Chatham Cape Cod...Baby Boomers by the Sea Weekend - March 25 – 27, 2011

Welcome to Chatham Cape Cod...

Bordered on three sides by water - the Atlantic Ocean, Nantucket Sound, and Pleasant Bay - Chatham, Cape Cod, Massachusetts is located at the elbow of Cape Cod. Our seaside hamlet enjoys an outstanding sixty-six miles of shoreline which nearly surrounds our 16 square miles. Is it little wonder that so many activities we enjoy in Chatham center on the water?

Baby Boomers by the Sea Weekend - March 25 – 27, 2011

 If You are thinking of purchasing a home in Chatham, then this special weekend has been designed for you!

In Association with The Carriage House Inn, a Cape Cod bed and breakfast in the heart of Chatham Village, John C. Ricotta & Associates has put together a weekend getaway package for interested Boomers to discover the ins-and-outs of purchasing Cape Cod real estate. A highlight of the weekend will be a fun and low-key wine and tapas reception held at the former Port Fortune Inn – now a skillfully renovated, award-winning private home!

Based in Chatham, Cape Cod, MA, John C. Ricotta & Associates, Inc. is a boutique real estate firm focused on premier waterfront properties throughout Cape Cod. We specialize in the sale and seasonal rental of salt waterfront and water view real estate on the Lower Cape.  Some of our agents were born here-some of our agents moved here-we all choose to live here. We are all passionate about our region and our work; and we look forward to offering you the best in Cape Cod real estate whether you are looking to come for a vacation or for a lifetime!

Find out more here.


Share | |

Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 2/9/2011 at 3:48 PM
Tags: ,
Categories: Luxury Real Estate | Luxury Vacation Rentals
Post Information: Permalink | Comments (0) | Post RSSRSS comment feed

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.


Share | |

Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 2/9/2011 at 2:38 PM
Tags:
Categories: Luxury Real Estate | Luxury Vacation Rentals
Post Information: Permalink | Comments (0) | Post RSSRSS comment feed

Treasured Family Legacy to Call Your Own at Roanoke Reserve, Lake Gaston, NC-VA

Perhaps reserved just for you...          

Be one of the few to create your own exclusive waterside destination in an idyllic environment on a spacious and beautiful Roanoke Reserve property, as the perfect retreat to just get away from it all or make it your year-round cocoon. There will be no better place to spend quality time with family and friends...relaxing, recharging, taking nature walks, lake cruising, watersports, and coming together for special occasions year-round. There is no better time to evaluate this amazing place and lifestyle opportunity. Imagine the possibilities.

Six Premier Multi-Acre Lakefront Properties

Roanoke Reserve on Lake Gaston reflects rare and ideal use of third generation property originally purchased by former VA Senator H.B. Moseley. It is a naturally preserved 35-acre tract of mixed forest and beautiful terrain surrounding a tranquil deep-water cove (inlet) on the mainlake with 2850 ft of shoreline, divided into six spacious and private lakefront home sites (2.78 to 7+ acres each). Each property offers unique features with numerous building site options accented with captivating views of water and nature, elevated vantage points, ideal waterfront for swimming away from boat traffic, and plenty of natural buffer.

Restrictive covenants have been incorporated to ensure optimal quality of life for all Roanoke Reserve property owners, to protect your investment and immediate surroundings, and to permanently preserve the character of the Reserve — aligned with eco-friendly priorities and lifestyles.

Designed For Upscale Imagination and Creativity

Centrally located on the East Coast of the United States with easy access from both I-85 and I-95, Roanoke Reserve is offered to discerning buyers who want to design their own exclusive private retreat in a natural, lakefront setting — without compromising the secluded natural ambience. These properties are reserved for individualized, custom homes with ample room for amenities of choice on the water and offshore. Plus you have the assurance of knowing that the naturally preserved Roanoke Reserve environment you invest in today is guaranteed for the future.

Compelling Value Proposition

Each Roanoke Reserve lot is, in most cases, equivalent in size to three or more typical lakefront lots (comparative Lake Gaston MLS listings). Plus you are buying much more than just land. You are securing all of the features of the Reserve: protected natural beauty and privacy, buffered waterfront for an ideal swimming environment that is removed from boat traffic, seclusion as desired, and the guarantee of a sparsely populated environment FOREVER.

