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London’s Connaught hotel has been busy recently. It opened a smashing new Champagne Room. Its chef, Hélène Darroze, was just named the Veuve Cliquot World’s Best Female Chef. No wonder it needs to calm down.
Hot on the heels of Trump SoHo launching meditation lessons, the Aman Spa at the Connaught is doing the same. However, it’s going one better than Trump – its daily classes are free.
Switzerland Hotels / Lucerne Hotels / Photo Gallery / Hotel Renovations / Killer View / Hotel Spas / Leading Hotels of the World / → All Tags
Okay, it’s time to 'fess up: This writer has fallen in love with Switzerland in a mad, gushing “I can’t live without it” sort of way. And why? Aside from its other qualities, it’s beautiful. I’m telling you this so that when I describe the Palace Luzern hotel as being a great spot to take in Switzerland's delights, you’ll understand the importance of that statement.
The hotel (part of Swiss Deluxe Hotels and Leading Hotels of the World) is situated right on the tree-lined, lakeside pedestrian promenade, with views stretching out over Lake Lucerne to the Alps in the background. Can't you just feel yourself relax as you take in that mountain view? Plus it's only a short walk to Lucerne’s quaint Chapel Bridge and Old Town.
But the hotel is not content to rest on its scenery laurels. The first time this 1906 property had a major overhaul was after WWII, during which time it had been used as a military hospital. Then, in 2005, the hotel opened its one-of-a-kind spa and reduced the number of rooms from 168 to 136 so that guests, i.e. you and me, could spread out more. Then, in 2013, 42 additional rooms were renovated, leaving us with 129 rooms and suites, and that brings us all the way to now, with the Davidoff Cigar Lounge having opened in February and the new restaurant, Marlin, replacing Jasper with a newly-deigned menu. Whew!
More scenic pics in the photo gallery!
Hotel Spas / Leading Hotels of the World / Switzerland Hotels / Lucerne Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
Right now, many of you are probably going, “What the…?” Well, let me introduce you to the one, the only, 1.2 ton, 6’ wide Giant Ceremonial Singing Bowl – the only one of its kind in the world and found at the Palace Luzern hotel (part of Swiss Deluxe Hotels and Leading Hotels of the World).
Traditionally used for meditation, Tibetan Singing Bowls are kind of like inverted bells. The rim is struck by a mallet to produce a harmonic sound and reverberation that is said to both relax and soothe. The folks at the Palace Luzern decided that if a little bowl is good for you, then a gigantic one must be terrific.
Meditation Hotels / Hotel Fitness / Hotel Spas / NYC Hotels / Trump Hotels / SoHo Hotels / → All Tags
The rooftop bar, where classes will take place
How are your chakras today? Did you eat your breakfast mindfully this morning? If you answered positively to both those questions, go forth and have a blessed day. If you didn’t, you may need a little help. And Trump SoHo wants to be the one to do it.
The hotel’s spa just launched its summer fitness program, and is starting meditation courses along with more standard classes like sunrise yoga and aqua aerobics. Craig Hunter is the man to lead the meditation – classes are 45 minutes long and will “walk participants through various forms of traditional and contemporary meditative practices”. Does that sound like a lot of faff and not much time to get deep into a meditation? Possibly, but this might be a chance to work out the style that works best for you, plus he will also include “creative cycles of breath work”.
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If you think a spa is a spa is a spa, book yourself in at the Blythswood Square hotel’s Thermal Spa in Glasgow. We expect to see something like this in, say, Bath, but Glasgow? Who knew.
This is a full-meal-deal thermal spa treatment with an ice fountain, saunarium and the whole shebang, but here’s the other thing it has going for it: It’s sexy. Full-stop. And it’s not a private treatment so you can go with your loved one. And you’re already in a hotel. (Don’t make us spell it out.)
If you want to do it right, the recommended three-hour rotation goes like this. Start with the Laconium – a black-tiled room where the floors, walls and benches are all heated to a mild(ish) temperature of around 131-140°F. Stay in here for about 15 minutes to get prepped for the hotter stuff to follow (there's no hidden meaning here, well... maybe).
Then stop the slow burn and turn up the heat in the Sauna, significantly more steamy but without steam. That's later. If you can make it to five minutes count yourself among the few. We couldn’t do it.
Now that the Virgin Hotel Chicago has unveiled Miss Ricky's Diner and it's Two Zero Three coffee shop and wine bar, there are only a few more things left to take off--the hotel's killer rooftop spaces and the downstairs spa. Both of these should be unveiled next month at the Virgin's official grand opening party on April 16.
