Archive for

Bali, Indonesia, 5 Star Hotels – Top 5 Recommended Luxury Hotels

The beautiful island of Bali receives travellers from all over the world, with a wonderful mix of spectacular tropical surroundings, a great cultural experience, and vibrant modern city life. The isle has various spots, ranging from its remarkable structures to its unsurpassed natural landscape, to its chic night life. There are numerous Bali luxury hotels. Here are the top five recommended luxury hotels:

COMO Shambhala Estate, Ubud

The COMO Shambhala Estate is all about the rejuvenating of the body, mind and soul. This indulgant retreat, hidden among the luscious green lungs of Bali’s traditional boiling pot, Ubud. The hotel’s 31 exceptionally tasteful guest accommodations are a combination of modern luxury and traditional teakwood and materials. When dining or when indulging in the wellness facilities and activities here, exclusive attention is paid to your wants and needs.

The Viceroy Bali, Ubud

Tucked away on a hillside in the spectacular natural greenery of Ubud, The Viceroy Bali makes a truly exclusive getaway. This family-owned boutique hotel takes on a beautiful traditional-style exterior, though the interiors are immaculately modern and luxurious with traditional furnishings. There are just 11 guest accommodations here, each with a private pool. Patrons can also indulge themselves in the hotel’s fascinating health spa and fine dining restaurant.

Desa Seni, Canggu

Unlike many other modern, sleek five-star resorts in Bali, the Desa Seni uniquely resembles a traditional Balinese village, from head to toe. Set by the extraordinary beach, the hotel is surrounded by rice fields, and is just short drive from Seminyak. There are just 12 luxurious guest villas, a relaxing spa, a saltwater lap pool, a restaurant, and plenty of available activities.

Ubud Hanging Gardens Bali, Ubud

Nestled on a spectacular, steep hillside, the Ubud Hanging Gardens Bali overlooks the Ayung river gorge. But though being nestled in fine, lush greenery, this first rate hotel is of a premier latest Balinese design.There are a mere 38 guest rooms with private plunge pools and magnificent panoramas. Adding to the excellent atmosphere is the hotel’s spa and wellness centre, and a renowned restaurant.

The Elysian Boutique Villa Hotel, Seminyak

Beautifully set amongst lush Balinese gardens, with balmy sea breezes, The Elysian Boutique Villa Hotel offers an exclusive, romantic getaway. There are just 26 luxurious, stylish private villas here, each with its own private pool. This five-star boutique hotel has a fitness centre, meeting rooms, and a restaurant.

The most luxurious of hotels in Bali aren’t necessarily beach hotels. There are countless exceptional hotels among the exquisite natural landscape of Ubud, for instance, and countless outstandingly distinguished hotels in the town area.

A Review of the Best Las Vegas Hotels on the Strip

Hotels on the Las Vegas Strip are one of the best places to go for entertainment on the west coast of the United States. Sporting a wide variety of unique hotels, casinos, nightclubs, restaurants and other attractions, you will be able to find a little bit of something for everyone. But with so many amazing Las Vegas hotels on the strip, how do you begin to choose one? Each hotel offers its own theme, style, and special attractions. No matter your budget, you can choose one of the cheap hotels on the Las Vegas strip, or experience the luxury of a five star resort first hand. No matter your choice, make sure you take a walking tour of the hotels – you haven’t seen Vegas until you do!

The strip runs approximately 5 miles north and south with the Stratosphere at the far north end, and the Las Vegas Outlet Center at the far south end. Let’s sort it all out with 14 of the strips most popular hotels…

Circus Circus – 3 Stars – Rates starting at $82

Located in the northern section of the strip, Circus Circus is a sure to be a family favorite. The Adventuredome offers the kids at heart both thrilling rides and carnival games. Gourmet dining at The Steak House will give you the relaxing atmosphere you desire after a long day of excitement.

The world-famous casino floor is always entertaining, literally. Overhead, live circus acts include acrobats, trapeze artists, clowns, and jugglers, perform around the clock. Fun for all ages! One of the highlights of the Adventuredome is the Canyon Blaster, a double-loop, double-corkscrew roller coaster guaranteed to give you a rush! Other amenities offered are a celebrated poker room, a one-of-a-kind rotating cocktail lounge, a new shopping promenade, and several restaurants.

