Cruises Where the Grass Is Greener

By ANDREA PETERSEN via wsj.com

Cruise lines are trying to solve a peculiar dilemma: How to make it actually feel like you're on water.

That may seem unnecessary when you're vacationing in the middle of the ocean. But on many cruise ships, while you may be sailing across the Caribbean's turquoise waters, you often don't feel like it. It's especially true when you're in a huge onboard casino, indoor theater or the windowless, low-ceilinged hallway leading to your stateroom.

"As they've gotten bigger and bigger, ships are almost fortress-like," says Frank Del Rio, chairman of Prestige Cruise Holdings, which owns the Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises lines of upscale small and mid-sized ships.

The ship employs two full-time lawn keepers aboard to ensure the grass stays healthy and attractive. Here Eugene Creencia, of the Philippines, watered the grass before a wine and cheese event later in the night aboard the Celebrity Eclipse docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Now, cruise lines are increasing the amount of outdoor space on both small, luxury ships and large, mass-market ships. They are also offering a bunch of new alfresco activities. Silversea Cruises' newest vessel, the 540-passenger Silver Spirit, has 60% more outdoor deck space than previous ships, including larger guest-room verandas and the company's first restaurant serving dinner outdoors. (Guests can cook their own meat and fish over hot volcanic rocks.)

Celebrity Cruises' Silhouette, which sets sail in July, will have two new restaurants with outdoor seating, an open-air art studio where guests can take painting lessons and VIP sea-view cabanas for rent. All will be located on the top of the ship surrounding a 12,000 square-foot lawn of growing grass. Norwegian Cruise Lines' 4,100-passenger Epic, which debuted in the summer of 2010, has an open-air nightclub: The dance floor rises from the pool. The Magic from Carnival Corp.'s Carnival Cruise Lines, which begins sailing in May, will feature a 9,300-square foot water park, an outdoor video game area and an open-air sports facility with exercise bikes and rowing machines. Some suites on Oceania Cruises' new 1,250-passenger ship, the Marina, have balconies outfitted with Jacuzzis and 42-inch flat-screen TVs specially made to withstand wind and salt water.

The Lawn Club on Celebrity's new ship, the 2,884-passenger Silhouette, which sets sail in July, will include two new restaurants with outdoor seating, an open-air art studio and private sea-view cabanas.

"There's a perception that I'm going to be on this piece of metal out at sea and I'm confined," says Rod K. McLeod of cruise and tourism advisory firm McLeod.Applebaum & Partners.

The focus on the outdoors is part of an ongoing push to attract younger customers. "The old adage that cruises are meant for the newly wed and the nearly dead isn't true anymore," says Brad Ball, a spokesman for Silversea. Fifteen years ago, the typical Silversea passengers were in their upper 60s to mid 70s. Today, the guests are generally in their 50s, Mr. Ball says.

Cruise companies are aiming to shed their reputation for bland buffets and hokey variety shows and compete more directly with shore-side resorts. In recent years, they have introduced lavish spas, high-end restaurants, rock-climbing walls and Broadway shows such as "Chicago" and "Hairspray."

To pack all that in, cruise ships are now longer and wider. Bigger ships are also more efficient to operate. But, just 20% of Americans have taken a cruise, according to data from the Cruise Lines International Association Inc.

When it comes to adding outdoor spaces, ships face challenges that land resorts usually don't. Nobody is going to want to eat outside if the wind is blowing cocktail napkins into your umbrella drink, for example. (Ships usually do add glass wind screens that help shield outdoor areas.) When the winds get too intense, Nippon Yusen Kaisha's Crystal Cruises sometimes ropes off the jogging track that wraps around its Symphony ship.

When planning the Magic's outdoor gym, Carnival considered—and then abandoned—a plan to include free weights, fearing dangerous projectiles rolling around the deck. Environmental regulations and concerns also restrict what cruise ships can do outdoors. Carnival wanted to add a driving range to the 3,690-passenger Magic, but would do so only if it could use biodegradable golf balls, since some would surely end up overboard. But the ball the company found didn't pass muster with a group of test golfers. "They didn't go as far or spin as much," as a normal ball, says Ruben Rodriguez, Carnival Cruise Lines' executive vice president, ship operations. "When you hit them hard, they'd deform."

