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The island of St. Barth has plenty of posh hotels but it's actually a villa rental agency that has the fanciest designer toiletries.
Sibarth Villa Rentals, which has over 200 properties throughout the island, is now offering Hermès bath amenities featuring the Eau d'orange verte scent, to all their guests. They are actually the only villa rental agency or hotel on the island to do this.
Of course, you have to have the funds to afford a villa rental which can range from about $900 a night for a spot on the beach to $645 for a family-friendly villa to just about $200 a night for a one-bedroom bungalow. Still, the chance to rub Hermès body lotion all over you after a long day roughing it on the beach? Priceless. (Or about $55 at Neiman Marcus.)
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Chalk up yet another new hotel for China, this time in Shanghai. The former French Concession gets to cut the ribbon on Twelve at Hengshan in November. The über-swanky brand, Luxury Collection from Starwood Hotels is bringing fierce design while honoring local character to the city's most historic section.
The new building, right along tree-lined Hengshan Road, will blend in to the neighborhood with thousands of terracotta tiles adorning the outside. But it's the modern take on traditional Chinese design that provides the wow factor. Garden motifs, hand-painted Oriental screens, handmade Chinese and modern furniture will give an 'East meets West, Past meets Present' vibe.
Though there are 171 rooms, know the most luxury is oozing from the suites. All 28 of them are decked out with Bose sound systems, Hermes toiletries, and many even overlook a secret garden. Plus each will have private terraces--oh, and a butler. But, if the suites are out of your price range, the regular rooms come with deluxe bathrooms, entertainment systems, Nespresso machines and free WiFi. Not too shabby, eh?
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Our travels recently took us to the tiny country of Luxembourg, the only remaining sovereign grand duchy today. Landlocked between Belgium, Germany, and France, and with Grand Duke Henri as its current head of state, Luxembourg has one of the highest Gross Domestic Products (GDP) per capita at Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), making it one of the richest countries in the world.
Having recently done our share of cubicle-dreaming over the possibility to win a round-the-world trip with Sofitel Hotels & Resorts and researching our accommodation options, we ended up at the Sofitel Le Grand Ducal, overlooking the old town of Luxembourg and the Pétrusse valley.
Be aware that there are two Sofitels in Luxembourg City; Le Grand Ducal and Europe. The Sofitel Europe is on the Kirchberg Plateau, a business area with lots of offices and European Institutions about 2km from the city centre. If you don't have a reason to be in the area, we'd probably pick the Sofitel Le Grand Ducal for location and ease of access to the old town.
Germans may have a reputation for being buttoned-down types, but you’d never know it when visiting the Sofitel Munich Bayerpost’s hedonistic pool in their luxurious onsite spa. It is dark, inviting, and intimate.
Once you enter the wonderfully warm water, duck under the low-ceilinged overhang to your right to head into the main pool – a waterfall-filled spring with plenty of nooks and crannies for you to find your own private corner. Windows at eye-level give you a wee voyeuristic peek at the comings-and-goings of people in the sleek hotel lobby.
Now sneak back under and follow the curving, snakelike, dimly-lit tiled path to the next open space. You feel a sense of tingling anticipation as to what’s around the next corner. We felt like kids in an R-rated Disneyworld. And then, you feel it: Large whirlpool jets rushing directly up from the floor. It’s oh-so-tantalizingly risqué.