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You can now stay warm while you chill out in front of your own personal fire pit at Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel’s new Beachcomber Fire Pit Rooms and Suites, where temperatures December through February can plummet to a horrifying 50 F (that’s a shout-out to all of you tough northerners out there who can endure -20 F in January – we’re looking at you Fargo).
With direct access to the beach, these four stylin’ rooms all have terraces with private fire pits so that you can roast some wienies or pig out on s’mores in a more civilised way than backpacking with a tent in tow and searching for kindling (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / Cornwall Hotels / Scilly Isles Hotels / Beach Hotels / Karma Resorts / → All Tags
Bali. Lombok. Mykonos. St Tropez. Isles of Scilly. WTF?
In what appears at first glance to be the most bizarre new opening on earth, Karma Resorts, which own three hotels on Bali, and one in each of Lombok, Mykonos and St Tropez, have just soft opened their newest property: Karma St Martin’s, in the Scilly Isles, with 30 rooms spread out in a row of little cottages, right on the beach.
If you don’t know where the Scillies are – and why should you? – they’re a tiny archipelago of islands 28 miles off the southwest tip of Cornwall – which is itself the southwest tip of England. There are 145 islands, but only five are inhabited. St Martin’s, which earned its Karma on 1 August, is the third highest populated island, with 142 people living on its two square-kilometer area. Karma is the former St Martin's on the Isle hotel, sitting plum on Tean Sound and overlooking another island, Tresco.
Of course, there are similarities with Bali – the Scillies have white sand beaches, their own microclimate, and are a bugger to get to (ferry or a tiny plane from various points in Cornwall). But Karma is gunning for the same clientele, too – according to big Karma man John Spence, who talked to Scilly Today, they’re going after “affluent adults” who backpacked their way around Bali etc a while back, but now want spectacular scenery, beaches and high standard accommodation closer to home.
No cute hotel doggy to share this week; instead we’ve got cute hotel sealions, the guests of honor at the Portofino Hotel & Marina in Redondo Beach, where we stayed the week before last.
We’d been warned about the sealions before our arrival – apparently, it’s mating season at the moment, and they’re right outside the hotel – and LOUD. In fact, the hotel even provides earplugs to drown out their racket in every room:
Hotel Renovations / Hotel News / Borneo Hotels / Malaysia Hotels / Sarawak Hotels / Beach Hotels / → All Tags
View from our Superior Poolside Room at the Damai Beach Resort
The Malaysian state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure travelers, especially the area surrounding the city of Kuching. A short drive outside the city sits the Sarawak Cultural Village and Mount Santubong, where you can learn about Iban longhouses and explore the exotic wildlife of the rainforest.
There are a number of hotels in Kuching that are very affordable and within a 45-minute drive, but if you want to stay on the coast, the area's flagship resort is the Damai Beach Resort in Sarawak. It recently underwent a series of refurbishments that included upgrades to the main pool, children's pool, and dining areas, and further renovations are taking place as we speak.
Damai is in the midst of adding a new ballroom and parking facilities, which it hopes will attract more events to the property. One other addition that's not being advertised but we saw while on site is the addition of a swim-up bar in the main pool.
Caramel: It’s not normally the color we’d like for our sand, but we’ll let that slide, since the Caramel Boutique Resort, which opened yesterday in Rethymno, Crete, looks like the kind of place to make all our vocabulary neuroses disappear.
Rethymno is, thankfully, the least boisterous resort in Crete (for anything approaching mamading exploits, try Chania), and the Caramel is Grecotel’s latest addition to the scene, sitting on an eight-mile beach (the longest in Crete).
First interesting thing about Caramel: its 71 ‘rooms’ are made up of suites and villas, some of which sleep up to 10 people, which should give an interesting feel to the place. Second interesting thing: the food in the restaurant is all locally sourced, and there’s a farm nearby, also owned by Grecotel, where you can pretend to be a farmer for the day. Third, and most importantly, the toilets come with self-heating seats and self-flushing mechanisms.