The Reserve is a rare opportunity for upscale lakefront lifestyles. When you visit you will understand and appreciate why Roanoke Reserve prices are higher than the conventional upscale subdivision waterfront lots on Lake Gaston. The land, location, ideal waterfront, views, space, environmental guarantees, and ambience -- MUCH more than a house pad at the water's edge.

Plus, the Introductory Offering for our first 2 sales reflects a significant first-buyer discount. This is a phenomenal opportunity and investment for like-minded buyers.

Lake Gaston, North Carolina/Virginia

The Roanoke River unwinds in Lake Gaston creating 350 miles of beautiful shoreline in three counties of North Carolina (Warren, Halifax and Northampton) and two of Virginia (Mecklenburg and Brunswick). Nestled between Interstate 85 and Interstate 95 at the Virginia - North Carolina border in a friendly country setting, the lake contains over 20,000 acres of high quality water, is 34 miles long, and about one and one half miles wide at its widest point. Sunsets are frequently spectacular!

There are shoreline management and ecological guidelines in place to protect its inhabitants and environment. Unrestricted boating accommodates the full range of boating options. The lake is also known for its fine fishing.

Find out more, at: www.RoanokeReserve.com


Share | |

Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 2/8/2011 at 10:20 AM
Tags: ,
Categories: Luxury Real Estate | Luxury Vacation Rentals
Post Information: Permalink | Comments (0) | Post RSSRSS comment feed

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.


Share | |

Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 2/1/2011 at 10:37 AM
Tags: ,
Categories: Luxury Real Estate | Luxury Vacation Rentals
Post Information: Permalink | Comments (0) | Post RSSRSS comment feed

New Luxury Residential Community Opens on Island of Kauai

Shared from kukuiula.com

KOLOA, Hawaii--Kukui‘ula, the first new luxury residential community in Hawaii in over a decade, has opened on the southern coastline of the island of Kauai. The 1,000 acre community is being developed by an affiliate of A&B Properties, Inc., a subsidiary of Alexander & Baldwin, Inc. of Honolulu, and DMB Associates, Inc. of Scottsdale, Arizona.

A private $100 million clubhouse serves as the social and recreational centerpiece of the community and includes the main clubhouse, known as The Plantation House, a spa, the Kukui‘ula Golf Club, a Tom Weiskopf-designed 18-hole championship golf course and an elaborate array of swimming pools.  

Kukui‘ula also debuted its Mauka and Makai neighborhoods, with the first model home, a three-bedroom plantation-style Makai Cottage, available for viewing.

Kukui‘ula has sold 81 homesites to date, mostly through a pre-development sales opportunity offered prior to major construction. With first phase construction complete and recreational amenities open, the developer is now resuming active sales efforts.

The Plantation House Reflects Authentic Local Style of Kauai

The 20,000 square foot Plantation House, overlooking Kukui‘ula Bay, is a showcase of classic Hawaii style. A Great Room, with coffered ceilings and wood beams and an eclectic mix of furnishings collected from around the world, opens to a wrap around lanai with seating areas offering all-day views of the Pacific and ocean sunsets.

Dining rooms emphasize fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables and seafood and meats from Hawaii’s best purveyors. The Plantation House also has a scenic dining hale, event pavilion, family-style dining room, ‘Island Pursuits’ outfitters shop, and a game room for adults and keiki (kids) to enjoy.

Kukui‘ula Spa Takes Relaxation and Rejuvenation to the Next Level

A spacious 20,000 square foot garden spa, located adjacent to the Plantation House will open in March 2011. The Plantation House Spa will offer a choice of indoor and outdoor treatment rooms with therapies and services drawn from local botanical products and timeless Hawaiian healing traditions. Additional features include a lap pool and cascading waterfall, men’s and women’s locker rooms, outdoor showers, steam and sauna facilities and private relaxation areas. Members can now enjoy a movement studio for yoga, pilates and dance classes and an extensive selection of fitness equipment.

Kukui‘ula Golf Course A Showcase for Panoramic Ocean Views

The private 18-hole Kukui‘ula course was designed to appeal to players of all ages and skill levels. Designed by Tom Weiskopf, creator of over 50 acclaimed courses worldwide, the 216-acre par-72 course features panoramic ocean views on most holes and a landscape of native flora. The Kukui‘ula course will accommodate limited member play until its official opening in Summer 2011.

