet. Their lobby bar is also one straight from the movies with sparkling glass, marble, and Brazilian rosewood columns. Beware of their delicious cocktails (which I happily slurped down with a side of shishito peppers) alongside Marysol from the Real Housewives of Miami, writers from Spa Magazine, and other fun, very Miami-based celebs. And the food at  1500 Degrees, their signature high-end dining establishment…delicious.

Under the direction of Exec Chef Paula DaSilva, 1st runner-up in Season 5 of Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen, hand-crafted artesian dishes demonstrate ‘fresh flavor combinations that accentuate the unparalleled flavor of fresh farm ingredients’. Sorry, couldn’t have said it better myself. The menu changes daily according to season and features local food products from farmers she actually knows. Small plate offerings ($6-$9) range from roasted beets with seared goat cheese and jumbo lump crab cakes with cilantro slaw and Old Bay aioli, to charred baby Brussels sprouts with mustard sauce and teriyaki beef skewers. Main plates ($25-$42) include: Florida red snapper with mushroom risotto, wilted arugula and aged saba vinegar; locally-raised half-chicken, cooked on the rotisserie, served with Carolina rice, black bean puree and mustard greens; hickory rubbed Palmetto Creek Farms pork loin chop with creamy polenta and roasted lobster with celery root puree, hearts of palm and Florida fruit salsa.

1500 Degrees

The ELLE Spa, which I was first and foremost there to enjoy, was designed by the owners Paola Chapur, Paloma Ardid, and Tim Williams, the spa director. This joint venture — the first for ELLE and an unprecedented partnership between a media property and a luxury resort — offered a once‐in‐a‐lifetime experience combining the unparalleled history and service of the Eden Roc Renaissance with the style of ELLE and the swankiness of Miami Beach. With floor‐to‐ceiling windows overlooking the hotel’s lushgardens and ocean, four infinity pools and sweeping seascape, the space boasts design and décor inspired by the Mediterranean coastline. High‐coved ceilings, whitewashed walls, natural stone, water and wooden elements create a calm, chic environment for the ultimate spa escape. My favorite part? Free yogurt covered pretzels, copies of Elle Magazine, and a faux fireplace to keep things warm and toasty.

Exit Through The ELLE Spa Gift Shop!

The ELLE Spa offers a range of treatments that come to life through elite, editorially‐inspired treatments such as ‘Doctors’ Orders’ and ‘Forever 25’ –replete with inspiring oceanfront views, rooftop dining, chocolates, champagne, a shared whirlpool tub, rain shower, and cozy beds. Depending on their schedule, guests can spend less than an hour or a whole day experiencing wet spa areas with hot whirlpools, cold plunges, steam sauna and hydro‐experience showers before being escorted to the decadent relaxation lounge.

Jaime King Gets a Pedi

ELLE Spa visitors can also take advantage of an expansive rooftop deck with VIP cabanas, light dining and beverage service. A retail boutique offers the ultimate selection of luxury products, handpicked by ELLE editors. This spa shop is one of the best I’ve seen. So much so, I bought a bracelet and a necklace. The prices, for the quality of the goods, are also completely reasonable.

A range of exclusive products and treatments, curated by skin and beauty experts including Tammy Fender, Yael Alkalay of Red Flower, and Essie feature exclusives from Red Flower, including massage and body treatments and a customizable scrub bar, all which incorporate the signature ELLE Spa scent. In addition, Essie has developed eye-catching custom nail colors—the neon-pink “Eden” and can’t-miss-it-coral “Roc” —to be sold only at the ELLE Spa.

All in all, the trip was amazing. Live music at the beachfront cabana restaurant, rooms with ocean views, high quality in-room flatscreen TVs and the ELLE Spa, made for the perfect balance between relaxing after an evening of Miami’s nightlife and revitalizing myself from a day at the beach under the sexy Miami sun.

Couples Therapy in Paradise

Villa Milagro at Sunset

We’re excited to announce that Villa Milagro, a secluded retreat on the Pacific coast of Mexico, has expanded into a full-scale wellness resort and spa. In addition, Berta Davis, PhD, couple and sex therapist and owner of Villa Milagro, in collaboration with the managing director, Peter Petersen, will offer workshops in meditation, couples therapy, qigong, dance, yoga, surf and other forms of holistic healing. And really… who better to offer such things than a sex therapist??

