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It's no myth that backpackers are generally the ones who discover the most beautiful places in the world. Then the corporations get tipped off and hijack their sacred space. We're not siding with either group, but we can't help but think it's all about spreading the love. That should be the backpacker motto anyway, right?
At Islas Secas, an all-inclusive, private-island resort on the Atlantic Coast of Panama, it wasn't the satchel-on-a-stick variety that kept this resort an undiscovered haven...it was fishermen. It turns out the big draw in this region is big-game fishing, primarily with renown fisherman Carter Andrews.
Hardcore fishermen would take the flight to Panama City, a following regional flight then boat ride to arrive here. The commute is only a reflection of the resort's allure, and it only took time for honeymooners to catch this wave (and the resort to happily cater to them).
Wish you were here. No really. Wishing is about as close as you can get to Amangiri.
Here's the thing about Amangiri: you need to book well in advance for a room here, and we mean way head like The Book of Mormon-style when that Broadway show was at its peak run.
This 34-suite, 600-acre hideaway in Canyon Point, Utah (basically, the middle of nowhere) has been at almost full-capacity for nearly two years now. Even getting in off-season (November-March) has been damn near impossible, thanks to Amangiri's "adventure and rejuvenation" package, where all meals are included in the nightly rate (the food here isn’t cheap, people), so the resort seems even more attractive when the regular season rates without meals begin at $1,100 per night for a desert view suite and climb to $3,600 for the Amangiri Suite.
Amangiri is a fave for celebs like Brangelina, all of whom (like every guest) will have to check in at the security gate miles from the actual resort. We’re talking serious security control.
Looking for an exotic place to sleep and eat? We've found a great deal for two at Enchantment Resort in Sedona, Ariz., which includes dinner for two at the resort's completely new signature restaurant, Che-Ah-Chi.
Che-Ah-Chi is Apache for the area Enchantment Resort and Mii amo Spa occupies, now known as Boynton Canyon. This space has long been a favorite for the dramatic views of the deepening shadows on the red rocks at sunset and now with the Taste of Enchantment package, there's no excuse not to dine there during your stay. Here's how we suggest you make the most of your time there:
Now that ski season has hit its peak (very punny, we know), it's the perfect time to check in with the Viceroy Snowmass to see if the resort is living up to its name.
A handful of TripAdvisor readers have chimed in with reviews, all of which praise its service, chic quotient, and over-the-top luxury amenities. We're hearing a lot of what we expected: gourmet food, cool bath fixtures, and obsessively clean—it is a Viceroy, after all—but we were surprised to hear one user describe it as having an "LA style 'boutique' feeling."
Just how "LA" is the Viceroy? So La-La that there's "[t]rance music...piped in EVERYWHERE you go." That's wildly different than the Overlook Hotel-esque ski resorts we're used to staying at.
Fashion Hotels / Utah Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Luxury Resorts / Zen Hotels / Supermodel Hotels / → All Tags
Vogue fashion spreads have been shot in some of the world's most glamourous locales: Paris, London, New York, Tokyo, Utah. Wait a sec—Utah? Before you poo-poo what might seem like a strange location choice, take a look at one editorial layout in the magazine's January issue.
It features Canadian model Daria Werbowy in various designer states of dress (and undress), sporting YSL dresses and practicing yoga inversions with the desert's Amangiri resort providing the backdrop. As we previously reported, Amangiri is an uber-zen retreat whose rooms run upward of $3,300 for the most cushy accommodations.
Essentially, it's buried deep in the middle-of-nowhere, but if you're a socialite whose grown tired of skyscrapers and the nightlife, horses and hydrotherapy sound pretty darn appealing.
Mention zen meditation and Sanskrit names, and canyon country (the Utah-Arizona border, to be exact) isn't the first thing that comes to mind. But when it comes to choosing between an ashram and pilates classes at a resort, we'll take what's behind door number two, thanks.
With last week's opening of the Amangiri (which in Sanskrit means "peaceful mind"), the choice between East and West has become non-existent. The 34-guest suite resort has landed smack dab in the middle of towering rock formations and national parks, made possible by an Act of Congress that legally allows for the swap of private and Federal land.
The Amangiri belong to the Amanresorts family of Singapore, also known for operating hotels in East Asia. For those looking to do big thinking—or no thinking—amidst a natural backdrop, there's an entire menu of OM-inducing activities to choose from. Hydro and color therapy? Check. Yoga? Check. Stargazing on secluded sky terraces? Check.
A new addition to the Small Luxury Hotels of the World stable has a name which hopefully turns out to reflect the resort and not be ironic: it's called the Brilliant Resort and Spa and it's due to open this fall in Yunnan Province, China. It seems like everything about China is growing rapidly, and luxury hotels and resorts seem to be just another facet of its booming economy.
Yunnan is in the south-west corner of China, west around the border from Hong Kong and Macau. The Brilliant Resort lies next to the Yang-Zong Lake, surrounded by mountains, and consists of 23 lake-view villas with their own jacuzzi and garden area. You also get butler service thrown in and if you book the Presidential Villa, your own chef.
Unbelievably, beyond the villas are a further 26 outdoor hot spring pools, each unique in function and appearance, and inside the Brilliant Spa you can relax with special-technique massages. And it really must be brilliant and special because the rates are brilliantly high, too: double rooms start from $3,500 a night, and that extra-brilliant Presidential Villa is yours for just $15,000 a night.
· Hotels in China [HotelChatter]
· Travel Stories in China [Jaunted]
· Best Western Means Luxury in China [HotelChatter]
The luxury Likuliku Lagoon Resort in Fiji didn't quite make its planned opening in February, but finally on April 15 just gone its doors opened to guests. These guests, it should be mentioned, should be couples only. That's the stated target audience, so don't forget your partner.
Reviews from some of the first guests are overwhelmingly positive. From a simple "we can't wait to return" right through to a "we wept when we left", there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with Likuliku. The staff are extremely helpful and friendly, the food is fantastic, and the location is heavenly. And one couple mentioned how pleased they were to have warm chocolate cookies delivered to their room every day.
Likuliku has some opening specials, like 6 nights for the price of 4, or a special package for renewing your wedding vows, if you want to get all romantic; honeymooners always get a free "private location" lunch or dinner and a bottle of French champagne.
· Likuliku Lagoon reviews [TripAdvisor]
· Searching For The Perfect Overwater Bungalow: Fiji's First Overwater Option [HotelChatter]
It could have been billed as Big Brother host marries Big Brother, as on December 23rd Julie Chen married Viacom big wig Les Moonves. The two are currently honeymooning in Las Ventanas in Los Cabos.
At the Baja resort the network duo will be pampered to the hilt. Spas, steam rooms, hot tubs, and even ice rooms, will be at their disposal, should they chose to use them.
And most importantly, if Les wants to take a break from Julie's incessant yammering he can simply stick the iPod ear buds in, and be magically transported to a far away place where sweet music plays and Julie Chen is on mute.
The resort offers iPods to guests for use during their stay. You don't think that had anything to do with the couple's choice do you? Nah.