First Model Home Now Open For Tours

Kukui‘ula’s 3,670 square foot Makai cottage showcases authentic local style with double-pitch roofs, generous lanais, board and batten siding and raised post and beam construction. The fully-furnished 3-bedroom, 3 1/2-bathroom floor plan also features a great room, salt water pool and spa, outdoor garden showers and a freestanding guest cottage.

The collection of Makai Cottages range in size from approximately 1,500 to 3,800 square feet and are located on a mix of quarter-acre to one-third acre homesites bordering the fairways and greens of the golf course. The Makai Cottages are priced between $2.2 million and $3.6 million; custom homesites begin at $1 million.

Homegrown: Kukui‘ula’s Community Farm & Lake

Located upcountry, Kukui‘ula has created its own community farm where fruits, vegetables, herbs and tropical flowers are grown for residents to enjoy. Current crops include lettuce, beans, peppers, beets, arugula, a variety of herbs and fruits and tropical flowers such as orchids and bird of paradise. Residents are welcomed to gather their own fruits and vegetables, cut tropical flowers and enjoy opportunities for picnicking, hiking and biking.

The farm overlooks a 20-acre catch-n-release fishing lake for canoeing or fishing for exotic Peacock bass.

About Kukui‘ula

Named for the kukui or candlenut torches that once guided fishermen back home to Kauai, Kukui‘ula is located between Poipu, the National Tropical Botanical Garden, and historic Old Koloa Town.

Kukui‘ula is being developed by Kukui‘ula Development Company (HAWAII), LLC, an affiliate of DMB Associates, Inc., a Scottsdale, Arizona-based diversified real estate development and investment firm (www.dmbinc.com), and an affiliate of A&B Properties, Inc., a subsidiary of Alexander & Baldwin, Inc., one of Hawaii’s largest private landowners (www.abprop.com).


Share | |

Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 1/27/2011 at 2:52 PM
Tags: ,
Categories: Luxury Vacation Rentals
Post Information: Permalink | Comments (0) | Post RSSRSS comment feed

King or Queen for a Day: Luxury Accommodations at Versailles

By Kate Deimling from artinfo.com.

PARIS—For anyone who's ever fantasized about the opulent life of French royalty in the Old Regime — minus the Revolutionary bloodletting — Jean-Jacques Aillagon, president of the Château de Versailles historic site, is going to make your dreams come true. A mansion on the château's grounds, the Hôtel du Grand Contrôle, will undergo renovations to become a luxury boutique hotel, expected to open at the end of 2011.

Located about 100 yards from the château, the mansion has fallen into disrepair and will cost $7 million to renovate, NPR reports. Without sufficient funds in its budget, Versailles formed a partnership with the Belgian hotel company Ivy International, which will turn the 18,000-foot space into a 23-room luxury hotel. Ivy International will have a 30-year lease on the site, with Versailles receiving a portion of the profits. The redesign will respect the building's historical character and will be overseen byFrédéric Didier, who was in charge of the overhaul of the château'sGalerie des Glaces from 2004 to 2007.

The building is part of the early history of Versailles, but underwent a downward spiral in later times. Built in the late 17th century, the Hôtel du Grand Contrôle was used by finance ministers in the 18th century and became a mess-hall for French officers in the 19th century. The French army only recently handed the site over to Versailles. In a press release, the Château of Versailles states that the building has not been maintained or heated in six years and is in danger of being irreparably ruined without prompt attention.

The mansion, which is on the edge of the Versailles site, with its entrance on the rue de l'Indépendance Américaine, will offer views of the Orangerie, the building where Louis XIV once stored almost 2,000 orange and palm trees during the winter, and the Pièce d'Eau des Suisses, a large pond popular with picnickers.

While the French have traditionally been skeptical of involving private enterprise in national historic sites — and Aillagon has drawn protests in the past for his scheme to turn Versailles into a contemporary art kunsthalle, bringing shows of work by Jeff Koons and Takashi Murakami, among others, to the palace — this project has not met with any real resistance. As art blogger Didier Rykner recently stated in a post approving the plan, the building lacks historical décor and was never publicly visited, and, above all, desperately needs preservation.