The vibe is very Greek island – all bright, white walls and gauze curtains – yet they’ve done a good job in giving it a boutique, rather than a resort, feel – think handpainted tiles on the floor. The palm-fringed pool looks spectacular, but we’re rather more excited about the beach, complete with gazebos and fruit-serving staff. Warning: at night, they’re planning parties on the beach.
Hotel Beaches / Hotel Beach Clubs / Hotel Bars / Rovinj Hotels / Croatia Hotels / Adriatic Hotels / Beach Hotels / Design Hotels / → All Tags
Nothing says summer like a beach club – at least, that’s what Hotel Lone in Croatia thinks. A trendy hotel (it’s a member of Design Hotels) in Rovinj, the Lone opened its pool area last summer, and has now launched a club, Mulini Beach, to join it.
As you’d expect from the kind of joint that has a concept store selling the work of local artists, it ain’t your bog standard beach club. Instead, there’s almost a lido feel to it, with a white stone and concrete platform arcing out into the water, surrounding a manmade pebble beach – the first in Rovinj, no less (not that Croatia exactly needs manmade beaches, having one of the greatest coastlines in Europe).
Turndown Service / Hotel Turndown / Hotel Packages / Viceroy Hotels / Mexico Hotels / Beach Hotels / Beach Resorts / Riviera Maya Hotels / → All Tags
If you’re looking to heat things up at night, this may just be the turndown service for you.
The Viceroy Riviera Maya is now offering a new Plunge Pool Romantic Turndown that involves aromatherapy, candles and lanterns, music, food, and drink – all set under the stars on your private terrace with its own plunge pool.
At the prescribed time, the hotel’s Concierge arranges for the turndown with the options you’ve pre-selected:
• Aromatherapy choice includes Relaxation, Romance and Rejuvenate
• Mood music may be anything from love songs, Latin rhythms or your own iPod playlist
• Lanterns and flower petals rim the perimeter of the pool, and candles are floated in it
• Choice from the special turndown food and beverage menu, from champagne and fruit to after-dinner drinks and dessert creations by the pastry chef
• Plush robes and towels to cozy up in
The Plunge Pool Romantic Turndown is $99. Other romantic options are available for an additional cost, such as a bouquet of three-dozen red roses for $105.00 and Chocolate Fondue for $25.
The 41 villas at the Viceroy Riviera Maya start at $393 in July for a Sun, Sea and Solitude package in a Deluxe Villa, which includes breakfast and a $100 resort credit.
[Photos: Viceroy Hotels & Resorts]
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Select Loews properties have revved up a partnership with super-cool car brand, FIAT.
Five Loews Hotels & Resorts across the U.S.—Loews Madison Hotel in Washington, D.C., Loews Regency Hotel in NYC, Loews Hollywood Hotel, Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel and Loews Miami Beach Hotel—will ensure you keep your very important appointment in a chauffeured 2014 FIAT 500L.
Plus, three of the properties—Loews Miami Beach, Loews Hollywood and Loews Santa Monica Beach—really go the distance by offering two complimentary FIAT loaner vehicles (the Fiat 500L and either the Fiat Cabrio or the all-electric Fiat 500e depending on location)—for you to tootle around town on your own for up to three hours a day.
Rooms at Loews Hotels & Resorts go for approximately $209 per night depending on the individual property.
[Photo: Loews Hotels & Resorts]
Looking for a place to lay your head while 'Hanging 10' in the seaside surf town of Narragansett? Well look no further, Daddy-o, ‘cause The Break, with its retro chic surfer vibe, is set to open in June.
Part of Lark Hotels, who have boutique coastal properties throughout New England, The Break is decked out by local designer Jocelyn Chiappone, who has tapped into the late 60s, vintage surfer feel of the place. Bold modern textiles pop with color palettes of bright orange, earth tones, crisp white and shades of green and blue. Furnishings combine dark woods with wicker chairs and chandeliers, mid-century inspired armchairs and sofas, fabric headboards and ceramic tables.
