Category Archives: Most Beautiful Hotels

The Carlyle • New York City, NY

A cocoon of traditional elegance and discretion

The Carlyle - Exterior

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The Carlyle Hotel, a seemingly ageless grande dame of New York’s Upper Eastside, has hosted dignitaries, celebrities and business leaders since its opening in 1930. These high-profile guests relish the Carlyle’s cocoon of privacy, guarded by a discreet staff skilled in hospitality arts that are rarely practiced today. Enveloped in a cozy and tranquil residential environment, the guests also enjoy top notch dining and refined entertainment. Historic ‘regulars’ at the hotel included Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy and Princess Diana. The Carlyle itself is mum on any of the guests, even years after their residence.

The hotel is ideally located a block from “Museum Mile” with the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum blocks away. Besides a stellar location, The Carlyle offers three dining options and one bar. The Carlyle Restaurant serves Greek cuisine with regional American ingredients. Cafe Carlyle features live jazz performances. The Gallery restaurant serves complete English teas with tea sandwiches, scones and pastries. Bemelmans Bar features Art Deco style with glass tabletops and a black granite bar.

The Carlyle - guest room

Guest rooms at the Carlyle Hotel feature hardwood floors, antiques and original artworks. Bedding includes down duvets and 440 thread count Egyptian cotton linens designed by Rivolta Carmignani. Bathrooms feature telephones, makeup mirrors, bathrobes and slippers.

The Carlyle - Guest room

The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel
Location: 33 East 76th St at Madison, New York, NY; 40 minutes from JFK, 30 min from LaGuardia.

Luxury style: World-weary celebrities aiming to avoid the paparazzi, ex-presidents, people falling in and out of love, exiled princes and connoisseurs of privacy and discretion.

What we’ve heard: Magical and memorable experiences at the Carlyle are High Tea in the Gallery and an afternoon aperitif in the Bemelman’s Bar with its whimsical mural by Ludwig Bemelman, author of the famed Madeline series and former Carlyle resident.

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The Equinox Resort and Spa • Manchester, Vermont

New England’s historic retreat

Equinox Resort

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The Equinox ‘s history as a Manchester Village hotel stretches back to colonial times. Opened in 1769, the memorable guest register includes such historic figures as Teddy Roosevelt, U. S. Grant and Mary Todd Lincoln. The resort sits between the Green and Taconic mountains, in an area of quaint boutiques, art galleries and antique shops.

Equinox Resort - Lobby

The 183 guest rooms are furnished with in richly textured fabrics, Audubon prints and antiques. There are also townhouses with inviting fireplaces, fully equipped kitchens, porches, and mountain views. At the Charles Orvis Inn, the atmosphere is of a private country retreat. There are nice luxurious suites with marble baths, kitchens and living and dining areas. The historic 1811 house completes the array of fine accommodations.

One of the highlights of the Equinox is the championship-level golf course, Gleneagles. A sister course to the Scottish Gleneagles, this 18-hole course is available May through October. Other activities include falconry, archery and an Orvis Fly-fishing school. Of course, nearby there is also skiing, hiking and biking. Or another pleasurable day can be spent in the extensive spa facilities, which include 10 treatment rooms, a world-class fitness center, 75-foot indoor heated pool, relaxation room with fireplace, movement studio, mens and women’s saunas and steam baths and signature treatments with local flavor.

Equinox Resort - Lobby

Equinox Resort
Location: 567 Main St, Hist Rte 7A, Manchester Village, VT; 70 miles from Albany, NY airport.

Luxury style: The spa fanatic will love the pampering and wide range of treatments at the Equinox. Perfect for a weekend rejuvenation from the pace of everyday life. And the idyllic countryside will thrill nature lovers, walkers, families, while shoppers will not be idle with the search for finds at quaint shops in every direction.

What we’ve heard: The activities and surroundings make this resort special, but travelers should ask for the most recently renovated accommodation.

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The Oberoi Rajvilas • Jaipur, India

Perfect portrayal of India’s regal past

The Oberoi Rajvilas • Jaipur, India - Exterior

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Harking back to the princely past in Rajasthan which had its heyday in the 18th century, The Oberoi Rajvilas is a recreated fort of a Rajput prince. Located outside the exotic and fascinating city of Jaipur, it is a luxury resort with a gracious manner, elegant service and singular tranquility.

Set in 32 acres of landscaped gardens studded with reflection pools and pavilions, it contains guest rooms, luxury tents and villas that are situated around private courtyards.

The interiors of the guest rooms feature marble baths and flooring, four-poster beds and balconies looking out on the lush courtyards. Amenities include the full range of hi-tech gadgetry including satellite TV, Internet access, CD and DVD players, as well as the usual luxury accoutrements such as bathrobes, refrigerators and minibars.

There are fourteen air-conditioned Rajasthani luxury tents which are finished with teak floors and claw-foot tubs. Tent guest can relax in their private walled garden and outdoor deck.

For the ultimate in luxury, there are several villas which have a master bedroom and guest bedroom, private pool and garden, dining room and kitchenette.

The Oberoi Rajvilas • Jaipur, India - Grounds

Dining is another romantic adventure. The Surya Mahal and Courtyard serves both international and India specialties. Guests can choose to dine under the stars in the courtyard with entertainment of traditional Indian music and dance.

There is a fine Oberoi spa with  spa suites adorned with hand-painted frescoes.  Holistic treatments drawing on both East and West are offered.  Guests can unwind in the steam room, sauna and whirlpool or rejuvenate with a session of yoga.  A fully equipped gym, swimming pool and tennis courts are also available.

The Oberoi Rajvilas • Jaipur, India - Guest room

The Oberoi Rajvilas
Location: Goner Road, Jaipur, India; 13 miles from the Jaipur airport. 

Luxury style: An amazing honeymoon destination, suitable for families traveling with children. Retirees will appreciate the convenience of the hotel car for expeditions. For anyone who has ever perused an Indian miniature or had their imagination stimulated by a carpet, this is the place for you.

What we’ve heard: Service is so attentive that it might be distracting for some guests not used to having their every whimsy taken seriously. But most guests will enjoy the pampering.

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