Read full article here.


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Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 2/9/2011 at 2:38 PM
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World’s highest luxury hotel to open in Shanghai in 2014

Shared via WorldInteriorDesignNetwork.com

The Shanghai Tower J Hotel is expected to be the highest luxury hotel in the world, when it will be

The establishment, a new brand of Shanghai Jin Jiang International Hotels Group Co. Ltd., will span the 84th to 110th floors of the Shanghai Tower, which will rise 632m or 121 storeys.

The Shanghai Tower J Hotel will feature 258 luxury guestrooms with the lobby on the 101st floor. The Shanghai Tower is located in the central business district of Lujiazui, Pudong district, near the Shanghai World Financial Center and Jin Mao Tower. Construction for the hotel began in 2008.

The hotel is being built to exceed Forbes (Mobil)'s Five-Star, AAA's Five-Diamond, the Platinum Five-Star in China, and the Green Hotel standards.

According to Jin Jiang Hotels, the hotel will surpass the Park Hyatt Shanghai to become the world's highest luxury hotel when it opens in late 2014 or early 2015.

It will also overtake the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong expected to open in 2011.

The Shanghai Tower will also be the world’s second-tallest building after the 828m-high Burj Khalifa in Dubai.


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Posted on: 2/7/2011 at 10:37 AM
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London's Luxury Hotel Rooms

By Jonathan Prynn, London Evening Standard.

What more luxurious way to unwind than a soak in the private plunge pool on your hotel room balcony? But this is not Barbados or Dubai. The view is not palm-fringed beach or desert, it is grey rooftops to Trafalgar Square, London.

The plunge pool is in the Lady Hamilton suite - you are at the same level as her lover Nelson's head - at the soon to be opened Corinthia Hotel on Northumberland Avenue. This hulking ocean liner of a building is a former Ministry of Defence office block being rapidly transformed into a palace of five-star opulence at a cost of £300 million.

The Corinthia is one of five super luxury hotels coming to London between next week and early May. It is the most concentrated sequence of openings at the top end of the hotel hierarchy that anyone in the industry can remember. And the most expensive. If the modernisation of the Savoy, which reopened last October, is included, more than £1 billion has been spent over the past couple of years.

The new flurry of openings kicks off on Monday when the Four Seasons on Park Lane welcomes guests again after a two-year absence. Although not technically a new hotel, the renovation has been so fundamental - at one stage only the outside walls were still standing - that to all intents and purposes the old Four Seasons no longer exists.

What more luxurious way to unwind than a soak in the private plunge pool on your hotel room balcony? But this is not Barbados or Dubai. The view is not palm-fringed beach or desert, it is grey rooftops to Trafalgar Square.  The plunge pool is in the Lady Hamilton suite - you are at the same level as her lover Nelson's head - at the soon to be opened Corinthia Hotel on Northumberland Avenue. This hulking ocean liner of a building is a former Ministry of Defence office block being rapidly transformed into a palace of five-star opulence at a cost of £300 million.

The Corinthia is one of five super luxury hotels coming to London between next week and early May. It is the most concentrated sequence of openings at the top end of the hotel hierarchy that anyone in the industry can remember. And the most expensive. If the modernisation of the Savoy, which reopened last October, is included, more than £1 billion has been spent over the past couple of years.

The new flurry of openings kicks off on Monday when the Four Seasons on Park Lane welcomes guests again after a two-year absence. Although not technically a new hotel, the renovation has been so fundamental - at one stage only the outside walls were still standing - that to all intents and purposes the old Four Seasons no longer exists.

It will open quietly with only around 40 rooms occupied on the first night to allow the new staff, kitchens and systems to bed down. But the Four Seasons' loyal followers - the wealthy seem to stick to their favourite hotel in the same way that football fans follow their club - will soon be back in numbers. Within 10 minutes of the date of the royal wedding being announced one American regular was on the line to book for April 29.

