Tag: Luxury Travel

Young Turks: Paradise in the Caribbean?

Good news kids! The Gansevoort Turks and Caicos soft opened yesterday. The property’s official kick-off date is April 1, once all the kids get back from SXSW. Or, you know, St. Mortiz. Located on Grace Cay Beach, it’s the first Gansevoort property outside the lower 48. Goodies include a 7,000-square-foot infinity pool, a Bagatelle Beach Club for eats and an “Exhale” Spa right on the beach. Fun times. The Gansevoort weathered the economic downtown here in New York quite well, so their $400-a-night-plus starting rates in Grace Cay may not prove to be an impediment to bookings just yet.

Still, the vibe in T&C is a little off this season after the hostage situation last fall, when Chinese construction workers building the Ritz-Carlton Molasses Reef project took their Israeli bosses hostage. (Freelancers take note: they did it when they stopped getting paid). Perhaps a simulated kidnapping could be a theme for a team-building exercise on your next workplace retreat?

Remembering the Concorde

Photo by Rob Verger

Last week marked the 40th anniversary of the first flight of the Concorde. The plane, the only supersonic commercial aircraft, was in service between 1976 and 2003. In 2000, the fiery crash of an Air France Concorde claimed 113 lives.

I saw a Concorde for the fist time this weekend, on display at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City. Inside the plane, I was struck by the narrow, claustrophobic cabin in the pencil-thin fuselage, the tiny windows and tightly packed rows of seats. Outside, I loved seeing the cool sweep of its delta wings and its stunningly narrow nose.

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Morning Links: Venice Cokes Up, an Epic (Paper) Plane Video and More

An Oil Rig Resort and Spa in the Gulf of Mexico?

Oil rig Photo by Bonard via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Morris Architects won the grand prize at the 2008 Radical Innovation in Hospitality awards by using an abandoned oil rig to design a luxury resort with more than 300 suites, a fancy restaurant and ballroom, a casino and “stargazer lounge,” and a rooftop infinity pool.

Could be a great idea, though oil companies are still hoping to explore the next petroleum frontier in the deep sea of the Gulf (and through five miles of rock, salt and packed sand). But if the United States ends up embracing Thomas Friedman’s energy technology revolution (as I hope!) and the oil-rig resorts catch on, I hope they don’t end up dumping their waste into waters already plagued by “red tide” algae blooms. Eco-resorts only, please. (via Treehugger and Jetson Green.)

Saving the Hotel Industry—With Models!

It’s not all Singapore Slings over at Raffles HQ. Nope, they’re also quite proud to have made the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. That’s Raffles Canouan Island behind Bar Refaeli. (OK, it took me a little while to get my eyes off the foreground. Apologies). The hotel is also offering a package simulating the experience the models had, complete with a tour of the property where the shoots took place. Without the models on hand, it doesn’t have quite the same luster, but it’s still an interesting concept.

But is “Bar Refaeli writhed here” reason enough to visit a hotel? Unless you’re a creepy, creepy person, it is not. As nice as Canouan is—that is to say, nice enough to host a of bevy models—Raffles’ get says more about the Swimsuit Issue than anything else. It’s very hard for hotels, especially high-end hotels, to break through these days when the news is mostly bad and super deluxe amenities all start to sound the same. Having a supermodel or two in your back pocket can’t hurt, especially when Americans still stop and pay attention to SI’s annual fleshfest even as the rest of the magazine industry plummets. The lesson here? Make the Swimsuit Issue twice yearly, to save the hotel industry.

Morning Links: Buffalo-Wing Boycott, Nashville’s English-Only Measure and More

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A ‘Guilt-Free Green Luxury Resort’ for the ‘Grown-up Backpacker’?

I’m guessing you have to be a very rich grown-up backpacker to buy a place at the Cacao Pearl, Palawan, billed as the first non-profit, luxury eco-resort community to devote all of its revenue to environmental protection and social improvement. Cacao Resorts is set to build the resort on an 124-acre private island in the Calamianes archipelago on the northern end of the Palawan Biosphere Reserve in the Philippines. Antonio Calvo, a former film art director who worked on “Love Actually” and the horrifically acted “Alexander,” designed the five-star resort, which will have chic, zero-carbon homes, a spa and organic food amid rain forests, coconut trees and beaches.

I hope they will let me visit if I am ever rich and quietly famous.

For a Beach Vacation, Should I Go All the Way to Bali or the Maldives When Hawaii Would Do?

Vagabonding traveler Rolf Potts answers your questions about travel

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