Stratosphere – 3 Stars – Rates starting at $94

The Stratosphere Tower is the tallest observation tower in the United States at 1,149 feet. Ride up to the 109th-floor observation deck for a truly spectacular view. Not only can you enjoy the view, but the rides on top will give you a thrill you will never forget. The Big Shot, located on the 113th floor, will shoot you 160 feet into the clouds propelled by a burst of compressed air.

The Stratosphere is the northern most hotel on the strip. Visible from nearly anywhere in Vegas, the Stratosphere is one of the most recognizable of the hotels. The 107th-floor lounge offers a quiet atmosphere to sit back and enjoy the view of Vegas lights.

The Broadway Showroom is home to an array of entertainment. American Superstars is a rock ‘n’ roll tribute show in the evening that features the American Superstar Dancers and impersonators that range from Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Tim McGraw, & Madonna. The adult production Bite features topless female vampires.

A “world” of dining experiences satisfies every appetite. Top of the World not only serves amazing meals, it also provides breathtaking 360-degree views of Las Vegas. The 50′s atmosphere of Roxy’s Diner and the charm of Old World Italy at Fellini’s gives you more choices. Where do you begin? After dinner, Polly Esther’s nightclub is the place to be if you want to dance the night away.

Riviera – 3 Stars – Rates starting at $99

Located at the northern end, you can’t miss the glass-lit Riviera as you drive down the Strip. The Riviera acts as a bridge between the classic Vegas and the modern-day mega resorts that reach further south.

The popularity of the Riviera is one of the reasons why Las Vegas is known as “The Entertainment Capital Of The World.” The hotel has been made famous by the 1961 “Ocean’s 11″ and Martin Scorsese’s “Casino”. That’s not even mentioning the hundreds of performers and television productions that has made the Riviera world famous.

With a wide range of dining rooms you are sure to find a favorite, from the seafood and prime steaks at Kristofer’s to the Champagne Brunch at the World’s Fare Buffet.

Other amenities include the Executive Fitness at the Riviera spa, a wedding chapel and a fun-filled arcade area for younger visitors.

Excalibur – 3 Stars – Rates starting at $121

Royalty is the theme at the Excalibur Hotel and Casino. That theme is also carried out through appreciation of their guests. Located at the south end of the strip, the Excalibur is surrounded by The Luxor, New York-New York, Mandalay Bay, and MGM Grand. Just step out the door and spend the afternoon exploring your neighbors.

The ceiling of the casino floor is embellished with original stained glass panels depicting scenes from the medieval times. Seven nights a week, live entertainment can be found in The Lounge. The race and sports book offers comfort features such as extra-wide, cushioned chairs and a complete bar just steps away.

When the hunger pains start, you will find The Steakhouse at Camelot, Regale and the Roundtable Buffet upstairs. Other options include the motorcycle-themed Octane Lounge and an impressive food court. Amenities include shops, a showroom, the Canterbury Wedding Chapel and a large banquet facility.

The kids keep busy at the Excalibur with carnival-style games and an arcade full of all the latest video games. Spongebob Squarepants 4D Ride and the Tournament of Kings dinner show will give your kids something to brag about back home.

The Royal Treatment Spa and Fitness Center provides a sauna, steam room and gym. If the heart desires, take advantage of the full menu of body treatments. Cool off from the hot Vegas sun with a dip in the pool, which includes the Drenched pool café. You can also explore the adult-only pool with cabanas.

The Luxor Hotel and Casino – 4 Star – Starting at $165

The Luxor Hotel and Casino is also located at the south end of the Las Vegas Strip. This 30-story black glass pyramid is known for its brilliant beam of light that cuts through the sky. The Luxor offers world-renowned restaurants, jaw-dropping entertainment, amazing attractions and first-class accommodations.

With so many amenities, on such an enormous scale, you may never need to leave. Spacious rooms, shopping, dining, and entertainment surround the world’s largest atrium. It’s all at your fingertips, and in first-class style.

