World’s Most Dangerous Airports: Saint Barthélemy

November 12, 2009

by JetSetCD – Jaunted

We’re still adding to our list of the world’s most dangerous airports. Know a stomach dropping, palm sweat inducing airport we should check out? Send it along.

The French island of Saint Barthélemy in the Caribbean might be the winter playground of the rich and famous, but unless you arrive via private yacht or boat charter, all the gobs of money in the world can’t save you from enduring the white-knuckled landing on the short airstrip at St. Barth’s Gustaf III/St. Jean Airport (SBH).

The concrete runway begins at the base of slight hill, and goes for only 2,100 feet before landing right on St. Jean’s beach and the harbor of the island’s second largest town. Sunbathers can totally lie out right next to the sand strip at the end of the runway, this it’s a hugely popular plane spotting destination for those who enjoy small, prop planes. You see, because of the itty-bitty airport and runway size, major flights must land at the neighboring island of St. Maarten, where they have a big, modern airport. From there, the Barths-bound folks either jump aboard a ferry or hop a WINAIR, Air Caraïbes, and St-Barth Commuter flight in planes usually holding twenty or less passengers.

An airplane crashes, after the jump.

And since St. Barth is quite the hotspot from the end of November through the beginning of March, you can imagine how many small planes buzz over the tops of the houses and cars like mosquitos, on their steep approach to SBH. Although it is a dangerous airport, there have been few accidents. The video above shows the most recent: a Piper Aztec ran out of runway and crashed on the beach this last May, amazingly with no injuries.

We think we’ll take the ferry, thanks.

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Nightlife Aboard the Norwegian Epic

October 26, 2009

Just when you think your eyes can’t get any wider, you step on board.  Welcome to the Norwegiean Epic!

Looking for a new, cool, hip cruise line that can handle your nightlife cravings? Well look no further!  Let me introduce you to  the Norwegian Epic,  the next level of Freestyle Cruising with unparalleled nightlife and entertainment.

All I can say is that the nightlife aboard the ship will be “epic”. Check out Ice Bar.  At 17 degress fahrenheit, it’s the hottest bar on the ship. A faux fur coat will keep you warm in the only true ice bar at sea……AWESOME!  Oh, the vodka helps, too.  The Norwegian Epic will have 19 bars, nightclubs and lounges, including the Ibiza-style Spice H20 and French Riviera-chic Posh Beach Club.

Sounds exciting right!  Well, the Norwegian Epic does not set sail until Summer 2010, and will be offering cruises out of Miami to the Eastern and Western Caribbean, but guess what? You can still book your cruise today =)

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Viceroy Anguilla Set to Open in November

October 9, 2009

Anguilla, the island is part of the British West Indies in the Eastern Caribbean, just five minutes from St. Martin. It is of course best known for its white sand beaches (33 in all) and clear turquoise waters.

The Island hasn’t had a new resort open in nine years! Now with the much anticipated Viceroy Anguilla expected to fully open in November, it is definitley going to be some exciting times for the Jet Set and locals alike. The Viceroy Anguilla will include 166 accommodations which will be comprised of villas, townhomes, penthouses, and single-story residences.

You can access Anguilla by private jet, and many direct flights from St. Martin or through the island hub of Antigua. There is also ferry service from St. Martin to Anguilla.

For VIP Service: These are for clients staying in villas, townhomes, or penthouses….the resort will have what they call lifestyle assistants or butlers to assist your every need. Guests arriving in St. Martin will be greeted by a resort rep and escorted to a luxury yacht for a 30 minute ride to Anguilla. If you are arriving via Anguilla, no worries….you will be escorted via a luxury vehicle VIP style straight to the Viceroy.

Ohhhh, what a life!

Via: Arnel   [Photo: rochousenyc]

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Roman Abramovitch Lives The Perfect Vacation On A $90 Million Dollar Chunk Of St. Bart’s

September 22, 2009

Why is it that Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich consistently steals our hopes and dreams and lives them out? The man purchased a $500 million property in the south of France, built himself two mega-yachts with innovative anti-pirate defenses, and he’s even got another yacht on the way. That’s why, with all these playthings already and the fact there’s not enough time in a year to enjoy them, we’re a bit miffed that he would go snatch up a prime chunk of the ritzy Caribbean island of St. Barts for himself.

Roman bought the 70-acre property, with a full beach and Balinese bungalows, for a cool $90 million. If he only spent one weekend in one of his two Colorado ski-in, ski-out properties (um, in July) last year, then when will he find the time to vacation in the Caribbean? Perhaps it’s just a parking space for his three-plus boats?

