With America having suffered a harsh winter from coast to coast, would-be wanderers are rejoicing as the weather warms and vacation venues beckon with stellar offerings.
In fact, industry growth this travel season is indubitably (and understandably) poised to impress as outlined in the Skift Global Travel Economy Outlook 2019 and numerous other reports. But as the hospitality trade has exponentially upped their game across the board, it’s getting much more difficult to hon in on travel destinations and service purveyors worthy of our hard-earned dollars, and, more importantly, treasured down time. With that in mind, here’s an apt assortment of travel purveyors that’ll pamper you with a purpose.
Fairmont Kea Lani Maui
First, we’ll start all the way out in the west most United
States—a journey across the Pacific Ocean—to the uber-fabulous Fairmont Kea Lani Maui, Hawai’i’s only all-suite and villa luxury resort. They’re currently offer discerning travelers an expertly curated and indulgent itinerary featuring Maui’s most luxurious experiences through its “Luxe Villa Adventure” package. This elite bundle features a sumptuous stay in the resort’s exclusive collection of residentially appointed two- and three-bedroom private villas boasting 1,800 and 2,200 square feet of living space, each replete with the creature comforts of home. This includes a full gourmet kitchen with appliances and service ware, dining area, outdoor barbecue grill, multiple flat screen TVs, walk in closets, oversized marble bathroom and large soaking tubs. They each also boast a sizeable private, furnished courtyard with plunge pool for a more secluded respite from their numerous large-scale community pools with cabanas (one adult-only).
However, that’s just the beginning of this sumptuous stay. Travelers reveling in the richness of this celebrity designed package will also enjoy a signature in-villa barbeque by a private chef, with options for the desired menu items. For my visit it was surf and turf all the way (Black Angus beef filet with grilled lobster tail), served with a savory tomato shrimp penne dish, wasabi-laced potato salad, grilled island-grown asparagus and wild mushrooms all finished with a delectable crème brûlée. The package also proffers two Willow Stream Spa wellness experiences, plus access to other spa amenities like steam rooms, saunas, various Hawaiian rain experience showers and a heated stone mud bench and foot bed. Rounding out this incredible package is the private yacht charter aboard
‘Satisfaction’—Maui Yacht Charters’ 58-foot power yacht. On my recent excursion on this three-bedroom nautical beauty, I nibbled on cheese and charcuterie as a pod of migrating whales escorted our ship out to sea for a memorable Maui sunset.
InterContinental San Diego Hotel
Next, we’ll trek to the most southern city in California where the InterContinental San Diego hotel awaits. Having just opened in September 2018, this scenic Bayfront property has brought a new wave of sophistication to the downtown area while creating a social epicenter for locals and travelers, alike. The 400-room property is located on the historic grounds of Lane Field—the San Diego Padres’ former baseball stadium from 1936 through 1957. From my corner suite, I was able to enjoy the glow of fiery SoCal sunsets because all of the chic and sophisticated accommodations here feature full-length, floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the bay—oft also with the famous San Diego skyline and iconic Coronado bridge in view.
Location-wise, this property is perfectly situated for those wanting to get out-and-about on the town. The InterContinental San Diego Hotel is just steps away from the Embarcadero, which docks both the famed USS Midway and Maritime Museum of San Diego, plus several cruise ship ports. It’s close to downtown hotspots, including Little Italy, the San Diego Convention Center, Gaslamp Quarter, Seaport Village and more. Guests can enjoy spectacular dining experiences at the hotel, which boasts San Diego’s only Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, as well as Vistal restaurant, which serves coastal California-inspired cuisine spearheaded by award-winning chefs.