Hard on its heels comes the W hotel in Leicester Square on February 14; the Waldorf Astoria in Syon Park towards the end of February; then the Corinthia in Whitehall on April 2 and the Renaissance at St Pancras station in early May.  Two are conversions of grand historic buildings, one a renovation of an existing hotel, another an achingly trendy West End lifestyle location and the fifth a new "country house" style hotel built from scratch in a London park.

They are very different but will set new standards of luxury. The emphasis is on informality and relaxation and they will cement London's reputation as the five-star capital of the world.  At the Four Seasons the traditional English floral fabrics of the old hotel have gone, replaced by understated international sophistication, overseen by Parisian interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon, who also worked on the Savoy and the George V in Paris.

Read full story here.


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Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 2/1/2011 at 10:37 AM
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Hideaways Club Launches City Collection of Luxury Apartments

Alma Kadragic with realestatechannel.com

DUBAI, UAE - The Hideaways Club, a global property company specializing in equity ownership and management of a collection of international luxury property investment funds, announced this week that it is launching its second fund, The Hideaways Club City Collection, a portfolio of luxurious global city apartments.

Following the success of The Classic Collection, the Hideaways Club's first fund of luxury villas across the world - including the Villa Arabella in South Africa and the Villa Palmeira in Portugal - comes the launch of The City Collection - an exclusive private members club which will provide investors with a new way to enjoy a luxurious city lifestyle.

The City Collection will start with 10 serviced apartments in New York, London, Paris, Venice, Miami, and Prague. Other cities will added, including Moscow, Rio de Janeiro, Bangkok, and Sydney to reach 120 city apartments over the next three years.

Every apartment will be located in or close to city centers and will be overseen by a concierge service to handle everything from booking apartments and arranging dinner parties to acquiring tables in the smartest restaurants or tickets for the best shows.
The City Collection is intended for people who enjoy frequent travel and an international lifestyle. "The success of the Classic Collection and extremely positive testimonials from our members confirms our belief that this type of investment is not just a financially astute way to own and use overseas properties, but provides the means to enjoy memorable holiday experiences while at the same time providing the logical alternative to sole property ownership," said Nick Bettany, CEO of The Hideaways Club.

With up to $2.8 million invested in each apartment, the properties will have a minimum of two double bedrooms and bathrooms, king sized beds with Egyptian cotton sheets, the latest high tech and audio visual equipment, a DVD and book library, wireless internet, flat screen televisions, and fully equipped kitchens.

Premium Membership allows up to 23 nights per year and costs $187,000 for a full equity share. To that is added an annual fee of $8300.  Associate Membership allows up to 12 nights per year and costs $101,400 for a half share. The annual fee is $4306. By investing in the fund, members will share in the appreciation of the entire portfolio of properties and automatically become members of The Hideaways Club.


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Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 1/18/2011 at 10:20 AM
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Ritz-Carlton opens Vail destination club

Shared from bizjournals.com

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. LLC of Chevy Chase, Md., has opened its 10th destination club, this one in the Colorado ski town of Vail, the company said Monday.

The property is the company’s third Ritz-Carlton Destination Club in Colorado, which now has the most clubs of any area.

“Our members have shared with us their desire to be in this exceptional location, and we are excited to bring it to them,” Peter Watzka, executive vice president and COO of The Ritz-Carlton Development Co. Inc., said in a statement.

The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club is a members-only, luxury vacation timeshare club for affluent travelers. It provides two equity-based membership options — the Portfolio Membership, offering different locations each trip, and the Home Club Membership, whereby members go to the same location year after year.

Home Club memberships currently run from $100,000 to the low $800,000s per deeded interest, and Portfolio memberships start at $100,000, according to Ritz.  Colorado’s other Ritz destination clubs are near the Aspen and Bachelor Gulch ski areas. Other clubs are in Lake Tahoe and San Francisco, Calif.; Jupiter, Fla.; Kauai and Maui, Hawaii; Abaco, The Bahamas; and St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The new Vail Ritz destination club is at the base of Vail Mountain in the Lionshead Village, near Gore Creek. It will be part of a new, proposed village at the resort called Ever Vail, which will be a LEED-certified.  LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and is the U.S. Green Building Council’s rating for energy-efficient, sustainable design.

