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Archive for hotels

Ireland’s First School of Falconry

By Linda Tancs

At Ireland’s Ashford Castle in County Mayo you’ll delight in an embarrassment of riches. Dating back to 1228, the glorious castle on the picturesque shores of Lough Corrib set amidst 350 acres of ancient woods was once home to the Guinness family and later found fame as the respite of choice for actors in the classic film “The Quiet Man.” Now part of the Red Carnation hotel chain, the five-star property offers luxurious trappings fit for royalty (a common guest), like unique works of art, carefully sourced antique furniture, custom designed carpets and beds and exquisite towels and linens. No wonder, then, that it’s been voted one of the best hotels in the world by Travel + Leisure. Of all the estate’s activities, one of the most exciting is its falconry school. The oldest established school in the country, instruction in this ancient sport requires no previous training. Just the thing when the usual pursuits of golf, tennis, kayaking, boat cruising, horse riding, tennis or fishing just won’t do.

Portobello Gins Up Interest in Hotel

By Linda Tancs

What could be better than ginning up interest in—gin! The opening of a new gin distillery in London, England, might not garner that much interest but for the fact that you can eat, drink and sleep in it! That’s the idea behind a new hotel from the folks at Portobello Road Gin. Opening in November, the new venue (at Portobello Road, where else) will include not only a boutique hotel but also a gin museum, blending rooms, a Spanish style “Gintonic” bar and restaurant, an actual distillery and the “Ginstitute,” a mixologist’s delight. Better book early for this spirited respite.

A Treat in Newark

By Linda Tancs

The Robert Treat Hotel in Newark, New Jersey, is named for Captain Robert Treat, a colonial leader who was the governor of Connecticut and also is known as the founder of Newark. The first hotel in the city listed on both the State and National Registers of Historic Places, it was completed in 1916 and now celebrates 100 years. It’s also the first luxury hotel in Newark, no doubt the draw for the likes of four U.S. presidents, Martin Luther King Jr. and Albert Einstein. Thanks to premier area attractions like the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the Newark Museum (the state’s largest museum) and the Prudential Center arena, the Park Place jewel is poised to remain a stalwart in the city’s ongoing development and revitalization.

Sicily’s White Elephant

By Linda Tancs

The Grande Hotel San Calogero in Sicily has been waiting for guests for over 60 years. Dubbed the ghost hotel, it stands vacant for decades now thanks to governmental gaffes and design flaws. The 300-bed, five-story hotel was intended to showcase southern Sicily’s Sciacca, a pretty seaside town built on rocky heights that overlook the Mediterranean. Sicily’s white elephant stands atop a rocky outcrop on Monte Kronio, within walking distance of the thermal springs and basilica.

The Height of Luxury in London

By Linda Tancs

You could say that guests of the Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard in London enjoy a heady experience.  It is, after all, the tallest hotel in Western Europe–the first of its kind in a London skyscraper, occupying floors 34 to 52 of the glamorous Shard.  The first luxury hotel south of the Thames, the GŎNG bar at its apex will no doubt leave you agog over cityscape views for up to 40 miles.  Add to that a spacious room with floor to ceiling windows and a marble bath for a welcome respite.  Does it live up to its name?  Hardly remote, but idyllic nonetheless.

A Gutsy Hotel in Belgium

By Linda Tancs

Ever wonder what Jonah must have experienced when he got swallowed by the whale?  You might get a sense of that at Hotel Casanus, a one-room hotel shaped like a giant intestine.  Located at Verbeke Foundation Art Park near Antwerp, Belgium, this colonoscopic wonder features a double bed, windows, heating, and working plumbing in a pastoral setting.   You’ll have all the creature comforts of home, *butt* do you have the guts to stay there?

England’s Oldest Hotel

By Linda Tancs

Reputedly England’s oldest hotel, The Old Bell in Malmesbury is a luxurious oasis in the Cotswolds that opened in 1220.  Recently refurbished, the property boasts 33 individually decorated bedrooms as well as locally sourced fare for hardened foodies. Until the end of October you can enjoy a special two-night Garden Lover’s Break, including a visit to nearby Abbey House Gardens and Westonbirt Arboretum.

A Beautiful World

By Linda Tancs

Derived from the French “belle” (beautiful) and “monde” (world), Belmond is the new brand name for a collection of hotels and travel experiences around the world originating from the Orient-Express banner.  The storied Venice Simplon-Orient-Express will retain its identity, however.  To celebrate the launch of the new brand, guests booking for travel by 30 June 2014 can enjoy 15% off standard rates (space permitting) across Belmond’s beautiful world.

The Tallest Hotel in New York

By Linda Tancs

Marriott boasts that its Residence Inn New York Manhattan/Central Park is the tallest hotel in North America.  Although it may not exactly rival Dubai’s goliath hotel, it matches a skyscraper’s view of sights like Times Square, the Manhattan skyline, Central Park or the Hudson River.  Your home away from home, studio suites at this extended stay property offer a kitchenette, large desk, free Wi-Fi and grocery shopping services.

An Elevated Experience in Aspen

By Linda Tancs

There’s a crown jewel in Aspen, Colorado–and no, I’m not talking about the pistes.   It’s the historic Hotel Jerome on Main Street.  Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the ski town’s grand dame was constructed in 1889 by Macy’s co-owner Jerome B. Wheeler.  The luxe property has emerged from a colossal renovation and is, as Norma Desmond would say, ready for its close-up.

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