Visiting Europe is often composed of a whirlwind tour, during which visitors hurry from one tourist destination to another. Therefore — in between trips to museums and monuments — finding the time to breathe can be surprisingly difficult. To help speed along to the moment where you actually find relaxation — you’re on vacation, after all — some of our favorite hotels across the pond are outfitted with top-notch spas designed to get you to that “Ahhh” feeling faster than you can say “Euro Trip.” Whether all you want is some downtime in the sauna or a deep tissue massage, these properties have you covered. So sit back and relax—the Louvre will still be there tomorrow.
The intimate spa encourages relaxation at every corner.
K West is a smart and sophisticated option in London, with its main attraction being the beautiful K Spa. Featuring sleek style and impressive facilities — the hydrotherapy pool and “Snow Paradise” room are particularly noteworthy — the spa is well-regarded throughout the United Kingdom. The “Snow Paradise” room is meant to follow a hot steam treatment, and is based on Finnish spa techniques of using hot-cold therapy to stimulate circulation and the immune system.
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Stunning views of Big Sur's cliffs can be seen throughout the property.
This week we’re taking a behind-the-scenes look at the Ventana Inn & Spa in Big Sur, which hosted billionaire Sean Parker’s nuptials this past weekend. Parker, of Napster and Facebook fame, wed singer-songwriter (and baby momma) Alexandra Lenas in a ceremony at the resort on June 1. Situated on more than 200 acres of picturesque oceanfront land, the property looks like a rustic cabin nestled in the woods — making it a gorgeous setting for a wedding. And Parker isn’t the first big-wig to notice that fact either: Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied tied the knot here last year (albeit in a much more low-key ceremony). Find out what makes Ventana so swoon-worthy — and get details on Parker’s $10 million wedding — after the jump » Read More »
Some hotel weddings are gorgeous, some not so much, but they often all kind of feel the same. That’s where we come in — we’ve discovered some of the most beautiful and unique wedding venues in hotels around the world. Whether you want to say “I do” on safari, in a cloud forest, or at a Gatsby-esque mansion, these hotels deliver on the romance. Check them out here, and get inspired for your own big day (or vow renewal)!
Chapel in the middle of a rainforest? Check that off your list.
For outdoorsy couples looking for an authentic eco-lodge experience on their wedding day, Selva Negra is the real deal. This family-run organic farm and coffee estate in Nicaragua has accommodations ranging from hostel rooms to private bungalows, as well as a lush, cool mountain setting that’s rich with wildlife (expect howler monkeys, lizards, agoutis, and all types of birds). Couples can get married at the on-site chapel — which the owners built for their own daughter’s wedding — beneath Selva Negra’s cloud forest. Read More »
Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner, and with it comes the official kick-off of the summer season. When that Friday hits, thousands of beach-bound celebrators will clog the highways on their way to sun and surf. But while we love a good beach day just as much as the next patriot, this Memorial Day we’re excited to try something inland. Join us in avoiding the crowds, uncovering new corners of America, and – of course – honoring our soldiers, with parades, festivals, and much more at these ten locales not on the beach.
Calling all patriots: Washington, DC wants to celebrate with you.
If you want to go hardcore patriotic, there really isn’t any place better to be this Memorial Day than Washington, D.C. (Especially since NYC had to go and cancel Fleet Week due to the sequestration.) In addition to a variety of military ceremonies taking place around town, visitors can also attend the National Parade or the Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Rally (nothing like the wind in your hair, right?!). The National Memorial Day Concert, hosted at the Capitol Building, is always a special event, and this year’s affair features appearances by General Colin Powell and actor Gary Sinise, in addition to several military bands and the National Symphony Orchestra. Visitors can also opt to simply stroll through Washington’s many amazing monuments – during the day or at night – and sample some of D.C.’s delicious culinary offerings.
STAY: The gorgeous, 317-room W Washington D.C. blends the new – fusion cuisine from Jean-Georges Vongerichten; a great spa and gym; Whatever/Whenever service – with the old – the property’s historic Beaux Arts building dates back to 1917. Plus, you can see the Washington Monument from the hotel’s hip rooftop lounge, POV, making celebrating in style easy.
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Hidden among the Caribbean’s many mega-resorts are some of the most unique, intimate boutiques travelers can imagine. With laid-back, eco-friendly attitudes, these petite hotels are some of the best in the region, offering personalized service and truly relaxing atmospheres. So consider passing on that 500-room all-inclusive and indulge in some intimacy at these wonderful boutiques.
The gorgeous Fowl Cay Resort feels more like a private home than a hotel.