Vail’s alpine-style Ritz club units range from 1,300 to 2,874 square feet, with full kitchens, fireplaces and high-speed Internet. Club services include on-site concierge, ski valet, housekeeping, fitness facility, spa services, golf privileges at Red Sky Ranch and heated underground garage.


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Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 1/13/2011 at 2:43 PM
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Top 11 Luxury Travel Trends for 2011 - Luxury Vacation Hideaways

Article shared from luxurytravelmagazine.com

With the start of 2011, these trends identify what influences people's choices of where and how to travel.

Luxury Travel Magazine and New York City public relations firm, Abelow PR, who counts among their luxury travel brand clients: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Singapore Airlines, Trump International Hotel and Tower, Virgin Atlantic, Necker Island, and Leela Palaces Hotels and Resorts, among many others, reveal their TOP 11 LUXURY TRAVEL TRENDS FOR 2011:

1. Luxury Resorts in Far Flung Places - New exclusive luxury hotels in off-the-beaten-path destinations such as Hangzhou and Tibet, China; Damascus, Syria; Trancoso, Brazil; Beirut, Lebanon; Luang Prabang, Laos; Montenegro, Colombia, Panama...now allow travelers to escape to the exotic while still enjoying luxurious accommodations and fine food.

2. The Urge to Splurge - After a couple of tough years, the Mendelsohn Affluent Study confirms that spending on travel is up again, especially in the luxury market. According to the motto 'carpe diem' (seize the day), travelers are looking for authentic experiences that are life-changing, while enjoying the luxury of high-end accommodation, great dining and exceptional journeys that go beyond the ordinary.

3. Myanmar (Burma) is Wide Open for Tourism Now - With the release from house arrest of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, more travelers are seeking to visit this magical place. Frozen in time, Burma remains the last country in Southeast Asia that is almost entirely untouched and is also one of the most devoutly Buddhist countries left on earth.


4. Sri Lanka is hot - Arrivals to the country have increased 36%, and priceless cultural treasures, World Heritage sites, fabulous off-shore islands and superb cuisine await intrepid travelers keen on seeing what has been called one of the most beautiful islands in the world.

5. Book Lover Trips - With book groups all the rage, Asia Transpacific Journeys has organized trips based on books such as a Beyond the Sky and Earth based in Bhutan.

6. Vow Renewals on the Upswing - This old favorite is returning as the baby boomers approach milestone anniversaries with many wanting to renew their vows in unique locales. An example is a Jewish couple that renewed their vows at a Hindu temple in India.

7. Sabbaticals To Make a Difference - Sabbaticals are an increasingly popular way to re-prioritize and help others, like helping at a literacy program in Laos or a soup kitchen in Delhi.

8. Authentic Travel Experiences - Festivals and holidays provide authentic and eye-opening ways of experiencing a culture, which is exactly what today's travelers are after. Abelow PR's top choices include a local summer festival in the northern Himalaya, and the Tumbuna Sing-Sing in Papua New Guinea.

9. Brazil: Why Wait? - With the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics around the corner, Brazil is on the cusp of exploding, so travelers should get in before the crowds heat up. Beyond famous and beautiul Rio de Janeiro and Amazon River cruises, other exotic experiences await such as the thundering Iguazu Falls, Afro-Brazilian culinary courses and samba lessons, the jet set hot spot of Florianopolis, and stunning new boutique properties on remote beaches such as Trancoso, Bahia are awaiting travelers. 


10. Closer to Home - "Utah is the hottest new luxury destination in the U.S. with the recent openings of many high-end hotel brands," says Christine Gray, Editor-in-Chief of Luxury Travel Magazine: Amanresorts' Amangiri near Lake Powell (pictured above), The St. Regis Deer Valley, Montage Deer Valley, and the Waldorf Astoria Park City.