Sitting solo on a secluded beachfront cove, Villa Milagro is a fully enclosed paradise that is as serene as it is secure. The Villa consists of three spacious thatched-roof buildings open to the Pacific Ocean in the sexy little fishing town of Zihuatanejo. Scenic vistas include the ever-changing sea, acres of untouched tropical landscapes and the Sierra Madre del Sur Mountains. Gentle waves are the ultimate backdrop for meditation or the perfect night’s sleep. Gated and enclosed with twenty-four hour security, Villa Milagro is also perfect venue for romantic hideaways, family vacations, destination weddings, and group workshops.

A view from the pool at Villa Milagro

Throughout the year, they’ll offer spiritual, emotional, and educational retreats, including couples and sexuality workshops under the guidance of Dr. Davis, who has been a leader in the transformation process for over 30 years. Structured in collaboration with Peter Petersen and his “moving meditation” practice, Villa Milagro will approach healing with a new and exciting approach. In addition, they’ll also be hosting other healing professionals who combine mind, body, and spirit to help facilitate our mission for holistic healing and education.  Rates are below, so what are you waiting for? Your love life to improve on it’s own. I don’t think so. Perhaps it’s time someone admits that it’s time for a spontaneous retreat, no?

Si.

www.mexicovillamilagro.com

Master Suite per night $450 $275
Sunrise Suite per night $250 $200
Sunset Suite per night $250 $200
Zen Room per night* $200 $175
Garden Room per night* $175 $150
Entire Villa per week $7,500 $5,000

Tuscany on a Budget

Tuscany in the Spring

There’s no better time to visit Tuscany than springtime.  But then again… there’s no bad time to visit Tuscany. After all, it is Tuscany. That said, Springtime is when the days turn sunny, vineyards sprout their first green, markets display their gorgeous produce and sidewalk cafés and restaurants come to life.

And—difficult as it is to believe—spring is coming. TourCrafters, a tour company specializing in affordable European vacations, has made a spring trip even more appealing with their one-week Florence and Tuscany Countryside package, which starts at $739 from New York and includes round-trip air from New York, three nights at the 4-star Hotel Roma in Florence, three nights at the 4-star Villa Aurea in Cortona, daily buffet breakfast, three days’ car rental, a free spa course (with sauna, Turkish bath and tea) at the Villa Aurea, a free gelato at Florence’s famous Vivoli, service charges and taxes.

Florence, as everyone knows, is the world’s greatest repository of Renaissance art, but it also boasts great restaurants and fabulous shopping (everything from designer shops on via Tornabuoni to the San Lorenzo Market).  Cortona, a hilltop town of steep, narrow streets and the setting for the popular memoir, Under the Tuscan Sun, also has its art and architecture.  Between the two lies the Chianti region with its hillside vineyards, olive groves, medieval towns and picturesque castles—easy enough to explore with a three-day car rental.

All prices are per person, double occupancy, are subject to availability and do not include airport taxes of approximately $115 and a fuel surcharge of approximately $360.  Reservations must be paid for within 72 hours of booking. Add-on air fares are $40 from Boston and Washington, D.C., $135 from Miami and Chicago,  and $250 from Los Angeles.

For additional information about this and other Hot Deals of the Week, visit www.tourcrafters.it

 

We Ski for Equality

This just blew in from across the pond, so we had to share.  For all of you sexy ski bunnies, Telluride Ski Resort in Colorado is holding its annual Women’s Ski Week March 6-11, 2010, partnering with Capella Telluride to create a great meeting of minds for women around the US.

Accommodations at Capella Telluride can be a little steep (think Blue Diamond) at $495/night, but Capella, founded by the ex-CEO of the Ritz, promises never to let you down.  There are three package levels through Telluride Ski Resort for the various events planned ($480, $780 or $945).  Elements include ski passes, lessons, rentals, spa credits, meals at Capella, and a lecture by author Rebecca Shambaugh (“It’s Not a Glass Ceiling, It’s a Sticky Floor”), who will be kicking off her book tour for her latest piece “Leadership Secrets of Hillary Clinton.”

We support anything that helps enlighten men and women to reality that all people, regardless of gender, class, race, or expertise on the slopes, ought to be treated equally. No glass ceilings, no sticky floors, no icy conditions.

Hear us roar – just like that toasty fireplace.

Information on Capella Telluride is available at www.CapellaTelluride.com and details on Telluride’s Women’s Ski Week and the three package options can be found at http://www.capellatelluride.com/telluride-womens-week.php.