Find properties in France on duPont REGISTRY.


Share | |

Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 1/26/2011 at 2:59 PM
Tags: ,
Categories: Luxury Vacation Rentals
Post Information: Permalink | Comments (0) | Post RSSRSS comment feed

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.


Share | |

Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 1/18/2011 at 10:20 AM
Tags: ,
Categories: Luxury Vacation Rentals
Post Information: Permalink | Comments (0) | Post RSSRSS comment feed

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.


Share | |

Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 1/13/2011 at 2:43 PM
Tags: ,
Categories: Luxury Vacation Rentals
Post Information: Permalink | Comments (0) | Post RSSRSS comment feed

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."


Share | |

Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 1/11/2011 at 10:20 AM
Tags: , , , ,
Categories: Luxury Vacation Rentals
Post Information: Permalink | Comments (0) | Post RSSRSS comment feed

Australia's Monaco Oasis on the Block

Scott kauffman from RealEstateChannel.com

Wondering what $5.5 million can buy you along Australia's exclusive Gold Coast? One luxurious new option on the market called Monaco Oasis can be bought for $5.4 million, including about one-half acres of awesome Australian riverfront living. 
Influenced by European decorative traditions, this multi-million-dollar residence has lured celebrities such as Alan Jones, radio broadcaster and TV personality, as well as other high-net worth individuals, to soak up the atmosphere and stay a while. 

The current owners Karen and Roger Cartwright purchased the home in February 2000 and demolished all but the original 1960's 25-meter salt-water pool. During the three-year construction of the new residence, the empty pool enticed international skateboard superstar Tony Hawk to perform some of his famous airborne revolutions while touring Australia. 

Pru Hux, Coldwell Banker GC Property Group who is marketing the property with Associate Tory Hirst said: "This home is located in Millionaires Row, Broadbeach Waters, Gold Coast (East Coast). Facing due north, it has an impressive (295 feet) of river frontage to the rear and Albert Park across the street, what a location."

Hidden behind a double set of ornate gates the driveway leads to a 1,076 square-foot garage and formal entrance where you will find yourself standing, on entry, on a glass floor over a pebble stream. The sweeping staircase averts your eyes upwards to the soaring celings, decorative cornices and architraves, exquisite paint finishes on the walls and expansive windows with river, pool and garden outlook. 

The residence comprises 4 double bedrooms all with private en-suite bathrooms, dressing room and private balconies. The guest suite also includes a kitchenette. Expansive and elegant open plan living and formal dining areas are located off the main foyer and on the western side is a media lounge. There is also an executive study with its own entry and custom-designed cabinetry. The kitchen is finished with counter tops of granite in desert storm, metallic lacquered cabinetry, and a splashback handcrafted from sand and glass. Croatian sandstone adorns the floors and polished limestone and marble are featured throughout the home. 

 The terraces lead to beautifully manicured grounds which consist of a large thatch-roofed, entertaining pavilion complete with sound system and LED lighting plus a second smaller pavilion by the pool with a glass floor elevated over a fish pond which is fed by the rock waterfalls. "We expect a lot of interest in this residence," Hux added. "171 Monaco Street was created by impeccable craftsmen and built with such outstanding quality. Its classic architecture will stand the test of time."

Find homes in Australia on duPont REGISTRY Homes.


Share | |

Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 1/6/2011 at 10:00 AM
Tags: ,
Categories: Luxury Real Estate | Luxury Vacation Rentals
Post Information: Permalink | Comments (0) | Post RSSRSS comment feed

Bay Arch proposes Hollywood Sign Luxury Hotel concept

Shared from World Interior Design Network.

The proposal aims to preserve the image of the Hollywood sign and make use of its unique location. Bay Arch plans to double the size of the famous letters at a height of 105 feet, building them out from the back. Guests will get a chance to stay in one of the letters of the iconic signs, offering views of Los Angeles.

The 10-level hotel will include 308 rooms, depicting unique theme of the history of Hollywood. The structure will also house an observation deck, three large swimming pools, a movie theater, restaurants, a conference room and a museum. The sign will be illuminated at night.

The firm is seeking investors, developers, hotel operators, designers and engineers to take the proposal to the next step, after which the plan will be presented to the Mayor of Los Angeles and the Governor of California.