11. New Amanresorts - "One of the most interesting themes in Luxury Travel is speculating about where the new Amanresorts and GHM Hotels are being developed," says Christine Gray, Editor-in-Chief of Luxury Travel Magazine. "These trendsetting luxury brands are indicators of where future luxury resort development will occur. For example, Porto Heli, Greece (an area compared to the Hamptons in New York) will be a hot spot in 2011/2012 with the opening of both an Amanresort and a GHM managed hotel."


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Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 1/11/2011 at 10:20 AM
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St Simons Island, Georgia

By Elyse Umlauf

In the forty-two years that Susan Hardwick has lived on St. Simons Island in Georgia, she's seen the island evolve from a retirement retreat to a vibrant, year-round community. Having grown up in Chicago, she's known both city and island living and opted for the gentility and calm of the southern island. This year, Hardwick, associate broker of Sea Palms Realty, celebrates her twenty-sixth year as a real estate practitioner. When the island was lauded by Money magazine in 2006, it didn't surprise her. After all, she says, "It has a great climate, sandy beaches, lush marshes , and the gorgeous live oaks are something to see." Though outsiders think of it as a vacation getaway, what they don't realize is that St. Simons offers a strong job base.

Hardwick points to an active port and a seafood industry as just two employment sources. Moreover, the island represents a relatively affordable alternative to pricier nearby venues. For instance, an appealing alternative to the full-tilt luxury property is the patio home option. The properties are smaller luxury homes situated in gated communities, and prices range from the mid- $300,000 to the mid-$400,000. The properties offer buyers all the pleasures of the island, such as golf, boating and beaching, along with tennis and swimming and fitness centers in gated environments. The upside for buyers is that the communities are secure and managed, so there's no maintenance. The concept is particularly appealing to the second homeowners. "These properties are such a great way to enjoy the community and the island without having to worry about the house, " comment Hardwick. There are, of course, an array of high-end homes. One such property, listed by Hardwick, features three bedrooms and three bathrooms and overlooks a marsh. The house, built in 2001, includes 2,081 square feet and an oversized garage that can house three cars. The asking price of $795,000 includes the membership entry fee into the Sea Palms Golf & Tennis Resort. The resort's primary draw is its twenty-seven golf holes on three newly renovated courses. Moreover, the views on the course, including lagoons and marshes and live oaks, are a bonus. The Sea Palms Golf & Tennis Resort isn't the only game in town for golf aficionados, however. The island offers more than two hundred golf holes scattered among private and public courses. Given the area's wealth of golf resources, it's no surprise to locals that St. Simons was chosen as the site for the McGladrey Classic, a PGA Tour event scheduled for October 7-10, 2010. As golf columnist Stan Awtrey put it in a story earlier this year, "...there's no question that the PGA TOUR has made a smart decision to bring an event to Sea Island. The rest of the world will learn in October what the rest of us have known for years. There's no better place in the world.

Find out more about St Simons Island, Georgia.


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Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 11/9/2010 at 11:43 AM
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Check into your favorite department store? Harrods considers rooftop, luxury hotel

By Barbara De Lollis, USA TODAY


The new owners of Harrods are considering opening a hotel on the roof of the famous department store, the London Evening Standard reports.

The Qatari owners of the prestigious store think a luxury "Harrods Hotel" would be a hit with wealthy, foreign visitors who like staying in the swanky Knightsbridge district, the story says.

If it happens and it's pulled off correctly, a Harrods Hotel could rival nearby Mandarin Oriental, the five-star hotel that provides well-heeled guests with 24-hour room service. It's also possible that we could see Harrods Hotels pop up in other cities.

The news comes on the heels of the announcement by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group that it plans to bring the Virgin brand into the hotel world. In the USA, the Virgin brand is best known for its airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin America.

A review of the Harrods business was launched by Qatar Holdings shortly after the Qatar royal family bought it from Mohamed Fayed in May, the Evening Standard reports.

Fayed, 77, who owned Harrods for 25 years, said when he sold it that he would like his mausoleum to be on the roof, according to the story.

The plan, being worked on by consulting firm Boston Consulting Group, also includes taking the Harrods hotel brand to other cities, such as Shanghai.


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Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 10/19/2010 at 2:33 PM
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Luxury Hotel, London’s Savoy to reopen after major restoration program

By Monami K Thakur.  International Business Times.