Crowded beaches are unheard of on this private island resort where a maximum of 28 guests at a time have free range of 50 acres and three beaches. Personal boats for daily excursions, on-call service, spacious villas with fully stocked kitchens and wet bars, and a host of all-inclusive activities make Fowl Cay a standout gem in the Exumas. Read More »
Ballnahinch Castle, one of Ireland's most beautiful historic stays, has played host to Pirate Queens, members of Parliament, and an Indian Maharaja.
Europe’s rich history is alive and well at these amazing hotels. Seeming to appear straight out of the history books, these castles, palaces, and monasteries have been the host to some of our world’s most interesting — and sometimes notorious — affairs. Pirate Queens, famous authors, scheming politicians, and celebrities of days past and present have walked through these corridors — and now you can, too, just by clicking through our slideshow.
With three pools at the resort, couples will have plenty of places to slip away to during their stay.
The Four Seasons Resort Nevis sits on a large, attractive beach on the small, secluded, and relatively unknown island of Nevis. Nevis is a tiny island in the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, separated from St. Kitts by just a two-mile stretch of sea. It features beautiful waters, friendly people, and lush rainforests. Less developed than St. Kitts, the island’s remote location makes it a popular choice among newlyweds.
Couples staying at the resort — many of whom choose to wed in this far-off locale, as well — can celebrate their recent nuptials with a private dinner on the beach — complete with their own chef, server, and entertainment — or opt to set sail on a romantic sunset cruise. The gorgeous rooms here are a romantic highlight: The updated decor has a Ralph Lauren-like look, with a blue-and-yellow scheme accented by pops of color and dark wood furniture, while the massive bathrooms feature separate showers and tubs. Plus, almost all rooms have beautiful views, of either mountains or the ocean, which couples can enjoy from their expansive private decks. Check out more honeymoon-inspired photos of the Four Seasons Resort Nevis » Read More »
It happens every year — suddenly it’s May and you have no idea what to do for Mother’s Day. Again. Brunch is handy and easy, and you know she will appreciate you spending some time with her. But how about you surprise her with something different this year? Whether she’s outdoorsy, artsy or just downright stressed out, we’ve got you covered. Check out our top picks for Mother’s Day and make her feel special! You’re welcome in advance.
If Mom is outdoorsy…
PLAN: Play a round of golf (and let her win)
STAY: The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, Sonoma County
Fore! Tiger's got nothing on mom this Sunday.
Housed in a Spanish mission-style building, the upscale Fairmont Sonoma is perfect for some pampering and golf days. It boasts an 18-hole championship golf course, a top-notch spa complete with its own thermal mineral spring, and a Michelin-starred restaurant. Round up the day with the free daily wine tastings, and then head to one of the hotel’s homey rooms for some rest.
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The Standard appears to sprout right out of the West Village, making it perfect for the quintessential NYC couple.
On this Wedding Wednesday, we’re showing off our West Village neighbor, the luxe Standard New York from renowned hotelier Andre Balazs. Balazs capitalized on the popular, elevated High Line park that opened in the summer of 2009 when he debuted this feat of design prowess: His 338-room hotel is propped up on huge concrete stilts so that it straddles, and hovers above, the park. For this, the Standard has garnered the praise of architecture critics, who marvel at how, from inside the building, one seems to be floating in the air.
The interior design is just as striking as the architecture, featuring hip, modern furniture and open bathrooms with deep soaking tubs or huge rainfall showers which, surrounded by clear glass panes instead of shower curtains, create the impression of bathing beside the Hudson River. Plus, floor-to-ceiling windows offer stunning views of the city. (The windows also offer views from the outside in, making for some interesting exhibitionism, if couples are into that sort of thing.)
For a wedding, The Standard’s unique architecture makes for a truly one-of-a-kind ceremony. This is a dream location for the stylish couple (with deep pockets) looking to indulge in the impeccable, but laid-back, city-chicness that is the Standard. Possible ceremony and reception spaces include the High Line Room, which features a covered terrace overlooking High Line Park and the Hudson River, and a stunning, exclusive rooftop space (which might require that the happy couple have some celebrity connections). Still, service at the hotel is never stuffy, nor short of excellence. Check out more wedding inspired photos of The Standard New York here >> Read More »
The Relais & Chateaux Santa Teresa is a historic mansion turned luxurious boutique in Buenos Aires.
South America is home to some of the world’s most luxurious hotels. Whether you want to sit beachside in Rio De Janeiro or soak in views of the Andes in Lima, the top hotels in the region are prepared to cater to your every whim. With both the grande dames of Buenos Aires and the luxe boutiques of Santiago offering guests the ultimate in service and amenities, it’s hard to turn down a trip to this diverse and exciting continent. Check out our favorites (so far!) in this slideshow.