Relive the days when the Rat Pack ruled Palm Springs at the luxurious, retro-cool Riviera Resort & Spa. This dazzling, colorful 24-acre property features 406 super-stylized guestrooms and suites decked out with widescreen plasma TVs, plush down-filled duvets and oversized marble clad baths. Perks of the property include the award-winning, 11,000 sq. ft. SpaTerre—featuring luxe Balinese treatments and a sexy coed spa lounge—along with private, tented poolside cabanas, outdoor fire pits, and a modern, upscale steakhouse, Circa59. —Alexis Korman
Riviera Resort & Spa
Facelifts are nothing new on the UES, but when a hotel spends more than $60 million on a renovation, you hope for huge results. Impressing new and previous customers alike, the gorgeously revamped Surrey Hotel is making a name for itself in NYC—again.
The Surrey Hotel offers guests sophisticated environs including coffered ceilings, limestone walls and moldings, and marble floors in the lobby, along with soothing guestrooms outfitted with unbelievably comfortable, hand-crafted DUX beds by Duxiana and luxe Sferra linens. Special touches, like custom lighting panels in each room, bathrobes, and ipod docks make your stay extra homey.
The Surrey scores bonus points for a sumptuous spa (located on the second floor), featuring Aboriginal-inspired treatments, one-of-a-kind Australian products, and plush, personalized treatment rooms. In-room rain showers create a secluded atmosphere (read: no more embarrassments in the locker-room). Two private spa suites are also available, one with a sunken tub, perfect for rinsing off after one of the spa’s signature desert salt scrubs. —Alexis Korman
East 76 Street (between Madison and Fifth Avenue), New York,
1 (800) 978-7739
Even while flying First Class, traveling on commercial planes can be a migraine-inducing hassle. And while private planes offer comfort, security, and luxury in the friendly skies, owning a private jet can be cost prohibitive (and even seem a tad outré) in this economic climate.
But what if you could find a semi-private jet that would ensure sophisticated, non-commercial airline travel for less? That’s just what you’ll find with the ShareAJet exchange, (created by Blue Star Jets, the world’s largest private aircraft broker) a “social networking site” for travelers who seek to fly privately together.
Confused? Here’s how it works:
The ShareAJet Exchange helps clients connect with other flyers planning trips to similar destinations, and assists in arranging shared flights aboard specific private jets. If a trip to your destination is not posted, you can also upload your own itinerary in order to “match” with that of another traveler.
Think of the benefits: a typical flight from NYC-LA on a private jet can cost around $25,000, while a similar flight through the ShareAJet exchange costs just $12,500, saving you serious green—Alexis Korman.
For more info:
This modern Montreal gem has won several highly coveted hospitality awards; It was listed under “Where to Stay" in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2009 Canada Now! Issue, and was named one of 2008’s "Top Business Hotels" by Fortune Magazine. Luckily, OPUS manages to live up to these accolades, and the expectations of a youthful but discerning clientele. Located on the prime corner of Sherbrooke and St Laurent, near the trendy Latin Quarter, the luxurious 136-room OPUS features a sleek wood and marble lobby, along with colorful, minimalist guestrooms that boast sweeping city or garden views, flat screen LCD TVs, Egyptian linens and down-filled duvets. Upscale extras like a spacious lobby lounge—outfitted with mod white leather chairs and an espresso machine—allow guests to mingle, relax, or check their email (free Wi-Fi is available). And while most hotels quiet down at night, OPUS draws a trendy, well-heeled crowd to its gorgeous, Asian-themed KOKO restaurant and bi-level SUKO nightclub. If you happen to be a guest who prefers not to party in Montreal, the hotel graciously offers complementary earplugs—a cheeky touch.—Alexis Korman
Fun Facts: OPUS Montreal features a spacious 24/7 gym complete with a trainer, along with complimentary continental breakfasts.
10 Sherbrooke Ouest
Montréal, QC H2X 4C9, Canada
The Four Seasons hotels are well known for offering fine dining to discriminating guests, and Duo, their poolside steakhouse restaurant in Maui, is no exception. Opened in 2007, this stately restaurant—decorated with an abundance of fresh tropical flowers, warm wood accents, and flattering amber lighting—boasts spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, mountains, and Maui’s famous Wailea Beach. The menu leans towards luxe steakhouse; Popular dishes include prime Japanese Kobe beef fillets and from-the-sea-fresh lobster tails served with Fuji apple and a clove-lime vinaigrette. Cotton candy, Duo’s signature dessert, makes a sweet treat at the end of a gorgeous evening in paradise.—Alexis Korman
Duo at the Four Seasons
3900 Wailea Alanui Dr
Kihei, HI 96753
Duo is also open for a buffet breakfast and private dining options are available upon request.
Photo courtesy of Four Seasons, Maui.
Winning a 4 star review from the NY Times is no easy feat—but that’s just what the refined French restaurant Daniel earned—along with a host of other accolades and awards since its opening in 1999. Celebrated Chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud’s exquisite French cuisine is on display at his iconic Manhattan eatery, along with an elegant dining room enhanced by wrought iron touches, silk wall panels, and etched glass details. Located on the posh corner of 65th and Park, Daniel caters to a sophisticated clientele with gourmet palates, incorporating the freshest produce of the season into its prixe fixe menus: 3 courses are available for $105, 6 courses for $175. Favorite dishes include bone marrow-crusted filet of sole, Maine Peekytoe crab with Fuji apple, and hazelnut mousse served with salted caramel ice cream. Reservations are taken up to one month in advance, so plan ahead. —-Alexis Korman
Executive Chef: Jean Francois Bruel
Fun Fact: Daniel’s state-of-the-art wine cellar includes 18,000 bottles from 15 countries, prices start at $50.
