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Did you watch That Martha Stewart Show yesterday? If not, you missed all the usual hilarity of Martha inviting over a guest who isn't all that adept at cooking, and this time it was American fashion designer Michael Kors.
Kors and Stewart baked his grandmother's pineapple upside-down cake and chatted about various things, from horses to must-have items for fall. But perhaps the biggest revelation was Kors' influence for his Resort 2011 collection.
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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.
In the world of dog-friendly hotels, there are the ones that let you bring your own pup, ones that want to pamper your pup with toys and fancy room service, and there are ones that have their own furry friends on hand at the concierge desk. We love all of these incarnations, but here’s yet another spin on getting your doggie fix on the road. At Utah’s Quail Park Lodge, dog-loving guests can volunteer at the nearby Best Friends Animal Society, and, once they’ve fallen in love with one of the adoptable dogs there, they can bring them back to the hotel for a sleepover date.
This “Puppy Therapy” package goes beyond getting your very own furry bed warmer for the night—spending time with your temporary charge helps socialize him for adoption. So don’t feel like you’re teasing the doggie with hotel-life luxury only to send him back to the shelter—you’re actually helping him develop the nice behavior that will speed up his transition to his forever home.
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.
Red Mountain Resort & Spa wants you to go the natural route. Considered "alternative" to many in the West, Eastern medicine techniques have long been used to prevent and heal various illnesses. This month, Red Mountain is championing various alt-approaches in conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
While we don't advocate one mode of healing over another, we do support awareness-raising efforts, and Red Mountain's approach just happens to translate into zen-inducing programs for guests. Just listen to the music on their homepage for a taste of the vibe they're going for.
Since there's a certain contingent that's dubious of chanting "Om" and being pricked by chakra-balancing needles, Red Mountain's programs are meant to educate as much as they are soothe your stressed out nerves. You can sign up to be led in a session of Preventative Meditation, learn more about "A Chinese Medical Perspective on Healing From Cancer", sit in on a lecture about Prevention, Detection and Nutrition, or partake in a Healing Fire Ceremony with a certified shaman.
Alright, we're stuck for words on this one: NBC's show The Biggest Loser has expanded its franchising to include a full-on fitness resort in Utah, only 90 minutes away from the capital of gluttony: Las Vegas. The Biggest Loser Resort Fitness Ridge is everything you could ever hope for from what is essentially a "fat camp" for adults: a secluded location, a big pool, in-room DVD players, a class called "living drums," and a gift shop.
Of course, since it is a fat camp, you'll be jogging around in the desert, treading water in that pool, watching DVDs on nutritional eating, and pounding the heck out of fitness balls in your "drumming class." And there's not a single Snickers bar to be found in the gift shop. Oh man, we are shaking in our spandex pants at the thought.
The swinging '60s have been revived at The Quail Park Lodge in Kanab, Utah, bringing what the hotel calls mid-century "nostalgia" to the hotel, not obsolete throwbacks. We'll be waiting to hear from readers who have stayed at the newly restored property to see if it lives up to their promise of bringing cozy "retro Americana" to this millennium.
If you're traveling off the beaten path and are looking for an equally distinct hotel experience, then consider turning down expansive log cabin-like lodgings in favor of Quail Park's quirky environs. In the photos we've seen, curved furnishings, what appear to be Jonathan Adler (or, at least, Jonathan Adler-esque) pottery pieces in the lobby, and bright yellow and blue splashes of color all give Quail Park a mod feel, though it seems pretty tame and not too kitschy.
You might say we’ve got it bad for puppies. So pardon our excitement over the adorableness of the Red Mountain Resort & Spa’s new partnership with the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. The Utah resort is offering guests the chance to volunteer at the neighboring sanctuary — AKA play with rescued animals (not just puppies!) and help maintain the sanctuary.
The Best Friends Animal Sanctuary Volunteer Experience begins with a short hike to an overlook in Zion National Park, followed by a tour of the sanctuary, which sits on a 33,000-acre ranch in Angel Canyon. After the tour is lunch overlooking the canyon, then an afternoon hanging with some new furry friends. Volunteer activities range from brushing and walking dogs to scooping poop and cleaning trails.
Best Friends is home to nearly 2,000 rescued dogs, cats, horses, pigs, and more and is a short drive to Red Mountain Resort & Spa. You can read more about the sanctuary over at Jaunted.
The eight-hour volunteer experience is offered weekly and can be added to any available Red Mountain package for $129 per person (group rates available).
All Aman Resorts properties tend to be noteworthy, and their new place, Amangiri, is no exception. Located at Canyon Point in Utah, it really is a small resort set in the wilderness: it's in the middle of an area that used to be Federal land for Navajo and Hopi tribes, but was claimed by Aman Resorts through a 2005 Act of Congress that swapped some private and Federal lands.
That puts Amangiri in the middle of an incredible desert of rock formations and gives you the kind of bedroom window views that really look like they're photoshopped in and it's just a stone's throw to the Grand Staircase, Escalante National Monument.
More Swiss Family Robinson meets Sound of Music than stereotypical Utah ski lodge, Zermatt Resort in Midway, UT (about 50 minutes from Salt Lake City International airport and minutes from Park City and Deer Valley) is multi-tasking with its social media efforts. The Rocky Mountain resort has a blog and posts regularly to Flickr, Twitter (@Zermatt_Resort) and Facebook.
We especially dig the resort’s creative use of Facebook. The photo and event updates and frequent comments are well worth a look see for curious travelers, but unlike a lot of Facebook pages that are skewed to a strictly out-of-town market, Zermatt Resort’s efforts also appeal to the local clientele.
The green hotel's studio units offer up condo-like amenities--balcony, kitchens, separate seating area--right in the heart of town. To get to Park City Mountain Resort, it's an easy walk downhill to the Town Lift which will haul you right up to the slopes.
If the apres is just as important to you as the ski, Treasure Mountain is ideally situated on Main Street. You're basically across the street from the Wasatch Brew Pub, and more bars and music venues are just down the street.
· Sundance Hotels: Slamdance at Treasure Mountain Inn [HotelChatter]
· Hotel Video Tour: The Yarrow Hotel [HotelChatter]
[Ed. Note: Welcome to our Good Rate/Bad Rate feature where we look at hotel prices in the same region (or this time, around the same activity) and decide which one most deserves your hard-earned benjamins. Rates quoted here were captured on January 22, 2008 and are subject to change. Enjoy.]
Trying to decipher ski package deal options can require a day off from work, a calculator that handles formulas, and a handy spreadsheet. (One running in Aspen right now requires booking within 12 hours of a 12-inch snowstorm. Do we look like Weather Channel addicts?)
Many advertised deals are just a play on the old reliable bait-and-switch, however. Promise a fantastic deal in bold type, then follow it up with the real prices in small print and enough restrictions to confuse an attorney. Take the deal running this season at Park City, Utah.
The come-on sounds attractive: "$99 Nightly, Lodging and Daily Ski Tickets!" You have to read the fine print to figure out that this is indeed too good to be true. You can only get this rate by putting four people in a two-bedroom condo, booking for a minimum of 4 nights, and avoiding the 16 days of blackouts.
Of course this is the lowest category on their option menu too, which probably means a fading unit far from the slopes. (Hopefully no paneling in the living room or macrame art on the wall.) You'll pay quite a bit more per person to upgrade to a nicer condo in a better location.
If you are between jobs and have lots of time to sort all this out (there are no direct links to lodging options from the deals page), one of the packages could still end up being a decent find for the budget. But we only have so many hours in a day....
[Photo: Carriage House condos in Park City]