The Portofino Hotel & Marina Redondo Beach
If marina vibes are more your thing, the Portofino Hotel & Marina Redondo Beach—one of many distinctive hotels helmed by Noble House—is a perfect respite for both leisure and business travelers. Having recently completed a multi-million dollar renovation, this picture-perfect property proffers authentic Southern California lifestyle in a casual, nautical-chic environment replete with maritime, yacht and seascape visuals evoking a true sense of place. The Portofino boasts breathtaking Pacific Ocean and King Harbor views from sunsets and sailboats to dolphins and pelicans—all framed in the floor-to-ceiling windows and private balconies allowing you to bask in the beauty that is Redondo Beach. King Harbor is also home to its own colony of California sea lions, with many rooms offering front-row viewing of the mammals frolicking, feeding and basking in their natural habitat.
The Portofino offers unique amenities, including BALEENkitchen, nationally recognized for serving eclectic cuisine amid stunning marina views. It’s ZAGAT-rated as “One of the Top 10 Best Restaurants for Waterside Dining in LA.” To this I can attest, having reveled in multiple gourmet dining experiences at the eatery, which far transcends that of a typical hotel haunt. Between meals you can take a dip their heated pool overlooking the Pacific Ocean and work out in their state-of-the-art fitness center with treadmill, elliptical trainer, recumbent bike, free weights and more. One must-do whilst partaking in The Portofino: enjoy their complimentary Beach Cruiser bikes for a ride along the local oceanfront path that runs for over 27 miles up to Malibu! Complimentary bike locks, baskets, helmets and children’s bikes are also offered based on availability. There’s also wireless, high-speed Internet access available in the guest rooms and public areas and a 24-hour business center. Whether you visit The Portofino for work or play, the newly renovated sun-splashed waterfront guest rooms and suites, which feature a casual beach look incorporating hues of blue, yellow and white, are a perfect setting for an unforgettable reprieve.
Atlantic Hotel & Spa Fort Lauderdale
Next a touch northward in South Florida is the AAA Four Diamond-rated property The Atlantic Hotel & Spa, which is located right on Fort Lauderdale beach. This luxury all-suite boutique hotel—a member of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts portfolio—is an exceptional oceanfront destination for relaxation and fun-in-the-sun. With unrivaled seaside views, this hotel overlooks miles of golden shoreline. The property has 106 spacious suites, featuring private balconies with panoramic ocean vistas, large marble bathrooms, a fully equipped kitchenette with mini refrigerator, dual stovetop burners and microwave, in-room Lavazza coffee maker and a large desk. Their skyline and oceanfront view rooms offer sweeping sights of the surrounding area. Choose between the glittering cityscape of Fort Lauderdale or the calming blue waves of the Atlantic Ocean. The Atlantic Hotel & Spa has gone through great lengths to cultivate an ever-attentive staff that’s devoted to providing superior service and catering to every whim. This is especially true while pampering guests at its award-winning, on-site Spa Atlantic where they use nourishing elements derived straight from the sea to improve skin quality and enhance your well-being. Decompress in its sauna, steam, room and Jacuzzi as a space to relax before and after one of the many treatment services they offer. The options are seemingly endless, with treatments specifically for couples, prenatal, deep tissue and body melt massages. You can glow from within with one of their facials or select a body wrap for head-to-toe treatment. Salon experiences are also offered.
There are multiple dining options at the Atlantic, with fine dining offering fresh dining favorites from the land and sea. Coastal, the signature restaurant of The Atlantic Hotel & Spa, will make your mouth water with Italian-inspired coastal cuisine. The beautiful oceanfront views of the Atlantic Ocean serve as the backdrop for its dining room and patio seating. Led by Executive Chef Rocco Honig, relaxed, yet stylish, dining venue serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and happy hour. There, dogs are welcome to join their parents on the patio and dine off their special Atlantic bark BISTRO menu. For more casual fare al fresco, check out SKY Bar on the hotel’s 5th Floor Oceanfront Terrace. It’s definitely “the place to be,” as the 5th floor is also home to a heated outdoor pool, whirlpool tubs, a 24-hour gym, the spa and The Oceanview outdoor social area.