Would you stay in the Hollywood sign Luxury Hotel?


Share | |

Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 12/16/2010 at 11:06 AM
Tags: , ,
Categories: Luxury Real Estate | Luxury Vacation Rentals
Post Information: Permalink | Comments (0) | Post RSSRSS comment feed

Yunak Evleri Is a 5-Star Luxury Hotel Built Into Ancient Caves

by Andrew Michler from inhabitat.com

At the heart of Turkey there is an incredible landscape dotted with ancient caves. Completely vacant, in 2000, six cave houses dating back to the 5th and 6th century were converted into an unconventional, yet truly unique 30-room, 5-star hotel called the Yunak Evleri. Each underground room has been decked out in Ottoman era antiques and topped off with a personal spa and patio. The rest of the hotel is a reclaimed 19th century Greek mansion that sits adjacent to the awe-inspiring caves.

Many caves were carved out of the soft limestone cliffs in the region of Cappadocia, whose history dates back to the 6th century.  The hotel was completed in 2000 with extensive cleanup and grounds improvement. The remarkable cave retrofit brought in power for lights, Wi-Fi and modern gadgets a well as plumbing for the individual baths.

The rooms have each been impressively finished with antiques of the 1900’s Ottoman Empire, adding a nostalgic elegance to the rocky interior facade. The rooms are rich with hand carved details right in the rock: medallions, nooks, arches, windows and doors. Each room has a white marble adorned spa with either a steam shower or a Jacuzzi. Each room also has its own outdoor patio overlooking the ancient landscape. The rooms are dead silent, and of course they maintain comfortable and cool temperatures even on the hottest of days. Individuals can also explore a number of other cave homes and even cave churches which dot the region.


Share | |

Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 12/10/2010 at 2:35 PM
Categories: Luxury Real Estate | Luxury Vacation Rentals
Post Information: Permalink | Comments (0) | Post RSSRSS comment feed

St. Lucia Luxury Development closes Multi-million Loan for Project Completion

Article from www.bimre.com

One of the most exclusive and luxurious property developments in St. Lucia is one step closer full development, as the property developer just closed a multi-million loan from one of the US largest direct private lenders.

The M Group Resorts is now set to complete construction of The Jalousie Enclave. The loan is to finance the construction of the Jalousie Enclave,  that will be an extension of the famous $40 million Jalousie Plantation – also built by M Group – in St. Lucia, West Indies. Financed by direct private lender Kennedy Funding, the loan will provide working capital to complete the Jalousie Enclave and to commence construction of infrastructure improvements. This major loan comes at a time when a number of properties across the world, have witnessed a significant decline in their development.

On, April 6, 2010, Kennedy Funding, Inc. announced that it closed a multi-million dollar luxury residential development loan to M Group Resorts.

This project has been described as very ambitious in the current environment when so many traditional lenders will not provide developers with desperately needed luxury residential development loans,” said Jeffrey Wolfer, President and Co-CEO of Kennedy Funding. “As a direct private lender, we are able to look at the potential of the land to close the loan quickly, helping to complete projects and create jobs.”

The property gained international attention as one of the US most popular reality shows (the Bachelor) shot on location. A press release published at the beginning April 2010, said, “ In addition to building the Jalousie Enclave, the Jalousie Plantation is undergoing a $150 million renovation and will soon be renamed the Tides at Sugar Beach – operated by the Viceroy Hotel Group. The Jalousie Plantation located on 129 acres of beach front property, and is listed as one of UNESCO’s 820 “World Heritage Sites.”

“We dreamed up the idea for the Jalousie Enclave back in 1989, so we are very excited to get the capital we needed to get this project underway,” said Pascal Mahvi, President of M Group Resorts S.A. “Thanks to the loan that Kennedy Funding provided, we are able to make this dream a reality and also help support the St. Lucia community by creating nearly 300 jobs and generating more revenue for the local businesses,” he said. “The Jalousie Enclave will be the only gated luxury residential community in a World Heritage Site.”

It is incredibly difficult to secure loans for commercial projects, particularly for luxury residential developments in the Caribbean,” said Ed Wegel, CEO of Liberator Capitol. “We are very pleased that Kennedy Funding was able to come through for us at a time when commercial lending is so tight everywhere so that this project could get funded.”