The London Savoy, renowned for its glitzy parties and glitterati guests,is reopening on Sunday after a three-year renovation program.  The famous London landmark, managed by the Fairmont Hotels & Resort group, was closed in December 2007 for a massive restoration encompassing the entire building right from the iconic entrance and the American Bar to Savoy Grill and the 268 guestrooms and suites.

This restoration is regarded as one of the most ambitious project in British history. The restoration was done by world famous designer Pierre Yves Rochon and a team of over 1000 craftsmen.

"We are very excited to reopen The Savoy. It is fair to say that this project has not been without its challenges, but we are looking forward to unveiling the results of nearly three years of hard work and dedication," said Kiaran MacDonald, General Manager of the Savoy.

The Savoy was established in the year 1889 by the Gilbert and Sullivan impresario Richard D'Oyly Carte. The hotel was originally under the maintenance of Swiss hotelier César Ritz and Maitre Chef Auguste Escoffier. Over a short period of time, the hotel garnered a reputation of being one of best in its field.  The Savoy gradually became the stopping point of the Rolls-Royces of royalty, ministers and Hollywood stars.

Chef Escoffier's eclectic cuisines were savored and relished by the likes of Sarah Bernhardt, Lily Langtry, Dame Nellie Melba and the Prince of Wales and later Edward VII.  New additions include thirty eight new River Suites and guestrooms, a stately 325 square meter royal suite featuring two bedrooms, a study, sitting room, dining room, master bathroom, dressing room and a master bedroom with a bespoke "Savoir" bed.

Other introductions include the Beaufort Bar, an exquisite art deco bar built on the hotel's original cabaret stage offering a range of champagne, cocktails and cabaret and Savoy Tea, a bijou teashop selling Savoy tea, accessories and fresh patisserie.


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Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 10/14/2010 at 4:26 PM
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Luxury Mobile Home for an Incredible Travel Experience

 

A-cero architecture studio goes beyond the concept of home - they put wheels on comfortable and contemporary designs with this Mobile Home. All the furniture inside is built from Corian - a material that plays with the usual vibrations of the moving truck to offer comfort and a pleasurable trip. Although this mobile home was created for moving around in style, it has all the comfort needed to become your second home. Leave it to architects to imagine a better world, to take all things out of context and rearrange them into a new way of life. Simply beautiful, light interiors make this RV a luxurious way to travel. Another cool feature is the mini garage that can shelter a small means of travelling on the side. The compact mobile home extends to give more room for an incredible travel experience.

 

 

Article shared from International Business Times.


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Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 10/14/2010 at 4:06 PM
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Luxury hotels revive old-fashioned Murphy bed - with a twist-NYC

By Barbara De Lollis, USA TODAY

The Chatwal Hotel, New York City's newest ultra-luxury hotel that opened last month, is reviving the old Murphy bed - with an extravagant twist.  Once you pull down the bed from its hidden space in the wall (see photo) in one of the Chatwal's one-bedroom suites, you'll find an 11-inch-thick luxury mattress.

 

It's the same mattress that you'd sleep on in a regular bed, Chatwal general manager Joel Freyberg told me recently during a tour of the hotel. (Freyberg, however, insists on calling it a "descending bed," to move away from any perceptions people may have of a thin, uncomfortable mattress.)  

Introductory rates at the hotel, which opened last month, start at a princely $545 a night.  In the case of the 83-room, Art Deco-inspired Chatwal, the upscale Murphy bed works well because it lets guests who either couldn't get a two-room suite - or didn't want to pay for it - transform their one-bedroom suite into a two-bedroom suite. The one-bedroom suites have two full bathrooms.

But the Chatwal's not the only high-end hotel resurrecting the old-fashioned, space saver.  Another Manhattan luxury hotel - Gansevoort Park Avenue, which I toured in July while it was still under construction - features a Murphy bed in a room in its presidential suite.  Among the other hotels that let you relax on a Murphy bed:

Westin St. Francis in San Francisco

Teton Mountain Lodge in Jackson Hole, Wy.