The two-story LAX Nightclub attracts a slew of celebrities, while the Cat House Lounge restaurant is a modern interpretation of a 19th century French bordello featuring performers modeling CatHouse’s own line of lingerie.

Soak up the sun on the extensive pool deck. The five-acre pool area includes four pools and four Jacuzzis. Also located in the pool area you will find the Luxor’s spa offering a menu full of body treatments.

Games of the Gods video arcade, a re-creation of King Tut’s Tomb, and an ample food court can all be found on the atrium-level. The Atrium Showroom offers entertainment options such as the comedian Carrot Top and the performance of Fantasy.

Visit the Luxor’s surrounding hotels easily with the indoor walkways. Mandalay Place shops are to the south, while the Excalibur is to the north. A monorail is also available between three properties.

Treasure Island – 4 Stars – Rates starting at $179

Treasure Island is conveniently located in the center of the Strip. Known simply as TI, it is home to some of the most popular hangouts in town, a lush tropical pool area including a party tub, a huge selection of restaurants and Cirque du Soleil. The sexy Sirens of TI will give you a performance you won’t forget anytime soon.

One of the most unique feature of TI are the spacious guest rooms that feature floor-to-ceiling windows, giving its guests spectacular views of the Vegas Strip.

Not only does Isla Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar serve amazing Mexican fare, it also comes with entertainment, as your $99 margarita is made right at your table. Kahunaville also provides the entertainment of their bartenders with quick hands. Social House provides the elite clientele with delicacies such as sushi and Pan Asian cuisine. Choose to sit on the patio and enjoy the view of the Strip while you dine. Of Course, TI offers a famous gourmet Vegas buffet. Close out your evening at Mist, a hotspot that provides an intimate setting for a truly romantic evening.

WET Spa gives guests an array of water-based treatments that will cool them down after a hot Vegas day. The pool area features individual cabanas and a party tub built for 50 people. For those of you who want to take advantage of the moment, get married while overlooking the Las Vegas Strip aboard the Sirens’ ship, “The Song”.

New York-New York – 4 Stars – Rates start at $180

Located across from the MGM Grand on the southern end of the strip, New York-New York Hotel & Casino allows Vegas visitors to taste that Big Apple, check out Broadway caliber entertainment and be a kid again at Coney Island.

With the exceptional detail in the design of New York-New York, you will feel like you have been transported to the east coast. The resort skyline depicts New York’s Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge. When you walk through the door, your mind will say you are indoors; your senses will make you believe you are in Central Park. You can also stroll down Times Square with the flashing neon lights.

The dining choices represent an array of ethnically diverse cuisine. The fresh baking of Il Fornaio will take you to Little Italy, while Gonzalez y Gonzalez depicts a true New York City Mexican café. Stroll down the street in The Village Eateries to find the traditional New York pizza, deli sandwiches and the Coney Island hot dogs. Be sure to notice the manhole covers on the floors!

For the kids at heart, The Roller Coaster at New York-New York is sure to thrill as it screams around the front of the casino at almost 70 mph. The Coney Island Amusement Center also adds arcade games, bumper cars and laser tag.

Don’t miss the Dueling Pianos at the Bar at Times Square and live entertainment in the lounges. As another city that never sleeps, there is always nightlife to be found at Nine Fine Irishmen, Coyote Ugly and ESPN Zone.

Add shops and a spa, and you don’t have to ever leave New York-New York.

Paris Las Vegas – 4.5 Stars – Rates start at $180

Enter into the City of Lights at Paris Las Vegas, where guests are transported into the city of romance. When it comes to accommodations, dining, nightlife, and entertainment at this hotel-casino, Paris Las Vegas is first-class all the way!

All the details of Paris are captured in the cobblestone sidewalks and replicas of the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe. The buildings are modeled after those of true French neighborhoods, right down to the occasional “for sale” signs in the window.

Ride to the top of the Eiffel Tower and enjoy the view of the City of Lights. On the way down, stop at the world-class Eiffel Tower Restaurant where fine French cuisine is combined with all the romance of Paris.