Dress code: Jacket and tie required
60 E. 65th St
New York, NY 10065-7056
Opened in June, 2009, this chic boutique hotel features 63 spacious rooms—all boasting spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline. The Ravel Hotel’s big surprise is, of course, its location—the luxe, modern hotel is situated within a stone’s throw of the Queensboro bridge in Long Island City, less than 10 minutes to Manhattan. And while not necessarily associated with glamour, Long Island City does has an industrial-chic appeal, having long been home to a diverse community of artists, making the Ravel Hotel a viable alternative to similarly trendy, modern hotels in Manhattan. Guest rooms feature dressed-up details like 9-foot-tall ceilings, 42-inch plasma-screen TVs, private balconies, glass enclosed shower stalls, and ultra-deep sunken tubs. There may not be a restaurant on-site, but the Ravel Hotel does offer some unique extras—including a spectacular, Miami-themed rooftop deck outfitted with cabanas, creative cocktails, reclining chairs, and stellar, 360-degree views of the cityscape. Nightly parties are hosted by well-known DJs, and some nights include trend-oriented touches like hand-rolled cigars and premium whiskey tastings.—Alexis Korman
The Ravel Hotel
8-08 Queens Plaza South
Long Island City, NY 11101
Tao – Las Vegas and New York
With locations in both New York and Las Vegas, this gorgeous, upscale Asian eatery is a haven for power diners, trend-loving tourists, and those who adore the dinner-as-theatre trope. As seen on a famous episode of Sex and the City, a stunning, 15-foot-tall golden Buddha statue welcomes well-heeled customers to the New York City location, transporting all who walk through Tao’s doors to a romanticized version of the (far) Far East. The Sin City outpost (located inside the Venetian Resort Hotel) was created in 2005, and offers an astounding 40,000 square feet of space. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Vegas Tao transforms into a bumping club late into the night. Both locations feature dazzling décor details like soaring ceilings, imported artifacts, bamboo accents, silk upholstery and dramatically backlit screens, while the menu focuses on premium sushi and Asian-fusion fare, including popular signature plates like the Peking Duck for Two and the Miso-Glazed Chilean Sea Bass. Creatively mixed cocktails, like the Xi Gua Tini ($12), utilize refreshing ingredients, such as watermelon and lime juices, along with premium spirits.—Alexis Korman
Photo by: Tao
42 East 58th St
New York, NY
3355 Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV
Executive Chef (NY): John Villa,
Executive Chef (LV): Mark Andelbradt
Hungry? The NYC location will offer a 3-course $38 prix fixe menu before 7pm and after 11pm
Insider Tip: The NYC location will incorporate free delivery service to those in the neighborhood.
Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s culinary empire includes this larger than life, yet still transporting South Asian-inspired eatery, located in the trend-centered Meatpacking district. Perfectly fitting for the neighborhood, the spectacular space boasts an exotic interior created by designer Jacques Garcia and features custom-made colonial furnishings, wooden Thai sculptures, and teak floors from a 200 year old Bombay palace. Think that’s over-the-top? The theme is furthered by a wait staff outfitted in orange uniforms with a vaguely Asian design. The menu, served family style, is meant to conjure up street foods from the region—with an upscale twist, of course. Favorite dishes include the cod, onion and chili crusted short ribs, spiced chicken samosas, and the ginger fried rice. Seeing the beautiful people is easy from the lounge, located downstairs, where cocktails like the Saigon cosmo ($11) and the Vongreichten’s signature ginger margarita ($14) are also available.—Alexis Korman
Spice Market (403 W. 13th Street, New York, NY; (212) 675-2322)
Hungry? A 5 course tasting menu is available for just $48 per person.
Executive Chef: Anthony Ricco
Insider Tip: The upstairs bar is a terrific spot for more casual dining.
Photo by: Culinary Concepts by Jean Georges
When a restaurant’s sign reads “Today’s Specials: Trust Me”, you know you’re in for something special. The New York outpost of this cultish sushi chain is located behind a bakery on an unassuming street in the Upper East Side—where you’ll just have to trust the omakase-style service (the Chef will make all of the selections for your meal based on the freshest fish of the day). The same is true for the Honolulu location—where sitting at the pared-down sushi bar guarantees you’ll have to give up the reins and open your mouth (not to mention your mind) to some of the best sushi on the island. Foregoing the menu in either location is a delight for adventurous palates, as regular customers love the 5-star quality of the ever-changing sushi selection—even if the décor is so minimal, it seems nearly an afterthought. But with bites of baby albacore, Spanish mackerel, live scallops, and yellowtail belly so tasty, you’ll hardly notice the lack of decor. —Alexis Korman
401 E 73rd Street New York, NY 10021: (212) 249-8583
1417 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96814 (808) 947-3800?
Fun Fact: The restaurant is closed on Sunday, as fish markets are also closed on this day.
Insider Tip: Adopting a “know before you go” strategy is key to dining at this secret sushi haven.
Cost: Prices change daily, but expect to spend about $150 per person on sushi alone.
Photo By: Cindy Woo