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We recently listed 5 Elopement Packages for those wanting a low-fuss wedding, but that doesn't mean one has to skip out on the time-honored tradition of The Bachelor Party. Of course, today is Fantasy Friday, so we've got to go a little over-the-top with the options, and boy have we found some. But don't worry, we've got some sensible back-up plans as well.
For Golf Lovers
Rosewood Mayakoba's $175,000 Ultimate Golf Experience is completely insane!During the week of November 11-17, 2013, the resort's El Camaleón Golf Club will host the OHL Classic, when the world’s top PGA Tour players will compete on the Greg Norman designed, 7,000-yard, 18-hole championship course. To celebrate this high profile tournament (and golf-nuts everywhere) the resort created an extravagant package that's a bachelor's ultimate last-hurrah.The groom and two of his besties will get a private lesson with world famous golf instructor Jim McLean, a round of golf with legend Greg Norman at Playa Mujeres (you'll take a private helicopter to and fro) as well as receive three positions in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba Pro-Am. Oh, and though this is already an all-suite resort, you'll stay in the 6,272 square-foot Presidential Lagoon Suite. Evenings mean sipping cocktails with the PGA Tour players (!), an invite to a private BBQ on the beach, and a tequila tasting of some of the country's best labels. This package is only available for November 12-19, 2013. Book via Rosewood.com
Not In Your Price Range?
Alternative: Head to Ponte Vedra and The Sawgrass Marriott Resort & Spa where from May 6 to 12, they'll be the host hotel for annual THE PLAYERS Championship at the world-famous TPC Sawgrass. Your group of guys can bask in the Florida sun in the place where some of PGA's greats like Vijay Singh, Fred Couples, and Matt Kuchar have played. This spring you'll see who'll be battling it out for a beaucoup cash purse ($9 million!) on the 18-hole, Pete Dye-designed course. Tickets start at just $15! When you're not playing yourself, feel free to spend time in the ornate Club House (we recommend indulging in the ridiculous brunch spread) where you can see Tiger Woods' 2001 tournament locker, have a few post-play cocktails, and generally feel like royalty before settling into the domestic life. Packages start at $349 per night, which includes daily breakfast, a round on THE PLAYERS Course, and other perks. In this special season and you'll generally feel like royalty before settling into the domestic life. Book through Sawgrass Marriott's special page.
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The amazing view from The Buccaneer is just short of competing with a brides beauty
May usually kicks off "wedding season" and from our experience, betrothed couples usually fall into two camps--the calm and collected or the completely overwhelmed. We believe these 5 Elopement Packages are perfect for the anti-bride, and those looking for an elegant, but easy-to-manage affair.
These hotels' wedding offerings are downright affordable, quite important after the seriously extravagant ceremony packages we've seen lately. Whether it's a ring exchange for 2 in Vegas or a Caribbean island soiree for 20, we think you'll appreciate a simpler way to walk down the aisle.
Aria Resort and Casino, Las Vegas
Who says all Vegas weddings have to be kitschy and doomed to an Elvis-impersonator-slash-drive-through affair? Nope. It's getting classier by the moment, and as of April 23, there will be a new Wedding Chapel at the ARIA, one of the town's hottest hotels. Instead of some velvet-laden, dank "church", this place promises to be completely chic. Designed in conjunction with MGM Resorts International Design, expect a modern and sophisticated set-up with chrome and mahogany wood doors, and a color scheme centered around warm chocolate tones and creamy whites. Pops of floral color and metallics soften up the look and lend a romantic feel. Seating is available for up to 60 guests, and the front foyer will double as a space for small post-ceremony gatherings. There's a dedicated ladies’ dressing lounge, and even a groom’s game lounge with a pool table and wet bar. It will feel more penthouse than house of the Lord, though, so keep that in mind. After all, it's still Vegas! On-site wedding coordinators are available to help the Big Day go smoothly, as well. The Wedding Chapel at ARIA will offer a variety of nuptial packages, ranging from $1,500 to $21,000. They all include photography, flowers, limo transportation to and from the Clark County Marriage Bureau and an officiant to perform the ceremony. Some packages even include accommodations at the hotel--honeymoon suite, anyone? And for those who can't attend your wedding, the Chapel can broadcast your ceremony online. For more info, visit arialasvegas.com/weddings or call the Chapel at (877) 371-2742.