Hotel Openings / Sentosa Resorts / Bali Hotels / Indonesia Hotels / Beach Resorts / Beach Hotels / → All Tags
Just the mere mention of Bali evokes thoughts of a lush paradise, doting service and poolside cocktails. It's truly hard not to love everything the Indonesian island has to offer and now with Sentosa's brand-spanking-new resort, those little bits of tropical heaven are just icing on the top of a perfect vacation.
Opening by July, Sea Sentosa will blend European styling with Balinese warmth and plop it down right in the middle of one of the island's best surfing beaches, Echo Beach. Each of the one- and two-bedroom apartments will have either a lagoon swimming pool for a 'front yard' or Indian Ocean views.
Aside from killer views, the designers have outfitted each apartment with exotic details like mother of pearl trim and coconut shell wall coverings as well as a fully-equipped kitchen with all the tech comforts of home. Even the smaller garden studio rooms offer a tropical feel with private balconies and internal walled gardens to remind you that you're near the Equator.
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While we showed you a quiet alternative in Cabo San Lucas earlier this week, today we're looking at a more lively hotel spot--The ME Cabo. This is where pool, beach and party all come together in a neat little package, ready for you to rip open with life-affirming gusto. But before you go buckwild, we have some important tips to share.
1) Bring your best bathing suit—This is no time to shrink down into your beautiful white Bali bed. The ME experience focuses on the senses and this includes sight, so show what ya got even if you think what ya got ain’t good. Here, attitude counts. With Bali beds for two to eight, sharing and showing a little skin is what it’s all about.
2) Wear your party hat—Nikki Beach Club, known worldwide as party central for house music revellers, can be found right at ME Cabo. We’re talking bikini dancing here, folks. There’s a DJ spinning tracks in an open-air booth while the Nikki Girls (that’s right) try to get the crowd moving to the beat of the electronic drum. Make sure to try the Nikki Mojito, the signature drink Bacardi approached Nikki Beach to create and is found at all Nikki Beach Clubs.
ME Cabo also knows how to throw a good party at Passion, their indoor/outdoor club and lounge. When the music dies down at Nikki Beach, Passion gleefully takes the baton. We were there during the annual Halloween party (if you can, we recommend you try to go during a celebration of some sort as well) and it was packed with both guests and locals. To best describe the vibe that night and the well-dressed or well-costumed patrons, imagine a big-city nightclub owned by Salvador Dali. (We’re digging what you’re thinking right now.)
Beach Hotels / Beach Resorts / Hotel Club / Tablet Hotels / Phuket Hotels / Thailand Hotels / → All Tags
We really hate to be the ones to have to tell you this, but it’s mid-August. This means that summer is, sadly, drawing to a close and soon our pool days will be in short supply.
Not, however, in Phuket, and the good news is that Paresa Resort is opening up what they think will be the hottest beach club on the island.
ZAZADA will open in September, which will give you enough time to wean yourself off of your local pool habit and go dip your toes into ZAZADA's infinity pool at one of Thailand’s most beautiful beaches, Surin Beach.
Designed locally, the beach club will not only have its full-service infinity pool and beach space, but a dance floor, DJ booth and room for a band. You can literally show up in the morning, have a fresh-squeezed juice or smoothie at the juice bar, hang by the pool until it’s time to move on to other liquid refreshments from the full bar or wine room, bake on the beach, and then have dinner at ZAZADA’s restaurant – with a menu put together by Ryan Arboleda of Paresa’s Talung Thai and Diavolo restaurants. Have a shower and change into your dancing duds (or not--bathing suits are, after all, allowed) and then dance the night away.
ZAZADA is open to the public so you can mingle with the locals too, but Paresa guests have priority access with free admittance and transportation from the resort (less than 10 minutes away).
When ZAZADA opens, the Hot Deal Rate (advance purchase) at Paresa Resort is 8992 THB ($288) and includes breaky and free WiFi.
[Rendering: Paresa Resort & Spa]