Kennedy Funding is a commercial real estate lender that specializes in unconventional financing where speed and attention to special circumstances are critical. Its unique lending program has made Kennedy Funding one of the largest direct private lenders in the country. Since 1987, Kennedy Funding has invested more than $1.8 billion to help build hundreds of projects and put thousands of Americans to work in communities across the nation. Among the hundreds of successful deals Kennedy Funding has closed are land developments and construction projects, casinos, commercial and industrial projects, retail centers, residential communities, golf courses, beachfront resorts and ski areas.


Share | |

Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 11/30/2010 at 10:20 AM
Tags: ,
Categories: Luxury Real Estate | Luxury Vacation Rentals
Post Information: Permalink | Comments (0) | Post RSSRSS comment feed

Luxury International Property: Co Kildare, Ireland.


Bert House Manor and Hotel Athy, Co Kildare, Ireland

This spectacular recently restored and exceptionally well-appointed Georgian house located in Athy, Co Kildare, Ireland, is set on 7 gorgeous acres with West facing formal gardens with wide lawns, flowering borders, a fountain and stone steps leading from the house down towards the River Barrow. Bert House is presently trading as a Country House Hotel and could be acquired either as a going concern or a private home. The house is approached via a long tree lined avenue and offers gracious reception rooms, fine plasterwork and 17 bedrooms all with en suite bathrooms. The house was extensively and sensitively restored retaining many of its original period features. A leisure/ fitness facility with reception area, coffee shop, spa, sauna, steam room, ladies and gents changing rooms, three treatment rooms, a solarium and gymnasium are all located in the basement area of the home. The property stands in a scenic location on the banks of the river and is located within easy reach of Dublin City. Find out more about this property.

Click here to view luxury homes in Ireland on duPont REGISTRY Homes.


Share | |

Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 11/23/2010 at 2:28 PM
Tags: ,
Categories: Luxury Vacation Rentals
Post Information: Permalink | Comments (0) | Post RSSRSS comment feed

Buyer's Guide to Homes in Italy

By Tara Loader Wilkinson on wsj.com.

The carefree attitude embodied by the Italians is one of the main attractions for those looking to buy a second home in the country. Unfortunately, the country's property laws aren't quite as carefree as its residents.

"The property laws in Italy are among the most bureaucratic in the world," says Paul Belcher at Ultissimo, a London-based Italian property finder. "There are about 15,000 property laws in the U.K., and about 150,000 in Italy."

Whether you are dreaming of buying a stylish bachelor pad in Milan or a rustic castelo in Tuscany, the process can be rendered significantly easier with a bit of expert know-how. Here, The Wall Street Journal Europe illuminates some of the hidden hazards of an Italian property quest. Buona fortuna!

Finding the Property

Italy isn't a cheap country to buy in. "The overall cost of purchasing property in Italy can be as high as 12% of the purchase price," says Rupert Fawcett, head of the Italian desk at Knight Frank.

Prices vary according to which comune, or village, you buy in. Italy has around 8,000 comunes, and property laws in the smaller ones can be more bureaucratic. For example, if you want to build a swimming pool in your back garden, certain comunes will charge a €600 fee ($800); others will veto it altogether.

"If you are considering doing a lot of work to your place, start by researching which planning permissions the local comune usually accepts," advises Mr. Fawcett. He adds that permission for renovation can take up to a year, so the earliest involvement of a geometra, or surveyor, is advisable. Although you can buy straight through the estate agent (agente immobiliare) and you don't need a lawyer (avvocato), Mr. Fawcett says a bilingual lawyer will help with peace of mind.

As far as restorations are concerned, Italian banks will rarely lend money on a property that is deemed uninhabitable, Mr. Fawcett adds. So if you have your heart set on renovating a wreck, you might be disappointed.

Then again, rules are flexible. Many apply for planning permission retrospectively and, if need be, pay a fine, according to Mr. Belcher.

Read full story.

Find homes in Italy on duPont REGISTRY Homes.


Share | |

Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 11/22/2010 at 3:07 PM
Tags: ,
Categories: Luxury Vacation Rentals
Post Information: Permalink | Comments (0) | Post RSSRSS comment feed