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Cal Simmons' Guide to Luxury Travel Published by Five Star Alliance
December 2005

In This Issue
  • The World's Most Romantic Hotels
  • What’s Up With the Burj Dubai?
  • "I'm Putting This On My WishList!"
  • Spotlight On: Accommodations at the Whitehall
  • Mistletoe Memories
  • Living Large at Lajitas, The Ultimate Hideout
  • Peter Island Babymoon Package
  • Royal Gazette Fancies Five Star Alliance World's Best Lists
  • Most Popular Articles

  • What’s Up With the Burj Dubai?

    Mary Nicklin, Contributing Editor & Editor of the Informed Traveler Blog

    "Throughout history, only a handful of structures have had the power to change history." The great pyramids, Empire State building, Eiffel Tower, and ... the Burj Dubai? Pretty bold, if you ask me, but this development is being billed as "the most exclusive address in the world," not to mention the world's tallest building.

    This will be the site of the first of the Armani Hotels and Resorts, scheduled to open in 2008. Emaar Properties is ...


    "I'm Putting This On My WishList!"

    Five Star Alliance & The Informed Traveler Blog
    Since the release of The Informed Traveler Blog last month, we've received great support from our readers - who've left us comments and sent us stories of their own.

    Recent comments include - "I'm putting this on my wishlist!" about a cooking school in Thailand, "Thanks. I'll give it a try ..." about a restaurant near Washington, DC, and even Santa Claus left a comment!
    Another reader left us a picture of a monkey in their comments (don't worry, it made sense).

    Check out The Informed Traveler Blog daily and read posts on luxury destinations, restaurants, offers, hotels and guides.


    Spotlight On: Accommodations at the Whitehall

    The Whitehall Hotel, Chicago, IL

    Featuring the finest in accommodations, Chicago's luxury boutique hotel offers 221 guestrooms including eight elegantly appointed suites. These downtown Chicago suites feature stylish parlor and dining areas with additional guest bathrooms. Both The Presidential Suite and The Whitehall Suite, located on the 18th floor, provide spacious private terrace overlooking the spectacular Chicago skyline.

    Surpassing Your Grandest Expectations
    The luxurious and plush Whitehall Suites are sure to surpass even the highest of expectations. Located on floors 18 through 21, these one-bedroom suites offer a large bedroom with a king-sized bed, dressing area, a full bathroom, and an additional guest bathroom for convenience. European decor accented by mahogany furniture makes these suites both classy and beautiful.


    Mistletoe Memories

    Courtney W. May, Editor

    Britt Scripps Inn in San Diego, CA

    Each morning the Britt Scripps Inn in San Diego treats its guests to a complimentary full breakfast including homemade breads and pastries. In the late afternoon, this intimate and luxurious Inn serves complimentary wine and cheese in the parlor. This gives guests the opportunity to swap stories.

    If you are going to San Diego (whether you planned to or not) this is someplace you should visit. This holiday season Britt Scripps is dressed up in full holiday cheer with more than 135,000 holiday lights, 100 bejeweled wreaths, and in excess of 4000 Paper White Narcissus and Amaryllis flowers blooming in the garden to add to the 'mood and romance of the holiday season.'

    The Inn is currently offering a special Mistletoe Memories Package until January 3rd. This package gives you the choice of accommodations in any of the nine unique guestrooms which are placed in 3 categories - Lavish, Posh and Classic. Next time I visit I plan to stay in the Governors Room - located on the 2nd floor with a queen bed, decorative fireplace, and offering a rare view of both the city and ocean from the same room.

    Also included in the package are: the complimentary full breakfast for two, the evening wine and hor's d'oeuvres, an exclusive Britt Scripps Inn 'Misletow Memories CD' (a contemorary holiday jazz collection), a bottle of Dom Perignon Champagne, and a set of two 'Marquis by Waterford - The Romance Collection' crystal champagne flutes.

    In keeping with the Inn's tradition of highly personal and customized experiences, guests will have the option of selecting from a list of activities during their stay. You might choose an elegant night of theater at the Old Globe, a Neiman Marcus shopping spree or an exquisite dinner at one of San Diego’s acclaimed restaurants. The Britt Scripps Inn staff make sure details are arranged with style and elegance.

    The rate? Only $495 per night per couple (plus tax), plus $300 per night for any subsequent nights. Try not to miss this deal - holiday cheer like this could sell out fast. Ready to make reservations now? Call 1- 888-578-2711.