Forget winning the MegaMillions lottery or working all your life for a quiet retirement full of all-inclusive vacations; it sounds like the best job in the world is to be Abramovich’s pool boy. We volunteer; we’ll even throw in scrubbing barnacles off of his boats. If Abramovich is going to set up shop on a hefty piece of land on one of the world’s most expensive islands, then the least he can do is hire some people who will whistle while they work. Roman, call us. by JetSetCD – Jaunted

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Nikki Beach Turks and Caicos Closes

September 14, 2009

Say farewell to another luxury resort. Leeward Resort Ltd. the owner of the Nikki Beach Resort & Spa in Turks and Caicos, has been placed into receivership. The resort, which offered 48 rooms and suites with luxury amenities, has been closed after being open less than two years. The Nikki Beach brand remains afloat with resorts around the world including Miami, New York and Thailand. The British Caribbean Bank will manage the 430-acre resort and 110-slip mega-yacht marina and is hoping for a buyer. Since the Four Seasons Exuma was recently snapped up by Sandals there’s reason to believe that their might be another hotel company willing to make a deal and pick up a resort which has been widely regarded as one of most exclusive in the Caribbean. Expansion plans for the resort had included condominiums, a spa, casino and new restaurants.  by Deidre Woollard – Luxist

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The World’s Most Expensive Hotels

August 30, 2009
Starwood Hotels
The Royal Penthouse Suite at the President Wilson Hotel in Geneva commands $65,000 a night for its four-bedroom penthouse.

Amid the recession, rock stars, diplomats and other celebrities find solace from the doom and gloom by spending their time in sanctuary provided by the world’s most luxurious, and expensive, hotels. While many of us are tightening our belts, shortening our summer holidays or even abandoning them, hoteliers to the rich and famous claim to have no trouble filling their most exclusive accommodations, and in the case of the most expensive suite in the world, managing to double its rate to $65,000 (€45,642) a night.

In an annual survey by Financial News’ sister publication Wealth Bulletin, the Royal Penthouse Suite at the President Wilson Hotel in Geneva, Switzerland, tops the list as the most expensive hotel room in 2009, commanding $65,000 for its four-bedroom penthouse — twice as much as patrons paid a year ago for its luxurious setting and views of Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc.

The hotel’s management puts the rise down to “buoyant demand” from government officials and U.N. diplomats.

Last year’s winner, the iconic Ty Warner Penthouse at the Four Seasons Hotel in New York, came second this time, at $35,000, $1,000 up from last year.

New entries this year were the third-placed Presidential Suite at the Hotel Cala di Volpe in Sardinia, the Villa La Cupola Suite at the Westin Excelsior in Rome and the Presidential Suite at the Ritz-Carlton in Tokyo.

Despite the past year’s financial and economic turmoil, prices at the best hotel suites have risen by an average of 10% this year. Herbert Ypma, founder of the Hip Hotels brand, said: “The very high end hasn’t suffered all that much. A lot of hotels used to having upmarket clientele are getting the benefit of them taking far more time off than usual — so they have more time to stay in hotels. Money was never the issue, time was.”

Hoteliers said that although the number of business travellers has fallen in the past year, government officials have taken their place in the best rooms and suites.

President Barack Obama and his entourage took over the entire Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Moscow for three nights in June. The President Wilson Hotel said heads of state and other high-level government officials are fuelling demand for its hugely expensive Royal Penthouse Suite.

Vivian Deuschl, spokeswoman for Ritz-Carlton Hotels, said demand is also coming from wealthy leisure travellers: “Last year they might have taken three or four cheaper holidays. This year they are taking one big vacation, but pulling out all the stops.”

The 10 most expensive hotel suites according to Wealth Bulletin’s survey for 2009 are:


Four Seasons
The library of the Ty Warner Penthouse at New York’s Four Seasons Hotel.

1. The Royal Penthouse Suite, President Wilson Hotel, Geneva — $65,000 per night

Complete with a cocktail lounge, the Royal Penthouse Suite at the President Wilson is so exclusive that bookings reportedly have to be made through the hotel’s chairman. The suite occupies the entire top floor of the hotel. It is reached by a private elevator, has four bedrooms overlooking Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc and comes with six bathrooms. Equipped with bulletproof windows and doors, it is almost exclusively reserved for celebrities or state heads, ideal with the United Nations headquarters a five-minute drive away.

2. Ty Warner Penthouse, Four Seasons Hotel, New York — $35,000 per night

Business at the Ty Warner Penthouse at the Four Seasons Hotel in New York has remained as buoyant as when the suite opened in 2007, according to a spokeswoman. The nine-room suite has walls inlaid with thousands of pieces of mother-of-pearl. There is an indoor-outdoor Zen garden, a private spa room with a screen of living bamboo and a book-lined library, which has a grand piano at its centre.

3. The Presidential Suite, Hotel Cala di Volpe, Costa Smeralda, Sardinia — $34,000 per night

The Presidential Suite at Hotel Cala di Volpe near Porto Cervo, averages around $34,000 a night, although during the peak summer season will cost as much as $45,000. Located in the hotel tower, the multi-level Presidential Suite sprawls across 2,500 sq ft and has three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a private gym, a steam room and a wine cellar. It is crowned by a rooftop terrace with an outdoor saltwater swimming pool.