We were able to peek at the rooftop spaces during our first time with a Virgin in January and they will seriously impress you with their cool yet fun decor and their incredible city views. Remember, one of the rooftop spaces will be incredibly exclusive so fingers crossed your on the list.
As for the spa, it promises to be a "wellness lounge designed with beauty, comfort and mingling in mind."
While the rooftops and the spa will be unveiled on opening night, we hear they won't officially open to the public until the week after. Room rates for that next weekend, April 24-26, start at $249 a night for a chamber king before taxes. If you're a AAA member, rates start at just $224 a night. Whoopee!
[Photo: Virgin Hotels/Facebook
A design competition in Switzerland has seen a little drama recently, but will likely result in one amazing new hotel.
The competition involved several international "starchitects" who were challenged to design a luxury hotel adjacent to the Therme Vals spa in the Swiss Alps, pictured above. It all went downhill from there, so to speak.
Funky Spa Treatments / Hotel Spas / Hard Rock Hotels / Punta Cana Hotels / Dominican Republic Hotels / Casino Hotels / → All Tags
A while back, we wrote about the Hard Rock Hotels' Rhythm and Motion Massage. Continuing the rigorous research, our newest contributor, Linda Marcisano, put herself on the table to experience something called "Synchronicity."
I walked into the treatment room at the Hard Rock Punta Cana for the “Synchronicity” massage ($210 for 50 minutes) only knowing that music was involved. Upon spotting a guitar lying on the massage table, I started to panic. Would I be serenaded during the treatment? Would an aging rock star (preferably Bon Jovi) appear to perform a solo? Would my masseuse, who didn’t appear musically inclined, use one hand to knead and another to strum?
But I'm getting ahead of myself. The Rock Spa has quite the prelude to the actual treatment, so let’s start there.
I arrived 30 minutes before the massage (it was recommended to check in an hour before but we were in knee deep at the casino’s craps table) and led to the locker room where I was introduced to a guide. Whereas other spas show you where the amenities are and let you have at it, the Rock Spa actually accompanies you, kind of like a circuit, recommending how long to use each and in what order.
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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”:
But aside from lounging by the pool, grabbing drinks at the bar at State Fair or napping in your guest room, there's something else you must do during your stay--hit up the spa.
We realize that for serious jet-setters and luxury hotel enthusiasts, this was already on your agenda for Palm Springs as desert retreats and massages go hand in hand. However, the Ritz-Carlton is serious about not just relaxation but tranquility and inner peace.
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Art Basel is in full swing in Miami Beach, but we're still admiring the hotel work of art that is the Miami Beach Edition. Today, we're looking at the spa, fitness center and the pool area at the oceanfront resort.
The spa is located in the basement of the hotel, but on the opposite side from Basement, the Edition's recreational area. You have to take a separate staircase from the lobby, just before the Matador restaurant, to access the spa as well as the fitness center. It's not a far walk, but you can't take the elevator directly to the spa, so make sure towel off before you head back upstairs. When returning to your room after a massage, you will just have to be comfortable with your post-treatment face and hair. Or else, shower off in the locker rooms.
There are nine treatment rooms offering massages, body treatments, and facials, along with a Beauty Lounge where you can indulge in a manicure or pedicure, as well as a blow-out. (Not sure that's worth it though because, hello, this is Miami. Humidity will always win.)
However, the co-ed Relaxation Lounge is a large and stylishly serene place to relax, pre and post-treatment, since the spa actually offers mini-treatments here, like the Power Nap, which uses electro-stimulation to give you the benefits of a four-hour nap in 20 minutes. There's also an oxygen treatment where you essentially put on an oxygen mask while lounging on a daybed and flipping through Vanity Fair in the back of the room. It sounds ridiculous and decadent and we want to try it.
Hotel Spas / Hotel Shops / Hotel Fragrances / London Hotels / Firmdale Hotels / Hotel Fitness / Kit Kemp / → All Tags
If you thought London’s new Ham Yard Hotel was all about the pretty looks, you’d be wrong. Or rather, it’s now there to make you pretty as well as itself, with the opening of the Soholistic Nail Bar in Ham Yard Village, the shop-filled courtyard inside the hotel.
As well as manis and pedis, Soholistic will also sell Kit Kemp’s own bath and body line, Rik Rak, which was created to celebrate the opening of the hotel. From shampoo to body lotion and linen mist to candles, here’s where to stock up for Christmas.
And if you want to shape up as well as stock up, the gym is now open to non-guests, including the hypoxic chamber, which trains you at altitude. Personal training sessions cost £60 for 30 minutes. Alternatively, you could spend that on a Kit Kemp candle and just take it easy over Christmas. That’s what’s lovely about Ham Yard – the choice is yours.