    Living Large at Lajitas, The Ultimate Hideout

    Mary Nicklin, Contributing Editor & Editor of The Informed Traveler Blog

    In the rugged wilderness of West Texas, between Big Bend National Park and the Mexico border, lies a unique destination resort situated on a 25,000-acre private estate. Lajitas is surrounded by the awesome scenery that - as Architectural Digest explains - inspired Franklin Delano Roosevelt to sign into law the creation of Big Bend National Park.

    This exquisite landscape is etched with the history of the infamous characters from the Old West. The lodging? This ain't tents around the campfire. Along with the resort's endless array of activities, Lajitas offers luxurious cowboy chic. Of the 92 rooms, no two are alike - each outfitted with plush robes and lavish Agave amenities. (Suites and private haciendas also available.)

    The resort has designed a host of fun and clever packages. The "Ultimate Golf Package" - with unlimited golf and lunch on the course - is $250 a night. With the optional 19th hole in Mexico, Ambush at Lajitas is the world's only international course. Unlimited rounds of golf are complemented by unlimited carts, balls, and beverages. My fave is the "So You Wanna Be A Cowboy" package, where guests participate in a slew of activities, starting with a custom-fitting of cowboy boots. Next on the agenda? Learn how to use a gun of the Old West at Greasewood Flats, Lajitas' very own cowboy action shooting range. After breakfast on Day 2, head out on a trail ride to the Buena Suerte Mine and Ghost Town, then star-gaze by a roaring campfire while enjoying a gourmet feast. Starting at $400 per person.


    Peter Island Babymoon Package

    Peter Island Resort in the British Virgin Islands

    The Peter Island Resort, a private island in the British Virgin Islands, has developed a package to cater to moms-and-dads-to-be by pampering and soothing them while they relax at the resort. The couple will be able to celebrate their impending baby while indulging themselves in one last romantic vacation together. The Peter Island Babymoon Package includes: Five nights in either a Beach Front Junior Suite or an Ocean View Room; two spa treatments specifically tailored for pregnant women; one de- stressing massage for the dad-to-be; one picnic lunch and non-alcoholic sparkling grape juice on one of Peter Island's private beaches; special turndowns nightly, including a baby album; all meals and activities such as snorkeling, windsurfing, tennis and more.

    Between January 4th and April 30th, the 5 nights packages start at $5,060 for an Ocean View Room and $6,710 for a beach front Junior Suite. All rates and packages are quoted in U.S. dollars and are subject to change and availability. Rates do not include a 17% surcharge for tax and service, which is subject to change, or any beverages. Round trip transfers to and from Beef Island Airport are included in all rates. Transfers on our ferry from St. Thomas on Tuesdays and Saturdays are $40 per person one way or $75 per person round trip; it departs the St. Thomas dock at 3:30 p.m. and the Peter Island dock at 9:00 a.m.


    Not planning on having a baby anytime soon? Not to worry, Peter Island has at least 5 packages available at any one time. Check out them all ...


    Royal Gazette Fancies Five Star Alliance World's Best Lists

    Mary Nicklin, Contributing Editor & Editor of the Informed Traveler Blog

    A recent article in the Royal Gazette highlights the top honor bestowed on Cambridge Beaches in Bermuda - chosen by Five Star Alliance as one of the world's most luxurious beach resorts. Situated on its own private 25 acre peninsula, the cottages at Cambridge Beaches are each unique - individually decorated and designed. This is the oldest resort of its kind. Apparently one of the buildings (almost 300 years old) was built by a privateer!

    View the Royal Gazette Article Here.


    Most Popular Articles

    Some of The Informed Traveler's Most Popular Articles from Past Issues:

    The World's Best Luxury Hotels Lists

    The Forbes List: The World's Most Expensive Resorts 2005

    Decadence and Opulence Opens in Las Vegas at the Wynn

    A Family Vacation: Driving the California Coastline

    Paris in Winter

    Washington, DC's Other Beaten Paths

    The Season's Top 10 New Caribbean Resorts

    Rave Reviews For New Ravello Hotel


    The World's Most Romantic Hotels

    Start Preparing Now for Valentine's Day with Five Star Alliance's 10 Most Romantic Hotels

    Your heart will surely melt at the site of these hotels, ranging from the charming to the exotic. Five Star Alliance has come up with our list of the World's Most Romantic Hotels and Resorts, all of which are the height of luxury and service. If you can think of any place better, then we haven't heard of it.

    Discover Which 10 Hotels Made The List ...
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