4. Villa La Cupola Suite, Westin Excelsior, Rome — $31,000 per night

Villa La Cupola Suite in Rome’s Westin Excelsior embodies all things Roman and excessive: a cupola, a Pompeii-style Jacuzzi, frescoes and stained glass windows detailing allegories of a mythological figure paired with a modern one, such as Atlas and Television, Hypnosis and Neurosis, Hermes and Marketing and Hermaphrodite and Fashion. Located on the fifth and sixth floors, the suite covers 6,099 sq ft and has an additional 1,808 sq ft of balconies and terraces overlooking Via Veneto.


Ritz-Carlton
The Presidential Suite at Tokyo’s Ritz-Carlton.

5. The Presidential Suite, Ritz-Carlton Tokyo — $25,000 per night

The Presidential Suite, on the top floor of the city’s tallest building, has spectacular views of Mount Fuji and Roppongi Hills, as well as an expansive vista of Tokyo’s impressive cityscape. It occupies 2,368 sq ft. For refreshments, guests may enjoy the $18,000 Diamonds-Are-Forever Martini, which comes with a one-karat Bulgari diamond at the bottom.

6. The Bridge Suite, The Atlantis, Bahamas — $22,000 per night

The 10-room Bridge Suite is actually a bridge spanning the two towers of the Atlantis Hotel. The 23rd-floor suite is decked with marble floors, a grand piano and a 22-carat gold chandelier. It was known in former times as “the Michael Jackson Suite” because of his regular stays. Prices have come down from $25,000 last year and fees are negotiable. Nevertheless, the suite is so exclusive the hotel does not even advertise it.

7. The Imperial Suite, Park Hyatt Vendôme, Paris — $20,000 per night

The Imperial Suite at the Park Hyatt in Paris provides guests with an “in-suite-spa” concept — with the bathroom/spa comprising a whirlpool bath, a steam shower room and a massage table. The 2,500 sq ft penthouse suite has a huge living room, a dining room, a kitchen and a work area.


Burj Al Arab
The Royal Suite at the Burj Al Arab in Dubai.

8. Royal Suite, Burj Al Arab, Dubai — $19,600 per night

Since it was built in the mid-1990s, the Burj Al Arab has become one of the world’s most instantly recognizable hotels with its billowing sail-like structure stretching out on an artificial island into the Gulf of Arabia. The Royal Suite on the 25th floor has a marble-and-gold staircase, leopard print carpets, its own private lift and a rotating four-poster canopy bed.

9. Royal Armleder Suite, Le Richemond, Geneva — $18,900 per night

The Royal Armleder Suite at the Le Richemond Hotel is named after the wealthy family who used to own the famous hotel before Rocco Forte bought it in August 2004. The three-bedroom suite, which stretches over 2,500 sq ft on the seventh floor, has a 1,000 sq ft terrace with panoramic views of Lake Geneva, a real log fire and floor-to-ceiling bulletproof windows. Olga Polizzi, Rocco Forte’s sister and well-known hotel interior designer, designed the suite.

10. The Ritz-Carlton Suite, The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow — $16,500 per night

To stay at the best suite in Moscow’s Ritz-Carlton would cost around $16,000 a night — $500 less than last year. Furnished in Russian imperial style, the 2,370 sq ft suite has views of famous Moscow sites including the Kremlin and Red Square. The suite comes with that necessity for the security-conscious Russian billionaire — a panic room with its own energy and telecommunications facilities.

Research for this survey was compiled during mid-August. Prices are rate per night including taxes.

by Tara Loader Wilkinson

provided by
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From Financial News at http://www.efinancialnews.com

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Rio Mar Beach Resort Gives Hefty Discount to Facebook Pals

August 13, 2009

Where: 6000 Rio Mar Blvd., Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico, 00745

We can’t promise you this pool will have empty lounge chairs when you get there.

Here’s a status update you won’t mind getting on your Facebook news feed: Wyndham’s Rio Mar Beach Resort and Spa in Puerto Rico is giving its FB fans 40 percent off on stays during August and September.

Sign up on its Facebook page and you’ll get a room for $119 per night. The deal can be booked through Aug. 31 by calling (866) 624-7926; just be sure to mention the fan discount. The fine print is that rates are subject to availability, blackout dates may apply and, obvs, you must be an FB fan.

There’s a lot to be a fan of at this hotel, since it sits between the lush El Yunque National Rainforest and the scenic Atlantic shoreline. And its Facebook page says it just got a new beachside fire pit, where you can partake in everything from salsa lessons to eating s’mores. Now back to Facebook—we have to update our status to “Wishing we were in Puerto Rico.”  by Jennifer Kester – HotelChatter

[Photo: Rio Mar Beach Resort and Spa]

Related Links: Puerto Rico, Hotel Deals in San Juan, Rio Mar Beach Resort

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