Stroll past the flowing fountains and down the alleyways of Le Boulevard filled with boutiques and restaurants. Don’t miss the entertainment of singing waiters and waitresses at Le Provencal Italian restaurant. Le Crêperie serves up entrée and desert crêpes, and Le Village Buffet gives you a variety of classic French foods.

The Mandara Spa and the rooftop pool will give you a chance to refresh after the busy day. As the most romantic city in the world, who wouldn’t want to tie the knot at the Chapelle du Paradis or Chapelle du Jardin?

Anthony Cools will amaze you with his secrets of hypnosis, or relax to the sexy, topless ladies of Ooh La La. Risqué lounge offers gorgeous views of the strip from the balcony, or the tap your foot to live music at Le Cabaret show lounge.

MGM Grand – 4.5 Stars – Rates start at $205

The MGM Grand will amaze you with the glamour and excitement of shows, gourmet dining, nightlife, a soothing pool and spa. Make sure you don’t miss the chance to visit the African Lion Habitat.

The MGM Grand offers a huge variety of shows from the MGM Grand’s Crazy Horse Paris to the creative Cirque du Soleil’s KÀ. The MGM Grand Arena hosts everything from rock concerts to championship fights.

At the MGM Grand, you will never run out of things to do. Indulging yourself at the one of a kind spa, get lost in 6.6 acres of luxurious pools, rivers and waterfalls. And of course the Lion Habitat cats are a must see.

Caesar’s Palace – 4.5 Stars – Rates start at $255

Caesar’s Palace is the center of attention located in the center of the strip. Five towers make up Caesars’ Palace — Forum, Roman, Centurion, Palace and Augustus – offer spacious and lavish “palace” accommodations with marble bathrooms and several additional first-class amenities.

The Augustus Tower is the newest of the towers. French Chef Guy Savoy’s restaurant, three indoor wedding chapels, the Qua Baths & Spa all make their home in this tower. The spa’s water theme creates an oasis of ultimate relaxation.

Pure Nightclub is one of the hippest nightlife hotspots in Las Vegas. Entertaining bartenders and shadow dancers keep the energy alive at Shadow Bar. Guests can dance atop a water-soaked barge at Cleopatra’s Barge Nightclub. For something a bit more intimate, relax with a drink at the Seahorse Lounge while being mesmerized by the impressive aquarium which houses live seahorses.

The Colosseum will be host to Bette Midler and Cher beginning in 2008 and Elton John: The Red Piano at various times throughout the year. Also enjoy the Fall of Atlantis and Festival Fountain shows and Aquarium and the Exotic Cars showroom.

Mandalay Bay – 5 Stars – Rates start at $250

Mandalay Bay Resort sits at the south end of the Strip. Serving as an enchanting escape, the resort portrays elegance and excitement – everything from its restaurants and entertainment, to the sun-drenched beach. This resort is a tropical paradise, accented by fountains, sculpture, marble and flora.

The nightclub rumjungle shows off its go-go girls and a stunning wall of fire. The theatre brings audiences to their feet with smash hits such as Mamma Mia! Musical greats can be found in The House of Blues, along with traditional southern food at the Sunday Gospel Brunch. The $40 million Shark Reef houses species such as jellyfish, crocodiles, and stingrays. A must see!

Mandalay Beach gives you 11 acres of beach environment. With 3 pools, you can float down the lazy river; bodysurf waves that reach 6 feet high; or soak up the sun on the sand-and-surf beach.

Connecting Mandalay Bay to the Luxor, Mandalay Place offers forty-one upscale boutique mall shops and restaurants. You will also find relaxation at the 30,000-square-foot Spa Mandalay. With 21 treatment rooms, multiple types of massages and services are offered.

Bellagio – 5 Stars – Rates start at $299

The Bellagio offers luxurious rooms, gourmet restaurants and exclusive shopping – the epitome of quality, romance and elegance on the Las Vegas Strip.

The tree-lined pathway and reflecting lake in front of the hotel make it obvious that Bellagio pays attention to detail. The Fountains at Bellagio are world famous with the lights and choreographed music astounds onlookers as they watch the sprays of water soar into the sky.

