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We're only on the third day of the new year, but we've got word of a big change at Montage Hotels--the luxury hotel company just snapped up the Inn at Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina, their first-ever East Coast property. The hotel was previously an Auberge Hotels.
While the official name change will happen on February 1st, Crescent Communities, a diversified real estate investment, development and operating company, will also put more than $100 million in to expanding the resort. That money will go towards adding 150 luxury rooms to the Inn's 50 individual cottages (spread out over a few buildings) as well as creating a premium Spa Montage and Fitness Center and expanding meeting facilities and dining options. Montage-branded residences will also be offered. But we're guessing the Auberge-branded Alligator Tracking adventure will probably disappear.
The Athens Group will be the development partner, leading a design team that includes Hart Howerton, HKS Hill Glazier Studio and Wilson Associates. Rates are currently going for about $420 for a forest view cottage at the end of January and remain the same after Montage takes over in February. Of course, rates could be adjusted upwards when the expansion is complete.
The Esperanza Resort in Cabo, Mexico has long been a favorite luxury retreat for celebrities and discerning hotel guests alike. And with a super private location nestled above the Sea of Cortez, we can totally see why.
Of course, in a property as luxe as this Auberge resort, all the rooms here could be considered one of the Best Room to Book but we took a particular liking to this one when we strolled through Esperanza last month--Garden Casita 23.
Rumors have been swirling lately that the thought-to-be rock-solid rock n' roll marriage between Ozzy Osbourne and Sharon is now, well, on the rocks. Ozzy has apparently admitted on Facebook that he's been using drugs and drinking alcohol again and has just been a total nightmare to his family. Yet he denied that they are splitting. SooSharon is just taking some much-deserved "me" time at the Esperanza.
She's probably booked one of the resort's villas which include gourmet kitchens, spacious bedrooms and baths, garden courtyards and sweeping ocean views, although she would probably be equally happy in one of the casitas or suites at the Auberge hotel which start at 925 sq. ft. of indoor/outdoor living space and have private terraces (with hammocks!)
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Romance seekers and au naturel enthusiasts will be delighted to know that L'Auberge de Sedona wants you to stand outside your room, completely naked. Well that is only true in part- but it is true.
After a multiphase $25 million renovation completed last year that included a new lobby, the redesign of the resort’s Lodge rooms and Creekside and Garden Cottages, and the addition of several brand new Spa Cottages and Vista Cottages and Suites, we've learned that L'Auberge has also added private outdoor showers. Yup, to up the romance factor in our favorite cottages to an "11", L'Auberge has added luxurious enclosed outdoor cedar showers open to the sky for viewing the sunrise or the stars.
We begin to droop and languish as the temperature rises. So we were happy to find that the signature spa, Auberge Spa at Palmetto Bluff at Inn at Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina rescues the wilted with an invitation to relax and enjoy a bath or a massage in gracious Southern style.
Fifty cottages and cottage suites dot the banks here along the May River in South Carolina's Lowcounty spread around the Inn's Main House. With restaurants, bar, meeting rooms and ballroom, this is a "swellegant" place to stay. Pair that with an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course and tennis, bocce and croquet courts and you've got major fun, but it's the full-service Spa at Palmetto Bluff, located on a private island adjacent to the Inn, that embraces the laid-back Southern vibe for you.
Here's how your depleted selves can best utilize the spa:
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There's tons of hotel news flying around this week and we don't have time to give each and every story the love and attention it may deserve, so you will have to settle for some news briefs.
· Mandarin Oriental Milan is coming in 2013: The luxury brand, Mandarin Oriental have long had their eyes set on Italy but now we've got word that the MO Milano will open in 2013. The hotel will have 104 guestrooms including 34 suites set throughout three 19th century buildings on Via Monte de Pieta, a rather swank address. A GM has just been appointed for the property which is a good sign that the 2013 opening date will stick.
· Trump Lands in Miami: It's finally happened. Trump Hotels have officially assumed management of the Doral Golf Resort & Spa outside Miami. Over the next 18 months, Trump will put in about $200 million in renovating the almost-800-acre resort. The place will be fully re-branded when the new look is complete.