An apothecary with access to more than 20 native Hawaiian plants and minerals is at the core of the custom healing and relaxing blends of elixirs, lotions and oils available for guests at the newly reopened Four Seasons Resort Hual?lai. The five-diamond, 243-room resort on the Big Island’s Kona Coast reopened in mid-December following a million expansion and renovation of the spa. In early 2009, the facility will add the Waiea (Water of Life) Garden; couples’ hale with a private plunge pool; and relaxation salons. Guests who desire something more active than a spa treatment can discover a range of exercise and recreational opportunities from open-air gyms to outrigger canoe paddling. Located within the larger Hual?lai Resort at Historic Ka‘?p?lehu resort community, the Four Seasons also has tennis courts and two 18-hole golf courses—one by Jack Nicklaus, the other by Tom Weiskopf. (808.325.8000, www.fourseasons.com)
Apreamare’s new 82 Maestro combines the nautical heritage of the 150-year-old shipyard with a modern Italian interior. Unveiled at the Cannes boat show in September, the Italian shipyard maintained a classic-looking, expedition-style exterior while inside it’s designed with a surprising sense of openness achieved with details such as a picture window in the master suite and sleek, off-white furnishings.
Depending on engine choice, the blue-water hull can deliver a top end of 31 knots and cruising range of 400 nautical miles. It’s a yacht that is designed for ocean running but is faster than many other explorer yachts in its class. In addition to spacious interiors, the designers also maximized the exterior three decks: The bridge has three lounges, sun platform, Jacuzzi, and wet bar, while the teak-laden cockpit area below is a good spot for al fresco dining. The new Maestro series will include 51 and 65 models. (www.apreamare.it)
Visitors arrive at the Peninsula Tokyo in green Rolls-Royce Phantoms, the Hong Kong–based hotel group’s signature cars. Managers then usher their guests into the hotel’s cavernous lobby, where Japanese businessmen from the neighboring Marunouchi financial district and women in high heels drink cocktails beneath a transfixing concave light fixture that sparkles with 1,313 bulbs.
It took the Rosso family, the owners of several small, exclusive hotels in Italy, several years to convince Milan’s city government to approve their plans to develop the Town House Galleria. Beyond the usual difficulty in getting past one of Italy’s labyrinthine bureaucracies, the boutique property required special consideration because of its proposed location: inside one of Milan’s most famous landmarks, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a massive, architecturally stunning indoor arcade compl
The St. Regis Singapore is the first major luxury hotel to be built in this tiny island nation in 10 years.
Located 26 miles south of Cancún, the Mandarin occupies a one-mile-long, 150-yard-wide sliver of land that stretches from the region’s main highway to the Caribbean Sea. Reflecting pools line a thatch-roofed pavilion at the front of the property, where guests board golf carts for a ride through the jungle, past a cenote (a freshwater sinkhole), and along canals to their rooms.
The British monarch who ruled the largest empire in history would no doubt be pleased by the new 2 million ocean liner that the fabled Cunard Line recently christened after her. By any standard, Queen Victoria, known simply as “the QV,” is an imposing vessel.
Though it dates to 1861, Beau-Rivage Palace in Lausanne, Switzerland, is by no means fusty and old-fashioned. A recently completed million refurbishment—which spanned 12 years—has kept this Belle Epoque gem on the banks of Lake Geneva looking shiny and new.
Turn-of-the-20th-century Finnish composer Jean Sibelius is said to have seen music in shapes and colors. This may explain why, when he needed inspiration, Sibelius retired to the Hotel Kämp in Helsinki, Finland.
In Munich, Germany, new boutiques and fashionable wine bars mingle with the city’s traditional beer-hall, brass-band gusto. This merry dance of old and new continues at the Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski München, a 150-year-old grande dame that occupies a commanding position on the broad Maximilianstrasse.