Accommodations offer contemporary furnishings, modern amenities, and bathrooms with Italian marble floors and surfaces. Guests will find relaxation at the two-story Spa Bellagio. Café Gelato makes for the perfect spot to relax and enjoy a cool treat while overlooking the pool, reading a newspaper, or sipping coffee.

Delicacies include the world famous French taste of Le Cirque. Sensi offers Asian and Italian fare while being entertained by amazing waterfalls and carved stonewalls. Another place to enjoy fountains is Todd English’s Olives. Take an afternoon break and pick up a sweet treat at the mouth watering Jean-Philippe Pâtisserie, home of the world’s tallest chocolate fountain.

Five pools and four Jacuzzis are set in a Mediterranean-style. The 65,000-square-foot Spa Bellagio offers a wide variety of massages and services in its 56 treatment rooms. Ten specialty shops are located in Via Bellagio, an avenue of elite shops located within the hotel.

Venetian – 5 Stars – Rates from $300

The spirit of Venice is alive in this breathtaking mega-resort. The Venetian Resort combines the latest technology with art and culture in this European jewel. The Venetian may be as close as you’ll come to visiting Venice itself.

As you enter the lobby, look to the arched ceiling to find amazingly detailed paintings. You will feel as if you have stepped into the Sistine Chapel. You can’t miss the canal as it winds through the hotel with gondolas drifting along. A number of five-star restaurants, created by such culinary giants as Wolfgang Puck, Emeril Lagasse, and more are awaiting your visit.

The Canyon Ranch SpaClub is the largest spa in town. With sixty-two treatment rooms offer some of the most extensive services available.

The Venezia Tower boasts the resort’s most recent addition. Offering luxury rooms with 700-square-foot suites and 130-square-foot bathrooms, you are also papered with three telephones and two 27-inch flat-screen TVs, among other luxuries.

Wynn – 5 Stars – Rates starting at $409

The most prestigious of Las Vegas hotels, Wynn provides a unique combination of nature and luxury.

Lagoons and waterfalls are scattered throughout the 217-acre resort. A curtain waterfall pouring into the 3-acre lake features a nightly light, music and multimedia show. The Tom Fazio-designed 18-hole championship golf puts you right in the middle of the beauty. Other fine amenities include dining, elite shops; an exclusive spa and nightlife are sure to complete the resort experience. Don’t forget to stop by the Penske Wynn Ferrari Maserati dealership and showroom – it will amaze you!

Restaurants at the Wynn offer internationally celebrated chefs. The Buffet features 16 exhibition-cooking stations that is sure to entertain all. Serving American favorites, the Terrace Point Café never sleeps. Relax and enjoy your meal while overlooking the pools and gardens.

Shows at the Wynn include Le Rêve, an aquatic creation of Cirque Du Soleil. Also showing is Monty Python’s Spamalot, a musical based on “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”

BlushandTryst nightclub is located on its own secluded lagoon with a sizeable dance floor. Gorgeous landscaping and nature surrounds the outdoor pool complex and private cabanas.

The hotel’s second tower, The Encore, is expected to open in December 2008.

Now the Fun Part – Pick One!

With all that information to take in, I hope you have been able to sort through everything and narrow down your choices. Obviously, your budget will be a major factor in your decision. If you are traveling with kids, Circus Circus, Excalibur, and Treasure Island are sure to please. Circus Circus usually has the lowest rates. The bottom line is, how much time will you actually be spending in your room? If you have a strict budget for your trip, spend less on the hotel. Save that money so you have more to spend on all the attractions, dining options, and of course the slot machines. You will want to definitely visit as many hotels as possible. They will amaze you – each in their own ways. VIVA LAS VEGAS…

Luxury Resorts and Something Different in Whistler

Whistler is a glamorous ski destination. Not only are there two mountains easily accessible from the town center there is also one of the best ski scenes on earth that will have you wondering why you still have your ski boots on when the bars shut at 2am.

Whistler mountain facts

Located 2.5 hours from Vancouver airport Whistler in one of North America’s premier resorts. Whistler Blackomb receives an average of 10 meters of snow each year. It has a vertical rise of 1530 meters with the longest run being 11 kilometers.

