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Whether before in New York, or now in London, the arrival of Savage Beauty, the Alexander McQueen exhibit, has been hard to miss, both for its rave reviews and the impossibility of getting tickets. The retrospective opened on March 14 at the Victoria & Albert Museum in South Kensington, and while “tickets still available” is listed on the website (in all caps, for that matter), as we write this we cannot even get the “buy online” page to load.
The answer to getting inside in the near future may involve a stay in a hotel, one where McQueen spent a lot of his time: Claridge’s. From now until May 17, the hotel has a “Savage Beauty at Claridge’s” package available, which gets you an overnight stay at the hotel and tickets to the exhibit. When you check in, there will be a bottle of champagne waiting for you, as well as a copy of the specially commissioned book “Alexander McQueen”.
Savage Beauty is the largest McQueen retrospective to date, bringing together over 200 pieces of his work. If you’re going the Claridge’s route, you’re looking at a starting price from £560 ($835) a night. A full price ticket – if you can get hold of one – is £16 ($24) per adult. We’ll just hit refresh on the booking page yet again…
[Savage Beauty photo via Claridge's: Duck feather dress - The Horn of Plenty, A/W 2009-10 - Alexander McQueen. Butterfly headdress of hand-painted turkey feathers - La Dame Bleue,S/S 2008 - Philip Treacy for Alexander McQueen. Tulle and lace dress with veil and antlers - Widows of Culloden, A/W 2006–07- Alexander McQueen. Room photo: Claridge's]
The weather in Washington, DC will eventually warm up, and with it comes all those cherry blossoms. There might be a few bloom sneaking in here and there, but this year the National Park Service is guessing that the best bloom period will be between April 11 and 14.
The Hamilton Hotel is all about the season, and they’re offering up an unusual way to take in the sights and scents of the spring season. They’re partnering up with Capital Segway to run some guided Segway tours, as the thought is you can cover a little more ground—and see more blossoms—with a pair of wheels under foot.
Are you hitting the gym everyday? Restricting your intake of carbs? Drinking lots of cold-pressed juice? No? Well you better get started on that since swimsuit season is practically here. #Ugh #No #Winterbutt.
Speaking of swimsuits, The Mandarin Oriental Singapore is helping guests ease into bathing suit season with their new Swim in Style package. The offer includes accommodations in the Ocean Grand room overlooking the city and the and the South China Sea, along with a private yoga class, a spa cuisine meal for two, new blends of "Refresh, Renew, Revitalise" coconut water and a therapeutic thai massage in a pool cabana.
But it also includes two swim sets from the eco-friendlyFINCH designs (shown below), a Shanghai-based company. We suggest these suits on at the end of your stay, you know, after the coconut water, yoga class and massage.
The package will be offered from April 1 to August 31 with rates starting at SGD 1,450 a night for double occupancy. A two-night minimum stay is required. Regular room rates for an Ocean Grand room start at SGD 590.
Hotels aren't very creative when it comes to Valentine's Day unless there's a kinky movie tie-in, but even then, the offerings end up being more embarrassing than romantic. So when we see romance packages that we like, it's a rare thing. And of course, we're going to tell you all about it.
InterContinental Los Angeles has put together an over-the-top hotel package that includes something we actually really like--a private outdoor screening of a movie of your choice. Check out the set-up! The hotel could almost offer this as an a la carte offering, for those not flush enough to book the whole romantic package.
Speaking of the whole package, it's priced at $14,000, also includes two-night accommodations in the Royal Suite with views of the Hollywood Hills, a chilled bottle of Veuve Clicquot la Grade Dame 1998 and chocolate-dipped strawberries; a private five-course dinner for two in the Grand Salon Ballroom, adorned with candles, flowers and dim red lighting from overhead LEDs, a private piano performance during dessert, a spa treatment for two in a couples’ villa at Spa InterContinental, and a round-trip chauffer service in a Rolls Royce, provided by Black & White car rental, up the PCH to Malibu Wines, where couples will enjoy a day of sipping and relaxing and leave with a bottle from their selection of award-winning labels.
But hurry, the package needs to be booked today for stays this weekend. Call 310-284-6500 for more information.
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We curse the persons who decided to release the "Fifty Shades of Grey" movie on Valentine's Day Weekend. Because that means not only is our inbox overflowing with the usual schmaltzy hotel romance packages, we are now getting deluged with FSOG-themed hotel packages, promising some sort of "kinky" aspect to the hotel stay.
Despite our initial desire to quickly delete the packages (sorry, but we still haven't recovered from the hotel packages tied in with the book back in 2012), we've since had a change of libido and thought it would be fun for you to see these packages for your own entertainment.
Just a note: we've kept the hotels "blindfolded" so to speak so that they won't feel embarrassed about their spanking. (Of course, you can always Google the package to find out which hotel it is.)
And just so you know, the only acceptable hotels to role-play Christian Grey and Ana Steele is the Heathman Hotel in Portland, which was actually mentioned in the book. (Can't make it to the hotel? Um, maybe buy a pillow then?) along with the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver whose wood paneled Lieutenant Governor's suite is featured in the movie. (Rates of the suite start at $1,199 a night. No toys included.)
