Category Archives: Most Beautiful Hotels

Castle on the Hudson • Tarrytown, New York

Palatial getaway a stone’s throw from the Big Apple

Castle on the Hudson Banquet

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The Castle on the Hudson is an intriguing souvenir from early in the 20th-century, located in Tarrytown, NY and overlooking the Hudson River. The 45-room baronial estate was built by the son of a Civil War general, and styled after Norman castles in Britain.  All around the hotel are magnificent grounds enclosed by a stone wall and landscaped with a arboretum of evergreens and rare varieties of trees, grasslands and flowers.The Castle first opened as a luxury hotel in 1940 and has been landmarked by the City of Tarrytown.

The property is known as a perfect site for special events, large business gatherings, getaway weekends for romance and royal weddings.

The facilities include a large, outdoor pool, which overlooks the Hudson, with a giant Jacuzzi spa and poolside bar situated adjacent. Poolside lunches are also served nearby. The finely landscaped grounds offer lawn games, and there is an outdoor tennis court, onsite.

Castle on the Hudson suite

The Castle has changed very little in its first century. Much of the original interior woodwork and furnishings, which were built by a team of carpenters brought from Germany, still remain intact.  The guest rooms at the Castle are luxurious furnished with goosedown comforters, marble bathrooms and high-tech amenities.  The suites are even more spectacular with interesting features such as fireplace and turret alcoves.

And a highlight to a journey to The Castle on the Hudson will be dinner at The Equus restaurant and General’s bar,which ornate and elegant dining rooms as well as an enclosed veranda that has spectacular views of the Hudson River and New York City skyline. One of the dining rooms, the impressive Oak Room, features paneling brought from General Carroll’s house in St. Germain, outside of Paris, France.

The countryside along the Hudson is a veritable museum of beautiful and historic mansions, most open to the public.  Some highlights and their distance from the Castle on the Hudson:
• Lyndhurst Castle, 3 miles
• Sunnyside Estate, 3 miles
• Old Dutch Church, 4 miles
• Phillipsburg Manor, 4 miles
• Van Cortlandt Manor, 9 miles
• Kykuit-Rockefeller Estate, 4 miles

Castle on the Hudson Dining Room

Castle on the Hudson
Location: s400 Benedict Ave, Tarrytown, NY 10591;25 miles from New York city, 50 minutes to an hour and a half to JFK or LaGuardia, depending on traffic.

Luxury style: For an extra special occasion book a Tower suite, which feature four-poster beds, wood-burning fireplaces, marble bathrooms, turret alcoves and breathtaking views of the hillside, the Hudson River and Manhattan.

What we’ve heard: Perhaps one of the world’s most perfect choices for a fall foliage weekend. The Hudson landscape is magnificent with the turning colors of the leaves and the views while touring the fascinating landmarks of the area are spectacular.

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Little Palm Island • Little Torch Key, Florida USA

An island for romance

Little Palm Island - Dining on the beach

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Little Palm Island, once a private retreat, is a blissfully quiet hideaway where every detail to designed to further a state of tranquility. From the ever-present hammock to soul-renewing spa treatments to gourmet dining, every need is anticipated and filled, all within an air of rustic elegance and unspoiled beauty punctuated by tropical lushness.

Thirty suites set in 14 wood bungalows feature bamboo accents, tiled floors and thatched roofs. Amenities include minibars, umbrellas, bathrobes and Cocomango toiletries. Complimentary newspapers and dial-up Internet access keep guests connected to the outside world. Select rooms feature jetted tubs. Turndown service and complimentary bottled water are also available.

Dining is an event at Little Palm Island. Although thatched roofs and hammock may bring Gilligan’s Island to mind, the cuisine is not everything coconut. The resort features multiple dining options, including the all-wood Dining Room with linen service meals at waterside tables for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The cuisine is a blend of French and Pan Latin flavors. Guests can also while away the hours at poolside bars and open-air lounges.

Little Palm Island - Guest room

Complimentary pontoon boats are available for fishing, snorkeling and water excursions. The Spa Terre offers private outdoor showers, hot stone massage and yoga classes. Recreational options include outdoor pools and a fitness center with an Indonesian lounging bed.There are plenty of activities available if hammock-swinging grows tiring. The Florida Keys are known for superb scuba diving, snorkeling and deep sea fishing, and the resort offers daily trips to Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary and the wreck of the Adolphus Busch. Tours are also offered to the Great White Heron Wildlife Refuge as well as day trips to Key West.

Little Palm Island - Terrace

Little Palm Island
Location: 8500 Overseas Highway, Little Torch Key, FL 33042; nearest airport is Key West, 25 miles away; the hotel can arrange transportation by car to their launch which will bring the guest to the island; alternatively, one can arrive via seaplane.

Luxury style: Robinson Crusoe with his every wish fulfilled; one of the most perfect romantic getaways ever.

What we’ve heard: Little Palm Island is serious about “getting away from it all” and there are no TVs or phones on the island (although Internet connection is provided.) Some guests find that this feature (the lack of modern distraction) is one of the most luxurious of all!

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Grand Hotel Timeo • Taormina, Sicily, Italy

In the shadow of the ancients

Grand Hotel Timeo - view over countryside

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The Grand Hotel Timeo is nestled on a hillside beneath the Greek Theatre amid acres of parkland and looking out toward Mount Etna, a steaming semi-active volcano across the Gulf of Naxos.  Built in 1873, the neoclassical buildings echo the land of history where they are situated.

Grand Hotel Timeo - Exterior

One of the highlights of the hotel is the “Literary Terrace” named after the  intelligentsia that were once attracted to the Grand Hotel Timeo and its luxe  Baroque interiors, storied location and breathtaking views of the volcano and bay.  Oscar Wilde and other wags once tarried here to enjoy the view and modern-day wits will also feel the pull to while away the hours admiring the bay and companion volcano.

For moments away from the views, the hotel feature a health and fitness center with  a gym, outdoor pool and a wide range of health and beauty treatments including aromatherapy and hammam steam baths.

The informal restaurant, Il Dito e la Luna, serves Mediterranean fare and extends into a delightful terrace during warm months of the year. Il Giardino di Bacco is a poolside restaurant serving modern Sicilian dishes, and drinks and light meals are served in La Zagara terrace bar.

The 83 air-conditioned guestrooms and suites are located on four floors. All feature antique-style furnishings and most have balconies or terraces. Amenities include satellite television, direct-dial phones, wireless Internet access (surcharge), complimentary minibars, complimentary newspapers, hair dryers, bathrobes and slippers.

Grand Hotel Timeo - Dinner on the terrace

Grand Hotel Timeo
Location: Via Teatro Greco 59, Taormina, Sicily, Italy; 60 kilometres from airport (approximately 50 minutes).

Luxury style: One hundred years ago, cultural icons such as Oscar Wilde and D.H. Lawrence spent time at the Grand Hotel Timeo. The storybook locale and appeal to the imagination ignited by the Greek and Roman traces exerts just as strong an appeal as in the days of yesteryear.

What we’ve heard: The magnificent Greek Theatre, located just above the hotel on the hillside, hosts operatic and theatrical performances. During the summer, the Taormina Arte takes place, a festival dedicated to all kinds of music and featuring world-famous performers.  A memorable experience. Reserve well in advance.

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