Pan Pacific Mountain Side

Located a few steps from the 2 Gondolas to Whistler and Blackcomb mountain and right in the heart of town you can’t get a more central location in Whistler.

There is an outdoor heated pool and 2 hot tubs all with views of the mountains. There is also a eucalyptus steam room and spa treatment center with masseuse on standby to relieve those aching muscles. You can even order the masseuse to your room.

One and Two bedrooms suites are available. All have views of the valley and mountains. The rooms have everything you could need including full kitchens with granite countertops, gas fireplaces, spacious living areas with balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows, bathrooms with soaker tubs and deluxe linens.

The Hilton

The Hilton is located a stone throw from the Whistler and Blackcomb gondolas in the heart of Whistler village.

They have a casual, laid back bar which is popular with the locals called Cinnamon Bar. With great cocktails and snacks it is a great little bar to relax in after you’ve been skiing all day.

After you’ve relaxed in the bar you might want to enjoy a nice meal in a stylish little restaurant. The Cinnamon Bar Grille also has a relaxed atmosphere with beautiful homemade pizzas and some of the best steaks you’ll ever try.

When it’s time to retire the luxurious room won’t disappoint. All of the rooms are spacious and richly appointed. Amenities include high speed internet access, lavish bath and body products, MP3 alarm clock radio, specialty single serve coffee makers and 37″ flat screen televisions. Each room has a full kitchen.

Four Seasons

With 5 star services and one of the best restaurants in Whistler it is hard to look past the 4 seasons. Located in the upper village near the Wizard chair on Blackcomb it is not as close to town as the Pan Pacific but this shouldn’t be a problem. They provide transfers to the ski hill in the morning and the village is only a 10 minute walk plus there are free village shuttle bus and taxis.

The panoramic vistas of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains may be enjoyed from the heated, 23 metre outdoor pool. There are also three hot-spring-style outdoor whirlpools.

The fifty two 80 restaurant located within the Four Seasons (they really like their numbers) is truly spectacular dinning. This fine dining restaurant which uses local British Columbian produce is a must even if you’re staying elsewhere. The seafood buffet on a Wednesday is delicious!

The rooms are truly luxurious featuring cosy wood interiors and gas-burning fireplaces. All guest accommodations offer superb views of the mountains, forest, valley, pool or courtyard from private or step-out balconies.

Heli Ski Whistler

Less than an hour north of Whistler is Coast Range Heli Skiing and one of the most memorable adventures of your life.

Coast Range Heli Skiing pride themselves on providing an intimate heli skiing adventure. You will ski in groups of 4 to 5 so that you are always skiing with people of similar ability and getting the most out of each descent.

Their guides and pilots all have the highest level of certifications and a lot of experience providing an exciting but safe skiing experience.

Snow Shoeing

Whistler offers the ideal setting for a wilderness snowshoe experience. Whether you are a first timer, or a seasoned veteran of snowshoeing, prepare for an unforgettable tour through the woods and mountains taking in unbelievable scenery and spectacular wildlife.

There are many companies providing snow shoe tours. Some are geared towards viewing the unique Whistler scenery whilst others are focused on alpine wildlife and birds.

You can ask at any of the tourist information stalls in Whistler or better yet ask your hotel concierge for their recommendations.

Bars, Clubs and Shopping

There are hundreds of shops, restaurants and bars in the pedestrian village of Whistler. Your best bet is to spend a day strolling through the Whistler village as there is always something to see.

If your want to experience Whistler famous patio scene the GLC (Garibaldi Lift Company) and Longhorn bar are two great options both located a few steps from the Whistler and Black Comb Gondola. Both bars have a great selection of drinks and food.

If you’ve quenched your thirst and huger with beer and nachos but now your feet are starting to itch it’s time to head to one of Whistlers notorious night clubs.

Tommy Africas has some fun themed nights. 80′s Monday is always a great night with crazy costumes, Burton giveaways and the cheesiest 80′s dance moves you can muster

Buffalo Bills Bar and Grill is a great place to let your hair down. With excellent DJ’s weekly events and prize draws you better get in early to avoid the line.