If you’re still not over your Downton Abbey fetish and the official Hotel Downton has slipped through your fingers, here’s another option: the Cavendish Hotel in Derbyshire, England is giving you the chance to sleep with the aristocracy.
The hotel is part of the uber-posh Chatsworth Estate, home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire – whose country pile is a couple of fields away from the hotel. The package gets you two nights on the estate, and tickets to a “Life at Chatsworth” talk given by the Duke and Duchess, along with lunch afterwards.
The St. Regis Deer Valley, one of Park City’s most chi-chi properties, announced it has partnered up with Volant Skis, a brand known for constructing its skis with stainless steel caps. In doing so, it becomes the only resort in North America where guests can rent these high-tech skis.
And of course, where there's a new partnership, a new package is not far behind. Indeed, St. Regis has just launched the “Glamour of Skiing” package that includes accommodations, lift tickets, and a ski demo package of Volant skis, which themselves go for about $1,000.
We love to see these kinds of ski packages from hotels. They make the whole idea of a ski vacation much easier, simplifying the process of obtaining accommodations, rentals, and lift tickets. But in this case, unfortunately, with a four-night minimum and a starting rate of $1,250 per night, the Glamour of Skiing is something we won’t be able to experience.
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Sadly we do not believe this man is included in your package
It’s the second week of January, and you know what that means. It means New Year’s resolutions are so over; now it’s all about Valentine’s Day. And while we’ll be seeing plenty of loved up packages with late check-outs and vomitable intimacy kits in the next coming weeks, we rather like this first one: the Broken Hearts Spa at Borgo Egnazia in Puglia (previously known for breaking your heart when Justin Timberlake held his wedding reception there).
This is no yeahhhh-single-gals-4eva patronizing spa retreat; it’s a full-on, totally nuts “renewal program” as only the Italians can do. Are you struggling with a break-up? They will knit you back together, not with fancy massages or sweet-smelling candles, but with an entire team of “soul therapists”:
Kimpton's Hotel Triton is known for its vibrant lobby
Interest in the American craft beer scene has never been higher, and a San Francisco hotel is looking to draw in the big drinkers this winter.
Kimpton’s Hotel Triton in Union Square has launched its Triton on Tap package that offers guests individual tours of four San Fran breweries: Magnolia Dogpatch Brewery, Speakeasy Ales & Lagers, ThirstyBear Brewing Company, and Triple Voodoo Brewery and Tap Room.
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Welsh cakes. Welsh flags. Welsh rarebit. Welsh… lessons?
That’s the new addition to the menu at Chateau Rhianfa, a French-inspired castle in Anglesey (Wales, if that wasn’t already clear). They’re not just any lessons, though – there’s a two-night package planned all around them, and it really is the best of
You’ll arrive in time for a traditional Welsh afternoon tea, including Welsh cakes and Bara Brith as well as your standard sandwiches, scones and cakes. After that, you’ll get on a RIB (rigid inflatable boat) for a whip round the Menai Strait; then it’s back to the hotel to get changed and get dinner – three courses and wine is included.
The 90-minute Welsh lesson starts after dinner – just as well, since you'll have to be suitably lubricated to make your way around those vowels.
On day two, you’ll have a locally sourced breakfast, a tour of Snowdonia, and a second Welsh lesson in the afternoon, before dinner, a cocktail-making class and wine and local cheese tasting in the wine cave.
Hotel packages are, of course, only worth doing if they’re really good value for money. And hotel packages, of course, are notorious for not providing good value for money. But here’s one that is.
The very specific Taste of the Bay Winter 2014/2015 package at the trendy Watergate Bay Hotel in Cornwall costs £249 per person (in a double room) for three nights. For that you get a room and breakfast, two dinners and a lunch.
But this isn’t just any old dinner. Cornwall is these days one of the top places in the UK for food, and Watergate Bay is one of the county’s foodie hubs – Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen is on site, the Beach Hut is famous for being a hut on a beach that serves upmarket, organic food, and the hotel has just opened a third restaurant, Zacry’s, which “combines Cornish attitude with a classic brasserie”.
Here’s what you should be paying, were you to take all those things on the package separately:
It doesn’t feel this long, and yet it feels like forever – the Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago in November, and the city is marking the anniversary on November 9 by lining up 8000 helium balloons along a 7.5 mile stretch of the old border between east and west.
Obviously no hotel wants to be seen to be taking advantage of an event of such historical importance, but the Hotel de Rome has drawn up a pretty sober package, valid November 7-10.
The Fall of the Berlin Wall package includes three nights accommodation and breakfast, a three hour private guided tour of Wall-related sites, a trip to the Asisi Panorama near Checkpoint Charlie, and a two hour Trabi tour (in an iconic East German Trabant car). They’ll also throw in champagne and currywurst as you watch the balloons on the 9th from the hotel rooftop terrace.