Time for a little bit of Thursday fun as we check in on some unique events taking place at hotels around the world. We're used to seeing properties offer special events including concerts, conferences, and cocktails, but now and then we come across happenings that truly capture our attention.
Today, we've rounded up some gladiators, Scottish marksmen, and dogs without a home. Our gut tells us the dogs will fly off the shelves, but the three-day hunting spree? We're a wee bit skeptical.
Sometimes hotels create events and offers purely for publicity rather than profit, and we're curious to see how much interest these events gather.
Have no idea what we're on about? Read on for details!
Caledonian Macnab, The Caledonian: This classic Edinburgh hotel is offering a package that allows "competitors," aka you, to take part in a Scottish sporting contest they call the Caledonian Macnab. There are three stages to the contest that takes place over the course of three days amidst Scottish landscape. Participants are challenged to catch a salmon (day 1), shoot a brace of grouse (day 2), and "stalk a red" deer (day 3). Fishing, shooting, and stalking sounds like a mancation if we've ever heard one, but is the Caley really a bachelor party type of crash pad? We think not!
It’s almost our favorite time of the year, where we get to laze by the pool, sipping on umbrella-topped cocktails. But really, that seems so 1990s, right? Today's bartenders are getting super creative with their libations. We’re already hearing about yummy mixes that have us begging Mother Nature to hurry up with summer already.
It looks like the West Coast has a jump on these tasty treats, so we'll just lust over the pics until they make the rounds Stateside.
From boozy shakes and sorbets, and other goodies, it looks like poolside fun has an alcoholic accent like never before.
Here are some we’re looking forward to trying:
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We've started a series of what’s trending in hotels these days: What’s Out, What’s In. Do we like what we see? Think it's a dud? You be the judge!
What’s Out: Windsurfing and jet skis
What’s In: Stand up paddle boarding (SUP)
As synchronized swimming fell out of favor after the 1950s and windsurfing mania waned in the 1990s, another wet trend has emerged: Paddle boarding. And with so many hotels getting in on the action and upping the game (yoga paddle boarding, anyone?), we think it may just be here for awhile.
For the luxury crowd, Raffles Praslin Seychelles offers complimentary stand up paddle boarding so guests can take in the stunning Indian Ocean scenery. If your main goal is to simply enjoy the Seychelles' waters aboveboard and not below, the resort also launched hourly lessons for new users, with an expert teaching you the proper way to stand on the board, keep balance and paddle (what -- all at the same time??).
Another luxe resort, the Paresa Resort in Phuket, Thailand offers straight-up SUP, but then raises the challenge level by combining stand up paddle boarding with yoga. Their “Yoga on the Ocean” program begins at sunrise or sunset when you paddle your board out on the indigo Andaman Sea and enjoy a yoga class floating on your watery yoga mat.
We’ve talked about our favorite dishes to order from room service (FTR—grilled cheese rocks the casbah every time), but we’re recognizing that more and more in-room dining offerings are the vision of the world’s top chefs who have restaurants inside the hotels we’re patronizing.
The room service option may even be a second choice if you aren’t able to score a reservation in the chef's signature restaurant, but are in town and dying to get a taste of, say, Bobby Flay's latest creation.
So the next time you peruse your hotel’s room service menu, think about if you should go for the everyday cheeseburger or the yellowfin tuna tartare, whose recipe is courtesy of Gordon Ramsay, Daniel Boulud, or Matsuhisa Nobu's vision.
Here are a five hotels HC thinks has exceptional room service menus, which include choices from celebrity chefs.
Almost two years after The Sahara, a Vegas hotel-casino owned by Sam Nazarian,
fell apart at the seams shuttered, sbe officially broke ground yesterday to re-adapt the site into the long-awaited SLS Las Vegas. But don't start booking those flights to LAS just yet.
