September 28, 2009
I came across an intriguing update on the Greenbrier hotel. The luxury hotel in West Virginia has had quite a tumultuous year but new owner Jim Justice some big plans for the resort. During an interview on “Decision Makers,” a public affairs program on West Virginia Media television stations, he said that he wants to offer luxury train trips from Washington, D.C., to the Greenbrier. This is no quick jaunt, the trip takes five hours and 15 minutes but it would pass through some incredibly beautiful mountainous terrain and could heighten that feeling of stepping into another world that occurs when arriving at the Greenbrier.
Justice’s plan is to create the “Greenbrier Express” which would be a a 210-passenger train with the luxuriously old-fashioned style of the resort. Passengers would board at Union Station in D.C. and once they arrived in Greenbrier County, they would be taken via horse-drawn carriage to the resort. Justice would like to use a passenger train which has the last steam engine manufactured in America and can hold up to 210 passengers.
He hopes to have the train up and running by next summer. He is also working on plans for a $25 million, 75,000-square-foot casino. The smaller Tavern Casino will open on October 1,and will offer table games, including blackjack, roulette and three card poker as well as slot machines. The Casino at The Greenbrier will open next April and have a Monte Carlo-style casino, as well as retail and dining areas in an underground complex. Champagne will be passed nightly at 8:00 p.m., offering a toast of luck to all guests. by Deidre Woollard – Luxist
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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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September 1, 2009
Palm Beach has taken its hits over the past year in the wake of Bernie Madoff but now the elite Florida enclave has a new place to welcome guests. The Palm Beach Post reports on the opening of The Omphoy Oean Resort which is a narly $100 million resort on the location of a former Hilton hotel. The resort is designed to combine a peaceful retreat with a bit of South Beach style- an infinity pool and flatscreen televisions contrast with ebony pillars in the lobby and a lounge area with a row of gongs. The restaurant is run by chef Michelle Bernstein who has been denoted as one of the best chefs in the South by the James Beard Foundation. The spa is run by Exhale and offers massages, facials, yoga and more. This hotel is the first major oeceanfront one to open in Palm Beach in a while and the idea is to create a resort that is a newer and more hip option than the venerable grand dames of Palm Beach: The Breakers, The Four Seasons and The Ritz-Carlton. The Omphoy has just 134 rooms and offers more of a boutique hotel experience. The resort has an opening deal that starts at $149 a night (rooms will run in the $400 to $700 range in the winter). by Deidre Woollard – Luxist
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August 17, 2009
Concierge service is rewarding, but common; let’s face it, Best Western has concierges. Butler service, on the other hand — the round-the-clock ask-and-it’s-done white-glove kind, that’s still something special. The Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Holistic Retreat & Spa in Los Cabos, Baja California has just added butlers to its list of amenities, and they’re free… well, whenever you book an ocean view suite.
Your attendant clocks in the moment you arrive and tends to the minutiae of any resort stay like dinner reservations, spa appointment, and dry cleaning. Yet the role of steward entails more than that: he will unpack your luggage, run your bubble bath, coordinate in-suite dining, plan an entire day trip and make sure your bed is turned down and your shoes are shined when you return. If there are enough of you for a cocktail party, he can arrange that as well. And anything else in between, so we’re told.
Although Pueblo Bonito says “no request is too large or too small,” there is one thing you can’t ask your butler to do: take care of your children — the Los Cabos property has been designed exclusively for adults. With your own butler, though, it will give you chance to be kids. Arthur would be proud…
by Jonathon Ramsey – Luxist
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