When you’re on vacation, you want to feel pampered. But some hotels — especially those that are uber-crowded or on the budget end — can make you feel like just another faceless visitor. Fortunately, we’ve had the luxury of staying at some spots where they really roll out the red carpet for all guests. In fact, it can be so wonderful — and yet, unexpected — that we’ve wondered if they thought we were members of the royal family! Here’s a roundup of majestic hotels that aim to make guests feel as noble as the Duchess of Cambridge. After a visit, we swear you’ll be one step closer to becoming a newly minted monarch. Or at least, you’ll feel like it.
The luxurious Fairmont hotel is located in the heart of San Francisco and is a top choice among politicians and rock stars. Sure, many US Presidents have stayed here — but you don’t need a 1600 Pennsylvania Ave address to join the hotel’s prestigious President’s Club. Hotel guests can request a free membership and, in turn, get their royal hindness kissed from the moment of arrival. Members gain access to a private reception desk, the hotel fitness club, use of TaylorMade golf clubs, and other free services.
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Some hotels are more than just hotels — they are former castles, royal residences, or Gatsby-esque mansions. Or they opened their doors many years ago to offer accommodations of unsurpassed luxury, attracting royalty and famous names. These grand dames around the world have drawn on their rich pasts in order to offer present-day magnificence.
Grand Hotel Baglioni, Florence
Housed in the former residences of the Bertolini princes, the Grand Hotel Baglioni lives up to the grand image painted by Florence’s past. The hotel is filled with heavy-handed regal touches and ornate decor from top to bottom. The 193 rooms are very spacious (not often the case in a historic building), and feel luxurious, decked out with classic Italian furnishings, large leaded windows, gorgeous dark wood (the ceilings, floors, and furniture), and equally spacious dazzling white bathrooms. Both the rooftop garden and Terrazza Brunelleschi restaurant offer stunning views of Florence. Read More »
We’ve given you the deets on where some of our favorite celebs have wed and where they’ve spent their honeymoons, as well — now it’s time for round two. Considering Hollywood couples’ infamous inability to stay hitched, they certainly go all out for their nuptials! From gorgeous castles to beachside resorts, we’re bringing you a photo gallery of the beautiful hotels where stars have said “I do.” And fortunately, everyone on our list is still married – even if its only been a couple weeks of wedded bliss! Check out the five hotels we can now add to our list.
Many receptions take place in the hotel's ornate dining room.
Oheka Castle, built in the 1920s as the second largest private residence in the U.S., is a magnificent chateau-style property about an hour from New York City. Today, it’s the country’s top wedding venue, and remains one of the most striking properties on the East Coast. Kevin Jonas, of Jonas Brothers fame, wed Danielle Deleasa at the hotel in 2009, and Oheka Castle is no stranger to boy band weddings — N’Sync member Joey Fatone married Kelly Baldwin at the hotel five years earlier. Not surprisingly, weddings here aren’t cheap; the most expensive wedding held at Oheka Castle cost over three million dollars. Read More »
Want to live like a Rockefeller on your next vacation? Or want a voyeuristic peek into the world of the rich and powerful? These iconic resorts across the country — from a Gilded Age Palm Beach estate to a Newport mansion to a Long Island Gold Coast castle — will make you feel like your blood runs blue.
The Breakers Palm Beach
There’s a reason The Breakers’ reputation precedes it. This 140-acre resort, first built in 1896 (and reconstructed in 1926), resembles a Renaissance palace, and it’s seen more than its fair share of American royalty over the years; Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, William Randolph Hearst, and various Astors, Rockefellers, and Vanderbilts have all walked the halls at this posh spot. No other hotel in Palm Beach can come close to matching the luxury found at this iconic property.
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The Colonnade at The Fairmont Washington, D.C.
1. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Fairmont Washington, D.C.’s $100,000 Presidential Detail Package included a $5,000 shopping spree at SAKS Fifth Avenue, a visit to the “First Ladies Exhibit” at the Smithsonian, and in-room hairdressing services.
2. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The San Francisco Marriott Union Square has just launched the “Workspace by the Minute” program, which allows guests and non-guests to rent flexible work and meeting space by one-minute increments instead of having to rent it for a full day.
3. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Lindsay Lohan has been barred from all W hotels in New York after trashing yet another hotel room at the W New York – Union Square while partying.
4. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Martha Stewart recently stayed in a two-bedroom Fairway Villa at the Wynn Las Vegas, which features a private massage room and a private pool.
5. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach’s Polo in Paradise package includes a one-and-a-half-hour personalized polo class at the International Polo Club, a gourmet picnic, and Sunday brunch while watching a polo match from preferred veranda seating.
Check out the answers after the jump!
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Pool at the Omphoy Ocean Resort -- Palm Beach
This 134-room boutique hotel has a cool, chic vibe, with lots of dark wood in the rooms and lobby, dim mood lighting, and a private beach with food and drink service. Situated between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean, the hotel has beautiful views all around. The renowned restaurant from celebrity chef Michelle Bernstein is a local hot spot, and access to two private golf courses is a nice perk. The pool features a stylish design and the large rooms have beachy touches with netted, canopied beds and floor-to-ceiling windows, many with views of the water. Check out more incredible photos after the jump or read our full review now»
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We’re loving this recent heat wave, but it just makes us want to kick back and relax (preferably with a cocktail in hand). So it may be a bit ironic, but we decided to do an intensive search on the laziest spots we could find — starting in Florida. After all, it is the Sunshine State. From spas with plush lounge chairs to pools where you don’t have to lift a finger, we found five Floridian hotels that are prime for lounging. Relax and unwind; it’s time to take it easy.
Lazy Spot #1: The Beach at the W South Beach
Beach at the W South Beach
Why we love it: Though many hotels in South Beach have direct beach access, the W offers an unparalleled experience on the sand. Cushy white-and-black-striped lounge chairs are spread out along the hotel’s 100-yard-deep stretch of beach, which is considerably removed from the crowds in order to create a relaxing vibe. While guests bask in the sun, on-call attendants are quick to bring towels, food, beverages, or even iPod shuffles.
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