The press release declares a Fall 2014 opening, though our pals at VegasChatter wonder if that might be a little unrealistic, considering how much work has to be done to turn the place into an "entertainment-driven resort and casino" (and how much money has to be spent—a reported $415 million is being pumped into the project).
The cupcake craze, we are convinced, will never end. And nor should it! It's the perfect bit of dessert in easy-to-eat packaging. But this one we've heard about? Goes in the Fantasy Friday file, for sure. This one costs $750 and no matter our lust, we'd be afraid to touch it. Called Decadence D’Or, it's served at Sweet Surrender at the Palazzo Hotel and Casino Las Vegas and everything about it screams excess. Especially the ingredients, which cost more than some people pay in rent and car payments in a month.
It’s made with a chocolate cake laced with ganache filling created from a special Valhrona chocolate called Porcelana, rich French A.O.C butter, and Tahitian Gold Vanilla Caviar (which apparently is a big deal that takes over a year to harvest). Then edible gold flakes are hand-applied to the frosting and topped with a hand-blown sugar fleur-de-lis filled with Louis XIII Cognac (which costs $2K a bottle!). How is it served? No paper cup here, pshaw. You'll receive it on curved cracked-gold plate and bowl. Mercy!
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The original Delano Hotel in Miami.
Another day, another hotel to cross off the Master List of Worldwide Hotel Openings
Today, it's the Delano Las Vegas which was set to open in Mandalay Bay's THEhotel by December 2013. But now VegasInc.com reports the opening will most likely happen in the first quarter of 2014. The hotel's own website is actually saying "January 14" but we know better than to trust that. However, once the renovations are complete, the Delano will stick around for at least ten years. In case you need a refresher, here's what Delano has in store for Vegas:
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After missing a hopeful December opening date, the first-ever hotel from master sushi chef Nobu Matsuhisa is still set to open sometime in February. But exactly when in February? We headed over to the Nobu Hotels website to find out.
The site actually redirects you to the Caesars website where it's currently showing rooms open on February 4 for $269 a night. That's for a Nobu Deluxe King, the starting room category, and the pricing is pretty similar to what VegasChatter reported back in September. The hotel is completely sold-out for its opening weekend but after that rooms dip down to $249 a night. Most weekends through March are about $299 a night.
Planning on splitting the room with friends? A deluxe room with two queen beds goes for $289 while luxury king rooms are $299 a night weekdays.
Keep reading for the sweet suite options at the Nobu Hotel!
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It seems cliche, but it happens every year -- people get straight up dumped around the holidays.
And what happens? You grit your teeth through Santa's hearty laughter, thinking about all the fun you should have been having. Soon you're kiss-less at the strike of midnight on New Year's Eve, and when you wake from this misery, Valentine's Day is looming around the corner. Crap.
Well, we feel your pain (seriously, we were tossed recently, too). And so do hotels, so they're offering what we refer to as "Lonely-Hearts Packages" (many dressed up as "Guys Getaways").
Here's a rundown of some ideas to pitch to your good buddies. Remember to play up how much your heart hurts and give them the proper guilt trip to come along and get you back in the game. You would do it for them!
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We know this will come as a surprise, but there are lots of ways to spend extra cash for extra amenities at hotels worldwide. Sometimes it's not so much - like the $9 upgrade at the Radisson Blu Chicago we broke the news on last year - and others, as you'll see below, are completely designed for people impervious to price.
The matter of money may be a matter of perspective, but one thing we can all agree on is that spontaneity at the counter can certainly spice up your stay. And most of the time you will benefit from wheeling and dealing on-site - we find you're more likely to get a better deal in the moment than with the set prices online, so be sure to bring your poker face to the round table.
Here, we've put together a list of some upgrades that we feel are good examples of what's happening out there on a whole. Our advice? Do your research, for sure, but have fun with it. Sometimes, a simple upgrade is a great way to turn a typical stay into a memorable one.