Author Archives: Leticia

The Mandarin Oriental • New York City, New York

Living large on top of the Big Apple

Mandarin Oriental New York Dining

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The Mandarin Oriental New York, occupying the 35th to 54th floors of the Time Warner building at Columbus Circle, has views in every direction over the adjacent Central Park, uptown, crosstown and downtown that are nothing short of spectacular. The design of this hotel, opened in late 2003, emphasizes these views in every nook and cranny giving the visitor the sensation of floating over Manhattan.

Awarded a Mobil 5-Star in 2007, the combination of a modern aesthetic and eastern simplicity makes the Mandarin Oriental New York a destination unto itself.

Mandarin Oriental New York Guest room

Windows are everywhere and the guest rooms are sleek, luxe and maintain a constant watch on the fluctuations of the world’s most exciting city; many of the rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows. The modernity is also reflected in the up-to-the-minute amenities such as high-speed internet, in-room laptop charging safes and flat-screen TVs in both bedroom and bath.

The Fifth Avenue shopping district, the Museum of Modern Art and Broadway theaters are all just a short distance away. And after a day of pounding the pavement, nothing pleases like the 5-star 14,000+ square foot luxury spa. Pampering in this sea of tranquility can prepare the busy traveler for the nightlife ahead. There is also a pool for lap-swimming, the usual white tile of an indoor pool replaced by the whole city of New York on view.

No expense was spared in planning the elegant restaurants at the hotel. Located on the 35th floor, Asiate offers a combination of French and Japanese cuisines topped with unforgettable views of Central Park and beyond. Another hot spot is the Lobby Bar which caters to Manhattan’s sophisticated set and migrating jetsetters.

Mandarin Oriental New York
Location: 80 Columbus Circle at 60th St; New York, NY; allow 1.5 hr for JFK and Newark; LaGuardia is 40 min.

Luxury style: The Mandarin Oriental is a lively meeting place and a favorite with well-heeled business travelers as well as the upscale clientele who frequent New York on a regular basis.

What we’ve heard: Suites can produce an out-of-body experience with their tremendous views–even the large marble bath has the astonishing view. Service is top notch, yet unobtrusive.

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Mena House Oberoi • Cairo, Egypt

Say hello to your next-door neighbor: Cheops, Pharaoh of the Old Kingdom

Mena House Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort

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Over three thousand years ago, the Pharaohs of Egypt’s Old Kingdom, built the massive Pyramids to house their remains and their riches for eternity. This astonishing Wonder of the World has attracted tourists for centuries, but only The Mena House Oberoi is located a mere 700 yards away, right on the sandy plain. Originally built as a hunting lodge in 1879, but has been a destination for Grand Tour travelers for nearly a century.
One can explore the interiors of the great pyramids, but perhaps the best way to view them is from the tranquility of a suite at the Mena House, where one can contemplate the immense age and magnificence of the ancient Egyptian civilization.

The 523 rooms are scattered over several wings: the palace wing with ultra-luxe suites with period furnishings; the garden wing, a more modern additions but still featuring a rich contrast of textures and fabrics; and the cabana rooms which are positioned in a wing around the magnificent pool.

Mena House - al Rubayyat restaurant

Besides the Pyramids, the Mena House has 40 acres of jasmine-scented gardens and an 18-hole golf course right at the foot of the pyramids. The swimming pool, situated in the gardens also has the million-dollar pyramid view. The adventurous will be fortunate to experience the Pyramids in the most romantic and thrilling way — a horseback ride out into the desert to view the Pyramids from their most stunning angle. Camels are also available for this expedition.

The Mena House boasts five restaurants including the noted Moghul Room serving fine Indian cuisine and the Al Rubbayat (above) a majestic room serving Continental cuisine.

Balcony at the Mena House Oberoi

Mena House Oberoi
Location: Pyramids Road, Giza, Cairo, Egypt; 45 minutes to airport.

Luxury style: The original palace is an incredible Moorish fantasy; add to that the opulent period decor and the balcony overlooking the Pyramids and you have the perfect adventure/luxury ratio that will be enjoyed by almost every type of luxury traveler.

What we’ve heard: Ease your entrance into very foreign and sometimes chaotic Cairo by utilizing the meet-and-greet service offered by the hotel. It will smooth your way through airport red tape and have you to the Pyramids with the minimum of stress.

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Hotel Martinez • Cannes, France

Gracious Art Deco palace along the Croisette

Dining al fresco at the Hotel Martinez Cannes

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There’s only one place to be in Cannes, and that’s on La Croisette, the promenade that runs along the shore the entire length of the city. The Hotel Martinez has stood guard over the Croisette since 1929, an Art Deco ode to good living by the sea. Nearby is the Palais des Festivals Center home to the Cannes Film Festival.

The hotel is set on palm-fringed grounds facing the Mediterranean and the 420 guest rooms, decorated with 20’s and 30’s-style furniture in soothing marine tones, have either seaside or hillside views.

Hotel Martinez guest room

Marine-inspired guest rooms

Four restaurants are available to suit any mood or taste: The Beach Restaurant serves a lively lunch; La Palme D’or, with two Michelin starrs, offers panoramic views of the Bay of Cannes and Provencale cuisine; Le Relais Martinez Restaurant serves buffet-style breakfasts, lunches, and dinners and Le Restaurant de la Plage offers buffets of traditional dishes of the region.

Besides extensive pool and beach areas, the Hotel Martinez is host to one of the few Givenchy spas where guests can unwind and relax after a busy day in the screening rooms.

Champagne is always appropriate.

Hotel Martinez
Location: 73 La Croisette, Cannes, France; 20 minutes from the Cote d’Azur Nice International airport

Luxury style: The Hotel Martinez is on many a celebrity’s dance card during the Cannes Film Festival, but it’s popular with the locals year-round because of its canny mix of elegance and laidback coolness.

What we’ve heard: For that perfect film fest after-party, take one of two penthouses on the top of the Hotel Martinez, each one over eight thousand square feet with its own sauna, dining rooms, two bedrooms, and a massive terrace with t0-die-for views of the Mediterranean.

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