Fairmont Hotel in Vancouver

Have you ever slept in a new style - or old style - Murphy bed in a hotel? (Hopefully, it was nothing like Inspector Clouseau's experience in slapstick comedy, The Pink Panther Strikes Again!)


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Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 9/27/2010 at 3:36 PM
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Spectacular Gulf to Bay Estate on Captiva Island, FL

Southwest Florida has a hidden gem called Captiva Island. Where fishing is bountiful, the white sugar sand beaches captivate and your busy hectic life is just a glimmer in your memory. Captiva offers a prestigous stretch of parcels where the land is kissed by the Gulf of Mexico sunsets and backs up to Pine Island Sound where you have your own private membership to some of the best fishing in the world right at your backdoor.  

Spectacular Gulf to Bay Estate on Captiva Island with gorgeous water views from every room.  The main house features 4 BR/4.5 BA, Travertine marble floors, hardwood oak floors, custom gourmet kitchen with top of the line appliances and granite counters, formal dining with coffered ceiling, great room with surround sound, study/library with gas fireplace, private elevator, hurricane windows, security system, heated pool with spa, deep water dock, and boat lift. The charming, income producing, “Cape Cod” guest house has been completely remodeled and offers 3 BR/3 BA with surrounding decks and dazzling Gulf of Mexico sunsets. Offered price: $7,995,000

 


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Posted by: karenbell
Posted on: 6/30/2010 at 9:20 AM
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GULF FRONT ESTATE - Captiva Island, FL - Just Sold

Gorgeous, direct Gulf-front, 4BR/3.5BA Captiva estate home. Just steps from your private 132' beach paradise and sparkling turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Direct access, shared dock on Pine Island Sound. Offering 10 ft. ceilings, gourmet kitchen with top of the line appliances, marble and carpet throughout, crown molding, plantation shutters, and large sliders that open to the pool and outside entertainment area. Fenced, heated pool and spa. Sold furnished with a few personal exceptions. Great rental income potential. Tropical amenities abound. Close to great island shopping, restaurants, chapel and library. Sold 6/29/2010 for $2,500,000.


Brazil Luxury Real Estate - What can you buy for $ 1,000,000 in Brazil?

Quick note from the author: I was born and raised in the South of Brazil. Obviously, I wanted to share a little more of my home country than Carnaval and soccer such as our amazing real estates.

Brazil’s huge potential for business, irresistible culture, and geographical diversity has attracted many foreign investors in recent years; as a consequence, the luxury real estate market has developed.  Brazil offers conditions to please the most luxurious taste beginning on the South, where the cold weather and mountains landscape give an irresistible European feel, to the North where the year around summer weather and extraordinary beaches provide an endless vacation experience.

If you are looking for a property in the Central East area , you might like this 6458 square ft residence  in a 10,750 square ft land in Cidade Jardim, Sao Paulo. Priced $1,018,676, this estate has 3 master suites, 3 maids’ rooms and 5-car garage. It also has a banquet hall, inner courtyard, and pool.

 

Have you thought about buying a hotel? For $1,075,269 you could purchase you very own Inn. This amazing estate is located on the North of Brazil on Beach of Pipa, RN.  This property is surrounded by exuberant beaches, native forests of the Mata Atlântica, cliffs, and bays.  It has 9 cabanas (8 four -people and one family double with 2 bedroom cabanas). Built in a 38,750 sq ft land, it offers a swimming pool with bar, a tennis court, private parking, restaurant, and a pleasant deck for reading. 

 

For $1,369,553 you could purchase an authentic master piece created by the Italian artist Gaetano Pesce. Located in Itacimirim, Bahia, the house was built in 13,000.00m2  land  between the ocean and the lagoon. The main house is about 2500 square feet and the guest house is about 750 square feet.  The house exterior was coated with multi- colored glass and tiles that resemble fish scales, whereas the interior has the artistic “footprints” of its creator. The house is located about 40 miles north of Salvador, a beautiful city with international airport and all the facilities you need. 

This is the best time to invest on properties in Brazil since the market is relatively affordable for luxury homes. Brazil is also getting ready to host international events such as 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics. Keep in mind what this country has to offer and you will not regret!